These Snickerdoodle Bars are everything you love about the classic cinnamon and sugar cookie. Baked in a sheet pan instead of individual cookie balls, these cookie bars are frosted with cinnamon icing before being sliced and served.
Snickerdoodles are known for their chewy centers and cinnamon-sugar topping. Baked in a 9 X 13-inch pan instead of being rolled, these snickerdoodle bars get a shower of cinnamon-sugar before heading into the oven.
Whether you are an edge or center person, you are going to love these cookies bars. The edges are crisp while the centers will melt in your mouth.
Baking the cookies as bars makes things so much faster. Instead of rolling individual cookie balls then tossing them in the cinnamon-sugar mixture, press the dough into the pan and bake.
You can eat these plain (trust me, I had a whole batch this way!) or frost them with cinnamon icing for a levelled-up snickerdoodle bar
Here is a quick glance at some of the ingredients needed beyond basic pantry staples.
- Unsalted butter
- Granulated sugar
- Light brown sugar
- All-purpose flour
- Cream of tartar
- Confectioners' sugar
See recipe card for quantities.
Tools and Equipment
These are the primary tools you will need to bake these cookie bars:
- Mixing bowls
- Hand or stand mixer
- 9 by 13-inch pan
- Parchment paper
- Offset spatula
- General kitchen tools (measuring spoons, cups, etc).
Steps for Making Snickerdoodle Bars
- Preheat the oven
- Make the cookie dough
- Press the dough in the pan until even
- Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture over the top of the dough
- Bake and cool
- Make the cinnamon icing
- Spread on the icing and sprinkle with cinnamon
Hint: Grease and line the baking pan with parchment paper so that you can lift the cookies out of the pan before slicing.
Don't have all of the ingredients? Here's what to do:
- Ground cinnamon - instead of cinnamon, try a different spice! Use equal amounts of pumpkin pie spice or cardamom.
- Cream of tartar - if you don't have cream of tartar, reduce the baking soda to ¼ teaspoon and add ½ teaspoon baking powder.
- Granulated sugar - use an equal amount of granulated sugar in place of the light brown sugar.
You can bake cookies without cream of tartar but they will be missing than signature tang of snickerdoodles. See substitutions above.
You can freeze unfrosted snickerdoodle bars. Wrap cooled cookies bars in plastic and freeze for up to three months.
You may cut the recipe in half and bake in an 8 X 8-inch square pan. Check for doneness around 16 minutes.
The dough will be thick and sticky. Use an offset spatula to spread it in the pan into an even layer before baking.
Store the frosted cookie bars in an air-tight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Unfrosted snickerdoodle bars may be frozen. Wrap the cookie bars in plastic then slip into a zip-top bag. Cookie bars can be frozen for up the three months.
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For the Cookie Dough
- 1 cup unsalted butter softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ⅔ cup light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teas vanilla extract
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ¼ teaspoons cream of tartar
- 1 teas baking soda
- ½ teas salt
For the Topping
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
For the Cinnamon Icing
- ¾ cup unsalted butter softened
- 3 cups confectioners' sugar
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon plus more for sprinkling
To Make the Cookie Bars
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and line the sides and bottom of a 9 X 13-inch baking pan. Set aside.
- In a bowl with a hand mixer (or a stand mixer with a paddle attachment), mix the butter until creamy. Add the granulated and light brown sugar and mix until fluffy and combined.
- With the mixer on low, add the eggs, one at a time. Add the vanilla and mix to combine.
- Sift in the all-purpose flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt. Mix until the flour begins to incorporate. Switch to a rubber spatula when the dough gets too thick.
- Tip the dough into the prepared pan and begin to smoosh and spread it out. Use an offset spatula to spread until even.
- In a small bowl, combine the 3 tablespoons sugar and 1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon. Sprinkle over the top of the cookie dough.
- Bake for 20 to 22 minutes. When done, the edges should be set but the center still soft.
- Cool the cookie bars in their pan over a wire rack before frosting.
To Make the Cinnamon Icing
- Place the butter in a bowl and mix with a hand mixer (or in stand mixer with the paddle attachment) until creamy.
- Add the confectioners' sugar, milk, vanilla, and cinnamon. Mix on low until incorporated.
- Turn the mixer up to medium and mix until smooth and fluffy.
- Use an offset spatula or the back of a spoon to spread and swirl the icing on top of the cooled cookie bars.
- Sprinkle with cinnamon and slice into 18 bars before serving.