Easy frosted sugar cookie bars are made from scratch and so much easier than traditional cut-out sugar cookies! These handheld bars are soft, perfectly sweet, easy to serve, and simple to customize with colorful sprinkles.
I’ve mentioned this before, but I’m often too lazy to make cut-out classic sugar cookies.
Waiting for the dough to chill, rolling them out, then making multiple batches just sounds like a lot of work.
But, when you turn sugar cookie dough into easy sugar cookie bars, then you spark my interest.
This recipe takes everything you love about traditional sugar cookies, but puts it into super simple, from scratch, bar form.
Why you’ll love this Sugar Cookie Bar recipe
Perfect Dessert – From scratch, no chill time, makes a large batch, and they’re perfectly sweet. What more could you ask for?
Amazing Treats – Whether for a special occasion or just an after school dessert, these simple sugar cookie bars are the perfect treat.
Customizable – Depending on the frosting color and sprinkles, you can easily celebrate any event. Christmas sugar cookie bars? Sure, use red & green. Valentine’s Day? You bet, break out the pink. You get the idea.
Tools you’ll need
- Mixing Bowls – My favorite mixing bowls with the grippy bottoms.
- Electric Mixer – You could also use your stand mixer, but I most often reach for my hand mixer.
- 9 x 13 Pan – I like that this one has a lid for storing leftovers.
- Offset Spatula – This makes frosting the bars in the pan really easy.
- SPRINKLES – There are so many fun combos right on Amazon now.
Below is a list of the ingredients you’ll need to gather to make this recipe. Scroll all the way down for the full recipe card.
For the sugar cookie bars
- Butter – Unsalted butter, softened to room temperature so it’s easy to work with.
- Sugar – Granulated white sugar.
- Eggs – Two large eggs, at room temperature.
- Vanilla Extract – Try to use real vanilla extract, even though it’s expensive right now. I buy it in bulk at Sam’s Club or Costco. If you want to switch up the flavor of these bars, you can also opt for almond or lemon extract instead.
- Flour – All purpose white flour.
- Salt – For balance.
- Baking Powder – For rise.
For the buttercream frosting
- Butter – I personally like to use salted butter in frosting to balance the sweetness, but most people opt for unsalted.
- Powdered Sugar – Also referred to as confectioners’ sugar or icing sugar.
- Vanilla Extract – Again, reach for the pure vanilla extract, not imitation, for the best flavor.
- Salt – Pinch of salt. I add another pinch even when I use salted butter, but I don’t like overly sweet things so this is a personal preference.
- Milk – You just need a bit, use what you have on hand. We always have 2%.
How to make soft Sugar Cookie Bars
- STEP ONE: To a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar into light & fluffy. One at a time, add the eggs and beat in between until incorporated. Mix in the vanilla extract.
- STEP TWO: To a small mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder.
- STEP THREE: Pour the flour mixture into the wet ingredients and fold with a spatula just until combined. Don’t overmix.
- STEP FOUR: Press the dough into a greased 9 x 13 pan and bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until the edges are just golden. You don’t want them to brown. Remove from oven and let cool.
- STEP FIVE: While the bars are cooling, make the frosting by beating the softened butter in a large mixing bowl until creamy. Pour in the powdered sugar and beat. It will look crumbly. Pour in the vanilla, pinch of salt, and 1 Tablespoon of milk. Mix. If it’s soft & spreadable, you’re done. If it looks dry, drizzle in more milk until it’s the consistency you’re after.
- STEP SIX: Lift the bars from the pan and frost. Top with sprinkles then slice into bars.
How to customize them
One of the best parts about this recipe is how easily customizable the bars are.
Whatever the occasion, these bars are down to help you celebrate.
How many bars does this recipe make?
This sugar cookie bars recipes makes a 9 x 13 pan. How generous you cut them is up to you.
At the very least, it should make 12 bars. If you cut them smaller, you can get 15-20 and still have very nice sized portions.
How to store them
I store these bars covered, at room temperature, for 3-4 days, but they never last that long.
Can you freeze them?
Yep, you can freeze them. They even freeze well frosted. Just wrap them in plastic wrap, drop them into a freezer bag, and freeze for up to a couple months.
To thaw, set them on the counter at room temperature when you’re ready to eat them.
Tips & Suggestions
If you’d like to switch up the flavors, substitute the vanilla extract for 1/2 teaspoon of lemon or almond extract.
Easily switch up the theme of the bars by adding food coloring to the frosting or switching the sprinkles for whichever holiday you’re after.
Trim off the edges so they’re nice and straight before slicing into bars. Then, I cut up the scraps into sugar cookie bites!
Easy Sugar Cookie Bars
Need more cookie bars recipes? Try these:
View my full collection of bar and brownie recipes here.
Originally published October 15, 2020