Coffee Molasses Dream Bars

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We have the Ladies Aid at Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church in South Milwaukee, WI to thank for these “grown-up” dessert bars, richly flavored with molasses, hot, strong coffee and a generous portion of ground cloves. The recipe originally published 33 years ago as “Frosted Molasses Creams” which didn’t communicate that these are cakey bars, not cookies. Slather the coffee icing on while the bars are still warm.

Makes 1, half-sheet pan of bars

Coffee Molasses Dream Bars Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 2/3 cup strong, hot coffee
  • 3 cups flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • Coffee icing (below)

Coffee Icing Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup cold coffee


  1. Make bars: Cream butter and sugar together for 5 minutes on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, whisking several minutes for each egg. Add molasses and hot coffee. Sift dry ingredients together. Gradually mix dry ingredients  in to the batter and blend well. Line a 1/2-sheet pan with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 350.  Spread batter in pan. Bake at 350 for 25 to 30 minutes.
  2. Make coffee frosting: While bars are baking, cream butter with powdered sugar. Add cold coffee, whisk until smooth.
  3. Remove bars from oven to a rack. While bars are still hot, frost with coffee frosting.

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