Let all the best flavors of the holidays fill your senses with these Frosted Gingerbread Cookie Bars. That classic, spicy flavor wrapped in a soft cake-like dessert, and topped with a rich buttercream frosting. Easy to make and perfect for wowing family and friends at get togethers.
Gingerbread Cake are one of those treats that are so addicting, you don’t want to share. However, they’re most popular around the holidays, which is considered the season of giving. Do you see my dilemma? How could I possibly prepare cookie bar recipes and then keep them all to myself during the holidays? I can’t. That’s the only answer, and I’ve come to terms with it. Ok, I’m actually not that bad, but once you try this gingerbread cake, you’ll see where I’m coming from.
WHY WE LOVE THIS FROSTED GINGERBREAD COOKIE BARS RECIPE
Gingerbread recipes, in general, thrill me to no end. One look at my dessert section on this site and you will see a long list of options for your gingerbread recipe craving. Some of my favorites are my Gingerbread Waffles, Gingerbread Layer Cake, and Gingerbread House Cake. Honestly, if you want to make your entire holiday season about gingerbread, you could accomplish it with the recipes on my site. Enjoy!
WHAT IS THE BEST MOLASSES BRAND FOR BAKING?
- Grandma's Molasses- this is probably the most common and found at most grocery stores. It's full of flavor and great for baking.
- Brer Rabbit Molasses- this is a darker molasses that is a bit less sweet but also full of flavor.
- Wholesome Sweetners- this is a wonderful molasses that is very economically priced.
Is there a difference between molasses and blackstrap molasses?
Yes, there is a huge different. Light molasses (such as Grandma's) is lighter in color and sweeter. Blackstrap molasses is essentially boiled down to a bitter state. Only use it if it is instructed by the recipe, since it is better suited for savory recipes. Also, blackstrap molasses is a lot denser in volume.
TOOLS TO MAKE GINGERBREAD COOKIE BARS
- Electric hand mixer or stand mixer
- measuring cups and spoons
- mixing bowls
- offset spatula
How to Make Frosted Gingerbread Cookie Bars
- Prep - Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9x13 pan.
- Begin batter - In a large bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, vanilla, and egg. Add the milk and molasses. Mix well.
- Finish the batter - Add the rest of the dry ingredients and mix well. Pour into the prepared pan.
- Bake - Bake for 20 minutes. Let cool completely.
- Make the frosting - In a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese and butter. Add the vanilla and mix again. Slowly add the powdered sugar, fully mixing in between.
- Frost and serve - Frost the bars once they’re fully cooled. Slice into squares, serve, and enjoy!
Tips and Variations
- Spray the measuring cup- using molasses can be sticky. Lightly spray the measuring cup with non-stick cooking spray and it will slide right out!
- Storage - For best results, store the frosted gingerbread cookie bars in an airtight container, in the fridge, for up to 3 days. You can freeze this gingerbread recipe in an airtight container for up to 2 months.
- Storing the bars without frosting - You can store the cake in the pantry, in a cake keeper for up to 3 days, without the frosting, if desired.
- Sift the powdered sugar - Sifting the powdered sugar ensures there are no lumps. This results in a very smooth frosting, which is much better for serving.
- Extra frosting - This recipe tends to make more frosting than is actually needed for the bars. I don’t mind this as I usually store the excess frosting in the fridge for up to 3 days and use it for other recipes. It can be stored in the freezer for up to a month as well. The frosting goes great on recipes like Cranberry Christmas Cake, Carrot Cake Cookie Sandwiches, Gluten Free Carrot Cake, Purple Carrot Cake, etc.
- Cinnamon Frosting- add a teaspoon of cinnamon to the frosting for extra flavor!
Common Questions About Frosted Gingerbread Cookie Bars
How Do You Know When a Cookie Bar is Done?
Cookie bars are basically like one thick cookie. With cookies, you can tell they’re done by looking at their color or outside texture. With cookie bar recipes, they’re thicker, and it’s important to ensure the middle is cooked through. This can be accomplished by using a toothpick. Insert the toothpick into the middle of the cookies and if it comes out clean, your cookies are ready.
If you loved these Frosted Gingerbread Cookie Bars, let me know in the comments below or on social media!
Other Bar Recipes You’ll Love:
- Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars
- Cherry Pie Bars
- Raspberry Cream Cheese Bars
- Blueberry Cream Cheese Bars
- Lemon Meringue Pie Bars
- 1 cup brown sugar packed
- ¼ cup butter softened
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ½ cup milk
- 3 tablespoons molasses
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ginger
- ½ teaspoon ground all spice
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- 8 oz. cream cheese room temperature
- ½ cup butter softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3 ½ cups powdered sugar sifted
Preheat the oven to 350F.
Grease a 9x13 inch pan. Set aside.
In a large bowl beat together the brown sugar, butter, egg and vanilla.
Add the milk and molasses and mix well.
Stir in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and allspice.
Spread the batter in the prepared pan.
Bake for 20 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
Allow to cool completely before frosting.
In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, beat together the cream cheese and the butter until smooth.
Add the vanilla and mix well.
Gradually add the powdered sugar, beating until the sugar is incorporated and the frosting is smooth.
Frost the cooled bars and cut into squares.
Sifting the powdered sugar will make sure that there are no lumps in the sugar and make it easier to get a nice smooth frosting.
Store these bars in an air tight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
I find that I often don’t use all the frosting this recipe makes on the bars but that half the frosting amount isn’t quite enough for my tastes. So it’s easier to use the full 8oz. package of cream cheese and store any unused frosting for other uses. It will keep well in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, it can also be kept in the freezer for up to a month. This frosting also tastes great on cinnamon buns and pumpkin or carrot cakes.