Healthy Frosted Sugar Cookie Bars
Yields: 16 sugar cookie bars
These sugar cookie bars are surprisingly simple to make, but they look really elegant and sophisticated. Plus they taste even better! Soft buttery sugar cookies, rich vanilla bean frosting, and fresh juicy berries on top… Absolutely irresistible! They’re best if eaten the same day they’re frosted, but even the frosted sugar cookie bars will keep for at least four days if stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F, and coat an 8”-square pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. To prepare the cookie bars, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the coconut oil or butter, egg, vanilla extract, and butter extract. Stir in the honey and vanilla stevia. Add in the flour mixture, stirring just until incorporated.
  3. Using a spatula, gently press the cookie dough into the prepared pan in a thin, even layer. Bake at 325°F for 10-12 minutes or until the center feels firm to the touch. Cool completely to room temperature in the pan.
  4. While the cookie bars bake, prepare the frosting. Beat the Greek yogurt, instant pudding mix, vanilla bean paste, and vanilla stevia together using an electric or stand mixer for 2 minutes. Cover the bowl with foil, and chill for at least 2 hours.
  5. Once the cookie bars are completely cool, spread the frosting across the top. (I highly recommend an offset spatula like this to do so!) Slice them into 16 square bars, and gently press 1 raspberry and 2 blueberries into the top of each bar.
Notes: Whole wheat pastry flour or all-purpose flour may be substituted for the white whole wheat flour. Regular whole wheat flour may be substituted in a pinch, but the cookies will have detectable “wheat-y” taste.

Use store-bought gluten-free flour blends (like this one!) for the gluten-free option, but make sure you measure them carefully, like this or with my favorite kitchen scale!

If using coconut oil, the cookies may have a faintly detectable coconut flour.

Vanilla extract may be substituted for the butter extract, but the cookies will not have the same iconic taste.

I highly recommend using the vanilla stevia! It's one of my favorite ingredients (you'll use it in all of these recipes of mine, too!), and I buy mine online here because that's the best price I've found.

You cannot substitute additional honey for the vanilla stevia because the cookies require a precise balance of wet and dry ingredients. However, you may substitute ½ cup + 2 tablespoons (120g) coconut sugar (or granulated sugar, if you aren’t concerned about keeping these cookies clean eating friendly) for both the honey and stevia, but the cookies will appear “speckled” if using coconut sugar because it doesn’t dissolve as well.

If you prefer not to use the vanilla stevia in the frosting, then substitute 1 teaspoon of this powdered stevia OR 2-3 tablespoons of Truvia or granulated sugar.

Pure maple syrup or agave may be substituted for the honey.

This is the instant pudding mix that I use. You just need the dry instant pudding mix—don’t prepare it according to the package directions! You may omit it, but you’ll need to increase the vanilla stevia (and just mix the ingredients together until incorporated—not for 2 full minutes!). Without the instant pudding mix, the frosting will be a bit runny and may slightly drip down the sides of your cookie bars.

This is the vanilla bean paste that I use. It’s affordable (I buy it online here!), and those black vanilla bean speckles gives the frosting an elegant look! You can substitute vanilla extract or omit the vanilla bean paste in the frosting, if you prefer.

{gluten-free, clean eating option, low fat, lower sugar}
Recipe by Amy's Healthy Baking at