Frosted Sugar Cookie Bars

Frosted sugar cookie bars are everything you love about a big, soft, frosted sugar cookie, in an easy to make bar form. This beloved sugar cookie recipe has been a fan favorite for years. They’re perfectly soft and buttery. However, the downside of sugar cookies is that they’re a lot of work. Discovering you can bake the whole batch of dough in a rimmed baking sheet is a game changer. You still get the perfect soft bite and a layer of fluffy buttercream icing, but they take just minutes to whip up. You have a lot of flexibility on quantity as well. Cut these sugar cookie bars into big squares for some drama, or little bites to stretch for a crowd of 50! These will become a go-to for party treats for sure.

Ingredient and Equipment List

  • Butter – Butter is a main component for both flavor and texture. I recommend real, salted butter. If you use unsalted butter, you’ll want to add about 1 teaspoon extra salt to your dough.
  • Sugar– White granulated sugar.
  • Eggs – It’s important to use large or extra large eggs in this recipe or your dough may turn out a little dry.
  • Vanilla Extract – Pure or artificial vanilla extract is fine.
  • Almond Extract – I love almond extract in my sugar cookies, but if you aren’t a fan, you can omit this, or replace with additional vanilla, or even another flavor extract of your choice (lemon is also pretty great).
  • Flour – Use regular all purpose flour. It’s very important to measure your flour carefully in this recipe, see tips in recipe.
  • Baking Soda – Baking soda will help your cookie bars rise.
  • Salt – I suggest using normal table salt in this recipe, because the small granules will distribute better.
  • Powdered Sugar – Powdered sugar is used for the fluffy buttercream frosting.
  • Milk – Just a small amount of milk is used for the consistency in the frosting. Any type of milk will work just fine, even a plant based one.
  • Sprinkles and food coloring – Optional but fun!
  1. Preheat your oven to 350° and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment.
  2. Prepare your dough by creaming together butter and sugar, adding egg and extracts, and finally adding dry ingredients until you have a soft, cohesive dough.
  3. Press the dough into your lined baking sheet. I find it’s easiest to drop dough in small piles first, evenly over the baking sheet, and then press them down evenly with your hands. To get a nice smooth and even top, place a piece of parchment over the top of your dough and use your hands to smooth it out.
  1. After the dough is cooked and removed from the oven to cool, you can prepare your buttercream icing.
  2. To prepare frosting, whip together butter and sugar, add extracts and salt, and then add liquid until you get the consistency you like.
  3. Spread frosting on completely cooled bars and cut.
sugar cookie bars with pink frosting on a baking tray

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best container to freeze sugar cookie bars?

One of my most favorite tools for freezing baked goods is a Foodsaver. It vacuum seals food and will keep things fresh and delicious for several months. If I’m making large batch bars for a special occasion, I almost always vacuumm seal the cookie base and frost them fresh.

What would cause my sugar cookie bars to be dry?

Aside from over-baking, the biggest culprit to dry cookie bars is over-measuring your flour. The best solution is to use a food scale for accurate measuring. If you don’t own a food scale, then first fluff your flour in its container using a large spoon. Gently take spoonfuls of flour and add them to your measuring cup, leveling with a knife when it gets full. Never scoop your flour with your measuring cup, or tap the flour down inside the cup.

How do I tell if my sugar cookie bars are done?

These bars are best when slightly undercooked so they stay nice and soft. You want to watch the texture and color of the top of the bars. If they are turning golden brown, they are probably getting overcooked. I take mine out when they are still pale in color, but I can see that the texture of the top of the bars is set and matte and not shiny and slightly glossy from the raw dough.

How do I get sprinkles to stick to my sugar cookie bars?

Make sure you add sprinkles immediately after spreading the frosting. If you wait even a few minutes, the frosting quickly sets and the sprinkles won’t stick.

pink frosted sugar cookies stacked on a baking tray

Frosted Sugar Cookie Bars

4.97 from 31 votes
Soft chewy sugar cookies, in an easy-to-make bar form! Great for feeding a crowd. Your new family favorite!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings24 pieces



  • 2 cups butter softened to room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs large or extra large
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon almond extract
  • 6 cups flour 750g weighed, or spooned lightly into the measuring cup and leveled with a knife.
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon table salt


  • 1 cup butter softened to room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2-3 tablespoons milk or more, if needed milk; whole or evaporated if you have it handy
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract


  • Preheat oven to 350℉. Line a half sheet-sized rimmed baking sheet (13x18x1") with parchment, or spray with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
  • In a bowl of a stand mixer, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition, and extracts.
  • In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. *Note: weighing your flour is recommended.  If you don’t have a food scale, use a large spoon to fluff your flour in its container first, and then lightly spoon it into the measuring cup, leveling with a knife.
  • Slowly add flour mixture to the creamed butter mixture a little at a time until fully incorporated.
  • Press the dough evenly into the prepared baking sheet. It helps to drop it by spoonfuls evenly all over, and then press down with clean hands.  Place a piece of parchment on top and then use your hand to smooth it out as even as possible.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes.  Ideally, you should remove from oven before it starts turning golden brown.  You may see slight browning on the very edges, but the center should look pale, but set.
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.
  • While the cookie bars are cooling, prepare the frosting. Whip the butter until light and fluffy and slowly add powdered sugar a bit at a time until incorporated.
  • Add extracts.  Very slowly, add a little bit of milk at a time until desired consistency is reached. If desired, add a few drops of food coloring.
  • When the pan of cookies is completely cool, spread with frosting and sprinkle with colored sprinkles immediately.
  • Cut into squares. The number of bars this makes will depend on how big you cut the squares, but these are VERY rich and you can get away with cutting these into 40+ servings!


Tips for the best, soft bars:
  • Weighing your flour is recommended.  If you don’t have a food scale, use a large spoon to fluff your flour in its container first, and then lightly spoon it into the measuring cup, leveling with a knife.
  • Make sure to use large or extra large eggs.
  • Do not over bake!


Calories: 449kcal, Carbohydrates: 56g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 24g, Saturated Fat: 15g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 6g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 75mg, Sodium: 339mg, Potassium: 50mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 32g, Vitamin A: 731IU, Calcium: 45mg, Iron: 2mg
Course: Desserts
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Frosted Sugar Cookie Bars
Calories: 449kcal
Author: Sara Wells
Cost: $5
Did You Make This Recipe?Snap a picture, and hashtag it #ourbestbites. We love to see your creations on our Instagram @ourbestbites!

Helpful Tools

kitchen scale

Food Scale

Inexpensive, sturdy, super easy to clean, and sleek. I can’t recommend this kitchen scale highly enough!
stand mixer

Stand Mixer

Always a beautiful, classic choice, this KitchenAid mixer is a great choice for all-purpose heavy-duty mixing. While this isn’t the biggest size, we actually prefer this one, especially for everyday mixing.
half baking sheet
Nordic Ware

Half Baking Sheet

These heavy-duty pans will yield even and consistent cooking and browning. For baking cookies, plan on having 3-4 of these in your kitchen.
woman in denim shirt holding a salad bowl
Meet The Author

Sara Wells

Sara Wells co-founded Our Best Bites in 2008. She is the author of three Bestselling Cook Books, Best Bites: 150 Family Favorite RecipesSavoring the Seasons with Our Best Bites, and 400 Calories or Less from Our Best Bites. Sara’s work has been featured in many local and national news outlets and publications such as Parenting MagazineBetter Homes & GardensFine CookingThe Rachel Ray Show and the New York Times.

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Questions & Reviews

  1. I’m not really a fan of sugar cookies, but my husband has been nagging me for some. It seemed like so much work for a cookie I don’t even like! Then I saw these and thought, hey it’ll stop the nagging. OH MY HECK! These are AMAZING. You have totally converted me to sugar cookies. (My husband thanks you too)

  2. I’m not much of a baker but these look great, I just bought everything I needed. (Although I’m going to top them with Valentines M&Ms!)

  3. 5 stars
    Dude, where were these at Christmas? I can see making up a few different colors of icing to pipe on them, and just giving out squares (tiny tiles??) for guests to decorate at a party. Maybe a friendly cookie-art competition? That could either be fun, or disastrous…but hopefully at least entertaining.

  4. Hanz and Franz make me giggle ’cause I can hear them in my head when I read that quote 🙂
    Your sugar cookie dough is so amazing, I use it every time I need roll out cookies…. I made 8 dozen last year for Valentines day school parties, and this year had decided to do brownies or something else less time consuming ~ now I can have the best of both worlds, thanks for saving me! Thanks for sharing so much, I use your cookbooks and website probably at least 5 days a week, my friends are always impressed that I cook homemade meals so often, and I always give you and Sara credit 🙂

  5. “…Maybe next time you make these you could measure the flour by weight so we can get just the right amount….”

    Uh, any good cookbook will easily provide that translation. 1 cup all purpose flour = 5 ounces by weight. So the 6 cups in this recipe = 30 ounces by weight. And, yes, Kate’s method of spooning the flour lightly into the measuring cup gives precisely this weight.

    1. A cup of flour can vary from 4.4 ounces to 5.5 ounces, depending on various factors, so it wasn’t an unfair question to ask Kate to give us her measurement of flour by weight.

    2. And I should mention I verrrrry cautiously measured with the spoon-knife method and still got cookies that were a bit on the dry side. Next time I will indeed weigh the flour just to be safe! I’d personally love a weighted measure for these!

  6. Thank you so much for this! I cannot even express how much I loathe roll out cookies. LOATHE. While everyone else is posting pictures on FB in December with their child-decorated sugar cookies, I am either bribing mine with another drop cookie or breaking down and just straight up buying some from the grocery store. I love to bake but I can’t handle the roll out cookies! So, yeah, my lazy butt and my child thank you for these. 😉

  7. Just want to double check on the almond extract amount in the dough. It’s supposed to be a tablespoon, not a teaspoon? Usually I use less almond extract than vanilla in other recipes.

      1. I just made these for my son’s blue and gold banquet. You were spot on for the extracts. (No surprise to you) 🙂 Thanks for a delicious alternative to the laborious task of sugar cookie-making. In the words of one of my (4) sons, “This is the best thing I’ve ever tasted!”

  8. Oh Kate, you crack me up! Thank you for always being so real and making me laugh. Oh, AND thank you for this recipe! 🙂

    1. You’re welcome, hahaha. You can always count on me to keep it real. 🙂

      1. I should have read these comments to know what to expect! They looked so good so I made them tonight. They turned out good and the taste is yummy but you’re right about them being shortbread soft. I was hoping for a chewy bar but they’re a little more powdery than I prefer. Still good though that my husband asked for more! Thanks.

  9. Definitely want to try these! Have a baby reveal party coming up and these would be great with pink or blue sprinkles! Would it also be a good idea to SIFT the flour before measuring? or would that be overkill vs. just spooning lightly into the measuring cup? I’m certainly guilty of measuring straight from the canister!!
    Thanks for another easy recipe for a great cookie! I don’t like rolled cookies—just never have the time for all that goes with making them.

    1. Nah, I wouldn’t bother sifting it–just spooning should be just right. 🙂

  10. 5 stars
    Oh Gosh – you just saved my bacon! My husband wanted me to make sugar cookie pops for the 20+ cavemen he works with at a door shop (affectionately, but still cavemen, bless their hearts 🙂 for V-Day, and I hate going to all that work for a bunch of guys who can’t tell the difference between Pillsbury refrigerator dough and homemade cookie pops that took hours to make, roll, bake, cool, and frost!

  11. You are seriously going to make me go broke on cute kitchen have-ta-haves! 🙂 I love all of the pretty blues and pinks! and PS, these bars sound amazing!

  12. Robin B., when my cookie sheets get too gunky, I just scrub them with a steel wool pad. It takes a little elbow grease, but it gets them back to almost as good as new. I’ve also started using parchment paper or silpat mats on them when I use them. I really love it when you can just throw away the parchment paper and put them away after a quick wipe with a towel.

  13. What a fantastic idea! I love your sugar cookie recipe but I’m with you on the whole ginormous process thing so I never make them. Now I will just make them like this and we will all be happy :).

    1. Ha!! The good news is that, at least in the world of Le Creuset, the bowl is much more reasonable; you probably won’t even need to sell a person to get one. 🙂

  14. Random question…have you found a way to keep your cookie sheets clean? I have had mine for 15 years and maybe it’s just time for new ones. I have tried all kinds of Pinterest ideas to no avail. My husband thinks it’s time for oven cleaner on them but it grosses me out to think of cooking on them after that….

    And, as always, thanks for the fabulous recipes!!

    1. Not really, hahaha. And I’m with you, I’m not sure that psychologically I’d be okay with cooking on them after using oven cleaner. Some of them are a little more well-loved than others; but I guess the good news is that they’re cheap-ish, so it’s not devastating when it’s time to replace them. I just try to keep up with the gunk as I go (instead of never cleaning my cookie sheets, which is how I was raised. Thanks, parents.)

      1. Thanks! I see a Mother’s Day gift idea…which is always better than them trying to get me something on their own! 🙂

    2. Try a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. Worked really well taking off the baked on gunk from my Le Cruset enamel. Test it on the underside, just in case it does damage. I think they’re pretty safe for most surfaces, though.

  15. 5 stars
    You can’t lose with that much butter! I’ll have to make these when I need to feed a lot of people!

    1. Yep, I’m sure it could. I’m not totally sure on the timing, but my guess is that it would be surprisingly similar.

      1. For what it’s worth, I halved the recipe and made in a 9 x 13 standard brownie-type pan. I did not adjust the time or temp and they turned out perfect!

  16. “I’m Hanz…and I’m Franz…And we’re here to PUMP you up!” That could be your slogan for these cookies but instead of pump insert plump because if I have all of the ingredients for them in my pantry I am about to eat a whole pan.

  17. I have seen the idea for sugar cookie bars, but never could bring myself to make them because I love the recipe for your gals sugar cookies so much, I felt I would be betraying a friend. Now that I know this recipe turns out wonderful bars of heaven I am totally making these today! Thanks for making my day 🙂

  18. Okay – forgive me, but I don’t like almond extract. Even more than my dislike for almond extract is my dislike for dumb questions after a VERY WELL PUT TOGETHER blog post. I see these blogs on Pinterest with 6,000 comments of, “can I substitute this for this..” and I feel so bad for the person who has to respond with, “Yes, you can leave out mushrooms…blah, blah, blah..” Yet, here I shamefully go. If I don’t like almond extract, are these worth making, or is that where most of the flavor lies?

    1. You can totally leave it out, haha. Just increase the vanilla a little. OR you can use your favorite extract if you want, like lemon, orange, peppermint, etc. 🙂

      1. I’m with Melissa, not wanting to make you repeat yourself- but I’m also very inquisitive, detail-oriented, and not fully confident in my baking/cooking know-how yet.
        So- to ask it slightly differently: I don’t mind the flavor of almond extract at all, and trust that your specific recipe makes them super delicious (I seriously want to make them this minute)! But all I have is a ton of homemade vanilla extract, so I just wanted to make sure I wouldn’t be missing some other flavor dimension that was well-worth it to buy some Almond. Will they not be the same without it? Will I be missing out? Should I just go buy some almond extract already?

        Question 2- I have some cage-free eggs, that are definitely not the standard store-bought ‘large eggs.’ Would 3 of these smaller eggs work, is there a good way to sub the egg measurement here? Or should I just buy some large eggs too…I kinda need to get more eggs soon anyway.
        Thanks so much for your time and help! I *can’t wait* to make these!!

        1. I love the almond, and I think it makes these special, BUT if you don’t have it and you’re dying to make them, go ahead with just the vanilla. 🙂 But if you CAN, I’d go for the almond.

          As far as the egg thing goes, I would maybe look up the standard measurement for a large egg and then try and shoot for the weight with your eggs. Or…go buy a thing of large eggs, hahaha. 🙂

          1. Hi again!
            So I didn’t get to them *that night,* but they’re in the oven now and the frosting is made. Yay! I have sprinkles ready but no food coloring, and so it occurred to me that I do have raspberry jam.
            Now I’m wondering if that would give it a little bit o’ pink and added flavor….or maybe a jam would completely ruin the texture of a frosting, or raspberry would taste weird with the extracts?
            If you get a minute- I’d love to hear your thoughts! 🙂 Thankya!

        2. in my humble opinion 🙂 it is totally worth buying the almond extract!! that is what makes OBB sugar cookies sooo amazing!

      2. I don’t use almond flavoring because my daughter is allergic to tree nuts and I’m paranoid even though I know *artificial* flavoring would probably be fine. I subbed lemon juice for the almond extract in both the cookie bars and the frosting, and I also added a pinch of lemon zest to the bars. I think they turned out great…bright but not overpoweringly lemony. I’ll do them this way again, though I know almond would yield a richer-tasting product. Thanks for a great recipe!

  19. I love obscure references! Hans and Frans? We’re going to pump (clap) you up!

    10 million dollars would be great, but hey, it’s nice to know that other people retain useless information like I do! 🙂

  20. 5 stars
    Yay! A sugar cookie my lazy-self can embrace! These will be perfect for our church fish fry Fridays during Lent!

  21. 5 stars
    I’ve never had a sugar cookie bar, but I’m totally drooling over all these pictures. Plus, pink frosting is awesome!! These are definitely going on my baking “to do” list.

  22. 5 stars
    “There’s enough sadness in the world without throwing sugar cookie tragedies into the equation.”…please run for President and make this your campaign slogan!

    This recipe is definitely on the menu for our Valentine’s Day bake sale fundraiser. Love your writing and your recipes(also, I would like to take a nap in that bowl of frosting…does that make me weird?)

    1. Would it be weird if I wanted to join you? In a totally fully-clothed, non-creepy kind of way…like a hot tub.

    2. It might make you weird that you would NAP in that delicious frosting!!! I would lick the bowl clean in about 5 seconds!! LOL!! Have eaten these bars made by Kate & they are to die for!!! ♥️

  23. 5 stars
    It looks like you found a way to redeem making sugar cookies in my eyes! They are normally so time-consuming that just hearing the words “make” and “sugar cookies” together can cause tears, but these look very do-able for the holidays/special events when you want that yummy sugar cookie/lots of frosting-goodness! Thanks!!!

  24. Please don’t judge my level of pathetic here, but ever since your IG post today I have been jonesing (see what I did there? 😉 to see what this post was going to be. I guess creamed butter and sugar speak to me. There’s nothing my lazy self loves more than cookie bars. All the deliciousness of cookies with minimal work? Yes, please. And can I tell you that your tip to spoon flour into the measuring cup has changed my baked goods? For reals. I have a whole lotta butter in my fridge that will be turned into sugar cookie bars tomorrow. Probably right after I get home from the gym. Ha! 🙂

  25. I loved the cute handprints before you smoothed out the dough! I don’t know how many times I have chosen NOT to make sugar cookies just because of the tedious rolloing-out process. Maybe next time you make these you could measure the flour by weight so we can get just the right amount. ❤️