If you love sugar cookies but don’t have the patience for dough chilling or cutting out and decorating shapes, then these lemon sugar cookie bars are for you! Soft and thick, these cookie bars are bursting with citrus flavor and are so easy to make. Topped with a layer of creamy lemon buttercream frosting and the “True Love Blooms” Sprinkle Pop mix.
Note: I originally developed this recipe for Sprinkle Pop, who generously compensated me for my time. Also, making a purchase through an affiliate link helps keep this blog going. There is no extra cost to you, but I do earn a little commission. Thank you for supporting Roses & Whiskers!
You’ll need two large lemons, completely zested. But one lemon might yield enough juice, so start by juicing only one. These are the zesting and juicing products that I recommend: a microplane and a juicer/strainer.
(Wrap the unjuiced lemon in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator. Or try another lemon recipe, like my standard lemon sugar cookies!)
After making the cookie dough, spread it evenly in a 9 x 13 pan greased with butter and lined with parchment paper. Make sure there’s enough parchment paper overhang that you can pull the bars out later.
Bake for 15 minutes, or until the edges are very lightly browned and the middle is soft but no longer doughy. The trick to a good sugar cookie (regular or in bar form) is to only juuust bake it. Sugar cookies can go from done to overdone very quickly so be careful. When trying a new recipe I always set my oven timer for less than what the recipe calls for because oven temperatures vary. You can always add baking time but you can’t take it away!
Let the bars cool completely in the pan, and then use the parchment paper to lift the bars out. Spread the lemon buttercream frosting evenly on top and decorate with the “True Love Blooms” mix or another Sprinkle Pop favorite! Cut into 24 bars.
Store the bars in an airtight container. They can be left at room temperature if you plan to eat them within a few days. Otherwise I recommend storing them in the freezer.
Tag me @rosesandwhiskers on Instagram if you try these lemon sugar cookie bars and use the hashtag #rosesandwhiskers. Happy baking! 🙂
Lemon Sugar Cookie Bars
- 2 1/2 cups gluten free 1 to 1 baking flour or substitute all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 6 tbsp unsalted butter softened to room temperature
- 6 tbsp butter-flavored Crisco
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- zest from 2 large lemons room temperature
- 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice room temperature
Lemon Buttercream Frosting
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened to room temperature
- 1/4 cup Crisco
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tbsp whole milk
- 2 tbsp heavy cream
- 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- yellow food coloring
- Butter a 9 x 13 pan and line with parchment paper. Make sure there is overhang on at least two sides so that you can easily pull the bars out of the pan. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
- Use a microplane or box grater to zest the lemons. Cut a lemon in half and squeeze both halves until you have 2 tbsp and 1 tsp of juice. Set aside.
- Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together in a medium bowl.
- In a large bowl, cream the butter, Crisco and sugar until it's light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, making sure each is well-incorporated. On low speed, mix in the lemon juice and lemon zest.
- On low speed, gradually blend in the dry ingredients until just combined.
- Spread the dough evenly into the prepared pan and bake for 15 minutes, or until the edges are very lightly browned and the middle is no longer doughy. (It should still be soft.) Let cool in the pan completely.
Decorating the Bars
- Make the frosting while the bars are cooling. Cream the butter and Crisco until smooth. Mix in half of the powdered sugar on low speed. Then add the milk, heavy cream, lemon juice, remaining powdered sugar and yellow food coloring. Mix on low speed until just combined, and then beat on high speed until smooth and fluffy.
- Carefully lift the bars out of the pan using the parchment paper overhang. Spread the frosting on top evenly, using an offset spatula. Top with sprinkles and cut into 24 bars using a serrated knife. Store in an airtight container and enjoy! (For optimum freshness, store in the freezer and take bars out to defrost as desired.)
Made these lemon sugar cookie bars several times now and they are phenomenal. My husband will request them!
So happy to hear that!!! Thank you for making them, Katie! 🙂
Can this recipe be used to make the alphabet/ number cakes? Can I cut the dough before baking? Does it spread ? Sorry for all the questions. The recipe looks really interesting but I’m unsure if it will work for my purpose.
If you have a specific pan to put the dough in that would work. You might just need to adjust baking time depending on pan size. It actually should hold its shape fairly well without a pan if you chill it first, as long as it’s not too thick. Check out my recipe for lemon sugar cookies, which is very similar. Hope that helps!