Sugar Cookie Bars have all the best qualities of sugar cookies but are made in half the time!
A sweet one-bowl treat with minimal ingredients
This simple recipe is one of our favorite “go-to’s” because it’s so easy for those times when you need to bring a treat somewhere, or just need your own sugar fix, but you need it fast!
Ready to get started? Just click on our “jump to recipe” button below to go straight to the recipe card. For tips, processes, and substitutions read the full post below.
These treats are ready in about 30 minutes, with no chilling, and one bowl means less cleanup. Always a win-win in our book!
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Ingredients for Sugar Cookie Bars
- Sugar – These are sugar cookie bars, after all 😀
- Flour – all-purpose is best
- Butter – At room temperature. We used unsalted butter, but if you only have salted butter you can use that but cut the salt below to 1/4th teaspoon
- Vanilla Extract – Have you tried making your own vanilla? It’s easy!
- Whole Egg + an Egg Yolk – The additional yolk acts as a binder, makes the cookie bars extra chewy, and adds moisture to these bars. Save the extra white for another use (maybe tomorrows breakfast!)
- Salt – Salt always helps balance the sweetness in baked goods
- Sprinkles – Optional, but everyone loves sprinkles!
How to make Sugar Cookie Bars
The method is simple so just follow these easy steps:
- Preheat the oven to 375˚F
- Prepare an 8″x 8″ square baking pan by lining it with parchment paper or lightly spray with nonstick cooking spray. (see below for tips on using parchment)
- Cream the butter for about 1 minute until lightly fluffy
- Add the sugar and beat for 2 more minutes. The mixture should be light and fluffy. Be sure to stop and scrape the bowl once or twice to make sure everything is fully combined
- Gently beat in the whole egg, the egg yolk, and the vanilla and mix until just combined
- Turn off the mixer, add the flour and salt, and mix until blended and no streaks remain
- Fold in 3 Tablespoons of the sprinkles and gently combine
- Spread mixture evenly into the prepared pan and scatter the remaining sprinkles over the top
- Bake for 21-23 minutes, or until lightly browned on the edges
- Be careful not to overbake. The center will not be brown – just the edges. The bars are done when they lose their glossy sheen and will continue to bake, after they’ve been removed from the oven, while cooling
- Remove bars from the oven and let them cool completely in the pan
- Once cooled lift the bars out with the parchment paper “handles”
- Place on a cutting board and cut into 16 squares
- NOTE: If planning to frost the bars it’s easier to frost them before cutting
These cookie bars are perfect for make-ahead: Store the cookie bars, covered, at room temperature, for up to 5 days. If frosting your bars store them in the refrigerator instead.
To Freeze: Let the pan cool completely and then cut into bars. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and put in freezer bag or airtight container. Freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw completely in the refrigerator or on the countertop.
Sugar Cookie Bar Variations
You can customize these bars for any season or occasion by switching the color of the sprinkles. It’s easy to make these into Christmas sugar cookie bars with Christmas sprinkles or sweet Valentines Day sprinkle bars. They are perfect for the 4th of July with red, white, and blue sprinkles!
Here are some of our favorite variations:
- In place of vanilla: Use almond extract or add 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice and some lemon zest for lemon sugar cookie bars
- Sprinkles: Here’s your chance to customize – any fun sprinkles will work! We used rainbow sprinkles in our bars.
- Instead of Sprinkles: chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, crushed Oreos, dried cherries, or cranberries
- Frosted Cookie Bars: The only thing that can make these cookie bars better is to slather them with homemade buttercream frosting!
- Doubling: You can double this recipe and bake in a 9″ x 13″ pan. They may need a few extra minutes of cooking time.
Tips and Tricks
- Room temperature butter works best
- Separating eggs is easier when the eggs are cold
- When lining the pan with parchment it helps to clip the sides with binder clips. They won’t melt in the oven and it keeps the parchment in place. See picture below ⬇️
Looking for other amazingly easy treats?
- Scrumptious Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie (also called a pizookie) is an easy twist on traditional chocolate chippers
- One Bowl Brownies are a cinch with tons of rich chocolate flavor
- Banana Bread with Chocolate Chips is another easy one bowl treat
Sugar Cookie Bars
- 1 8-inch square baking pan
- Stand or hand mixer
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 ¼ cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup sprinkles, optional
- Preheat oven to 375° F. Lightly butter, or line with parchment paper, an 8-inch square baking pan leaving some overhang to let you easily remove the bars later.
- In a large bowl, using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or hand-held mixer, cream the butter for about 1 minute. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 more minutes. Scrape the side of the bowl occasionally.
- Beat in the whole egg, egg yolk, and vanilla until just combined.
- Turn off the mixer and add the flour and salt. Blend gently just until combined and no streaks remain. Scrape bowl if needed.
- Add in most of the sprinkles (about 2/3rds), if using, and mix with a rubber spatula. (The sprinkles could shatter if using the mixing blade to mix them in)
- Press the batter into the prepared pan and evenly smooth the top and then scatter the remaining sprinkles on top.
- Bake for 21-23 minutes or until lightly browned on the edges and top. The top should no longer be shiny.These bars are supposed to be soft so be careful not to overbake them because every oven bakes differently.
- Remove from the oven and allow the pan to cool completely on a cooling rack. The middle may sink a little but that is normal.
- Remove the entire square from the pan by loosening the edges and lifting them out or use the parchment overhang. Place on a cutting board.Cut into about 16 pieces.
- If frosting the bars it's easier to frost them before cutting.
- Store in an airtight container and keep at room temperature for up to 5 days.
- These bars can be tightly wrapped and frozen for up to 2 months
- Store, sealed, at room temperature for up to 5 days
- Substitutions ideas for sprinkles: chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, crushed Oreos, dried cherries, or cranberries