Sugar cookie bars are topped with buttercream frosting and sprinkles. This easy recipe is a fun and sweet dessert perfect for birthdays!
Things are bright and cheery in my kitchen today with these frosted sugar cookie bars. The sprinkles simply put a smile on my face! I’ve been meaning to perfect a sugar cookie bars recipe for some time now. Baking cookies in one sheet, cutting and serving make things a lot easier! Plus, a pan of cookie bars just calls for frosting.
How to make sugar cookie bars
This recipe is super simple. I used a sugar cookie recipe and simply pressed it into a 13-inch by 9-inch baking pan. Bake, cool and frost. There you go! The ingredients are as follows:
First you have to whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in one bowl. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat cream cheese and butter together. Add the sugar, then the egg, vanilla extract and almond extract. Combine the two bowls of ingredients and bake!
Sugar cookie bars with cream cheese
Cream cheese and butter make sugar cookie bars chewy and thick. No cakey cookie bars here! It is important to beat the butter and cream cheese together until they are a smooth consistency and no clumps. Room temperature ingredients are key.
Sugar cookie bars with almond extract
Almond extract adds the absolute best flavor for sugar cookie bars. It’s subtle, but still noticeable. I did a combination of vanilla extract and almond extract so the latter wasn’t too overwhelming. If you’re not a fan of almond extract, simply omit it and increase the vanilla extract measurement!
Buttercream frosting for cookie bars
My buttercream frosting recipe has the perfect ratio of butter and confectioners’ sugar, plus pure vanilla extract for flavor. Beat the ingredients together and spread on the cooled bars before cutting. If you’re looking for more inspiration, try dying the frosting with natural food dyes or adding sprinkles according to the celebration!
FAQ about cookie bars
- How long to bake sugar cookie bars? This recipe requires 20 minutes of baking, but if your recipe is for 8×8 or 9×9 sugar cookie bars, baking time may be less.
- How to freeze sugar cookie bars? Once the sugar cookie bars have completely cooled, don’t cut and remove the entire block from the baking pan. Securely wrap the sugar cookie bar in plastic wrap first, then aluminum foil. Freeze for up to a month. Defrost in the refrigerator before bringing to room temperature and frosting.
- Can you make sugar cookie bars without frosting? Yes, the frosting is optional. If you’d like a festive touch, add sprinkles to the batter (about 1/2 cup) or sprinkle a few on top before baking.
More sugar cookie recipes
If you love sugar cookies, these recipes are a must try. Some are from my blog and others are from blogs I love to support!
- Easy cut out sugar cookies
- Sugar cookie truffles
- Chewy sprinkle sugar cookies
- Sugar cookie dough cake
- Almond sugar cookies
This sugar cookie bars recipe is perfect for birthday parties, girls’ night or simply a weekend treat! What are you making these sugar cookie bars for?
Sugar Cookie Bars
Sugar Cookie Bars
- 2½ cups (310 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks or 170 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup (4 oz. or 113 g) cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups (300 g) granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon almond extract*
- 1 cup (226 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 1/2 cups (300 g) powdered sugar, sifted
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Food coloring optional
- 1 to 2 tablespoons milk if needed
- Sprinkles optional
Sugar Cookie Bars
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease a 9×13-inch baking pan or line with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer (or using a hand mixer), beat the butter and cream cheese on medium speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Add the sugar and continue to mix until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg, vanilla extract and almond extract and mix to combine, about 1 minute.
- Reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly add the flour mixture. Mix just until combined (avoid overmixing). Use a rubber spatula to give the dough a final stir to catch any unmixed ingredients.
- Transfer dough to prepared baking pan and use a spatula to spread the dough evenly (the dough will be thick). Bake 20 to 25 minutes, or until light golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Place the pan on a wire rack to cool completely before frosting (about an hour).
- In a large mixing bowl, whip the butter (with a stand mixer or electric hand mixer) until fluffy, about 5 minutes.
- With the mixer on low speed, gradually add in the powdered sugar until completely incorporated.
- With the mixer on medium speed, add the vanilla and beat until fluffy, about a minute. Add milk if frosting appears too thick to spread. See more buttercream frosting tips here.
- Using an offset spatula, spread the frosting on top of the cooled bars and add the sprinkles. Cut bars into 4 rows down and 6 rows across to create 24 bars. Enjoy!
Inspired by Brown Eyed Baker.