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Gingerbread Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting [+Video]

20 Reviews

Soft and chewy gingerbread bars covered with luscious cream cheese frosting is going to be your new favorite holiday dessert!

 

We made a video on how to make gingerbread bars right above the recipe in case you need it. 

I’ve been making these babies for years as I’m a HUGE molasses or gingerbread cookie fan. The flavors, the smells, the texture, all of it screams Christmas for me. However, I’ve refused to post the recipe because they are always a bit more dry than I’d like. But this year, this is the year I’ve made the yummiest gingerbread bars with cream cheese frosting yet!!

A photo of three gingerbread bars frosted with cream cheese frosting stacked on top of each other.

I love bar cookies because they are so stinkin’ easy! You don’t have to scoop out individual cookies or bake multiple sheets of cookies. You can spread the dough into one pan, bake, cut and you’re done.

Don’t get me wrong! I love the traditional cut out gingerbread cookies, but sometimes you just need a holiday dessert in a hurry!

With these gingerbread bars, you get all the warm gingerbread flavors you love which pair perfectly with the rich cream cheese frosting.

A photo of gingerbread bas sitting on a white plate with cream cheese frosting and holiday sprinkles.

How to Make Gingerbread Bars

These bars come together super quickly! And just simply as combining the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients and baking!

Wet Ingredients

Start by combining all the wet ingredients in a stand mixer – butter, sugar, brown sugar, vanilla and molasses – on medium speed until they are creamy. Then add the egg and mix until just combined.

A stack of gingerbread bars frosted with cream cheese frosting and bite taken out of the top bar.

Dry Ingredients

Once the wet ingredients are all combined, add the dry – flour, baking soda, salt and all the spices – and mix everything together until well combined.

Bake

Press the dough into a greased 9×13 pan and bake in a preheated oven (350 degrees) for 13-15 minutes. Be sure not to overbake it. Cool the bars in the pan on top of a wire rack.

A photo of a pan of frosted gingerbread bars before being cut.

How to Make Cream Cheese Frosting

Why is cream cheese frosting the best thing ever?!? It goes so perfectly on top of these gingerbread bars! Start with softened butter and cream cheese. If they are not softened, then your frosting will come out lumpy. Cream them together and then add the powdered sugar and vanilla. Mix on low speed. It should be smooth, creamy, light and fluffy.

When the bars have cooled completely, spread the frosting all over the top of them and then go crazy with the sprinkles!

A photo of a single frosted gingerbread bar on a white plate.

How to Store Gingerbread Bars

Gingerbread bars should be stored in an airtight container. They can be stored at room temperature for up to a week.

They can also be frozen if you want them to last longer either before or after being frosted. Either way, place the cut bars on a cookie sheet and place them in the freezer for a couple of hours until they are frozen solid. Then wrap them in plastic wrap followed by aluminum foil. Place the wrapped bars into a ziploc bag. They can be stored in the freezer for up to one month.

When you are ready to eat them, remove them from the wrapping and let them sit at room temperature overnight. Then devour! 

A photo of a pan of frosted gingerbread bars before being cut.

What Is Molasses Made Out Of?

Molasses is made from either sugar cane or sugar beet juice that has been boiled down to a syrup. It has a warm and sweet flavor commonly used in holiday baking.

What Can You Substitute For Molasses?

You can’t really duplicate the flavor of molasses, but if you need to a substitute for it, you can use dark corn syrup, honey, or maple syrup.

A photo of gingerbread bas sitting on a white plate with cream cheese frosting and holiday sprinkles.

Will Gingerbread Give You Heartburn?

Gingerbread shouldn’t give you heartburn. Ginger is actually known as a heartburn reliever.

Does Gingerbread Have Ginger?

Yes! These bars are perfectly spiced with ginger, cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon. The combination of those spices with molasses creates the most delicious gingerbread flavor that we all love during the holidays!

A stack of gingerbread bars frosted with cream cheese frosting and bite taken out of the top bar.

These festive holiday bars are great for parties or to give out to neighbors. They are easy and just what you need to fill those gingerbread cravings! Gingerbread bars with cream cheese frosting is just what you need!

More GINGERBREAD DESSERTS You’ll Love:

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A photo of three gingerbread bars frosted with cream cheese frosting stacked on top of each other.

Gingerbread Bars

3.75 from 20 votes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 24
Soft and chewy gingerbread bars covered with luscious cream cheese frosting.

Ingredients

For The Bars

  • 1/2 Cup Butter plus 1 Tablespoon, softened
  • 3/4 Cup Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 1/3 Cup Molasses
  • 1 Egg Large
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Baking Soda
  • 2 Cups Flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ginger Ground
  • 1/4 teaspoon Cloves Ground
  • 1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg Ground
  • 1 Tablespoon Cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt

For the Frosting

  • 1/2 Cup Butter softened
  • 8 oz. Cream Cheese softened
  • 3 3/4 Cup Powdered Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • Sprinkles

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 9x13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
  • In a Kitchenaid mixing bowl, beat butter, sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, and molasses on medium speed until creamy.
  • Add the egg and stir until completely incorporated. Add baking soda, flour, spices, and salt and mix until well combined. Press dough into prepared pan. Bake for 13-15 minutes; do not over-bake! Cool in a pan with a wire rack.
  • When bars have cooled, frost with cream cheese frosting and sprinkles. 
  • For the frosting: Cream together the butter and cream cheese. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla. Slowly mix on low and then beat it on high until fluffy.

Notes

You can freeze these gingerbread bars before or after frosting them.
Wrap the cut bars in plastic wrap or foil and freeze for up to 1 month.
Nutrition Facts
Gingerbread Bars
Amount Per Serving (1 g)
Calories 262 Calories from Fat 99
% Daily Value*
Fat 11g17%
Saturated Fat 7g44%
Cholesterol 38mg13%
Sodium 220mg10%
Potassium 98mg3%
Carbohydrates 39g13%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 31g34%
Protein 2g4%
Vitamin A 373IU7%
Calcium 29mg3%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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A photo of three gingerbread bars frosted with cream cheese frosting stacked on top of each other.

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About the authors

carrian feik cheney oh sweet basil

Cade and Carrian have three children and love to spend time together whether it’s vacationing or snuggled up on the couch for a good movie.

And this family especially loves to eat.

They love everything from the keep you fit and healthy to the get out your sweat pants indulgent and everything in between.

But most of all, they love the memories made, shared and treasured and it’s all thanks to a meal shared together with loved ones.

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Recipe Rating




2 comments

  • Loved your recipe. My gingerbread bars ended up too dense. Can you suggest how I can fix them? I would love to try them again.
    The frosting turned out perfectly delicious!!

    • Reply
    • Hi Patty! They are a pretty dense bar, but over-mixing could make them a little more dense. Over-baking could also do it.

      • Reply

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