These sugar cookie bars are everything you love about the nostalgic cookies in bar form! This quick and easy recipe requires just one mixing bowl and 30 minutes to make. They are just as delicious as classic sugar cookies, but so much easier to make.

The bars are soft and buttery while the frosting is sweet and creamy. They are perfect for bake sales, birthdays, holidays, special occasions, and more!

Sugar cookie bars.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • These sugar cookie bars are even easier than baking cookies.
  • No chilling dough, no rolling out, and no complicated shapes. Just mix, bake, and enjoy!
  • These bars have the same taste of sugar cookies but with a thicker, chewier texture that is incredibly satisfying.
  • From bake sales to potlucks to movie nights, these bars are a crowd-pleaser.
  • They are made with only pantry staple ingredients.
  • These bars are buttery and sweet.
  • This recipe takes only 30 minutes in total.
  • They can be made gluten free by using gluten free flour. In addition, this recipe is nut free.
  • Check out these Gluten Free Sugar Cookies for another nostalgic dessert recipe!

Ingredients & Substitutes

These are the main ingredients and substitutions for these homemade sugar cookie bars with frosting. Scroll down to the recipe card for the full ingredients list and instructions.

First, use melted unsalted butter. If you only have salted butter, omit the pinch of sea salt later on. If you are dairy free, use a dairy free butter stick.

Granulated sugar sweetens these bars. I have not tried using an alternative sweetener.

Vanilla extract adds a cozy flavor.

Only one egg is needed. If you are egg free, try these Vegan Sugar Cookies!

Gluten free flour adds substance. If you are not gluten free, feel free to use all purpose flour.

A little milk helps thin out the batter. Use regular or dairy free if needed.

Add in a pinch of sea salt to balance out the sweetness.

Lastly, top with your favorite frosting and sprinkles!

Ingredients for sugar cookie bars.

Taste & Texture

These sugar cookie bars have the classic sugar cookie flavor we all know and love – sweet, buttery, with a hint of vanilla.

The frosting will also contribute to the flavor. I love buttercream frosting and cream cheese frosting for these bars.

The texture is the star of the show. They are soft and chewy on the inside, with slightly crisp edges.

How to Make

Step 1

First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Line an 8 inch square pan with parchment paper.

Step 2

In a mixing bowl, add the melted butter and sugar.  Stir until creamy and frothy.

Melted butter and sugar in bowl.

Step 3

Then, add in the vanilla and egg.  Stir to combine.

Creamy yellow mixture.

Step 4

Add in the gluten free flour, milk, and sea salt.  Stir until a sugar cookie dough forms.

Step 5

Press this mixture into an even layer in the lined pan.

Step 6

Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until the edges are very lightly golden and the middle still looks soft.

Baked sugar bars.

Step 7

Remove these sugar cookie bars from the oven.  Once fully cooled, add frosting and sprinkles.  Cut into squares and enjoy!

Close up of sugar cookie bars.

Expert Tips for Success

Follow these tips and tricks to make the best sugar cookie bars.

Mix the melted butter and sugar until frothy and creamy.

Once the dry ingredients are incorporated, stop mixing! Overmixing can lead to tough bars.

Line your pan with parchment paper. Parchment paper makes removing the bars from the pan so easy.

Let them cool completely.  Resist the urge to dig in right away!

The bars firm up as they cool, so be patient for the perfect texture.

Allow the sugar cookie bars to fully cool before adding the frosting on top.

Flavor Variations & Add-Ins

Consider these flavor variations for your sugar cookie bars.

Spice it up: Add a teaspoon of ground cinnamon, nutmeg, or ginger for a warm and cozy twist.

Chocolate chip delight: Fold in your favorite chocolate chips for a classic combination.

Fruity fun: Mix in chopped dried fruits like cranberries, cherries, or apricots for a burst of sweetness and tartness.

Nutty twist: Chopped nuts like pecans, almonds, or walnuts add a delicious crunch.

Sprinkle celebration: Don’t forget the sprinkles! Rainbow sprinkles, chocolate sprinkles, or even chopped candy canes add a festive touch.

Pink frosting bars.

How to Serve & Store

These sugar cookie bars are best enjoyed at room temperature. Cut them into squares and serve them on their own or with a glass of milk for a perfect treat.

Store leftover bars in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, or freeze them for longer storage.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I use brown sugar?

Yes, you can substitute half of the granulated sugar with light brown sugar for a deeper caramel flavor. The bars will be slightly darker in color.

What if I don’t have vanilla extract?

A teaspoon of almond extract can be used as a substitute for vanilla extract.

My bars are too soft!

They might need to bake for a couple of extra minutes. Just keep an eye on them to avoid over-baking.

Can I frost these bars?

Absolutely! Spread your favorite frosting over the cooled bars for an extra decadent treat.

Close up cookie bars.

Equipment Needed

Pre-Cut Parchment Paper Sheets: Parchment paper is helpful to prevent sticking and for easier removal.

Pyrex 3 Glass Mixing Bowls: I use these mixing bowls every time I bake these sugar cookie bars.

Check out all of my kitchen favorites!

You May Also Enjoy

If you make this sugar cookie bar recipe, I would really appreciate a review! You can find me on InstagramFacebook, and Pinterest. Join my exclusive Facebook Group for a behind the scenes look. I would love for you to follow along!  For more ideas, check out these Dessert Recipes.

Sugar cookie bars.

Get the Recipe: Sugar Cookie Bars

Sugar cookie bars are the quick and easy way to enjoy warm, buttery sugar cookie goodness.! This recipe bakes up soft, delicious squares in under 30 minutes – perfect for busy weeknights or whenever cravings hit!
5 from 1 vote

Ingredients

Instructions 

  • First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line an 8 inch square pan with parchment paper.
  • In a mixing bowl, add the melted butter and sugar. Stir until creamy and frothy.
  • Then, add in the vanilla and egg. Stir to combine.
  • Add in the gluten free flour, milk, and sea salt. Stir until a sugar cookie dough forms.
  • Press this mixture into an even layer in the lined pan.
  • Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until the edges are very lightly golden and the middle still looks soft.
  • Remove from the oven. Once fully cooled, add frosting and sprinkles. Cut into squares and enjoy!

Notes

  • If you are not gluten free, feel free to use the same amount of all purpose flour.
  • Do not bake too long.  The middle will still look a little soft and buttery.
  • Allow the bars to fully cool before adding the frosting.  The frosting will melt otherwise.
  • Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days at room temperature.
Calories: 142kcal, Carbohydrates: 21g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 6g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Trans Fat: 0.2g, Cholesterol: 26mg, Sodium: 123mg, Potassium: 8mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 13g, Vitamin A: 194IU, Calcium: 12mg, Iron: 0.5mg

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