Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Lemon Birthday Cake Crumb Bars

I made these last year for Easter and am just realizing I never shared the recipe! Shame on me. But since Zach requested these for Easter dessert again this year, I figured they were worth a post!

You should know the drill by now; anything with lemon is my absolute favorite. And I've never met a lemon bar I didn't love so when I came across this recipe that adds Momofuku's Birthday Cake Crumb to a traditional lemon bar, I knew, without a doubt, these had to be made. I also quickly discovered I'd have to add the crumb to the bars quickly...else it would all be devoured by a certain husband of mine and we'd be left with just an ordinary lemon bar. This year I doubled the crumb recipe just to be safe. I also made the bars while he was at work which probably negated the need for a double batch. But, I bagged up the extra, threw it in my purse, and surprised him with it as we loaded up and headed to the lake for the night.

These bars are the perfect amount of tart, sweet, and salty. If you don't like as much tart, you can absolutely leave out some of the lemon juice or zest. But I say the more tart the better!

Lemon Birthday Cake Crumb Bars

(recipe from The Blonde Buckeye)
  • ½ cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1½ Tablespoons Light Brown Sugar, packed
  • ¾ cup Cake Flour
  • ½ teaspoon Baking Powder
  • ½ teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 2 Tablespoons Rainbow Sprinkles
  • ¼ cup Canola Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Clear Vanilla Extract

  • CRUST:
  • 1¾ cups All-purpose Flour
  • ⅔ cup Powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup Cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 12 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, cut in ½" cubes

  • 4 Eggs
  • 1⅓ cups Granulated Sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons All-purpose Flour
  • 1 Tablespoon Lemon Zest (about 1 lemon)
  • ⅔ cup Lemon Juice (about 4 lemons)
  • ⅓ cup Whole Milk
  • Pinch of Kosher Salt
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Line a large, rimmed cookie sheet with parchment paper. Also spray a 9" x 13" baking dish with nonstick spray and set both dishes aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the sugars, flour, baking powder, salt and sprinkles on low speed for a few minutes until throughly mixed.
  4. Add the oil and the vanilla , continue beating on low speed for a few minutes to form small clusters.
  5. Spread crumble out onto the baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes, breaking the crumble up about every 5 minutes. Allow them to cool to room temperature as you make the bars.
  6. CRUST:
  7. Increase the oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
  8. In medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, powdered sugar, cornstarch, and salt, then set it aside. Add the butter cubes and cut into flour mixture using a pastry cutter. Try to keep the butter from melting by not over working it. Once you have pea-sized crumbs, it's ready to go.
  9. Transfer the mixture into the prepared 9"x13" dish, pressing into the bottom of the dish to form the crust.
  10. Bake for 20 minutes. *Prepare lemon filling while crust is baking so that you can add it as soon as you remove the crust from the oven. The lemon filling needs to be added to a hot crust.
  12. Whisk together the eggs, sugar and flour in a medium-sized bowl. Add in the lemon zest, lemon juice, milk and pinch of salt. Mix until all combined.
  13. Once crust is done baking, immediately add lemon filling and place it back in the oven for another 20 minutes.
  14. As soon as you remove dish from the oven once more, sprinkle the Birthday Cake Crumbles evenly over the top. Press the crumble down slightly into the lemon filling to secure them.
  15. Transfer entire dish to a wire cooling rack to cool completely. Once room temperature, you can store them in the refrigerator if you prefer to eat them cold.

If you're like me and are a lover of lemon bars, make these! And if you still have any birthday crumb leftover, sprinkle some on top of a bowl of vanilla ice cream. Just trust me and do it! 

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