I love sugar cookies, but sometimes they take so long that I don’t feel like making a batch. That’s where I came up with these insanely delicious Sugar Cookie Bars! It’s the best of both worlds. You can get the flavor of the traditional sugar cookie without having to chill the dough or any of the fuss involved. These easy bar cookies will win over a crowd in a hurry too whenever I make them and take them to a friend; they are always giving me compliments.
The Best Easy Sugar Cookie Bars Recipe
This is the best cookie bar recipe I’ve made in forever! Sweet, soft sugar cookie dough with a frosting that’s amazing.
What Is A Cookie Bar?
A cookie bar is a genius invention that is cookie dough that’s been baked in a dish instead of made into individual cookies. This is a considerable advantage for cookie lovers because you can whip up a batch, and you can put in much less effort. No time waiting for the pan to cool between batches or chilling the dough, just put it in the pan and bake it!
These easy cookie bars for a crowd are lovely if you are hosting a party and want a simple dessert. You will be busy making everything else; spending time on cookies isn’t always feasible.
Sugar Cookie Bars Ingredients
One thing that is a standout favorite for me and the best cookie bar recipe is that you can wait until the last minute to bake it! Imagine being able to have warm sweet sugar cookies within 30 minutes to an hour of having the first thought. Sometimes I don’t always plan ahead, so this is the perfect cookie recipe for me.
For the Cookie Bars
- All-purpose flour
- Baking powder
- Unsalted butter
- Granulated sugar
- Powdered sugar
- Lemon zest
- Vanilla extract
For the Frosting
- Unsalted butter
- Powdered sugar
- Heavy cream
- Vanilla extract
How To Make Bar Cookies
You’re going to love making bar cookies so much it’s going to be tempting to make them more frequently. I’ll never get tired of traditional cookies, but there is something about a bar cookie recipe that steals my heart.
First Step: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Use a 9 x 13-inch metal pan and butter the bottom and sides of the pan. Place a long piece of parchment paper on the bottom and let the sides overhang on the edges. Add one more piece of parchment paper, but perpendicular to the original sheet that was placed. Use butter to grease the paper.
Second Step: Using a medium bowl mix together the baking powder, flour, and salt with a whisk. Set aside.
Third Step: Using a stand mixer, beat the butter, sugar, and lemon zest with the paddle attachment at medium speed. After about 3 minutes, it should be light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl if needed with a spatula, then add the eggs one at a time. Beat well after each egg is added. Pour in the vanilla and mix. Turn the speed to low and slowly add in the flour mixture until it’s incorporated.
Fourth Step: Take the sugar cookie batter and spread and press it into the bottom of the baking pan. You can use your fingers or a rubber spatula for the best results. Bake the sugar cookie bars for 10-13 minutes or until they are done. It’s vital not to overbake the cookie bars, or they will be hard. Let the cookies cool all the way before you frost them.
Fifth Step: Prepare the frosting by mixing together the butter and powdered sugar in your stand mixer. You can add a couple of drops of heavy cream if it’s not blending well. Pour in the vanilla and mix some more. Then add in the heavy cream and blend until the frosting is a light and fluffy texture. Add any food coloring that you want to change the color.
How Do You Know When Cookie Bars Are Done?
With most cookie bars, the edges will become brown. This isn’t supposed to happen when you make these easy sugar cookie bars. Instead, they will be set, and the center will have barely set. Overbaking these cookies make them unappealing, so try it’s better to take them out a little early than a little late. Use a toothpick to poke the center, and it should come out clean.
How Do I Make These Easy Bar Cookies For A Crowd?
This batch of soft sugar cookies makes 24 bars. If you are planning to feed them to a large crowd, I recommend making multiple batches. You could cut them smaller and get more out of each batch as well. I always know if I make the cookies for a crowd that they get gobbled up incredibly fast. So I usually try to at least make two pans to be safe.
Can I Make This Soft Sugar Cookie Recipe Ahead Of Time?
Yes, you can make these sugar cookies up to 3 days in advance. After they have baked and been frosted, you should keep them in the refrigerator and covered. Due to the heavy cream in the frosting, it just lasts better cold than at room temperature. Plus, the cookies are delicious when they are chilled. Keep them airtight, and they should be fine.
They are wonderful for family reunions, bake sales, farmer’s markets, birthday parties, anniversaries, and lots of other occasions. Adjust food coloring to match the event, and you’ll always have a lovely dessert to share with everyone.
Now, remember to save this recipe on Pinterest for later 🙂
For the Cookie Bars:
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), softened to cool room temperature
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 tablespoon lemon zest
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Frosting:
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 3 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9×13 inch metal baking pan. Put a long piece of parchment paper in the bottom of the pan, letting the parchment extend up two sides of the pan and overhang slightly on both ends. Place another piece of parchment paper in the same manner, perpendicular to the first sheet. (This will make it easy to remove the bars from the pan after they have baked.) Butter the parchment.
- Whisk flour baking powder and salt together in medium bowl; set aside.
- In stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat butter, both sugars, and lemon zest at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down sides and bottom of bowl with rubber spatula. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, about 20 seconds. Add vanilla and mix to combine. Reduce speed to low and flour mixture, mixing until incorporated.
- Press and/or spread the sugar cookie mixture gently into an even layer into the bottom of the pan.
Bake for 10-13 minutes. Don't overbake! The bars won't have any color around the edges and barely be set in the middle. Let cool completely before frosting.
- To make the frosting, in the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and powdered sugar until smooth (if the mixture has trouble coming together, add a drop or two of heavy cream). Add in the vanilla and mix. Add the heavy cream and mix until the frosting is light and fluffy. Add food coloring, if desired.
- Frost and serve.
Even More Yummy Cookie Recipes:
Raise your hand if you are a cookie fanatic! I’m the same way, and that’s why I want to let you know about these other cookie recipes. Take a look at you’ll be drooling.
Chewy Lemon Cookies – I love how light and refreshing lemon cookies are. These are lovely for baby showers, picnics and barbecues too.
Browned Butter Brown Sugar Cookies – These buttery amazing cookies are unlike anything you’ve had before. They are a must-try!
- Oatmeal Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies – Adding some coconut, oatmeal, and chocolate chips together are pure heaven!