Gingerbread Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

3.56 from 9 votes

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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.

I don’t like cream cheese frosting…what can I use in its place?

You could use Vanilla Buttercream Frosting, Brown Butter Frosting or a simple glaze using powdered sugar.

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
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3.56 from 9 votes

Gingerbread Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

If you’re planning on making treats for neighbors or loved ones this holiday season, these soft and chewy Gingerbread Bars are perfect.
servings 16 bars
Prep Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 2 hours


for the frosting-


  • Preheat oven to 325° F.
  • Line 9×13 pan or glass dish with foil or parchment paper and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars together until light and fluffy. Stir in egg, vanilla and molasses. Whip 1-2 minutes or until it turns a light brown color. Stir in remaining ingredients and mix until dry ingredients are just combined. Press into prepared pan and bake 20-22 minutes or until edges are barely starting to brown. Cool completely.
  • For the frosting- whip all ingredients together until smooth. Spread overtop bars and cut into squares. Serve immediately or store in airtight container in the frige.



Calories: 257kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 41mg | Sodium: 248mg | Potassium: 117mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 25g | Vitamin A: 376IU | Calcium: 30mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Gingerbread Bars

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Recipe Rating

85 Responses
  1. Decorated Christmas Sugar Cookie Bars | Lauren's Latest

    […] spend an afternoon scooping cookie dough to feed a crowd. This holiday season, instead of making my Soft & Chewy Gingerbread Bars (one of my all time favorites…I’ll probably still make these!!) OR these Simple Sugar […]

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  5. Beth

    My dough was too sticky to “press into the pan” so I put it into the refrigerator for about 20 minutes and then I was able to press it into the pan.

  6. Sydney

    Just made these last night with my roommate– we overbaked a little but still so good! This frosting is way better than store bought cream cheese frosting.

  7. Debbie

    I did your recipe just as you did. Only thing I did different was used an 11.25X9X1 jelly roll pan, sprayed onto the pan and then pressed in the batter. (looked just like your picures), but when done(17 min), came out HARD AS A ROCK! Can’t for the life of me figure what I did wrong! HELP!!!

    1. Lauren

      I think your oven may run hot and you over baked it. Because the batter was spread much thinner, it probably would have been finished baking after 10-12 minutes.

  8. J'Marinde

    This recipe was a disaster. I had to add water to get a more malleable dough, then cut out some of the spices and bump seem up in order to get it to gingerbread.

  9. N Powers

    Rilea was supposed to give this to you today. Sorry I had to send through the school email. I hope you get it before Christmas. If you like gingerbread cookies, this is an awesome recipe. Tastes just like a frosted gingerbread cookie.

  10. Caitlin

    These were wonderful – I think I may have baked them for an extra minute and the very edges got crispy like a traditional gingerbread cookie, which was an awesome contrast to the soft, chewy centers. My husband, bless his heart, took a spoon to the pan before i could cool and cut them – we will easily have these finished within 24 hours, especially with the help of a couple friends. 😉 Thank you!!

  11. Erin

    You should try adding more ginger to these sometime. I make a very similar recipe from Bon Appetit, also called Gingerbread Bars (but without the frosting), and it calls for 2 tsp. ground ginger. My family requests that I make them every Christmas! So good!! My sister wants me to add cream cheese frosting to them, so I’m going to use your recipe for that this year. Thanks!

  12. Karen

    Just made these in my 10×15 jellyroll pan, and they are delicious! This recipe is a keeper. Everyone loved how moist and chewy they are.

  13. Stacey

    OMG these are sooooooo good!!! I brought them to a book club gathering, and then my hubby took the rest to work, and everyone seriously LOVED them! I baked them in a 8×11 pan, and they were about an inch thick, and had the best texture …. Nice and dense and chewy 🙂 I will be making these again for sure!!!

  14. Catherine

    Made these last night and they were a HUGE hit !! I only had a full size jellyroll pan, so I doubled the recipe and now have a million of these delicious treats !! Cant wait to put them out when people come over at Christmas !! Thanks !!

  15. Joann

    I love gingerbread with lemon frosting so I’m going to add lemon juice and zest to the cream cheese frosting. Thanks for the delicious idea! Better than rolling out dough for gingerbread men!

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  17. Kirsty

    These are literally the best thing I’ve ever tasted. Made them for thanksgiving and they lasted 3 days between my husband and I. We were also really lazy and didn’t wrap them and they were still moist and fresh tasting, just sitting on the table.

  18. Lindsay

    I’m going to make these for an office potluck but will need to make them the night before. Would you suggest storing at room temperature or the fridge?

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  21. Shannon

    Oh Wow! I made these last week and they were a hit. I didn’t ice them, and they were just fantastic! Thank you so much. This recipe is a keeper!

  22. Bridget

    I loved these. My husband who doesn’t really like gingerbread said they were ok and then ate two more. Thanks for another great recipe.

  23. Kathy

    These were great – and simple. I used a 13×9 pan since I don’t have a small jelly roll pan and it worked perfectly (same cooking time).

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  25. Cari

    Maybe a silly question, but do you grease the pan and then add a layer of foil or do you lay foil in the pan and butter the foil?


  26. Christy

    Do you have any suggestions for a substitution for the molasses? I haven’t found any where I live (yet) but love gingerbread flavored things. The only thing I have found is either light or brown syrup. Both are very thick, so not sure if it would work instead…I don’t remember molasses being that thick. Thoughts?

  27. Amy

    I made these last night for a family event. I don’t have a jelly roll pan so I made them in an 8×8 glass dish and they were super thick, more like cake. It took almost double the bake time, but they were still delicious! The whole pan was inhaled, I think my brother had like 4 pieces. Next time I’ll make them in 9×13 pan so they are thinner like the ones you made.

  28. Sonia

    Hi there 🙂 I really really want to make these but I live in Mexico and I can’t easily get brown sugar. I do have white sugar and a bottle of molasses- can you help me with a variation? Thanks!

    1. Lauren

      You can make your own brown sugar with granulated sugar and molasses! Here’s a recipe:

  29. Dana

    I love your food pics!! All of them make me want to go right thru the computer screen and devour all of your recipes!. I adore gingerbread flavor–these bars look incredible!

  30. Marne

    I made these this afternoon. They are really good, but my dough wasn’t as stiff as yours. The color was also darker, maybe I added too much molasses. They look darker than your finished product. Thoughts?

      1. Marne

        They tasted great!. Very chewy. I used light brown sugar. The dough was never stiff. At first I thought maybe I didn’t add enough flour, but I checked and I did. I will try them again. They are delish!. My daughter just moved to Austin we are going to visit the Sugar Momma’s Bakeshop while i am there. I will see the real deal:) PS frosting TDF

  31. Cheryl

    So delighted to see an easy ginger cookie recipe this morning that I immediately pulled together all the ingredients and made them by noon. The cookies are wonderfully spiced, soft and totally delicious….. and I haven’t even frosted them yet! Thanks, Lauren!!

  32. Megan {Country Cleaver}

    Anything that gets those into my face faster is fine by me!! Ain’t no one got time for scooping dough and rotating cookie sheets! FEED ME, yo!

  33. natalie@thesweetslife

    we make ginger cookies year round so no judgment here! and I’ve also been on a gingerbread scone kick and I have no plans of stopping that year round either 😉 Love the frosting on these!

  34. Yvette N.

    I made your Gingerdoodles for the first time, and they were a crowd pleaser with my family. I’ll have to give the Gingerbread Bars a whirl next.

    Thanks for all your wonderful recipes!