Dark and Stormy Ginger Bars
Dark and Stormy Ginger Bars

Dark and Stormy Ginger Bars

Recipe by Sarah Jampel

King Arthur 2020 Recipe of the Year

Like the cocktail they’re named after, these cakey frosted bars are flavored with ginger, lime, and rum. They get their zing from ginger four ways — fresh, ground, candied, and syruped (buy ginger syrup or make it yourself) — and the cream cheese frosting brings the lime and the rum. Zingy, refreshing, and just the right amount of rich and boozy, these ginger bars are just the thing to bake when the skies are less than friendly.

This recipe was one of our Bake of the Week features for February 2024.

15 mins
15 to 20 mins
1 hr
one 8" pan
Dark and Stormy Ginger Bars  - select to zoom
Dark and Stormy Ginger Bars  - select to zoom
Dark and Stormy Ginger Bars  - select to zoom
Dark and Stormy Ginger Bars  - select to zoom


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  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8" square pan with parchment or a reusable liner and lightly grease. 

  2. In a small saucepan or in a microwave-safe bowl, combine the butter and fresh ginger. Heat over medium-low, or microwave in 30-second increments on half-power, until just melted. 

  3. Transfer the butter mixture to a large bowl and whisk in the brown sugar, ginger syrup, ground ginger, and salt until smooth and well-combined. Add the egg and whisk until shiny and emulsified. 

  4. Whisk in the baking powder, then whisk in the flour and diced ginger until just combined. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and spread it to reach all of the corners. 

  5. Bake the ginger bars for 15 to 20 minutes, until set in the center, then let cool slightly in the pan before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. 

  6. While the bars bake, make the frosting. Working with an electric mixer in a medium bowl or with a stand mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the butter, cream cheese, and salt until very smooth. Add the confectioners’ sugar, lime zest and juice, and rum; beat until smooth and spreadable. Spread the frosting onto the cooled bars, then sprinkle evenly with the mini diced ginger. Slice and serve at room temperature. 

  7. Store leftover ginger bars well-wrapped at room temperature for up to 3 days. The frosting will taste more like rum as it sits.  

Tips from our Bakers

  • To make your own ginger syrup: Slice 368g (13 ounces) fresh ginger root, unpeeled, into 1/8" or 1/4" slices (a food processor makes short work of this task. You should have about 4 cups. In a large, heavy saucepan, bring the ginger, 3 1/2 cups (695g) granulated sugar, and 3 1/2 cups (794g) water to a boil. Boil the mixture for 45 to 60 minutes, until it registers 216°F to 220°F on a digital thermometer. The lower temperature will give you a thinner syrup, one that's easy to stir into drinks; the higher temperature will yield a thicker syrup, better for baking. Remove the pan from the burner and carefully strain the syrup into a non-reactive container. Store in the refrigerator indefinitely. Yield: about 2 1/4 cups syrup.