Chewy Gingerbread Bars

Chewy Gingerbread Bars
If you are looking for a
I would like you to meet these Chewy Gingerbread Bars. 
They taste just like a gingerbread cookie…but thicker and chewier and just so darn delicious, you won’t believe it. As an added bonus, they are super quick to put together and only take 12 minutes to bake. Did I say they had a lot going for them, or what!?

When I made them last week my little boys and I could not stop eating them. 
They kept saying things like…
“Mom, these are dayyyyng gooood.”
“Hey these taste like those little men cookies!”
“Why can’t I have another one, you ate two!”
“What is the meaning of life, would you like me to sweep the floor and don’t you look look stunning today in your ponytail and stretch pants, Mom. Wow…you are one classy lady! Is that globby thing stuck on the bum of your pants frosting or crusty bread dough?”
Ok, they didn’t really say all that but I’m sure they were thinking it.
This recipe comes from my exceedingly classy, 
kind hearted, beautiful, talented, masters degreed and 
very professional dietitian extraordinaire, 
younger sister
She’s single.
I just couldn’t help but write it.
Know anybody?
Don’t tell her I said it, ok?
She is one in a million, that girl.
I bet she’s never had crusty bread dough stuck to the bum of her pants. Let’s make these bars, shall we?
Chewy Gingerbread Bars
Time: 15 minutes hands on + 10-12 minutes baking
Yield: One 9×9 pan full, cut as small or as large as you like
Recipe from the lovely and talented Jen Willahan

***Note: If you would like to double this recipe, use a large jelly roll pan (I used a 11 1/2 by 16 inch pan while experimenting) and bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes. Allow the bars to cool, then frost and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before cutting.

Gingerbread Bars:
3/4 C butter, melted
1 C sugar
1/4 C molasses
1 egg
2 C flour
2 t baking soda
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t salt
1/2 t ginger
1/2 t cloves
Cream Cheese Frosting:
4 ounces cream cheese (half a brick), softened
2 T butter, softened
2 C powdered sugar
1 T milk
1/2 t vanilla
dash salt

1. Pour the melted butter


and molasses into your stand mixer, or large mixing bowl. Beat until well combined. 

2. Add the egg and beat until smooth. 

3. In a separate bowl toss together all of the dry ingredients. 

4. Pour the dry ingredients into the mixer and beat, just until combined. 

5. Spray a 9×9 pan with cooking spray and press the dough into it. 
6. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes, do not over bake. Stick a knife into the center of the bars. If it comes out clean…remove the pan from the oven and let it cool completely. The bars will continue to cook a bit as they cool. Once frosted the bars will be put in the fridge for an hour…this will also help the bars to set up and not be too doughy. 

7. Mix all frosting ingredients together in your stand mixer. Beat until nice and smooth.

8. Spread the frosting over the top of the cooled bars. Refrigerate for one hour, cut and serve!
Store leftover bars in the fridge, or freezer. 
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Have a great day!

Post a comment!


  1. 1
    December 8, 2011 at 4:05 pm

    OMG, the frosting the cake…must make!

  2. 2
    December 8, 2011 at 6:37 pm

    This looks delicious! Can't wait to try them! I love your Christmas plate too!

  3. 3
    December 8, 2011 at 9:41 pm

    These bars look amazing. Why do you make so many yummy goods?! I just made one of your cookies yesterday and absolutely love them. I plan to leave a quick review on that cookie post later. Thanks!

  4. 4
    December 9, 2011 at 1:12 am

    Can you double this and put it in a 9X13?

  5. 5
    December 9, 2011 at 2:38 am

    Franklin Fam,
    Yes you can double it and use a 9×13. Good luck!

  6. 6
    December 9, 2011 at 8:05 pm

    Jamie, Christina made your cranberry cream cheese dip and I went to her house to try it and its AMAZING!! You are amazing with all you do for your fun blog!!! I am going to have to try this amazing gingerbread bars since it is jen's recipe!! I love how happy you are! You make me happy!
    Love, brianne

  7. 7
    December 10, 2011 at 12:06 am

    The recipe looked so yummy that I tried it today. I baked it for 12 minutes. After it cooled, it was very sunken in the middle and I discovered it was seriously underbaked (and this is coming from someone who likes chewy bar cookies). Just curious, did anyone else need to bake it longer? 12 minutes doesn't seem very long to bake a 9×9 inch pan. Thanks! Love your blog.

  8. 8
    December 10, 2011 at 8:30 pm

    I doubled the recipe and put it in a 9X 13. After 15 minutes the middle was still liquid. I lowered the temperature to 350 (didn't want the edges burned) and kept checking the bars. Mine needed a total of 45 minutes cooking time to be done in the middle. Did anyone else try it in a 9X13? They smell divine!

    • 9
      December 14, 2018 at 2:11 pm

      It is recommended that you use an 11 x 16 , approximately, like a cookie sheet or a jelly roll pan. Using that smaller pan makes the squares too thick. Try again with the larger size pan. Easy peasey.!
      Besides, this gives you more squares!

  9. 10
    December 12, 2011 at 1:32 am

    Yes, Laura, I m having the same problem. I have forgotten how may times I have put back in the oven for “another five minutes.” I can't even get the middle to set up at all. It's just staying gooey in the middle. : (

  10. 11
    December 12, 2011 at 4:33 pm

    These look so yummy! And I totally agree with you about Jen! She's amazing–I LOVE her! She's the one that got me following your yumminess in the first place. And I made your snickerdoodle bundt cake this weekend. It is divine!

  11. 12
    December 12, 2011 at 7:26 pm

    I made these this past weekend – doubled the recipe and used a 9X13 pan. After 10 minutes of baking I knew there was no way these would be done after another 2 minutes. I kept adding time and adding time so in the end I have no idea how much time I had to add to get the middle to be not raw. The edges got a little too done, but I assumed that this is because when you double and use a 9X13 you get a much thicker cookie bar than you do with the regular recipe in a 9X9. But it sounds like others are having the same problem regardless of whether they doubled or not.

    That said – these were amazing!!!! I think if I ever double them again I will put about 3/4th in a 9X13 and the other 1/4th in one of my really small pyrex pans to see it if cooks a little better, but they are outstanding even with the top edges being a little more done than I think they are supposed to be. Thanks for the recipe!!

    • 13
      February 19, 2014 at 3:24 pm

      Or pour into 2 9×9 or 8×8 pans

  12. 14
    December 12, 2011 at 8:44 pm

    Bless you bless you for your feedback. So glad to hear they still tasted good. I have been worried about the trouble folks are having doubling the recipe. Thanks for your advice. I've added your insights to the post. Have a great day and thanks again.

  13. 15
    December 12, 2011 at 9:49 pm

    Jamie–I cooked mine in a 9×9 pan and had to keep adding more time. The toothpick came out relatively clean so I took them out, yet they were still not done after they cooled. Just making sure you cook yours for 10-12 min.?
    They did smell delicious! Hopefully next time I can get them done better. Thanks for your recipes and humor!

  14. 16
    December 14, 2011 at 4:34 pm

    Mine were yummy! But I think everyone is right, the time is off. I baked for 11 minutes, it looked done but boy was I wrong. I kept putting it back in for 5 or 10 mins. i think it came to a total of 36 minutes at 350.

  15. 17
    December 18, 2011 at 7:40 pm

    Oh Lordy, somebody pinch me. I think I've died & gone to heaven!

  16. 18
    December 22, 2011 at 10:22 pm

    Goodness gracious, I am making these tonight:)SO glad I found your lovely site!

  17. 19
    December 27, 2011 at 3:14 am

    These are simply gorgeous, and so decadent! I love sweet treats like this, just heavenly:-) Take care, Terra

  18. 20
    August 30, 2012 at 11:24 pm

    I think I may try these for Christmas baking this year. I have been looking for a good dense gingerbread for awhile to no avail. This looks like it’s a winner!

  19. 21
    October 7, 2012 at 7:33 am

    These are to DIE FOR good. I dream about these yummy things. They are full of rich gooey goodness!

  20. 22
    December 5, 2012 at 8:11 am

    Hey I don’t have much do you think that would change the flavourful?

  21. 23
    December 8, 2012 at 9:01 am

    I used an 11 x 16 pan for my double batch and it was way to small. It ended up spilling over the edges and all over the oven. Delicious though!

  22. 24
    December 10, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    i baked the single batch in 9x 13 and they were perfectly done at 12 minutes. if that helps anyone with the timing issue. Thanks for a tasty recipe!

  23. 25
    December 18, 2012 at 6:25 am

    These look absolutely amazing. I recently had some chewy ginger cookies that I could not stop eating, and now that they are gone, I’d like to make my own version in bar form. However, I’m sort of a health nut– would I be able to substitute apple sauce for the butter in any way? I use the single-serve apple sauce cups that come out to 1/2 cup…. Thanks!

    • 26
      December 18, 2012 at 6:32 am

      I haven’t ever tried it with applesauce as a substitute, so I can’t speak from experience. However, I would suggest using half butter and half apple sauce. Good luck! Let me know if you try it!

  24. 27
    December 18, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    i dont have 9X9 PAN… 🙁 only 8×8 or 11×13. any suggestions?

    • 28
      December 18, 2012 at 9:04 pm

      I would go for the 11×13 pan. They turn out pretty thick in a 9×9, so using an 8×8 might be too small. Good luck!

  25. 29
    December 18, 2012 at 9:40 pm

    Wow! Your amazing! Thanx for your quick response, as I am fixin’ to make these right now. How long should I bake?

  26. 30
    Tina L.
    December 21, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    These are great! I made a double recipe without making a smaller pan of them first to try them out. I was glad I did! Everyone loved them at a get-together this month and I’m making them again for Christmas. I did use Duncan Hines buttercream frosting instead of the homemade, but that cream cheese frosting looks really good!.

  27. 31
    December 23, 2012 at 11:15 am

    I made this recipe in my bar pan to take to church this morning. They were a hit! I did double the recipe but baked at 325 for about 15 minutes in my 11×16 bar pan. They did go high on the edges but didn’t burn. I have already had several people ask me for the recipe.

    One lady said she had to have it. She ate two and had to cut herself off so others could have some. Lol she wants to make the recipe soon.

    My non-sweets loving teen had two bars! These are going to be an addition to all future Christmas cookie trays. I love how fast they were to make and bake and how many servings. The perfect sharing with others recipe,

  28. 32
    Kelly J
    December 8, 2013 at 8:45 am

    Made these last night for my ward party and they were a huge hit! Thanks!

  29. 33
    December 8, 2013 at 8:28 pm

    I eat gluten free, this recipe sounded so good so I made this recipe and substituted SPELT flour for the flour and added two teaspoons of Xanthum gum. It turned out AMAZING. This recipe is definitely a keeper. Thank you so much for sharing.

    • 34
      January 2, 2015 at 6:29 am

      I am not trying to be contrary here…….spelt flour is not gluten free. It is however a whole wheat flour.

  30. 35
    December 9, 2013 at 11:21 pm

    You are just toooooo, tooooo precious and your daughter is gorgeous and I love your blog! Everything is so sweet I feel I’ve got my sugar fix without having to make that fudge!

  31. 36
    December 12, 2013 at 6:53 pm

    Made these last week – a real hit!!

  32. 37
    December 26, 2013 at 5:56 pm

    Ok, I made these this week and they were delicious!! However, in the 9×9 pan it seemed like it was hard to get the center cooked enough without over baking the edges. I made the recipe again in a 7×11 pan and it seemed to bake better. Also, an hour was not enough cooling time to make the frosting hard enough to make neat cuts.

  33. 38
    January 3, 2014 at 10:03 pm

    you’re funny! i like you! i have “scooped” a couple of your recipes and look forward to making them. glad i stumble into your blog! 🙂

  34. 39
    September 22, 2014 at 4:25 pm

    Just made these wonderful bars doubling recipe to bake a 9 x 13 pan. Baked at 350 for @ 35 minutes. The middle was cooked through….iced them and they are fantastic! Serving them tonight at Club.

  35. 40
    November 17, 2014 at 9:21 pm

    OMG…. Chewy yummyness

  36. 41
    November 21, 2017 at 7:52 pm

    I made these with oil, so a two-thirds of a cup substitution, scant with a couple of T. of water to make 2/3 c.

    I used white whole wheat flour and baked the recipe amount in a half sheet pan, so larger than 9X9.

    I baked it for about 17 minutes — the texture was perfect. I was trying to emulate Trader Joe’s delicious gingerbread sticks!

    They turned out well — drizzled with a bit of apple icing, they’re perfect for my cookie exchange contribution.

    Thanks for the recipe, Jamie.

  37. 42
    December 15, 2018 at 5:25 pm

    I’ve been making these for a couple of years now and they are my whole family’s favorite. People start to panic when they start running low – until I make another batch. We eat them all week!

  38. 43
    Lisa Mullins
    May 20, 2019 at 12:46 pm

    total flop did not turn out at all. it was not cooked in 15 minutes and it sunk

  39. 44
    December 17, 2019 at 4:01 pm

    My mother-in-law made these for Thanksgiving 2019 and they were so unbelievably delicious. She says hers were underbaked, but in my opinion they were a perfectly moist, dense, rich, spicy masterpiece. It’s one of those rare desserts that’s just so good, you have to share- because everyone who tries a piece falls in love! I can’t wait to make it for Christmas.

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