The holiday baking season has arrived and I am wasting zero time I getting started this year! In fact, I made these Gingerbread Bars before Thanksgiving because why the heck not?! I love me some gingerbread! I much prefer it to peppermint-flavored things. I just love the flavor of all the spices like ginger and cinnamon and that deep rich color from the molasses.
I’m not a big fan of cutout gingerbread cookies. It’s not that I don’t like the taste, but I’m also lazy and don’t want to go through all the steps to roll out the dough and decorate all fancy, plus I don’t really like harder crispier cookies. These Gingerbread Bars were much easier to prepare and are so scrumptious!
These bars have a nice thick, soft and chewy consistency. I adapted these from my Chewy Gingerbread Cookies. I topped them with a thick layer of cinnamon cream cheese frosting and of course, holiday sprinkles to finish them off! These bars are so simple to mix up and great for gatherings large and small. I froze a bunch so that I can include them in my holiday cookie spread and they do freeze nicely!
Keep in mind that due to the cream cheese in the frosting, these bars should be chilled or kept in the fridge. This helps keep them fresh and prevents the frosting from becoming a gooey mess. You can still include them on cookie trays if desired, just be sure to stick them back in the fridge overnight. I kept some in the fridge and I’ve been pulling one out to enjoy with a cup of coffee or tea.
Of course, sprinkles are recommended to make these look even more festive. These Gingerbread Bars are the perfect holiday treat for the whole fam!
For the gingerbread bars:
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1/3 cup molasses
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
For the Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 1 /2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 (8oz.) package plain cream cheese, room temperature
- 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, beat together with a hand mixer (or stand mixer) the butter and brown sugar until smooth and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, molasses, and the vanilla.
- Make a well in the center. Add the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Mix together until the dry ingredients are just combined with the wet ingredients. Transfer the batter to the baking dish and use a spatula to spread into an even layer. Bake the bars for 15-17 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Allow for the bars to cool for at least 1 hour before frosting.
- To make the frosting, beat together the butter and cream cheese until smooth and combined. Beat in the powdered sugar, one cup at a time, until mixed. Stir in the cinnamon and vanilla.
- Once the bars have cooled, spread the frosting on top and slice into squares. Top with festive sprinkles if desired. Leftovers should be stored in the refrigerator or freezer.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 342Total Fat: 24gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 70mgSodium: 111mgCarbohydrates: 32gFiber: 0gSugar: 22gProtein: 2g