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closeup of three lemon cookie bars stacked

Lemon Sugar Cookie Bars

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 4 reviews
  • Author: Julianne Dell
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 18 minutes
  • Total Time: 38 minutes
  • Yield: 15 bars
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American


These Lemon Sugar Cookie Bars are soft, thick, chewy, buttery, and lemon-y sugar cookies slathered with sweet vanilla buttercream.


For the cookie bars:

  • 1 cup (226g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups (380g) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) lemon extract
  • 1 medium lemon- zested
  • 3 cups (420g) all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • ½ teaspoon salt

For the frosting:

  • 1 cup (226g) unsalted butter
  • 3 ½ cups (455g) powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) pure vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
  • 2 medium lemon- zested


For the cookies:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375° F. Line a 9×13 inch pan with parchment paper.
  2. Combine the butter with the sugar and beat on medium speed until well creamed together.
  3. Zest the lemon and add the zest together with the eggs and lemon extract. Mix into the butter and sugar until the eggs are well beaten.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine the remaining dry ingredients. Slowly add into the batter and beat on medium-low speed until most of the flour is incorporated and beat until the dough comes together.
  5. Press the cookie dough into the pan. Bake at 375°F 18-20 minutes. Allow the cookie bars to cool completely.

For the frosting:

  1. Cut butter into pieces. Using the paddle attachment, whip the butter for 5-7 minutes, scraping down the bowl occasionally. Beat until the butter looks light in color.
  2. Add 2 cups of powdered sugar with the vanilla extract & lemon zest from one of the lemons. Ensure the powdered sugar is well combined, then whip for 1-2 minutes before adding more powdered sugar.
  3. Add the remaining powdered sugar and heavy cream, beat until combined then increase speed to medium-high and beat for another couple minutes until desired consistency is reached.
  4. Spread over cooled cookie bars. Garnish with more lemon zest. Slice and enjoy.


These bars should be slightly underdone in the middle.

For the cookie bars, if you’re using vanilla extract instead of lemon, consider zesting 2 full lemons into the dough to get enough lemon flavor.


  • Serving Size: 1 bar
  • Calories: 532
  • Sugar: 54g
  • Sodium: 56mg
  • Fat: 25g
  • Carbohydrates: 74g
  • Fiber: 0g
  • Protein: 3.7g
  • Cholesterol: 90mg