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

254 Comments

    1. Hi Courtney. You may be over measuring the flour – that results in a cakey product. The cookie bars should have the texture of thick cookies or even dense blondies.

  1. I made these bars last night for my co-worker. OMG they are one of the most amazing desserts I’ve ever made. Totally better than the Lofthouse kind! Thank you so very much for your wonderful recipes and the launch of your new book 🙂 Keep it up girl!

    1. Thanks Kayla! I appreciate you reporting back. Hearing they are better than lofthouse kinda makes my day. Love lofthouse!

  2. I doubled the recipe and made these into a 9×13 flag cookie cake for my in-law’s 4th of July party. They were absolutely TO-DIE-FOR. It was the first dessert to disappear from a table FULL of other desserts and the last piece was actually fought over. As you warned, the center sunk pretty significantly, but I just cut the edges off (and may or may not have eaten them ALL myself) so I could have a level cookie cake. Thank you so much for the recipe.

  3. Sally,

    I finally got around to making these and they did not disappoint! I used my own go-to vanilla frosting recipe and everyone loved them. I posted them on my site and included the original link back to your site. Thanks again for sharing!

    Heather

  4. Hey Sally. These look delicious and I’m going to make them today for my daughters 4th birthday party tomorrow, but I do not have an air tight container big enough to store these in. So I was curious would just putting tin foil over my cake pans and refrigerating them that way be fine?

      1. Thank you very much Sally! ^_^ I’ll have to let you know how they go at the birthday party tomorrow.

  5. Sally, the dough base of these bars are soooo irresistible. I must say I didn’t choose the sprinkle life, but the sprinkle life chose me 😉
    lots of love (and sprinkles!) xx

  6. Hi Sally! Would love to make this recipe (and will soon) but right now out of flour! Is there anyway to turn a white cake mix into sugar cookie bars? Even though I know they won’t be as good!

    1. Hi Jeanne! You could make my cake batter blondies instead: https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2012/04/06/take-2-funfetti-cake-batter-blondies/

  7. So good! Made them tonight and everyone loved. Salt in both the cookie and the frosting made the difference -also no Crisco junk in the frosting makes it delicious!

  8. Tackling these this morning 730 my hands were already in cookie dough. I’m waiting for them to cool now so I can frost them. Blue, not pink as it is for a baby shower. The frosting is divine and I used milk. I used ener-g egg replacer in place of eggs. As I had no eggs, however, I’m a pretty frequent baker and run out of eggs often. Whoops. Maybe I should start buying 2 cartons instead of 1. My daughter (2) helped and loves to lick the beaters and spatula after folding in sprinkles. And folding frosting from the sides.
    They will be delicious. No questions asked.

  9. Love these look so yummy
    Would love to know though why mine have come out quite chunky. There double the hight of these and my tray was bigger so would of expected them to be flat. They have rose kind of like a cake. They do taste yummy. Just dont think they are what they are supposed to be. I have took a photo of them. Love your recipes 🙂

  10. These were so good! I love how all of your recipes still work even though I am at high altitude. The bars were very sweet and the frosting was amazing. I didn’t end up using the whole batch of frosting because honestly, these bars are so good you wouldn’t even need the frosting for them to be a hit!

  11. Oh my gosh! These are amazing. I made them for Christmas day and they were a big hit. They practically melt in your mouth! Love all your recipes.

  12. These were delicious! After cooling, mine sunk everywhere except for the edges… What could i have done wrong to cause this to happen ?

  13. These came out amazing! I was nervous mine were to under-baked but as I let them cool the texture became dense gooey and crazy addicting! I am a frosting fanatic so I obviously was in love, but even my brother who hates frosting commented on how good the frosting was! Your blog is so fun and your recipes are amazing! Thank you so much!

  14. Do these bars freeze well without the frosting ? Also would it make a difference if I make them in a round pan ? Want to make them look like pizza slices that’s why I ask

    1. yep, they freeze well without the frosting. you can make it into a sugar cookie cake, like I did here: https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2014/05/12/funfetti-sugar-cookie-cake/

  15. Will they still turn out without using sprinkles? I haven’t been able to find any “soft” sprinkles. I cannot stand the crunchy ones 🙁

  16. These are soooo good! I have made these twice now for 100 (sorority) gals both times and have had great success!
    This time around I ran out of vanilla so I substituted maple syrup in the batter and maple extract in the icing, I threw a little cream cheese in there too.

    AND I tripled the batch so I could do it in a 13×9 (I made 3 of those) and they all turned out so awesome! Super thick which I love but will make note it only need 2.5x instead of 3 and the time was 32 minutes .
    I did the same color icing and had these adorable star sprinkles and they were so fun/cute and delicious so thankyou !

  17. Oh and I also made a single batch substituting namaste gluten free flour blend and it was perfect!!! My gluten free girls loved them:)

  18. These will be perfect for my mom’s night out tonight! yummmy! and all things I have on hand which is perfect bc I can’t get to the store! yay for basics and deliciousness. I’m pretty sure my kids will have to have a little taste too! Thanks for making so many awesome recipes!

  19. Love, love, love these!! Absolutely a perfect recipe. The cookie dough has perfect texture with the wonderful icing. My husband and boys are very happy. I also made your chocolate chip muffins. Those are also delicious. The chocolate chips kept they shape and didn’t melt, just like the bakery. I’m a big fan of your recipes and can trust that whatever I make will be wonderful. I also love sprinkles!!!

  20. Hey Sally,

    I was just wondering how long these would last? I’m planning to make them for my friend’s birthday but I need to make them 5 days in advance. Do you think that would be okay?

    1. Hi Flora, see the last recipe instruction. Store bars in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days and in the refrigerator up to 5.

  21. Thanks for the great recipe! I translated it to gluten free by using a GF All-Purpose Flour and 2 tsp Xantham Gum plus increased the corn starch to 2 tsp. Might try it with 1 tsp Xantham next time so that it’s denser. Thanks again!!!!!

  22. Sally,
    You are my go to gal for amazing recipes! Thank you so much for sharing them with us. I made these today and I ate like 4 right away. I wonder if you would know a rough estimate on calories for 1 bar? These will definitely be a staple in this house!

  23. Hi Sally, these look so pretty and colourful. I’m planning on making these for a baby shower (it’s a girl!), about how many bars do you get from this recipe? I love your website so much thank you for your amazing recipes :).

  24. Wow those look good! I was thinking of baking the cookie, then sprinkling chocolate heath toffee bits on top while its still warm. Then after the cookie cools I would spread a no-bake cheesecake filling on top. And if feeling nawty maybe more choc toffee bits to finish it off. Then fridge it until cold and set. What do you think?

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