Saturday Sweets: Sugar Cookie Bars

I love sugar cookies intensely.  Sadly, I feel almost as intensely about my dislike of rolling out dough and cutting shapes and decorating individual cookies.  I have three littles, so they’re either helping (or hindering) me, or I’m trying to get something done by myself as quickly as possible.  Also, they have a thing for sprinkles and, not gonna lie, so do I.

Enter sugar cookies in bar form.

Perfect Sugar Cookie Bars: soft, chewy, a healthy layer of vanilla icing...these are one of the most popular treats I bake!

I first had these at my sisters’ houses, and was determined never to make them at home because I knew exactly  how long they would last in my house if I made them (5 seconds).  Obviously, that resolution lasted about 5 seconds itself. But with the first few recipes I tried there was something about them that just wasn’t exactly perfect.  See, for these to replace sugar cookies, which I only make once a year at Christmas, they had to taste exactly like my Mom’s sugar cookies.  It took me a few tries and much sacrifical sampling (yummm ;)) over the past few months, but I’m thrilled to say that these finally fit the bill perfectly.

Perfect Sugar Cookie Bars: soft, chewy, a healthy layer of vanilla icing...these are one of the most popular treats I bake!

The secret to these sugar cookie bars is a touch of almond extract in the dough, and the addition of icing sugar to make an incredibly soft, chewy bar, almost the texture of an under-baked bar.  These stay soft and fresh in the fridge for a whole week, and they are a huge hit with both kids and adults.  I’d take these over birthday cake any day, and the best part?  They are SO easy to make!

Perfect Sugar Cookie Bars: soft, chewy, a healthy layer of vanilla icing...these are one of the most popular treats I bake!

I don’t know if I can say enough good things about these bars.  Basically, if there’s good icing and some sprinkles on a perfect sugar cookie, and I can now make that in super-quick bar form, I am all over that.  Also, every time I type “bar” my fingers first type “bra” – I don’t know what that means, but if you like either of the two (I like both a lot), I think you’ll like these bras bars.

Have a great weekend, all!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Perfect Sugar Cookie Bars
Total time
A soft, chewy sugar cookie bar with a fluffy vanilla buttercream frosting.
Recipe type: Bars & Squares
Serves: 35
  • ¾ cup butter, softened to room temperature
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ⅓ cup powdered sugar/icing sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp almond extract
  • 2¼ cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 5 Tbsp butter, softened (1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp)
  • 2½ cups powdered sugar/icing sugar
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  • 3-3½ Tbsp milk or cream
  • Sprinkles
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. With electric mixer, cream together butter and both sugars until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, vanilla and almond and beat for 2 minutes.
  3. Stir in flour, baking powder, and salt until combined.
  4. Spray a 9x13" baking dish lightly with cooking spray. With slightly damp hands, press dough evenly into pan (if it starts sticking, run your hands under water for another half a second and keep going...the dough won't look completely smooth, some fingerprints are fine since the icing will cover it all!)
  5. Bake for 11-13 minutes - don't overbake! The bars will not brown, they should look just barely set in the middle. Put pan on wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
  6. For frosting, cream the butter for a few seconds, then add the powdered sugar, vanilla, and 3 Tbsp of milk and blend until smooth and fluffy. Add another half tablespoon of milk if necessary to achieve desired smoothness. Spread frosting evenly on cooled bars and immediately top with sprinkles, if using.
  7. Let icing set before slicing into squares. Store bars in the fridge.



  1. Erin says

    Made these perfect little cookie bars last week for our neighbours… and only a few actually made it across the street. :P They are so, so good! The almond extract is a perfect little extra, and the cookie part is so soft but also perfectly firm enough for easy slicing and removal. These are going into our regular baking rotation! Thanks Anna.

  2. says

    I made these for Happy Hour last week and they were delicious! The only thing is that your instructions don’t include the almond extract, making it easy to forget that secret ingredient. :)

  3. Donna says

    Hi Anna. I teach cardmaking and one of my gals brought your sugar cookie bars for us to try. Oh my goodness, they were so delicious and there were just a couple left at the end of class and my friend said to keep the rest because she would eat them all if she took them home. Well … guess what I did? Boy were they good. Thanks for the great recipe! :-) D

  4. says

    Um, wow. These look SO GOOD! I’m with you – the worst part of sugar cookies is the rolling and cutting out. These are a great way around it and look even better than regular sugar cookies! I heart almond extract, too! Gonna try these! Thanks for linking up to Saturday Night Fever – pinning this recipe now!

  5. says

    I love that you used a bit of almond extract in the dough – I do that with my regular sugar cookies and I swear it makes them so much better! I need to try sugar cookie bars – it’s such a great alternative to going through the whole rolling out the dough process!


  1. […] So now just to find 15ish hours in my weeks, the only small concern. In evaluating my schedule, it was pretty obvious that the blog was the only large user of my time that wouldn’t be offended if I spent a little less time with it. However, I do love this peaceful, colourful little space and the fact that it gets me to write, every week, in a light-hearted, casual manner about whatever I happen to feel like, and gives me a small snippet of memory of what we’ve been up to. Instead of aiming for two recipes per week (ha, did you even notice I was trying?), I’ll be aiming for one, and if that still proves too time-consuming I’ll share one every other week.  I want this online recipe file for my kids one day, when they remember those squares with the sprinkles and the icing that kind of tasted like a cookie? and I can point them straight to their favourite sugar cookie bars. […]

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