These delicious Coconut Sugar Cookie Bars are frosted with a coconut frosting and topped with even more sweetened shredded coconut for a tropical treat! They are soft, sweet, and great for parties or potlucks!
Dessert bars are one of our favorite approaches because they are so easy to make and you don't have to frost each individual cookie. Some of our other favorites are Lunch Lady Peanut Butter Bars, Banana Bars, and Cherry Pie Bars.
They are a great dessert to make when you don't have a whole lot of time for dropping or rolling out individual cookies and carefully frosting each one.
But I mostly love them for the delicious texture or the coconut sprinkled on top like my favorite white donuts with white glaze and coconut.
What You'll Need
Scroll down to the recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.
- Cake flour
- Baking powder
- Kosher salt
- Unsalted butter
- Granulated sugar
- Vanilla extract
- Coconut extract
- Sour cream
- Powdered sugar
- Heavy cream
- Sweetened Flaked or Shredded coconut
How to Make Frosted Coconut Sugar Cookie Bars
Make cookie dough. Cream butter and sugar with a mixer, then beat in the egg, vanilla, and coconut extract. Mix in the sour cream, stopping to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl before adding the dry ingredients and mixing until combined into a thick batter.
Bake. Drop spoonfuls of the batter into a 9x13-inch baking dish lined with parchment paper and gently spread into an even layer. Bake for 18-20 minutes just until the edges of the bars start to turn slightly brown. Remove from the oven and cool completely.
Make frosting. Meanwhile, make the sugar cookie frosting by beating softened butter for 1-2 minutes until creamy and smooth. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla, coconut extract, a pinch of salt, and heavy cream. Beat for 2-3 minutes until creamy and light, adding more cream as needed to get a nice spreadable consistency.
Decorate. Spread frosting onto the cooled sugar cookie bars, then sprinkle with shredded coconut to finish. Lift the bars out of the pan using the parchment paper sling and cut into squares before serving.
Tips for Success
- Use room temperature ingredients. Not only does this help everything mix together more easily but you will see better results to your bakes if you let cold ingredients like butter, eggs, and sour cream sit out at room temperature for a bit before you begin baking.
- Don't overbake. Nobody wants to eat dry, overbaked sugar cookie bars. Check the bars for doneness by looking at the edges which should barely be starting to turn golden brown. The tops of the bars will still be a pale color when you remove them from the oven and they will be slightly underbaked but continue to set up in the hot pan after they are removed from the oven.
- Use parchment paper and binder clips. I am the literal worst at cutting straight lines in a pan, so I like to line it with parchment paper first so I can lift the bars out at the end to cut better lines. Binder clips will help keep the parchment paper in place while you spread out the coconut sugar cookie dough into the bottom of the pan.
- Try using toasted coconut. We did a combination of ¼ cup toasted coconut and ¾ cup untoasted coconut to top these bars, but you could use all toasted coconut for a nuttier flavor and more crunch or all regular shredded coconut for a sweeter, softer taste and chewier texture if you prefer.
Yes, of course! If the flavor of the coconut extract is too much or too artificial for you, you can decrease or omit it from the recipe. You could also consider replacing the heavy cream in the frosting with a couple tablespoons of coconut milk instead for a more natural coconut flavor.
Spread 1 cup of coconut in a single layer on a baking sheet and toast in a 350°F for 8-12 minutes, watching it closely so it doesn't burn. You might want to stir it halfway through baking to be sure it toasts evenly.
How to Store
These coconut sugar cookie bars will keep will on the counter for 3-5 days in an airtight container. Don't stack them without a layer of parchment paper in between the bars to prevent them from sticking.
Can I freeze coconut sugar cookie bars?
Yes, the frosted bars can be frozen for about 2 months in an airtight container. Place a piece of parchment paper between layers of bars so they don't stick together. Thaw on the counter for an hour or two before serving.
More Coconut Recipes
Did you make this recipe?
Let me know what you thought with a comment and rating below. You can also take a picture and tag me on Instagram @houseofnasheats or share it on the Pinterest pin so I can see.
Frosted Coconut Sugar Cookie Bars
- ½ cup salted butter, softened
- ¾ cup granulated sugar (150g)
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon coconut extract
- ¼ cup sour cream, room temperature
- 2 cups cake flour* (238g)
- 1 ½ Tablespoons cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup salted butter, softened
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon coconut extract
- Pinch of salt
- 2-4 Tablespoons heavy cream or milk
- 1 cup shredded sweetened coconut, for topping
- Preheat the oven to 350℉. Line a 9”x13” pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar together with a hand mixer.
- Add egg, vanilla, and coconut extracts and mix until well blended.
- Add sour cream and beat until fully combined.
- Incorporate dry ingredients, mix until just combined.
- Drop batter but large spoonfuls into the prepared dish. Batter will be very thick. Spread batter evenly for uniform baking.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes or until the edges are slightly browned. Don’t overbake.
- Cool completely before frosting.
- Beat softened butter until creamy, about 1 minute.
- Add powdered sugar, vanilla, and coconut extracts, salt, and 2 Tablespoons of heavy cream.
- Beat until desired consistency is attained, thinning with more cream if needed.
- Spread onto bars and top with shredded coconut.
- Storage: These coconut sugar cookie bars will keep will on the counter for 3-5 days in an airtight container. Don't stack them without a layer of parchment paper in between the bars to prevent them from sticking.
- Freezing: The frosted bars can be frozen for about 2 months in an airtight container. Place a piece of parchment paper between layers of bars so they don't stick together. Thaw on the counter for an hour or two before serving.
- Cake flour: You can use regular all-purpose flour in place of the cake flour in this recipe but the bars won't be quite as soft and fluffy. Or replace ¼ cup of the total flour with an additional ¼ cup of cornstarch for an easy cake flour substitute.
- Omitting coconut extract: You can leave out the coconut extract from the frosting for less of an artificial coconut taste, if preferred.
- Coconut milk: Instead of heavy cream for the frosting, consider using coconut milk for even more natural coconut flavor.
- Toasting coconut: Spread ¼ to 1 cup of coconut in a single layer on a baking sheet and toast in a 350°F for 8-12 minutes, watching it closely so it doesn't burn. You might want to stir it halfway through baking to be sure it toasts evenly.