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! It took me years to track down this Oatmeal Carmelitas Recipe and after one bite, you’ll understand why I never gave up!

Caramel Butter Bars lined up on a narrow white tray.

Why You Must Make

  • 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!

Caramel Butter Bars Ingredients with labels on a metal sheet pan.

Ingredient Notes

  • Kitchen Staples – Sugar, Flour, Powdered Sugar
  • Butter – at room temperature
  • Vanilla Extract – Make sure is real vanilla extract, not imitation
  • Caramel Sauce – A jarred brand is fine. Check the ingredients as one with real butter and cream will be the tastiest option.
3 Oatmeal Carmelitas stacked on a small white plate.

Expert Tips

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!
  • Have your butter at room temperature for easy blending.
  • PRO-Tip: 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.
  • 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.
  • 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, and vanilla. You want real ingredients for the best caramel flavor!
  • Cool well before cutting into bars. You can even pop the pan into the refrigerator to chill and this will help make neater slices. Just bring to room temperature to serve.
  • 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

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 Crumb Bars?

Yes, these bar cookies freeze well. Make sure they are cool, then 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 them 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.

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Caramel Butter Bars Recipe

Caramel Butter Bars Recipe

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

Simple flavors with delicious results! Perfect for caramel fans!


  • 1 cup butter, at room temperature
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 2 cups flour

For the Filling:

  • ½ cup premium jarred caramel sauce


  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 to the butter mixture and mix on low till well combined.
  3. Line an 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 the crust is baking.
  4. Bake crust until slightly golden, about 20 minutes.
  5. Drizzle the caramel sauce over the crust and let sit for a few minutes before using an offset spatula to carefully spread it 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.


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.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1 bar

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


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Caramel Butter Bars stacked on a small, white round plate