Frosted Lemon Sugar Cookie Bars

Thick and chewy, with tangy lemon buttercream, these frosted lemon sugar cookie bars are such a treat!

stacked lemon cookie bars.

The base is a very simple lemon sugar cookie—chewy, thick, and with a beautiful lemon flavor. I don’t use any lemon juice in the base, just the lemon zest. I think this lends to a better texture—much more chewy than when I made it with lemon juice, too. You’ll use the lemon juice in the tangy lemon American buttercream that’s on top of the cookies.

The cookies don’t use much-raising agent, so they stay thick and have a great mouthfeel. That, coupled with the whipped American buttercream, is a beautiful combination. Though these cookie bars are sweet, the lemon juice in the frosting adds a lovely little tang that cuts through the sweetness.

bird's eye view of sugar cookie bars.

Here’s how to make them

  1. Start with the lemon sugar cookie bars base so it has time to cool before frosting.
lemon zest rubbed into sugar.
  1. Add lemon zest and granulated sugar to a bowl and use your finger tips to rub the zest into the sugar. This releases the fragrant lemon oils.
beating egg in butter.
  1. Beat in softened butter til creamy, then egg, vanilla, salt and baking powder.
flour mixed into butter.
  1. Beat in the flour into a thick but slightly sticky dough.
dough pressed in pan.
  1. Press the dough evenly into an 8×8 pan. I crumble it into the pan first so it’s easier to press it out.
baked cookie bar.

Bake for around 25 minutes until browned on the edges. Let it cool completely.

lemon frosting.

Make the buttercream in a stand mixer or with an electric mixer to get it extra fluffy.

iced cookie slab.

Spread the frosting onto the cookie slab.

birds eye view of lemon buttercream.

Top with sprinkles.

Store leftover cookie bars in an airtight container at room temperature for up to five days, or refrigerate for up to a week.

frosted bitten cookie bar.

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Frosted Lemon Sugar Cookie Bars

Thick and chewy, with tangy lemon buttercream, these frosted lemon sugar cookie bars are such a treat.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Cookies
Cuisine American
Servings 16
Calories 213 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest finely grated
  • 150 g granulated sugar
  • 113 g butter softened to room temperature
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 190 g all-purpose flour

Lemon Buttercream

  • 85 g butter softened to room temperature
  • 180 g powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest finely grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon cream or milk, room temperature
  • Yellow sprinkles Optional

Instructions
 

  • Peheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).  Grease and line an 8×8 inch (20×20 cm) pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang to easily remove the baked cookie slab.
  • In a mixing bowl, add the granulated sugar and lemon zest and use your finger tips to rub the zest into the sugar to release the lemon oils. Add the softened butter and cream the butter and sugar together on high speed until light and fluffy using a handheld electric mixer. Add the egg, vanilla, salt, and baking powder and mix to combine.
  • Add the flour and mix until just combined into a thick but slightly sticky dough.
  • Crumble small pieces of sticky dough evenly across the bottom of the pan and use your fingertips to press the crumbled dough pieces together until they form an even layer.
  • Bake the sugar cookie bars for around 25 minutes, until they are lightly golden brown around the edges and top.
  • Remove the pan from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool completely. Once cooled, remove the cookie bar from the pan.

Lemon Buttercream

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or using an electric whisk, whip the butter, lemon zest and salt until pale and creamy. Add the powdered sugar, and mix on low speed until well combined.
  • Add a tablespoon of cream and whip on medium-high speed until the frosting is pale and fluffy, scraping down the bowl as needed.
  • Add the frosting to the cooled cookie bar slap and use an offset spatula to spread it out. Top with sprinkles.
  • Cut the cookie slab into 16 equal pieces.
  • Store leftover cookie bars in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.

Nutrition

Calories: 213kcalCarbohydrates: 28gProtein: 2gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.5gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0.4gCholesterol: 39mgSodium: 200mgPotassium: 20mgFiber: 0.3gSugar: 20gVitamin A: 340IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 11mgIron: 1mg
Keyword cookie bars, Lemon, Lemons, Sugar cookies
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