Red Velvet Sugar Cookie Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

Delicious red velvet sugar cookie bars with cream cheese frosting without all of the hard work!


Red Velvet Sugar Cookie Bars on a white plate.

These could quite possibly be the best cookie bars that I have ever made. I mentioned earlier that my oven went out. We thought that it was fixed but now it gets way to hot and burns things. I have really been having withdrawals from baking a yummy treat. You can only do so much with a slow cooker, microwave and a toaster oven. Sigh. So I spent my Friday night doing some baking at my parents house. It turned out to be quite nice. I relaxed while I was baking and caught up on some chit chat with my dad. They will let me use their oven any day in exchange for a yummy treat.

These bars though. I can’t believe how heavenly they were! Perfect sugar cookie base. Moist and delicious. And I love anything that has to do with red velvet. The best part. The cream cheese frosting. Wow. You are going to love these bars! And so will everyone around you. I know that red velvet is big around Valentine’s Day, but these are going to be made year round at our house!

Red Velvet Sugar Cookie Bars on a white plate with a bite taken out of one.


Red Velvet Sugar Cookie Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Author Alyssa Rivers
Servings 16 Bars


Delicious red velvet sugar cookie bars with cream cheese frosting without all of the hard work!

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword cookie bar recipes, red velvet cookies, red velvet sugar cookie bars


  • 3 1/3 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweet­ened cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon bak­ing pow­der
  • 1 cup but­ter softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 Tablespoons one 1-ounce bottle red food coloring

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 2 8 Oz cream cheese softened
  • 1/2 cup butter softened
  • 2 cups sifted powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Have a 9x13 inch pan ready. I like to line mine with aluminum foil and spray it with cooking spray so that the bars easily lift out and are easy to cut.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, salt, and baking powder. Set aside.
  3. In a mixing bowl, cream together 1 cup butter softened and sugar until light and creamy. About 2-3 minutes. Beat in the eggs, vanilla, and food coloring until combined.
  4. Add the flour mixture until a soft dough forms. Press into the bottom of the 9x13 inch pan. Bake for about 20 minutes until the edges start to pull away from the sides and a toothpick entered into the center comes out clean. Allow to completely cool before frosting.
  5. To make the cream cheese frosting, Beat together the cream cheese and butter. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla. Beat together until smooth. Frost the top of the bars and enjoy!

Nutrition Facts

Serves: 16

Calories452kcal (23%)Carbohydrates55g (18%)Protein5g (10%)Fat24g (37%)Saturated Fat15g (75%)Cholesterol86mg (29%)Sodium291mg (12%)Potassium109mg (3%)Fiber1g (4%)Sugar34g (38%)Vitamin A799IU (16%)Calcium42mg (4%)Iron2mg (11%)

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.

Tried this recipe?Mention @alyssa_therecipecritic or tag #therecipecritic

Alyssa Rivers

I am Alyssa and the blogger behind The Recipe Critic. I started my blog in June of 2012 as a place to share my passion for cooking. I love trying new things and testing them out with my family.

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  1. These look amazing AND taste amazing. I just made them tonight for my husband for Valentine’s Day and I am extremely pleased with how simple they were and how thick and creamy the frosting was.

    I’m not sure why you got bad reviews, but these are not a recipe to be disappointed in. Delicious!

    1. Yeah I couldn’t understand why they aren’t turning out for some people. I worried about it so much I made them again and they turned out great for me. Sigh

  2. First things first: I made these for a work potluck and they were a huge hit! Full disclosure, I have my own cream cheese frosting recipie and I used that instead, but I don’t think it changed it much. I read the comments and saw some people had problems. I think I have some insight.
    1. Cookie bar turned brown. Most of the food coloring sold in supermarkets is PINK, not red, so that turns it’s kind of maroon. Annoying, but it happens. Happened to me and didn’t change the taste.
    2. Tastes too floury. I decreased the flour by a tiny bit. I added 1/3 cups cocoa powder and 3 1/4 cups of flour. You can honestly get away with adding even slightly less.
    3. Cookie bars too hard. You probably over baked them. It seems 20 minutes might be too long. I did 17 minutes and it was perfect.

    Anyway, I hope this helps. These came out really good and I will definitely make them again!

  3. Thank you for this fantastic recipe. I made for my family for Valentine’s, and they were amazing!!!!! Everyone loved them! I’ll be making these for my birthday rather than a cake 🙂

  4. I made these and they were great! I’m wondering if the people who thought they were dry were expecting something like a brownie or cake. I was confused why people kept asking about using boxed cake mix… that would give you cake not sugar cookies. These were awesome!

  5. Want to make these for a cookie exchange.. Any tips on storing these? Would these be good for this? Please respond, want to do these asap!

  6. Made this recipe today and they were very hard and dry! I will try them again but will increase the butter and reduce flour!

  7. These turned out absolutely horrible. I even checked the recipe twice to make sure I did it correctly. Don’t make these. They will be going in the trash. Dry and crumbly and tasted like flour.

    1. Thats interesting because someone just left a comment that said this: These cookie bars were fairly easy to make, and ever sooo delicious to eat! Loved the contrasting textures and flavors. The frosting was amazing and will be my “go to” for cream cheese frosting. My cookie bars turned out very close to the picture, so I was delighted with that.

      I am wondering if there was a problem on your end. These bars are amazing!! One of the best cookie bars and a family favorite. Chewy, delicious and the cream cheese frosting on top is awesome!

  8. These bars do look pretty but I was disappointed in them. Mostly in the frosting. IMO, the ratio of cream cheese, butter and confectioners sugar is off. The frosting just wasn’t sweet enough. For two 8 oz.of cream cheese, most recipes would call for 1 cup of butter and 4 cups of confectioners sugar. Plus a dash of salt or lemon to bring out the flavor would really help. Cream cheese is expensive and I feel like I wasted 2 blocks of cream cheese. As far as the cookie base, that turned out fine for me. Very red in color and very moist.

  9. Just made these for Christmas…and only one word is appropriate…AMAZING!!!! This recipe is perfect…at first I was worried they might be too dry because the dough seemed so stiff and I practically had to shove the last bit of flour in there. But my worries were put to rest after the first glance and then the first bite. These will be a hit tomorrow, and I will for sure make them again…Valentine’s Day, Christmas, St. Paddy’s Day (with green coloring? Lol!). Thank you for this!!

  10. Hi
    Could i get the recipe in grams and mililiters please ? im from the netherlands and i dont understand the american cooking measurements
    thank you!

  11. Hello! For high altitude baking, it is recommended to increase liquid by certain amounts depending on your altitude. I’m up here at 6000ft! Most things recommend increasing by 1-2 tablespoons at 3000ft, and 1.5 teaspoons for each additional 1000 feet, with water. Eggs can also be used to increase this liquid. In light of the comments for some people stating it’s coming out too dry, do you have any recommendations so I don’t run into this at my higher altitude? Thanks! Excited to make these for my students!

  12. This looks lovely! But I’m from Europe and don’t understand the American measurements for everything, like the 1,5 cup etc. We use grams. I hope you can translate it for me, because I’m dying to make these.

    Lots of love,

    A fan.

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