Soft Sugar Cookie Bars

Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 24

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These Sugar Cookie Bars are soft and chewy — one of my favorite recipes to make for birthday parties and potlucks! Ready in just 25 minutes, these cookie bars are the perfect dessert for any occasion or special event.

Sugar Cookie Bars wth sprinkles on them in a stack on a worktop.

Sugar Cookie Bars are a huge hit in my house any time of year, from after school snacking to movie nights and parties — we love them!

This easy recipe is perfect all year round as you can easily make them your own with your favorite flavorings and toppings.

My sugar cookie recipe uses sour cream, it’s a not-so-secret secret ingredient that I think makes all the difference!

Sugar cookies made with sour cream are fluffier, softer, and more moist than those made without.

For more sugar cookie recipes, check out my Frosted Sugar CookiesChocolate Sour Cream Sugar CookiesFrosted Lemon Sour Cream Sugar CookiesGrandma’s Sour Cream Sugar Cookies, and these festive Christmas Sugar Cookies!

Ingredients Needed:

Top view of ingredients needed to make Sugar Cookie Bars in small bowls on a white surface.
  • Butter: use salted butter to enhance the flavors of these cookie bars. If you only have unsalted butter, add a dash of salt to the cookie dough and the frosting.
  • Sugar: white granulated sugar will add sweetness and texture to the cookie bars.
  • Sour Cream: full-fat sour cream adds delicious moisture to these cookies.
  • Egg: binds ingredients and helps the cookie bars rise slightly.
  • Extract: use vanilla extract and almond extract in these cookies for a warm, sweet, nutty flavor that sets these bars apart! 
  • Flour: all-purpose flour works best in these cookies, I haven’t tried these cookies with other types of flour.
  • Baking Powder: to help the cookie dough rise.
  • Salt: to enhance the flavors.
  • Powdered Sugar: for the base of the vanilla frosting.
  • Milk: use full-fat, lower-fat, or dairy-free milk to get the frosting to the right consistency.
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Sugar Cookie Bars are so quick and easy to make! Full instructions are included in the recipe card below.

  1. Combine butter and sugar: Beat butter and sugar until light and creamy.
  2. Add wet ingredients: Add the sour cream, egg, vanilla, and almond extract to the mixing bowl. Beat to combine.
  1. Add dry ingredients: Add the flour, baking powder, and salt and mix until combined.
  2. Put in pan and bake: Spread cookie dough into the prepared pan and bake.
  1. Add frosting: Mix powdered sugar, melted butter, milk, and vanilla until fluffy, then spread on the cooled bars.
  2. Decorate: Add sprinkles to the top if desired then cut and serve.
How do I store Sugar Cookie Bars?

Keep your sugar cookie bars in an airtight container or covered in plastic wrap or aluminum foil in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or until they become hard. 

Can I freeze Sugar Cookie Bars?

You can freeze sugar cookie bars for up to 3 months, but I would recommend freezing the bars before frosting them. Cover the baking tray twice with plastic wrap, then freeze. Defrost in the refrigerator or on the counter, then make your frosting up fresh, decorate, and serve!

Tips and Notes

  • Room temperature butter. It’s best to make these cookies using butter that has been brought to room temperature. It will be easier to mix with other ingredients and make the cookie bars fluffier too.
  • Electric mixer. You can use a mixing bowl with a wooden spoon or hand mixer, or use the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment on it to make the cookie dough (you’ll want the whisk attachment for the frosting).
Close up of sugar cookie bar squares on a surface.
  • Change the colors. You can add food coloring to the cookie dough or the frosting to match a special event or occasion. Try pink frosting for Valentine’s Day, or green frosting for St. Patrick’s Day, or red frosting for Christmas sugar cookie bars.
  • Add other toppings. Use any kind or color of sprinkles you like. You could even use chocolate curls, mini chocolate chips, mini M&Ms, Reese’s Pieces, or crushed nuts.
  • Make them fruity. Instead of almond extract, add some lemon juice or lemon extract to the cookies and frosting, then top with some fresh lemon zest!

Serving Suggestions

Serve your cookie bars with glasses of cold milk for a yummy after school snack, or with a hot cup of coffee for an afternoon pick-me-up!

If you’re making these bars as part of a dessert table, try my Cream Cheese BrowniesCinnamon Apple MuffinsM&M CookiesAlmond Joy Brownies, and these Chocolate Peppermint Icebox Cookies on the side for a variety of treats.

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5 from 9 votes
Moist and soft, these Sugar Cookie Bars are one of my favorite recipes to make for birthday parties and potlucks! Ready in just 25 minutes, these cookie bars are the perfect dessert for any occasion or special event!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Cuisine American
Course Dessert
Servings 24
Calories 174cal

Ingredients

  • ½ cup salted butter (room temperature)
  • cups granulated sugar (200 grams)
  • cup sour cream (85 grams – higher fat will yield a thicker cookie)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract (optional)
  • cups all purpose flour (293 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Frosting (optional)

  • 1½-2 cups powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup melted butter
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions

Sugar Cookie Bars

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a 9×13″ pan with nonstick cooking spray or butter, or line it with parchment paper.
  • In a large mixing bowl beat butter and sugar together until light and creamy, about 3-4 minutes.
  • Add sour cream, egg, vanilla and almond extract and beat until combined, scraping down the sides as necessary.
  • Add flour, baking powder and salt and mix until combined. A slightly soft dough should form.
  • Spread into prepared baking pan and bake for 15-18 minutes — until the edges are just lightly browned (don’t overbake — they will continue to bake as they cool in the hot pan).
  • Let cool completely before frosting.

Frosting:

  • Combine powdered sugar, melted butter, milk and vanilla with an electric mixer until smooth and fluffy.
  • Spread on the cooled bars and add sprinkles if desired — the frosting will continue to set until it is dry on top. Serve.

Notes

Ingredients and Substitutions:
  • Sour cream: the sour cream makes for a soft cookie and helps to counteract the sweetness. If you prefer, you can substitute with plain Greek yogurt.
  • Extracts: feel free to omit the almond extract if you do not have any or if you do not enjoy it. You can also add up to 1 teaspoon if you enjoy the flavor. 
  • Frosting: if you like a thick layer of frosting, feel free to double this recipe.
Storage
  • Store: Keep your sugar cookie bars in an airtight container or covered in plastic wrap or aluminum foil in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or until they become hard. 
  • Freeze: You can freeze sugar cookie bars for up to 3 months, but I would recommend freezing the bars before frosting them. Cover the baking tray twice with plastic wrap, then freeze. Defrost in the refrigerator or on the counter, then make your frosting up fresh, decorate, and serve!

Nutrition Information

Calories: 174cal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 25mg | Sodium: 99mg | Potassium: 44mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 219IU | Vitamin C: 0.04mg | Calcium: 19mg | Iron: 1mg
Keywords sugar cookie bars

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Meet Ashley

My name is Ashley Fehr and I love creating easy meals my family loves. I also like to do things my way, which means improvising and breaking the rules when necessary. Here you will find creative twists on old favorites and some of my favorite family recipes, passed down from generations!

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