Two Peas and Their Pod

Lemon Sugar Cookie Bars

Lemon Sugar Cookie Bars-soft and chewy lemon sugar cookie bars topped with lemon cream cheese frosting! Perfect bars for parties and entertaining! 

Lemon Sugar Cookie Bars Recipe on Perfect bars for parties! Love the lemon cream cheese frosting! #lemon #dessert

I don’t know about you, but our summers are always filled with BBQ’s, picnics, and pool parties! Most of these events are potluck style and our friends and family usually ask me to bring a dessert. I think the word has gotten out that I like to bake:) One of my favorite desserts to take to summer potlucks are Lemon Sugar Cookie Bars with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting. They are easy to make and feed a crowd! Plus, they are always a hit! I never have cookie bars to bring home…which is good and bad. Good so I won’t eat them and bad because I want to eat them:)

Lemon Sugar Cookie Bars Recipe on Perfect bars for entertaining! Love the lemon cream cheese frosting! #lemon #dessert

The sugar cookie dough is easy to mix up and the best part? You don’t have to get out the cookie cutters! There is no chilling, rolling, or cutting involved! You just press the cookie dough into a 9×13 pan and put them in the oven to bake. These bars are super simple to make!

Lemon Sugar Cookie Bars Recipe on Soft sugar cookie bars with lemon cream cheese frosting! Everyone will want this recipe! #lemon #dessert

The sugar cookie bars are soft and chewy with a hint of lemon. I put lemon zest and fresh lemon juice in the cookie dough. When the bars are cooled, I frost them with a sweet lemon cream cheese frosting that really brings out the lemon flavor. If you are a lemon lover, these bars will make you do a happy dance! They are delightful!

I like to add colored yellow sugar or sprinkles to decorate the bars. It helps cover up my poor frosting skills:) I cut the bars into squares, put them on a big platter and my work is done! Lemon Sugar Cookie Bars are my “go to” summer dessert recipe!

If you are looking for a fool proof dessert recipe to take to your summer potlucks, you have to try our Lemon Sugar Cookie Bars with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting. I promise they will be the talk of the party. Well, maybe people won’t be talking about them because they will be too busy eating them…and we all know it isn’t polite to talk with your mouth full of cookies:)

Lemon Sugar Cookie Bars Recipe on Sugar cookie bars with lemon cream cheese frosting! A favorite at our house! #lemon #bars #dessert

Lemon Sugar Cookie Bars

Yield: 16-24 bars

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 14 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Lemon Sugar Cookie Bars with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting are one of my "go to" dessert recipes! They are perfect for parties and potlucks!


For the bars:
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
Zest of 1 large lemon
3/4 cup butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup powdered sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the lemon cream cheese frosting:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
8 ounce package cream cheese, at room temperature
Zest of 2 lemons
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
5 cups powdered sugar
Colored sugar or sprinkles, optional


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a 9x13 pan (I use a glass Pyrex dish) with cooking spray and set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

3. In a small bowl, combine granulated sugar and lemon zest. Rub together with your fingers until fragrant.

4. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter and and lemon sugar mixture together until combined. Slowly add the powdered sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add in the eggs, lemon juice, and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Slowly add the flour mixture and beat until just combined.

5. Evenly spread the cookie dough into the prepared pan with a spatula. Bake for 12-14 minutes, or until the bars are slightly set in the middle. You don't want the bars to brown. Remove from the oven and let the bars cool completely.

6. While the bars are cooling, make the lemon cream cheese frosting. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add the lemon zest and lemon juice. Slowly add the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time. Mix until smooth.

7. Frost the cooled cookie bars with lemon cream cheese frosting. I always have a little frosting leftover, but use as much as you like! Decorate with colored sugar or sprinkles, if desired. Cut the bars into squares and serve.

Note-store bars in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 2 days.

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63 Responses to “Lemon Sugar Cookie Bars”

  1. I love lemon dessert/treat recipes, I haven’t even tried them yet and I’m already doing a happy dance! 😉

  2. Sugar cookie bars are my fav! love the whole “no cookie cutter” thing, and that they are SO easy! That fact that you put a sugar cookie with cream cheese frosting is just out of this world yum! Pinned!

  3. Chloe {i heart boxes} — June 2, 2014 @ 6:20 am

    These look incredibly..I’m a sucker for lemon-flavored things, but making lemon curd feels very daunting to me, so these are the perfect item…lots of lemon zest and no tricky lemon curd to make!

  4. Chloe @ foodlikecake — June 2, 2014 @ 6:28 am

    Yum! I love lemon!!

  5. Liz — June 2, 2014 @ 9:02 am

    Thank you for the nice recipe.

  6. Jenny Flake — June 2, 2014 @ 9:02 am

    Looooving these! Great summer recipe!!

  7. I could totally eat these for breakfast! Gorgeous!

  8. kathryn — June 2, 2014 @ 9:35 am

    These look wonderful, a refreshing summer recipe. I’m guessing you add the flour in after you add the eggs, lemon juice and vanilla?

    • Two Peas replied: — June 2nd, 2014 @ 9:41 am

      Yes! I just updated the recipe. Thanks for catching that! Pregnancy brain:)

  9. Cookbook Queen — June 2, 2014 @ 9:53 am

    Two of my favorite things!! These are perfect :)

  10. Heather Christo — June 2, 2014 @ 10:18 am

    these look wonderful!!

  11. Donna Mallard — June 2, 2014 @ 10:46 am

    Cannot WAIT to make these up! They look so easy and so yummy! Thank you for the recipe!!

  12. Julie @ Table for Two — June 2, 2014 @ 2:52 pm

    Absolutely love lemon! Sugar cookies + lemon = perfect combo :)

  13. Liss — June 2, 2014 @ 3:41 pm

    I’m not a big cookie person but these sound awesome so must try them!! One question, I live in Norway and we usually measure by dl. And liters… Is there a standard of how much your cups are? I have two cup measures and they seem to be a little off eachother..

  14. Jodee Weiland — June 2, 2014 @ 3:53 pm

    These cookie bars look awesome and with the lemon cream cheese frosting, I’m in heaven! I love this recipe…what a great idea! Thanks for sharing with us.

  15. Pretties and Pastries — June 2, 2014 @ 4:47 pm

    Yu-u-UM! I can see why you never have any leftovers of these!

  16. I love a good lemon cookie, so these cookie bars look right up my alley :) I will have to keep them in mind for the next get together.

  17. Lemon is my favorite dessert flavor and these bars are even easier than cookies. The pics are great. I really like the addition of the yellow sprinkles. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

  18. Jill — June 2, 2014 @ 8:55 pm

    These look delightful! Have you ever tried freezing the cookie part for a couple days and then adding the frosting after they’re thawed? I’m looking for a dessert to take to my brother’s homecoming, but I will be out of town for for the 3 days prior. I need something I can make ahead…what are your thoughts?

  19. Gaby — June 2, 2014 @ 10:50 pm

    Perfect summer treat!

  20. marla — June 2, 2014 @ 11:04 pm

    These look great…can I have some as a bedtime snack?!

  21. These look like the perfect summery dessert! Love!!

  22. Laura (Tutti Dolci) — June 3, 2014 @ 1:27 am

    Love these summery bars!

  23. These bars are SUPER dangerous! I would eat the whole pan for sure!!

  24. Benazir — June 5, 2014 @ 12:18 am

    this is just too good! i need them! (:

  25. Ronda — June 6, 2014 @ 10:14 am

    made these yesterday. they were the hit of the party!

  26. Sharon — June 6, 2014 @ 1:04 pm

    Hello-these sound delicious but Im confused-does adding the flour and mixture to the lemon mixture makes its own sugar cookie crust? Ive re read it several times and i ant figure it out–and I bake all the time–

    hoe you can answer me at my email thank you-

    • Two Peas replied: — June 6th, 2014 @ 1:08 pm

      Yes, you combine the dry ingredients with the lemon mixture and it will form a sugar cookie dough. You press the dough into the pan and bake.

  27. ChristyA — June 9, 2014 @ 10:12 am

    Made these over the weekend – they are DELICIOUS!!!!!! If you like Lemon, you’ll love these.

  28. Jamie — June 9, 2014 @ 2:48 pm

    Made these over the weekend and just ate the last one. They were incredible tasting and am SO sad they are gone. will be making them again soon!

  29. Natalie @ Paper & Birch — June 19, 2014 @ 12:05 am

    Gosh, these look incredible! Love all things lemony :) :)

  30. Wanda — June 20, 2014 @ 9:16 am

    Made these for a small ladies gathering….My 20 year old son taste tested and absolutely loved them….wasn’t ready to let me take them off to ladies night

  31. Lauren — June 29, 2014 @ 11:14 pm

    Made these tonight to bring to a work gather, and the cookies taste so good, form a little test taste that I jade to do. There is one thing that I did not follew on the recipe and that would that the frosting says to use 5 cups of powder sugar I only used 2 cups and I add a little bit more lemon juice to the frosting. But I will make these again.

  32. Katie — June 30, 2014 @ 2:10 pm

    Wanting to make these this weekend for a crowd. How long can they be left out I refrigerated? They will be on the inside of a boat so cool but bit cold. I am just worried about the cream cheese icing:)
    Thank you!

  33. Anna — July 12, 2014 @ 11:04 pm

    These sound absolutely scrumptious! My only questions (so far, at least) are:
    1) May I make regular sugar cookies with the dough?
    2) I’m diabetic, and the recipe already has granulated sugar in it, so is the powdered sugar essential or may I omit it?
    Thank you in advance for reading this post.

    • Two Peas replied: — July 13th, 2014 @ 6:28 pm

      Hi, I haven’t tried any substitutions for this recipe. I also haven’t tried making regular sugar cookies, just the bars. Sorry!

  34. Anne — July 15, 2014 @ 4:53 pm

    I took these to my sister’s lemon-loving family last week, and they were a hit! My 7-year-old niece asked permission to scrape the last bits of frosting from the empty pan; and when she had it so clean it almost didn’t need washing:-) she said, “You should make these again soon!” Even better, she followed that with, “Can we make these together when I come to your house [in a few weeks]?” I’m a chocolate person myself, but if lemon cookies inspire her to bake, I’m in. Thanks very much for your great recipes!

  35. Anne — July 15, 2014 @ 4:55 pm

    Just noticed Jill’s question about freezing, and didn’t see a response to it. I froze the frosted bars, and they were great. I’m sure it would work well to freeze just the cookies and frost them later too.

    • Two Peas replied: — July 15th, 2014 @ 4:56 pm

      So glad you liked the bars and thanks for sharing that they freeze well!

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  37. Kristyl — July 25, 2014 @ 3:04 pm

    Thank you for this recipe! I am making it for the 2nd time in one week. They have been a huge hit this summer!

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