Lemon Sugar Cookie Bars


Nothing says summer like a refreshing fresh lemon dessert! We all know I’m a sugar cookie addict and yes I’ve already posted a lemon sugar cookie but I’m starting to convert to making sugar cookie bars more often because they are easier and they don’t require dough to be chilled, plus they are easier to travel with for parties.

Lemon Sugar Cookie Bars | Cooking Classy

These are definitely one of the best sugar cookie bars I’ve ever tasted! They are brimming with vibrant lemon flavor. This isn’t one of those “hmm what’s this flavor I can’t quite put my finger on it?” desserts. With one small little nibble you’ll know they’re lemon. If you are making them for your kids and they don’t love a strong lemon flavor you can cut back on the zest and omit the lemon extract, but for the true lemon lover leave them just as they are. I absolutely love fresh lemon in anything so these were incredibly hard for me to resist, I kept going back and trimming off little piece after little piece the entire day. Not to mention they are so soft and moist. They are Lofthouse style cookies turned lemon sugar cookie bar – and they’re made with real butter none of that margarine (and countless other additives) you’ll find in the Lofthouse cookies.

I’ve already made these twice and I’m sure I’ll make them many more times this summer. I dare say they are my new favorite summer cookie and they will likely become yours too! They’re perfect infusion of lemon flavor and melt-in-your-mouth texture is simply dreamy!

Lemon Sugar Cookie Bars | Cooking Classy Lemon Sugar Cookie Bars | Cooking ClassyLemon Sugar Cookie Bars | Cooking ClassyLemon Sugar Cookie Bars | Cooking Classy


Lemon Sugar Cookie Bars

Yield: 20 bars


  • 2 1/2 cups (354g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup (210g) granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp lemon zest
  • 10 Tbsp (5 oz) unsalted butter, softened partially*
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg white
  • 2 Tbsp sour cream
  • 1 tsp lemon extract
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  • 1/2 cup (4 oz) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 1/2 cups (297g) powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • Yellow food coloring and sprinkles (optional)


  1. For the bars:
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 13" x 9" baking dish, set aside.
  3. In a mixing bowl whisk together flour, baking powder and salt for 20 seconds, set aside.
  4. Add sugar and lemon zest to the bowl of an electric stand mixer and with your fingertips rub lemon zest with sugar until sugar is slightly yellow and fragrant. Add butter and whip butter and sugar mixture until pale and fluffy. Stir in egg then egg white. Add sour cream, lemon extract and vanilla extract and mix until combined. Slowly add dry mixture and mix just until combined.
  5. Spray hands with non-stick cooking spray or rub with butter and gently press mixture into an even layer prepared baking dish. Bake until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and bars are set, about 15 - 16 minutes. Cool completely, then frost add sprinkles and cut into squares.
  6. For the frosting:
  7. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip butter until light and fluffy. Mix in powdered sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice and mix until light an fluffy. Tint with food coloring if desired.
  8. *You want the butter to still be cool, this is so the dough isn't too warm and sticky to work with when pressing into the baking dish.
  9. Recipe source: Cooking Classy

Lemon Sugar Cookie Bars | Cooking Classy Lemon Sugar Cookie Bars | Cooking ClassyLemon Sugar Cookie Bars | Cooking Classy lemon sugar cookie bars step4+srgb.



  • Averie @ Averie Cooks: Beyond gorgeous and eye-catching!! Cha-ching$$ hit :) LOVE THESE!!!

    So pretty, so perfect for summer and just stunners!! May 31, 2015 at 11:27am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks so much Averie! June 29, 2015 at 1:02pm Reply

  • June @ How to Philosophize with Cake: What fun bars those look like! So festive and springy :) May 31, 2015 at 12:00pm Reply

    • Laura ~ Raise Your Garden: These bars are truly a yellow work of art, spring and summer combined =) Love how you used vanilla bean seeds in here. Can’t wait to give these a whirl ~ a party in my mouth!! (and neighbors mouths hopefully =) June 1, 2015 at 1:38pm Reply

  • Coral Arratia: Looks delicious and fresh! I’m so making this! May 31, 2015 at 12:16pm Reply

  • Medha @ Whisk & Shout: The decorating on these bars is literally perfect! How are even your sprinkles perfectly spaced? Love these! May 31, 2015 at 1:17pm Reply

  • Jenna: These are so happy looking! Love them for summer, I bet they taste great too! May 31, 2015 at 1:46pm Reply

  • Shari Kelley: These look wonderful, so bright and summery! They also look like they would melt in your mouth. I have to make these for my mom. She would love them. She really likes lemon and frosting. Love the idea of making bars, instead of cut out cookies for the summer, too. Thanks, Jaclyn! May 31, 2015 at 3:54pm Reply

  • Elisabeth: Those look delicious.

    Diary of Elegance May 31, 2015 at 4:11pm Reply

  • Char R.: Bars are becoming a favorite thing to make and these look so yummy. I better go buy some more lemons. May 31, 2015 at 6:34pm Reply

  • ramit@restaurantsjaipur: A perfect spring time treat! Great SRC pick! May 31, 2015 at 10:53pm Reply

  • Sanabil: This looks yummy even without tasting it :) June 1, 2015 at 2:46am Reply

  • Medeja: Looks so bright and nice! June 1, 2015 at 3:10am Reply

  • Oh Hey!: I’m by no means a cook, but I think even I could try these. I love the way they look, so fun and summery. What a gorgeous thing to plate up!

    Megan June 1, 2015 at 5:06am Reply

  • shar: Everything you cook is perfection!! June 1, 2015 at 2:15pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks so much Shar, that’s so nice of you to say :)! June 1, 2015 at 10:55pm Reply

  • Kelly: These look and sound amazing!

    xx Kelly June 1, 2015 at 7:06pm Reply

  • Agata: So, I found your website (I saw photo on tumblr) and I’m delighted! I come from Poland and I speak english so I’m glad I can use your recipes. I worry only about units (tsp , oz – I dont know what it means :( but I will find out!)
    This cake looks great!! I want it and I want all the desserts from your website :D Greetings from Poland! June 7, 2015 at 11:00am Reply

  • Lauren @ A Nerd Cooks: These look amazing! I love the little bits of lemon on top of each bar. June 7, 2015 at 6:00pm Reply

  • Tracy: Thanks for letting us sample these! They were delicious. June 16, 2015 at 4:15pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Of course :)! I’m glad you liked them! June 17, 2015 at 10:43pm Reply

  • Stephanie freeman: Do you think these would freeze well? June 19, 2015 at 6:23pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: As long as they are stored well in an airtight container they probably should. June 20, 2015 at 10:26pm Reply

  • Amanda: How long can these keep? Also, do I only frost them before serving?
    I’m having a great time trying out all your lemon recipes, they are all so delicious! :) September 15, 2015 at 8:02am Reply

    • Jaclyn: They’re good for probably about three days and you don’t need to wait before serving to frost. I’m so glad you’ve been enjoying my lemon recipes :)! September 15, 2015 at 9:10am Reply

  • kat: oh so pretty!! hate to cook these days, but you just might turn me around with all the “easies and quickies”!!!

    also, could these be made with the rolled sugar cookie dough – if so, would you just let it sit at room temp and squish into the pan?

    Thanks! September 21, 2015 at 4:02pm Reply

  • meemz: Hello,
    Can I use yogurt instead of the sour cream? March 27, 2016 at 12:44pm Reply

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