These sugar cookie bars are so much better than traditional sugar cookies. They are rich, thick, and so soft, without any chilling, rolling, or cutting the dough!
These sugar cookie bars might even be better than regular sugar cookies because they cut out the chilling, the rolling, and the cutting of the sugar cookie dough, and instead all you have to do is flatten the dough into a baking pan for a thick and soft and perfect sugar cookie bar!
Many sugar cookie recipes are hard to get just right. First, you have to take the time to chill the dough in the fridge. Then you have to roll the dough out to just the right thickness, before cutting out your cookie shapes. You might end up with cookies that are too thin and crispy, or cookies that totally lose their shape. But not these sugar cookie bars.
These bars have the great taste of a sugar cookie without any of the hassle. And in only about 30 minutes time, you can have a thick delicious sugar cookie bar topped with your favorite frosting.
I topped these bars with my favorite sugar cookie frosting recipe, which I originally got from my mother in law. For these sugar cookie bars, I just changed the amounts a little bit to get the right amount of frosting to top these bars with a thick, layer of sweet buttery vanilla frosting.
Another great thing about these sugar cookie bars is that they can be decorated for any occasion. Here, I made them white with fun rainbow sprinkles.
These sugar cookie bars are easy enough to make them for an after school treat. Or they’re also delicious and cute enough for a holiday or special occasion.
To make them for different holidays, or events, you will just add a little food coloring to the frosting, for whichever occasion you might be celebrating.
What holidays can I make these sugar cookie bars for?
- Red and Blue Frosting for Fourth of July
- Orange for Halloween
- Red and Green for Christmas
- Pink or Red for Valentine’s Day
- Green for St. Patrick’s Day
And don’t forget to add your favorite sprinkles to the tops. Because, who doesn’t love sprinkles?! You can get so many fun sprinkles for different holidays. I mean cute orange, and purple, and black for Halloween. Christmas trees and red, white, and green for Christmas. Heart sprinkles in pink and red for Valentine’s day.
There are so many cute decorating options, even without cutting the cookies into different shapes.
How to make sugar cookie bars?
These sugar cookie bars are very easy to make. You’ll need flour, baking powder, salt, butter, sugar, an egg, sour cream and vanilla extract.
Mix your dry ingredients together and set them aside. Then you’ll cream together your butter and sugar. You do this so that cookies end up soft and not gritty with any undissolved sugar. The egg, sour cream and vanilla are added into the creamed sugar and then the dry ingredients are added in.
You’ll have a cookie dough now, and you don’t need to chill the dough first. You don’t need to roll it out into just the right thickness, and worry about then being too thin, or too thick that they spread. The dough is a bit crumbly, but all you need to do is press the dough together and into a greased 9×13 pan. The bars are baked and after they cool you’ll whip up the frosting.
The frosting I use is only 4 ingredients and it comes together in just seconds. It’s a recipe from my mother in law and its so good!
These bars are sweet and rich, so if you think they might be too much for you, don’t use all the frosting, or cut the pieces into bite size. But personally, I think you’ll love them!
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Sugar Cookie Bars
- 2 1/2 cups flour (spooned and leveled)
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter (softened)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2 TBS sour cream
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
For The Frosting:
- 5 TBS butter (softened)
- 3 TBS milk
- 1 TBS vanilla
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 3-5 drops food coloring
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
- In a medium sized bowl, combine your flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream together your butter and sugar for about 3 minutes until light and fluffy.
- Add in your egg, sour cream and vanilla and mix till combined.
- Slowly add in your flour mixture while stirring until everything is combined. (The dough will be crumbly)
- Press the batter into a greased 9×13 baking dish and spread it out evenly with your hands or a rubber spatula.
- Bake for 15-17 minutes or until edges just barely start to turn golden.
- Allow to cool completely.
- Mix together all your ingredients for your frosting until creamy.
- Add in desired amount of food coloring.
- Spread frosting evenly over cooled cookie bars.
- Cut into squares and serve.
Recipe first posted on April 8, 2015. Photos and text updated on February 18, 2019.
This post contains affiliate links.
Things you might need for this recipe:
- assorted food coloring
- mixing bowls
- holiday sprinkles (if you’re making these for Christmas)
Enjoy these simple sugar cookie bars!
For more delicious sugar cookie and sugar cookie bar recipes, try these:
Strawberry Frosted Sugar Cookie Bars
I love this recipe and I’ve been using it for years! I made these again yesterday and wanted to share! 🙂 I doubled the recipe and added a bit of almond extract. I sprayed a cookie sheet and pressed the dough on to the greased pan. (I used this as a thick “crust” to my fruit pizza.) I baked at 375 F for about 14 minutes, until the edges were golden. I used a combination of butter, cream cheese, vanilla, and powdered sugar, then folded in a bit of cool whip (`6 oz.) for my “frosting” and topped with fruit. Just wanted to share a fun alternative! 🙂 Thanks for the great recipe!
That sounds delicious! I’m so glad you love it, and I will have to try it soon!
These are not that great. They are pretty dry. They are edible but I will never make this recipe again. I followed it to the letter. They look exactly like the photos. They are pretty dense but don’t taste like a sugar cookie. They aren’t sweet so if don’t like sweet desserts they might be for you but there just doesn’t seem to be much flavor. The frosting is incredible! However, compared to my usual caliber of baking, I would be a little embarrassed to serve these to friends.
I’m sorry you didn’t love them Cindy! It seems a few people have had the same problem as you with them being dry, and I’m wondering if the flour is getting over measured? Sorry you were dissapointed
Britney Rule says
These were delicious!!! My batter wasn’t crumbly, but I think that may have been due to the temperature of my ingredients, but that didn’t ruin the final product! I even overbaked it and they still were fantastic. I will be making these again!
Tracey M says
One of my 2 favourite bars!! My whole family agrees!! Thank you for the recipe!!!😊 10 out of 5 stars!!
Thank you so much Tracey! That makes me so happy!
I bake all the time, these are flour flavored cookie bars. The only thing sweet is the icing and I had to add the rest of the stick of butter and several more tablespoons of milk in order for it to be any kind of frosting consistency. It was all crumbles like the top of a streusel. I don’t mean to offend, just feedback. I think I’d add another cup or two of sugar to the batter and they’d be good. They have good texture.
Thanks for the feedback! The flour to sugar ratio is similar to lots of other sugar cookies I’ve seen, but you’re welcome to try adding a little more (I’d probably say 1/2 cup at the most) or you’ll change the texture a lot. The recipe states that the dough is very dry and a bit crumbly, if you saw our video too. Maybe you over measured your flour a bit? Anyway, thanks for being kind in your critique
These are so delicious! I’ve made this recipe so many times! It’s a favorite!
How long do you think I would have to cook these if I used a mini muffin pan? Then I don’t have to cut them and could do different frosting on some.
Michele, I have never tried that so it is hard to know. Mini muffin pans are even smaller than a regular muffin pan so it would seem to cook faster than a regular cookie. I would start in small increments like 4 to 5 minutes and add as you see fit. Let me know how it goes.
Can these be made in advance and froze without icing
The bars mostly taste like flour. Not worth the 5 star rating. Too much flour.
Sorry you didn’t like them. I’ve always gotten compliments and we’ve won a couple local baking competitions with them.
These were so good!!! I loved them!!!! Also what change would happen if you ate all of them on your own because you loved them so my!!!
Much not my! Sorry also I can’t over how good they are
Haha! I won’t blame you for eating the whole pan! 😉
What about high altitude direction?
I’m in a high altitude location, so there should be no changes.
Thank you for your reply!! They turned out perfect and were a huge hit!! 🙂
Could it be doubled and baked in a sheet pan?
Kelli! I haven’t ever tried doubling it and baking it in a sheet pan, so I’m not sure unfortunately. Let me know if you try it!
I just tried this, and it seemed to work fine. I baked it for 25 minutes.
Kathryn Grochmal says
I made this recipe according to the directions but baked it in an 8×8 pan instead of the 9×13 suggested.
My dough was not crumbly at all and I would have barely had enough to cover the bottom of the 9×13 pan. It would likely have been enough if I was using it as a base for a different type of bar but it wouldn’t have been anywhere near as thick as the cookie bars pictured in this post.
The 8×8 pan worked perfectly. I also used sour cream in the icing recipe instead of milk. Delicious.
Aimee Berrett says
How strange! I’ve made them about a dozen times and it always fills a full 9×13 pan, but I’m glad you liked them anyway! 🙂
Kathy Marie says
I just finished frosting these beauties! Thanks so much for the recipe! At first I thought I didn’t have enough dough to fill the 9×13 pan, so I just lightly floured my fingers & palm of my hand to flatten all the dough out until it fit in the pan evenly. Patience is key! They came out exactly like yours, just the right thickness like your photos. I thought your frosting recipe was spot on too. Delicious and the exact amount to cover the bars nicely. I’ve already shared this recipe with all my sugar cookie fans. Thanks again!
Yay! I’m so glad they turned out for you 🙂
How long did you have to bake it in an 8×8
Im not sure how long it would take, my guess is a few minutes longer, maybe 20-25? I’d check it often to make sure its not getting too brown!
The Long Home series Bk1, Now and Then, Bk2 Consuming Fire says
Made the bar sugar cookies for lunch. They are so easy to stir up and so good!
Aimee Berrett says
yay! So glad you liked them 🙂
Saida Van Oss says
Could I use all purpose flour?
Aimee Berrett says
That is what you should use
These looks delicious! Can’t wait to try them 🙂 Do you think light brown sugar would work (for the cookies, not the icing)?
Aimee Berrett says
Brown sugar makes cookies taste a little more like a chocolate chip cookie (or a blondie) instead of sugar cookie but I think it would still be delicious!
Kim H says
These look amazing! Do you think I could use salted butter and not add the salt?
Aimee Berrett says
its hard to know exactly how much salt is in salted butter so that’s why I prefer to use unsalted. But you could definitely try it.
Jemma Madden Doyle says
I’ve just made these – i figured out it was plain flour but the tbs of vanilla in the frosting was far too much! Overall happy with he finished taste and look – great for kids parties too as i topped with sprinkles
Aimee Berrett says
Yep, we will always specify if a different type of flour is needed. Sorry you thought the vanilla flavor was too strong in the frosting, I’ve gotten many compliments and I really enjoy it 🙂
I can’t wait to try these, they look amazing!! Any chance you have tried them with gel food coloring? Do you think it would work the same?
Aimee Berrett says
I’m always bad at getting just a tiny amount with the gel coloring. I actually made some of these bars this week with the coloring and it worked great, just a little darker than I would have normally done it, but the gel works great too 🙂
When using gel coloring, which I prefer, I dip the point of a toothpick into the gel. I always use less than I think I will need. It is always easier to add more rather than having a color too dark. Be sure to get a new, clean toothpick each time you add color.
Alyssa | EverydayMaven says
These are so pretty and would perfect for a shower!