These soft and chewy frosted sugar cookie bars are topped with a thick layer of buttercream frosting (and sprinkles!). Enjoy freshly baked sugar cookies with hardly any effort!
These sugar cookie bars are soft-baked like a chewy chocolate chip cookie and thick like a peanut butter blondie. They taste just like my favorite soft frosted sugar cookies, made with a fraction of the effort! This recipe is:
- Quick. If you’re big on baking but not big on time, sugar cookie bars are the answer. Have your cookie bars ready in 30 minutes or less, without chilling or rolling out the dough.
- Holiday-worthy. Sugar cookie bars are easy to decorate for Christmas, Valentine’s Day, you name it. Change up the frosting color and add some sprinkles! This is one recipe you’ll want to save for every holiday and occasion.
You can make the best chewy sugar cookie bars with just 8 easy ingredients (plus your choice of frosting). I’ve included some ingredient notes below. Don’t forget to scroll to the recipe card for the full amounts and recipe instructions.
- Sugar – Classic sugar cookies call for good ol’ granulated white sugar.
- Butter – Salted or unsalted, brought to room temperature.
- Cream Cheese – Also at room temperature. I recommend using blocks of cream cheese rather than the spreadable kind.
- Vanilla – For the best flavor, stick with real vanilla extract (as opposed to imitation vanilla).
- Baking Powder and Baking Soda
- Frosting – I frost these bars with my favorite homemade buttercream frosting and top them with rainbow sprinkles.
Thick and delicious cookie bars are fun and festive enough to make for the holidays, and easy enough to make whenever a craving for soft and buttery sugar cookies hits. Have your cookie bars baked and frosted in just a few quick steps:
- Combine the dough ingredients. Cream together butter, sugar, and cream cheese, followed by the egg and vanilla. Next, slowly add your dry ingredients and mix until combined.
- Fill the pan. Press the sugar cookie dough into a foil-lined jelly roll pan.
- Bake. Bake the cookie bars at 350ºF for 20 minutes, just until the edges are a little golden. Let the bars cool completely before frosting and decorating.
Top your bars with your choice of classic buttercream, chocolate frosting, or any kind of frosting you’d like! This creamy brown sugar frosting and heritage frosting are also delicious. Or, you can try my mint chocolate chip frosting or this funfetti party frosting for something festive. Frosting and decorating these sugar cookie bars is super easy:
- Make the frosting. Whip up a quick batch of your favorite frosting. Feel free to color the frosting using gel food dyes.
- Frost the bars. Pile dollops of frosting onto your cookie bars. Use an offset spatula or a knife to spread the frosting evenly over top.
- Add sprinkles. Finish your bars with rainbow sprinkles, chocolate chips, or chocolate shavings.
Tips for Success
Just like traditional sugar cookies, there are a few key things that make all the difference when it comes to baking perfect bars:
- Use room temperature ingredients. Make sure to take your butter and cream cheese (and even the egg) out of the fridge ahead of time. Room-temperature ingredients combine more easily with the other ingredients.
- Avoid overmixing. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet dough only until the dough is combined, and be careful to not overmix. Overly mixed cookie dough yields dense, tough cookie bars.
- Don’t overbake. The key to soft, chewy sugar cookie bars is to take the bars out of the oven while they’re still a tad underbaked. They should be just browned at the edges, and soft in the middle. The bars will continue to set up as they cool.
- Let the cookie bars cool. Speaking of cooling, give the bars enough time to cool off completely once they’re out of the oven. If the bars are still warm, the frosting will slide right off.
These cookie bars are delicious just as they are, or you can easily change up the add-ins, flavors, and decorations for your next special occasion! You can turn just about any sugar cookie recipe into bars just by adjusting the baking times. Try these ideas:
- Flavoring – Add a few drops of flavoring extract, such as peppermint, almond, or orange extract.
- Chocolate – Borrow my soft chocolate sugar cookie dough and make bars instead.
- Funfetti – Add a handful of rainbow sprinkles to the cookie dough. I recommend using jimmies (the colorful rods) as opposed to nonpareils (the little balls) as jimmies won’t bleed color into the cookie dough.
- Candy – Fill your bars with chopped chocolate bars, white chocolate chips, or add M&Ms to make M&M cookie bars. For the holidays, make candy cane sugar cookie bars.
- Snickerdoodles – Try Snickerdoodle bars for an easy variation topped with cinnamon sugar.
Can I Prepare These Bars In Advance?
Yes! You can bake the cookie bars and make the frosting up to 1 day ahead. Store the cookie bars airtight at room temperature and the frosting covered in the fridge until you’re ready to frost and serve. Alternatively, freeze the unfrosted sugar cookie bars airtight for up to 2-3 months, and thaw them in the fridge before frosting.
- To Store. Store the frosted bars in an airtight container at room temperature for 1-2 days. After that, keep them in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.
- Freeze. I recommend freezing sugar cookie bars before they’re frosted (see above for make-ahead tips). However, you can also freeze the frosted bars. Store them tightly and keep them frozen for up to 3 months. Defrost the bars in the fridge before serving.
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These soft and chewy sugar cookie bars are topped with a thick layer of buttercream frosting (and sprinkles!). Easy to make in 30 minutes, and the dough doesn’t require any rolling or chilling.
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 cup butter, room temperature
- 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 egg
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- Preheat oven to 350°
- Line a jelly roll pan (15x10x1) with aluminum foil and spray lightly with cooking spray.
- In your mixer cream butter, cream cheese and sugar together. Add in egg and vanilla and mix until incorporated.
- With mixer on low, add in your dry ingredients: flour, baking powder and baking soda.
- Mix until just combined.
- Press dough evenly into your prepared pan. (dough will be sticky)
- Bake for 20 minutes until edges begin to golden.
- Cool completely before frosting.
- Recipe adapted from Today’s Mama.
- Serving Size:
- Calories: 296
- Sugar: 26.3 g
- Sodium: 274.5 mg
- Fat: 11.4 g
- Carbohydrates: 45.2 g
- Protein: 5.5 g
- Cholesterol: 25.7 mg
Keywords: sugar cookie bars, sugar cookie bars recipe