These frosted Lemon Sugar Cookie Bars are a light, sweet, and refreshing dessert that everyone will love. A fluffy lemon frosting makes these lemon cookie bars perfect for spring or summer parties and picnics.
Do you love making sugar cookies? The struggle with making these cookies is how much time it takes to roll, cut, bake, and frost every single cookie.
Cookie bars are so much easier and faster to make! No need to make a floury mess in your kitchen rolling out dough and cutting multiple shapes.
Plus, they are so easy to change up and customize to your taste. You can add different extracts to the dough and the frosting to make a different flavor every time you bake a pan of cookies.
Some of our favorites are these funfetti cookie bars and these salted caramel cookie bars.
Why This Recipe Works
These sweet and tangy lemon sugar cookie bars are the perfect dessert for any occasion. They are so easy to make and always a hit with friends and family.
Plus, no cookie cutters needed! All you need is a 9x13 pan and a knife to cut them into squares.
The lemon frosting is light and refreshing, and the sprinkles add a fun touch. You will love how delicious these bars are.
Lemon cookie bars will be the perfect addition to your Easter dinner or any summer picnic or potluck. Add a little bit of sunshine to your day with these cookie bars.
Key Ingredients Needed
These lemon cookie bars are easy to make with simple ingredients, and the dough comes together in minutes. The best part about these sugar cookies is that you bake it all in one pan.
- Butter - Set out 1 stick of unsalted butter ahead of time, so it is ready to cream into the sugar later.
- Sugar - A mixture of granulated sugar and brown sugar makes the cookie dough sweet and helps it stay soft.
- Egg - Helps to add moisture and hold the ingredients together.
- Lemon Juice - You can use freshly squeezed or bottled juice in this recipe.
- All Purpose Flour - Adding too much flour can ruin your cookie bars. Make sure you know how to measure flour correctly, so every recipe turns out every time.
- Baking Powder - Helps the cookies rise while baking.
- Frosting and Sprinkles - Adds a fun touch to the lemon bars.
How to make Lemon Cookie Bars
Adding lemon juice to the dough and the frosting is the perfect way to add a little bit of cheery goodness to these lemon sugar cookies.
- Prep the pan. Spray a 9x13 pan with with nonstick baking spray. Set aside.
- Make the cookie dough. Beat the butter and sugars in a large bowl until light and creamy. Add the lemon juice and egg and beat again. Stir together the dry ingredients and slowly mix them into the butter mixture.
- Bake and cool. Spread the cookie dough into the prepared pan with a spatula or your fingers and bake for 14 minutes. Place on a wire rack to cool completely.
- Make lemon frosting. Beat the butter, lemon juice, and salt until creamy. Slowly beat in the powdered sugar and heavy whipping cream until light and fluffy.
- Decorate and serve. Spread the homemade frosting on the cooled bars. Add colorful sprinkles and yellow sanding sugar to the top. Cut into squares.
Keep the frosted cookie bars in a tightly sealed container on the counter for 4-5 days. The frosting helps to keep the cookies soft and tender for days.
Want to save the cookies for later? Wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and foil, then place in a freezer safe bag or container. Freeze for 1-2 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge, then bring to room temperature before serving.
Tips and Tricks
- Want a bigger lemon flavor? Add 1 tablespoon lemon zest to the dough and to the frosting.
- Let the cookies cool completely before adding the frosting. Even slightly warm bars will make the frosting melt.
- Use an offset spatula to spread the lemon frosting on the bars.
- Want to use a different frosting? This creamy vanilla frosting or this marshmallow buttercream would be delicious too.
- Tint the frosting yellow and change up the sprinkles based on the holiday or theme.
Did you let the butter come to room temperature before mixing it in? Using a hand mixer may take longer for the dough to come together. Keep mixing until you get a soft pliable dough.
Yes, in fact they really do taste better after they sit for a day. The flavors deepen and the frosting makes the cookies so soft and delicious.
Run a long sharp knife under hot water. Dry it off and make cuts. Wipe it off in between cuts. After a few cuts, run it under the hot water again.
Other Easy Cookie Bars
- Congo Bars
- Oreo Cookie Bars
- Butterscotch Bars
- Chewy Snickerdoodle Cookie Bars
- Peanut Butter S'mores Bars
- Unicorn Sugar Cookies
- Pina Colada Bars
- S'mores Sugar Cookie Recipe
- Lemon Bars with Crust
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*The post for these Lemon Sugar Cookie Bars was originally published March 2015. It was updated February 2019 and March 2022.
Can I "half" this recipe to make in a 8 x 8 pan? Your thoughts?
Yes I believe doing half the recipe in an 8x8 pan would work just fine. I hope you enjoy the bars.
I made these substituting key lime juice for the lemon. Very yummy!
I'm so glad you liked them!
Love this and can't wait to try! Do you think these would be ok still after mailing them 2 day delivery or not advisable? I'm trying to send something sweet to my wonderful friend and nothing beats sweets 🙂
Sugar cookie bars are a great treat to make and mail. I would advise waiting until it isn't so hot outside. The frosting is made with butter, and I do leave the cookie bars out on our counter for a few days, but if the frosting is going to be exposed to high heats it may go bad. I hope that helps and that your friend loves the sweet treats!
What type of flour do you use??? I’m new to baking!! Looks amazing ?
I always use all purpose flour unless the recipe says something different. Congrats on getting into baking. I hope you have fun with it!!!
I've been craving warmer weather and Spring, so I decided a lemon dessert was needed to lift my mood! This was such a good recipe and my entire family enjoyed it! Thank you!
Sugar cookie bars are the best & I bet the hint of lemon makes them even tastier! Can't wait to try them out!!
Lemon bars are the best! Love the idea of adding a little lemon juice to the frosting!
These are totally worth the stretchy pants!! Thanks for a wonderful recipe
I am loving your cookie bar recipes! So glad to have stumbled across this lemon sugar cookie...
Found this on pinterest and tried it for a 4th of july pot luck........these are absolutely perfect. I would suggest chilling the dough before getting it into the pan, because I found my dough to be a bit sticky and hard to spread, but it worked out.
For my batch, I reversed the amounts of milk and lemon juice in the frosting to make it a little more lemony and everyone raved about it.
I'm thinking it would be really good with a cream cheese frosting, too. Gonna try that next.
The sugar cookie batter is just absolutely my all time favorite type, it came out perfectly and this was such a perfect easy desert. Thanks!
Yay! I'm glad to hear that you loved the cookie bars. A tip for spreading the dough in the pan is to spray your hands with non-stick baking spray. It keeps the dough from sticking to you....but chilling works too! Love that you added more lemon to the frosting too!!! And I think cream cheese frosting sounds amazing!
do you think these would be good without the frosting?
They wouldn't be bad at all. Probably not as sweet though. The frosting really adds something to the cookies.
These look and sound wonderful. Pinned for sure. Will be baking and my treadmill will be calling 🙂