When there’s no time to mess with making individual cookies, these fabulous Frosted Sugar Cookie Bars are the answer. My family is thrilled when I dig out my rolling pin and cookie cutters, but making traditional iced sugar cookies is a huge project.

This Cookie Bar Recipe provides the same irresistible flavors in a fraction of the time. And who can resist sprinkles???!

3 frosted sugar cookie bars on a square white plate

  • They’re faster and easier than making individual frosted sugar cookies.
  • Look at that thick layer of cream cheese frosting! 
  • Sprinkles make them extra festive and perfect for any holiday or celebration.

Chocolate chip cookie bars have always been part of our dessert rotation. I could make them blindfolded. So I thought I could do a similar pan cookie with sugar cookie dough. Cookie bars are a terrific way to serve a crowd.

My first attempt at making frosted sugar cookie bars was decent (they went to a Super Bowl party with my oldest. The 20-year-old crowd has lower standards than I do!), but the consistency of the cookie wasn’t quite right.  I tweaked the recipe some more, and these bar cookies are excellent.  

Frequently Asked Questions

What are Bar Cookies?

Bar cookies are created when a soft dough is spread and baked in a shallow pan. Once cooled, they can be cut into bars. Denser than cake, they can be frosted or unfrosted, like these Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars.

How Do You Know When Bar Cookies are Done?

Look to see if the sides have pulled away from the sides of the pan and the center is set. The top of the bars will also lose its shiny appearance when fully cooked. PRO-Tip: When bars reach 175-185° internally, the eggs have coagulated (solidified) and the starch in the flour has gelatinized, meaning they are fully cooked.

How Long Should You Let Bar Cookies Cool?

If they’re unfrosted bars like my chocolate chip cookie bars, they just need 20-30 minutes for the crust to solidify, making it easier to cut them into bars. We like to serve those bars slightly warm so the chocolate is still gooey.

For frosted bars, the cookie layer will need to cool completely so the warmth of the bar does not melt the frosting. This could take an hour or longer, but putting them in the refrigerator can speed up the process.

How Do You Cut Bar Cookies?

Once they are fully cooled and frosted, remove the bars (using your nonstick foil) from the pan and place them on a cutting board. The following technique works when using square baking pans.

Use a sharp knife and slice from top to bottom and from side to side making 4 equal squares. Then cut each of those squares into 4 equal squares.

Use a hot, dry knife and wipe it clean after each cut. You can also chill the bars which will help make cleaner slices. Another option is to spray the knife with Pam or another non-stick cooking spray to keep the frosting from sticking to the knife as you slice.

Check out my post on How to Cut Perfect Cookie Bars for more tips and tricks.

Frosted Sugar Cookie Bars on a white ceramic tray with jars of sprinkles
  • PRO-Tip: Line your pan with non-stick foil for easy cleanup and removal from the pan. Once the bars are frosted, the foil can be used as a sling to move them to a cutting board.
  • Measure your ingredients carefully, especially the flour. Too much flour will make dry bars. When measuring flour scoop your measuring cup into the flour, then use a straight edge tool (like an offset spatula) to remove the excess flour from the top of the cup.
  • PRO-Tip: Once the flour is added, mix just until combined. Too much beating will add air to the dough and also activate the gluten in the flour. Either of these will affect the texture of the bars.
  • These sugar cookie bars can be jazzed up with little effort! Buy some seasonal sprinkles (think red and green for Christmas or red and pink for Valentine’s Day) or add festive food coloring to the frosting. I think a bit of almond extract added to the dough along with the vanilla would be delicious, too.
  • My family loves frosting, so my updated recipe has an extra thick layer. If you prefer less frosting, you can make half a batch.

More Sugar Cookies You’ll Love:

If you love sugar cookies, you must check out these Giant Sugar Cookies, Old-Fashioned Amish Sugar Cookies, Classic Vanilla Spritz Cookies, and The Best Sugar Cookies plus these 30+ Christmas Cookies!

3 frosted sugar cookie bars on a square white plate in front of jars of spinkles

Frosted Sugar Cookie Bars

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 22 minutes
Total Time 52 minutes
Yield 16 bars

Buttery sugar cookie bars topped with a thick layer of cream cheese frosting.

Ingredients

Cookie layer

  • 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup sprinkles (multi-color or seasonal)

Frosting:

  • 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • Sprinkles, optional

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350º.
  2. Cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in egg, then vanilla.
  3. Add the dry ingredients except for sprinkles, and mix till well blended.
  4. Gently mix in sprinkles.
  5. Using an offset spatula, spread evenly in a 9 x 9-inch pan lined with non-stick foil. The dough will be thick.
  6. Bake 20 for minutes.
  7. Remove to rack to cool completely.
  8. Make the frosting by beating together the butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk with a hand mixer until light and fluffy.
  9. Using an offset spatula, spread the frosting onto the cooled bar cookies.
  10. Garnish with additional sprinkles before frosting sets.

Notes

Recipe tweaked from All Recipes.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

16

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 254Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 46mgSodium: 224mgCarbohydrates: 32gFiber: 0gSugar: 23gProtein: 2g

HOW MUCH DID YOU LOVE THIS RECIPE?

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Frosted Sugar Cookie Bars

Photos circa 2012

I had the thrill of meeting three fellow food bloggers yesterday.  Basilmomma, The Dutch Baker’s Daughter, and Wendy The Weekend Gourmet were in Indianapolis for The Taste of the NFL party celebrating the Super Bowl. We visited over breakfast like we had known each other for years. These gals are nice as can be. If you haven’t visited their blogs, please do! I was so lucky they took time out of their busy schedules to see me.

With two blogger friends in town for a Super Bowl event