Iced Lemon Sugar Cookie Bars

I’ve had a small lemon tree on our roof for about 4 years now.  Every year prior to this one it gave one – ONE – lemon.  This year, out of nowhere, it’s full of them and they are all coming ripe.  Which means desserts (and dinners) are going to be leaning heavily on them!


  • 2 ¼ cups flour
  • 1 t baking soda
  • ¼ t salt
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ½ cup butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, softened to room temperature, separated
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 T lemon zest
  • ¼ cup + 3 T lemon juice, separated
  • 4 t vanilla, separated
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • Sprinkles and/or colored sugar (optional, but bright and fun!)


These are pretty easy (if you’ve been following along my dessert journey you know I love making easy desserts).

Butter and flour or spray a 13” x 9” pan and set it aside.

In a small/medium bowl add the flour, baking soda and salt and whisk together until well combined – set this aside.

In a large bowl (I used my stand mixer), add the sugar, butter, vegetable oil, 2 oz. of the cream cheese and the egg and yolk and mix until blended.  It’s ok if there are bits of cream cheese still visible.

Next, add in the lemon zest, ¼ cup of the lemon juice and 3 t of the vanilla to this bowl and mix briefly until just combined.

Finally slowly add in your dry mixture and once again mix until just combined.IMG_5488

Plop your batter into your prepared pan and smooth out the top with a spatula (or whatever).  Bake at 325 until the it’s a nice golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, maybe 35-40 minutes.

Take the pan out of the oven and move it to a wire rack to cool completely.

Once your cookies are cool, it’s time to make the icing.

In a small bowl add the remaining 3T lemon juice, the remaining 2 oz. cream cheese and the remaining 1t vanilla and mix together until combined.  Then, add in the powdered sugar and mix again until the whole thing is nice and smooth.

IMG_5496IMG_5498Take the icing and spread it over the bars.  Then, if you’re using sprinkles and or colored sugar, add them (you want to add them while the icing is still soft).

Let the icing set, then cut your deliciousness into pieces and serve!IMG_5501

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