Funfetti sugar cookie bars are the perfect dessert for your next celebration. They're filled with fun rainbow sprinkles and turn out perfectly tender and soft, just like your favorite soft sugar cookie recipe.
Bar cookies are the perfect dessert to make for a crowd. No measuring out dough for individual cookies and waiting patiently for each tray to bake. Instead, bake your bars up in a single pan, then slice and serve.
If you love a classic soft sugar cookie, you're going to love these sugar cookie bars. They're tender and lightly sweetened, with a crunchy sugar crust on top.
Serve funfetti sugar cookie bars at your next birthday party, celebration, or family gathering. They're easy to customize with sprinkles that match the holiday. Try pink and red sprinkles for Valentine's Day, or sprinkles that match your favorite sports team for the big game.
Ingredients and substitutions
Baking is an exact science, so I don't have many substitutions to offer for this recipe. Each ingredient serves its purpose, so I don't recommend omitting anything other than what is suggested below.
- Granulated sugar - Sugar cookies are tender and soft because they're made with all granulated sugar instead of a combination of granulated and brown sugars. Adding brown sugar adds a caramelized flavor and chewiness, like in my chocolate chip cookie bars recipe.
- Unsalted butter - Make sure your butter is at room temperature so that it incorporates smoothly with the other ingredients. Unsalted butter and the listed salt can be substituted with salted butter if needed.
- Vanilla extract - Adds depth of flavor to your cookie bars.
- All-purpose flour - Adds structure to your bars. I have not tested this recipe with other types of flours, so I don't recommend making any substitutions. For best results (and so that you don't waste ingredients), I recommend searching for a recipe that was developed with your desired flour in mind.
- Eggs - Add structure and moisture to your cookie bars.
- Leavening - This recipe requires baking powder, which cannot be substituted with baking soda - the two are not interchangeable.
- Rainbow sprinkles - Sometimes called "jimmies". Rainbow jimmies are the best sprinkles to bake with because when stirred into wet batter, their colors don't run like nonpareils tend to do. Use any color of sprinkles to match the occasion - red and green for Christmas, pink for Valentine's day, or your favorite sports team's colors for the big game.
Baking tips and tricks
For all of my favorite tips on making the perfect batch of cookies, check out my full post: 10 tips for baking cookies.
- Room temperature ingredients incorporate together to create a smooth, even dough. A consistent dough (without flecks of cold butter or egg throughout) bakes into a perfect pan of cookie bars. To warm up butter quickly, slice into pieces and place on the counter top. Place eggs into a bowl of very warm tap water - this will warm your eggs up in about ten minutes.
- Improperly measured flour is the most common issue I see in baking. Too much flour added to a cookie recipe can make your bars turn out dry, give them a muted/floury flavor, or give them a crumbly texture. To properly measure flour, I highly recommend using a kitchen scale. If you don't have a scale, use the spoon and level method - stir your flour, then gently spoon into a measuring cup, leveling off the top with a knife.
- Watch your cookie bars in the oven, not the time. The number one reason baked goods turn out dry is from overbaking. Ovens can run hotter or colder than the next oven, even when set to the same temperature. I recommend keeping an eye on your bars and checking for doneness 2 to 3 minutes early if you've never made this recipe before.
- By lining your pan with parchment, the bars can easily be pulled out of the pan for slicing. This makes for easier cleanup and helps reduce accidental scratching of your baking pan. If you don't have parchment on hand, the pan can be greased instead.
Make ahead and storage
Cookie bars are perfect for making 1 to 2 days ahead of an event. Leave the pan of bars whole, meaning don't slice into them, until the day of the event. This helps your bars retain the most moisture possible while being stored.
Keep them tightly sealed in a container, then slice into individual portions on the day of serving.
Cookie bars can be frozen for up to three months in a tightly sealed freezer-safe container. Thaw individual squares on the counter top for about 30 minutes to an hour before serving.
Funfetti Sugar Cookie Bars
- 1 cup (198 g) granulated sugar
- 1 cup (226 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons (10 g) vanilla extract
- 2.5 cups (300 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon (5 g) baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup (100 g) rainbow jimmies sprinkles
- 2 tablespoons (25 g) granulated sugar, reserved for topping
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 9x13 pan with parchment paper (or lightly grease) and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, add butter and sugar. Cream together until fluffy, about a minute. Add eggs and vanilla extract and mix until fluffy, about a minute.
- In a separate bowl, add flour, baking powder, and salt. Whisk or sift together to remove lumps. Gently stir dry ingredients into wet ingredients until just incorporated. Add rainbow sprinkles and stir to incorporate.
- Pour into prepared pan and use a spatula to spread evenly to the edges. Batter will be thick. Sprinkle reserved granulated sugar evenly over the top of the batter.
- Bake for about 20-22 minutes, or until lightly browned around the edges and bars are set in the center.
- Place pan onto a wire rack and allow to cool completely before removing and slicing.
- If making bars ahead of time for an event, store bars whole (do not slice) until the day of. This helps your bars retain as much moisture as possible. Bars are best served within 24 hours of preparing and will begin to dry out over time.
- Bars can be frozen for up to 3 months in a tightly sealed freezer-safe container. To thaw, place on the counter top for 30 minutes to an hour.
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