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These Salted Caramel Butter Bars are incredibly easy! A buttery shortbread crumble surrounds a salted caramel filling for the perfect salty-sweet dessert!

Caramel Butter Bars cut with caramel pull

There are few things in life that cannot be fixed with salted caramel and butter, so as my life has gotten increasingly more crazy and stressful, my desserts have gotten simpler and more butter-laden! Starting with these Salted Caramel Butter Bars – these are miracle-workers!

Caramel Butter Bars sliced stacked
Seven Layer Bars Stacked.
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These bars are one of my go-to recipes. They are easy because the top and bottom use the same dough and you can either use homemade caramel sauce or use caramel candies!

If I need a crowd pleaser and am short on time, I will bring these caramel butter bars, 7 layer bars, old fashioned butterscotch brownies, or these perfect chewy white chocolate macadamia nut cookies! If I have a little more time I’ll bring pecan pie bars or a chocolate pecan pie as well!

Caramel Butter Bars unsliced in vintage baking pan

This recipe is from Cookies & Cups  and Shelly uses these to cure bad days too, so I am not alone here!

These Salted Caramel Butter Bars look complicated but they are actually super easy! The bottom crust and the top crumble are the same shortbread dough. Easy peasey.

The Lowdown on Salted Caramel Butter Bars

I made these in an hour, but 50 minutes of that time was me waiting for the bars to finish baking!

I used homemade salted caramel because I had some in refrigerator from these salted caramel cupcakes, but you could use caramel candies to simplify these bars even further.

Additionally, I baked mine a bit longer than the directions so my bottom crust and top crumble were a little crunchy, which added some texture to the bars but that is completely unnecessary; they would be just as delicious as soft and chewy bars.

Caramel Butter Bars cut with caramel pull

Do you know what else makes everything better? Shark Week. #obsessed


I didn’t get to watch any this year (tear), but I’ve gotten inexpressible enjoyment out of reading the memes and someecards. #whyaretheysofunny

So throw some Salted Caramel Butter Bars in the oven and cozy up on the couch to watch Shark Week reruns!

And there is my recipe for happiness. You’re welcome.

Caramel Butter Bars sliced stacked detail

If you tried this recipe and loved it please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how it goes in the comments below. I love hearing from you; your comments make my day!

Caramel Butter Bars sliced stacked detail
4.54 from 13 ratings

Salted Caramel Butter Bars

These Salted Caramel Butter Bars are incredibly easy! A buttery shortbread crumble surrounds a salted caramel filling for the perfect salty-sweet dessert!
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes
Total: 45 minutes
Servings: 24 people


For the Crust and crumble:

For the Filling:

  • 1 14 oz bag caramel candies
  • cup milk or cream
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon coarse sea salt


  • Preheat the oven to 325°. Butter or line with parchment paper a 9×13 baking dish.
  • In a large bowl combine butter and sugars, mix on medium speed until creamy. Add the vanilla and beat until combined.
  • Slowly add the flour to the butter mixture on low speed and mix until a smooth, soft dough forms.
  • Press 1/3 of the dough into the prepared baking pan, and bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes or until the edges are a pale golden brown. Refrigerate the remaining 2/3 of the dough.
  • If you are going to make your caramel from candies, do that while the crust bakes.
  • Place the unwrapped caramel candies and cream in a microwave safe bowl and microwave on high for 1 minutes. Stir until smooth. If the caramels are not completely melted, continue microwaving on high heat for 30 second intervals, stirring after each one.
  • Once the caramels are melted, stir in the vanilla. Set aside until the bottom crust is done baking.
  • Pour the caramel filling over the crust, sprinkle with salt and crumble the remaining dough over top.
  • Continue baking until the filling is bubbly and the topping is firm and lightly golden, about 25-30 minutes.
  • Let cool before cutting into squares. (I know, I know…go ahead and cut a corner out for quality control…the things we must do as bakers…)


Yield: 24 Bars
Can use 1 cup homemade salted caramel sauce instead of the filling ingredients. 
*I halved this recipe and made 16 squares in an 8×8 baking dish, because I am only one person and I have no willpower where butter and caramel are concerned. They will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 week wrapped tightly in plastic wrap.
Recipe adapted from Cookies and Cups


Calories: 287kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 44mg | Sodium: 414mg | Potassium: 32mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 521IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American, French
Calories: 287
Like this? Leave a comment below!

Before You Go

I hope you enjoyed this professional chef tested recipe. Check out our other delicious Brownies and Bars Recipes or top it off with my homemade Chocolate Ice Cream recipe!

Hi, I’m Chef Lindsey!

I am the baker, recipe developer, writer, and photographer behind Chef Lindsey Farr. I believe in delicious homemade food and the power of dessert!

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    I’ve just made this for the 3rd time and it came out great as usual! It’s so very rich so the only time I can justify making it is for special occasions or I’d need a whole new wardrobe lol. This is the 2nd Christmas that I’ve made it and I also made it for my God-daughters baby shower….and there wasn’t a crumb left! This is becoming a staple on my Christmas cookie platter and for good reason.

    1. Oh, Jane, that is wonderful to hear! Thank you so much for taking the time to come back and comment and rate! I really appreciate it! Your comment made my day 🙂 And I completely agree with you on needing a whole new wardrobe if these bars were around frequently! Merry Christmas! ~Lindsey

  2. I can’t wait to try this recipe! I was wondering what is the measurement of caramel sauce for this recipe? I have leftover caramel sauce from an ice cream sundae night and I wanted to use that up first? Many thanks!

    1. Hi Kathy, In the notes below the recipe you’ll see that I used 1 cup of homemade salted caramel sauce. When I update the post, I will make the measurement more clear! Thank you for helping me improve my recipes! ~Lindsey

  3. 5 stars
    I just made mine they are in the oven as I speak, homemade Carmel worked perfectly and this was my first time making Carmel in this way ( been intimidated in the past as I have seen many baking competitions and bakers fail😳).

    Only question I have is when splitting up the dough into thirds and only 1/3 goes to bottom while 2/3 is used to crumble on top… I ended up using a little more than 1/3 for top because I felt if I used more it would have buried my Carmel layer. I’m scared I made a bad decision has this ever been a concern for you?

    1. Haha, Kim, I understand the stress of the crumble distribution. Whatever you chose will be delicious! I am a fan of the heavy crumble or streusel topping but not everyone is!
      I am overjoyed that you had success with the homemade caramel! Now that you have made it, the gloves are off and you are about to salted caramel all the things. 🙂 The good thing about making caramel is that it’s just sugar, so if you burn it, just start again! If you make the whole sauce and its got sugar chunks in it, just strain it. There is no shame in caramel making ~ Lindsey

  4. Question: I made these salted caramel butter bars and they are amazing! Everybody loves them. Can I make a batch ahead of time and freeze them? How do they do in the freezer? I am going to be in a Christmas craft show and I am prepping ahead of time and really need to put stuff in the freezer.

    I made the homemade salted caramel and I did make an adjustment to the recipe. I used ground sea salt in the homemade caramel recipe and it was far, far too salty. I read it again with half a tablespoon and it was perfect.

    1. Hi Julia! Absolutely freeze away! Just wrap them really well and put them in a ziplock bag to keep the flavor as fresh as possible! Happy baking!

  5. I want to ship these to someone deployed, it usually takes about 10 days for the food to get there. do you think these will last 10 days at room temp?

    1. 10 days might be pushing it depending on the heat. If its super hot, I wouldn’t. Otherwise, sure! I’m sure they will appreciate these! Make sure to send enough to share! They are addicting!