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Gingerbread Cookies with Greek Yogurt Vanilla Frosting

Gingerbread Cookies with Greek Yogurt Vanilla Frosting


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Try this Gingerbread Cookies with Greek Yogurt Vanilla Frosting from Chobani

Decorate these classic gingerbread cookies with this lighter twist on classic vanilla icing that uses Greek yogurt.

Ingredients

For the Greek yogurt vanilla frosting:

  • 2 Cups vanilla Greek yogurt, such as Chobani
  • 1 1/4 Cup butter, unsalted, room temperature
  • 3 Tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1/4 Teaspoon salt

For the gingerbread cookies:

  • 1/2 Cup whole milk yogurt, such as Chobani
  • 2 1/2 Cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 Cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 Cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 Cup sugar
  • 4 Teaspoons ginger, ground
  • 3 Teaspoons cinnamon, ground
  • 1 Teaspoon nutmeg, ground
  • 3 Teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 Cup butter, melted
  • 1/4 Cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 Cup molasses
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Teaspoon vanilla extract

Servings4

Calories Per Serving1748

Folate equivalent (total)318µg79%

Riboflavin (B2)0.7mg43.2%


Healthy Gingerbread Cookie Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting


One December weekend during elementary school, a couple of the moms from my brother’s Cub Scout troop invited all of the boys over to build and decorate gingerbread houses. They generously offered that siblings could come as well, so Mom drove both of us over for an afternoon of sugary fun.

When we arrived, we found the host’s kitchen table, along with two folding tables in her adjacent living room, covered with plastic tablecloths (for easy clean-up!), plenty of paper plates, platters of pre-cut cookies in wall and roof shapes, and lots of edible decorations: gumdrops, M&Ms, pretzels, candy canes, round peppermints, red licorice, chocolate chips, nuts, sprinkles… She thought of everything!


Once all of the boys and siblings sat down around the three tables, the adults offered us plastic knives to spread the store-bought frosting on the edges of the cookies to “glue” them together, as well as across the tops of the cookies to decorate with all of the candy. As one of the older kids in the room, I had the easiest time carefully transferring the canned frosting from my knife onto the cookies’ edges, but no matter how long I held them together, they still broke apart at the frosting “seam” when I turned to frost another cookie’s edge.

After ten or twenty minutes of struggling, everyone finally realized that the store-bought frosting wasn’t going to hold two cookies together, let alone hold together an entire gingerbread house, so we just decided to decorate the tops of the cookies instead. An hour or two later, we all took home paper plates of cookies covered in frosting and candy—although a few cookies never quite made it home and ended up in our bellies instead!


Despite feeling tempted by beautiful gingerbread houses in photos a few times, I’ve never again tried to build and decorate my own. I’d much rather take the easy way out… Like with these Healthy Gingerbread Cookie Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting !

They have the same iconic flavor as gingerbread houses, that warm and cozy and irresistibly sweet spice taste, but these are much softer and chewier (I remember those gingerbread house cookies as being rather dry and stale!). Even better, these healthy gingerbread cookie bars contain no refined flour or sugar and only 81 calories, including the frosting!


Let’s go over how to make these healthy gingerbread cookie bars with cream cheese frosting!

You’ll start with a combination of white whole wheat flour (like this!) and lots of spices: ginger (obvious, I’m sure!), cinnamon , nutmeg , and cloves . I love how warm and cozy they taste!

And yes, white whole wheat flour actually exists! It’s not a combination of white (aka all-purpose) flour and regular whole wheat flour. Instead, white whole wheat flour is made by finely grinding a special type of soft white wheat (hence the name!), whereas regular whole wheat flour comes from a heartier variety of red wheat. They have the same health benefits, like extra fiber, but white whole wheat flour has a lighter taste and texture… Which lets the soft and chewy texture of your healthy gingerbread cookie bars truly shine!

Tip: I’ve also included a gluten-free option in the Notes section of the recipe!


Unlike many traditional recipes that require a full stick or two of butter, your healthy gingerbread cookie bars only need 2 tablespoons. Yes, that’s it! Then you’ll actually melt the butter for two reasons: (a) melted butter creates a more chewy texture and (b) it’s much easier than trying to remember to soften it ahead of time. Hooray!

Now here comes another little nerdy part of the recipe… You actually need two sweeteners! The first is molasses . Along with ginger, molasses is what creates the iconic gingerbread taste. The ginger adds that warm, cozy spice flavor, while the molasses adds the rich, almost earthy undertone. I do not recommend substituting for it because your cookies won’t taste like true gingerbread without it!

Hint: Molasses is inexpensive and shelf-stable. It keeps for ages, so it’s definitely worth buying! And you can use it in all of these other gingerbread recipes of mine too—along with this special recipe!


The second sweetener is liquid stevia . Stevia is a plant-based, no-calorie sweetener that contains nothing refined or artificial (aka it’s clean eating friendly!). It’s also highly concentrated, which is the key nerdy part to this recipe!

If you used half molasses and half granulated sugar (or coconut sugar or maple syrup or honey—any of those options!), that would actually add too much liquid volume to this recipe, and your healthy gingerbread cookie bars wouldn’t turn out soft and chewy… They’d actually have more of a cakey or bready texture from the extra liquid. Not good!

But because liquid stevia is so concentrated—you just need 1 teaspoon, which adds the sweetness equivalent of nearly ½ cup of sugar!—you get the correct soft and chewy cookie texture and the correct sweetness level. Win-win!

Tip: This is the liquid stevia that I use! I love its flavor and don’t notice any strange aftertaste, like with some other stevia products. I buy it online here because that’s the best price I’ve found, and you’ll use it in all of these recipes of mine, too!


After you’ve spread your cookie dough into your pan and slid that in your oven to bake, it’s time to make the healthy cream cheese frosting! You’ll need Greek yogurt , light cream cheese , instant pudding mix , and a little more liquid stevia .

Yes, I know… Instant pudding mix? To make frosting? I’m sure it sounds a little crazy, but I promise it works! That’s because the instant pudding mix thickens the Greek yogurt, so your healthier cream cheese frosting turns out just as thick and creamy as the traditional kind made with cream cheese, butter, and powdered sugar. Such a great trick, right?

Tip: If you don’t have instant pudding mix (or don’t want to use it), then use this cream cheese frosting recipe of mine instead!

Once your healthy gingerbread cookie bars are at room temperature and your healthy cream cheese frosting is thick and creamy, just spread it on top, slice the pan into squares, and…


Enjoy! And when you make your own, remember to snap a picture and share it on Instagram using #amyshealthybaking and tagging @amyshealthybaking IN the photo itself! (That guarantees I’ll see your picture! . ) I’d love to see your healthy gingerbread cookie bars!


Healthy Gingerbread Cookie Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting


One December weekend during elementary school, a couple of the moms from my brother’s Cub Scout troop invited all of the boys over to build and decorate gingerbread houses. They generously offered that siblings could come as well, so Mom drove both of us over for an afternoon of sugary fun.

When we arrived, we found the host’s kitchen table, along with two folding tables in her adjacent living room, covered with plastic tablecloths (for easy clean-up!), plenty of paper plates, platters of pre-cut cookies in wall and roof shapes, and lots of edible decorations: gumdrops, M&Ms, pretzels, candy canes, round peppermints, red licorice, chocolate chips, nuts, sprinkles… She thought of everything!


Once all of the boys and siblings sat down around the three tables, the adults offered us plastic knives to spread the store-bought frosting on the edges of the cookies to “glue” them together, as well as across the tops of the cookies to decorate with all of the candy. As one of the older kids in the room, I had the easiest time carefully transferring the canned frosting from my knife onto the cookies’ edges, but no matter how long I held them together, they still broke apart at the frosting “seam” when I turned to frost another cookie’s edge.

After ten or twenty minutes of struggling, everyone finally realized that the store-bought frosting wasn’t going to hold two cookies together, let alone hold together an entire gingerbread house, so we just decided to decorate the tops of the cookies instead. An hour or two later, we all took home paper plates of cookies covered in frosting and candy—although a few cookies never quite made it home and ended up in our bellies instead!


Despite feeling tempted by beautiful gingerbread houses in photos a few times, I’ve never again tried to build and decorate my own. I’d much rather take the easy way out… Like with these Healthy Gingerbread Cookie Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting !

They have the same iconic flavor as gingerbread houses, that warm and cozy and irresistibly sweet spice taste, but these are much softer and chewier (I remember those gingerbread house cookies as being rather dry and stale!). Even better, these healthy gingerbread cookie bars contain no refined flour or sugar and only 81 calories, including the frosting!


Let’s go over how to make these healthy gingerbread cookie bars with cream cheese frosting!

You’ll start with a combination of white whole wheat flour (like this!) and lots of spices: ginger (obvious, I’m sure!), cinnamon , nutmeg , and cloves . I love how warm and cozy they taste!

And yes, white whole wheat flour actually exists! It’s not a combination of white (aka all-purpose) flour and regular whole wheat flour. Instead, white whole wheat flour is made by finely grinding a special type of soft white wheat (hence the name!), whereas regular whole wheat flour comes from a heartier variety of red wheat. They have the same health benefits, like extra fiber, but white whole wheat flour has a lighter taste and texture… Which lets the soft and chewy texture of your healthy gingerbread cookie bars truly shine!

Tip: I’ve also included a gluten-free option in the Notes section of the recipe!


Unlike many traditional recipes that require a full stick or two of butter, your healthy gingerbread cookie bars only need 2 tablespoons. Yes, that’s it! Then you’ll actually melt the butter for two reasons: (a) melted butter creates a more chewy texture and (b) it’s much easier than trying to remember to soften it ahead of time. Hooray!

Now here comes another little nerdy part of the recipe… You actually need two sweeteners! The first is molasses . Along with ginger, molasses is what creates the iconic gingerbread taste. The ginger adds that warm, cozy spice flavor, while the molasses adds the rich, almost earthy undertone. I do not recommend substituting for it because your cookies won’t taste like true gingerbread without it!

Hint: Molasses is inexpensive and shelf-stable. It keeps for ages, so it’s definitely worth buying! And you can use it in all of these other gingerbread recipes of mine too—along with this special recipe!


The second sweetener is liquid stevia . Stevia is a plant-based, no-calorie sweetener that contains nothing refined or artificial (aka it’s clean eating friendly!). It’s also highly concentrated, which is the key nerdy part to this recipe!

If you used half molasses and half granulated sugar (or coconut sugar or maple syrup or honey—any of those options!), that would actually add too much liquid volume to this recipe, and your healthy gingerbread cookie bars wouldn’t turn out soft and chewy… They’d actually have more of a cakey or bready texture from the extra liquid. Not good!

But because liquid stevia is so concentrated—you just need 1 teaspoon, which adds the sweetness equivalent of nearly ½ cup of sugar!—you get the correct soft and chewy cookie texture and the correct sweetness level. Win-win!

Tip: This is the liquid stevia that I use! I love its flavor and don’t notice any strange aftertaste, like with some other stevia products. I buy it online here because that’s the best price I’ve found, and you’ll use it in all of these recipes of mine, too!


After you’ve spread your cookie dough into your pan and slid that in your oven to bake, it’s time to make the healthy cream cheese frosting! You’ll need Greek yogurt , light cream cheese , instant pudding mix , and a little more liquid stevia .

Yes, I know… Instant pudding mix? To make frosting? I’m sure it sounds a little crazy, but I promise it works! That’s because the instant pudding mix thickens the Greek yogurt, so your healthier cream cheese frosting turns out just as thick and creamy as the traditional kind made with cream cheese, butter, and powdered sugar. Such a great trick, right?

Tip: If you don’t have instant pudding mix (or don’t want to use it), then use this cream cheese frosting recipe of mine instead!

Once your healthy gingerbread cookie bars are at room temperature and your healthy cream cheese frosting is thick and creamy, just spread it on top, slice the pan into squares, and…


Enjoy! And when you make your own, remember to snap a picture and share it on Instagram using #amyshealthybaking and tagging @amyshealthybaking IN the photo itself! (That guarantees I’ll see your picture! . ) I’d love to see your healthy gingerbread cookie bars!


Healthy Gingerbread Cookie Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting


One December weekend during elementary school, a couple of the moms from my brother’s Cub Scout troop invited all of the boys over to build and decorate gingerbread houses. They generously offered that siblings could come as well, so Mom drove both of us over for an afternoon of sugary fun.

When we arrived, we found the host’s kitchen table, along with two folding tables in her adjacent living room, covered with plastic tablecloths (for easy clean-up!), plenty of paper plates, platters of pre-cut cookies in wall and roof shapes, and lots of edible decorations: gumdrops, M&Ms, pretzels, candy canes, round peppermints, red licorice, chocolate chips, nuts, sprinkles… She thought of everything!


Once all of the boys and siblings sat down around the three tables, the adults offered us plastic knives to spread the store-bought frosting on the edges of the cookies to “glue” them together, as well as across the tops of the cookies to decorate with all of the candy. As one of the older kids in the room, I had the easiest time carefully transferring the canned frosting from my knife onto the cookies’ edges, but no matter how long I held them together, they still broke apart at the frosting “seam” when I turned to frost another cookie’s edge.

After ten or twenty minutes of struggling, everyone finally realized that the store-bought frosting wasn’t going to hold two cookies together, let alone hold together an entire gingerbread house, so we just decided to decorate the tops of the cookies instead. An hour or two later, we all took home paper plates of cookies covered in frosting and candy—although a few cookies never quite made it home and ended up in our bellies instead!


Despite feeling tempted by beautiful gingerbread houses in photos a few times, I’ve never again tried to build and decorate my own. I’d much rather take the easy way out… Like with these Healthy Gingerbread Cookie Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting !

They have the same iconic flavor as gingerbread houses, that warm and cozy and irresistibly sweet spice taste, but these are much softer and chewier (I remember those gingerbread house cookies as being rather dry and stale!). Even better, these healthy gingerbread cookie bars contain no refined flour or sugar and only 81 calories, including the frosting!


Let’s go over how to make these healthy gingerbread cookie bars with cream cheese frosting!

You’ll start with a combination of white whole wheat flour (like this!) and lots of spices: ginger (obvious, I’m sure!), cinnamon , nutmeg , and cloves . I love how warm and cozy they taste!

And yes, white whole wheat flour actually exists! It’s not a combination of white (aka all-purpose) flour and regular whole wheat flour. Instead, white whole wheat flour is made by finely grinding a special type of soft white wheat (hence the name!), whereas regular whole wheat flour comes from a heartier variety of red wheat. They have the same health benefits, like extra fiber, but white whole wheat flour has a lighter taste and texture… Which lets the soft and chewy texture of your healthy gingerbread cookie bars truly shine!

Tip: I’ve also included a gluten-free option in the Notes section of the recipe!


Unlike many traditional recipes that require a full stick or two of butter, your healthy gingerbread cookie bars only need 2 tablespoons. Yes, that’s it! Then you’ll actually melt the butter for two reasons: (a) melted butter creates a more chewy texture and (b) it’s much easier than trying to remember to soften it ahead of time. Hooray!

Now here comes another little nerdy part of the recipe… You actually need two sweeteners! The first is molasses . Along with ginger, molasses is what creates the iconic gingerbread taste. The ginger adds that warm, cozy spice flavor, while the molasses adds the rich, almost earthy undertone. I do not recommend substituting for it because your cookies won’t taste like true gingerbread without it!

Hint: Molasses is inexpensive and shelf-stable. It keeps for ages, so it’s definitely worth buying! And you can use it in all of these other gingerbread recipes of mine too—along with this special recipe!


The second sweetener is liquid stevia . Stevia is a plant-based, no-calorie sweetener that contains nothing refined or artificial (aka it’s clean eating friendly!). It’s also highly concentrated, which is the key nerdy part to this recipe!

If you used half molasses and half granulated sugar (or coconut sugar or maple syrup or honey—any of those options!), that would actually add too much liquid volume to this recipe, and your healthy gingerbread cookie bars wouldn’t turn out soft and chewy… They’d actually have more of a cakey or bready texture from the extra liquid. Not good!

But because liquid stevia is so concentrated—you just need 1 teaspoon, which adds the sweetness equivalent of nearly ½ cup of sugar!—you get the correct soft and chewy cookie texture and the correct sweetness level. Win-win!

Tip: This is the liquid stevia that I use! I love its flavor and don’t notice any strange aftertaste, like with some other stevia products. I buy it online here because that’s the best price I’ve found, and you’ll use it in all of these recipes of mine, too!


After you’ve spread your cookie dough into your pan and slid that in your oven to bake, it’s time to make the healthy cream cheese frosting! You’ll need Greek yogurt , light cream cheese , instant pudding mix , and a little more liquid stevia .

Yes, I know… Instant pudding mix? To make frosting? I’m sure it sounds a little crazy, but I promise it works! That’s because the instant pudding mix thickens the Greek yogurt, so your healthier cream cheese frosting turns out just as thick and creamy as the traditional kind made with cream cheese, butter, and powdered sugar. Such a great trick, right?

Tip: If you don’t have instant pudding mix (or don’t want to use it), then use this cream cheese frosting recipe of mine instead!

Once your healthy gingerbread cookie bars are at room temperature and your healthy cream cheese frosting is thick and creamy, just spread it on top, slice the pan into squares, and…


Enjoy! And when you make your own, remember to snap a picture and share it on Instagram using #amyshealthybaking and tagging @amyshealthybaking IN the photo itself! (That guarantees I’ll see your picture! . ) I’d love to see your healthy gingerbread cookie bars!


Healthy Gingerbread Cookie Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting


One December weekend during elementary school, a couple of the moms from my brother’s Cub Scout troop invited all of the boys over to build and decorate gingerbread houses. They generously offered that siblings could come as well, so Mom drove both of us over for an afternoon of sugary fun.

When we arrived, we found the host’s kitchen table, along with two folding tables in her adjacent living room, covered with plastic tablecloths (for easy clean-up!), plenty of paper plates, platters of pre-cut cookies in wall and roof shapes, and lots of edible decorations: gumdrops, M&Ms, pretzels, candy canes, round peppermints, red licorice, chocolate chips, nuts, sprinkles… She thought of everything!


Once all of the boys and siblings sat down around the three tables, the adults offered us plastic knives to spread the store-bought frosting on the edges of the cookies to “glue” them together, as well as across the tops of the cookies to decorate with all of the candy. As one of the older kids in the room, I had the easiest time carefully transferring the canned frosting from my knife onto the cookies’ edges, but no matter how long I held them together, they still broke apart at the frosting “seam” when I turned to frost another cookie’s edge.

After ten or twenty minutes of struggling, everyone finally realized that the store-bought frosting wasn’t going to hold two cookies together, let alone hold together an entire gingerbread house, so we just decided to decorate the tops of the cookies instead. An hour or two later, we all took home paper plates of cookies covered in frosting and candy—although a few cookies never quite made it home and ended up in our bellies instead!


Despite feeling tempted by beautiful gingerbread houses in photos a few times, I’ve never again tried to build and decorate my own. I’d much rather take the easy way out… Like with these Healthy Gingerbread Cookie Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting !

They have the same iconic flavor as gingerbread houses, that warm and cozy and irresistibly sweet spice taste, but these are much softer and chewier (I remember those gingerbread house cookies as being rather dry and stale!). Even better, these healthy gingerbread cookie bars contain no refined flour or sugar and only 81 calories, including the frosting!


Let’s go over how to make these healthy gingerbread cookie bars with cream cheese frosting!

You’ll start with a combination of white whole wheat flour (like this!) and lots of spices: ginger (obvious, I’m sure!), cinnamon , nutmeg , and cloves . I love how warm and cozy they taste!

And yes, white whole wheat flour actually exists! It’s not a combination of white (aka all-purpose) flour and regular whole wheat flour. Instead, white whole wheat flour is made by finely grinding a special type of soft white wheat (hence the name!), whereas regular whole wheat flour comes from a heartier variety of red wheat. They have the same health benefits, like extra fiber, but white whole wheat flour has a lighter taste and texture… Which lets the soft and chewy texture of your healthy gingerbread cookie bars truly shine!

Tip: I’ve also included a gluten-free option in the Notes section of the recipe!


Unlike many traditional recipes that require a full stick or two of butter, your healthy gingerbread cookie bars only need 2 tablespoons. Yes, that’s it! Then you’ll actually melt the butter for two reasons: (a) melted butter creates a more chewy texture and (b) it’s much easier than trying to remember to soften it ahead of time. Hooray!

Now here comes another little nerdy part of the recipe… You actually need two sweeteners! The first is molasses . Along with ginger, molasses is what creates the iconic gingerbread taste. The ginger adds that warm, cozy spice flavor, while the molasses adds the rich, almost earthy undertone. I do not recommend substituting for it because your cookies won’t taste like true gingerbread without it!

Hint: Molasses is inexpensive and shelf-stable. It keeps for ages, so it’s definitely worth buying! And you can use it in all of these other gingerbread recipes of mine too—along with this special recipe!


The second sweetener is liquid stevia . Stevia is a plant-based, no-calorie sweetener that contains nothing refined or artificial (aka it’s clean eating friendly!). It’s also highly concentrated, which is the key nerdy part to this recipe!

If you used half molasses and half granulated sugar (or coconut sugar or maple syrup or honey—any of those options!), that would actually add too much liquid volume to this recipe, and your healthy gingerbread cookie bars wouldn’t turn out soft and chewy… They’d actually have more of a cakey or bready texture from the extra liquid. Not good!

But because liquid stevia is so concentrated—you just need 1 teaspoon, which adds the sweetness equivalent of nearly ½ cup of sugar!—you get the correct soft and chewy cookie texture and the correct sweetness level. Win-win!

Tip: This is the liquid stevia that I use! I love its flavor and don’t notice any strange aftertaste, like with some other stevia products. I buy it online here because that’s the best price I’ve found, and you’ll use it in all of these recipes of mine, too!


After you’ve spread your cookie dough into your pan and slid that in your oven to bake, it’s time to make the healthy cream cheese frosting! You’ll need Greek yogurt , light cream cheese , instant pudding mix , and a little more liquid stevia .

Yes, I know… Instant pudding mix? To make frosting? I’m sure it sounds a little crazy, but I promise it works! That’s because the instant pudding mix thickens the Greek yogurt, so your healthier cream cheese frosting turns out just as thick and creamy as the traditional kind made with cream cheese, butter, and powdered sugar. Such a great trick, right?

Tip: If you don’t have instant pudding mix (or don’t want to use it), then use this cream cheese frosting recipe of mine instead!

Once your healthy gingerbread cookie bars are at room temperature and your healthy cream cheese frosting is thick and creamy, just spread it on top, slice the pan into squares, and…


Enjoy! And when you make your own, remember to snap a picture and share it on Instagram using #amyshealthybaking and tagging @amyshealthybaking IN the photo itself! (That guarantees I’ll see your picture! . ) I’d love to see your healthy gingerbread cookie bars!


Healthy Gingerbread Cookie Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting


One December weekend during elementary school, a couple of the moms from my brother’s Cub Scout troop invited all of the boys over to build and decorate gingerbread houses. They generously offered that siblings could come as well, so Mom drove both of us over for an afternoon of sugary fun.

When we arrived, we found the host’s kitchen table, along with two folding tables in her adjacent living room, covered with plastic tablecloths (for easy clean-up!), plenty of paper plates, platters of pre-cut cookies in wall and roof shapes, and lots of edible decorations: gumdrops, M&Ms, pretzels, candy canes, round peppermints, red licorice, chocolate chips, nuts, sprinkles… She thought of everything!


Once all of the boys and siblings sat down around the three tables, the adults offered us plastic knives to spread the store-bought frosting on the edges of the cookies to “glue” them together, as well as across the tops of the cookies to decorate with all of the candy. As one of the older kids in the room, I had the easiest time carefully transferring the canned frosting from my knife onto the cookies’ edges, but no matter how long I held them together, they still broke apart at the frosting “seam” when I turned to frost another cookie’s edge.

After ten or twenty minutes of struggling, everyone finally realized that the store-bought frosting wasn’t going to hold two cookies together, let alone hold together an entire gingerbread house, so we just decided to decorate the tops of the cookies instead. An hour or two later, we all took home paper plates of cookies covered in frosting and candy—although a few cookies never quite made it home and ended up in our bellies instead!


Despite feeling tempted by beautiful gingerbread houses in photos a few times, I’ve never again tried to build and decorate my own. I’d much rather take the easy way out… Like with these Healthy Gingerbread Cookie Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting !

They have the same iconic flavor as gingerbread houses, that warm and cozy and irresistibly sweet spice taste, but these are much softer and chewier (I remember those gingerbread house cookies as being rather dry and stale!). Even better, these healthy gingerbread cookie bars contain no refined flour or sugar and only 81 calories, including the frosting!


Let’s go over how to make these healthy gingerbread cookie bars with cream cheese frosting!

You’ll start with a combination of white whole wheat flour (like this!) and lots of spices: ginger (obvious, I’m sure!), cinnamon , nutmeg , and cloves . I love how warm and cozy they taste!

And yes, white whole wheat flour actually exists! It’s not a combination of white (aka all-purpose) flour and regular whole wheat flour. Instead, white whole wheat flour is made by finely grinding a special type of soft white wheat (hence the name!), whereas regular whole wheat flour comes from a heartier variety of red wheat. They have the same health benefits, like extra fiber, but white whole wheat flour has a lighter taste and texture… Which lets the soft and chewy texture of your healthy gingerbread cookie bars truly shine!

Tip: I’ve also included a gluten-free option in the Notes section of the recipe!


Unlike many traditional recipes that require a full stick or two of butter, your healthy gingerbread cookie bars only need 2 tablespoons. Yes, that’s it! Then you’ll actually melt the butter for two reasons: (a) melted butter creates a more chewy texture and (b) it’s much easier than trying to remember to soften it ahead of time. Hooray!

Now here comes another little nerdy part of the recipe… You actually need two sweeteners! The first is molasses . Along with ginger, molasses is what creates the iconic gingerbread taste. The ginger adds that warm, cozy spice flavor, while the molasses adds the rich, almost earthy undertone. I do not recommend substituting for it because your cookies won’t taste like true gingerbread without it!

Hint: Molasses is inexpensive and shelf-stable. It keeps for ages, so it’s definitely worth buying! And you can use it in all of these other gingerbread recipes of mine too—along with this special recipe!


The second sweetener is liquid stevia . Stevia is a plant-based, no-calorie sweetener that contains nothing refined or artificial (aka it’s clean eating friendly!). It’s also highly concentrated, which is the key nerdy part to this recipe!

If you used half molasses and half granulated sugar (or coconut sugar or maple syrup or honey—any of those options!), that would actually add too much liquid volume to this recipe, and your healthy gingerbread cookie bars wouldn’t turn out soft and chewy… They’d actually have more of a cakey or bready texture from the extra liquid. Not good!

But because liquid stevia is so concentrated—you just need 1 teaspoon, which adds the sweetness equivalent of nearly ½ cup of sugar!—you get the correct soft and chewy cookie texture and the correct sweetness level. Win-win!

Tip: This is the liquid stevia that I use! I love its flavor and don’t notice any strange aftertaste, like with some other stevia products. I buy it online here because that’s the best price I’ve found, and you’ll use it in all of these recipes of mine, too!


After you’ve spread your cookie dough into your pan and slid that in your oven to bake, it’s time to make the healthy cream cheese frosting! You’ll need Greek yogurt , light cream cheese , instant pudding mix , and a little more liquid stevia .

Yes, I know… Instant pudding mix? To make frosting? I’m sure it sounds a little crazy, but I promise it works! That’s because the instant pudding mix thickens the Greek yogurt, so your healthier cream cheese frosting turns out just as thick and creamy as the traditional kind made with cream cheese, butter, and powdered sugar. Such a great trick, right?

Tip: If you don’t have instant pudding mix (or don’t want to use it), then use this cream cheese frosting recipe of mine instead!

Once your healthy gingerbread cookie bars are at room temperature and your healthy cream cheese frosting is thick and creamy, just spread it on top, slice the pan into squares, and…


Enjoy! And when you make your own, remember to snap a picture and share it on Instagram using #amyshealthybaking and tagging @amyshealthybaking IN the photo itself! (That guarantees I’ll see your picture! . ) I’d love to see your healthy gingerbread cookie bars!


Healthy Gingerbread Cookie Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting


One December weekend during elementary school, a couple of the moms from my brother’s Cub Scout troop invited all of the boys over to build and decorate gingerbread houses. They generously offered that siblings could come as well, so Mom drove both of us over for an afternoon of sugary fun.

When we arrived, we found the host’s kitchen table, along with two folding tables in her adjacent living room, covered with plastic tablecloths (for easy clean-up!), plenty of paper plates, platters of pre-cut cookies in wall and roof shapes, and lots of edible decorations: gumdrops, M&Ms, pretzels, candy canes, round peppermints, red licorice, chocolate chips, nuts, sprinkles… She thought of everything!


Once all of the boys and siblings sat down around the three tables, the adults offered us plastic knives to spread the store-bought frosting on the edges of the cookies to “glue” them together, as well as across the tops of the cookies to decorate with all of the candy. As one of the older kids in the room, I had the easiest time carefully transferring the canned frosting from my knife onto the cookies’ edges, but no matter how long I held them together, they still broke apart at the frosting “seam” when I turned to frost another cookie’s edge.

After ten or twenty minutes of struggling, everyone finally realized that the store-bought frosting wasn’t going to hold two cookies together, let alone hold together an entire gingerbread house, so we just decided to decorate the tops of the cookies instead. An hour or two later, we all took home paper plates of cookies covered in frosting and candy—although a few cookies never quite made it home and ended up in our bellies instead!


Despite feeling tempted by beautiful gingerbread houses in photos a few times, I’ve never again tried to build and decorate my own. I’d much rather take the easy way out… Like with these Healthy Gingerbread Cookie Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting !

They have the same iconic flavor as gingerbread houses, that warm and cozy and irresistibly sweet spice taste, but these are much softer and chewier (I remember those gingerbread house cookies as being rather dry and stale!). Even better, these healthy gingerbread cookie bars contain no refined flour or sugar and only 81 calories, including the frosting!


Let’s go over how to make these healthy gingerbread cookie bars with cream cheese frosting!

You’ll start with a combination of white whole wheat flour (like this!) and lots of spices: ginger (obvious, I’m sure!), cinnamon , nutmeg , and cloves . I love how warm and cozy they taste!

And yes, white whole wheat flour actually exists! It’s not a combination of white (aka all-purpose) flour and regular whole wheat flour. Instead, white whole wheat flour is made by finely grinding a special type of soft white wheat (hence the name!), whereas regular whole wheat flour comes from a heartier variety of red wheat. They have the same health benefits, like extra fiber, but white whole wheat flour has a lighter taste and texture… Which lets the soft and chewy texture of your healthy gingerbread cookie bars truly shine!

Tip: I’ve also included a gluten-free option in the Notes section of the recipe!


Unlike many traditional recipes that require a full stick or two of butter, your healthy gingerbread cookie bars only need 2 tablespoons. Yes, that’s it! Then you’ll actually melt the butter for two reasons: (a) melted butter creates a more chewy texture and (b) it’s much easier than trying to remember to soften it ahead of time. Hooray!

Now here comes another little nerdy part of the recipe… You actually need two sweeteners! The first is molasses . Along with ginger, molasses is what creates the iconic gingerbread taste. The ginger adds that warm, cozy spice flavor, while the molasses adds the rich, almost earthy undertone. I do not recommend substituting for it because your cookies won’t taste like true gingerbread without it!

Hint: Molasses is inexpensive and shelf-stable. It keeps for ages, so it’s definitely worth buying! And you can use it in all of these other gingerbread recipes of mine too—along with this special recipe!


The second sweetener is liquid stevia . Stevia is a plant-based, no-calorie sweetener that contains nothing refined or artificial (aka it’s clean eating friendly!). It’s also highly concentrated, which is the key nerdy part to this recipe!

If you used half molasses and half granulated sugar (or coconut sugar or maple syrup or honey—any of those options!), that would actually add too much liquid volume to this recipe, and your healthy gingerbread cookie bars wouldn’t turn out soft and chewy… They’d actually have more of a cakey or bready texture from the extra liquid. Not good!

But because liquid stevia is so concentrated—you just need 1 teaspoon, which adds the sweetness equivalent of nearly ½ cup of sugar!—you get the correct soft and chewy cookie texture and the correct sweetness level. Win-win!

Tip: This is the liquid stevia that I use! I love its flavor and don’t notice any strange aftertaste, like with some other stevia products. I buy it online here because that’s the best price I’ve found, and you’ll use it in all of these recipes of mine, too!


After you’ve spread your cookie dough into your pan and slid that in your oven to bake, it’s time to make the healthy cream cheese frosting! You’ll need Greek yogurt , light cream cheese , instant pudding mix , and a little more liquid stevia .

Yes, I know… Instant pudding mix? To make frosting? I’m sure it sounds a little crazy, but I promise it works! That’s because the instant pudding mix thickens the Greek yogurt, so your healthier cream cheese frosting turns out just as thick and creamy as the traditional kind made with cream cheese, butter, and powdered sugar. Such a great trick, right?

Tip: If you don’t have instant pudding mix (or don’t want to use it), then use this cream cheese frosting recipe of mine instead!

Once your healthy gingerbread cookie bars are at room temperature and your healthy cream cheese frosting is thick and creamy, just spread it on top, slice the pan into squares, and…


Enjoy! And when you make your own, remember to snap a picture and share it on Instagram using #amyshealthybaking and tagging @amyshealthybaking IN the photo itself! (That guarantees I’ll see your picture! . ) I’d love to see your healthy gingerbread cookie bars!


Healthy Gingerbread Cookie Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting


One December weekend during elementary school, a couple of the moms from my brother’s Cub Scout troop invited all of the boys over to build and decorate gingerbread houses. They generously offered that siblings could come as well, so Mom drove both of us over for an afternoon of sugary fun.

When we arrived, we found the host’s kitchen table, along with two folding tables in her adjacent living room, covered with plastic tablecloths (for easy clean-up!), plenty of paper plates, platters of pre-cut cookies in wall and roof shapes, and lots of edible decorations: gumdrops, M&Ms, pretzels, candy canes, round peppermints, red licorice, chocolate chips, nuts, sprinkles… She thought of everything!


Once all of the boys and siblings sat down around the three tables, the adults offered us plastic knives to spread the store-bought frosting on the edges of the cookies to “glue” them together, as well as across the tops of the cookies to decorate with all of the candy. As one of the older kids in the room, I had the easiest time carefully transferring the canned frosting from my knife onto the cookies’ edges, but no matter how long I held them together, they still broke apart at the frosting “seam” when I turned to frost another cookie’s edge.

After ten or twenty minutes of struggling, everyone finally realized that the store-bought frosting wasn’t going to hold two cookies together, let alone hold together an entire gingerbread house, so we just decided to decorate the tops of the cookies instead. An hour or two later, we all took home paper plates of cookies covered in frosting and candy—although a few cookies never quite made it home and ended up in our bellies instead!


Despite feeling tempted by beautiful gingerbread houses in photos a few times, I’ve never again tried to build and decorate my own. I’d much rather take the easy way out… Like with these Healthy Gingerbread Cookie Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting !

They have the same iconic flavor as gingerbread houses, that warm and cozy and irresistibly sweet spice taste, but these are much softer and chewier (I remember those gingerbread house cookies as being rather dry and stale!). Even better, these healthy gingerbread cookie bars contain no refined flour or sugar and only 81 calories, including the frosting!


Let’s go over how to make these healthy gingerbread cookie bars with cream cheese frosting!

You’ll start with a combination of white whole wheat flour (like this!) and lots of spices: ginger (obvious, I’m sure!), cinnamon , nutmeg , and cloves . I love how warm and cozy they taste!

And yes, white whole wheat flour actually exists! It’s not a combination of white (aka all-purpose) flour and regular whole wheat flour. Instead, white whole wheat flour is made by finely grinding a special type of soft white wheat (hence the name!), whereas regular whole wheat flour comes from a heartier variety of red wheat. They have the same health benefits, like extra fiber, but white whole wheat flour has a lighter taste and texture… Which lets the soft and chewy texture of your healthy gingerbread cookie bars truly shine!

Tip: I’ve also included a gluten-free option in the Notes section of the recipe!


Unlike many traditional recipes that require a full stick or two of butter, your healthy gingerbread cookie bars only need 2 tablespoons. Yes, that’s it! Then you’ll actually melt the butter for two reasons: (a) melted butter creates a more chewy texture and (b) it’s much easier than trying to remember to soften it ahead of time. Hooray!

Now here comes another little nerdy part of the recipe… You actually need two sweeteners! The first is molasses . Along with ginger, molasses is what creates the iconic gingerbread taste. The ginger adds that warm, cozy spice flavor, while the molasses adds the rich, almost earthy undertone. I do not recommend substituting for it because your cookies won’t taste like true gingerbread without it!

Hint: Molasses is inexpensive and shelf-stable. It keeps for ages, so it’s definitely worth buying! And you can use it in all of these other gingerbread recipes of mine too—along with this special recipe!


The second sweetener is liquid stevia . Stevia is a plant-based, no-calorie sweetener that contains nothing refined or artificial (aka it’s clean eating friendly!). It’s also highly concentrated, which is the key nerdy part to this recipe!

If you used half molasses and half granulated sugar (or coconut sugar or maple syrup or honey—any of those options!), that would actually add too much liquid volume to this recipe, and your healthy gingerbread cookie bars wouldn’t turn out soft and chewy… They’d actually have more of a cakey or bready texture from the extra liquid. Not good!

But because liquid stevia is so concentrated—you just need 1 teaspoon, which adds the sweetness equivalent of nearly ½ cup of sugar!—you get the correct soft and chewy cookie texture and the correct sweetness level. Win-win!

Tip: This is the liquid stevia that I use! I love its flavor and don’t notice any strange aftertaste, like with some other stevia products. I buy it online here because that’s the best price I’ve found, and you’ll use it in all of these recipes of mine, too!


After you’ve spread your cookie dough into your pan and slid that in your oven to bake, it’s time to make the healthy cream cheese frosting! You’ll need Greek yogurt , light cream cheese , instant pudding mix , and a little more liquid stevia .

Yes, I know… Instant pudding mix? To make frosting? I’m sure it sounds a little crazy, but I promise it works! That’s because the instant pudding mix thickens the Greek yogurt, so your healthier cream cheese frosting turns out just as thick and creamy as the traditional kind made with cream cheese, butter, and powdered sugar. Such a great trick, right?

Tip: If you don’t have instant pudding mix (or don’t want to use it), then use this cream cheese frosting recipe of mine instead!

Once your healthy gingerbread cookie bars are at room temperature and your healthy cream cheese frosting is thick and creamy, just spread it on top, slice the pan into squares, and…


Enjoy! And when you make your own, remember to snap a picture and share it on Instagram using #amyshealthybaking and tagging @amyshealthybaking IN the photo itself! (That guarantees I’ll see your picture! . ) I’d love to see your healthy gingerbread cookie bars!


Healthy Gingerbread Cookie Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting


One December weekend during elementary school, a couple of the moms from my brother’s Cub Scout troop invited all of the boys over to build and decorate gingerbread houses. They generously offered that siblings could come as well, so Mom drove both of us over for an afternoon of sugary fun.

When we arrived, we found the host’s kitchen table, along with two folding tables in her adjacent living room, covered with plastic tablecloths (for easy clean-up!), plenty of paper plates, platters of pre-cut cookies in wall and roof shapes, and lots of edible decorations: gumdrops, M&Ms, pretzels, candy canes, round peppermints, red licorice, chocolate chips, nuts, sprinkles… She thought of everything!


Once all of the boys and siblings sat down around the three tables, the adults offered us plastic knives to spread the store-bought frosting on the edges of the cookies to “glue” them together, as well as across the tops of the cookies to decorate with all of the candy. As one of the older kids in the room, I had the easiest time carefully transferring the canned frosting from my knife onto the cookies’ edges, but no matter how long I held them together, they still broke apart at the frosting “seam” when I turned to frost another cookie’s edge.

After ten or twenty minutes of struggling, everyone finally realized that the store-bought frosting wasn’t going to hold two cookies together, let alone hold together an entire gingerbread house, so we just decided to decorate the tops of the cookies instead. An hour or two later, we all took home paper plates of cookies covered in frosting and candy—although a few cookies never quite made it home and ended up in our bellies instead!


Despite feeling tempted by beautiful gingerbread houses in photos a few times, I’ve never again tried to build and decorate my own. I’d much rather take the easy way out… Like with these Healthy Gingerbread Cookie Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting !

They have the same iconic flavor as gingerbread houses, that warm and cozy and irresistibly sweet spice taste, but these are much softer and chewier (I remember those gingerbread house cookies as being rather dry and stale!). Even better, these healthy gingerbread cookie bars contain no refined flour or sugar and only 81 calories, including the frosting!


Let’s go over how to make these healthy gingerbread cookie bars with cream cheese frosting!

You’ll start with a combination of white whole wheat flour (like this!) and lots of spices: ginger (obvious, I’m sure!), cinnamon , nutmeg , and cloves . I love how warm and cozy they taste!

And yes, white whole wheat flour actually exists! It’s not a combination of white (aka all-purpose) flour and regular whole wheat flour. Instead, white whole wheat flour is made by finely grinding a special type of soft white wheat (hence the name!), whereas regular whole wheat flour comes from a heartier variety of red wheat. They have the same health benefits, like extra fiber, but white whole wheat flour has a lighter taste and texture… Which lets the soft and chewy texture of your healthy gingerbread cookie bars truly shine!

Tip: I’ve also included a gluten-free option in the Notes section of the recipe!


Unlike many traditional recipes that require a full stick or two of butter, your healthy gingerbread cookie bars only need 2 tablespoons. Yes, that’s it! Then you’ll actually melt the butter for two reasons: (a) melted butter creates a more chewy texture and (b) it’s much easier than trying to remember to soften it ahead of time. Hooray!

Now here comes another little nerdy part of the recipe… You actually need two sweeteners! The first is molasses . Along with ginger, molasses is what creates the iconic gingerbread taste. The ginger adds that warm, cozy spice flavor, while the molasses adds the rich, almost earthy undertone. I do not recommend substituting for it because your cookies won’t taste like true gingerbread without it!

Hint: Molasses is inexpensive and shelf-stable. It keeps for ages, so it’s definitely worth buying! And you can use it in all of these other gingerbread recipes of mine too—along with this special recipe!


The second sweetener is liquid stevia . Stevia is a plant-based, no-calorie sweetener that contains nothing refined or artificial (aka it’s clean eating friendly!). It’s also highly concentrated, which is the key nerdy part to this recipe!

If you used half molasses and half granulated sugar (or coconut sugar or maple syrup or honey—any of those options!), that would actually add too much liquid volume to this recipe, and your healthy gingerbread cookie bars wouldn’t turn out soft and chewy… They’d actually have more of a cakey or bready texture from the extra liquid. Not good!

But because liquid stevia is so concentrated—you just need 1 teaspoon, which adds the sweetness equivalent of nearly ½ cup of sugar!—you get the correct soft and chewy cookie texture and the correct sweetness level. Win-win!

Tip: This is the liquid stevia that I use! I love its flavor and don’t notice any strange aftertaste, like with some other stevia products. I buy it online here because that’s the best price I’ve found, and you’ll use it in all of these recipes of mine, too!


After you’ve spread your cookie dough into your pan and slid that in your oven to bake, it’s time to make the healthy cream cheese frosting! You’ll need Greek yogurt , light cream cheese , instant pudding mix , and a little more liquid stevia .

Yes, I know… Instant pudding mix? To make frosting? I’m sure it sounds a little crazy, but I promise it works! That’s because the instant pudding mix thickens the Greek yogurt, so your healthier cream cheese frosting turns out just as thick and creamy as the traditional kind made with cream cheese, butter, and powdered sugar. Such a great trick, right?

Tip: If you don’t have instant pudding mix (or don’t want to use it), then use this cream cheese frosting recipe of mine instead!

Once your healthy gingerbread cookie bars are at room temperature and your healthy cream cheese frosting is thick and creamy, just spread it on top, slice the pan into squares, and…


Enjoy! And when you make your own, remember to snap a picture and share it on Instagram using #amyshealthybaking and tagging @amyshealthybaking IN the photo itself! (That guarantees I’ll see your picture! . ) I’d love to see your healthy gingerbread cookie bars!


Healthy Gingerbread Cookie Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting


One December weekend during elementary school, a couple of the moms from my brother’s Cub Scout troop invited all of the boys over to build and decorate gingerbread houses. They generously offered that siblings could come as well, so Mom drove both of us over for an afternoon of sugary fun.

When we arrived, we found the host’s kitchen table, along with two folding tables in her adjacent living room, covered with plastic tablecloths (for easy clean-up!), plenty of paper plates, platters of pre-cut cookies in wall and roof shapes, and lots of edible decorations: gumdrops, M&Ms, pretzels, candy canes, round peppermints, red licorice, chocolate chips, nuts, sprinkles… She thought of everything!


Once all of the boys and siblings sat down around the three tables, the adults offered us plastic knives to spread the store-bought frosting on the edges of the cookies to “glue” them together, as well as across the tops of the cookies to decorate with all of the candy. As one of the older kids in the room, I had the easiest time carefully transferring the canned frosting from my knife onto the cookies’ edges, but no matter how long I held them together, they still broke apart at the frosting “seam” when I turned to frost another cookie’s edge.

After ten or twenty minutes of struggling, everyone finally realized that the store-bought frosting wasn’t going to hold two cookies together, let alone hold together an entire gingerbread house, so we just decided to decorate the tops of the cookies instead. An hour or two later, we all took home paper plates of cookies covered in frosting and candy—although a few cookies never quite made it home and ended up in our bellies instead!


Despite feeling tempted by beautiful gingerbread houses in photos a few times, I’ve never again tried to build and decorate my own. I’d much rather take the easy way out… Like with these Healthy Gingerbread Cookie Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting !

They have the same iconic flavor as gingerbread houses, that warm and cozy and irresistibly sweet spice taste, but these are much softer and chewier (I remember those gingerbread house cookies as being rather dry and stale!). Even better, these healthy gingerbread cookie bars contain no refined flour or sugar and only 81 calories, including the frosting!


Let’s go over how to make these healthy gingerbread cookie bars with cream cheese frosting!

You’ll start with a combination of white whole wheat flour (like this!) and lots of spices: ginger (obvious, I’m sure!), cinnamon , nutmeg , and cloves . I love how warm and cozy they taste!

And yes, white whole wheat flour actually exists! It’s not a combination of white (aka all-purpose) flour and regular whole wheat flour. Instead, white whole wheat flour is made by finely grinding a special type of soft white wheat (hence the name!), whereas regular whole wheat flour comes from a heartier variety of red wheat. They have the same health benefits, like extra fiber, but white whole wheat flour has a lighter taste and texture… Which lets the soft and chewy texture of your healthy gingerbread cookie bars truly shine!

Tip: I’ve also included a gluten-free option in the Notes section of the recipe!


Unlike many traditional recipes that require a full stick or two of butter, your healthy gingerbread cookie bars only need 2 tablespoons. Yes, that’s it! Then you’ll actually melt the butter for two reasons: (a) melted butter creates a more chewy texture and (b) it’s much easier than trying to remember to soften it ahead of time. Hooray!

Now here comes another little nerdy part of the recipe… You actually need two sweeteners! The first is molasses . Along with ginger, molasses is what creates the iconic gingerbread taste. The ginger adds that warm, cozy spice flavor, while the molasses adds the rich, almost earthy undertone. I do not recommend substituting for it because your cookies won’t taste like true gingerbread without it!

Hint: Molasses is inexpensive and shelf-stable. It keeps for ages, so it’s definitely worth buying! And you can use it in all of these other gingerbread recipes of mine too—along with this special recipe!


The second sweetener is liquid stevia . Stevia is a plant-based, no-calorie sweetener that contains nothing refined or artificial (aka it’s clean eating friendly!). It’s also highly concentrated, which is the key nerdy part to this recipe!

If you used half molasses and half granulated sugar (or coconut sugar or maple syrup or honey—any of those options!), that would actually add too much liquid volume to this recipe, and your healthy gingerbread cookie bars wouldn’t turn out soft and chewy… They’d actually have more of a cakey or bready texture from the extra liquid. Not good!

But because liquid stevia is so concentrated—you just need 1 teaspoon, which adds the sweetness equivalent of nearly ½ cup of sugar!—you get the correct soft and chewy cookie texture and the correct sweetness level. Win-win!

Tip: This is the liquid stevia that I use! I love its flavor and don’t notice any strange aftertaste, like with some other stevia products. I buy it online here because that’s the best price I’ve found, and you’ll use it in all of these recipes of mine, too!


After you’ve spread your cookie dough into your pan and slid that in your oven to bake, it’s time to make the healthy cream cheese frosting! You’ll need Greek yogurt , light cream cheese , instant pudding mix , and a little more liquid stevia .

Yes, I know… Instant pudding mix? To make frosting? I’m sure it sounds a little crazy, but I promise it works! That’s because the instant pudding mix thickens the Greek yogurt, so your healthier cream cheese frosting turns out just as thick and creamy as the traditional kind made with cream cheese, butter, and powdered sugar. Such a great trick, right?

Tip: If you don’t have instant pudding mix (or don’t want to use it), then use this cream cheese frosting recipe of mine instead!

Once your healthy gingerbread cookie bars are at room temperature and your healthy cream cheese frosting is thick and creamy, just spread it on top, slice the pan into squares, and…


Enjoy! And when you make your own, remember to snap a picture and share it on Instagram using #amyshealthybaking and tagging @amyshealthybaking IN the photo itself! (That guarantees I’ll see your picture! . ) I’d love to see your healthy gingerbread cookie bars!


Healthy Gingerbread Cookie Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting


One December weekend during elementary school, a couple of the moms from my brother’s Cub Scout troop invited all of the boys over to build and decorate gingerbread houses. They generously offered that siblings could come as well, so Mom drove both of us over for an afternoon of sugary fun.

When we arrived, we found the host’s kitchen table, along with two folding tables in her adjacent living room, covered with plastic tablecloths (for easy clean-up!), plenty of paper plates, platters of pre-cut cookies in wall and roof shapes, and lots of edible decorations: gumdrops, M&Ms, pretzels, candy canes, round peppermints, red licorice, chocolate chips, nuts, sprinkles… She thought of everything!


Once all of the boys and siblings sat down around the three tables, the adults offered us plastic knives to spread the store-bought frosting on the edges of the cookies to “glue” them together, as well as across the tops of the cookies to decorate with all of the candy. As one of the older kids in the room, I had the easiest time carefully transferring the canned frosting from my knife onto the cookies’ edges, but no matter how long I held them together, they still broke apart at the frosting “seam” when I turned to frost another cookie’s edge.

After ten or twenty minutes of struggling, everyone finally realized that the store-bought frosting wasn’t going to hold two cookies together, let alone hold together an entire gingerbread house, so we just decided to decorate the tops of the cookies instead. An hour or two later, we all took home paper plates of cookies covered in frosting and candy—although a few cookies never quite made it home and ended up in our bellies instead!


Despite feeling tempted by beautiful gingerbread houses in photos a few times, I’ve never again tried to build and decorate my own. I’d much rather take the easy way out… Like with these Healthy Gingerbread Cookie Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting !

They have the same iconic flavor as gingerbread houses, that warm and cozy and irresistibly sweet spice taste, but these are much softer and chewier (I remember those gingerbread house cookies as being rather dry and stale!). Even better, these healthy gingerbread cookie bars contain no refined flour or sugar and only 81 calories, including the frosting!


Let’s go over how to make these healthy gingerbread cookie bars with cream cheese frosting!

You’ll start with a combination of white whole wheat flour (like this!) and lots of spices: ginger (obvious, I’m sure!), cinnamon , nutmeg , and cloves . I love how warm and cozy they taste!

And yes, white whole wheat flour actually exists! It’s not a combination of white (aka all-purpose) flour and regular whole wheat flour. Instead, white whole wheat flour is made by finely grinding a special type of soft white wheat (hence the name!), whereas regular whole wheat flour comes from a heartier variety of red wheat. They have the same health benefits, like extra fiber, but white whole wheat flour has a lighter taste and texture… Which lets the soft and chewy texture of your healthy gingerbread cookie bars truly shine!

Tip: I’ve also included a gluten-free option in the Notes section of the recipe!


Unlike many traditional recipes that require a full stick or two of butter, your healthy gingerbread cookie bars only need 2 tablespoons. Yes, that’s it! Then you’ll actually melt the butter for two reasons: (a) melted butter creates a more chewy texture and (b) it’s much easier than trying to remember to soften it ahead of time. Hooray!

Now here comes another little nerdy part of the recipe… You actually need two sweeteners! The first is molasses . Along with ginger, molasses is what creates the iconic gingerbread taste. The ginger adds that warm, cozy spice flavor, while the molasses adds the rich, almost earthy undertone. I do not recommend substituting for it because your cookies won’t taste like true gingerbread without it!

Hint: Molasses is inexpensive and shelf-stable. It keeps for ages, so it’s definitely worth buying! And you can use it in all of these other gingerbread recipes of mine too—along with this special recipe!


The second sweetener is liquid stevia . Stevia is a plant-based, no-calorie sweetener that contains nothing refined or artificial (aka it’s clean eating friendly!). It’s also highly concentrated, which is the key nerdy part to this recipe!

If you used half molasses and half granulated sugar (or coconut sugar or maple syrup or honey—any of those options!), that would actually add too much liquid volume to this recipe, and your healthy gingerbread cookie bars wouldn’t turn out soft and chewy… They’d actually have more of a cakey or bready texture from the extra liquid. Not good!

But because liquid stevia is so concentrated—you just need 1 teaspoon, which adds the sweetness equivalent of nearly ½ cup of sugar!—you get the correct soft and chewy cookie texture and the correct sweetness level. Win-win!

Tip: This is the liquid stevia that I use! I love its flavor and don’t notice any strange aftertaste, like with some other stevia products. I buy it online here because that’s the best price I’ve found, and you’ll use it in all of these recipes of mine, too!


After you’ve spread your cookie dough into your pan and slid that in your oven to bake, it’s time to make the healthy cream cheese frosting! You’ll need Greek yogurt , light cream cheese , instant pudding mix , and a little more liquid stevia .

Yes, I know… Instant pudding mix? To make frosting? I’m sure it sounds a little crazy, but I promise it works! That’s because the instant pudding mix thickens the Greek yogurt, so your healthier cream cheese frosting turns out just as thick and creamy as the traditional kind made with cream cheese, butter, and powdered sugar. Such a great trick, right?

Tip: If you don’t have instant pudding mix (or don’t want to use it), then use this cream cheese frosting recipe of mine instead!

Once your healthy gingerbread cookie bars are at room temperature and your healthy cream cheese frosting is thick and creamy, just spread it on top, slice the pan into squares, and…


Enjoy! And when you make your own, remember to snap a picture and share it on Instagram using #amyshealthybaking and tagging @amyshealthybaking IN the photo itself! (That guarantees I’ll see your picture! . ) I’d love to see your healthy gingerbread cookie bars!



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