Easy Dutch Letter Bar Recipe

This Easy Dutch Letter Bar Recipe requires just 5 ingredients and 30 minutes in the oven to turn out a delicious, chewy, almond-flavored bar.

Easy Dutch Letter Bar Recipe…aka the easiest dessert you will ever make!

If you’re from Iowa, there’s a 99.9% chance you’ve been to the Tulip Festival in Pella Iowa, and had a fresh-baked Dutch Letter from one of the amazing bakeries on the town square. And if you’re not from Iowa, and haven’t experienced this, well, I feel sad for you, because the tulips are incredible, and the Dutch Letters really are that good.

But, since taking a little joyride to Pella for the sole purpose of getting a Dutch Letter isn’t really feasible most of the time, I have a backup option for you.

Now, I’m not saying that this Easy Dutch Letter Bar Recipe is just as good as Dutch Letters fresh from Jaarsma Bakery, but they are close. Plus, the recipe calls for only 5 ingredients and is extremely simple to make. So, if you’re craving a Dutch Letter fix, I got you covered.

And if you’ve never had a Dutch Letter, well, give these bars a try, but I still suggest you make a point to find yourself an authentic Dutch bakery and buy a true Dutch Letter. Really. It should be on your bucket list.

Five Ingredients = Easy Dutch Letter Bar Recipe

One of the great things about this recipe (besides the fact that it’s scrumptious) is that it only takes 5 ingredients. And 4 of those ingredients you probably have on hand already.

The fifth, almond paste, is readily available in the baking aisle of almost any grocery store. Add it to your shopping list, so you can whip these super easy bars up soon!

Ingredients for Dutch Letter Bars

Mix It All Together

Another thing that makes this recipe great is how simple it is to prepare. Are you ready? Here’s how you do it…. dump all 5 ingredients in your mixer bowl and turn it on. That’s it.

For real.

Mix the butter and almond paste in mixer for Dutch Letter Bars

Spread It In Your Baking Dish

Grease a rectangular baking dish well, and dump the dough into it. The recipe calls for a 9×13 inch pan, but you can vary the size depending on how thick you want your bars.

I wanted to use this white baker with the pretty edge detail, and it’s only 8×12, so my bars were on the thicker side, which I didn’t mind one bit.

Put batter for Dutch Letter Bars in a greased baking pan.

Use an offset spatula to spread it evenly around in your pan.

Spread batter for Dutch Letter Bars around evenly in pan.
Dutch Letter Bars in pan ready to bake.

Sprinkle the top generously with sugar. Don’t skip this step, because it gives the top a nice crispy texture, reminiscent of real Dutch Letters. You could also sprinkle with some sliced almonds, to make these really look like the real deal. I didn’t have any and they were just as good.

Sprinkle with sugar and sliced almonds if you choose.

Bake in a 350-degree oven for 30 to 35 minutes, until the top is golden brown.

Bake Dutch Letter Bars at 350 degrees until golden brown.

Update: Here’s another batch I made later, this time with sliced almonds on top. It’s delicious both ways.

And here’s a batch I made “Christmasy” by topping with red and green sprinkles!


Cool completely before cutting into bars. The top will be crisp and flakey, and the center will be dense and chewy.

Oh my word.

Slice Dutch Letter Bars in to squares.

And if these pictures aren’t enough to convince you to make these, let me present you with some more evidence.

My son insisted that he doesn’t “really like desserts”, when I tried to serve these bars to him this past weekend when he was here for dinner. I packed some up and sent them home with him anyway.

Later that night, I received a text.

Exhibit A:

Findings: Even hard-to-impress people are impressed by these Dutch Letter Bars.

Conclusion: Just make them.

Pin Dutch Letter Bars

Dutch Letter Bars

Niky @ The House on Silverado
A delcious and easy bar recipe, that will remind you of authentic Dutch Letters.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American, Dutch
Servings 12 bars
Calories 434 kcal


  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 8 oz almond paste
  • 2 cups sugar + extra for sprinkling
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour


  • Preheat the oven to 350°.
  • Combine all 5 ingredients together in mixing bowl, until well blended.
  • Grease a 9×13 inch pan. You can use a slightly smaller pan if you'd prefer your bars to be thicker. I put mine in an 8×11.
  • Sprinkle the top of the bars with sugar. This step is important, because it gives the top a slightly crisp texture, reminiscent of actual Dutch Letter Bars.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the top is just lightly golden brown.
  • Cool completely before cutting into bars.


Serving: 1barCalories: 434kcalCarbohydrates: 58.3gProtein: 4.9gFat: 21.5gSaturated Fat: 10.5gCholesterol: 68mgSodium: 121mgPotassium: 96mgFiber: 1.5gSugar: 40.3gCalcium: 44mgIron: 1mg
Keyword Dessert Bar
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

If you need some other great dessert bar recipes, check out my Milk Chocolate Toffee Shortbread Bars, or my Caramel Apple Bars!

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68 thoughts on “Easy Dutch Letter Bar Recipe

  1. I’m hoping to make these for belated Valentine’s Day. I love Dutch letters but live no where near Pella.
    Question- salted butter or unsalted? Would the salted be too salty and if unsalted, should I add salt to the recipe? Thanks!

  2. 5 stars
    I made these with gluten free flour for friends and everyone loved them. Me especially! I plan to make again for a church group in a few weeks.

    1. 5 stars
      The perfect size measurements
      Don’t over mix or over bake. The only difference, I made an almond extract infused glaze for the topping. Decadent, rich, dreamy & elegant . Chef kiss! Thank you.

  3. I’m an Iowa girl though I haven’t lived there for a long time. You mentioned the Tulip Festival in Pella but, of course, the Tulip Festival is in Orange City – the other Dutch-y town in Iowa. The celebration in Pella is called Tulip Time.
    BTW, I’ve made the recipe and it’s awesome!

  4. 5 stars
    These are very rich and tasty. I feel the texture and flavor was even better the second day. I did add a quarter teaspoon of almond extract and a quarter teaspoon of vanilla extract and I really think this enhanced it.
    Everyone in my family loved them!

    1. I’ve never used the almond pie filling, Chris, but I don’t think it would work the same. The Solo website says “The almond paste and almond filling are very different products and should not be used interchangeably in a recipe. The Almond Filling is a jam-like filling for cakes, pastries, and cookies. The Almond Paste is usually mixed or cut into a recipe for an almond flavor, or as a layer in tarts and pies.”

      I would buy a box of the paste and use that instead. The bars are so good, so I don’t think you will be disappointed.

  5. 5 stars
    I’ve made these for a group of friends from church. They raved and requested the recipe. One lady is a gourmet in the kitchen; she now makes these regularly.

    1. Awww, thanks for sharing that with me, Judy. I’m so glad you and your friends have all enjoyed these bars!. :-) It’s amazing how good they are for so little effort and just a few simple ingredients.

  6. you forgot to put you need 2 tsp almond extract
    ½ tsp vanilla to add to dough gives it more like Pella dutch letters taste

  7. Ok, I’m in! These look good and sound SO easy!
    I’ll have to see if we can get Almond paste here, fingers crossed.
    I have to say, you really do have white eggs in the US don’t you? Ours are almost always beige or brown, we hardly ever get completely white ones. I guess it’s what they feed the chickens?

    1. Yes, the eggs are interesting, right? Almost all the eggs we buy in the market are pure white, but we have a friend who has chickens, and when he shares eggs with us, they are every shade of brown and even some blue/green ones! He says it has to do with the type of chickens? He has a variety of them.

    2. Egg color is actually determined by the breed of chicken. There are even chickens who lay blue and green eggs. What they’re fed affects the color of the yolk but not the shell.

  8. Thank you for sharing this recipe! I’ll be heading to the grocery store for almond paste, as soon as I post this!
    I was first introduced to Dutch letters in 1994, when my son started college at Central. Stopping at Jaarsma’s is a must whenever I am in the area. Look forward to Tulip Time in May this year!

  9. Looks wonderful—but obviously not for diabetics! Question: why do you say kcal instead of calories?

    1. Unfortunately, Pam, I just don’t think these bars would work the same without the almond paste. With only 5 ingredients total, the paste plays a big part in not only the flavor, but also the chewey consistency of the bars. Since they are so easy, maybe make a pan just for yourself, and a different treat for your husband? The Dutch Letter Bars freeze well! :-) Thanks for stopping by… xoxo

  10. 5 stars
    Added Almond paste to my grocery list! I’d just used my last packet on Almond Logs with puff pastry. They are a bit like Pella’ Dutch letters too. Almond paste and marzipan are my favorite flavor; I know we are going to love these at my house in Indianola, Iowa. Tulip time in Pella is next month in May. These will tide us over ’til then :D Thank you for sharing an easy, Almond treat!

    1. Hey there Iowa friend! I have taken the day off just to attend Tulip Time in Pella this year! I also plan to get myself the “real deal” while there!
      Hope you love my back-up treat in the meantime! 💕

  11. I grew up in Oskaloosa, Is 16 miles from Pella. We went to the dentist in Pella. After each dentist visit we walked the half block to the bakery and I always got a Dutch Letter to eat. Yummy and such good memories. I shall be trying out this bar recipe. Dutch letters are not to be found in northern Minnesota and I really really miss them.

  12. 5 stars
    We loved featuring your awesome post here on Full Plate Thursday,503 this week. Thanks so much for sharing your talent with us and hope you will come back to see us real soon!
    Miz Helen

  13. Well, you just taught an old Iowa gal a new recipe — born and raised in IA, but have never heard or had a Dutch Letter Bar during all that time…! Looks like I truly have been missing out! Grew up knowing about Pella, IA, and all about its rich Dutch heritage, so am excited to try this recipe very soon. Long ago left Iowa to move to neighboring Minnesota — will be interesting to see if any of the natives here are familiar with Dutch Letter Bars…?

  14. I was so curious when I saw the name ‘Dutch Cookie Bars’. I’ve never heard about these cookies and I’m Dutch :-D. But now that I have, I definitely have to try them. Thanks for sharing the recipe! Have a nice week!

    1. Hi Liz, I hope you will try them and come back and tell me your thoughts! It’s so interesting that you’re Dutch and have never heard of them! Here in Iowa, in Pella especially which is a whole town with Dutch heritage and festivals, they are so well known!

  15. Congrats! This was the most clicked from last week’s Snickerdoodle Create Bake Make Link Party! You’ll find it featured at this week’s, which goes live today (Saturday) at 5pm EST.

  16. 5 stars
    Thank you for sharing at #OverTheMoon. Pinned and shared. Have a lovely week. I hope to see you at next week’s party too! Please stay safe and healthy. Come party with us at Over The Moon! Catapult your content Over The Moon! @marilyn_lesniak @EclecticRedBarn

  17. I have never heard of Dutch Letter Bars before but they look AMAZING and I bet they taste divine. I need to give these a try, I think I have all of the ingredients fortunately! :) A lovely treat! Sim x #TrafficJamWeekend

  18. I don’t live that far away from Pella and even went to Central College. I’ve had Dutch letters, but these bars sound like I need to make them!! Thank you 😊

  19. These look delicious. Im going to have to invest in some American style measuring cups so I can start making recipies that state cups.

  20. 5 stars
    Oh, my goodness! This looks so good! I’ve never had Dutch Letter bars, so I have no frame of reference. But, I LOVE almond and so the thought of a loaded almond baked good is amazing! I definitely want to try this to share with my family!

  21. I have never heard of Dutch Letter bars before. But looking at the ingredients, I’m pretty sure I’ve had a few in my life since I live next to The Netherlands 😁 I am very thankful for your recipe cuz it is soooo good indeed! And now we can make our very own! Love it.

  22. 5 stars
    You had me convinced at Almond Paste…or marzipan as we call it over the pond. I am going to have to attempt this Gluten free so my daughter can try them. Never heard of Dutch Letters but I’m thrilled I’ve seen your recipe x

  23. I’m a baker of all things sweet but have to say these are new to me. And, boy, do they sound delicious. If I halve the recipe to bake in an eight by eight or nine by nine pan by how much would you think I would shorten the cooking time? Thanks!

    1. If you reduce the pan size, I’d begin with 15 minutes, and just keeping adding minutes and checking it frequently. However, these will freeze well , too, if you wanted to make the full-sized recipe and have some for later. :-)

      1. I am from Pella Iowa and this is a good recipe but to make it even more authentic, use baker’s course sugar on the top.😊

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