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Gingerbread Cookie Bars are the perfect way to enjoy the taste of Christmas without all the hassle! These bars have all the classic flavors of holiday-favorite gingerbread without rolling the dough or using cookie cutters. Skip all the fuss and make these easy gingerbread bars!

Three sliced gingerbread cookie bars decorated with sprinkles stacked on top of each other.

One of my favorite parts of the holidays is the endless array of delicious home-baked desserts and dishes. Cookie exchanges and meals with friends and family are what holiday fun is all about, am I right?

If you usually buy pre-made desserts, these gingerbread cookie bars are a great recipe to break the cycle and make something with love for your friends and family for the first time! You should also try my Caramel Apple Mini Cheesecakes and these Peppermint Meltaway Cookies.

Ingredient Notes

Labeled ingredients needed to make gingerbread cookie bars.
  • Flour: Give the cookie bars structure with all-purpose flour.
  • Baking soda: Add baking soda to help the cookies rise and form a chewy texture.
  • Spices: Sprinkle in some warm seasonal spices, like cinnamon, ground ginger, and nutmeg– Yum!
  • Salt: A bit of salt contrasts the sweeter notes.
  • Butter: Add unsalted melted butter to add creaminess to the recipe and help bind the ingredients.
  • Sugar: Both granulated sugar and brown sugar will sweeten the gingerbread cookies. For more molasses flavor, use dark brown sugar, but light brown sugar also works.
  • Vanilla: Vanilla extract deepens the creamy flavor.
  • Molasses: Molasses is key for gingerbread recipes!
  • Egg: Add a large egg to the dough to get the right texture.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Butter: Softened unsalted butter brings flavor and richness to the recipe.
  • Cream cheese: Softened cream cheese is the delicious base for this simple frosting.
  • Vanilla: Add vanilla for a more complex flavor and deeper creaminess.
  • Powdered sugar: Sweeten the frosting with powdered sugar.
  • Sprinkles: If desired, top the bars with fun and festive holiday sprinkles. It’s fun to use the sprinkles with little gingerbread men for this gingerbread recipe!

How To Make Chewy Gingerbread Bars

Be sure to see the recipe card below for exact ingredients and full recipe instructions!

Step 1 | Preheat and prep

Start by warming up the oven to 350 degrees F and prepare a 9×13-inch baking dish with foil or parchment paper, then set it aside for later.

Also, set the butter and cream cheese out so they come to room temperature and are ready for the cream cheese frosting layer.

A bowl of dry ingredients then mixed together.

Step 2 | Combine dry ingredients

Now, let’s get to baking, shall we? Measure the dry ingredients – the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt in a small bowl. Whisk to combine the ingredients and set it aside.

Butter and sugars in a bowl and then them creamed together.

Step 3 | Mix wet ingredients

Now, you are going to use a hand mixer or stand mixer to beat the butter and sugars in a large bowl until the texture is smooth and fluffy. Then, add in the vanilla, molasses, and eggs and mix until they are well incorporated.

Wet ingredients added to the cream butter and then combined.

Step 4 | Complete dough and add to dish

Time to put the two bowls together. Mix the dry and wet ingredients well with a large spoon or rubber spatula. Then, you are ready to press the dough into the prepared pan in an even layer to form the crust.

Dry ingredients added to wet ingredients and then combined to form dough.
Dough pressed into baking pan.

Step 5 | Bake and cool

Next, slip the pan into the oven and bake the cookie bars for 15 to 20 minutes. Grab those oven mitts and remove the pan, then allow the bars to cool.

In the meantime, make the delicious cream cheese frosting! I dare you not to stick your finger in!

Butter, cream cheese and vanilla beaten together until smooth.

Step 6 | Combine frosting ingredients

Get started on the frosting by adding room-temperature butter, cream cheese, and vanilla to a bowl. Then, use an electric mixer to beat the ingredients until they become creamy and smooth. Slowly add the powdered sugar so you do not end up in a holiday cloud of sugar, and mix until it is well combined.

Powdered sugar added and combined until smooth.
Cooled baked gingerbread bars being frosted.

Step 7 | Top, slice, and serve

Once the bars are cool, grab a spatula and spread the cream cheese frosting all over the top of the bars in an even layer and sprinkle with festive Christmas sprinkles! Gorgeous, right?

Slice and serve to enjoy this delicious holiday treat!

Iced gingerbread bars with sprinkles added to the top.

Tips

  • Mix Until Combined– For the best results, be careful not to overmix the gingerbread cookie dough.
  • Frost Cooled Bars– The bars should be completely cooled before topping with the frosting.
  • Clean Slices– Chill the frosted bars in the refrigerator for 15 minutes, then slice for cleaner edges.

Variations and Substitutions

  • Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting: Enjoy chocolate cream cheese frosting on your chewy gingerbread cookie bars by adding cocoa powder to the frosting recipe.
  • Citrus Gingerbread Bars: Add orange zest or orange extract to the gingerbread dough for a bright citrus twist.
  • Add Chocolate: Fold chocolate chips or chunks into the cookie dough for chocolatey goodness! Add white chocolate chips for a similar effect but with extra creaminess.
  • Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting: Add cinnamon to the frosting for more warm seasonal spices.
Sliced gingerbread cookie bars with green, white, red and gingerbread sprinkles on top.

Recipe FAQs

Should gingerbread cookies be hard or soft?

Traditional gingerbread cookies should be slightly soft and become hard when overbaked. Because these are easy gingerbread cookie bars, the end results should be soft and chewy, like the texture of a blondie.

What kind of molasses do you use for gingerbread?

Cooking molasses is commonly used for gingerbread cookies because of its full flavor and richness. Blackstrap molasses is known for being extra bitter.

Can I make cookies with this dough?

Though I have not tried to make cookies with this cookie bar dough, I imagine it wouldn’t work well. Instead, use a traditional gingerbread cookie recipe.

This recipe is part of The Sweetest Season, an annual virtual cookie swap co-hosted by Erin of The Speckled Palate and Susannah of Feast + West. Every year, food bloggers get together to share new holiday cookie recipes to make and give.

This year we are raising money for Cookies 4 Kids’ Cancer, which is a recognized 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to funding research for new, innovative and less-toxic treatments for childhood cancer.

Since 2008, Cookies for Kids’ Cancer has granted nearly $18 million to pediatric cancer research in the form of 100+ research grants to leading pediatric cancer centers across the country. From these grants have stemmed 35+ treatments available to kids battling cancer today.

Help us raise money for this important cause! Donate through our fundraising page.

Another exciting thing is that Cookies for Kids’ Cancer is in a matching window with their friends at OXO, meaning OXO will be matching every dollar raised through the end of 2023, up to $100,000. Whatever money we raise will automatically double on our fundraising page!

How to store and freeze gingerbread bars

Keep on the Counter: The cookie bars can be left at room temperature for serving for up to two hours before needing to be placed in an airtight container or covered with plastic wrap and stored in the fridge.

Refrigerate: Leftover gingerbread treats will last five days in an airtight container in the fridge.

Freeze for Long-term Storage: To freeze the bars, set them on a baking sheet and slip them into the freezer for a couple of hours. Then, remove them, wrap them with two layers of foil or plastic wrap, put them into a plastic freezer-safe ziploc bag, and freeze for about two months. 

A bite taken from one gingerbread cookie bar.

Ingluge in holiday deliciousness by serving the frosted gingerbread bars with a dollop of Homemade Whipped Cream, or sip on a Peppermint Hot Cocoa or Homemade Eggnog for the whole experience!

More Holiday Dessert Recipes for Holiday Parties

Hungry for more easy, home-cooked, delicious recipes?

Sign up for my free recipe club to get family-friendly recipes in your inbox each week! Find me sharing daily meal-time inspiration on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Gingerbread cookie bars on a white parchment lined tray with holiday sprinkles on top and scatter for decor.
Recipe
4.95 from 19 votes

(click stars to rate)

Gingerbread Cookie Bars

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 16 bars
Author: Nikki Lee
These Gingerbread Cookie Bars have all the classic flavor of holiday-flavor gingerbread without rolling the dough, cookie cutters, and all the work.
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Ingredients 

Gingerbread Cookie

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • cup granulated sugar
  • cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • cup molasses
  • 1 large egg

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • sprinkles for decoration

Instructions

Gingerbread Cookie Bar

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. prepare a 9×13 inch baking dish with foil or parchment paper. Set aside.
  • In a small mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ground ginger, nutmeg, and salt with a whisk. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer or stand mixer, beat the butter and sugars until smooth and fluffy. Add the vanilla, molasses, and eggs. Mix until completely combined.
  • Add the dry ingredients and mix with a large spoon or rubber spatula until completely combined.
  • Add the dough to the prepared baking dish and press into an even layer.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes, remove from the oven, and cool completely while making the frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • In a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer or stand mixer, beat the butter, cream cheese, and vanilla until smooth and creamy. Gradually add the powdered sugar until completely combined.
  • Spread the frosting on top of the gingerbread bars in an even layer, if desired, top with sprinkles. For cleaner slices, let the bars set in the fridge for at least 15 minutes before cutting.

Notes

  • Mix Until Combined– For the best results, be careful not to overmix the gingerbread cookie dough.
  • Frost Cooled Bars– The bars should be completely cooled before topping with the frosting.
  • Clean Slices– Chill the frosted bars in the refrigerator for 15 minutes, then slice for cleaner edges.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1bar Calories: 269kcal (13%) Carbohydrates: 33g (11%) Protein: 3g (6%) Fat: 14g (22%) Saturated Fat: 9g (56%) Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g Monounsaturated Fat: 4g Trans Fat: 0.5g Cholesterol: 49mg (16%) Sodium: 241mg (10%) Potassium: 140mg (4%) Fiber: 1g (4%) Sugar: 20g (22%) Vitamin A: 468IU (9%) Vitamin C: 0.02mg Calcium: 33mg (3%) Iron: 1mg (6%)

Nutritional Disclaimer

Soulfully Made is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is only an estimate. We recommend running the ingredients through an online nutritional calculator if you need to verify any information.

©️Soulfully Made

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32 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    These are some of the best holiday cookie bars I’ve ever made! I LOVE how much cream cheese frosting they have on top. That’s the kicker.

  2. 5 stars
    Love this Gingerbread Cookie Bars Recipe, looks so delicious and fluffy. Will make this for the family. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  3. 5 stars
    I love how festive and chewy these are! So easy to make and fun to decorate. I made a batch to test them out before the holiday, and I’ll be making another for my family!

    1. Thank you, Nathan! I am so happy to hear you will be sharing them with your family! Enjoy and have a very Merry Christmas.

  4. 5 stars
    This is such a great idea and I love all of the gingerbread flavours with that great frosting too. Easy and delicious.

  5. 5 stars
    These are so beautiful! I cannot wait to try these cookie bars. Thank you for being a part of The Sweetest Season this year, Nikki.

  6. 5 stars
    I love gingerbread but hate rolling out cookies. THANK YOU for this recipe! I already am looking forward to making them again!

  7. 5 stars
    Everyone in my family agrees that the combination of gingerbread bars and cream cheese frosting is a WINNER! I followed your suggestion to top them with sweetened whipped cream and they were just fantastic. Pretty and festive, too!

  8. These are my kind of gingerbread cookies because they’re less fuss than the cutout kind. (Ha!) Seriously, though, what a festive and DELICIOUS recipe for this holiday season. We’re going to enjoy this recipe for years to come. Thanks for sharing it and participating in our exchange, Nikki!

  9. 5 stars
    WOW, just wow! I made these for a party this weekend and cut them into bite size squares, I’m not even sure crumbs where left, everyone wanted the recipe!

  10. 5 stars
    I loved these tasty gingerbread bars and how easy they were to make! A second batch will be going to my neighborhood party this weekend, too!