Sugar cookie bars with cream cheese & classic buttercream frosting.
In summer, we’re all looking for quick and easy throw together food. These sugar cookie bars are exactly that, without compromising any flavor!
Sugar cookie bars are so dang easy to whip together. No spooning out individual cookies and waisting time in the kitchen when you’d rather be out camping or on the lake. Throw these bars together before heading out on your next adventure. Everyone will rave over your quick and easy dessert!
I tried a few different cookie bars on Pinterest before putting this post together. They were all a bit dry and not quite sweet enough. These bars needed to be perfect. Then I remembered my sugar cookie recipe made with cream cheese, adapted from The Bake Sale Cookbook, and knew I’d recreate them as bars.
Evelyn had to be cut off she was sneaking so many! Though it’s hard to say no to that face!
I’d call them a complete success!!!!
The secret to these bars: cream cheese!
Cream cheese absolutely makes these bars. If you haven’t had cram cheese sugar cookies before, you’re missing out on the best things in life.
These babies are just the right amount of sweet, and topped with the same classic buttercream I use on almost all of my cakes, they’re not a dessert you can simply walk away from. 😉
These bars could easily be used as a birthday cake alternative for those who don’t love cake.
Example #1 of someone who doesn’t like cake: my son.
Ironic that someone who’s made cakes as a side gig her whole life ends up with a child that does’t like them. He’d prefer cookies, donuts, or ice cream over cake or cupcakes any day of the week!
If this is too big of a bar or you’re having a smaller gathering, this recipe can easily be halved.
Sugar Cookie Bars
- 2 cups butter, room temperature (4 sticks of butter)
- 8 ounces cream cheese (1 large package)
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 egg yolks, room temperature
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 5 cups all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees
- Place butter, cream cheese, and sugar in mixing bowl and mix on low. Scrape down sides of bowl and add egg yolks and vanilla. Add flour and salt, mix until everything is well incorporated.
- Take a 9×12 baking pan, and cover in parchment paper. Scoop cookie dough into center and taking wax paper (or more parchment paper covered in butter), place on top and use to press dough into pan.
- Bake at 325 for 20 minutes, or until sides are slightly brown. Cooking time may vary depending on altitude and climate. Watch carefully. It's better to undercook slightly.
- Let bars cool completly before attempting to lift them out of the cookie sheet. Chill slightly if possible. Tip pan and carfully slide bars out with partchment paper.
- Trim off sides before frositing. Frost, cut into 2" x 2" pieces. Enjoy!
This buttercream recipe I’ve been using ever since I made my first wedding cake, over fourteen years ago now!
- 1 cup butter
- 3 to 5 cups powdered sugar
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 4 Tbsp heavy cream
- Mix room temperature butter until a whipped consistency. Slowly add 1 cup powdered sugar and mix to combine.
- Add in salt, vanilla, and heavy cream. Slowly mix in remainder of powdered sugar.
- Notice I leave a big margin for the amount of powdered sugar to use. This is because everyone tends to have a frosting consistency they prefer. I like mine a bit thicker, so I tend to add more. Some keep the crumb coat frosting thinner, and make the frosting used for decorating a little thicker. If you’re unsure, use around the 4 cup range.
I’ll be making a unicorn version of these bars for Evelyn’s birthday party coming up in a few weeks. Love how versatile they are!
Let me know if you make them. And please, rate five stars if you enjoy! Thanks friends!
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Is this for one or two 9×13 pans? I found other recipes that were similar but only used about half of the ingredients. I’m anxious to try these!
Only one pan, I like them thick! 🙂