These festive Frosted Sugar Cookie Bars are easy to whip together and completely irresistible with their thick cream cheese frosting and buttery sugar cookie base! They are just as delicious as traditional frosted sugar cookies, but with a lot less work. In fact, these sugar cookie bars are ready in 30 minutes!
Ready for Christmas? I don’t know about you, but I totally am! I look forward to baking Christmas desserts all year; there’s just something so fun about decorating with those festive greens and reds. Plus, nothing beats the smell of freshly baked cookies in a warm kitchen when it’s cold out!
Craving some buttery frosted sugar cookies, but not the work that comes with chilling the dough, cutting them out and frosting each one? I’ve got your solution! These Frosted Sugar Cookie Bars are just as good as your traditional sugar cookie recipe, but you can have them ready in just 30 minutes!
Now, while they are perfect for Christmas, I will definitely be making these Frosted Sugar Cookie Bars year round. They’re soft, chewy, and sugary-sweet like all sugar cookies should be, and you can make them in about half the usual time!
These addictive sugar cookie bars, with their thick cream cheese frosting, will be gone before you know it.
If you love these homemade sugar cookie bars, make sure and also check out my Easy Cake Mix Cookie Bars loaded with three types of chocolate chips!
Time to give these sweet squares a try? Awesome! Here’s what you’ll need:
For the Cookie Bars:
- Unsalted Butter: let soften before baking.
- Granulated Sugar
- Powdered Sugar
- An Egg: make sure it comes to room temperature.
- Vanilla Extract
- Almond Extract
- All-Purpose Flour
- Baking Powder
- Baking Soda
For the Frosting:
- Unsalted Butter: let soften, like mentioned above.
- Cream Cheese: let soften before using, too.
- Vanilla Extract
- Powdered Sugar
These cookie bars could not be easier to mix together. And even though you don’t get to use all those fun cookie cutters, I promise you the end result will be totally gorgeous.
Throw on some Christmas music and let’s get baking!
For the Cookie Bars: Preheat the oven to 350°F and prepare a 9×13 baking dish with parchment paper or spray with non-stick spray then set aside.
Beat Butter and Sugar: Cream the butter and granulated sugar together then sift in the powdered sugar and beat again until light and fluffy.
Combine: Add the egg, vanilla extract and almond extract and beat again until smooth.
Whisk: Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a separate bowl and whisk until combined.
Form Dough: Pour the flour mixture into the wet ingredients and stir until combined. Then press dough together with your hands until it comes together.
Bake: Press dough evenly into the prepared baking dish and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the sides puff up and the top starts to crack.
Let Cool: Remove from the oven and cool completely before icing.
For the Frosting: Beat the butter and cream cheese together until light and fluffy.
Add: Add the vanilla extract and the dash of salt and beat until well combined.
Mix in Sugar: Sift in the powdered sugar a cup at a time and beat until smooth and fluffy.
Frost: Remove the cookie bars from the pan if you used parchment paper, if not leave them in the pan. Spread the frosting onto the bars then cut them into 12 pieces then serve.
Though these sugar cookie bars are pretty simple, here are some tips to help you out with this recipe:
- For Making Them Ahead: Once the cookie bars have cooled, cover them and store them in the fridge or on the counter. Store the frosting in the fridge, and then decorate the next day!
- Don’t Over-Mix the Flour: This can take away from the soft, cake-like texture of the cookie bars.
- Do Not Over-Bake: You don’t want to burn these soft and chewy cookies! When the edges start to turn golden, pull the pan out and let the whole thing finish cooking as it cools.
- Dye the Frosting: Maybe a light green or cheery red if you want! Experiment with a few drops of food coloring.
These cookie bars can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week. If you want to freeze the bars before frosting them, they will stay good in an airtight container for about 3 months.
There are a ton of ways to change up these sugar cookie bars to make them appeal to different tastes, flavors or seasons! Here are a few of my favorites I have tried over the years:
- Extracts: Extracts are a great way to change the flavor of these sugar cookie bars. In this recipe, I use my favorite, a combination of vanilla extract and almond. A few other extracts that you can try: lemon, orange, coconut, maple etc.
- Zest: If you want these to have a citrus flavor (lime, lemon or orange!), adding some fresh zest will make the flavor pop. You can also add the zest to the icing if you really want them to have a ton of citrus flavor.
- Icing: I used a classic whipped cream cheese frosting. However, regular buttercream are also always delicious on top of these bars. My homemade Easy Chocolate Buttercream Frosting would also be delicious on top.
- Toppings: There are endless topping ideas! My kids love when I top mine with sprinkles, crushed candy canes or even m&m’s!
For the Cookie Bars:
- 1 ½ sticks, 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 ⅔ cups granulated sugar
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
For the Frosting:
- 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
- 4 oz cream cheese, softened
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- A pinch of salt
- 3 cups powdered sugar
For The Cookie Bars:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and prepare a 9×13 baking dish with parchment paper or spray with non-stick spray then set aside.
- Cream the butter and granulated sugar together, then sift in the powdered sugar and beat again until light and fluffy.
- Add the egg, vanilla extract and almond extract and beat again until smooth.
- Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a separate bowl and whisk until well combined.
- Pour the flour mixture into the wet ingredients and beat until well combined. Then press dough the together with your hands until it fully comes together.
- Press dough evenly into the prepared baking dish and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the sides puff up and the top starts to crack.
- Remove from the oven and cool completely before icing. (You can speed up the cooling by popping the baked cookie into the fridge.)
For the frosting:
- Beat the butter and cream cheese together until light and fluffy.
- Add the vanilla extract and the dash of salt and beat until
- Sift in the powdered sugar a cup at a time and beat until
smooth and fluffy.
- Remove the cookie bars from the pan if you used parchment paper, if not leave them in the pan. Spread the frosting onto the bars then cut them into 12 pieces and serve.
More Christmas Cookies to Try
Looking to bake some more delicious Christmas cookies? Check out these other reader favorites!
- The Best Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies
- Gingerdoodle Cookies
- Buttery Spritz Cookies
- Peanut Butter Blossoms
- White Chocolate Dipped Gingersnap Cookies
- Old Fashioned Christmas Pinwheel Cookies
- Red & Green M&M Cookies
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.