Thick, soft and chewy Sugar Cookie Bars have the same great taste you love from a classic sugar cookie, without having to chill, roll or cut the dough! We love them topped with a delicious cream cheese frosting.

A stack of sugar cookie bars with pink frosting, on a marble board with sprinkles.

Coming from someone who LOVES a great sugar cookie, these bars are the best idea ever.

First of all, they are incredible easy to make. Normal sugar cookies require chilling the dough, rolling it out and cutting it into shapes with a cookie cutter. Then you bake them and frost and decorate each individual cookie.

Traditional super soft sugar cookies are fantastic, for sure. My kids love making them around Christmas or Valentine’s Day.

But sometimes you just want an amazing sugar cookie, without all that prep. Enter: Sugar cookie BARS!  No chilling, roll the dough or frosting individual cookies.

A batch of sugar cookie dough placed on a large rimmed baking sheet with an off-set spatula pressing it into the pan with another photo of the pan with the cookie dough smoothed into a single layer and ready to bake.

This recipe starts with a great sugar cookie dough. You may notice this recipe uses all butter, which works great for baking in a pan, but in my cookies I use half butter and half shortening, which I’ve found works really well in rolled out sugar cookies to help them keep the shape and texture I want.

The sugar cookie dough also has a splash of almond extract in it, which adds a really subtle and delicious element of flavor.

Press the cookie dough into your pan, and bake until the center is set. They will still be pale colored. Let them cool completely in the pan, and they will continue to firm up.

Next, smooth the cream cheese frosting on top. You can leave it white, or color it with food coloring. Top with sprinkles, if you want. Cut into bars.

A glass mixing bowl with pink colored cream cheese frosting and an off-set spatula, next to a photo of a large baking sheet of sugar cookie bars topped with the pink frosting.

Store them in the fridge, covered, until ready to serve.

I’ve found these sugar cookie bars to be particularly perfect for parties and potlucks. You can transport them in the pan you baked them in, and serve them when you get to the party.

They are soft, thick and chewy, just like a great sugar cookie should be, and they have the same delicious cream cheese frosting that I use on my favorite sugar cookies.

A close up of a sugar cookie bar with pink cream cheese frosting on a white marble board with sprinkles and more sugar cookies bars around it.

To make sugar cookie bars in a 9×13” pan.

If you want to make a smaller batch, you can make these sugar cookie bars in a 9×13” pan.  Cut this recipe in half, and bake them for around the same amount of time, until the center is set. Again, be careful not to over-bake them 🙂

Looking for more “bar” recipes? Try these:

 

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Recipe

A stack of sugar cookie bars with pink frosting, on a marble board with sprinkles.
Prep 15 mins
Cook 15 mins
Total 30 mins
Add to Meal Plan

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup unsalted butter *room temperature
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 4 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt

For the frosting

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter , room temperature
  • 8 ounces cream cheese , room temperatire
  • 4 - 5 cups powdered sugar (more or less depending on how thick you want your frosting)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease a 13x18'' half sheet pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Add the butter and sugar to a mixing bowl and mix well until light and creamy. Add eggs, beating after each addition. Add vanilla and almond extract and mix well.
  • In a separate bowl combine the dry ingredients: flour, baking soda and salt. Add the dry ingredients into the batter and mix until combined. 
  • Spread and press the mixture into the prepared pan. 
  • Bake at 375 degrees F for about 12-16 minutes or until set, and the edges are just starting to be golden. Don't be tempted to overcook them--they will harden as they cool. 
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool.  Once cooled completely, frost and cut into squares.

For the cream cheese frosting:

  • In a mixing bowl, beat the butter and cream cheese together until smooth and creamy. 
  • Add the vanilla and mix. Add the powdered sugar a little at a time until, mixing well until smooth. You may not need all of the powdered sugar--just add enough to make a good frosting consistency, and taste it to see if you want to add more.
  • Store bars in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days and in the refrigerator up to 5.

Notes

You can use salted or unsalted butter. If using salted butter, only use ½ teaspoon of salt, instead of 1 teaspoon.
 
To make ahead:
The bars and frosting can be made one day in advance. Store the bars covered at room temperature and store the frosting covered in the fridge.  You could also freeze the unfrosted bars for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, frost, cut, and serve.

Nutrition

Calories: 240kcalCarbohydrates: 28gProtein: 3gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 54mgSodium: 148mgPotassium: 41mgSugar: 13gVitamin A: 415IUCalcium: 16mgIron: 1.1mg

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Have you tried this recipe?!

RATE and COMMENT below! I would love to hear your experience.

 

I originally shared this recipe in April 2015. Updated March 2018. I doubled the recipe to make a larger batch that you can bake in a sheet pan, and I added cream cheese frosting, instead of just buttercream. 

 

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About The Author

Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

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Comments

  1. Absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE this recipe!! Plus, it’s SUPER easy!! Ovens vary, experience varies, but you gotta get the timing down. Try inserting a toothpick (deep, in a few places near center); if there’s a lot of wet batter on it when you take it out, it’s not done. If it’s not moist AT ALL, most likely overdone. You want toothpick to be slightly moist with some crumbs on it. Also, watch the color, especially at the edges. When you see the SLIGHTEST change in color at edges, it’s prob done (or seconds from being done). Sounds extreme, but even 30 seconds too long can make or break the taste and texture of what you’re baking. Keep practicing and each time it’ll get easier!

  2. Baked for 16 minutes as directed. They seemed done so I let them cool. I frosted them and went to try a piece to only find them really undercooked/raw.
    I couldn’t save them since I frosted already. Really disappointed.

  3. Love these! My first batch came out a bit under cooked I was afraid of over cooking them but second time perfect. I love sugar cookies and this is a great recipe to make for a party.

  4. I had a really hard time pushing the dough into a 13 x 18 pan so I put it into a a 9 x 13 and they didn’t turn out well. I decided later that if I had rolled it out on a piece of parchment paper then put it in the larger pan it would have worked better. Maybe you should mention that in the directions.

  5. When you say to put these in a jelly roll pan, do you mean an 18×13 inch half sheet pan with sides, or a 10×15 jelly roll pan? I’m wondering because you mention you can do a half batch in a 9×13 pan, which isn’t that far off from the 10×15 jelly roll pan…. Thank you for the help!

  6. Sounds good. Will try and make them. The recipe says baking soda and then in a comment I saw someone said something about baking powder. Which do you use in the recipe?

  7. 5 stars
    Found this on Facebook and then pinned it to my board on Pinterest. These are So Good and Easy! Needed a large dessert for a supper at church and tried the recipe for it. Will definitely be used many more times!

  8. I just made these and I can honestly say they are delicious. My daughter likes those nasty sugar cookies with the neon frosting from the store. …once she gets her hands on these she will lose her mind. Sooooo much better than that store bought crud. I love baking from scratch and I will definitely bake these again.

  9. These may be easy but they don’t taste like sugar cookies at all. Dense and dry. I didn’t over bake them either. Glad I tried them but everyone has different likes. I’ll stick to the cookies.

    1. 1 star
      I made these and they were tasteless and dry – a true waste of a lot of ingredients. I followed the recipe and have been baking for years, so rarely come across something that sounds good, but after making, it wasn’t good at all. They are going in the garbage.

  10. Made these sugar cookie squares, everyone loved them! So easy to make! Why use baking powder instead of baking soda? Is it possible to double the recipe to make a bigger batch with a bigger pan, will they still taste as good? Thanks for sharing your recipe!

  11. These look amazing!! I love those frosted soft sugar cookies from the store and these look even better. I’m not sure if I’m mad at your for sharing this or my new best friend, lol! I’m definitely pinning this to make the next time I need to take a baked good (oooh..actually, that would be next weekend, now that I think about it!) Thank you!!