Lunchlady Legend, The Baking Bandits


Lunchlady Legend, The Baking Bandits
8 April 2014

As some of you might know, I am slightly obsessed with instagram. I love it. I love taking photos and I love seeing what other people are taking photos of. It is so great sitting at my kitchen table with my lappy (laptop for you normal speaking non Australians) and watching the seasons and lives unfold on the opposite side of the world. Awesome.

It is also an amazing way to meet and interact with others you may have never met before! Like Kristen, of The Baking Bandits. This gal is seriously unreal and embodies everything that is Lunchlady. She lives in Birmingham, Alabama and is my latest girl crush. I really wanted to share her story, as I love it so much. It is cute, wonderful and is everything I love about baking.

“The Baking Bandits was born out of a love of people and the joy that a freshly baked treat can bring to someone’s day. The original bandits are Kristen Farmer Hall and her young daughters, Emma and Eleanor.

Kristen wanted her daughters to feel comfortable in the kitchen and use it as an opportunity to bring a little sunshine to someone’s day. So, every Sunday afternoon they began baking together and leaving little packages on the doorsteps of neighbors and friends. Everyone wanted a visit from the Bandits!”

I was going to rewrite the story from their website, but it was perfect already. As soon as I read it I knew I was in love with this chick. Sharing the joy of home baked treats with neighbours is something I had done (when I had neighbours), a few Christmases ago. I had an influx of my mum’s unwanted chook eggs, so I baked my neighbours pavlovas. The next Christmas they were asking if I was going to be doing the pavs again. It was so lovely, it made my inner city neighbourhood feel like something back in the ‘good old days’ when neighbours spoke and looked out for each other.

There is something so honest and real about sharing a home baked treat.

Kristen bakes the most simple, honest and down right delicious treats and she has been kind enough to share one with us. I mentioned to her that the lemon trees are heaving here, so Lemon Creme Bars it is! A PERFECT lunchbox and cuppa tea treat. Go and check her out on instagram or if you are lucky enough to live in Birmingham, Alabama, go to her website and find where you can find her yummy treat.

Thanks Kristen! x

Lemon Creme Bars

What You Need


  • 150 grams plain flour
  • 125 grams rolled oats (not quick cooking)
  • 100 grams sugar
  • 100 grams brown sugar
  • 170 grams (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Lovely Lemon Filling

  • 1 1/4 ounce tin sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 3-4 ounces freshly squeezed lemon juice (depending on how tart you like them)
  • 2 egg yolks

What You Need to Do

  1. Heat oven to 176C/350F and line 8×8 inch baking pan with parchment.
  2. Mix dry ingredients in large bowl. Stir in melted butter and vanilla. Press half of the oat mixture into prepared pan and bake for 15 minutes until lightly golden brown. Set aside to briefly cool.
  3. Mix all ingredients together and pour over slightly cooled oat base. Top with remaining crumble and bake for an additional 20-25 minutes until custard is set and topping is golden brown.
  4. Allow bars to cool for 3-4 hours before slicing into squares. Invite over your friends and have a party.

*You can also add 1 teaspoon of ground ginger and a large handful of chopped crystallized ginger for a Lemon Ginger version.

Tags Food recipes