Sugar Cookie Bars

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4.33 from 61 votes
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These sugar cookies bars are thick, chewy, and topped with a thick layer of creamy buttercream sugar cookie frosting and, of course, lots of rainbow sprinkles!

The tender, soft-baked frosted sugar cookie bars are perfect for birthday parties, holidays, or to make any ordinary day feel like a celebration.

For more tasty sugar cookie desserts, give our rolled sugar cookies, sugar cookie cake, sprinkle sugar cookies, and sugar cookie fudge a try.

3 thick sugar cookie bars with frosting stacked on a white plate. A jar of rainbow sprinkles can be seen in background.

This sugar cookies bars recipe is as easy to make as sugar cookies.

No, wait, I take that back.

Top-down view of frosted sugar cookie bars with rainbow sprinkles, sliced into squares.

They are even easier to make than classic sugar cookies!

There is no need to chill, roll out, and cut the dough.

Instead, simply mix your dough, press it into your baking pan, and pop it in the oven.

Then once they have baked and cooled you can frost all of them in one go, rather than having to frost each individual cookie as you would with classic cookies. So much quicker!

Sugar Cookies Bars with vanilla frosting and rainbow sprinkles, cut into squares and being served with a teal spatula. Milk in glasses can be seen behind the bars.

The best part is– even though these bars are quick and easy, they still pack that great taste of classic soft frosted sugar cookies. So yummy. I dare you to eat just one!

Ingredients

This section includes ingredient notes and substitution options. Get all measurements, ingredients, and instructions in the printable recipe card at the end of this post.

Ingredients on countertop: flour, white sugar, 2 sticks of butter, shortening, clear vanilla extract, almond extract, 2 eggs, salt, making powder, powdered sugar, cream, sprinkles
  • Butter– take your butter out of the fridge 30-60 minutes before you start to let it soften 
  • Shortening– you can substitute with an equal amount of butter if you prefer
  • Granulated sugar
  • Eggs– let them come to room temperature with your buter
  • Almond extract– this will give you that classic sugar cookie flavor. If you aren’t a fan of almond flavor you can use vanilla instead.
  • All-purpose flour– I used King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose flour
  • Baking powder
  • Salt – If using salted butter cut the salt added to the cookie dough to ¼ teaspoon.
  • Powdered sugar
  • Heavy cream– you can substitute with half-and-half or any type of milk–the higher the fat the better though.
  • Clear vanilla extract– I used clear extract in this recipe to keep the frosting as white as possible. Clear extract is imitation vanilla so I increased the amount to get a better vanilla flavor. You can substitute with 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract if you prefer, just note your frosting may have a slight tint to it. 
  • Festive sprinkles– coordinate your sprinkles with any holiday or occasion or use whatever sprinkles tickle your fancy 

Helpful Baking Supplies

How to Make Sugar Cookie Bars

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350° Fahrenheit. Line an 8×8 inch pan with parchment paper, leaving some hanging over the edge, and set aside. 

Step 2: Use a mixer to cream together the butter, shortening, and sugar until well-combined and fluffy.  Mix in the eggs 1 at a time, adding in the almond extract along with the second egg. 

2 Image collage. On left, large mixing bowl with sugar, stick of butter, and shortening. On right, wet mixture with egg added on top.

Step 3: In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture and mix just until combined. 

2 image collage. On left, powdered sugar, salt, and baking powder in a small mixing bowl next to whisk. On right, Large glass mixing bowl with dry ingredients added on top of wet ingredients.

Step 4: Press the dough evenly into the prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the top and edges are just beginning to turn golden brown. Take care not to over-bake the bars or they will dry out. Allow the bars to cool completely before frosting. 

Step 5: For the buttercream sugar cookie frosting, use a hand-held or stand mixer fixed with a paddle attachment to whip together the butter, powdered sugar, heavy cream, and vanilla extract. You can add more heavy cream, 1 Tablespoon at a time, if you want thinner frosting. 

2 image collage. On left, powdered sugar and stick of butter in mixing bowl. On right, creamy vanilla buttercream frosting.

Step 6: Spread the frosting evenly over the bars and top with sprinkles. Slice and serve. 

Sugar cookie bars baked in an 8 x 8 inch pan cut into squares, topped with icing and sprinkles

Storage

Room Temperature: After cooling completely you can cover and store your sugar cookie bars at room temperature for up to 2 days.

Refrigerator: For longer storage keep your bars in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 4 days. 

Frosted Sugar Cookie Bars with Sprinkles stacked on top of one another. The top bar has a bite taken out of it to show its thick and tender interior.

Tips for the Best Sugar Cookie Bars

  • Line the pan with parchment paper to make the bars easy to lift out.
  • Only mix the dough until the flour is just combined. Do not over mix.
  • Do not over bake. The bars should be lightly colored. To test for doneness, insert a toothpick near the middle. If there is a lot of wet batter it isn’t done yet. If it is slightly moist with a few crumbs on it, they are done. If it isn’t moist at all they are probably overbaked.
  • Allow the bars to cool fully before frosting.
Two sugar cookie bars with frosting and sprinkles on white plates. Jar of rainbow sprinkles and more bars are in background.

Variations

  • Top with red and green sprinkles to make Christmas sugar cookie bars.
  • Use gel food coloring to tint the frosting (great in combination with festive sprinkles for special occasions or themed parties).
  • Try topping the bars with a cream cheese frosting instead of buttercream.

FAQ

Can I freeze these sugar cookie bars? 

Yes. Follow the recipe as written but do not frost them. Wrap the bars (cut or uncut) in a layer of plastic wrap and place them in a freezer-safe container. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw and frost. 

Can I make these sugar cookie bars ahead of time?

Yes. Follow the recipe as written but do not frost the bars. Keep the bars covered at room temperature up to 1 day ahead of time. Make the frosting and store it in the refrigerator. Allow the frosting to soften at room temperature for 10 minutes or so before frosting and cutting the bars when you are ready to serve. 

More Delicious Dessert Bars

Recipe
frosted sugar cookie bars stacked on top of each other, with a bite taken out of the top one
Recipe
4.33 from 61 votes

Sugar Cookie Bars

Author: Jaclyn
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 35 minutes
These sugar cookies bars are thick, chewy, and topped with creamy vanilla buttercream frosting and, of course, sprinkles!

Ingredients
 

For the bars:

  • ½ cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • ½ cup shortening
  • 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt

For the frosting:

  • ½ cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons clear vanilla extract*
  • Festive sprinkles

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350° Fahrenheit. Line an 8×8 inch pan with parchment paper, leaving some hanging over the edge, and set aside. 
  • In a large bowl, use a mixer to cream together the butter, shortening, and sugar until well-combined and fluffy.  Mix in the eggs 1 at a time, adding in the almond extract along with the second egg. 
  • In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture and mix just until combined. 
  • Press the dough evenly into the prepared pan and bake for about 25 minutes, or until the top and edges are just beginning to turn golden brown. Do not overbake! Allow the bars to cool completely before frosting. 
  • For the frosting, use a hand-held or stand mixer fixed with a paddle attachment to whip together the butter, powdered sugar, heavy cream, and vanilla extract. You can add more heavy cream, 1 Tablespoon at a time, if you want thinner frosting. 
  • Spread the frosting evenly over the bars and top with sprinkles. Slice and serve. 

Notes

Almond extract: This will give you that classic sugar cookie flavor, but feel free to replace with vanilla if you prefer.
Vanilla extract: I used clear extract in this recipe to keep the frosting white. Clear extract is imitation vanilla so I increased the amount to get a better vanilla flavor. You can substitute with 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract if you prefer, just note your frosting may have a slight bit of a tint to it. 
Do not overbake! The bars should be lightly colored. To test for doneness, insert a toothpick near the middle. If there is a lot of wet batter it isn’t done yet. If it is slightly moist with a few crumbs on it, they are done. If it isn’t moist at all they are probably overbaked.
Storage: Store in an airtight container or well-covered at room temperature for up to 2 days. For longer storage refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 4 days. 
To Freeze: Wrap unfrosted bars (cut or uncut) in a layer of plastic wrap and place them in a freezer-safe container. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw and frost. 
To Make Ahead: You can prepare the bars and the frosting separately up to one day ahead of time. Store the bars covered at room temperature and the frosting covered in the refrigerator. When ready to serve, allow the frosting to soften at room temperature for about 10 minutes then frost, slice, and serve.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 360kcal
frosted sugar cookie bars stacked on top of each other, with a bite taken out of the top one

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3 thick sugar cookie bars with frosting stacked on a white plate. Reads: Sugar cookie bars recipe, thick and chewy

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Recipe Rating




16 Comments

  1. Umm…new to this site, but I ALWAYS read reviews before spending my meager $ on a recipe that may not work. The recipe card said 3.5 stars/8 reviews, yet I couldn’t find ANY reviews shown. What’s up with that?
    And FYI – just because a recipe has less than a 4.5+ rating doesn’t mean I won’t make it. That’s why I take the reviews into account.
    Thanks for listening. Happy holidays to you & yours – from a chilly (-15°F & an expected 10 MORE inches of snow tonight) Alberta, Canada 🇨🇦

    1. Hi Terry! Thank you for your comment.

      I don’t have my reviews set to require someone to leave a comment in order to leave a star rating. Although if someone were to have trouble with one of my recipes or not be happy with the result I would hope that they would leave a comment with their star rating so that I can help troubleshoot. I have even re-tested recipes and updated them based on reader feedback. So yes, like you I really appreciate those recipe reviews as well!

      I hope that you and your family have a wonderful holiday!! Stay warm 🙂

  2. Hello!

    If I’d like to make a bigger batch such as ins a 9×13 pan, can I double it? Or will this be too undercooked in the middle?
    Thank you!

  3. My mother in law made me these cookies and I ate appx. 6 on the first day! They are everything I want in a dessert – denseness and sugar. I will be making these for my book club this week. Thanks for the recipe, I dream of these sugar cookie bars!

  4. These sound delicious. Why do you use half butter and half shortening in the cookies? Why not all butter or all shortening? How would that impact them?

    1. Great question. Butter and shortening each have their benefits. Cookies (and cookie bars) made with shortening bake up taller and have a lighter, softer texture. On the other hand, butter can lead to flatter cookies–but there is no denying butter tastes better. That is why some recipes, like this one, will call for a combo of the two. That said, you can substitute the shortening in this recipe for more butter. Just know that it may change the texture a bit… they will still be 100% yummy though 🙂

  5. 5 stars
    Holy smokes! These are amazing! So many compliments on them! Love love love! will make these for any and all occasions!

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