That Skinny Chick Can Bake
Two caramel bars on a small white plate

Caramel Butter Bars

These crazy delicious Caramel Butter Bars are a heavenly treat that is a cinch to make! You MUST think up an excuse to bake up a batch!

Layered with streusel and caramel over a shortbread crust, these Caramel Bars will thrill the caramel lovers in your life. And they may convert some who aren’t!

Caramel Butter Bars lined up on a narrow white tray
 

Why You Should Make These

  • If you love caramel desserts as much as I do, please make this caramel dessert ASAP.
  • One easy dough is used for both the crust and crumble topping.
  • And a half cup of storebought caramel sauce is nestled between those two layers.

Seriously, I could not stop snacking on them!! These caramel butter bars are phenomenal, trust me.With such simple ingredients, it’s important to use a good quality caramel sauce. Look for real ingredients like sugar, cream, and butter on the label. Prepare to be dazzled!

Tips for Making These Irresistible Caramel Bars

These caramel cookie bars are about the simplest dessert recipe you can make. If you love caramel, these caramel butter bars are a must-make!

  • The same dough is used to make the crust and to crumble over the caramel. Easy peasy. These gems can be made using just one bowl!
  • If you really want to be precise, you can weigh out the dough so it can be accurately divided into one third for the crust and 2/3 for the topping, but I just estimated.
  • Line your baking pan with non-stick foil so the edges of the bars don’t adhere to the sides of the pan due to the sticky caramel sauce.
  • And with a yummy jarred caramel sauce as the filling, there is no messing with a candy thermometer or unwrapping squares of premade caramels. You definitely don’t have to hunt down a specialty caramel sauce. But I do recommend using a premium brand for the best results.
  • PRO-Tip: To find a premium brand of caramel, check the ingredients on the label for butter, cream, vanilla. You want real ingredients for the best caramel flavor!
  • Try Salted Caramel Sauce to shake things up. Or just mix some sea salt into your regular caramel sauce to taste.

Everyone needs a recipe that doesn’t take oodles of time or numerous ingredients to throw together. These will thrill any caramel fans in your family…heck, they will thrill anyone you know with a sweet tooth!

Overhead view of caramel bars on a white tray

How to Make Caramel Bars with a Crumb Topping

  • Soften the butter at room temperature to make for easier mixing of the dough that’s used for the crust and crumbs.
  • Mix the topping ingredients with a hand mixer until well combined.
  • Pat 1/3 of the dough into the prepared baking pan. Bake the crust and chill the rest of the crumb mixture while the crust is in the oven.
  • Pour the caramel sauce over the warm baked crust. The heat of the crust will help make it easier to spread the caramel over the crust.
  • PRO-Tip: Spray your liquid measuring cup with a non-stick cooking spray like Pam before measuring the caramel. It will slide out easily when you pour it over the bars.
  • Then Crumble the rest of the mixture over the top of the caramel. PRO-Tip: Use your fingers to pinch together the dough to make some larger crumbs, if you’d like.
  • Put the pan back in the oven and Bake as directed, until the filling is bubbly.
  • Cool well before slicing into bars.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Store Caramel Bars?

These caramel butter bars can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Any longer, or if it’s warm in your kitchen, these bars can be refrigerated for about a week.

Can  You Freeze These Crumb Bars?

Yes, these bar cookies freeze well. Make sure they are cool, place in an airtight container with parchment or waxed paper between layers. Freeze for up to 3 months.

What’s the Best Way to Cut these Bars?

Chill them first. Then place them on a cutting board, using a ruler if necessary, and slice into nice squares. Serve at room temperature.

The ruler is helpful to mark off 2-inch intervals on all 4 sides of the bars before slicing. You can also use the ruler to help guide you in cutting straight lines if eyeballing isn’t your strong suit.

Two caramel bars on a small white plate

More of the Best Caramel Desserts 

I’ve always had a soft spot when it comes to caramel desserts, whether it’s the Homemade Caramels I make for the holidays or Cookie Dough Billionaire Bars with a layer of gooey caramel. I’ve also made Chocolate Chip Caramel Butter Bars that are also outrageously delicious! These homemade Caramel Chocolate Brownies are also outstanding.

I’ve had my eye on these luscious caramel desserts, too: Caramel Apple Magic Bars and Caramel Stuffed Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie.

If you love this recipe, you’ll want to check out my super easy Microwave Caramel Sauce. It’s been life-changing!

The recipe was adapted from my friend Lindsey of American Heritage Cooking. She made a salted caramel version. I tracked the original recipe to this cookbook.

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This recipe was first shared in September 2014. Photos and text were updated in 2021.

Caramel Butter Bars

The Recipe: Caramel Butter Bars

Simple flavors with delicious results! Perfect for caramel fans!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Yield 16 bars

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 2 cups flour

For the Filling:

  • 1/2 cup premium jarred caramel sauce

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325°
  2. In a large bowl, combine the butter and sugars. Using a hand mixer, beat butter and sugars till creamy. Add the vanilla and beat until combined. Add the flour into the butter mixture and mix on low till well combined.
  3. Line a 8 x 8-inch pan with non-stick foil (or regular foil, then spray with cooking spray).Press one-third of the dough evenly into the pan to form a bottom crust. Put the rest of the dough in the refrigerator while crust is baking.
  4. Bake crust until slightly golden, about 20 minutes.
  5. Drizzle the caramel sauce over crust and let sit for a few minutes before using an offset spatula to carefully spread over the surface.
  6. Crumble the reserved dough over the caramel.
  7. Return the pan to the oven and bake until the filling is bubbly and the crumbled shortbread topping is firm and lightly golden, about 25 minutes.
  8. Let cool before cutting into squares. Place in the refrigerator to speed up the cooling process if desired.

Notes

Spray your liquid measuring cup with a non-stick cooking spray like Pam before measuring the caramel.

Use your fingers to pinch together the dough to make some larger crumbs for the topping.

Recommended Products

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

16

Serving Size:

1 bar

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 227Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 127mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 0gSugar: 17gProtein: 2g

HOW MUCH DID YOU LOVE THIS RECIPE?

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Caramel Butter Bars stacked on a small, white round plate
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86 comments on “Caramel Butter Bars”

  1. These wouldn’t be around long enough to freeze and I love how quickly they come together.

  2. Buttery shortbread base plus caramel? I definitely don’t need an excuse to make this! This looks and sounds truly irresistible. Now, as a huge dulce de leche fan, I’m thinking to use this spread instead. Plus, some pecans or walnuts on top. Or simply dark chocolate drizzle. But with or without nuts, this is already an utterly delicious dessert!

  3. Woo hoo, Liz! The bars look scrumptious! I’d take caramel over chocolate any day! And the streusel topping is perfect for them! Yummy!!!

  4. You know my love of caramel so these will definitely be bookmarked for when we can entertain again. I’ve never bought caramel before so those are excellent tips, thank you.

  5. So good and easy. What about dulce de leche as a filling? LOVE!

  6. I have everything I need except the caramel. Making these as soon as I can get to the store!

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