Gingerbread Cookie Bars

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All the flavor of classic gingerbread cookies in a chewy Gingerbread Cookie Bar generously topped with fluffy cream cheese frosting.

I’ve had “make gingerbread cookies” on my holiday baking list for several years now and I never seem to get around to it.

Gingerbread Bars with cream cheese frosting

Most of the time, just thinking about rolling out cookies is enough to make me get out a bar pan and throw together a batch of brownies instead. Does that make me lazy? or just impatient?

Well, I’m happy to tell you that these cookie bars trump every gingerbread cookie I’ve ever tasted in the past. So, not only do they win points for being so very easy, they win for being truly fantastic as well.

Gingerbread Bars with cream cheese frosting are a holiday favorite.

And while these bars are absolutely delicious topped with the cream cheese frosting, they’re also terrific without the frosting.

These bars are one of the greatest holiday baking ideas ever. (Thanks to 12 Days of Christmas with Six Sisters’ Stuff for the inspiration!)

I officially (and likely forever) crossed “make gingerbread cookies” off my list six years ago, when I tasted these bars.

Gingerbread Bars
  1. TO MAKE THE COOKIE BARS: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×13 pan or line with parchment paper. Combine the butter, sugar, molasses, and vanilla in a mixing bowl and beat with a mixer on medium speed until creamy.
  2. Add the egg and stir again. Add the flours, baking soda, spices, and salt. Mix until well combined.
  3. Press the dough into the prepared pan, using either a spatula or your hands to smooth it to the edges of the pan. Bake for 15-20 minutes. A toothpick inserted should come out mostly clean, with wet crumbs. Cool in the pan on a wire rack.
  4. TO MAKE THE FROSTING: When the bars have completely cooled, beat together the butter and cream cheese for the frosting. Add the powdered sugar and beat again until smooth and fluffy.
  5. Add the vanilla extract or vanilla bean and stir to mix throughout the frosting. Frost the bars, slice, and serve. Store the bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Gingerbread Bars trump cookies every time!

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Gingerbread Bars

Gingerbread Cookie Bars

4.8 from 10 votes
Recipe adapted from and with thanks to 12 Days of Christmas with Six Sisters’ Stuff
Pin Print Review
Servings: 24 bars

Ingredients 

  • 1/2 cup butter melted
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Optional Frosting Ingredients:
  • 8 ounces cream cheese room temperature
  • 1/2 cup butter room temperature
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla or 1 vanilla bean scraped

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×13 pan or line with parchment paper. Combine the butter, sugar, molasses, and vanilla in a mixing bowl and beat with a mixer on medium speed until creamy. Add the egg and stir again. Add the flours, baking soda, spices, and salt. Mix until well combined.
  • Press the dough into the prepared pan, using either a spatula or your hands to smooth it to the edges of the pan. Bake for 15-20 minutes. A toothpick inserted should come out mostly clean, with wet crumbs. Cool in the pan on a wire rack.
  • When cooled, beat together the butter and cream cheese for the frosting. Add the powdered sugar and beat again until smooth and fluffy. Add the vanilla extract or vanilla bean and stir to mix throughout the frosting. Frost the bars, slice and serve. Store the bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Enjoy!
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{originally published 10/2/14 – recipe notes and photos updated 12/11/20}

Gingerbread Cookie Bars are a Christmas favorite

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Mary Younkin

Mary Younkin

Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the author, cook, photographer, and travel lover behind the scenes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. I'm also the author of three cookbooks dedicated to making cooking from scratch as simple as possible.

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  1. Anonymous says

    I love to cook stuffing for a turkey breast or huge turkey, it is my favorite holiday food..I only make this one kind at the holidays and it is a big winner..Would love to win this recipe book, it looks fabuless! from mary jane Sampson at [email protected]!

  2. tonya riley says

    I will be making this this year during the holidays instead of my traditional gingerbread in the loaf pan. The cream cheese is a great idea. I know my grandkids and family will love it.

  3. KELLEY L REITEN says

    I am a big follower of the recipies on Barefeet in the Kitchen. I love to bake and have found this Ginger Bread cookie recipe is so easy and delicious. My husband could not stay out of them and asked me to make them again only double it!

  4. Lori Radcliff says

    I made these for Christmas Day and they were delicious! I will definitely be making these again, and NOT just for holidays. Thank you for posting the recipe and have a happy New Year!5 stars

    • Joe Fairhurst says

      Did you try it? Area wise, a 9″ spring form pan would be roughly half the size of a 9″x13″ pan. A 12″ spring form pan, I think, would work better as size wise, in area, it’s closer to the rectangular pan. You might have to let it bake a few minutes longer.

  5. Robin Bober says

    My favorite holiday food is the stuffing. Thanksgiving and Christmas are the only times we make it from scratch. The rest of the year gets stove top.

    • Mary Younkin says

      I would probably freeze them unfrosted, just in case, if you’re planning on serving a crowd. If it’s just the leftover bars, I would try freezing them with a layer of parchment or wax paper between them. They might not be quite as pretty, but should work fine.

    • Lynn says

      I make these delicious bars all the time. They freeze beautifully with the frosting. I have found, if you place them in the fridge for a bit before cutting, they cut much cleaner. I then put the cut bars on a cookie sheet and freezes for about 3/4-1hr before putting in a container for the freezer.
      Also, I cut the amount of icing in half. No one has ever complained!5 stars

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