Italian Cream Cake Cookie Bars begin with cake mix and taste just like classic Italian Cream Cake but in cookie form!
With a homemade cream cheese frosting, topped with pecans, you can't go wrong with these little delights.
One of our favorite desserts for a crowd or keep them for yourself - freezer friendly!
Why You'll Love These Cookie Bars
These cookie bars are made from cake mix! The ingredients form a chewy, cookie-like crust. After cooling, spread the rich homemade cream cheese frosting on top.
These bars are rich and decadent just like the original layered cake.
Are you a fan of dessert bars? You may also want to try my Easy Blonde Brownies! Now let's get back to these tasty cookie bars 🙂
What Makes Them Special
These Italian Cream Cake Bars have all the flavor of the familiar Italian cream cake recipe without all the steps. Just make, bake, frost, and cut into squares or bars! Cake mix cookie bars are simple to make yet special enough for holidays and parties.
The batter consists of yellow cake mix, pecans, coconut, butter, and milk. These ingredients form a chewy, cookie-like crust.
After cooling, spread the homemade cream cheese frosting on top. These bars remind me of the day we were married because we had an Italian Wedding Cake at our reception. Awww!
- Yellow Cake Mix - cake mix is an easy shortcut! No measuring required and the ingredients are perfectly blended for baking.
- Butter - use the real stuff for best flavor and texture.
- Unsalted Chopped Pecans - located in the baking section of a store. If your store is out, order from the link I've provided.
- Shredded Sweetened Coconut - comes in a bag in the baking section of a store.
- Evaporated Milk - substitute whole milk for the evaporated milk if you prefer to use it instead.
- Powdered Sugar - also known as confectioners sugar, this is for the frosting.
- Cream Cheese - allow time for the cream cheese to come to room temperature (soften) for the frosting.
- Milk - for the cream cheese frosting.
- More Pecans (for sprinkling on top of frosting).
How to Make Cake Mix Cookie Bars
(1) Mix the cake mix, butter, and milk until well blended. Stir in the pecans and coconut.
(2) Spread into a greased and floured 9" x 13" pan.
(3) Bake at 350 degrees F for about 30 minutes or until lightly browned. Let cool completely.
(4) Make the cream cheese frosting and spread on top of cookie bars. Garnish with additional chopped pecans. Cut into bars or squares.
I have a Google Web Story for how to make Italian Cake Cookie Bars.
Frequently Asked Questions
These bars freeze very well! Store the frosted cookie squares in an airtight container or ziptop freezer bag in the freezer for up to 3 months. I like to wrap them in plastic wrap first then place them inside a zipper-top bag. This keeps the cookie bars fresh and prevents ice crystals from forming. When ready to eat, thaw desired amount of cookie bars on the counter.
Any leftovers should be refrigerated due to the cream cheese frosting. These bars can be frozen as well.
Not for this recipe. Baking the cookie bars is simply the best option as it yields a crisp and chewy consistency.
When using nuts for baking, always buy unsalted nuts. These are found in the baking section of the grocery store. Don't use salted nuts found in the snack section of the store.
If you don't have time to wait for the butter to soften on the countertop, you can speed up the process by using your microwave. To quickly soften butter in the microwave, use the defrost setting (30%) and microwave in 5-second intervals until it's soft. Be careful not to melt the butter or the cookie consistency just won't be the same.
More Cookie and Bar Recipes
If you try these delicious cookie bars, please rate this recipe and leave me a comment below. Thank you!
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Italian Cream Cake Cookie Bars
- mixing bowls
- electric hand mixer
- measuring cup(s)
- measuring spoons
COOKIE BAR INGREDIENTS
- 1 box Yellow cake mix
- 1 stick Butter, softened 1 stick = ½ cup
- 5 oz Evaporated milk (or whole milk)
- 1 cup Unsalted chopped pecans (plus more for garnish)
- 1 cup Shredded sweetened coconut
- 2 cups Powdered sugar
- 4 oz Cream cheese, softened
- 2 tablespoons Whole milk
- Preheat oven to 350F. Mix the cake mix, butter, and evaporated milk until well blended (an electric hand mixer works well for this step). Stir in the pecans and coconut. Spread into a greased and floured 9 x 13 cake pan. Bake for about 30 minutes or until lightly browned. Let cool completely before frosting.
- For the frosting: Mix the powdered sugar and softened cream cheese with a little milk (add just enough milk, about 2 tablespoons, to get the consistency of honey). A whisk works great for this step. Spread on top of cooled cookie bar crust and top with additional pecans.
This recipe was previously published and was updated in 2022.
Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy to my readers. I'm not a nutritionist and I don't guarantee the accuracy of this data. The data may differ according to the brands I used versus the brands you use. To calculate the data yourself using your brands, try using an online nutrition calculator or app.