Vanilla bean cookie bars are delicate, girly, and delicious, thanks to plenty of vanilla beans.

Front view of several cookie bars on white plate, with one bar on surface in front of plate. Text overlay reads "vanilla bean cookie bars.".

Clearly I’m obsessed with vanilla beans. This is nothing that we do not already know. Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese, Vanilla Bean Buttercream, Vanilla Granola, Vanilla Bean Butter, Vanilla Bean Candied Walnuts, vanilla, vanilla, vanilla. Should I go on?  Because there are also meringues, and pancakes…and…

Or perhaps I should seek treatment?

Vanilla bean lovers anonymous. Who’s coming with me?

Overhead of five cookie bars randomly arranged on black background.

I just love seeing those little specks of vanilla in whatever I’m eating. (PS: these are my favorite vanilla beans – they’re consistently good!) It’s pretty much a promise that whatever you’re about to put into your mouth is going to taste great.

Moreover, these vanilla bean cookie bars look so pretty and classy. That’s what makes these cookie bars perfect for a party or a Mother’s Day brunch. Girly, feminine and so full of fragrant vanilla.

Not into pink? Go more traditional and omit the food coloring for a classic white look. I think vanilla bean cookie bars are perfect in their pure white form for a bridal shower with pearly sprinkles or colored sugar to match the wedding colors.

Closeup front view of bar with bite removed, on black background.

Vanilla bean cookie bars consist of two layers: a vanilla cookie base that is baked and cooled, and a thick buttercream frosting layer that can be tinted with food coloring, if desired. Oh, I guess there are three layers! Sprinkles, colored sugar, jimmies, whatever you like to decorate with. 

Vanilla bean cookie bars are so versatile and fun–customize the colors to match the occasion. Enjoy!

Looking for delicious bar recipes?

Here’s a few of my favorites. You simply have to try the blondies if you like the vanilla bean cookie bars. 


Single cookie bar square in front of plate containing several bars.

Vanilla Bean Cookie Bars

Yield: 20-24 bars
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 14 minutes
Additional Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 59 minutes

Vanilla bean cookie bars are delicate, girly, and delicious, thanks to plenty of vanilla beans.


For the cookie bars:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened (2 sticks)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar
  • the seeds scraped from one vanilla bean
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

For the frosting:

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened (1 stick)
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • the seeds scraped from one vanilla bean
  • 1 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • gel food coloring (optional)
  • sprinkles (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare a 9×13 pan by spraying it lightly with baking spray, lining with parchment paper and spraying again.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, cream together butter, salt, sugar and vanilla beans. Add egg yolks and mix well. Add the flour and mix until a dough forms.
  3. Press the dough evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan.
  4. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes or until firm. Remove and let cool completely on a wire rack.
  5. Meanwhile, combine all of the frosting ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer and whip until fluffy.
  6. Spread the frosting over the cooled cookie base and immediately sprinkle with sprinkles.
  7. Chill in the freezer for at least 30 minutes before slicing into bars and serving.


  • Leave the frosting white, or tint it with a different color. Use whatever sprinkles or jimmies you like.
  • Don't have vanilla beans? Substitute 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 219Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 46mgSodium: 49mgCarbohydrates: 26gFiber: 0gSugar: 17gProtein: 2g sometimes provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as they are not calculated by a registered dietitian. Please consult a medical professional for any specific nutrition, diet, or allergy advice.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

Remember to head to Monday’s post for a Hibiscus Pear Brunch Cocktail!