Dorie Greenspan’s Swedish Visiting Cake Bars are a delicious treat that’s perfect for Fall baking weather.
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of OXO
What do you get when you cross one of my favorite cookbook authors (Dorie Greenspan), one of my favorite kitchen product companies (OXO), and one of the best places I’ve ever visited (Sweden)?
These delicious Swedish visiting cakes, topped with crispy almond meringue, in support of Cookies for Kids Cancer.
I’ve supported this fundraiser for the last few years, sharing everything from hazelnut spritz cookies to apple butter blondies. This time around, OXO is partnering with chef-supporters to share recipes we hope will inspire people to host their own Cookies for Kids’ Cancer bake sales.
I’m sharing Dorie Greenspan’s Swedish Visiting Cakes. They’re a mash-up of two recipes: almond-meringue topping that you’d typically put on a fruit tart, and Swedish Visiting Cake, a subtle almond-flavored cake that’s usually pretty plain.
Together, they form a great sweet treat that would be perfect for your afternoon fika (a Swedish mid-afternoon coffee and cake break that’s just one of the many reasons I adore Sweden.)
These visiting cakes are a cross between a cake and a cookie, with a soft, tender layer of sweet cake topped with a layer of egg whites, powdered sugar, and almonds that bakes into a crisp, meringue-like finish. The result is elegant, but they’re shockingly simple to make!
I used measure for measure gluten-free flour in place of all-purpose flour and they came out perfectly!
OXO sent me a few products to use while I made these: their non-stick pro cake pan (I love how heavy it is!), 11-inch balloon whisk (the handle feels great in your hand), non-stick cooling and baking rack (I love these for baked goods and for making the crispiest baked chicken wings), and a 5 pound food scale with pull out display (the pull out design is great – you can move the display around so you can see it even when you’re using a giant mixing bowl.)
- For the topping
- 1 cup (120 grams) confectioners’ sugar
- 3 large egg whites
- 1½ cups (150 grams) sliced almonds, blanched or unblanched
- For the bars
- ¾ cup (150 grams) sugar
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon pure almond extract
- 1 cup (136 grams) all-purpose flour (I used a gluten-free blend)
- 1 stick (8 tablespoons; 4 ounces; 113 grams) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting (optional)
Center a rack in the oven and preheat it to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter a 9-inch square baking pan and line it with parchment paper.
To make the topping: Put the sugar in a medium bowl and pour over the egg whites. Using your fingers or a fork, mix until the sugar is moistened. If there are lumps, ignore them. Toss in the almonds and stir them around until they’re coated with the sugared whites. Set aside while you make the batter.
To make the bars: Working in a large bowl, whisk the sugar, eggs and salt together until the mixture lightens in color and thickens a little, about 2 minutes. Whisk in the vanilla and almond extracts. Switch to a flexible spatula and gently stir in the flour. When the flour is fully incorporated, gradually fold in the melted butter. You’ll have a thick batter with a lovely sheen. Scrape it into the pan and use the spatula to work the batter into the corners. The layer will be very thin.
Give the topping another stir, or a run-through with your fingers, and turn it out onto the batter. Use a spatula or your fingers to spread the almonds evenly over the mixture, making sure to get nuts into the corners too.
Bake for 28 to 32 minutes, or until a tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean or with only a few crumbs stuck to it. The meringue topping will be pale golden brown. If you’d like a deeper color on the topping, run it under the broiler until you get the shade of gold you like best.
Transfer the pan to a rack and let rest for 5 minutes, then run a knife around the edges of the cake and unmold it onto the rack. Very gently peel away the parchment and invert the cake onto another rack to cool to room temperature.
Transfer the cake to a cutting board and, using a long, thin knife, slice it into nine 3-inch squares. For smaller portions, cut each square into two triangles. If you’d like, you can dust the bars with confectioners’ sugar just before you serve them.