These Gingerbread Bars are delicious soft, and chewy cookie bars laced with molasses, cinnamon, and ginger to bring that favorite spicy holiday flavor to life in these delicious cookie bars. The bars are topped with a smooth cream cheese frosting, and sprinkles for a fun holiday look!
I love the sweet and spicy flavors of ginger and molasses, all wrapped up into a chewy cookie. But this time we’ve got soft and chewy cookie bars! These Gingerbread bars are sweet, delicious, with a light ginger, cinnamon, and molasses flavor in every bite. They’re topped with the best cream cheese frosting that pairs so nicely with their spiced flavor.
These bars are almost exactly like our recipe for our ginger molasses cookies, but instead of having to scoop out the dough, roll it up into balls, and in sugar – you can just press the dough into a baking pan. It’s a lot quicker to make, and the results are well worth it. Plus did I mention the cream cheese frosting on top? 😉
These bars are so fun to serve up on a cookie tray to gift to your neighbors, or served up at a holiday party!
Ingredients Needed to make Gingerbread Bars:
- all purpose flour – just the right amount to make these bars nice and soft and chewy
- ground ginger and cinnamon – the perfect amount to give them just a little spiciness
- baking soda – to give the cookie bars lift
- salt – to balance out the flavors
- butter – can substitute for shortening, this keeps the bars soft and chewy
- granulated sugar – can substitute for half brown sugar half granulated
- eggs – this helps hold the dough all together
- molasses – part of that classic gingerbread flavor, make sure to use unsulphured molasses, but not blackstrap molasses
How to make Gingerbread Bars?
Preheat the oven and line a jelly roll pan with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients, flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt, then set the bowl aside.
In another bowl (a stand mixer with a paddle attachment works best) beat the butter and sugar together until fully combined. Scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl as needed. Add in the eggs, one a time, mixing until just combined between each addition. Then mix in the molasses.
Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix it together until you have a nice soft dough.
Scoop the dough into the prepared pan, and press it evenly to the edges and corners of the pan.
Bake the cookie bars until the edges are golden, and you can stick a toothpick in the middle and it comes out clean. Let the bars cool completely in the pan before frosting.
Add the cream cheese and butter to another large bowl and beat them together until they’re mixed well and nice and smooth.
Add in the powdered sugar, and vanilla extract and beat the mixture over low speed until the frosting is nice and smooth.
Spread the frosting evenly over the cooled bars, then add holiday sprinkles over the top. Let the frosting set for a bit, or slice the bars immediately and enjoy!
Tips for making Gingerbread Bars:
- These bars are more sweet than spicy, if you want a stronger spice flavor you can increase the ginger and cinnamon amounts.
- Make sure to use an unsulphured molasses, and also not blackstrap molasses or your bars will be bitter.
- You can make these bars in a 9×13 pan instead of the 10×15 jelly roll pan as called for if that’s what you have on hand. The bars will be a bit thicker on the edges, so you can trim the extra off the edges to level them, or just frost them as is.
- If you want to cut the recipe in half you can bake the bars in a 9×9 pan. Check the bars as they are baking to make sure they don’t overcook.
How to store Gingerbread Bars?
Because of the cream cheese frosting, these bars should be stored in the refrigerator. They can be stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days. If the bars are left unfrosted you can store them at room temperature for 3 to 4 days in a covered container.
These gingerbread bars are one of my new favorite holiday treats. I love the combination of the ginger, cinnamon, molasses and cream cheese. Perfect for serving up as a holiday dessert after a yummy dinner, paired with a movie night, or served up at a holiday party.
More gingerbread recipes:
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For the Gingerbread Bars:
- 4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 4 tsp ground ginger
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter (softened)
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup molasses (unsulphured, not blackstrap)
For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 8 oz cream cheese (1 block, softened)
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick, softened)
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- holiday sprinkles
For the Gingerbread Bars:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 10.5x15.5 baking pan with parchment paper and set it aside.
- In a large bowl, add the flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt and whisk them together.
- In another large bowl (a stand mixer works well) beat the butter on low speed, then add in the sugar and mix them together for a couple minutes until light and fluffy. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
- Add in the eggs one at a time, mixing until just combined after each egg.
- Then mix in the molasses until incorporated.
- Add the flour mixture, while mixing the mixture, until you have a nice soft dough.
- Scoop the dough into the prepared pan and press it into the edges and corner of the pan.
- Bake the bars for 18 to 24 minutes, until the edges start to turn golden. And a toothpick inserted into the middle of the bars comes out clean.
- Let the bars cool completely, by setting the pan on a wire rack.
For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
- Add the cream cheese to a large mixing bowl and beat it over medium speed until smooth.
- Add in the butter, cut into tablespoon slices, while beating. Continue mixing until it's blended and smooth.
- Add in the powdered sugar and vanilla extract and mix over low speed until the ingredients are combined and the frosting is nice and creamy.
- Spread the frosting evenly over the cooled bars.
- Add the sprinkles evenly over the top of the frosting.
- Slice the bars evenly into squares and enjoy.