Soft and chewy Gingerbread Cookie Bars are decorated with a simple frosting and sprinkles! Flavored with all my favorite holiday spices, this is a fun festive treat for the season.
There’s no chilling or cookie cutters necessary for today’s recipe, making this a simple alternative to my classic Gingerbread Men. Recipe includes a how-to video at the bottom of the post!
Gingerbread Cookie Bars
Another lazy-day cookie bar recipe today! After Monday’s Christmas Cookies round-up, I’m feeling a little exhausted with all the scooping, rolling out, and chilling, and thought something a little simpler was in order.
Dense, buttery, chewy, and flavored with all of the best holiday spices (ginger, cinnamon, cloves, & nutmeg!), these Gingerbread Cookie Bars are simple, but they’re lacking nothing in terms of flavor. Oh, and you are just going to love the thick, creamy layer of cream cheese frosting on top.
No good Gingerbread Cookie is complete without a decorative frosting, and the same can be said for these Gingerbread Cookie bars! While you could get away with using my sugar cookie frosting here, I prefer to use a sturdy, pipe-able variation of my cream cheese frosting instead. The subtly tangy flavor of the cream cheese is the perfect complement to these brightly spiced bars. Not a fan of cream cheese frosting? Use the buttercream frosting in my sugar cookie bar recipe instead!
You’ll notice that I add cornstarch to my frosting. I use this technique with the frosting on my Carrot Cake Cookies, as well. What this does is it helps make the frosting more firm and encourages it to “crust” or harden after a few hours. This means a less messy, easier to slice and to transport cookie bar. If you don’t have cornstarch on hand, you can leave this ingredient out, your frosting will just be softer.
I used a Wilton 2B tip to pipe the frosting on my gingerbread cookie bars, and you can see just how I did my design it in the video below. Of course, you can decorate them any way you please, or just spread the frosting evenly over the bars (the easiest way to do it!).
How to Store Gingerbread Cookie Bars
Personally, I store these cookie bars at room temperature in an airtight container. However, because of the cream cheese frosting on top, I recommend erring on the side of caution, and if you are going to have them around longer than a day or two, I would place them in the refrigerator. Store in an airtight container and allow them to come back to room temperature before serving.
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How to Make Gingerbread Cookie Bars
Gingerbread Cookie Bars
- ¾ cup unsalted butter melted (170g)
- 1 cup dark brown sugar firmly packed(200g)
- 1 large egg room temperature
- ¼ cup unsulphured molasses it should say unsulphered on the label, I used "Grandma's" brand (60ml)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups + 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour (265g)
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
CREAM CHEESE FROSTING*
- 6 Tablespoons salted butter softened (170g)
- 6 oz cream cheese softened (340g)
- ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
- 2 ¼ cups powdered sugar (280g)
- 2 tsp cornstarch**
- Sprinkles for decorating optional
- Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C) and line a 9x13 paper with parchment paper (use enough so the parchment is hanging over the sides so that you will be able to lift it out of the pan once it's baked and cooled) or lightly grease and flour.
- Stir together melted butter, brown sugar, and molasses in a large bowl.
- Add egg and vanilla extract and stir well. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg.
- Gradually add flour mixture to wet ingredients and stir until completely combined.
- Spread batter evenly into prepared baking pan. Transfer to 350°F (175°C) and bake for 22 minutes. Allow to cool completely before decorating with frosting.
- Once your cookie bars have cooled, prepare your frosting by combining butter, cream cheese, and vanilla extract. Use an electric mixer (or a stand mixer) to cream ingredients together until well-combined.
- Gradually (with mixer on low-speed) add powdered sugar until completely combined. Stir in cornstarch (make sure it's well incorporated into the frosting).
- Spread or pipe (I used a Wilton 2B tip) frosting over completely cooled gingerbread bars. Decorate with sprinkles (if desired), then slice and serve.