These Sugar Cookie Bars have all the flavor of sugar cookies but no chilling, cutting, or rolling required! This recipe makes 24 bars in less than an hour. Watch the how-to video for step-by-step instructions!
I’m so excited to be sharing this updated version of my well-loved sugar cookie bars with you today! These sweet dessert bars have thick, buttery sugar cookie bases and a flavorful, just-set frosting. They are so much easier to make than cut-out sugar cookies and they practically melt in your mouth.
This time around, I decided to swap the buttercream icing I used in my original recipe with a less-sweet cream cheese frosting. Don’t worry though, we’re still adding the sprinkles–they’re not going anywhere!
Let’s get to it!
What You Need
Here’s are a few of the key ingredients that make these sugar cookie bars so flavorful, soft and chewy:
- Butter. You’ll need softened, unsalted butter for both the bars and the frosting.
- Cream cheese. The cream cheese keeps the cookie bars incredibly soft, giving them a texture that nearly melts in your mouth (it’s a trick I developed for my bundt cake recipe and petit fours!). It also helps keep the bars from being too sweet, all while not making them taste like cream cheese. I like to use cream cheese in the frosting as well to keep it from being too sweet.
- Sugar. We’ll use granulated sugar for the bars and powdered sugar for the frosting.
- Eggs. You’ll need two large eggs plus an extra yolk. The extra yolk helps keep the bars nice and chewy.
- Flour. All-purpose works best here.
- Vanilla. Vanilla extract flavors these cookie bars in a delicate, but noticeable way.
- Cornstarch. This helps to slightly firm up the icing and encourages it to develop a nice buttercream-esque crust on top–it will still be soft underneath though!
- Sprinkles. These are optional of course, but they do make the tops of the bars look pretty! Feel free to mix up your sprinkles for whatever occasion you’re baking for; these are adorable with Christmas sprinkles!
SAM’S TIP: If you’re not a fan of cream cheese frosting and want to make my original icing, you can omit the cream cheese and use ¾ cup (170g) of softened butter instead.
Remember, this is just an overview of the ingredients I used and why. For the full recipe please scroll down to the bottom of the post!
How to Make Sugar Cookie Bars
- Cream together the butter, cream cheese, and granulated sugar until well combined.
- Add the eggs, egg yolk, and vanilla. Stir until completely combined.
- Combine the dry ingredients in a separate bowl, then gradually add them to the wet ingredients until everything is completely combined.
- Spread the batter into a lightly greased baking pan. Bake at 350F for 25-30 minutes until the edges are light golden brown and the center is set. Let the bars cool completely.
- Cream together the butter and cream cheese until smooth and lump-free.
- Gradually add your powdered sugar and mix until completely combined. Then, add your cornstarch, vanilla, and salt. Stir until combined.
- Spread the frosting over your cookie bars in an even layer.
- Top with sprinkles, slice, and serve.
SAM’S TIP: If you have trouble spreading the batter into your pan, try wetting your fingers and gently but firmly patting the dough down into the pan. You can also use an offset spatula that’s been lightly greased with cooking spray.
Frequently Asked Questions
Absolutely! I like gel food coloring, but regular food coloring will work fine too, it just won’t be quite as vibrant.
Yes! They should freeze well; just make sure to use an airtight container or freezer bag.
The frosting will develop a crust, but it won’t set all the way through. You should be able to wrap the bars without the frosting smearing though!
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Let’s bake together! I’ll be walking you through all the steps in my written recipe and video below! If you try this recipe, be sure to tag me on Instagram, and you can also find me on YouTube and Facebook
Sugar Cookie Bars
- Preheat oven to 350F (175C) and lightly grease a 13×9” (33x23cm) baking pan with baking spray or butter. Set aside.
- Combine butter, cream cheese, and granulated sugar in a large bowl and use an electric mixer (or a stand mixer) to beat until creamy and well-combined.
- Add eggs, egg yolk, and vanilla extract and stir until completely combined.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
- With mixer on low-speed, gradually add flour mixture to the butter mixture until completely combined.
- Spread batter evenly into prepared baking pan and bake on 350F (175C) for 25-30 minutes or until center is set and edges are beginning to turn light golden brown. Allow to cool completely before covering with frosting.
- Combine butter and cream cheese and beat with an electric mixer until completely smooth and creamy.
- With mixer on low-speed, gradually add powdered sugar until completely combined, then stir in cornstarch.
- Add vanilla extract and salt and stir until combined.
- Spread frosting evenly over completely cooled cookie bars and add sprinkles on top if desired. Slice and serve. Note that frosting will crust slightly on top but will not solidify all the way through.
FrostingI originally published this recipe with a buttercream frosting, which I found to be a bit too sweet and have since replaced with the cream cheese version listed in the recipe. However, if you’d like to make the original icing, simply omit the cream cheese and use ¾ cup (170g) of softened butter instead.
CornstarchCornstarch is used to help encourage the frosting to crust on the surface. Please note that the frosting will not solidify all the way through and stays soft beneath the surface, much like classic buttercream frosting.
Food coloringThis frosting may be colored using food coloring, if you would like.
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered an estimate only. Actual nutritional content will vary based upon brands used, measuring methods, cooking method, portion sizes, and more.