Frosted Lemon Cookie Bars

Frosted Lemon Cookie Bars

This recipe all started at 7:20 a.m. last Friday when Jack was walking out of the door to work. He grabbed his lunchbox and folder and said nonchalantly, "Oh Mom, I forgot to tell you that we're all sharing lunch today, but don't worry, I don't have to bring anything."

Immediately, I fly into a panic. How can the son of a food blogger show up to a potluck empty-handed?!? Not to mention, I adore the people at his work, so I love making goodies for them.

I started rooting around to see what I could whip up and get down to his work by lunchtime. Luckily, we're always stocked up on butter, sugar, flour, and eggs. I also remembered that I had several lemons in the fridge. That's it! Frosted Lemon Cookie Bars!

The bars have a thick, soft cookie base, made with brown sugar, lemon, and vanilla. You'll also find another ingredient in the cookie part: butter flavoring. You might find it labeled as butter extract or imitation butter. Do not panic...I'm not asking you to drink it. A little bit in the batter makes the bars extra.....cookie-y. (Skip it if you must.)

Let's talk frosting. I've been inspired by ombre cakes lately (and cookies, of course) and thought ombre bars would be pretty, too. The frosting is a simple one. It's divided into 4 bowls and then tinted shades of yellow. The frosting actually turns out a very pale, soft yellow, so you only need to tint three bowl's worth.

Spread the frosting on the bars lengthwise, darkest to lighest....or lightest to darkest. ;) Then, spread them all together.

Once cut, the squares are so pretty with their gradient frosting. I loved just seeing them cut and on the serving tray.

As a friend of mine said, they're "squares of sunshine." I like that.

Frosted Lemon Cookie Bars

{makes 24 bars}


  • 2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 TBSP lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 TBSP shortening
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Read the whole recipe on Bake at 350