brownies & bars

{cookie sheet} Sugar Cookie Bars

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Soft, thick sugar cookie bars topped with a creamy and sweet frosting and baked in a sheet pan. Perfect for a large crowd, potluck, picnic, or a party. Change up the frosting color & sprinkles for different events, parties, and/or birthdays!

Soft, thick sugar cookie bars topped with a creamy and sweet frosting and baked in a sheet pan and perfect for a large crowd. Change up the frosting color & sprinkles for different events, parties, and/or birthdays

 If you need a crowd pleasing dessert that will feed the masses then you need these cookie sheet sugar cookie bars! These are my go-to treat to make when I need to make dessert for a large crowd or potluck gathering.

I also love to make these for any celebration, birthday, or Holiday. Change up the frosting colors and use coordinating sprinkles for a festive look for any event.

I most recently made these for my daughter’s back-to-school Shopkins party. We decorated with bright pink frosting and loads of colorful sprinkles. I’ve also made these for Christmas almost every year; use red or green frosting and sprinkle with Christmas colored sprinkles.

These are so fun to make and even yummier to eat! It will be hard to stop at just one. Trust me 🙂 

Soft, thick sugar cookie bars topped with a creamy and sweet frosting and baked in a sheet pan and perfect for a large crowd. Change up the frosting color & sprinkles for different events, parties, and/or birthdays

Soft, thick sugar cookie bars topped with a creamy and sweet frosting and baked in a sheet pan and perfect for a large crowd. Change up the frosting color & sprinkles for different events, parties, and/or birthdays

 I already have these sugar cookies on the blog and they are super thick & soft and even hold their shape while baking. Then there are these sugar cookie bars that are more of a lighter (not calories!) sugar cookie bar because they have powdered sugar instead of all white sugar. Today’s {sheet pan} sugar cookie bars are so flavorful, thick, soft, sweet, and bake up perfectly each time.

I actually prefer these sugar cookie bars because they are so soft and chewy and the recipe makes a ton so it makes for a fun dessert to feed a crowd or serve at a party. My kids have actually requested these sugar cookie bars as their birthday cake!

Soft, thick sugar cookie bars topped with a creamy and sweet frosting and baked in a sheet pan and perfect for a large crowd. Change up the frosting color & sprinkles for different events, parties, and/or birthdays

My very favorite way to eat these sugar cookie bars is cold straight from the fridge. Oh my! promise me you’ll try it this way if you make these. Whatever extras we have I always keep them in the fridge. Your mind will be blown when you try one of these cold. The bars are extra chewy and the icing is cool and creamy. It’s so yummy.

Soft, thick sugar cookie bars topped with a creamy and sweet frosting and baked in a sheet pan and perfect for a large crowd. Change up the frosting color & sprinkles for different events, parties, and/or birthdays

Soft, thick sugar cookie bars topped with a creamy and sweet frosting and baked in a sheet pan and perfect for a large crowd. Change up the frosting color & sprinkles for different events, parties, and/or birthdays

Tips for making Sugar Cookie Bars

  • Beat the butter and sugar until it is light in color and fluffy looking. This takes about 2 minutes and it may seem like a long time but do it anyways. Getting the butter and sugar nice and fluffy makes a huge difference in the texture of the cookie bars.
  • To make spreading the dough into the cookie sheet easy; simply drop spoonful’s of the dough (I use a large ice cream scoop) all over the cookie sheet and then use your fingers/hands to spread it out. If you need to, spray your hands with some cooking spray to help with the dough sticking to your hands. 
  • These are easier to cut if the frosting has had time to set up and harden. To speed this along I like to mix up the frosting while the bars are baking and then put it in the fridge until the bars have completely cooled. By this time, the frosting will be cold and harder. Spread it on top of the cooled bars and then cut into squares using a pizza cutter to make cutting easy. You can also store the frosted cookie bars in the fridge to keep them cold and to help the frosting set up. 
  • I prefer these cookie bars cold so I store mine in the fridge.

Sugar Cookie Bars | Sheet Pan Cookie Bars | Soft, thick sugar cookie bars topped with a creamy and sweet frosting and baked in a sheet pan. Perfect for a large crowd, potluck, picnic, or a party. #easydessertrecipe #dessert #dessertrecipe #sugarcookiebars #cookiebars

5 from 3 votes
Soft, thick sugar cookie bars topped with a creamy and sweet frosting and baked in a sheet pan and perfect for a large crowd. Change up the frosting color & sprinkles for different events, parties, and/or birthdays
{sheet pan} Sugar Cookie Bars
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
30 mins
 

Soft, thick sugar cookie bars topped with a creamy and sweet frosting and baked in a sheet pan. Perfect for a large crowd, potluck, picnic, or a party. Change up the frosting color and sprinkles for any Holiday or celebration. 

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: dessert, sheet pan, sugar cookie bars
Servings: 40 bars
Author: Jessica - Together as Family
Ingredients
sugar cookie bars
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
cream cheese frosting
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2-4 tablespoons heavy cream
  • food coloring & sprinkles, if desired
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a cookie sheet (12"x17" or 13"x18") by spraying with cooking spray.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, or using a hand held mixer, cream butter and sugar until light & fluffy. This will take 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing after each egg. Add vanilla and mix well.
  4. In a separate bowl combine flour, salt, baking soda and stir with a whisk to combine. Add to the wet mixture and mix just until combined. Spread onto the prepared cookie sheet.

  5. Bake for 12-15 min, until edges are light golden brown and the center looks pale & puffy and slightly undercooked. Mine usually take the full 15 minutes. Let cool completely.

  6. For the frosting: Mix butter and cream cheese until smooth and creamy. Add vanilla and almond extracts. Blend. Add powdered sugar in 1-2 cup increments until combined, then add milk a little at a time and mix until smooth and spreading consistency. Spread over cooled cookie bars. 

Recipe Notes

I love the flavor of the almond extract in the frosting but I have also made it several times with all vanilla extract. Do whatever you prefer.

 

This frosting is supposed to be on the thicker side. As always, add more or less powdered sugar and milk depending on your desired consistency.

Sugar Cookie Bars | Sheet Pan Cookie Bars | Soft, thick sugar cookie bars topped with a creamy and sweet frosting and baked in a sheet pan. Perfect for a large crowd, potluck, picnic, or a party. #easydessertrecipe #dessert #dessertrecipe #sugarcookiebars #cookiebars

 

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47 Comments

  • Reply
    Carol
    February 24, 2017 at 6:09 pm Do these cookie bars have to be kept refrigerated due to the cream cheese in the frosting?
    • Reply
      Together As Family
      February 24, 2017 at 7:03 pm They're actually really good cold. If you are serving them for an event or gathering, I would take them out of the fridge like 15 minutes or so before serving so that they can soften up a bit. I've never stored them in the fridge cause I usually just leave them on a plate covered in plastic wrap. But if you know that there will be lots of extra then yes, I would probably store them in the fridge as they might last several days. They can certainly be stored there if you're worried about the cream cheese. I hope that helps!
  • Reply
    Kathi
    February 28, 2017 at 10:11 am made 2 1/2 sheet pans of these ( 12x18 ) for my kids to take to work with them, not a single cookie left, and i cut into 9x6 so it would go around , i am going to make another round in green and lime for st pattys day , best cookies on all of creation , thank you
    • Reply
      Together As Family
      February 28, 2017 at 10:46 am Hi Kathi! Thanks so much for your comment. So happy to hear that they were loved by all. My kids, and my husband & I, can't control ourselves around these either, lol :) I love your St Patricks Day idea. That's one of my favorite things about these bars is that you can customize them for whatever holiday you want.
  • Reply
    Gila
    April 27, 2017 at 9:17 am Hi you had said they are lighter because they are made with powdered sugar but in the recipe it calls for granulated sugar. Which type of sugar should I use?
    • Reply
      Together As Family
      April 27, 2017 at 10:24 am Hey Gila! So sorry for the confusion. The recipe as written is correct. Use granulated sugar. In my post I was referring to the other sugar cookie bars that are on my blog (these ones ---> https://togetherasfamily.com/2015/08/sugar-cookie-bars/ ) Those ones are made with powdered sugar. Texture is a bit different. I actually prefer these cookie sheet ones over the other ones. I still make both and love both, but these ones are my favorite! I hope you enjoy.
  • Reply
    Lauren
    August 5, 2017 at 9:17 pm Loved this recipe, but the frosting was very dry, and I had to change it 3 or 4 times before I got it to a decent consistency. Any advice on how to avoid that in the future?
    • Reply
      Together As Family
      August 5, 2017 at 10:03 pm Not sure what you mean by hard but it is supposed to be a thicker frosting so that way it sets up nicely on the bars. It is not supposed to be a soft, cupcake-like frosting (if that's what you mean by it's hard). As with any frosting recipe, just add less powdered sugar or more milk if you want a soft frosting that does not set up. Hopefully that helps :) Happy to hear you liked the bars. They are one of our favorites!
  • Reply
    Tom
    August 25, 2017 at 4:42 pm Made these last night, they were so dry and crumbley. The recipe calls for 5 cups of flour. Way to much for a sugar cookie or bar. The icing was pretty awful. It tasted like sweet butter. And not in a good way. I love frosting!! My favorite part of any dessert.The half stick of butter was not needed in the frosting. Great idea, but didn't taste good.
    • Reply
      Together As Family
      August 25, 2017 at 4:54 pm Sorry to hear these did not work out for you. If they were dry & crumbly it sounds like you probably over baked them. They should come out of the oven still looking pale and slightly underdone in the middle. As far as the flour that is the correct amount. I've made these dozens of times and they turn out great with the recipe as is. As far as the frosting, it is a buttercream frosting which does taste like sweet butter :) I add the cream cheese to cut back on the sweetness. The frosting is sweet but most frostings are. Thanks for coming back to comment with your suggestions.
    • Reply
      Brooke
      May 9, 2018 at 7:14 pm I made these last night and they were perfect. I followed the directions and ingredients as is. I agree- if they were dry and crumbly you most likely overbaked them or your oven temp is off. As for the frosting it’s like a buttercream. They key to a good buttercream is really whipping/mixing the butter first thing. You want it to almost be white before you add anything else. If you don’t do this- it won’t be as good and it will just taste like butter. I added 3or 4Tbsp of the heavy whipping cream. I love to bake. I bake all the time and always try new recipes. This is a recipe I will make again. A few things I do to ensure things come out correctly any time I bake - I have my own oven thermometer and anytime I try a new recipe I set my timer for 5 minutes before anything should be done. That way- I never overbake anything.
      • Reply
        Together As Family
        May 16, 2018 at 10:06 pm Awesome! Thank you so much for your tips.
  • Reply
    Hannah
    September 22, 2017 at 5:58 pm These turned out DIVINE! My family loves them and they were so easy to whip up! There weren't many positive reviews, so I was kind of nervous, but I'm so glad I went with my gut (literally haha) and made them. My new favorite crowd pleasing dessert! Followed the recipe and they turned out like your pictures. Thanks for sharing!
    • Reply
      Together As Family
      September 22, 2017 at 6:11 pm Hi. I am so HAPPY to hear that you love these. I personally am shocked at the bad reviews because I have made these no less than dozens of times and never had a problem. Thank you for letting me know. It made my day to hear this :)
  • Reply
    Suzi
    October 30, 2017 at 3:23 pm Hi, I'm not an experienced baker but I really want to try these!! Is the butter suppose to be salted or unsalted? Thank you!
    • Reply
      Together As Family
      October 30, 2017 at 10:58 pm I always use salted butter when baking. I think it adds much more flavor. You could use unsalted butter but you may need to add more salt. If you don't have a lot of experience baking then I would for sure use salted butter and follow the recipe because that's what I use. I hope that helps. Good luck! Let me know if you have any other questions. I'd love to help.
  • Reply
    Jamie
    November 3, 2017 at 5:54 am This definitely is a keeper. These sugar cookie bars are fabulous, and very addicting, and yes I like them better cold as well. Good either way,I've made these like 5or6 times now and will continue making them. Thank you for such a good recipe, I'm so glad I found it pn Pinterest. Everyone should pin this they're that good ! SINCERELY,Jamie
    • Reply
      Together As Family
      November 4, 2017 at 10:52 pm YAY! So glad to hear you love these. Easily these bars are one of my very favorite recipes on my blog. I love changing up the color of frosting and sprinkles. Thanks so much for letting me know.
  • Reply
    KimPo
    November 5, 2017 at 12:01 am I made these for my son’s birthday today-(even though he’s 18). He loves sugar cookies so this pan variety was perfect for our family get together (and they’re ALL good cooks...no pressure right?) Almost cooked them too long, I added a few minutes, next time I won’t. In the fridge to chill before serving and added custom coloring to the frosting=great dessert! Also - accidentally added almond flavoring to the batter instead of the frosting but it was really tasty. Will definitely do that again. Can’t wait to have another cookie tomorrow with tea. Love that delicate almond flavoring, perfect! Thank you so much for this recipe!
    • Reply
      Together As Family
      November 5, 2017 at 9:10 pm You're so welcome! So happy to hear they were a hit. Yes, these bars are tricky because I am always tempted to leave them in the oven because they always look so pale but that's a good thing! They come together nicely while cooling. Good to know about the butter, thanks! I always bake with salted so it's good to know the changes with unsalted.
  • Reply
    KimPo
    November 5, 2017 at 12:07 am Also - I only had unsalted butter so I added 1/4 tsp salt for each 1/2cup stick (1/2 tsp salt total) while mixing the sugar and butter.
  • Reply
    Broek
    November 7, 2017 at 3:53 pm I'm in 7th grade and my social studies teacher made these and they were amazing and I just wanted more thank you!
    • Reply
      Together As Family
      November 11, 2017 at 1:49 am Thank you so much! Makes me happy to hear you all enjoyed these ☺️
  • Reply
    E
    November 21, 2017 at 12:33 am Hi, do you use brown or white sugar?
    • Reply
      Together As Family
      November 21, 2017 at 1:09 pm White granulated sugar
  • Reply
    Dee
    January 28, 2018 at 6:40 pm this maybe a silly question but wouldn't you put them in a pan with sides so they don't spread out to thin?
    • Reply
      Together As Family
      January 29, 2018 at 4:46 pm Not a silly question at all! You'll want a cookie sheet with sides on it. If you use a flat cookie sheet then yes it would spread and spill all over the place. I'll clarify that in the recipe 😊
  • Reply
    Cassy
    February 7, 2018 at 4:35 pm Hi, if you leave out the almond extract do you double the vanilla? Or just leave out the almond?
    • Reply
      Together As Family
      February 11, 2018 at 10:29 pm Sorry for my late response! Just use additional vanilla extract if you're not using the almond. Enjoy!
  • Reply
    Jane
    February 9, 2018 at 4:41 pm Made these this afternoon and I'm soo glad I did! I did make a couple of changes, one out of necessity - I cut the recipe in half and baked in a 9 x 13 pan. I thought I had more sugar than I did - only to discover there wasn't much left in the bin. (just went grocery shopping yesterday too for crying out loud lol). The other change was, I dissolved a teaspoon of instant coffee in the vanilla for a coffee flavor cookie, and did the same with the frosting as well. I also added some cocoa to the frosting and BAM...mocha coffee cookie bars :) I can see myself making these over and over again, maybe as per the recipe next time or some other flavor combination I'm in the mood for at the time lol
    • Reply
      Together As Family
      February 11, 2018 at 10:17 pm I love your coffee cookie bars idea. So smart! And yes, I know all too well the woes of forgetting things at the store. I am pretty much at a grocery store every single day, haha :) Story of my life. So glad to hear you loved these bars. They are definitely one of my family's favorites.
  • Reply
    Lori W
    March 22, 2018 at 3:23 pm These are WONDERFUL. They went so fast I'm going to make them again today. The recipe was perfect and they turned out just like the picture. I have one question. Could you use this recipe to roll out and cut into individual shapes? Obviously the cooking time would be different but they just taste soooo good I want to try this also.
    • Reply
      Together As Family
      March 27, 2018 at 11:42 pm Awesome! We LOVE these too :) I have never tried making these into cut out sugar cookies so I honestly have no clue. Wish I could actually be of help. Happy to hear these were a hit. I love making these for the different Holidays and just change up the frosting color and sprinkles!
  • Reply
    Deanna
    April 28, 2018 at 5:22 pm What can I use in place of the cream cheese? My husband really dislikes cream cheese. Thank you!
    • Reply
      Together As Family
      April 29, 2018 at 8:38 pm Just a regular buttercream frosting will work. Although, the point of the cream cheese is to cut down the sweetness of the frosting, so if you use a buttercream frosting then just know it may be really sweet. Which is not the worst thing in the world :)
  • Reply
    Lisa Douglas
    June 25, 2018 at 10:55 am Your blog mentions that these are lighter in texture because you use powdered sugar in the cookie, yet your recipe calls for granulated sugar. Which is it?
    • Reply
      Together As Family
      June 30, 2018 at 7:16 pm I was just referencing another sugar cookie bar recipe that I have on my blog (in my text). I even linked to it so people would know I was talking about that one. The recipe for these cookie sheet sugar cookie bars is correct and uses the granulated sugar :)
      • Reply
        Lisa Douglas
        July 15, 2018 at 8:47 am Thanks for the clarification. I'm sure I misread your post.
  • Reply
    Therresa
    September 13, 2018 at 4:07 pm I had to make a quick pan of bars for a church function tonight. The bars are cooling, and the frosting is in the fridge as I type. I tasted the batter and the frosting, and I just know that this will be an excellent recipe. Thanks so much for sharing your recipe with the world!! I won't be there tonight to try the finished product, but I plan on making another pan of these tomorrow for the family. Been baking for 20 plus years, and I know that this will be a hit! Thanks again!
    • Reply
      Together As Family
      September 14, 2018 at 4:35 pm That's so good to hear! I make these all the time for church functions as well...… and like every Holiday decorated with coordinating icing color and sprinkles. We love these bars. Thanks for your sweet comment and hope everyone loved them.
  • Reply
    Chrissie
    October 1, 2018 at 10:02 am These were great! I made them for a church event with purple frosting and start sprinkles and they were a hit. My only advice would be to add the dry ingredients in two parts - I added it all at once and had a very messy counter top by the end of it!
    • Reply
      Together As Family
      October 2, 2018 at 1:27 pm Ah, yes. Good point about adding the flour in two parts. I usually just have to mix it in at the lowest speed but I guess there are still some flour poofs from that even. I'll make note of that in the recipe. Thank you for coming back to leave your comment.
  • Reply
    Christina
    November 28, 2018 at 2:05 pm Can the frosting be made without cream cheese by any chance?
    • Reply
      Together As Family
      December 13, 2018 at 1:56 pm Yes you can. You may need more powdered sugar and it will be much sweeter than the cream cheese version, but yes it can made without it :)
  • Reply
    Katie
    December 3, 2018 at 6:00 pm These were such a hit!!! Made them for a bake sale and they sold like hot cakes! Do they freeze well? Looking to make them this weekend for the holidays.
    • Reply
      Together As Family
      December 13, 2018 at 1:49 pm They never last long enough for me test out freezing them, lol :) I think it would be ok but I can't say for sure.
  • Reply
    Christine
    December 6, 2018 at 6:04 am Hi, thank you for the recipe! Do you know if these can be frozen?
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