Sugar Cookie Bars and Mom’s Frosting Recipe

 Sugar Cookie Bars

My husband’s all-time favorite dessert is a sugar cookie. My mom makes the best sugar cookies, but I don’t make them very often because it takes so much time to cut out the individual shapes, bake a million batches of them, and then decorate each cookie. It is seriously an all-day project!

This recipe is like an answer to prayers. :)
It is basically one HUGE sugar cookie baked on ONE cookie sheet . . . the prep time and bake time is so short . . . and you only have to frost one LARGE cookie.
And they taste SO GOOD.
I don’t know if I will make sugar cookies again after trying this recipe . . .
So next time you are craving a delicious sugar cookie, but don’t feel like doing all the work,

Sugar Cookie Bars:

1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 3/4  cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda

1. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing after each egg. Mix in vanilla.
2. In a separate bowl whisk together flour, salt and baking soda. Add to wet mixture and mix just until combined. Spread on a greased, rimmed baking sheet (use a 13x18x1″ pan/cookie sheet).  The dough will be just like cookie dough- heavy and sticky- so it’s best to spray your hands with a little nonstick spray and use them to help mold the dough into the pan.
3. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 – 12 min, until light golden brown or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.

Mom’s Frosting:

1/2 cup (1 stick) margarine or butter, softened
3 tablespoons milk
2 tsp vanilla
4 cups powdered sugar (more or less depending on how thick/runny you like it)
A couple of drops blue food coloring (or any other color) to get desired blue color (optional)

Combine all ingredients until well-blended. Spread on top of bars. Top with sprinkles if you want!

Sugar Cookie Collage

Here are a few more of our favorite desserts:
Lunch Lady Peanut Butter Bars
Lunch Lady Brownies
Congo Bars
Salted Nut Roll Peanut Bars
Butterfinger Blondies

sugar cookie bars 1

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Adapted from The Repressed Pastry Chef
and Lady with the Red Rocker

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  1. Pam says

    My husband loved these; I didn’t frost them and decreased the salt to just a dash and increased the baking soda to 1 tsp. They took 20 mins to cook in my oven and they were delicious!
    So this morning I decided I wanted to change them to molasses cookie bars (another hubby favorite). So I substituted 1 cup molasses for 1 cup of sugar; omitted vanilla and salt and increased baking soda to 1 tsp. and flour to 6 cups plus added 1 1/2 tsp ground ginger. Sprinkled top with sugar and baked 20 mins. Delicious!!
    Now I don’t have to roll out sugar or molasses cookies anymore.
    Thank you for the recipe!!

  2. says

    Made these tonight, they tasted yummy. I followed the directions to a T, but the whole cookie turned out dry. I only left it in the oven for 10 minutes. Next time I’ll take them out sooner. Also, I followed the icing recipe to a T and put all 4 cups of powdered sugar in and it was sooooo runny. It made the cookie bars a mess to eat because they were so runny. I would have added more sugar to it but I had just 4 cups exactly and I had already run to the store for milk. As I said, tasted excellent! My hubby and I will be snacking on these all week! Quick question, did you store them in the fridge because of the milk and butter in the icing?

  3. says

    I made these today and they were SO good. I feel ill because I ate so much. Cooked for 25 minutes and still were gooey in the middle, just perfect. Was going to makes ome for a friend but didn’t know if I should refridgerate them overnight or can they sit out given the butter in the frosting? Thanks!

  4. says

    I made these and they were SUPER dry… I like my cookies and all baked goods for that matter to be nice and chewy..These were definitely unlike any sugar cookies I’d ever had. More on the shortbread side I’d say.

    The only thing I did differently was make them in a slightly smaller cookie sheet since I didn’t have a 13x18x1.

    The icing was pretty good though! Be prepared to add more powdered sugar, as it was very runny with just 4 cups.

  5. says

    I’ve made these twice. The first time, I loved the flavor, but they were a little dry. The 2nd time I made them, I left out about 1/4 cup of flour, baked them for 15 min and they are perfect! Also, I didn’t use quite as much milk in the frosting.

  6. says

    I just finished making these-they are cooling waiting to be frosted! The top layer is a little lumpy and the icing was very runny- I even added more powdered sugar to thicken it up! I snuck a bite of cookie and it is dry not chewy! I am pretty bummed because it does not look anything like the picture! I followed the directions to a T but I must have missed something…. :(

  7. says

    My cousin found your recipe on pintrest and sent it to me. As I was checking out your blog, I realized I know 2 of the sisters. It is Cami. The seamstress from DownEast. Your blog is super fun. I am definitely going to be trying out this recipe. We love sugar cookies at my house. :)

  8. says

    I getting ready to make these for a church picnic (looking for fast and simple). I just thought I’d give my two sense to the ladies who have had trouble with runny frosting and dry dough/cookies. Besides the amount of moisture in the air that also makes a difference (and sometimes altitude) people scoop flour (and powdered sugar) totally differently. I read somewhere (I think in my America’s Best Recipes book) that the amount of flour between scoopers could vary up to a 1/4 C per 1 C scoop because of either looseness or packed-ness (I’m surrounded by children and my vocabulary and ability to be brief and concise are totally gone). Anyway, when I scoop flour from my bucket (I do a lot of baking and have a restaurant style food bucket with a snap-on lid) I fluff it up and scoop up the loose flour so that it mounds and give it a good couple shake back and forth so that the flour is level with the top of the cup. Anyway, this comment was $5 big but really only worth 2 cents.

  9. says

    I made a batch of these bar cookies last night with my 3-year old daughter. We had so much fun making them together and they turned out beautifully! I did not make any changes to the recipe and not only did the cookies turn out nice and chewy (I cooked them for 10 minutes), the frosting was not runny at all with 4 cups of powdered sugar. In fact, I had to add about a teaspoon more milk to the frosting to make it a little more spreadable. Thank you for the wonderful recipe! Next time we are going to try the peanut butter bar cookies with chocolate frosting.

  10. Brittany says

    Just made these for a cookout. They were def a huge hit. Even my diabetic grandfather snuck one! Replaced the 1/2 tsp of bking soda w/ 2 tsp of baking powder and used maple syrup instead of vanilla extract (because I just didn’t have any haha). They were both dense (but not extra doughy) AND fluffy. Had store-bought frosting on hand so I just used that. Thank you so much for sharing!!

    • Kimberly says

      I just made these yesterday with my son. They were OK, but I thought they turned out cake-ier than the ones in the blog post. They were more like a sugar cookie brownie, but a bit dry (maybe like a cornbread texture). Anyway, my kids and their friends didn’t seem to mind much LOL.

      I think I’ll try them again after Thanksgiving using a little less flour to see if they end up more like a cookie bar and less like a cake.

  11. karen corey says

    I just made these cookies, they turned out great. To the comments about them being so dry. You have to measure flour right. You can’t shove a cup into a flour bag and expect to get the same results. You need to have a small scoop & put that into your measuring cup then use a knife to scrap off. Again excellent recipe ladies.

    • Cyd says

      Hi Susan. We are not sure if the store bought cookie dough would be enough to cover the whole cookie sheet. You may need to look at the packaging and see if it gives you options in making it in a bar form. We have only followed the recipe as directed. If it wasn’t enough dough, you just may need to buy 2 packages. Sorry we aren’t more help.

  12. Gabriella says

    Just made these today they were fabulous! I made the cookie bars as directed and then I just went to the store and bought pre made frosting and colored it! Thanks for posting! They are great!

  13. Cammee says

    I’m curious why the change in flour measurement? I know it’s different than what I’ve made tons of times and they were perfect. I’m regretting not printing the recipe! Was it 5 cups previously?

    • Cyd says

      Hi Cammee, we had a lot of comments on the bars being too dry, so we tried the recipe again and reduced the flour by 1/4 cup. 4 3/4 to 5 cups will work. How packed your flour is can also make a difference. These are a family favorite!!

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