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. Mile high is EXACTLY how high frosting should be, IMHO. 😀 Sally these cookie bars are lovely and I need to add them to my baking wish list ASAP. !

  2. I made these last night and shared with staff today, and they were a hit. I made mine with light green frosting and put butterfly sprinkles on top! Perfect for spring!

  3. Amazing. I’ve made probably 90% of the recipes on this incredible blog. Only one I trust! Sally, I’m your biggest fan! I’m constantly telling people about sallys baking addiction 😉
    These super soft sugar cookies are delicious! Keep me comin Sally !!

    1. Hi Alyssa! What a sweet comment, so happy you said hi. That’s a ton of baking. Sounds like you enjoy being in the kitchen as much as I do!

      1. I don’t know why I’ve never commented before LOL. I’ve been making your recipes for a very long time. Every morning when I get up I see if you put something new! I got all excited that you answered me back LOL.. Thank you so much for these incredible recipes. ( My personal favorite, your very vanilla cupcakes. I have to make them At Least twice a month ). You’re the best! And congrats on your tv appearance !!!

  4. Oh. My. Gosh. I just made these and they are AMAZING!! I got so many complements you would not believe it! Thanks so much Sally! (p.s congrats on your tv appearance, you totally deserve it!!!)

  5. These were amazing and disappeared fast! Just remember to wait for them to COMPLETELY cool before frosting even though its slightly painful… my frosting was sliding and melting because I

  6. Sally, these are SO cute — and totally you! The pretty pink frosting, the super soft cookies, the 3 different types and massive amount of sprinkles… You’re totally right: they’re worth the wait and the perfect TV star celebration treat! It’s funny you mentioned not giving them to a dentist. While I was in elementary school, my dentist coached his daughter’s basketball team, and he actually brought sugar cookies as one of their post-game treats! As soon as we finished them, he told us to go home and brush our teeth. Gotta compromise somehow! 😉

    1. Hahahaha “go home and brush your teeth” – I’m cracking up Amy. That is too funny. These bars are so sweet!

  7. Made these yesterday and O.M.G. they are good. Yes the whole 9″ pan is gone already. I did give a few to the neighbors and they texted me “Delicious!”

    I did not put sprinkles in though because DH does not like them.

  8. Sally-

    I made these today for my son’s birthday treats at school. They are wonderful!

    How big were your bars? They look pretty big in the picture, but I only managed to get 20 bars and I doubled the recipe!

    1. Glad they were enjoyed! I didn’t measure the bars, but I got about 16 from the batch – one of the end rows was a little smaller.

  9. Let me just say that this looks absolutely DELICIOUS! I am constantly looking through the recipes on your site and I get so excited when I receive emails saying that you’ve posted a new recipe. I’ve taken note of all of the recipes that I would like to try! My friend and I are planning on making these sugar cookie bars for our other friend’s birthday on friday. Can’t wait to see how they turn out! Love love LOVE your site!

  10. I made these yummy, festive bars for our Easter celebration for my entire family. Even the “sugar skeptics” that don’t like too much frosting, ate them up. Thank you,Sally, for all you helpful hints when baking. It has really given me more confidence with my baking. My kids and I love to bake your recipes together.

    1. It is so, so nice to read that you and your kids enjoy baking my recipes together. That truly means the world to me. Happy these were a hit!

  11. I made these for Teacher Appreciation Week. My cookie bars turned out as beautiful as the pictures (that NEVER happens!!!) You truly have a gift and provide such attention to detail in your recipes that make a world of difference in the end result. Cleaning your knife in between cuts…who knew?!! I always wondered why my bars always came out so ugly, lol. Thanks! I’m a subscriber now!!

  12. I’m a doctoral student and baking is one of my stress relievers. I made these for a class and of course, had to try them to make sure they passed the test. To be honest, they almost didn’t make it to my classmates they were so amazing! These are some of the best frosted cookies I’ve ever eaten, thank you so much for posting this recipe!

  13. I just wanted to pop in really quick to say that these sugar cookie bars ARE LIKE CRACK!! I’m not even a frosting fan normally….I do cut the frosting in half for these…but I’m about to make them for the THIRD time in as many weeks! Your recipes should really come with a warning label….;-)

  14. Is it okay if I use a baking glass pan? or is the dark pan better for this recipie? If I do end up going with the baking glass pan how much should I put the heat up to and for how long?

    1. Hi Sonia, I have used both glass and dark metal pans with this recipe and the baking times are similar.

      1. Thanks Sally for this great recipie, I baked these scrumptious cookie bars today after work. The icing didn’t look as appealing as yours but I think thats because I applied the icing too soon …doesnt matter still were delicious. I had my family and boyfriend try it out and they really enjoyed them too! First time I have discovered your website and I gotta say I’m pretty impressed!

  15. I made these for Easter, they were delish!

    I have a question…every time I’ve made some sort of light colored bar, like these, the candy bar blondies, white chocolate chip blondies, etc, the middle sinks in when cooling. Any way to prevent this? It always tastes great, but it’s not so pretty! 🙂

    1. No way to avoid it – mine do as well! You can try to bake for longer, but then the bars won’t be as soft.

  16. These sound wonderful! would like to make them for the Fourth of July – all red, white & blue!!

  17. Ohmigosh….these are the prettiest things I have ever seen! You have the most amazing and creative recipes! Is this recipe also one that is in your new cookbook? I haven’t had the money to purchase it but I soooo want to very soon! You inspire me to be in the kitchen more and embrace my love of baking. As a single Mom of 3 little ones with no help who works full-time and goes to school full-time and co-leads a ministry at church, I have found myself not taking time for “me” and the things I love and have a passion for…which is baking (and reading). You make me always want to take that time and enjoy every moment when I am crafting something with my hands out of love that will feed my family and friends. So thank you so very much for being an inspiration for me to enjoy and take time out for what I love to do, and encouraging my creativity.

    1. Thanks for the kind comment Debbie! I’m so happy that you enjoy my blog and recipes – and even more that you are enjoying your “me time” making recipes for your loved ones. That is the very reason why I love to bake! this recipe is not in my cookbook – just here!

  18. I made these for my son’s preschool’s potluck and they were GONE in 10 minutes. Of course, brightly colored frosting and sprinkles are like beacons for 4-year-olds! I used half the frosting and that was still more than enough. My son asked me to please make them again. 🙂

  19. A friend of mine just shared these on fB and said they were the bomb! We are gluten free here and most of your recipes I’ve been able to modify for us as long as we keep it to 2.5 cups of flour or less. 🙂 but we have corn allergies here too…what do u think I could try as a sub to keep the texture just right? Ideas?

  20. Sally, I’m SO happy I found your blog! This recipe reeled me in and I can’t wait to try some of your other recipes. PS, your site is just as beautiful as the photos of your yummy food!

  21. These are one of the most beautiful cookies I have ever seen. They would be just perfect for a little girls birthday party. It is true that simplest ingredients can make the most beautiful desserts. You are so talented and inspiring with all the other desserts on this website.

    Thanks for sharing,
    Lisa

  22. Hi Sally! These look absolutely amazing! I’m going to make a mini cupcake version of these later today!
    I just wanted to say that I love your blog SO much! You have inspired me to make my own baking blog! (I’m 14 by the way)
    Thanks for being such an inspiration!
    -Sam

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