Cheater Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

5 from 1 vote

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For bakers and non-bakers alike, these chocolate chip cookie bars come together effortlessly with the use of a cake mix and a handful of additional ingredients!

chocolate chip cookie bars on a white piece of parchment paper with a chocolate covered knife beside and a bowl of chocolate chips and two eggs beside it.
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These Cheater Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars couldn’t be simpler.  You start with a cake mix and add a few more things, and voila! You’ll look like a pro baker with minimal effort and time. That’s why these have “cheater” in the name—they practically make themselves.

Not only do they come together in a hurry, but they are so, so good. They stay soft and moist and pair nicely with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

chocolate chip cookie bars on a white piece of parchment paper.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • A few simple ingredients are all it takes to whip up a batch of these bars!
  • Cookie bars are so much easier to make than regular cookies—only one pan to put in and take out of the oven.
  • These bars are perfect for snacks and are perfect for making ahead on the weekends for lunchboxes.

Recipe Ingredients

  • Yellow cake mix – I used Betty Crocker
  • Eggs
  • Brown sugar
  • Butter
  • Chocolate chips – use your favorite chocolate chips!
  • Shortening or coconut oil

See the recipe card below for full information on ingredients and quantities.

chocolate chip cookie bars in a blue and white pan with a bowl of chocolate chips and two eggs beside it on a black and white checkered towel.
  1. Combine all ingredients except 1/2 cup chocolate chips and shortening or coconut oil.
  2. Spread into a greased 9×13-inch pan.
  3. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes, or until light brown.
  4. Melt the shortening (or coconut oil) and the remaining chocolate chips and drizzle or spread over the top of the bars.

Recipe FAQs

What are cookie bars?

Cookie bars take all the goodness of cookies and turn them into a simplified single-layer dessert. Rather than having to roll dough into balls and bake all the cookies separately, you simply pour the cookie batter into a greased baking dish. It allows you to make a bulk dessert that’s easy to travel with and share with others!

When should you cut cookie bars?

Wait until the cookie bars have cooled for at least 20 minutes and the chocolate drizzle has settled before cutting into them. You don’t want them to be so warm that they lose their shape or the chocolate slides off into a gooey mess. (Although, isn’t that the best sort of mess?)

How long will Cheater Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars last?

These are such a fantastic dessert to bring to gatherings or potlucks, and if you have any remaining afterwards, they’ll keep for up to a week covered in the fridge! You can also freeze them for a month or two, and they’ll be just fine.

chocolate chip cookie bars on a white piece of parchment paper.

Expert Tips

  • Don’t be nervous about the cake mix; they aren’t cake-y in flavor when you are done, and the mix allows you to get a solid head-start on this easy-as-piecake recipe.
  • Change up the flavor by using different chocolate chips like white or mint, or try a peanut butter-oatmeal cookie bar that’s almost as easy!
For bakers and non-bakers alike, these chocolate chip cookie bars come together effortlessly with the use of a cake mix and a handful of additional ingredients!
5 from 1 vote
For bakers and non-bakers alike, these cookie bars come together effortlessly with the use of a cake mix and a handful of additional ingredients!
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 24 bars

Ingredients 

  • 1 package yellow cake mix, I used Betty Crocker
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 cups chocolate chips, divided
  • 1 tablespoon shortening or coconut oil
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Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine the cake mix, eggs, brown sugar, melted butter, and water.
  • Stir in 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips.
  • Spread into a greased 9×13-inch pan.
  • Bake for 18 to 22 minutes, or until light brown.
  • In a small bowl, melt shortening (or coconut oil) and the remaining 1/2 cup of chocolate chips in the microwave; drizzle over the top (or just spread it if you don’t feel like drizzling).
  • Cut into bars and enjoy!

Notes

  • I don’t have luck with store-brand or cheap cake mixes. I used a Betty Crocker one, and it had great results.
  • Depending on your preferences, you can use milk, semi-sweet, dark chocolate chips, or a combination.
  • Wait until the cookie bars have cooled for at least 20 minutes and the chocolate drizzle has settled before cutting into them.
  • These bars can be kept in the fridge for up to a week and in the freezer for a couple of months.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 of 24 bars, Calories: 190kcal, Carbohydrates: 30g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Trans Fat: 0.2g, Cholesterol: 19mg, Sodium: 178mg, Potassium: 62mg, Fiber: 0.3g, Sugar: 20g, Vitamin A: 79IU, Calcium: 61mg, Iron: 1mg
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8 Comments

  1. Deborah says:

    5 stars
    We’ve been making these for almost a decade, love the update with the coconut oil option. My husband requests these every year for his birthday in lieu of a cake. Simple, and delicious!

  2. Laura Eller says:

    Melissa, love this recipe! And, I found your blog as I was looking for a good recipe and recognized you from Bountiful Court, years back. You were about to be married. Anyway, I really looked up to you and appreciated your great example. How neat that 5+ years later, you bless my life again! Thank you! Laura Eller (I lived in apt. 11 with Amanda, Carrie, Ashley, Sarah and Taylor)

    1. Laura Eller says:

      I guess back then I was Laura Packer, in case that jogs any memories 🙂

    2. Melissa @ Bless This Mess says:

      Ahh. That name change did throw me for a loop Packer! Yes! How the heck are you! I’m so pleased to meet back up. You are way to nice, I’m just an uber dork who likes to cook and blog 🙂 Thank you though. I checked out the family blog and holy cute, you’ve done well. Let’s keep in touch…

  3. Simonds Family says:

    Just made these to take with dinner to a sister in our ward. Only problem is there is still half the pan left…looks like I will be having a 10lb baby!

  4. MyFudo™ says:

    Thanks for this cheat sheet! 😉 Looks really delicious…

  5. Lindsay Marie says:

    Melissa, these look great! I’m going to pin them for a rainy day 🙂 I’m enjoying “Bless this Mess”. Keep up the good work!!

    1. Melissa says:

      Hurray for Pinterest! And thank you for coming… it would be a lonely blog without readers!