These soft and tender frosted sugar cookie bars are made with cream cheese, and frosted with a light and fluffy whipped buttercream. Perfect for any holiday or occasion, you can customize them with your favorite sprinkles!
Baking is always one of my favorite things about the holidays, and it’s one tradition that is likely to be in overdrive at our house this year! If spending all day in the kitchen making cookies isn’t your thing though, you’re in luck. Because these Frosted Sugar Cookie Bars could NOT be easier.
If you love sugar cookies but you’re exhausted just thinking about all the rolling and cutting, this is the recipe for you. Just press that dough into a pan, and put it in the oven. Whip up an easy creamy whipped buttercream frosting and top with all the sprinkles.
Here’s why these are the best frosted sugar cookie bars
- Cream cheese: If you usually find sugar cookies kind of bland, you’ll love the hint of tang that cream cheese gives these bars. It also makes them really tender.
- Whipped buttercream: Buttercream frosting can be greasy, heavy and overly sweet, but just a little whipping cream and some extra time with the mixer makes it super light and fluffy.
- Super versatile and transportable: I kept these simple this time, but see below for some ways you could customize these bars for any occasion. These also travel really well and are perfect to bring to parties and potlucks. but you can add some food color to the frosting to make it any color you like, choose your favorite sprinkles, or add any extract you like to the dough, from peppermint to lemon to almond.
Suggestions to customize sugar cookie bars
- Color the frosting – Add a few drops of food color to this basic white frosting to make any color you like.
- Flavor the frosting – Add a few drops of an extract like almond or peppermint, or try lemon or orange zest.
- Add sprinkles to the dough – I chose to leave the sprinkles for the top this time, but you can also add some to the dough. Fold in about 3/4 cup of sprinkles after you’ve incorporated the flour mixture. Be sure to use “jimmies” (the long sprinkles), and not the little balls (nonpareils), as those are too small and just bleed into the dough.
- Start by combining the softened butter and cream cheese until smooth.
- Add the sugar and cream together.
- Add an egg and the vanilla extract and mix until combined.
4. In another bowl, combine the flour, salt, and baking powder.
5. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and stir to incorporate until all the flour is mixed in.
6. Transfer the dough to a 9 x 13 pan lined with aluminum foil (leave an overhang to help lift the bars out once baked). Spread the dough evenly into the pan. This is a soft and sticky cookie dough, so I find the easiest way is to wet my fingertips and press it down with my hands. Otherwise a spatula coated with baking spray will work
7. Transfer to a 350F oven and bake for about 25 minutes until the top is just very lightly browned. Cool completely on a rack before frosting.
8. Make the frosting: In a large bowl, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth.
9. Add the confectioner’s sugar 1/2 cup at a time on low speed. Once all the sugar is added, turn up the speed to high, and whip for about 2-3 minutes. Add the whipping cream and whip for another 3-4 minutes until very light and fluffy.
10. Spread the buttercream evenly over the cooled bars.
11. Add sprinkles and cut into bars.
frosted sugar cookie bars
- 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup unsalted butter softened
- 8 oz cream cheese (1 package)
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 cups flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter softened
- 3 cups icing sugar
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- pinch salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- red and green sprinkles for decorating
- Preheat the oven to 350 F and line a 9 x 13 inch baking pan with aluminum foil, leaving an overhang to help lift the bars out.
- In a large bowl, mix together the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add the sugar, and cream together with an electric mixer, 2-3 minutes. Mix in the vanilla extract and egg.
- Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in another bowl and stir into the butter mixture until well combined.
- Press the dough evenly into the prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes, until just lightly browned on top. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and cool completely.
- Remove the bars from the pan using the foil overhang.
- Frost the bars with the buttercream and sprinkle with red and green sprinkles. Cut and serve.
- In a large bowl, beat the butter with an electric mixer until smooth.
- Gradually add the sugar and mix on low speed to combine. Switch to high speed and whip for about 3-4 minutes until fluffy.
- Add the whipped cream, salt and vanilla extract and whip again for 3-4 minutes until very light and fluffy.
Hi! I’m Ann and I blog at Our Happy Mess. I’m all about fast, fresh, and family-friendly recipes. I believe cooking from scratch can not only be doable but FUN, no matter how busy life gets!
You can find more of my recipes at Our Happy Mess.