Ginger bars with chocolate

These spicy bars are soft, chewy, and amazingly delicious! The ginger delivers a good zing, and the molasses keeps them dense and fudgy. You can whip these up pretty quickly, which will make your entire house smell pretty wonderful. These bars are great workout fuel, but certainly tasty enough for a lunchbox treat or as a sweet with coffee or tea.

A few healthful baking strategies make these bars more nutritious than traditional baked goods: whole wheat flour stands in for refined flour, and a nut butter replaces some of the butter. Using a nut butter is a great baking strategy, since it increases the iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and fiber in the baked good, and replaces saturated fat with healthful fats. You can substitute a different nut or seed butter for the peanut butter. Tahini (sesame seed butter) and almond butter work well.


  • 1.5 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup “natural” peanut butter
  • 3 tbsp. softened butter or margarine
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • ½ cup chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly grease bottom of an 9 x 11-inch baking pan, or consider using parchment paper for easy removal from the pan. (If you don’t have a 9 x 11-inch pan, you can use a 9 x 13-inch pan, just don’t spread dough all the way to the edges).
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together peanut butter and butter with a large wooden mixing spoon. Add egg, molasses, vanilla, and brown sugar. Add chocolate chips.
  4. Stir flour mixture into peanut butter mixture (dough might be stiff).
  5. Spread into a prepared pan (you can wet your hands with water, or grease with a little butter to make this easier).
  6. Bake for 15-20 minutes. (Time will depend on the size and type of pan you used – bars are done when a sharp knife or toothpick inserted in the center of the bars comes out clean – unless you hit a chocolate chip!).
  7. Cool on a wire rack. Cut into 15 bars.

Yield: 15 bars

Nutrition Per Bar:

  • 185 calories
  • 3.5 g protein
  • 7 g fat
  • 18.6 mg cholesterol
  • 25 g carbohydrate
  • 2.2 g fiber
  • 175 mg sodium
  • 195 mg potassium
  • Iron: 7 % Daily Value
  • Calcium: 3 % Daily Value

Sheila Kealey is a health promotion consultant, writer, and athlete passionate about encouraging lifestyle habits that promote good health. She has a Masters’ degree in Public Health and has collaborated on many research studies related to diet and health. Sheila cross country ski races with XC Ottawa, and also competes in triathlons and running races (5k’s are her favourite, but she has gone the distance once, running a 2:57 marathon). Sheila loves developing healthy recipes, and sharing advice on nutrition, physical activity, sports science, and tasty nourishing foods on Twitter and her website.