Lemon & Saffron Bars

By June 16, 2016 gluten free, healthy, naked treats, recipe series, recipes, sweet

These lemon and saffron bars are going to become one of your favourite treats! A soft, subtly sweet and chewy base, topped with a creamy filling that is the perfect mixture of sweet and sour – they’re everything you want in a  slice + MORE! 


You know when you see the most perfect recipe and photos and your heart just flutters? You just keep going back, and back again to look at them? Admiring the styling, the recipe, the colours, the everything. 

Well, this is what happened when I came across this recipe for lime bars with saffron. Originally, the recipe is from Yossy Arefi’s book Sweeter Off The Vine but Cynthia remade it for her blog, Two Red Bowls – a beautiful atlas of recipes ranging from asian inspired to mini things. Be sure to check her out, she’s soon become one of my absolute favourites! And Yossy has a blog, Apartment 2 Baking Co which has LOTS of delicious desserts and more.

I tried this recipe with lemon instead as I didnt have any limes and it came out perfectly. Never mind it took me THREE goes. The first batch I didnt put enough baking paper so the filling escaped under the base. FAIL! The second batch just curdled and also the filling measurement wasn’t enough to produce a nice thick bar so I doubled the filling the third time around and I love how they turned out. Soft and chewy buttery base topped with a wobbly, sweet and tangy filling. Notes: Use adequate baking paper so it goes up beyond the top of the tin, follow the recipe exactly and enjoy the process (something I need to learn more about!).

Hope they are easier for you and be sure to let me know how you go with the recipe.

Don’t forget to hashtag #cookwiththemacadames when making my recipes. I love to see how you went and get a peek at your kitchen table.








Recipe adapted from here.

What you need:

  • Baking tin lined with baking paper
  • Mortar and pestel
  • Medium bowl x 2

Ingredients (makes approx 12):

For the base:

  • 1 cup (125g) plain flour
  • 3 tbsp granulated white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened

For the filling:

  • 1/2 tsp saffron threads
  • 1 & 1/2 cups granulated white sugar
  • 4 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 large eggs
  • 1 cup lemon juice
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • To serve: Icing sugar


1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Prepare the baking tin.

2. With the paddle attached fitted to your stand mixer, toss together the filling dry ingredients, then add the softened butter and mix until a soft dough forms. Press into your prepared making tin and pop into the oven to bake for 20 minutes.

3. With a mortar and pestle grind the saffron threads with a pinch of sugar to a fine powder. You want it to be really fine so it flavours the slice evenly. Then stir in 1 tablespoon of boiling water to help the saffron “bloom”.

4. In the other mixing bowl, rub the lemon zest into the sugar until well combined and fragrant. With the beater attached to your stand mixer, add the cornflour and salt and mix on the a low speed. Add the eggs one at a time and mix on a medium speed until smooth. Add the lemon juice and butter and mix until smooth. Set aside.

5. Once you pull the crust out, turn the oven down to 150°C. Pour the filling over the hot base and return the tin to the oven. Bake for 30-40 minutes until just set. Let the slice cool in the tin, then lift out using the baking paper. Cut into your desired shape and dust with icing sugar.

Storage: in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Bon appétit!

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For another Naked Treat, try my chocolate olive oil cake.

Healthy Flourless Chocolate Cake | Anisa Sabet | The Macadames-11

Or my hot cross bun pudding.

Chocolate Chip Hot Cross Bun Pudding | Anisa Sabet | The Macadames-3

Anisa – The Macadames. xx

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