Gingerbread Cookie Bars

Pin RecipeJump to Recipe

Hate making cutout gingerbread cookies? These Gingerbread Cookie Bars are soft and chewy and topped with a thick, delicious cream cheese frosting. Whip up a batch this holiday season!

Gingerbread cookie bars topped with cream cheese frosting and sprinkles.
Want to Save this Recipe?
Enter your email and get this recipe sent to your inbox to save for later! Plus you’ll get great new recipes from us every week!

Why This Recipe is Best

Tis the season for all the holiday cookies! Do you have a favorite?

Growing up we baked the same kinds year after year. One kind I don’t ever recall baking was Gingerbread Cookies.

As I got older, with my own kitchen, and holiday baking agenda, I attempted to bake Gingerbread Cookies, only to be sorely disappointed. They didn’t turn out quite how I imagined.

And it’s not like I mind baking cut out cookies. These Cream cheese sugar cookies top our list every year, as a family favorite!

So a few years ago I baked a batch of these Gingerdoodles. OMG you guys, they have quickly become one of the most requested cookies over the holidays. Soft and chewy molasses cookies, like a gingerbread should be, in my mind!

Know what makes them even better? When you turn them into Gingerbread Cookie Bars and cover them with Cream Cheese Frosting!

  • Soft, chewy cookie base
  • Tons of warm spices for a deep, rich flavor
  • Thick, fluffy cream cheese frosting to finish them off

For another holiday favorite, try our moist gingerbread cupcake recipe topped with eggnog frosting! Or give this flavorful shoofly pie a try this holiday season.

Ingredients needed to make gingerbread bars.

Ingredient Notes

  • Butter – I always choose unsalted butter so I can control the amount of sodium in my baked goods. Use our guide on best tips and tricks on how to soften butter.
  • Brown Sugar – I use light brown sugar but dark brown sugar would be fine here, too.
  • Molasses – I usually choose a dark molasses. Blackstrap molasses is too intense for baking in my opinion. Grandma’s brand is what I find at most grocery stores.
  • Cream Cheese – Use regular full fat cream cheese for best results. Also, the kind in a block (versus a tub) works best.
  • Vanilla – PURE vanilla extract (not imitation) is a must for the best flavor. Try making your own vanilla extract for a richer vanilla flavor.

Easy Instructions

Step by step instructions showing how to make gingerbread bars.

Make cookie dough. In a large mixing bowl, beat softened butter with brown sugar until fluffy. Add in the egg and molasses and mix until combined. Stir in the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt. Mix until well blended.

Bake and cool. Press cookie dough into the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until set. Remove from oven and cool completely on wire rack.

Make frosting. Beat the butter and cream cheese in a large bowl with a whisk attachment until smooth and creamy, about 4 minutes. Add in powdered sugar and vanilla extract and beat 3-4 more minutes, until fluffy.

Frost and serve. Spread cream cheese frosting over cooled gingerbread cookie bars. Add sprinkles if desired. Slice and serve!

Tips and Tricks

  • Be sure to let the butter and cream cheese soften at room temperature before starting the recipe. It makes a big difference in how well they blend up.
  • Learn how to measure flour correctly for the best results in your baking.
  • Use parchment paper on your baking dish so the cookie bars release easily. Makes clean up a breeze, too!
  • Flour your fingers lightly, if needed, to keep dough from sticking when you are pressing the cookie dough into the baking dish.
  • It’s hard to wait but be sure to let the gingerbread cookie bars cool completely before you add the cream cheese frosting.
Gingerbread cookies cut into bars.

Recipe FAQs

How do I store gingerbread bars?

These gingerbread cookie bars can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week.

Can I freeze cookie bars?

Yes, you can freeze these cookie bars either before and/or after adding frosting. Wrap the cut bars in plastic wrap and then in foil. Place in a ziploc freezer bag, label and date it, and freeze for up to 1 month. Thaw on the counter overnight then enjoy!

What does molasses do in cookie bars?

The molasses in these gingerbread cookie bars adds a sweet flavor and keeps the bars soft and moist.

If you’re looking to create the most spectacular cookie platters this year, here are some of my favorite Christmas cookie recipes.

Need a gingerbread cookie recipe? I personally love these Gingerdoodle cookies. They are a cross between a gingerbread cookie and snickerdoodle.

Anyone remember Jingles cookies from childhood? I can no longer find them in stores, so I create my own recipe, using shortbread and anise extract!

Get festive with these Cranberry White Chocolate Shortbread Cookie Sticks. Melt in your mouth delicious! You may need to double the recipe, these go fast!

If you’re looking for The Best M&M’s Cookies, you’ve arrived! The secret to soft, chewy cookies is pudding mix!

Whether you call these by Swedish Heirloom Cookies or by many of their other names (Snowballs, Mexican Wedding Cookies, Russian Tea Cakes), you just need to try them. The buttery almond flavor melts in your mouth!

Delicious, melt in your mouth, Pecan Egg Nog Cookies. These little cups will be all the rage at your next cookie exchange. Or keep them for yourself!

Gingerbread cookie bar served on a white plate.

Pin this now to find it later

Pin It

Gingerbread Cookie Bars

4.61 from 88 votes
By: Aimee
Hate making cutout gingerbread cookies? These Gingerbread Cookie Bars are soft and chewy and topped with a delicious cream cheese frosting. Whip up a batch this holiday season!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 24 bars


For the cookie bars

  • ¾ cup unsalted butter softened
  • 1 cup light brown sugar packed
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

For the frosting

  • ½ cup unsalted butter softened
  • 8 oz cream cheese softened
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • sprinkles if desired
Save this Recipe?
Enter your email and we’ll send the recipe straight to your inbox!


  • Pre-heat oven to 350°F. Line 13 x 9 baking dish with parchment paper and set aside.
  • Combine butter and brown sugar in a large mixing bowl. Beat together until fluffy. Add in the egg and beat until smooth. Add in the molasses and beat until well combined.
  • Add the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt and mix until combined.
  • Press cookie dough into baking dish and bake for 15-18 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely before frosting.
  • For the frosting, beat butter and cream cheese for 4 minutes, until smooth and creamy. Add in powdered sugar and vanilla and beat an additional 4 minutes until light and fluffy.
  • Spread frosting over cooled bars. Add sprinkles and enjoy.
  • Store in airtight container for up to one week.


  • Store cookies in airtight container for up to one week.
  • If desired, you can freeze these cookie bars (before and/or after adding frosting). Wrap cut bars in plastic wrap, then foil. Slide into a ziploc freezer bag and store for up to one month.
  • See blog post for more recipe tips and tricks.


Serving: 1bar, Calories: 258kcal, Carbohydrates: 34g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 13g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 43mg, Sodium: 165mg, Sugar: 24g
Course: Brownies and Bars
Cuisine: American
Did you make this recipe?Mention @shugarysweets or tag #shugarysweets!

Hate making cutout gingerbread cookies? These Gingerbread Cookie Bars are soft and chewy and topped with a delicious cream cheese frosting. Whip up a batch this holiday season!

Avatar photo

About Aimee

Aimee is a dessert lover (specifically rice krispie treats), workout enthusiast, self-taught foodie, and recipe creator.

Learn more about Aimee.

Affiliate Disclosure:**There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation. However, I only recommend products I love! Thank you for supporting Shugary Sweets! See my disclosure policy for more info**

Learn How To Become a Better Home Baker
Sign up for the Shugary Sweets FREE Email Course Today—soon you’ll say, "I made it from scratch!"

Categories: , ,

Posted on December 8, 2023

Comments & Reviews

  1. 5 stars
    I made these bars today and I’m seriously in heaven. These are the best cookie/treat I’ve ever made. I can’t stop eating them and was planning to give most of them away but now I’m going to need to make another batch. Happy holidays!

  2. 5 stars
    I made these with my 2 yr old baking partner. She and I will make these every year!!! These bars are absolutely fabulous. I cut the cloves down to 1/4 tsp, but everything was perfect. We ate them as breakfast today.😂🤤🤤🤗

  3. These were the big hit of the season! Everyone is asking when I’ll be making them again. Great taste and texture.

4.61 from 88 votes (81 ratings without comment)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating