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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

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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

Ingredients 
 

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

Instructions 

  • 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…)

Notes

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

Nutrition

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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79 Comments

  1. I just made these and they are insanely good. One piece is more than enough. I made the home made salted caramel and it is equally insanely rich. I increased the recipe by a 1/2 for a full sheet pan and it worked out perfectly.

  2. I made this yesterday and the carmel filling stuck to the edges of the pan. I used parchment paper and greased the sides of pan. They broke when cutting but taste alright. I think I will stick to millionaire squares as I never had a problem with them. The Carmel layers does not stick like the Kraft carmels. Worth a try anyway.

  3. Is 2 Tablespoons of vanilla flavoring correct? The abbreviation used is 2 Tbsp. Which is tablespoons but that seems very excessive. 2 tsp. Or teaspoons seems more plausible. Can you clarify?

    1. Hi Liz! I definitely use 2 tablespoons but I like my vanilla! Feel free to cut it down if you’d like. Happy baking!

  4. OH My Goodness … bites of heaven on earth!!! added macadamia nnts to filling and sprinkled dark chocolate chips on to at end of baking …. So glad you shared this recipe …. absolutely DEVINE

  5. Last year I made a batch of these and screwed up and doubled the butter. I realized it after the fact and made a new batch with the correct amount, fearing that I’d give my family butter poisoning as a Thanksgiving treat. Everyone liked the double butter mishap better. Making them again this year for T-day and doubling the butter AGAIN. Beurre… is SO where it’s at 😉

    1. I couldn’t have said it better myself! Beurre is definitely where it is at! I’ll have to try doubling the butter!

      ps- ain’t no such thing as butter poisoning! haha! 😉

  6. I made this last night AND the salted caramel sauce….EXCELLENT recipe. Heavy on calories with all the butter and so worth it! I’m bringing some to my grandparents tonight. 🙂 Thank you for posting!

    1. There is definitely no shortage of calories here! lol! I’m so glad you made and liked it, Rhonda! I’m sure your grandparents will enjoy them! Well done on the caramel too!