Lemon Sugar Cookie Bars

by Amy on 26 April 2015

Lemon Sugar Cookie Bars with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting - a delicious, bright, citrusy springtime treat! | www.FearlessHomemaker.com

Today, I’m participating in a fun blogger event — the Secret Recipe Club. How does it work? Every blogger is secretly assigned another blog + chooses a recipe from that blog to make. On reveal day (today!), all of our posts go up at the same time, + everyone gets to see who was assigned to their blog, which recipe they chose, + how it turned out. Fun, huh?

This month I was assigned Burnt Apple, a fantastic blog full of delicious family-friendly, budget-friendly recipes. As soon as I saw Traci’s post for Lemon Sugar Cookie Bars, I knew I had to make them. Between my insane love of all things lemony, my obsession with sugar cookie bars, + my weakness for cream cheese frosting, they sounded like a completely perfect dessert. And after making them, I can confirm that they are absolutely AMAZING. The cookie bars are delightfully soft + buttery, while the lemon cream cheese frosting is creamy + sweet, with a fabulous lemony zing. Put together, they are exactly my idea of a perfect lemon dessert. Mmmmm.

Thank you to Traci for introducing me to these truly amazing Lemon Sugar Cookie Bars + to the Secret Recipe Club for connecting me, yet again, with fantastic bloggers + amazing recipes! For all my previous Secret Recipe Club recipes, click here – there are TONS of awesome ones!

Lemon Sugar Cookie Bars with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting - a delicious, bright, citrusy springtime treat! | www.FearlessHomemaker.com

Lemon Sugar Cookie Bars

makes 16-24 bars, adapted from Burnt Apple + Two Peas And Their Pod


For the cookie 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 (from the lemon you zested!)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the lemon cream cheese frosting:
1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), at room temperature
8 ounce package cream cheese, at room temperature
Zest and juice of 1 large lemon
5 cups powdered sugar
For decorating the bars: extra lemon slices, zest, colored sugar or sprinkles (optional)


First, make the cookie bars: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a 9×13 baking dish with parchment paper with a 1″ overhang (for easy removal of the bars), spray the parchment with cooking spray, and set aside.

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

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

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter and and lemon/sugar mixture together until well-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.

Evenly spread the dough into the prepared pan with a spatula, smoothing the top. 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.

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.

Frost the cooled cookie bars with lemon cream cheese frosting. (Amy’s note: the original recipe said you may have some frosting leftover, but I sure didn’t! I used it all.) Cut into bars + serve, decorating with lemon slices, lemon zest, colored sugar, or sprinkles, if desired.

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{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Parental Journey April 27, 2015 at 7:13 am

So many great recipes!! My pinterest will go crazy 😀

2 Traci April 27, 2015 at 7:22 am

I am craving lemon right now with spring finally here. Your bars turned out absolutely beautiful! Thank you for the kind words and for your beautiful feature of these.

3 Erin @ The Spiffy Cookie April 27, 2015 at 7:54 am

Oh my gosh I need these in my life.

4 Rebekah @ Making Miracles April 27, 2015 at 12:15 pm

Oh…. my…. those look absolutely blissful!! Great pick for today!

5 Lynsey @ Lynsey Lou's April 27, 2015 at 1:25 pm

I love anything lemon! I was actually eyeing a lemon bar recipe for the swap this month and now I’m wishing I had made them because you’ve got me craving lemon bars! Great pick and perfect for the summer months!

6 Karen @ Karen's Kitchen Stories April 27, 2015 at 2:15 pm

I love how you embellished the bars with the lemon slices! These sound refreshing and delicious!!

7 Wendy, A Day in the Life on the Farm April 27, 2015 at 5:41 pm

Nothing beats lemon in my opinion. These sound sooooooo delicious.

8 Sam@SugarSpunRun April 27, 2015 at 7:32 pm

These DO look wonderful, I wish I had one right now!

9 Melissa April 27, 2015 at 8:01 pm

These are fancy looking lemon bars! Fantastic pick this month!!

10 Stephanie at Dessert before Dinner April 27, 2015 at 8:19 pm

These sound delicious and dangerous. Just visiting from Group C, but these look fantastic. Great SRC post.

11 Asiya @ Chocolate & Chillies April 27, 2015 at 9:05 pm

A perfect spring time treat! Great SRC pick!

12 Choc Chip Uru April 28, 2015 at 1:46 am

These lemon bars look delicious, wouldn’t mind a tray or two 😀

Choc Chip Uru

13 Kelly April 28, 2015 at 2:09 am

These bars look incredible! Lemon desserts are my absolute favorite! I still haven’t’ made anything lemony this year yet and I love how sunny and bright these are. Can’t wait to give them a try :)

14 Couscous & Consciousness April 28, 2015 at 2:15 am

I adore all things lemony, and this just looks like my idea of dessert heaven. I can’t wait to give these a try – so glad you picked these.

15 Lynn @ Turnips 2 Tangerines April 28, 2015 at 8:21 pm

Happy Reveal Day~ We love anything lemon and your bars looks delicious~ Lynn

16 Sarah E April 29, 2015 at 11:15 am

I love how you decorated them – how cute! And such a perfect dish for the spring and summer seasons :) Happy reveal day!

17 SallyBR April 29, 2015 at 12:40 pm

THese bars are screaming Spring! very nice, makes me want to grab one off the screen and run away with it, so I don’t have to share… HA!


18 Emily @ Life on Food April 29, 2015 at 12:40 pm

These are so fun. Just what I want for dessert once the weather warms up! Happy Reveal Day!!

19 sarah k @ the pajama chef April 29, 2015 at 3:32 pm

these bars look absolutely PERFECT for summer! yum yum yum!

20 Amy (Savory Moments) April 29, 2015 at 4:03 pm

Yes! Lemon baked goods are one of my most favorite. These look so good.

21 Becky Winkler (A Calculated Whisk) April 30, 2015 at 7:29 pm

These sound SO good. I have a thing for frosted sugar cookies and adding lemon must take these completely over the top.

22 Lauren @ Sew You Think You Can Cook May 4, 2015 at 9:37 pm

Perfect recipe for celebrating spring!

23 susan // the wimpy vegetarian May 8, 2015 at 12:50 am

oh my gosh, these would be so dangerous to have in the house. i think i’d hide them and eat them all myself. Certainly the frosting would be all mine. Fabulous pick this month!!

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