Vegan Sugar Cookie Bars
These vegan sugar cookie bars have all the fun and flavour of a traditional sugar cookie, without the rolling and cutting—or the dairy and eggs. They’re chewy, buttery, and topped with pretty pink frosting!
I’m so excited about these vegan sugar cookie bars! Maybe it’s the pink frosting, or maybe it’s the chewy sugar cookie base—but I think the nostalgia factor is part of their appeal, too. As adults, we treat ourselves to high-end cookies like White Chocolate Macadamia Nut and Salted Chocolate Chip Tahini Cookies, but who doesn’t have a soft spot for the simple sugar cookies we enjoyed when we were kids?
Sugar cookie bars are the perfect way to enjoy the flavour of a traditional sugar cookie, without all the hassle of rolling and cutting out shapes. These easy-to-make bars are always a hit at holiday parties, picnics, and potlucks, and you can customize them with your favourite frosting and toppings—while sprinkles are the standard, you can create a sugar cookie fruit pizza by layering on fresh fruit, or get out your piping bag and tips and get creative!
Best of all, these vegan sugar cookie bars only require a few simple ingredients that you probably already have in your kitchen!
Notes on Ingredients
Please note that this is important information on the ingredients and instructions and the FULL recipe with amounts and details can be found DOWN BELOW (scroll to it) in the recipe card.
For the Vegan Sugar Cookie Bars:
- Vegan butter – Let this come to room temperature so it’s easy to incorporate into the other ingredients.
- White granulated sugar
- Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract – Any vanilla extract you have on hand is fine, but this one is my favourite!
- Vegan milk – I recommend an unflavoured variety.
- All-purpose flour – A cup-for-cup gluten-free all-purpose flour substitute can be used if you prefer.
- Baking powder
- Baking soda
- Sea salt
For the Frosting:
- Powdered sugar – Make sure you sift this first so you don’t end up with lumpy frosting!
- Vegan butter – This butter will also need to be softened.
- Vanilla extract
- Vegan milk
- Sea salt – Omit this if you’re using salted butter.
- Pink or red food colouring – Or whatever colour you like!
What Can I Use to Colour My Frosting?
I recommend using a gel or paste food colouring for the sugar cookie frosting. Both of these options are nice because they don’t add liquid to the frosting, which has the potential to change its texture.
It’s important to note that gels and pastes have intense colour, so I usually dip a toothpick into them, then swirl that into the frosting. Stir to incorporate, then add more colouring if needed.
How to Make Vegan Sugar Cookie Bars
Did I mention how easy it is to make these bars?! So easy! Here’s what you’ll need to do:
Prepare. Preheat your oven to 350°F/180°C and line an 8×8-inch pan with parchment paper.
Mix the wet ingredients. In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar for about 3 minutes on medium-low speed. Add the vanilla extract and vegan milk; beat for another 30 seconds, or until incorporated.
Mix the dry ingredients. In a small separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and sea salt. Whisk to combine.
Combine the wet and dry ingredients. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients. Mix for about 2 minutes to incorporate, scraping down the bowl as needed.
Bake. Transfer the dough to the prepared pan and bake for 22 to 23 minutes. Let the bars cool completely before adding the frosting.
Make the frosting. Beat the butter and vanilla for 2 to 3 minutes, until they’re fluffy. Fold in the powdered sugar with a rubber spatula, then beat for a minute. Beat in ¼ tablespoon of vegan milk at a time until the frosting reaches your desired volume and consistency. Add the food colouring, then beat for about 5 minutes, or until the frosting is fluffy, pink, smooth, and creamy.
Can You Use Cake Frosting on Sugar Cookies?
I use a fluffy vegan buttercream for these sugar cookie bars, but you can certainly use cake frosting instead! I recommend making half the amount, or simply freezing any extra for another day. Try my Vegan Chocolate Frosting or Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting.
Tips for Success
Here are some tips for vegan sugar cookie bar perfection!
- Don’t over-bake. The bars will be slightly under-baked when you pull them out of the oven, which is fine because they’ll continue baking from the residual heat of the pan. This is how you get that signature chewy sugar cookie base!
- Cutting clean bars. Use the parchment paper to lift the bars out of the pan and place them on a cutting board. From here, you can cut them into squares using a large chef’s knife. If the frosting seems too soft to cut cleanly, you can pop the bars in the refrigerator for a bit until it sets.
- Make it a sugar cookie cake. Want to make a vegan sugar cookie cake? You can bake this recipe in a round cookie cake pan; it will take less time to bake, so I recommend checking for doneness at the 15-minute mark.
How to Store
Store these bars in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. You can either wrap them in the baking pan or transfer them to an airtight container; if you need to stack the bars, place parchment paper between the layers to keep them from sticking together.
Can This Recipe Be Frozen?
Yes, you can freeze these vegan sugar cookie bars for up to 3 months. Wrap them individually or place them in a freezer bag with parchment paper between the layers.
Enjoy friends! If you make this vegan sugar cookie bar recipe, please snap a photo and tag #jessicainthekitchen on Instagram! We’d also love it if you would leave a comment below, and give the recipe a rating! Thanks so much!
Vegan Sugar Cookie Bars
For the bars:
- ½ cup vegan butter, 112g, room temperature
- ½ cup white granulated sugar, 100g
- 1 teaspoon Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract
- 2 tablespoons vegan milk
- 1 ½ cups flour of choice regular all-purpose flour, 180g
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
For the frosting:
- 1 1/2 – 1 3/4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
- 1/2 cup vegan butter softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 tablespoon vegan milk add more if needed
- pinch sea salt if using unsalted butter
- Few drops of pink or red food colouring
For the bars:
- Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C. Line an 8×8 pan. Cream together the butter and sugar for about 3 minutes on medium low speed.
- Add in the vanilla extract and vegan milk and blend for another 30 seconds until incorporated.
- In a small separate bowl, sift together your flour, baking powder, baking soda and sea salt until thoroughly combined.
- Add in your flour mixture into the wet mix. Mix for about 2 mins to incorporate. Scrape down the bowl.
- Add to your lined 8×8 pan. Bake for 22-23 minutes. It’ll be slightly underbaked which is fine because it keeps cooking while it cools.
- Let it cool completely. Top it with buttercream frosting tinted with a little bit of pink or red food colouring. Top with sprinkles and enjoy!
For the frosting:
- Beat the butter and vanilla for about 2-3 minutes.
- Add in the sifted powdered sugar. Fold it in with a spatula so it doesn’t fly everywhere, then beat for about 1 minute. Add in a ¼ tablespoon of vegan milk at a time until it reaches your preferred volume and consistency.
- Add the food colouring, then beat for about 5 minutes, using the spatula to mix everything together every other minute, until the frosting is fluffy, pink, smooth and creamy.
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