Frosted Sugar Cookie Bars

These frosted sugar cookie bars are soft, chewy, and topped with creamy vanilla buttercream. And sprinkles… of course!

Frosted sugar cookie bars with delicious vanilla frosting and lots of birthday cake sprinkles! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

I’ve been dying to make sugar cookie bars with light ‘n sweet frosting for ages now! In all their soft-baked, mile high frosting, sprinkles-to-the-max goodness… I can honestly say that these charming little treats were well worth the wait. I mean, just look at ’em.

The frosting is as thick as the cookie!! Have mercy.

Frosted sugar cookie bars with delicious vanilla frosting and lots of birthday cake sprinkles! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Today’s recipe is as soft as my favorite soft-baked cookie, as chewy as my favorite blondie, and as sprinkly as my entire cookbook. You’ll find sprinkles in the cookie bar base AND on top of the frosting. Is there such a thing as too many sprinkles? Because I’m pretty sure we test those limits here on my blog.

To make the frosted sugar cookie bars ultra soft, I add a touch of cornstarch. Trust me on this! Think about it: often used as a thickening agent, cornstarch gives your gravy, pie fillings, soups, and glazes a more bodied and full texture. The same goes for your cookie dough – cornstarch will help your dough remain soft, thick, and puffy during the baking process. The small 1.5 teaspoons used is certainly a heavy lifter in this recipe!

To make the cookie bars ultra chewy, I add an extra egg yolk. I do this with a few of my cookie recipes because that little extra yolk adds so much moisture, tenderness, and chew to the cookie. And it does the same thing to the sugar cookie bar base in this recipe. You’re going to love their rich, tender texture.

Frosted sugar cookie bars with delicious vanilla frosting and lots of birthday cake sprinkles! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

What’s great about this recipe is that you don’t have to chill the cookie dough. Just press the dough into the pan and bake right away. Bake the bars in a square baking pan – 8 inch or 9 inch is fine. Only about 25 minutes. You want to slightly underbake the cookie bars in order to avoid the edges from getting too crispy and brown.

Allow the bars to cool completely before frosting. This will feel like an eternity.

Frosted Sugar Cookie Bars - soft baked and heavy on the sprinkles! Recipe by sallysbakingaddiction.com

If you’re the kind of person who eats cake just for the frosting, you’re going to love this recipe. And we would also get along very well. I may or may not have eaten the frosting off this cake before actually getting to the cake underneath. Uh, can you blame me?

You’ll use my basic vanilla frosting recipe for these bars. Classic, fluffy, and simple. I like to add a touch of salt to cut the frosting’s sweetness. With the sweet sugar cookie bar underneath, that tiny pinch of salt will help tame a sugar rush. Don’t get me wrong, these bars are still plenty sweet! Don’t bring them to your dentist.

And as you can see, the frosting layer is just as thick as the cookie layer. In some spots, even thicker – those were the best bites. The frosting recipe as written makes a ton, so don’t be afraid to frost the bars with a heavy hand.

Don’t want that much frosting? It’s ok, I forgive you. Feel free to halve the frosting recipe.

Frosted sugar cookie bars with delicious vanilla frosting and lots of birthday cake sprinkles! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Ordinary ingredients can produce extraordinary desserts. Only simple, straightforward items used in this recipe and yet, the results will blow your mind!

Follow me on Instagram and tag #sallysbakingaddiction so I can see all the SBA recipes you make. 

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Frosted Sugar Cookie Bars

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
  • Yield: 16 bars
  • Category: Bars
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

These frosted sugar cookie bars are soft, chewy, and topped with creamy vanilla buttercream. And sprinkles… of course!


Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg + 1 egg yolk*
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (190g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup (80g) rainbow sprinkles (not nonpareils)*

Vanilla Frosting

  • 3/4 cup (170g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2 and 1/4 cups (270g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons (45ml) heavy cream or half-and-half*
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • salt, to taste
  • optional: food coloring (I used 1 drop red for this pink frosting) and extra sprinkles for decorating on top

Instructions

  1. Make the bars: Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line an 8-inch or 9-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil, making sure to leave enough overhang on the sides. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl using a hand-held mixer or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the softened butter for about 1 minute on medium speed. Get it nice and smooth, then add the sugar on medium speed until fluffy and light in color. Beat in egg, egg yolk, and vanilla. Scrape down the sides as needed.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cornstarch. With the mixer running on low speed, slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in 3 different parts. The dough is quite thick. Once combined, gently fold in 1/2 cup sprinkles using a rubber spatula (or by mixing on low speed).
  4. Press the cookie dough evenly into the prepared baking pan. Bake for 25-26 minutes or until very lightly browned on top. You want the cookie bars to be extra soft, so careful not to overbake. Allow the bars to cool completely on a wire rack at room temperature before frosting. The center will slightly sink – that’s normal.
  5. Make the frosting: If you don’t want a super thick layer of frosting as pictured, halve the frosting recipe. With a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy – about 2 minutes. Add confectioners’ sugar, cream, and vanilla extract with the mixer running on low. Increase to high speed and beat for 3 full minutes. Add more confectioners’ sugar if frosting is too thin or more cream if frosting is too thick. Add a pinch of salt if frosting is too sweet. I usually add anywhere between 1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Beat in food coloring, if using.
  6. Remove cooled bars from the baking pan using the aluminum foil overhang on the sides. Frost the bars with a thick layer of frosting and decorate with extra sprinkles if desired. Cut into squares. Use a very sharp knife and wipe off with a paper towel between each cut to make neat, even cuts. Store bars in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days and in the refrigerator up to 5.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: You can make these bars and the frosting 1 day in advance– store the bars, covered, at room temperature overnight and store the frosting, covered, in the refrigerator. Frost before cutting and serving. You can also freeze the unfrosted bars for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, frost, cut, and serve.
  2. Eggs: Room temperature egg and egg yolk preferred. To bring the egg to room temperature quickly, place in a warm glass of water for about 10 minutes as you get the other ingredients ready. Or just set out when you set out the butter to soften 1 hour ahead of time.
  3. Sprinkles: Use regular sprinkles (aka “jimmies”) in the cookie bar base. Nonpareils (the little balls) will bleed their color and turn the sugar cookie dough green/purple/brown. I order my sprinkles in bulk here.
  4. Cream: Cream or half-and-half is preferred for creamiest, fluffiest frosting. Keeping that in mind, milk would be an OK substitute if you do not have either on hand.
  5. Larger Batch: You can double this recipe and bake in a 9×13 pan; the bake time is about 35 minutes.

Keywords: frosted sugar cookie bars, sugar cookie bars

Soft-Baked and chewy Frosted Sugar Cookie Bars

262 Comments

  1. Is the dough firm enough to make shapes? My daughter has some star cookie cutters and wanted to make star rainbow cookies after seeing a picture lol. She is 4 – if not I bet you have a roll-out recipe here somewhere 🙂

    1. If you bake the bars in a pan, you can take a cookie cutter to them once baked. I don’t advise you to roll out the dough for these – too sticky. I’ve been working on a roll out sugar cookie recipe actually! Lots of trials and errors. Those are hard to get perfect!

      1. Awesome – thank you! We will make these tomorrow 🙂 Looking forward to the roll-out recipe!

  2. Frosting > Cake except for the icing flowers on grocery store cakes. I don’t like those very much, but give me a fluffy frosting and a spoon… I’m good to go! Love the color of the frosting with the slight pink. It’s so springy!

    I would love to come and bake with you! We’d definitely get along… Except fighting over the frosting ;o)

  3. This looks like the perfect treat to bake for my advisory students next week when we celebrate one of the girls’ birthday!

    Question: any chance you might do an in-person signing/selling of your cookbook in the Baltimore area? I live in the city but would happily drive anywhere in the metro area!

    1. Hey Jackie! So funny you asked that because I just contracted with an event called “WomenFest” on Saturday, April 26th. I’ll have my own huge table signing and selling cookbooks from 10am to 1pm! More info: WomenFest is a conference/exhibit center focusing on health, wellness, fashion, and beauty, featuring 90+ vendors and exhibitors, engaging seminars, and free health screenings.

      For location, directions, and to learn more about WomenFest, visit here–> http://www.howardcountymd.gov/womenfest.htm

  4. You always read my mind. I just made a cookie cake yesterday using your soft chocolate chip cookie recipe with some chocolate frosting. These bars are gorgeous

  5. There is no such things as too many sprinkles. The bars look so soft and delicious. I know my daughter will love this. Will make them for her over the easter break. Going to try your tip about adding an extra egg yolk for moisture and tenderness.

  6. Sally they look so perfect for spring! And that frosting. Love the color and how thick it is. The only way to do frosting 🙂 I’d love a bite of one of these right now! Pinned

  7. Sally this is such a perfect spring time treat! You can never have to much frosting (or sprinkles)! Also congrats on your TV appearance you were so great!!

  8. Yum! These bars look so yummy! The frosting reminds me of cotton candy for some reason; it looks super fluffy and of course the colour is just perfect 🙂

  9. So excited that you posted this recipe today because I was planning to do a search for sugar cookie bars to make tonight! How would you recommend manipulating this recipe for either a 9×13 pan or a 12 1/2 by 17 1/2 jelly roll pan?

    1. Unsure about a jelly roll pan, but doubling this recipe will make nice thick bars in a 9×13 pan. I’m unsure of the baking time.

    2. Planning on making these for a birthday boy who doesn’t like chocolate- crazy, I know! But I need to double this recipe too. I am planning on using a 9×13 pan. I’ll post my baking time otherwise.

      1. BAKING TIME FOR 9X13 PAN:
        I made these last night and baked them for 22 minutes and they are soft and slightly underdone just like your photos Sally’s. I have a choc chip cookie bar recipe and it is 22-24 minutes. They were a light golden color at 22 minutes. =0) Super soft and chewy, just right. =0) YAY!!!! Oh and I did blue frosting (they were for a guy’s birthday) but I TOTALLY wanted to make that light pink frosting. Sprinkles were included too- of course!

  10. So pretty! I am sitting at my desk in my office and itching to get into the kitchen to make these for a sweet (nearly) Easter treat. You can be sure that a gluten free version will be showing up at our family festivities this year. Perhaps with a lavender tinted frosting instead 🙂

  11. I made these fun sprinkly bars with my niece’s today as soon as I saw this recipe! They were delicious and easy and gobbled up very quickly! We loved them 🙂 Thanks for all of your yummy recipes!

  12. I’m torn between “these are so cute!” and “ohmygosh, I want one right now!”, so I’ll leave it as “These are so cute and ohmygosh, I want one right now!” And no way would I halve the frosting. They look perfect as is!

  13. Oh my gosh, the frosting!!! These look beyond incredible, and I’m SO happy you posted them 😉 I totally eat cake for the frosting (if I even bother with the cake at all, haha). I’m glad you mentioned that your frosting is indeed pink, because I thought it had a pink tinge to it, but when the recipe itself didn’t mention it, I thought my eyes were going screwy :). I love the sprinkles!

    1. Thanks Caley! I was going to do blue frosting but pink just seemed like the right idea. And I had no blue food coloring lol.

  14. Yea… so they’re in the oven right now. Wasn’t planning on baking tonight but I couldn’t resist!! They look fantastic 🙂

  15. whhyyy do these look so amazing!!!?? *drools* do you think a beginner such as myself could actually bake these ?

  16. These are so fun, what a great recipe! I just texted my mom & told her I’m bringing these for dessert for Easter lunch…what a prefect spring dessert, I’m sure they’ll be a hit with the kids & adults both!

  17. Love these pretty bars, Sally! I just picked up some special sprinkles that would be absolutely fantastic for topping the mile-high frosting layer. Definitely on my to-bake list for the next time we need a treat! Thanks so much for sharing. Pinned.

  18. These bars are so fun! Sprinkles always make me happy. And I’m sure they taste incredible!

  19. Just made these! Taste great but a I thought they were a bit more cakey than cookie, if you know what I mean? Maybe I did something wrong….but they are still very tasty! 🙂

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