Iced Gingerbread Bars — Soft, chewy bars that are full of rich gingery molasses flavor!! Wayyyy faster and easier than rolling out gingerbread cookies! No mixer, no fuss, and the sweet icing seals the deal!!

two gingerbread bars stacked on each other

Easy Gingerbread Dessert Recipe

I love all things molasses and ginger, but only when soft and chewy. Traditional rock hard, crack-a-tooth gingerbread cookies aren’t my thing. Plus, a rolling pin is usually involved with those so definitely not my thing.

Enter: these bars. Soft, chewy, no rolling involved, and loaded with rich molasses and ginger flavor. There are also no eggs, which could be helpful if you need an egg-free holiday dessert.

If you’ve ever made any of my gingerbread or molasses treats, you’ll know I’m not shy with the spices. There’s nothing worse than bland, and the bars are robustly flavored without being overpowering. However, if you’re very sensitive to spices you may want to dial things back a bit.

I adapted these gingerbread bars from an old-fashioned recipe for hermits. I figured the name hermits wasn’t going to catch anyone’s eye, but maybe gingerbread will. Plus there’s sweet icing that complements the warming spices beautifully. Icing always catches my eye.

two gingerbread bars stacked on top of each other. Top bar has a bite missing.

What’s in Gingerbread Bars? 

To make these gingerbread cookie bars, you’ll need: 

  • Light brown sugar
  • Unsalted butter
  • Spices (ground cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger)
  • Salt 
  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking soda
  • Molasses
  • Confectioners’ sugar
  • Milk

How to Make Gingerbread Bars

Cream together the butter and sugar, then add the dry ingredients. Stir the molasses in last. 

Turn the mixture into a greased 8×8-inch pan. Bake until the center is set, then let cool completely before icing. 

Iced Gingerbread Bars - Soft, chewy bars that are full of rich gingery molasses flavor!! Wayyyy faster and easier than rolling out gingerbread cookies! No mixer, no fuss, and the sweet icing seals the deal!!

Can I Double This Recipe? 

Yes! Simply double the ingredients and bake in a 9×13-inch pan. 

What Type of Molasses Should I Use? 

Use a mild or medium molasses. Do NOT use blackstrap molasses, it’s way too bitter. 

Tips for Making Gingerbread Cookie Bars

When measuring the flour, be careful not to over-measure or hard-pack it. If you add too much flour, the bars will turn out dry and crumbly. 

You’ll know the bars are ready to be pulled from the oven when the center is set and the edges are pulling away from the sides of the pan. 

The icing takes about 15 minutes to fully set. I recommend waiting until it’s set before slicing the bars, otherwise you’ll have a big mess on your hands. 

Iced Gingerbread Bars
Yield: 9

Iced Gingerbread Bars

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Cooling Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes

Soft, chewy bars that are full of rich gingery molasses flavor!! Wayyyy faster and easier than rolling out gingerbread cookies! No mixer, no fuss, and the sweet icing seals the deal!!

Ingredients

Bars

  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (don’t overmeasure)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup medium or mild molasses

Icing

  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • about 2 teaspoons water, cream, or milk

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Line an 8×8-inch pan with aluminum foil, spray with cooking spray; set aside.
  2. To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or large mixing bowl and handheld electric mixer), add the brown sugar, butter, and beat until smooth. Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  3. Add the cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, salt, and beat to combine.
  4. Add the flour (don’t overmeasure or hard-pack the flour or bars will be dry and crumbly), baking soda, and beat to combine. Mixture will be dry.
  5. Add the molasses and beat to combine.
  6. Turn mixture out into pan and hard-pack it with a spatula. It will be on the dry and crumbly side but bakes together fine.
  7. Bake for about 20 minutes or until center is just set. Edges will be pulling away slightly from pan; don’t over-bake because bars firm up as they cool.
  8. Place pan on a wire rack to cool for about 45 minutes before adding the icing.
  9. To a medium bowl, add the confectioners’ sugar, liquid of your choice, and whisk until smooth and combined. Play with the liquid and sugar amounts as necessary to achieve desired consistency.
  10. Evenly drizzle icing over bars, noting you will likely have extra. Alternatively, pour icing over bars for complete coverage. Icing will set up in about 15 minutes. I recommend waiting until it sets up before slicing and serving.

Notes

Storage: Bars will keep airtight at room temp for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Adapted from King Arthur Flour.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

9

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 279Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 33mgSodium: 149mgCarbohydrates: 40gFiber: 1gSugar: 22gProtein: 3g

More Molasses Desserts:

Soft and Chewy Gingerbread Molasses Chocolate Chip Bars – Rich, chocolaty, and like eating a piece of molasses fudge!

Soft and Chewy Gingerbread Molasses Chocolate Chip Bars - Dense, rich and like eating a piece of molasses fudge. Easy no-mixer recipe at averiecooks.com

Soft and Chewy Molasses Gingerdoodles — 3 favorites combined! Soft molasses cookies, chewy gingerbread and crinkly snickerdoodles! So good!!

Soft and Chewy Molasses Gingerdoodles - 3 favorites combined! Soft molasses cookies, chewy gingerbread and crinkly snickerdoodles! So good!!

Soft Molasses Coconut Oil Crinkle Cookies – No butter, no problem. One of my favorite molasses cookie recipes!

Soft Molasses Coconut Oil Crinkle Cookies - No butter, no problem. My favorite molasses cookies ever. Easy recipe at averiecooks.com

Chocolate Gingerbread Cake — An EASY, no mixer cake that’s perfect for the holidays!! Chocolate and ginger are amazing together! The GINGER spiced whipped cream is the literal icing on this cake!!

Molasses Triple Chocolate Cookies – Chocolate is used three times for a fun twist on the traditional. No mixer required!

Molasses Triple Chocolate Cookies on a blue surface

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies— Between the molasses, pumpkin pie spice, and pumpkin pie spice extract that I used, these pumpkin chocolate chip cookies beautifully showcase the flavors of fall! 

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread— This pumpkin chocolate chip bread is truly the best homemade pumpkin bread you’ll ever make. It’s moist, packed with chocolate chips, and tastes like fall!

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