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. Nancy says

    I'm not sure if my comment went through so I'll try again.

    That is a hard question. I enjoy the different smells that go with the different holidays and depending on which holiday I might answer the question differently but the first thing that came into my mind was all the little special dessert goodies you can make and sample at Christmas! 🙂

  2. Valerie says

    Hmmm….only one favorite?? I guess my favorite is the homemade Beef Wellington that we have every year for Christmas dinner. Perfection on a plate!

  3. ACMommy3 says

    These bars look incredible, putting them on our to-bake holiday list! 🙂 I love making my mother's 24-Hour Cranberry Salad, my grandmother's Cowboy Cookies, and my 12-Layered Creamy Jello Salad. 🙂

  4. Kellie Murray says

    I love meat n taters so for me I love ham and mashed taters or tater salad. But to be completely honest, as long as I am with my family it doesn't matter what I eat…it could be a dry egg salad sandwich and I would be happy. =)

  5. Marilyn says

    This is a very good question as well as a hard question. Soooo many favorites it is hard to choose. But I think my favorite would have to be the leftovers the next day because all I have to do is heat them up!!!!

  6. Jane says

    Just made these for our band competition – they are fantastic and easy. Like eating a gingerbread cookie with lots of icing (I had leftover icing). Ya gotta store them in the fridge. And you can substitute honey for the molasses .

  7. abeullah says

    I love Thanksgiving, everything about it, but our family tradition is to watch a Disney movie and eat a turkey sandwich that night no matter how stuffed we are