These easy sugar cookie bars are just as delicious as regular sugar cookies with hardly any work! Super soft, super yummy!
For me and my chocolate loving soul, sugar cookies are a surprisingly huge favorite. Like, they might be my favorite cookie ever. There is something totally dangerous and irresistible about them.
Left alone with a sugar cookie in any form will always, always prove to be my undoing.
It’s no surprise that I’ve devised several ways over the years to get a sugar cookie fix without having to roll and cut out the dough. I mean, I’ll always love a good, classic sugar cookie recipe, but when time (and sanity) are at risk, there are definitely easier and just as yummy ways to get sugar cookies into your life.
Easy Sugar Cookie Recipes
Here are a few of my go-to easy sugar cookie recipes that are super fast and super delicious (and don’t require cookie cutters):
And then, of course, these easy sugar cookie bars. They might be my favorite of them all.
The key to a really soft and tender sugar cookie bar is to only mix the dough until the flour is just combined. Over mixing means the sugar cookie bars may not be quite as soft and tender.
Press the dough into a greased or parchment-lined (and greased) metal pan. If using a glass or ceramic pan, you might want to decrease the oven temperature by 25 degrees.
Super Quick Baking Time
These sugar cookie bars have a super fast baking time. In my oven, ten minutes max.
You can tell from the picture below that I over baked them just slightly (blaming the children who all of a sudden needed help on their math homework, and in the end, I was no help to them at all #commoncoremathprobs).
You really don’t want hardly any color around the edges.
They should just be soft baked. Not ooey gooey and doughy, but just barely set. If your oven tends to bake hot and fast, decrease the oven temperature by 25 degrees.
While the bars cool, whip up the frosting. It’s even easier than the sugar cookie dough.
milk or cream (go for the cream)
If your butter is properly softened and your powdered sugar not overly clumpy, you can live life on the edge like I do and just throw everything into a bowl and go to town with the mixer.
It’ll come together and the longer you whip, the more gloriously fluffy it will be. Also, life lesson #436: sprinkles hide a lot of flaws.
Sprinkle the guts out of the frosted sugar cookie bars.
And then make an exit plan quickly (for you or the bars). Because once you cut into them, these easy sugar cookie bars are not easy to resist. At all.
Sugar cookie bars are crazy customizable
The loveable thing about these sugar cookie bars is that they are appropriate for all seasons and all holidays.
Change up the color of frosting. Use different shapes of sprinkles (holy moly, sprinkle options aren’t what they used to be – so many crazy choices these days!).
Heck, you could even color the dough a funky shade to match the holiday.
The options are endless.
Next time you don’t know what to bake for your office party or neighborhood potluck or take-in meal, I hope these easy sugar cookie bars come to mind.
They have saved me on so many occasions.
Including the two times in the last year or so I forgot I was on sugar cookie duty for my kids’ classroom parties and literally, blessedly remembered with only about 45 minutes to spare. (Ahem, please note I’m not even mentioning the other time I forgot completely.)
I had these sugar cookie bars made, frosted, and to the school on time. With only a little bit of frosting in my hair (and a whole lot of gratitude for my freezer which helped cool the baked sugar cookie bars fast).
3/4 cup butter (6 ounces, 12 tablespoons), softened to cool room temperature
3/4 cup (5.5 ounces) granulated sugar
1/4 cup (1 ounce) powdered sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon zest (optional)
2 1/4 cups (11.25 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons (3 ounces) butter, softened
2 1/2 cups (10 ounces) powdered sugar
3 tablespoons milk or cream
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
For the bars, in a large bowl, cream together the butter, granulated sugar and powdered sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix for 1-2 minutes. Stir in the lemon zest (optional), flour, baking powder and salt. Mix until combined.
Lightly grease a 9X13-inch baking pan with cooking spray or line with parchment paper and grease. Press the sugar cookie dough into an even layer in the bottom of the pan.
Bake for 10-13 minutes. Don’t overbake! The bars should have hardly any color around the edges and barely be set in the middle. Let the bars cool completely before frosting.
For the frosting, cream together the butter and powdered sugar until smooth (if the mixture has trouble coming together, add a drop or two of milk). Add in the vanilla, milk or cream, and food coloring (if using), and mix until the frosting is light and fluffy, 1-2 minutes.
Spread the frosting over the cooled bars and top with sprinkles.
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Recipe Source:Mel’s Kitchen Cafe Recipe originally posted April 2013; updated February 2020 with new photos, recipe notes, etc.