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Classic ooey gooey bars get a holiday twist with the addition of ginger and cloves. This easy to make dessert features the taste of brownies combined with a cream cheese filling to make one of the best quick homemade desserts around. Everyone will think you’ve made the whole thing from scratch when you’ve really utilized the ease of a cake mix and your favorite spices!
It’s finally the official kick off for the winter holidays now that Halloween is over, right? I love this period of time where I can cook our favorite fall and winter desserts and not worry about a warm stove heating up our Texas house. Thank goodness for cold fronts, am I right???!!
To get our holiday dessert started, I wanted to share one of our favorites. Ooey Gooey bars with a twist— we’ve added in McCormick® ginger and McCormick® cloves!!! Cloves are a funny spice— they are really strong, a little bit will do you, but if you would have left them out, the recipe wouldn’t have tasted as delicious!
Never heard of ooey gooey bars? You are in for a treat. Think brownies combined with cheesecake. Only easy!
Major Hoff is a ginger fiend. In fact, I make him ginger chocolate cookies year round because he loves them so much. He knows with fall and winter baking season upon us, I’ve been stocking up on my favorite McCormick® spices.
My H-E-B grocery basket has lots of ginger, cloves, nutmeg, and vanilla extract just in time for all those holiday pies, like my molasses pumpkin pie. Our boys love helping me bake our holiday desserts! They often help me with my grocery shopping and they know exactly where to find the McCormick® spices in the baking aisle!
I decided that since ginger makes hubby so happy, I should find more chocolate ginger desserts he would enjoy that were maybe less time consuming than the rolled ginger chocolate cookies he loves.
Enter ooey gooey chocolate ginger bars.
What makes ooey gooey bars ooey gooey?
They are ooey gooey for sure! Although they do set up, there is that moist creamy center on the bars that made them get their name. The premise of ooey gooey bars is simple: a cake mix or brownie mix is mixed with butter and pressed into a pan, with a cream cheese, egg and sugar mixture to top it. Somehow, in the magic of baking, the two swirl around each other in a perfect marriage of the two textures.
The possibilities are endless, and many people have their own versions. Paula Deen even has a version. It does have lots of butter, which I think is her love language.
Because Major Hoff also adores chocolate, I couldn’t resist swirling in a mixture of melted chocolate into the cheesecake filling. YUM!
The best part about chocolate gingerbread ooey gooey bars is that they taste like a decadent homemade dessert that you’ve spent hours on. The thing is they are deceptively easy. With the right tools you can mix them up and have them in the oven in 10 minutes.
So grab all your ingredients and get to baking! I was super excited to try the McCormick® small batch pure vanilla extract. I thought it was the perfect time of the year with the holidays to indulge a bit.
The first step is the “crust” which is a cake mix that is mixed with butter and one egg. You’ll mix it like a brownie mix, which means very few strokes. Just so most of the dry mix is coated. You’ll Place that in a greased 9 x 13 baking pan.
The next step is the cheesecake filling. The key to this is to make sure you’ve allowed the cream cheese to come to room temperature. If you don’t it can be clumpy. I use my stand mixer for this part because I want it nice and smooth. You can use the whisk attachment or a paddle attachment.
Start by whipping the cream cheese on a medium speed for several minutes to get it light and creamy with no clumps. Add in the eggs, one at a time, allowing for each to mix in before adding the rest. Once you have a nice smooth liquid, add in the powdered sugar, one cup at a time. And there you have that layer! Pour it on top of the cake mixture base.
Now remember, I added in the chocolate mixture to make it even more decadent and of course pretty with the striped pattern. I simply melted chocolate chips in the microwave for about a minute and a half, stirring every 30 seconds so it doesn’t seize up.
Transfer to a sandwich baggie, or a pastry bag and with a simple snip of the corner, pipe chocolate lines along the top of the cheesecake mixture. Using a knife, criss cross the chocolate lines to make a design. Don’t go too deep, you don’t want to mix in the crust, just the chocolate and the cheesecake mixture.
That’s it! Now bake away my friends!
How amazing are these guys? Think of all the possibilities!!!
Grab your favorite McCormick® spices and some cake mixes at your local
H-E-B store and whip up your favorite combos this holiday season. Here are some other ideas:
Ooey Gooey Bar Ideas
- Yellow cake mix with pumpkin spice topped with white chocolate
- chocolate cake mix with cinnamon and a hint of cayenne pepper for a Mexican hot chocolate inspired ooey gooey bar.
- vanilla cake mix with cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, allspice, cloves and nutmeg for a chai spiced bar (no chocolate needed)
- chocolate cake mix with almond extract, orange extract, or raspberry extract added to the cheesecake mixture to give a fun twist
Wow, now I just want to spend this rainy day baking all of these!
Did you know that McCormick® doesn’t just make extracts and spices? In fact, they make gravy mixes as well. I love to use the brown gravy mix in my beef and potato pies that are also perfect for these rainy cold winter days!
You can find McCormick® spices like cinnamon in the baking aisle. H-E-B usually has a display with all the baking items you might need or the holiday season. Whenever that goes up, I know it’s time to buy some fresh spices to get my bake on!
McCormick® has been in business for over 100 years, but if you would like to learn more about them you can find info here:
Learn more about McCormick® Extract
Learn more about McCormick® Herbs & Spice
Learn more about McCormick® Gravy
Don’t forget to Pin this post to your favorite Dessert board on Pinterest
Ginger Chocolate Ooey Gooey Bars
For the chocolate ginger cake crust:
- 1 15 oz Chocolate cake mix
- 2 tablespoon Ginger
- ⅛ teaspoon cloves
- 1 Cup Butter Meleted and cooled
- 1 Egg
For the cheesecake layer
- 8 Oz Cream cheese Allowed to thaw to room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3 Cups Powdered sugar
Chocolate ripple layer
- 1 cup chocolate chips Melted
- For the cake crust:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9x13 baking pan
- Melt the butter in the microwave for 60-90 seconds. Stir every 30 seconds. It will still have pieces during final time, but stirring will allow them to melt. Allow to cool
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the ginger and cloves with the chocolate cake mix
- Once mixed, stir in the melted butter and egg. Very carefully fold over the mixture. It only takes about 20 strokes to mix in. Like brownies, you don’t want over do it!
- Spoon the cake mixture into the greased baking pan.
For the cheesecake topping:
- Beat the cream cheese until smooth
- Add in eggs, one at a time, fully mixing. Finish by adding in the vanilla.
- One cup at a time, stir in the powdered sugar. Make sure to do so on a slow speed to avoid a mess!
- Once light and fluffy, pour on top of cake base mixture.
- Melt chocolate chips in the microwave for 90 seconds, stirring every 30. Place in a piping bag, snip the tip and pipe in stripes.
- Using a knife, spread against the chocolate only going to the depth of the cream cheese and not the chocolate ginger cake base.
- Bake 25-30 minutes. The bars will rise and sink a bit after cooling. Make sure cake bars are done. You can cook longer if you prefer not to have ooey gooey bars, but having a baked crust and allowing the cheesecake to sit up after cooling produces the best ooey gooey bars!