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Lofthouse-Style Frosted Sugar Cookie Bars

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These Lofthouse-Style Frosted Sugar Cookie Bars are a deliciously soft copycat version that’s made into cookie bars! This version and style solves the great debate on whether these cookies are the best or not! SPOILER: They are!

close up of a sugar cookie bar

Around mid-February every year, Lofthouse Frosted Sugar Cookies are front and center at the grocery store for Valentine’s Day and I seriously can never resist grabbing a box. I only allow myself these indulgent cookies once a year, fearing shame from those who absolutely despise these cookies… the audacity!

But the truth is… I love those soft, scrumptious, hot pink frosted, rainbow-sprinkled cookies more than I care to admit. Some of these reasons are exactly why people hate these cookies! They equate the softness to a chalky texture, the smooth pale cookies as unnatural or unbaked, the sprinkles a useless addition, and the frosting despicably tacky and tasteless. The debate for this controversial cookie has been going on for years on Twitter. You hate ’em or you love ’em.

lofthouse style single sugar cookie with a bite

I LOVE THEM. LOUD AND PROUD. I heartily believe turning these cookies into cookie bars gets rid of ALL the issues from the haters! You end up with a super soft, cakey sugar cookie bar with plenty of texture, flavor, and browning.

THE INGREDIENTS

Besides the typical flour, egg, sugar, etc ingredients to this sugar cookie recipe, there’s a few interesting ones to get these cookies remarkably similar to the Lofthouse cookies.

  • Leavening: Baking soda along with the cream of tartar for activation and baking powder are both used in these to give it a fluffier texture.
  • Sour cream: Keeps the cookies moist and soft along with a bit of tangy flavor.
  • Corn starch: Helps the original cookies keep it’s shape when baking but I also think it’s important for texture.
  • Extracts: This recipe uses both almond and vanilla for a common sugar cookie flavor.
  • Cream cheese: This is my secret addition for the buttercream frosting! I think it adds a layer of flavor to what some may say is an otherwise bland cookie.
lofthouse style sugar cookie bar with pink buttercream rose patterns and sprinkles with the textured cookie popping out

Note: The original Lofthouse cookies – according to the label – are basically made of sugar, enriched bleached wheat flour (cake flour), margarine, water and cornstarch, eggs, a minuscule amount of vegetable oil, leavening, milk, flavorings, colorings, and preservatives.

HOW TO MAKE THE SUGAR COOKIE BARS

Making sugar cookie bars instead of the cookies cuts down on so much time and effort! You do not need to chill the cookie dough to make it easier to work with, nor spend the time shaping the cookies.

Do not over-bake these otherwise they’ll be dry and lose their soft texture. Start with room temperature ingredients. Preheat the oven to 350°F and prep by lining a baking dish with parchment paper and greasing it.

  1. Mix the dry ingredients. Whisk together the flour, corn starch, leavening, cream or tartar, and salt together.
  2. Cream together the wet ingredients, then combine with the dry ingredients. You’ll need butter, sugar, egg, the extracts, and sour cream. Once everything has been creamed together, gently mix together the dry and wet ingredients. The cookie dough is like thick cake batter. It’s incredibly sticky and difficult to work with by hand at this point.
Sugar cookie batter in a bowl with a spatula
  1. Bake. Dump out the cookie dough into the baking dish. Use your fingertips to evenly spread out the cookie dough to all edges. Pop it into the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes. To know when the cookie bar is done baking, you’re looking for the cookie to start pulling away from the edges of the baking dish. The cookie will have lightly browned all around, and will be set in the middle. It should bounce back when it’s done, instead of sinking in.
  2. Cooling. Once the cookie bar has completely set, turn it over on to a cooling rack. Allow it to fully cool before applying any frosting. In the meantime, begin making the frosting.

The cookie bar has a hybrid cookie and cake texture that’s utterly satisfying.

HOW TO MAKE THE BUTTERCREAM FROSTING

Making the buttercream frosting is so incredibly easy! As I mentioned above, my secret ingredient is the cream cheese to add more flavor to the frosting. You’ll also need food coloring. I used 2 drops of the Wilton Burgundy gel to get the bright hot pink that’s iconic for the Lofthouse cookies.

decorating bag of pink buttercream frosting with a star tip

To make the buttercream frosting, you’ll want to start with room temperature ingredients. Simply put everything in a medium sized bowl and beat it with a handheld mixer until it’s fluffy and smooth. Add the drops of food coloring and gently fold it in until the color is homogenous.

Transfer the frosting into a decorating bag that’s fitted with a star tip and following the instructions in the section “Decorating the Sugar Cookie Bars”. Alternatively, dump out the frosting on to the cookie bar and use an offset spatula to evenly spread it.

DECORATING THE SUGAR COOKIE BARS

To make the rosettes, you’ll want decorating bags and Ateco piping tips (specifically the star tip). For the sprinkles, I used the Unicorn Sprinkle mix (minus the unicorns) by Sprinkle Pop, but rainbow sprinkles are the classic.

Sugar Cookie Buttercream Frosting Decoration with rose patterns and sprinkles

For a romantic look, use a star tip to pipe the roses on to the cookie bars. Begin by making the larger roses in various spaced out locations. Start in the center and move in a spiral outwards until it’s about 1-1.5 inches in radius (about five circles). Pipe medium sized roses in a similar fashion in larger spaces, and then smaller roses to fill in any extra gaps. Simply pipe a star to fill in the remaining gaps. Use about two tablespoons of sprinkles to decorate the bars.

For other fun looks, try other piping tips, use a few different pink hues for the buttercream, or mix and match a few pastel colors.

STORING THE COOKIE BARS

I’m fairly sure the Lofthouse Sugar Cookies can last on the counter for months, but don’t treat these cuties as such! They’re free of preservatives so place them in an airtight container and in the fridge for up to a week.

lofthouse style sugar cookie bar with pink buttercream rose patterns and sprinkles

MORE DESSERT RECIPES TO TRY

Looking for more Valentine’s Day dessert recipes? Here’s a few to try!

lofthouse style single sugar cookie with a bite
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Lofthouse-Style Frosted Sugar Cookie Bars

These Lofthouse-Style Frosted Sugar Cookie Bars are a deliciously soft copycat version that's made into cookie bars! This version and style solves the great debate on whether these cookies are the best or not! SPOILER: They are!
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Servings 8 bars
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
CALORIES 398kcal
Keyword buttercream frosting, cookie bars, frosting, roses, sprinkles, valentines day

Ingredients
  

Sugar Cookie

Buttercream Frosting

  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp cream cheese
  • 2-3 drops pink food coloring
  • 2 tbsp sprinkles

Instructions
 

For the Sugar Cookies

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking dish with parchment paper and grease it.
  • In a medium sized bowl, combine the flour, corn starch, baking powder, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt. Whisk together the ingredients.
  • In a large bowl, cream together the unsalted butter and sugar together until light and fluffy with a handheld mixer. Add an egg and then the sour cream and continue to mix together the wet ingredients. Last, mix in the vanilla and almond extracts. Pour the dry ingredients in with the wet ingredients and gently combine with a spatula.
  • Dump out the cookie dough into the baking dish. Use your hands to spread it evenly to all the edges. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes until the edges have pulled away from the edges, the cookie has lightly browned, and the middle fully sets and springs back when poked. Allow the cookie to cool on a cooling rack before frosting it.

For the Buttercream Frosting

  • In a bowl, use a hand mixer to cream together the unsalted butter, sugar, vanilla extract, heavy cream, and cream cheese until the frosting is soft and fluffy. Add a drop or two of pink food coloring and fold it in until the color is even.
  • Two ways to frost the cookie bars – Transfer the buttercream frosting into a decorating bag with a star tip. Pipe rosettes on to the cookie bars. Alternatively, dump the frosting on the cookie bar and use an offset spatula to evenly spread a layer of the frosting.
  • Decorate with sprinkles. Cut into 8 equal-sized pieces and serve.

NUTRITION

Nutrition Facts
Lofthouse-Style Frosted Sugar Cookie Bars
Amount per Serving
Calories
398
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
21
g
32
%
Saturated Fat
 
13
g
81
%
Cholesterol
 
74
mg
25
%
Sodium
 
208
mg
9
%
Potassium
 
53
mg
2
%
Carbohydrates
 
51
g
17
%
Fiber
 
1
g
4
%
Sugar
 
32
g
36
%
Protein
 
4
g
8
%
Vitamin A
 
656
IU
13
%
Calcium
 
35
mg
4
%
Iron
 
1
mg
6
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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