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

Looking for more bars/brownies? Try my Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Bars, Blondies, S’mores Bars, or Oreo Bars!

A sugar cookie bar with cream cheese frosting.

Why I love this recipe:

  • Time-Saver: No chilling or cutting out dough! Frost them all at once and slice into bars.
  • Texture: These bars don’t sacrifice a thing when it comes to texture. They are still soft, thick, and chewy.
  • Perfect for parties and potlucks: They are easy to transport, and you can make them and serve them in the same pan. You can also make them ahead and freeze them. Don’t expect to have leftovers–they are a crowd favorite!

Cream butter and sugar: 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.

Add dry ingredients: In a separate bowl combine the dry ingredients: flour, baking soda and salt. Add the dry ingredients into the batter and mix until combined. 

Three process photos for making sugar cookie bars.

Bake: Lightly spray a 13×18 half sheet pan with non-stick cooking spray. 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. They will set up more as they cool. 

A baked pan of sugar cookie bars with cream cheese frosting being spread on top.

Make Frosting: 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 just until it’s a good frosting consistency, mixing well until smooth.

Frost and Serve: Spread frosting on top of the cookie bars and cut into squares. Enjoy!

Frosted sugar cookie bars with sprinkles on top.

Storage and Freezing Instructions:

To Store: Cover well and store in the refrigerator for up to one week.

To Freeze: For best results, let them cool completely but do not cut into bars. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and tinfoil. Freeze for up to one month. Thaw completely in the fridge before cutting into bars.

Recipe Variations:

  • 9×13 Pan: If you want to make a smaller batch, these can be made 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.
  • Cookies: If you aren’t looking for bars, check out my perfect Sugar Cookies.
  • Lemon Sugar Cookie Bars: Instead of adding the almond extract, add 1 tbsp of lemon juice, and a couple teaspoons of lemon zest. 
  • Christmas Sugar Cookie Bars: top frosting with Christmas sprinkles or crushed candy canes.

More “Bar” Recipes:

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Recipe

A sugar cookie bar with cream cheese frosting.
Prep 15 mins
Cook 15 mins
Total 30 mins
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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 13×18'' half sheet pan with non-stick cooking spray. (Or, cut the recipe in half if using a 9×13'' pan).
  • 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 the center is set, and the edges are just starting to be golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool.  Once cooled completely, frost and cut into squares.

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 covered well in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Notes

Butter: You can use salted or unsalted butter. If using salted butter, only use ½ teaspoon of salt.
To Store: Store bars covered well in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
To Freeze: For best results, let them cool completely but do not cut into bars. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and tinfoil. Freeze for up to one month. Thaw completely in the fridge before cutting.
9×13 Pan: Cut this recipe in half, and bake them for around the same amount of time, until the center is set.
Cookies: Try my Soft Sugar Cookies.
Lemon Sugar Cookie Bars: Instead of adding the almond extract, add 1 Tbsp of lemon juice, and a couple teaspoons of lemon zest. 
Christmas Sugar Cookie Bars: Top with Christmas sprinkles or crushed candy canes.

Nutrition

Calories: 382kcalCarbohydrates: 65gProtein: 3gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 8gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 57mgSodium: 150mgPotassium: 45mgFiber: 1gSugar: 49gVitamin A: 421IUCalcium: 17mgIron: 1mg

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I originally shared this recipe in April 2015. Updated March 2018 and May 2022.

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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!!