Get ready for your home to smell like Christmas with these chewy gingerbread cookie bars with cream cheese frosting. They’re soft, super easy to make, and a fun treat to share during the holidays! If you love festive cookies at Christmas, try our chocolate peppermint kiss cookies or chocolate dipped peppermint shortbread too!
Why you’ll love this recipe
- FESTIVE: These gingerbread cookie bars have the flavors of your childhood gingerbread house and are sprinkled with Christmas sprinkles to make them extra festive!
- EASY: These gingerbread bars are easy to make with simple steps, so you can spend less time baking and more time indulging! The homemade cream cheese frosting takes these bars to another level, but you can opt for store-bought frosting to make it even easier.
- TEXTURE: These gingerbread squares have a soft and chewy texture with a smooth and creamy cream cheese frosting that’s extremely addicting!
- FLOUR: All-purpose flour is used to give the bars structure.
- BAKING SODA: Baking soda helps the gingerbread bars rise properly.
- SPICES: Ground ginger and cinnamon make the bars super gingery and flavorful.
- SALT: A pinch of salt enhances the flavor of the bars.
- SUGAR: Brown and granulated sugar are used to sweeten the bars, and powdered/confectioner sugar is used in the frosting to sweeten it.
- BUTTER: Melted butter is used in the bars, and softened butter is used in the frosting.
- EGG: An egg is used to help with the structure and chewiness of the bars.
- MOLASSES: Molasses makes these ginger bars extra chewy and is a traditional flavor and ingredient in gingerbread treats. ½
- VANILLA EXTRACT: A dash of vanilla extract adds a complementing flavor to the gingerbread bars.
- CREAM CHEESE: Cream cheese is used to flavor the frosting and make it super creamy.
See the recipe card below for the ingredient measurements.
- MIXING BOWLS: You will need two mixing bowls for making the gingerbread bars; one for the dry mixture and one for the wet. You’ll also need one more bowl for making the cream cheese frosting.
- ELECTRIC HAND MIXER: For mixing the bar batter and frosting.
- SQUARE BAKING DISH: An 8x8 baking dish is used to bake the bars.
- RUBBER SPATULA: To spread out the gingerbread batter.
- MEASURING SPOONS AND CUPS: For measuring the ingredients.
- Prepare: Preheat the oven to 350°F, grease an 8x8 square baking dish with oil and set it aside.
- Dry Mixture: In a bowl, combine and mix the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, and salt.
- Wet Mixture: In a separate bowl, combine and mix the granulated sugar, brown sugar, and melted butter with an electric mixer. Add the egg, molasses, and vanilla extract and mix it again. Slowly add the dry mixture to the wet mixture and mix until fully incorporated.
- Bake: Transfer the mixture to the baking dish, and use a rubber spatula to spread it out. If it's sticky, wet the spatula with water to make it easier to press into the dish. Bake it for 16-18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean with a few crumbs. Let the baked bars come to room temperature, then flip the baking dish upside down on a tray to release the bars.
- Frosting: In a bowl, combine the softened butter and cream cheese and mix on high until combined. Add the powdered sugar and mix on low until smooth. Frost the bars once they’re completely cooled, add sprinkles, and then slice them into bars.
Storage and Leftovers
Store the gingerbread bars in an airtight container at room temperature or in the fridge for up to 5 days. They can also be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- Be patient with the batter. When you transfer the batter to your baking dish, it’ll feel pretty sticky but just keep pressing it into the dish, and it’ll spread out.
- Use a spatula to even out the batter. It may be easier to use a rubber spatula to spread out the batter in the baking dish. Another tip is to sprinkle the spatula with some water so the batter doesn’t stick to the spatula every time you press the batter.
- Wait to ice the bars. Let the baked bars come to room temperature before icing them otherwise, the icing will be runny.
- Skip the homemade frosting. The frosting is easy to make, but if you don’t want to make it yourself, you can opt for store-bought frosting instead!
- Get festive with sprinkles! Make these gingerbread bars super festive for the holidays by using fun Christmas colored sprinkles!
- Make clean cuts. Wipe the knife on a paper towel before making another slice to get a bar with clean, sharp edges each time you slice the bars.
Frequently Asked Questions
Gingerbread bars should be soft and chewy.
It won’t taste the same, but some of the best substitutes for molasses are honey, corn syrup, and maple syrup.
It may be difficult to line the baking dish with parchment paper because the dough is thick and may be difficult to spread, and cause the parchment paper to shift.
Store the bars in an airtight container at room temperature or in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for future use for up to 3 months.