Gingerbread Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

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If you’re planning on making treats for neighbors or loved ones this holiday season, these soft, chewy and perfectly spiced Gingerbread Bars, frosted with a luscious cream cheese frosting are a great alternative to cookies. This recipe is adapted from my Gingerdoodle Cookies but baked into bars and slathered with frosting!

gingerbread bars on a plate

Why You’ll Love This Recipe!

Like I’ve said before, I am a big fan of recipes that can yield a lot without having to keep scooping dough onto the pan in 10 minute intervals. These Gingerbread Bars are great because you just spread into one pan and bake! They taste amazing with a classic gingerbread taste, but mild enough that kids and adults alike will devour them!

gingerbread bars on a tablescape

Main Ingredients Needed

Let’s jump right into the ingredients list because once you start to smell those delicious warm spices, you’re going to want these bars in your mouth A.S.A.P.! Let’s up your gingerbread game and gather these ingredients!

  • butter– softened, not melted. For softness and flavor.
  • granulated sugar– to sweeten.
  • brown sugar-also to sweeten. Feel free to use dark brown sugar here if you looooove that molasses taste.
  • egg– for structure.
  • vanilla extract– for flavor of course. This helps balance out all of those strong spices.
  • molasses– regular, unsulfured (Grandma’s or Brier Rabbit brands). Don’t use blackstrap molasses, it has a harsh, bitter taste. Yuck.
  • cinnamon– one of my favorite holiday spices.
  • cloves-for that strong, warm taste.
  • nutmeg-adds amazing flavor of slightly nutty and slightly sweet.
  • ground ginger-it wouldn’t be a gingerbread recipe without ginger!
  • salt-to help balance and bring out the flavor.
  • baking soda– our leavening agent that allows these to rise a bit while baking.
  • all purpose flour– for structure.

for the cream cheese frosting-

  • cream cheese– softened. The base of our frosting.
  • butter– softened. For softness and flavor.
  • powdered sugar– to sweeten.
  • vanilla extract– to sweeten and flavor.
gingerbread bar ingredients

How to Make Gingerbread Bars With Cream Cheese Frosting

I love the tangy flavor of cream cheese frosting paired with these Gingerbread bars. If you prefer to omit the frosting, feel free. They are mighty tasty plain too! For full recipe details, including ingredients and measurements, see the printable recipe card down below. Here is step-by-step directions for how to make these chewy Gingerbread Bars:

Preheat Oven + Prep Pan

Preheat oven to 325° F. Line a 9×13 pan or glass baking dish with aluminum foil or parchment paper and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.

Make the Gingerbread Dough

In a large bowl, cream softened butter, brown sugar and white sugar together until light and fluffy. Stir in the wet ingredients (egg, vanilla and molasses). Whip 1-2 minutes or until it turns a light brown color.

Pro Tip: Use an electric mixer or a stand mixer with the paddle attachment to mix this gingerbread dough.

Stir in spices and remaining dry ingredients (cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, salt, baking soda and flour). Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix until dry ingredients are just combined.

Bake + Cool

Press into prepared pan and bake 20-22 minutes or until edges are barely starting to turn golden brown. Cool completely before frosting.

Make the Cream Cheese Frosting + Spread Over Bars

For the frosting- whip all ingredients together in the bowl of a stand mixer using the whisk attachment or in a medium bowl with your hand mixer until smooth.

Spread frosting over the top of bars and cut into squares. Serve!

Pro Tip: To make these a little festive, you could add red or green food coloring to the frosting. Feel free to add some festive sprinkles to the top to fancy these Gingerbread bars up!

Storing Gingerbread Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

Store bars in an airtight container or resealable bag. Place in the fridge (if you used cream cheese frosting) for up to 3-4 days! If you opt to leave the frosting off, these bars can be store at room temperature.

gingerbread bars with cream cheese frosting

FAQ About Gingerbread Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

Can I freeze gingerbread bars?

Yes! I suggest freezing the dough before baking or freeze the bars before adding the frosting. Cream cheese gets weird and grainy after it’s been frozen. Store in a freezer-safe zip-top bag or airtight container for up to 3 months.

What can I use instead of molasses?

If you can’t find molasses in your local grocery stores, you can use honey or dark corn syrup. The flavor will change a bit though.

More Gingerbread Recipes to Try!

gingerbread bars with cream cheese frosting on a tablescape

These are my new favorite treat to make because they are seriously super soft and chewy, plus the smooth cream cheese frosting is simply *amazing* with the ginger cookie base. I like to eat these bars with a cup of eggnog…it’s the perfect holiday treat combo! Be sure to print this recipe…you’re going to want to make these again and again! The printable recipe card is below! Happy Christmas Baking, friends! 🙂

If you make this recipe, I would really appreciate it if you would give it a star rating and leave your review in the comments! If you have a picture of your finished dish, post it on Instagram using the hashtag #laurenslatest and tagging me @laurens_latest.

gingerbread bars with cream cheese frosting