Ugly Christmas Sweater Sugar Cookie Bars are the quickest way to make soft frosted sugar cookies for a crowd. No chilling, no cutting, no mess!

a baking pan of cookies decorated to look like one large Christmas sweater with tacky decorations

If you know me at all, you know that sugar cookies are kind of my thing. My friends and I started making the BEST Sugar Cookies ever over 25 years ago. They have become a baking tradition for thousands more of you every year, and I’m so very grateful!

As much as I love my cut-out sugar cookie recipe, I know that sometimes you don’t want to sit down to cut out and frost sugar cookies- especially for a large group.

three slices of cookie bars piled on top of one another on a plaid Christmas plate

That’s why you’re going to want to grab my recipe for these delightfully easy and wonderfully delicious Ugly Christmas Sweater Sugar Cookie Bars. With a few tips (and a few shortcuts), you can make these bars for a crowd in about an hour.

cookie bars decorated to look like a Christmas sweater with reindeer, snowmen, Christmas tree lights, candy cane, and presents as decorations

Tips for Making Ugly Christmas Sweater Sugar Cookie Bars

  • To pipe the frosting, you will need piping bags and cake decorating tips. In some recipes, you can get away with substituting zip-top bags for piping bags, but I would not recommend that for this frosting since it is thick. Piping bags are more durable than zip-top bags and will not break when you apply pressure to squeeze out the frosting.
  • Have fun piping a sweater design or spread the frosting. I applied the frosting with a small offset spatula.
a slice of cookie with white frosting and candy canes being served on a spatula

These icing decorations are so festive and easy! They come in many designs.

For the reindeer, I took a little inspiration from my Reindeer Pretzel recipe because they are adorable, and I love that sweet and salty combination.

If you’re going to cut mini pretzels, do it fast to avoid breaking. You may be tempted to try to slice the pretzels slowly, but a swift cut straight down does the trick. Be sure to keep your fingers out of the way!

sugar cookie bars in a baking dish decorated to look like a sweater shown alongside cookie cutters

The suggested serving size is 24 slices, but you can cut them even smaller since these are sweet, chewy cookies piled high with frosting and candies.

Everyone will be coming back for more!

Ugly Christmas Sweater Sugar Cookie Bars are shown on small Christmas plates
Ugly Christmas Sweater Sugar Cookie Bars are the quickest way to make soft frosted sugar cookies for a crowd. No chilling, no cutting, no mess!

Ugly Christmas Sweater Sugar Cookie Bars

Ugly Christmas Sweater Sugar Cookie Bars are the quickest way to make soft frosted sugar cookies for a crowd. No chilling, no cutting, no mess!

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  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract, see notes
  • 3 cups flour all purpose
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • candies for decorating


  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, see notes
  • 1/4 cup milk, or whipping cream


For the Cookies

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9×13 baking dish (or use parchment paper), set aside.
  • In the bowl of your mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream the butter and sugar for 2 minutes.
  • Add the eggs, vanilla, and almond extract.
  • In a separate bowl stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Slowly add to wet ingredients 1 cup at a time until incorporated. A dough will form and pull away from the sides of the mixer bowl when ready.
  • Drop by heaping tablespoons onto a greased baking dish, and press down with your fingers to flatten evenly.
  • Bake for 20 minutes until golden in color. Remove and place on a wire rack to cool completely.

For the Frosting

  • In the bowl of your mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter for 2 minutes. Slowly add powdered sugar, salt, and extracts. Use milk or cream (more or less) to thin the frosting to the desired consistency.
  • Separate any frosting you would like to color (I only used a small amount of green in this design).
  • Pipe over cooled sugar cookie bars in different patterns.
  • Decorate with sprinkles, sugar transfers, etc.


  • For the cookie bars, you can omit the almond extract. Substitute with vanilla if desired.
  • For the frosting, vanilla extract will give a slight tint to the frosting so use clear vanilla if you want a brighter frosting.


Calories: 282kcal, Carbohydrates: 33g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 16g, Saturated Fat: 10g, Cholesterol: 56mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 21g, Calcium: 22mg
Did you make this recipe?Tag @katrinaskitchen on Instagram with the hashtag #katrinaskitchenrecipes

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cookie bars decorated like Christmas a sweater shown in a baking sheet with a slice on a serving spatula

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