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Chocolate Gingerbread Bars

The familiar deep color and moistness of gingerbread come in large part from molasses, a dark, thick syrup made from sugarcane juice. Find it alongside other liquid sweeteners.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Yield: Makes 16
Chocolate Gingerbread Bars

Source: Everyday Food, December 2008


  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted, plus more for pan
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, plus more for pan
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled)
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin-pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup packed dark-brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsulfured molasses
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • Confectioners' sugar, for dusting (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan. Line bottom with a strip of parchment paper, leaving an overhang on two sides; butter paper. Dust paper and sides of pan with cocoa; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together cocoa, flour, ginger, pumpkin-pie spice, and baking soda; set aside.

  2. In a large bowl, whisk together butter, brown sugar, molasses, egg, and sour cream until smooth. Add flour mixture; stir just until moistened (do not overmix). Stir in chocolate chips. Transfer batter to prepared pan; smooth top.

  3. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely. Using paper overhang, lift gingerbread from pan. Transfer to a cutting board, and cut into 16 squares. Before serving, dust bars with confectioners sugar, if desired.

Reviews (25)

  • meacoleman 19 Dec, 2012

    Very moist and easy to make; always a winner at the Christmas Cookie swaps!

  • Ashleigh Nichols 15 Dec, 2012

    Came out too dry, broke apart, and was more cake like. Won't make it again.

  • velikova 7 May, 2012

    Good taste but way too dry!

  • VictoriaLK 2 Jan, 2012

    AWESOME on my Christmas cookie tray! I used other reviewers' suggestions and added 1/4 cup oil (light olive) and 1/3 cup dark rum (I also reduced the melted butter to 3 tablespoons), then baked for only about 25 minutes. Since I planned to cut them into small (1"x1.5") bars, I used mini semisweet chips to facilitate even cuts. Used non-melting "confectioners" sugar to dust because they were so moist. This recipe will be a repeater! Oh, they freeze well, too (before dusting).

  • carliebrary 4 Dec, 2011

    I substituted carob powder & chips, and Saigon cinnamon for the pumpkin pie spice (food allergies) and they were amazingly delicious!

  • ajwashurn 26 Apr, 2011

    I made these bars, during the holidays, and thought they had a nice balance of chocolate and ginger. I did think that they were slightly dry.

  • thesaltygirl 19 Dec, 2010

    I'm usually a big fan of Martha Stewart recipes because they are kitchen tested. However this recipe did not meet my expectations. The flavors were great, but the bars were dry even though I undercooked them (27 minutes, turned once during baking). I think I might add gingerbread spices to a brownie recipe now, though, since the chocolate-gingerbread combination really tasted good!

  • cynat 12 Dec, 2010

    4 TBS butter = 1/2 stick or 1/4 cup or 2 oz. The recipe is correct cnf123 but I certainly appreciate the other comments about adjusting the cooking time.

  • KatherineKrueger 4 Dec, 2010

    These were good, I'd give them 4 out of 5 stars. I added a cream cheese frosting and decorations for Christmas so I can use them in a cookie exchange. I stayed with the recipe and they weren't dry, but I watched my time and took them out at 25 minutes. Definitely a keeper!

  • cnf123 1 Dec, 2010

    oops. sorry, sent twice. silly how the comments are set up, so easy to do!

  • cnf123 1 Dec, 2010

    I haven't made these, yet, but noticed the reason some of you are saying they might be dry is that the butter should say 4oz not 4 Tbsp. 1/2 stick = 4oz. Going to try them today and leave out the choclate chips. Sounds yummy!

  • cnf123 1 Dec, 2010

    I haven't made these, yet, but noticed the reason some of you are saying they might be dry is that the butter should say 4oz not 4 Tbsp. 1/2 stick = 4oz. Going to try them today and leave out the choclate chips. Sounds yummy!

  • kaypendragon 2 Sep, 2010

    Wonderful - made these for a meeting and they disappeared! Highly recommended.

  • cerine 8 Apr, 2010

    I made these bars several times and now they are a family favorite , I only reduce the cooking time few minutes and take them out when a knife comes out clean. 30 minutes baking is too much for them ...

  • seashellweddings 18 Dec, 2009

    These are good, but a little on the dry side.
    So I tried again.... adding 1/4 cup of corn oil and 1/4 cup dark rum.
    Million Dollar Recipe : )

  • eleonoragrande 17 Dec, 2009

    These are super simple and so delicious! I added a pinch of salt because I find all baked goods taste better with a little bit of salt. They were a huge hit and have been told (not asked) to make them again : )

  • newoman 21 Mar, 2009

    These are delicious and very moist. A great light dessert with coffee or espresso. Also great as a holiday gift.

  • francescakins 22 Dec, 2008

    These have to be the most moist and tasty bars I have ever tasted. My boyfriend and I nearly ate the whole batch. They were especially good still warm.

  • EleanorBW 21 Dec, 2008

    These are now one of my Christmas staples!

    I doubled the recipe and baked for only 25 minutes in a 9 x 13 pan to make them fudgier. I didn't have chocolate chips and used raisins plumped in dark rum instead. They get really dense if you freeze them!

    Absolutely yummy!!!

  • michabarno 9 Dec, 2008

    First, these are so simple to make that you don't even need a mixer. Also, if you don't have "pumpkin pie" spice, just use these common ingredients:
    1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ginger (so this ups the ginger), and 1/8 teaspoon each of allspice and nutmeg.
    They were gooey, moist, and ready to come out at 30 minutes by my baking. I would definitely NOT over bake these! They aren't exceptionally "gingery", but are uniquely spiced for the holidays.

  • tierragirl497 8 Dec, 2008

    Turned out nice and moist but the chocolate overshadowed the 1 teaspoon of ginger, I'll make it again but lave out the pumpkin-pie spice and increase the ginger.

  • katriona 6 Dec, 2008

    I was dissapointed...unusual for a Martha recipe. They were too dry for my liking.

  • katriona 6 Dec, 2008

    they turned out too dry for my liking.

  • vshewchuk 3 Dec, 2008

    I found this recipe so easy to follow and they were fabulous!

  • dmartinxoxo 2 Dec, 2008

    Delicious and easy! Made the house smell amazing!

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