Molasses Cake Bars

This recipe is from the “Better Homes and Garden New Cookbook 1968", one of the first cookbooks I purchased after I got married. Surprisingly, although my cookbook is starting to fall apart and the pages are getting brown and crinkly, I had never made this recipe before, perhaps because it isn’t a “kid’s” recipe.
These are, however, easy to make, smelled wonderful while baking and cooling, and tasted delicious with a cup of coffee or tea.  They are not as rich as many gingerbread recipes,  but just as tasty.  Another keeper.
I took the liberty of adding a teaspoon or so of grated orange peel from my freezer “stash” to the icing for a little more interest.  I have had to purchase a very small jar of instant coffee to keep on hand for recipes like this one and My Mom’s Best Cookies.  I froze some of these after frosting them, and they were good right out of the freezer.           
                            Molasses Cake Bars
     ½ Cup Shortening -- 3 1/4 oz
     ½ Cup Sugar -- 3 1/2 oz
  1     Large Egg
     ½ Cup Molasses -- light - 5 1/2 oz
  1 ½ Cups Sifted All Purpose Flour -- 6 oz
     ½ Teaspoon Salt
  1 ½ Teaspoons Baking Powder
     ¼ Teaspoon Baking Soda
  1      Teaspoon Instant Coffee Powder
  1      Teaspoon Cinnamon
     ½ Teaspoon Cloves -- ground
  2      Cups  Powdered Sugar -- 8 oz
          Dash  Salt
  1      Teaspoon  Vanilla Extract
          Light Cream -- as needed
Cream shortening and sugar; add egg; beat well.  Mix in molasses and 1/2 cup water. 
Sift together remaining ingredients.  Stir into creamed mixture.
Pour into greased 13 x 9 x 2" pan.
Bake at 350° for 25 minutes.
While warm, frost with Powdered Sugar Icing.  Mix icing ingredients for a thin glaze.
Cut into 24 squares.
2011 Cost:  $3.32 or 14¢ each
Per Serving: 150 Calories; 5g Fat (32.1% calories from fat); 1g Protein; 25g Carbohydrate; trace Dietary Fiber; 12mg Cholesterol; 95mg Sodium.  Exchanges: 1/2 Grain(Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 1 Fat; 1 1/2 Other Carbohydrates.


  1. I'll be baking this weekend, Sue, and am going to whip up a batch of Molasses Cake Bars, partly because they sound delicious, and partly because the recipe sounds like one Mom used to bake--Frosted Creams--pretty regularly...they were delicious!

    Thank you and Myrna for all the great recipes and fine reading you offer here; I'm so glad I discovered your blog!

    The Iowa House Wife rocks!

  2. Thank you so much for this recipe! I lost my BH & G cookbook in a house fire last year. When I went to make the bars this fall and realized I didn't have it any more I was so sad! I called my mother and ironically enough, she was missing page 150 from her book-THE PAGE! I could not find it through the BH and G site, so I went out onto the www!
    Been one of my family favorites since 1969!

  3. I love your blog. It is straightforward and the recipes are varied and no fail. You are absolutely my favorite.

    1. Thanks for the compliment...we enjoy our hobby and we're glad when someone else likes it too!
      Hope you'll follow us.

  4. Omg, thanks so much. Used to make these all the time as a kid!

  5. So glad I finally found this recipe! Lost the page out of the BH & G book my mom had. Used to make them for my son all the time, until the page went missing. Found this, bookmarked it, made them and am currently waiting for them to cool enough to put foil over the pan. My son and dad will be pleasantly surprised in the morning. 🙂

  6. So excited to find this recipe! I had lost my old cookbook, and this is one of my father’s favorite treats. I’ll be making a batch to send him for the holidays!


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