This recipe isn’t revolutionary. In fact, it’s only a slight variation on the sugar cookie bars I’ve blogged about in the past. But if you haven’t had the pleasure of baking sugar cookie bars yourself, I thought you could use a reminder. They’re easy, they’re delicious, and they are a guaranteed crowd pleaser.

This springtime lemon variation was served at our coed baby shower on Saturday, which is what I really want to talk about because it was so much fun. Even before I became pregnant I knew I wanted a different kind of baby shower. While I’ve been to so many wonderful traditional baby showers, I’ve attended a few that were… how should I put it?… awkward. More importantly, I wanted Steve and our other male friends included too.



So with the help of some friends and family, we planned a lovely little party to celebrate the upcoming arrival of our little one. My friend Becky was kind enough to let us use her downtown studio space, which I’ve become familiar with through her Vintage Mixer Foodie Tasting Events. There were flowers, cocktails, and of course, lots of food.

We served chicken salad sandwiches, sliced cucumbers with a corn and red pepper salad, and an assortment of cheeses, fruit, and nuts. For dessert I baked two of my most favorite things, brown butter chocolate chip cookies and the lemon sugar cookie bars.

mom and flowersjpg

The afternoon was a success and I so enjoyed seeing our family and friends all together in one place. My parents and some of my siblings even came to town just for the event, which was a nice surprise. Steve and I were indeed “showered” with well wishes and gifts.


A quick word about the lemon sugar cookie bars, before I leave you with the recipe. They are my go-to dessert for a casual potluck. I can make them pretty quickly and one batch makes a lot of servings. Like I’ve already mentioned, they are very popular and I receive so many compliments wherever I take them.

They’re quite adaptable to pretty much whatever strikes your fancy, and I loved the subtle lemon flavor of these bars. You don’t need a party or potluck to bake them, however, you’ll have no problem eating them all by yourself, I’m sure.


Lemon Sugar Cookie Bars
Lemon scented sugar cookies made easier!
Yield: 48 cookie bars
  • 1 cup (226 grams) butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups (300 grams) sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 5 cups (620 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon (4 grams) salt
  • ½ teaspoon (1 gram) baking soda
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 13 x 18 inch sheet pan and line with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking soda, and zest and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixture, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing after each. Add the vanilla. Add the flour mixture in 2 addition, mixing until just combined.
  3. Press the cookie dough into the sheet pan, using a greased spatula or parchment paper to spread it evenly. Bake for 10-15 minutes until lightly golden and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cool completely. Frost with lemon buttercream frosting.

Lemon Buttercream Frosting
  • 1 cup (226 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 4 cups (440 grams) powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4-5 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
  • Pinch of salt
  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter, powdered sugar, vanilla and salt and mix until combined. Add the lemon juice 1 tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is reached. Beat on medium high speed for a few minutes until smooth.
  2. Spread onto cooled cookies. Slice into bars and serve.
Note: If you want a stronger lemon flavor, add 1 tablespoon lemon zest.

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11 Responses to Lemon Sugar Cookie Bars {+ a Baby Shower Party}

  1. beti says:

    wow they look really fresh, soft and delicious. Lemon cookies are always a hit

  2. Jenn says:

    Oh great variation! I am definitely trying this one.

  3. Your baby shower looks gorgeous. And I love that you made it coed. No need to exclude the boys. The more people, the merrier, right?

    And these bars, okay wow! They’re just so thick and fluffy-looking! Will definitely have to make this soon.

  4. Deborah says:

    Gorgeous shower, and love the lemon twist to these bars!!

  5. These were seriously amazing! I shared some with friends the next day and they raved about them! A crowd pleaser for sure! And your baby shower was one of my favorites to date 🙂

  6. I love the simplicity of your decorations! Congrats to you guys! 🙂

  7. Mindy says:

    These look delicious- nice and easy and a definite crowd pleaser.

  8. I love the idea of your shower! So lovely, too.
    These bars look wonderful. I’ve got to make them. 🙂

  9. Heidi says:

    Your lemon bars look gorg as does the rest of the baby shower festivities. Look at those pretty pics! Martha Stewart, eat your heart out! XO and happy baby having.

  10. Michelle says:

    Hi Annalise! The directions for the frosting says “cream together the shortening and butter”. I don’t see shortening in the ingredients list though. Is this really needed?

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