Gingerbread Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

Chewy, perfectly spiced Gingerbread Bars meet sweet, luscious Cream Cheese Frosting and it is a match meant to be! These are one of the best holiday bars and once you try them you'll want to make them every Christmas season!

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Gingerbread Bars
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings: 20
Calories: 314 kcal
Author: Jaclyn

Ingredients

  • 2 cups + 2 Tbsp (300g) all-purpose flour (scoop and level to measure)
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup (170g) unsalted butter, diced into 1 Tbsp pieces, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1 cup (220g) packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) unsulphured molasses
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Frosting

  • 1/2 cup butter, nearly at room temperature (I like to use 1/4 c salted butter 1/4 c unsalted)
  • 1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, nearly at room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups (325g) powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 13 by 9-inch baking dish with cooking spray, set aside.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl whisk together flour, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, baking soda and salt for 20 seconds, set aside.

  3. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, blend together butter, brown sugar and molasses until combined. 
  4. Mix in egg and vanilla extract. With mixer set on low speed slowly add in flour mixture and mix until combined. Fold batter with a spatula as needed until batter appears to be evenly incorporated.

  5. Pour dough into prepared baking dish and spread and press into an even layer using your hands. 
  6. Bake in preheated oven until bars have baked through, about 14 - 17 minutes (be careful not to over-bake). Transfer baking dish to a wire rack and let bars cool completely.
  7. For the cream cheese frosting: In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream together butter and cream cheese until smooth. 

  8. Add in powdered sugar and vanilla and mix until light and fluffy*. Spread frosting over cooled bars.

  9. Cut into squares. Cover with lid or plastic wrap and store in refrigerator.

Recipe Notes

  • *From here I like to freeze the frosting in 3 minute intervals then I mix between intervals using the stand mixer until it's the consistency I like (it usually takes about 9 minutes total.