Cream Cheese Sugar Cookie Bars with Cherry Jam Buttercream

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These bars are as pretty as they are delicious.  You can make them with cherry preserves, per the recipe.  Or you can substitute your favorite flavor of preserves in the buttercream.  Obviously, the color of the buttercream will vary if you substitute another flavor of preserves, but it will be equally delicious!  As with a few other recipes, we think these bars would be a big seller if you make them for the local bake sale.  Bake some today and enjoy!

Ingredients - Bars

  • 1 and 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted softened butter
  • 8 ounces softened full fat cream cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons best quality vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon fresh baking powder
  • 2 and 1/2 cups all purpose flour

Ingredients - Cherry Jam Buttercream

  • 1 cup unsalted softened butter
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup cherry preserves
  • 4 cups confectioners sugar


  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
  2. Lightly butter a 13″x18″ jelly roll pan, and line it with parchment paper
  3. In the bowl of your stand mixer, beat butter, cream cheese, sugar, and egg.  Blend until smooth
  4. Add the vanilla, salt, baking powder, baking soda and the flour, a bit at a time
  5. Blend until completely smooth
  6. With an offset spatula, spread the batter in the prepared jelly roll pan. Make sure it is smooth and level
  7. Bake for 10 minutes, then rap the pan a few times to release the air under the bars
  8. Bake for another 7 to 10 minutes, or until the bars are lightly golden brown.  Be careful not to over bake them, as they will become crunchy
  9. Cool for 10 minutes, then  place in the fridge while you while you make the buttercream
  10. Make the buttercream while the bars cool in the refrigerator
  11. In your stand mixer bowl, beat the butter and jam until combined
  12. Add the heavy cream and beat for a minute or so
  13. Slowly add the confectioners sugar and pinch of salt.  The buttercream will be fluffy and still have chunks of cherry from the preserves
  14. When the bars are completely cool, frost them with with an offset spatula
  15. Sprinkle with sprinkles, if desired
  16. Place back into the fridge while they set up completely
  17. Cut into bars and place in an airtight container, and keep in the fridge.  You can also double wrap them in wax paper and foil and freeze for up to a few months

Makes: 20 large bars

Prep time: 30 minutes

Bake time: 17-20 minutes

Recipe and photo reprinted with the permission of Liz Horne, author of Sweet Things by Lizzie

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