Lemon Frosted Gingerbread Cookie Bars (Small Batch)

Saturday 22 August 2020

I wish you could smell my house right now. It smells really cosy. What is it about the warm baking spices and gingerbread that makes us feel right at home sweet home??  

I have been baking these small batch Gingerbread Cookie Bars and let me tell you, our house smells truly A - MAZE - ING!  Truly splendiferous!!

These might not look like much, but trust me, they are destined to become a firm favourite. Todd just loves them. He loves anything Gingerbread, as do I.

They are crisp edged and chewy middled. The recipe makes exactly 8 nice sized bars. No more, no less. I suppose you could cut them larger, but there is such a thing as too much goodness, and that would be it.

Eight bars is just the perfect size for us. We are only two. I find these days that if I bake anything in large numbers, it just doesn't get used up.

The empty nest sure takes getting used to. For years and years I cooked for seven people. Now there are only two of us.  It has taken me a while to adjust.

I suppose when we do get company (my oldest son and daughter are supposed to be coming over at some point) I will have to try to expand my recipes again!  

They were originally supposed to be coming for the month of April, but alas the Pandemic put an end to those plans. Now we are hoping that they will be able to come next year.  Fingers and toes are being crossed on both sides of the pond!

These lush bars are buttery and flavoured with molasses and vanilla, as well as plenty of warm baking spices. I do so love the warm baking spices, don't you??

Cinnamon, Ginger, Cloves, Allspice  . . . they are all in there . . .  you could also add a touch of ground cardamom as well if you wished. It would not go amiss.

The icing is a simple lemon buttercream. Basic buttercream icings are very simple to make. Just pop everything into a bowl and beat on high with an electric whisk. Butter, (I like Lurpak lightly salted) cream, icing sugar and lemon extract.

Just beat them together until the mixture is light, fluffy and smooth. If you want your icing to be a bit thinner, you can add a smidgen more cream, or a small splash of milk.

I think it is pretty perfect just as it is.  Just look there  . . .  delicious . . .ooey, chewy centred. What a fabulous looking mouthful.

I just adore the crisp edges and I love the chewy middles and I love that frosting.  It is sweet and tangy and rich and goes so perfectly with the flavours of gingerbread.

These lush cookie bars are perfectly at home with ice cold glasses of milk or hot cups of tea or coffee . . .  whatever it is you personally enjoy with things like these.

I had to have a taste of course, just to make sure they were okay before I fed them to Todd.  I wouldn't want him to have to eat anything nasty . . .

Its a tough job but somebody has to do it. I am always willing to take the bullet for just such a cause, and I'm afraid my hips show it! 

Moderation is evidentally not really a part of my vocabulary.  That's another reason why small batch recipes work well for me. There is far less temptation for me to have to deal with.

Just because you are a small family that doesn't mean you can't enjoy the same things that larger families enjoy.  These are perfect.  

You can freeze any leftovers, or keep them in an airtight container for about a week, no problem. I am pretty sure, however, that these won't be around that long to worry about their storage.

Lemon Frosted Gingerbread Cookie Bars

Lemon Frosted Gingerbread Cookie Bars
Yield: Makes 8 bars
Author: Marie Rayner
prep time: 10 Mcook time: 25 Mtotal time: 35 M
Todd just adores these soft and chewy Gingerbread Bars.  He doesn't like anything too hard. These are crisp edged and chewy middled.  With their sweet lemon buttercream frosting, they always go down a real treat!


For the Bars:
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened (60g)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar (50g)
  • 1/4 cup soft light brown sugar, packed (50g)
  • 1 large free range egg yolk (freeze the white to make angelfood cake at another time)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 TBS molasses
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • pinch each cloves and nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup all purpose flour (140g)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
For the Lemon frosting:
  • 1 cup sifted icing sugar (130g)
  • 1 TBS butter softened
  • 1 TBS cream
  • 1/2 tsp lemon extract


  1. Preheat the oven to 160*C/325*F/ gas mark 3.  Butter an 8 by six inch baking dish and line with baking paper so that you can remove the bars easily.  Set aside.
  2. Cream together the butter and both sugars.  Beat in the egg yolk, vanilla and molasses until light and creamy
  3. Sift the flour together with the spices, salt and baking soda. Add to the creamed mixture and mix together until combined and there are no longer any white streaks.  Press this dough into your prepared pan.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven for about 25 minutes. It will be golden around the edges and puffed up. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely in the pan. (It will sink in the middle, don't worry that's what is supposed to happen.)
  5. To make the icing, beat all of the ingredients together until light and creamy.  If you think it is a bit too stiff, add a crop more cream. Spread this into the sunken area of the bars once they are completely cold.
  6. Cut into 8 bars to serve.  Store any leftovers in an airtight container.
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  1. This looks delicious. I think I'd have to make a double batch of frosting because I might eat too much from the bowl before it got on the gingerbread!

    1. These squares themselves are plenty sweet Jeanie, but go for it, lol xoxo

  2. These sound delicious, I really want to try out this recipe ! However, can something Be substituted for molasses ? Never found them in France where I live (no treacle either). I have golden syrup, maple syrup, honey ...
    Thank you !

    1. Thanks for your question Claire. I hope I can help. Honey is a touch sweeter than molasses, but its thicker consistency makes it a good substitute. It lacks the complex spiciness of molasses, however, so you may want to consider adding additional spices like ground ginger or cinnamon into the recipe to boost the flavor. xoxo

  3. Marie -- I might never find your reply coming back to this but how would you adjust time if you can't find a 6x8 and have to do this in 8x8? Or would you adjust the recipe -- it seems doubling it would be too much for 8x8 but I'm not sure how to cut it back? Ideas? Could you tell me in email (jeanie@wkar.org) because I'm not sure Í'll be able to find this link!


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