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!!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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!
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!
Watch How to Make Them Here
More GINGERBREAD DESSERTS You’ll Love:
- Gingerbread Cookie Dip
- Gingerbread Bundt Cake
- Soft Gingerbread Cookies
- Gingerbread Brownies
- Gingerbread Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
- Warm Gingerbread Cake with Lemon Sauce
- Gingerbread Men Sandwich Cookies
- Reindeer Noses Candy Cane Gingerbread Cookies
- Old Fashioned Molasses Crinkle Cookies
- Gingerbread Trifle
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
- 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.
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I think something may have gone wrong! Perhaps too much baking soda? I made them twice and each time they didn’t turn out. I just made a different recipe for the same thing and it only called for 1 tsp baking soda and it seems to be fine.
Hi Whitney! Sorry for the frustration. Can you tell me what is happening that they don’t turn out? The extra 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda shouldn’t make a huge difference.
Tina M Warfield
I was wondering if you could use a jelly roll pan to make these or would they be too thin?
Hi Tina! I’m afraid they would be too thin.
These are absolutely delicious! I did halve the frosting recipe and it was perfect. Printing this recipe and putting it in my recipe binder. It’s a keeper!
Hurray! Thank you so much Renee!! It is one of our favorites!
Easy to make, the bars turned out deliciously soft… but I should have read the reviews! I follow thins too literally and the frosting is absolute overkill. Half would have been plenty!! And now I’m not sure how to eat theses ginger bars with a side of butter.
Thank you for the feedback Lindy! You can definitely cut the frosting in half if you want to.
These are delicious! Easy to make quickly for a last minute “oops I need to take something to this party” treat! I only used 1/2 of the frosting and it was perfect.
Yay! Thank you so much for the feedback!
Words don’t describe the the rave reviews i got on this dessert! Perfect density and flavor. The only thing i changed was to 1/2 the frosting recipe which made the gingerbread the star of the show!
Yay!! Thank you Lydia!! So happy you enjoyed them!
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!!
Hi Patty! They are a pretty dense bar, but over-mixing could make them a little more dense. Over-baking could also do it.