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Caramel Espresso Bars stacked on a square white plate

Caramel Espresso Bars

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Caramel Espresso Bars have the incredible combination of chocolate and caramel that will make you swoon! Plus tossing some espresso in the mix only accentuates the marvelous chocolate ganache. These mocha bars will only get rave reviews!

These gooey Caramel Bars are ideal for the mocha lovers in your life! A graham cracker crust is topped with caramel then a dark chocolate espresso topping!

Caramel espresso bars stacked on a small square white plate

Caramel Espresso Bars

I first made these caramel espresso bars for a wedding shower a number of years ago. The bride to be loves dark chocolate andmocha, so when I spotted Giada’s recipe for Caramel Espresso Bars, I knew it was a done deal!  Thank goodness, my co-hosts assigned me the desserts when I missed our first planning session. They know me well!

There was not one single bar left by the end of the shower. These and my Cheesecake Pops were definitely the crowd favorites.

Wedges of Caramel Espresso Bars on a rectangular white ceramic tray

Tips for Making Caramel Espresso Bars:

I remade these bars for my mocha loving son to take to work, but kept a few back to share with my girlfriends. The first comment was, “Oh, my God.” Then another friend asked if I thought she could make them for the Thanksgiving weekend. The answer was YES. Then I got a “Wow!” via text from a neighbor and her husband. They were wildly successful once again!

  • My tweaks from the original recipe were minimal. I used regular graham crackers instead of cinnamon and baked these in a square pan instead of a round spring-form pan.
  • Giada added more espresso powder, but 1 teaspoon gave a nice coffee undertone to the topping. Feel free to add up to 1 3/4 teaspoons for a more pronounced flavor.
  • A candy thermometer is imperative for making the proper consistency caramel. Mine reached about 244º and was perfect.
  • Make certain the caramel is cool but pourable before adding the chocolate layer and chill well before cutting. It’s also best to keep the cut bars in a covered container in the refrigerator after slicing. This will keep the caramel from oozing if they get too warm.
  • Alternatively, these bars freeze well.
  • Note that the crust can be a bit crumbly. It was a challenge to get picture-perfect slices, but my friends didn’t mind one bit!
  • If you love a touch of salt with your sweets, you can sprinkle a bit of coarse salt over the ganache before it hardens.

You will not regret making these splendid bars!

Caramel Espresso Bars stacked on a square white plate

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Caramel Espresso Bars

Caramel Espresso Bars

Layered bars with a graham cracker crust, caramel layer and a chocolate espresso topping!

Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Yield 16 servings

Ingredients

Crust:

  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 12 rectangles)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 6 ounces butter, melted (1 1/2 sticks)

Filling:

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 4 ounces unsalted butter, at room temperature (1 stick)
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon water

Topping:

  • 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350º. Line an 8 x 8 inch pan with non-stick foil or regular foil sprayed with non-stick cooking spray...leave some excess on two sides to assist with removal.

In a food processor, combine the graham crackers and sugar and process until finely ground. Add the melted butter and blend until well combined. Spread the mixture into the bottom of the pan, pressing gently to form an even layer.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until the crust is golden. Cool for about 15 minutes.


While the crust is cooling, in a heavy saucepan, combine 1/2 cup of cream, 1 stick of butter, brown sugar, and water. Stir over medium heat until the mixture is smooth. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook, without stirring, until a candy thermometer registers 240º (mine reached 244º), about 5 to 7 minutes.

Carefully pour the caramel over the warm crust. Cool for 20 minutes. Freeze until firm, about 10-15 minutes.


Combine the chocolate chips and cream in a microwave safe bowl and microwave at 30 second increments, stopping and stirring till mixture is melted and smooth. Whisk in the espresso powder.

Remove the pan from the freezer, and check to see that the caramel has cooled and solidified. Pour the chocolate mixture over the caramel layer and smooth with a spatula. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour until firm.


Remove bars from pan using foil. Use knife dipped in hot water and dried to cut bars.

Notes

Adapted from Giada/Food Network

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

16

Serving Size:

1 bar

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 402Total Fat: 27gSaturated Fat: 16gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 55mgSodium: 129mgCarbohydrates: 42gFiber: 2gSugar: 34gProtein: 2g
 This post was originally shared in May 2012. The text and photos were updated in 2019.

 
Shelli, Maggie and Molly at the bridal shower

The sweet mother of the bride, the bride to be,
and the bride’s sister.

Bridal shower hostsses

My fabulous co-hosts!

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10 comments on “Caramel Espresso Bars”

  1. thanks liz for coming at my place sweety.. these caramel bars just look awesome and minblowing nom nom pass me 🙂 shall try it sometime and let u know dear .. Love

  2. Those caramel bars are out of this world beautiful and tempting!!

  3. Wow, these cookies look amazing! Happy Holiday Baking Liz:@)

  4. Beautiful bars Liz…and I am loving all the layers, great idea adding a hint of espresso with the chocolate…and they are so perfect! Have a lovely rest of the week!

  5. I’m all about a caramel slice and similar variations. Who can ever resist the combination of chocolate and caramel indeed? And the espresso addition? Absolutely yes!

  6. This is absolute perfection! The flavors, the presentation, they look fantastic! You have a gift Liz – and I’d be very happy if you’d gift some of these my way – haha. Pinned!

  7. Liz, these caramel espresso bars are irresistible! Caramel and chocolate is my favorite combination and I love how espresso deepens the flavor of the chocolate!

  8. Oh these sound fabulous. I just have to conquer my fear of a candy thermometer!

  9. Oh my gosh, these beauties are absolute perfection. The espresso put them over the top! I’m so in. 🙂 ~Valentina

  10. Is there a more perfect bar on this planet? I think not these look amazing! I’m the only mocha fan in the family but if someone changes their mind I guess I will share 🙂

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