These decadent red velvet sugar cookie bars with cream cheese frosting are so divine. This is the best of both worlds, all the goodness of red velvet cake in an easy-to-make cookie bar form.
Red velvet is one of my favorite dessert flavors. It’s rich and chocolatey with the best hint of tang! If you love it as much as I do, here are a few more recipes you need to try: red velvet cheesecake, red velvet pound cake, and red velvet white chocolate chip cookies.
Red Velvet Sugar Cookie Bars
These could quite possibly be the best cookie bars that I have ever made. They’re thick, dense and slightly crisp on the edges. It’s a perfect cross between a cookie and dessert bar. Topped with a decadent cream cheese frosting, these are going to be you new go-to favorites. They’re everything you love about red velvet cake but in a moist, fudgy dessert bar form. Psst- they’re also a great option for Valentine’s Day!
These bars though. They’re so moist and heavenly! The tangy flavor of the cream cheese frosting perfectly complements the sweetness of the red velvet, making every bite a burst of flavor in your mouth. These sugar cookie ebars are so good, you’ll find yourself reaching for another one before you even finish the first! Perfect for a sweet snack, a party dessert, or even as a special breakfast treat, these bars are sure to become a favorite in no time. So go ahead, give them a try and taste the yummy goodness for yourself!
Ingredients for Red Velvet Cookie Bars and Frosting
These red velvet sugar cookies are scrumptious and easy to make. You are going to love how fast both the cookie bars and frosting come together. If you’re looking for exact measurements, they can all be found in the recipe card below.
- Flour: All-purpose flour works great here!
- Unsweetened Cocoa: If you have non-alkalized (also known as Dutch process) cocoa powder, use that!
- Salt: Balances out the sweetness of the cookie bars.
- Baking Powder: A necessary rising agent.
- Butter: Bring the butter to room temperature before using it. This way, you will end up with a smoother batter.
- Sugar: Just regular granulated sugar works fine!
- Eggs: Give the cookies texture and lift.
- Vanilla: Adds a little extra flavor. Use pure vanilla extract if you can!
- Red Food Coloring: For that signature red color.
Cream Cheese Frosting
- Cream Cheese: Make sure your cream cheese is at room temperature so your frosting ends up nice and smooth.
- Butter: Should also be at room temperature.
- Powdered Sugar: For thickness and sweetness.
- Vanilla: Adds an extra pop of flavor!
How to Make Red Velvet Sugar Cookie Bars
As easy as cookies but faster and more hands-off. These will be a winner when you’re short on time, but need big flavor and big wow factor. Red velvet makes everything just a bit more special! These sugar cookie bars almost look too good to eat.
- Preheat Oven, Prep Pan: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Have a 9×13 inch pan ready. I like to line mine with aluminum foil or parchment paper and spray it with cooking spray so that the bars easily lift out and are easy to cut.
- Mix Dry Ingredients: In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, salt, and baking powder. Then set aside.
- Mix Wet Ingredients: 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.
- Combine and Bake: Add the flour mixture until a soft dough forms. Press into the bottom of the 9×13 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.
- Prepare Frosting and Enjoy: 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!
Tips and Tricks
These heavenly red velvet sugar cookie bars are a cinch to make. Here are a few extra tips to keep in mind so they turn out perfectly!
- Prep Your Pan: Line your pan with aluminum foil and spray it with cooking spray so that the bars easily lift out and are easy to cut.
- Room Temperature Ingredients: The butter and cream cheese should be brought to room temperature naturally, not in the microwave. This will ensure the creamiest texture. The butter and cream cheese will incorporate more evenly.
- Batter Thickness: Don’t panic if the batter is thick, it’s definitely a cookie batter, not a cake batter.
- Press: When you put the cookie bars into the pan use a spatula to press down evenly. It will bake up nice and chewy and amazing!
- Add Toppings: Use your imagination to decorate these red velvet sugar cookie bars! Use sprinkles and candies to make them festive, for whatever holiday or occasion you’re making them for! You can also add a drizzle of chocolate or white chocolate sauce for extra decadence.
Red velvet sugar cookie bars with cream cheese frosting will last for 3-5 days if stored properly. To keep them fresh, it’s best to store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. When you’re ready to eat them, simply take the bars out of the refrigerator a few minutes before serving to allow them to reach room temperature. This way, they will be nice and soft and taste as good as they did on the first day!
Red Velvet Sugar Cookie Bars
- 2 1/2 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 red food coloring
Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 8 ounces cream cheese softened
- 1/2 cup butter softened
- 2 cups sifted powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Have a 9×13 inch pan ready. I like to line mine with aluminum foil or parchment paper and spray it with cooking spray so that the bars easily lift out and are easy to cut.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, salt, and baking powder. Set aside.
- 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.
- Add the flour mixture until a soft dough forms. Press into the bottom of the 9×13 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.
- 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!
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.
hi , your recipe looks good but i have a question please please reply can i use cookie cutter for this recipe
Do you use plain or self raising flour??
Just all purpose flour.
Help asap please! Just made these. Do they need to be refrigerated?!
Sorry just seeing this. I would refrigerate the leftovers.
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!
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!
It is so weird because they get mixed reviews but turn out amazing for me every time! I am glad they worked out for yoU!
These were delicious, can’t wait to make again!
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 🙂
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!
Please can you tell me what sort of flour is used. I am in the UK and we have plain and self raising. Thank you
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!
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
These looked really good and very pretty, however I made these last night and the bars are extremely dry.. I thought maybe there was too much flour added to the batter?
I was worried about the comments being too dry so I made them both ways. One with the original recipe and the second reduced by 1/3 cup of flour. The original turned out great. The reduced flour was way too gooey.
I wonder if the difference is humidity?
These look fantastic!! Will definitely be making these for work on Friday. Two quick questions:
1) Do you use unsalted butter?
2) Are we talking the little dropper bottles of food coloring that you can get at the grocery store?
Thanks so much!
For the bars you put vanilla extract and for the frosting you put just vanilla. I want to make sure they are two different things or maybe you meant to put extract for the frosting also? Thanks! Can’t wait to make them! 😉
Would love to try to make these gluten free… any recommendations for the substitutions?
Almond flour is great to sub for regular flour one to one.
Made these yesterday – just as directed. They turned out great, and the co-workers scarfed them up. I will agree that the recipe makes a bunch of icing, but I just slathered it all on anyway!
Seems like 2 packages of cream cheese would make too much?
It looks just like it is pictured. If you want to use less, then cut it in half. 🙂
These red velvet bars look delish. I want to try them for early 2015. Will most likely pull back on
the coloring to apprx. 1 tbsp. and will hope for the best on color. They look so yummy in the picture,
so I’m hoping for a good-tasting good-looking finished product. Thanks for sharing with all of us.
these look yummy!!! Going to make them for Valentines Day!!! ❤️
A coworker sent me this link and requested I make these for her, which I was more than happy to do so. I only made one change. When it was done I poured some melted chocolate that was mixed with condensed milk and cherry extract to the top and chilled it for 10 minutes. Then, I flipped them over and put the frosting on the other side. They were a huge hit and I will definitely be making them again
I found this recipe earlier this week and was so excited to make for my mom’s birthday dinner today. I read over all the comments and tips and was a little worried after reading the comments from ones where they didn’t turn out good. But the positive comments won.. Being very careful and using all the baking tips I know I am very sad to say they did not turn out good
Yeah I just don’t get it. I even made them again to double check and they turned out amazing and moist and were raved about! I don’t know what is going wrong for some people.