Skip to Content

Gingerbread Bar Recipe (with Cream Cheese Frosting)

I love gingerbread! Whether it’s a warm cookie right out of the oven, or I’ve made a new batch of our frosted gingerbread bar recipe, this flavor just breaths Christmas into our hearts.

You’ll love these soft and tender chewy gingerbread bars, topped with a thick layer of luscious cream cheese frosting and festive sprinkles, just in time for the holiday season. They make the perfect holiday treat and will disappear quickly at the neighborhood cookie exchange.

Side View of Gingerbread Bars topped with cream cheese frosting - Hostess At Heart
Soft and chewy Gingerbread Bars

This is an easy recipe with amazing flavor and is guaranteed to become one of your favorite holiday traditions. Let us show you how they’re made.

What is Gingerbread?

Gingerbread is baked goods flavored with warm spices such as ginger, plus cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon, and sweetened with honey, sugar, or molasses. Many countries and families have their own favorite gingerbread recipes that are made during the holiday season. It can be hard crispy cookies like gingersnaps, little gingerbread men and women with royal icing, or soft gingerbread loaves warm from the oven. Just the smell of gingerbread baking can bring all the childhood memories rushing back.

Ingredients You’ll Need for this Recipe

Top down view of ingredients: cinnamon, vanilla, egg yolk, butter, powdered sugar, ginger, brown sugar, molasses, all purpose flour, granulated sugar, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and cloves.
Gingerbread cookie bar ingredients

Gingerbread Cookie Base

  • Granulated Sugar.
  • Salted Butter.
  • Molasses.
  • Brown Sugar.
  • Vanilla.
  • Large Egg Yolk.
  • All Purpose Flour.
  • Ground Cinnamon.
  • Baking Soda.
  • Salt.
  • Ground Ginger.
  • Ground Nutmeg.
  • Ground Cloves.

Ingredients for the Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Cream Cheese. Approximately half a brick or four ounces.
  • Salted Butter. 
  • Vanilla Extract.
  • Powdered Sugar. Confectioners sugar or icing sugar are other names for this.
  • Holiday Sprinkles. You could use Christmas colors or even use crushed red hot candies for a fun twist. These are optional if you want to give your gingerbread cookie bars a little flare.

How To Make Gingerbread Bars

Please note, that the printable recipe card has ingredient quantities, complete instructions, and nutritional information. The following is a quick overview of the recipe.

Step One. Preparation is everything.

Preheat your oven and prepare the pan.

Step Two. Mix the wet ingredients.

In a large bowl, whisk together the granulated sugar, melted butter and molasses, brown sugar, and vanilla until combined. Add the egg yolk and continue whisking.

Step Three. Mix the dry ingredients on your gingerbread bars recipe card.

Top down view of spices and flour being sifted together over a bowl - Hostess At Heart
Sift dry ingredients together

Combine the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, ginger, nutmeg and cloves in the sifter and sift over the sugar molasses mixture.

Step Four. Fold to combine the wet and dry ingredients.

Crumbled gingerbread batter in a bowl - Hostess At Heart
Crumbly texture

Fold ingredients together. Mixture will be crumbly.

Press the batter into the prepared pan and bake the bars.

Step Six. Cool Completely.

Cool them completely on a wire rack before applying the cream cheese icing.

Step Seven. Mix the frosting and frost the gingerbread bars with delicious cream cheese frosting.

We used our electric mixer on medium speed until thoroughly mixed with a light texture.

Spread over cooled cookie bars. Add sprinkles!

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of molasses should I get for making gingerbread?

Unsulphured molasses or cooking molasses is the kind you should use and is what you will most likely find at your local grocery store. You may see molasses labeled as “blackstrap molasses”. This is a strong and somewhat bitter molasses and is not recommended for this recipe.

How can I tell if my gingerbread bars are done?

Preheat your oven. Cook for the minimum time listed on the recipe card. Check with a toothpick. If the toothpick has moist crumbs clinging to it, the bars are ready to come out and cool in the pan.

Side view of three ginger bread cookie bars stacked on top of each other - Hostess At Heart

How To Store Gingerbread Bars

Our frosted Gingerbread bars are best stored in the refrigerator and will keep for six days in an airtight container.

Can I freeze Gingerbread Bar Cookies?

Yes, you can freeze Gingerbread Bar Cookies in an airtight container for up to four months. Thaw at room temperature. Microwaving will melt the frosting. Freezing the bars ahead of the Christmas season saves time when you’re making your holiday cookie tray recipes or need a tasty holiday dessert. I recommend freezing them without the frosting in an airtight container or freezer-safe ziplock bag. The frosting can be frozen separately and once thawed, stir it until it’s smooth. Add a little milk or cream if it’s too thick.

Variations and Substitutions

We love the rich cream cheese frosting but a simple glaze works perfectly for gingerbread bars and is a nice alternative to the cream cheese frosting. Buttercream or Vanilla Frosting is a good choice as well. You can even serve them plain or top them with a dusting of powdered sugar.

Adding mini dark chocolate chips (white or brown) is a fun touch.

Crushed chopped nuts, crushed gingersnap cookies, or crushed red hots can all be used in place of sprinkles.

Sideview of slices of ginger cookie bars topped with frosting and sprinkles - Hostess At Heart

Hostess Tips and Tricks

  • For a cleaner cut, I recommend refrigerating the cookie bars for 15 mins or so prior to cutting. 
  • Do not overmix the cookie bar batter. It will make your gingerbread bars tough and dry.
  • Do not overbake your gingerbread cookie bars. Preheat your oven, and then bake for the prescribed amount of time. They might not look ready. Because they cool completely in the pan, they will finish setting up as they cool. These bars are not intended to be hard and crunchy.
  • You can make the cream cheese frosting while the bars bake or even a couple of days in advance. Cover it and store it in the refrigerator until it’s needed. Taking it out of the refrigerator 15 minutes before you need it will soften it into a smooth cream cheese frosting and allow it to spread easily.

If you enjoyed our yummy Gingerbread Bars I think you’ll enjoy these too!

A spatula holding a cut frosted gingerbread cookie bar over the pan of bars - Hostess At Heart

I hope you enjoyed this delicious recipe as much as we do. Drop me a comment below, and don’t forget to give it a star rating. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐. Your comments and ratings help others decide if this recipe is for them too.

Sideview of slices of ginger cookie bars topped with frosting and sprinkles - Hostess At Heart

Gingerbread Bar Recipe (with Cream Cheese Frosting)

Author: Julie Menghini
This easy soft and chewy gingerbread bar recipe is topped with a luscious cream cheese frosting making them the perfect holiday treat.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Cooling time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Course Dessert, Dessert Bar
Cuisine American
Keyword: Gingerbread, Gingerbread Recipe, Holiday Recipe
Servings: 16


Gingerbread Cookie Base

  • cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup salted butter melted
  • tbsp molasses
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar firmly packed
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 4 oz cream cheese approximately half a brick
  • ¼ cup salted butter softened
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups powdered sugar (confectioners

Optional holiday sprinkles for garnish


  • Preheat your oven to 350 °F. Spray an 8-inch square baking pan with either cookie spray or grease with butter.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the granulated sugar, melted butter and molasses, brown sugar and vanilla until combined. Add the egg yolk and continue whisking.
  • Combine the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, ginger, nutmeg and cloves in the sifter and sift over the sugar molasses mixture.
  • Using a rubber spatula, fold all the ingredients together. Mixture will be thick and a little crumbly.
  • Press the mixture into the prepared pan and press dough down evenly.
  • Bake for 15-17 minutes. Let cool completely in the pan.
  • In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla at medium speed until smooth.
  • Slowly add the powdered sugar to the mixture approximately 1/3 cup at a time. Beat until combined and don’t forget to stop and scrape the sides of the bowl.
  • Spread the icing onto the cooled cookie base and add sprinkles to garnish.
  • Cut into 16 equal size squares.


For a cleaner cut, I recommend refrigerating the cookie bars for 15 mins or so prior to cutting.
• Can be frozen up to 4 months in an airtight container.
• Store in the refrigerator for up to 6 days.


Calories: 199kcalCarbohydrates: 30gProtein: 2gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.4gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 35mgSodium: 212mgPotassium: 71mgFiber: 0.3gSugar: 23gVitamin A: 289IUVitamin C: 0.01mgCalcium: 21mgIron: 1mg

Nutritional Disclaimer

This recipe was calculated using the exact brands and measurements I used to make this recipe. If you are following a strict diet please note changing anything will cause the nutritional info to change. My calculations are intended as a guide only.

Tried this recipe?Let me know how it was!

Did you enjoy this recipe? Don’t forget to pin it for later and follow me on Pinterest for more delicious recipes like this one!

Sideview of slices of cookie bars topped with creamcheese frosting. Hostess At Heart
The Best Gingerbread Bar Recipe
5 from 2 votes (2 ratings without comment)
Recipe Rating


Sunday 17th of December 2023

I made an older version of this recipe today; some details have changed, but it’s the same basic proportions. For my taste, this is too much baking soda—it makes my tongue feel almost burnt. They’re good other than that; I’ll probably make them again, using only half the amount of baking soda.

Julie Menghini

Monday 18th of December 2023

Thanks Chris for you input.


Monday 6th of November 2023

These were so festive and nice. The neighborhood kids loved them!

Julie Menghini

Tuesday 7th of November 2023

I'm glad you tried this one, Debi! It's so good. Thank you!


Wednesday 25th of October 2023

This was delicious! The cream cheese frosting was perfection.

Julie Menghini

Friday 27th of October 2023

We love that pair too, Mindy. Thank you!


Tuesday 24th of October 2023

The combination of soft gingerbread and sweet cream cheese frosting is irresistible! My new fall favorite!

Julie Menghini

Friday 27th of October 2023

Thank you, Liza. It's a great combo!


Tuesday 24th of October 2023

My family went nuts over these gingerbread bars, especially that equal bar-to-frosting ratio! :-)

Julie Menghini

Friday 27th of October 2023

They don't last long in my house either. Thank you!

As Seen On