Sugar Cookie Bars

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Soft sugar cookie bars topped with vanilla buttercream frosting are the perfect treat to feed a crowd or take on the go!

These soft sugar cookie bars with buttercream frosting are the perfect treats for a crowd!

Sugar cookie bars were one of the first recipes I fell in love with when I started blogging. It was about 2009 and all of the sudden they were all over the internet, and I knew I had to try them myself. Sugar cookies that require no chilling, rolling, or cutting out? I am so on board.

I loved them so much that I shared the recipe here all those years ago (with horrible amateur photos that you can still see here) and I’ve baked them many, many times since. They’re my go-to dessert for large parties and potlucks because they’re super simple to make, they travel really well, and everyone loves them.

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And I figured it was time to give that old post a much needed update. For those of us who have almost forgotten about them, and those among us who’ve never had them! It’s time to bake up a batch and party like it’s 2009.

Frosting sugar cookie bars

Get creative with variations!

This recipe is a great jumping off point to customize the sugar cookie bars as you like. Add food coloring to the frosting to make these bars any color you like and use whatever sprinkles you have, or leave them off altogether.

You can also add different flavors and mixins! Turn these into lemon, chocolate chip, or funfetti sugar cookie bars by simply adding in lemon zest, chocolate chips, or rainbow sprinkles. No other changes to the recipe are necessary.

If you wanted to try these sugar cookie bars with a different frosting, my easy fudge buttercream or cream cheese buttercream are great alternatives.

Make these bars Ahead

Another reason why I love these sugar cookie bars are because they keep very well and I can make them ahead. The bars will keep at room temperature, frosted or unfrosted, for several days. Just be sure they are covered in plastic wrap or an air-tight container. They will also keep very well in the freezer unfrosted for at least 1 month. Double wrap in plastic wrap for storage in the freezer and thaw before frosting.

If you’re planning to stack the bars, either on a serving platter or in a container for storage or transportation, let them sit for at least 30 minutes after frosting. This will give the frosting time to form a “crust” which will make it easier to stack the bars without squishing them. I also like to chill the bars in the fridge to firm up the frosting, but it isn’t necessary.

Frosted sugar bars sliced and ready to serve

baking tip:How parchment paper can make baking easier

For cookies, biscuits and scones: Line sheet pans with parchment paper before using. Prevent sticking without adding any extra grease and cleanup is as easy as throwing away the parchment.

For cakes: Line the bottoms of your cake pans with parchment paper and then either grease and flour, or coat with baking spray. You’ll never have a cake stick in your pan again!

For bars and breads: Line square or rectangular pans with parchment so that there’s a few inches of overhang on either side. When your baked good is ready to serve, use that overhang as a handle to lift it out of the pan. Then transfer to a cutting board and slice. No more messing up a slice trying to dig it out of the pan!

These soft sugar cookie bars with buttercream frosting are the perfect treats for a crowd!

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Sugar Cookie Bars

Soft sugar cookie bars topped with vanilla buttercream frosting are the perfect treat to feed a crowd or take on the go!

Ingredients:

For the bars:

  • 1 cup (226 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups (400 grams) sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 5 cups (625 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

For the buttercream frosting:

  • 1 cup (226 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 4 cups (454 grams) confectioners sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • Pinch of salt
  • Gel food coloring and sprinkles, if desired

Directions:

To make the bars:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease a 13 x 18-inch sheet pan (also known as a half sheet pan) and line with parchment paper.
  2. With an electric mixture, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes on medium high.
  3. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing and scraping down the bowl after each. Add the vanilla.
  4. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, salt and baking soda and set aside. Add to the rest of the ingredients in 2 additions, mixing until just combined.
  5. Press the cookie dough into the sheet pan, using a greased spatula or parchment paper to spread it evenly. Bake for 14-17 minutes until lightly golden and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.

To make the frosting:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with a hand-held mixer, mix all of the ingredients on low speed until it starts to come together.
  2. Increase speed to high and beat for 4-5 minutes until frosting is fluffy, pausing once or twice to scrape the bowl down.
  3. Add food coloring if using and mix until color is uniform.
  4. Spread frosting over sugar cookie bars and cover with sprinkles, if desired. Cut and serve.

Have you tried this recipe?

I’d love to hear about it! Leave a comment below, send me an email, or take a photo and tag it on instagram with #completelydelicious.

Recipe originally published March 2010.