4th of July Sugar Cookie Bars

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These 4th of July Sugar Cookie Bars are easy to make, full of red, white and blue sprinkles and topped with a simple vanilla buttercream!

4th of July Sugar Cookie Bars with vanilla buttercream cut into slices

These 4th of July Sugar Cookie Bars are full of red, white and blue sprinkles, covered in a simple vanilla buttercream and so much easier to make than regular sugar cookies. Forget about all of the chilling, rolling, cutting and painstakingly decorating a million cookies. For this recipe you simply have to make the dough, press it into a pan then slather on a delicious layer of frosting and plenty of patriotic sprinkles!

Looking for more red, white and blue treats? Try my Patriotic Sprinkle Cookies, 4th of July Snack Mix or 4th of July M&M Cookie Bars!

Why You’ll Love These 4th of July Sugar Cookie Bars

  • They’re quick and easy to make.
  • No chilling, rolling or cutting! Just press the dough in a pan and bake right away!
  • They’re soft, thick and have lots of vanilla flavor.
  • The recipe can be easily doubled and baked in a 9×13 inch pan.

Ingredient Breakdown

All-purpose flour – this gives the cookie bars structure.

Baking powder – a little bit of baking powder helps the cookie bars rise slightly. Do not use baking soda!

Butter – provides flavor and structure. I always recommend using unsalted butter but salted butter works if that’s all you have on hand, just be sure to omit the 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Do not use cold or melted butter.

Granulated sugar – sweetens and softens cookies. Do not substitute it with brown sugar.

Egg – helps bind the ingredients.

Vanilla extract and salt – enhances flavor. Always use pure vanilla extract instead of imitation for best flavor.

Red, white and blue sprinkles – make sure that you use jimmies and not nonpareils because nonpareils tend to bleed into the dough. Star quins will also work.

4th of July Sugar Cookie Bar cross section

How To Make 4th of July Sugar Cookie Bars

1. Make the Sugar Cookie Dough: In a small bowl whisk the all-purpose flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

2. Use a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment to cream softened butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy.

3. Add the egg and vanilla extract then mix until just combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl.

4. Add the dry ingredients all at once and mix on low speed until almost combined then add the red, white and blue sprinkles. Do not over mix the dough because it will make the cookie bars tough.

5. Press the sugar cookie dough into the prepared 8×8 inch pan using clean hands or the back of a measuring cup to smooth it out.

6. Bake sugar cookie bars at 350°F for 20-22 minutes. The edges will be slightly browned and the center will still be pale. Let cookie bars cool completely on a wire rack.

4th of July Sugar Cookie Bars in an 8x8 inch pan

7. Make the Vanilla Buttercream: Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter until light and fluffy.

8. Add confectioners’ sugar and mix on low until combined.

9. Add vanilla extract and heavy cream or milk then beat until fluffy. Add salt to taste. Decorate cooled cookie bars as desired. Store 4th of July Sugar Cookie Bars in an airtight container for up to 4 days at room temperature or up to 5 days in the fridge.

Pro Tips For 4th of July Sugar Cookie Bars

  • Weigh your ingredients using a kitchen scale! Measuring ingredients by volume is not accurate.
  • Use jimmies sprinkles and not nonpareils because nonpareils tend to bleed into the dough. Star quins will also work.
  • Make sure your parchment paper hangs over the sides of the pan for easy removal after baking!
  • Don’t over mix the dough! There should still be streaks of flour in the dough when you add the sprinkles. Over mixing = more gluten development which means tough cookie bars. Over mixing can also cause the sprinkles to bleed into the dough.
  • Wait until the sugar cookie bars are COMPLETELY COOLED before frosting otherwise the buttercream will melt.

Frequently Asked Questions


Can You Freeze 4th of July Sugar Cookie Bars?

Yes! These sugar cookie bars can be frozen for up to 3 months wrapped tightly in plastic wrap.

Can You Make Sugar Cookie Dough In Advance?

Yes! Once you press the the sugar cookie dough into the 8×8 inch pan you can either refrigerate it for up to 3 days or freeze it for up to 3 months wrapped tightly in plastic wrap.

What’s the difference between sugar cookies And Shortbread?

Unlike sugar cookies, shortbread is made without eggs or any leavening agents. Shortbread also has a more crumbly texture as a result of the dough’s high fat content. If you’re looking for shortbread recipes try my Mini Chocolate Chip Shortbread Bars or Shortbread Thumbprint Cookies or Matcha Shortbread Cookies.

Which Sprinkles Are Best For Cookie Bars?

When making any type of sprinkle-filled dessert, whether it be cake, cookies, etc., you should always use jimmies sprinkles! You never want to use nonpareils because they tend to bleed into the dough. Star quins will also work if that’s all you have on hand.

4th of July Sugar Cookie Bars with vanilla buttercream cut into slices

If you try this recipe then please leave a rating/comment below to let me know how you liked it and feel free to ask any recipe questions you may have! 🙂

4th of July Sugar Cookie Bars

Maria Azzarelli
These 4th of July Sugar Cookie Bars are easy to make, full of red, white and blue sprinkles and topped with a simple vanilla buttercream!
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Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 9 large cookie bars
Calories 368 kcal

Equipment

  • Stand mixer or hand mixer
  • 8×8 inch pan

Ingredients
  

Sugar Cookie Dough

  • 210 g (1 3/4 cups) all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 150 g (3/4 cup) granulated sugar
  • 113 g (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 48 g (1/4 cup) red, white and blue jimmies sprinkles

Vanilla Buttercream

  • 56 g (4 tbsp) unsalted butter, softened
  • 120 g (1 cup) confectioners' sugar
  • 15 g (1 tbsp) heavy cream or milk
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • salt, to taste

Instructions
 

Sugar Cookie Bars

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8×8 pan and line with parchment paper.
  • In a small bowl whisk the all-purpose flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  • Use a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment to cream granulated sugar and softened butter until light and fluffy.
  • Add the egg and vanilla extract then mix until just combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl.
  • Add the dry ingredients all at once and mix on low speed until almost combined then add the red, white and blue sprinkles. Do not over mix the dough because it will make the cookie bars tough.
  • Press the sugar cookie dough into the prepared 8×8 inch pan using clean hands or the back of a measuring cup to smooth it out.
  • Bake sugar cookie bars for 20-22 minutes. The edges will be slightly browned and the center will still be pale. Let cookie bars cool completely on a wire rack.

Vanilla Buttercream

  • Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter until light and fluffy.
  • Add confectioners’ sugar and mix on low until combined.
  • Add vanilla extract and heavy cream or milk then beat until fluffy. Add salt to taste. Decorate cooled cookie bars as desired.

Video

Notes

  • Weigh your ingredients using a kitchen scale! Measuring ingredients by volume is not accurate.
 
 
  • Butter: I recommend using unsalted butter. You can use salted butter, just be sure to omit the 1/4 tsp salt.
 
 
 
  • Store 4th of July Sugar Cookie Bars in an airtight container for up to 4 days at room temperature or up to 5 days in the fridge.
 
 
  • Nutrition: the provided nutritional information is an estimate per serving. Please read my Nutrition Disclaimer for more information.
Calories: 368kcalCarbohydrates: 53gProtein: 3gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 10gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 59mgSodium: 99mgPotassium: 40mgFiber: 1gSugar: 35gVitamin A: 499IUCalcium: 26mgIron: 1mg
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