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Carmelita Cookies

Carmelita Cookies are the ULTIMATE oatmeal chocolate chip cookie stuffed with gooey caramel! This cookie recipe is a twist on the classic cookie bar.

Make sure to try my Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies too!

Carmelita Cookies Are The Ultimate Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie!

I made these cookies back in 2013, but I thought the pictures needed a little bit of a spruce up because they are AMAZING! They’re a soft, buttery oatmeal chocolate chip cookie with gooey layer of caramel baked inside!

These stuffed cookies are easy to make because we use a little shortcut for the caramel filling! We used a caramel filled chocolate candy (like Rolos) in the middle to do the heavy lifting here! They bake up beautifully if you follow some of the important tips below!

What Are Carmelitas?

Traditionally, Carmelitas are a cookie bar recipe. The crust and topping is a quick, buttery oat cookie with a layer of chocolate chips and caramel in the middle. They’re a quick, gorgeous cookie bar that is always a crowd pleaser.

I KNEW I had to make a cookie version of the bars, and they turned out absolutely perfect!

Carmelita Caramel Stuffed Cookie broken apart on a baking sheet

What Ingredients Do You Need?

You might have most of these ingredients in your pantry now! Here’a list:

  • butter
  • light brown sugar
  • eggs
  • vanilla extract
  • baking soda
  • kosher salt
  • all purpose flour
  • quick oats…you can also use old fashioned (or rolled oats) if that’s all you have, but I prefer smaller, quick oats, for these cookies for best results.
  • semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • caramel filled chocolate candies

What Kind Of Caramel Candies Are Recommended?

I have made these cookies with different kinds of caramel candy.

  • Rolo. These seem to be the easiest to find, and they work perfectly!
  • Caramello. These come in bar form, and you can easily freeze the bars and break them into squares to use in the cookies!
  • Dove Promises. They make these ina few different caramel variations and they would all work great!
  • Ghirardeilli Squares. These are a little larger than the other candies I’ve mentioned, but they would still work! Just make sure they’re all inside the cookie dough.
Collage making carmelitas

How To Make Carmelita Cookies…

  1. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy and then add in the eggs, vanilla, baking soda, and salt and mix for 1 minute until incorporated and smooth.
  2. Turn your mixer to low and add in the flour and then the oats.
  3. Next add in your chocolate chips until combined. You could stop here and bake these as-is and you would have great oatmeal chocolate chip cookies…BUT since we’re going the extra mile today…
  4. Chill your dough in the fridge. AND your candies in the freezer. You need both to be cold, so give them at least an hour, but if you want to make this the day before that works too!
  5. When you’re ready, portion out the dough using a medium scoop and form the dough around one caramel candy. Seal the dough completely around the candy so the caramel doesn’t ooze out.
  6. Bake until edges are golden and tops have just set and let the cookies cool on baking sheet for 4-5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Why Do You Have To Freeze The Candy?

This step is one I HIGHLY recommend for these cookies. The frozen candy has less of a chance of melting out of the chocolate during baking if you start out frozen.

Caramel, if it does get baked, can burn quickly and get hard, so starting with a frozen candy helps prevent this from happening and escaping from the dough.

The Cooling Process…

Allow these cookies to cool on the baking sheet for as long as you can. The caramel candy sinks to the bottom of the dough while baking (totally normal) and if you try and mix the cookie before it’s cooled, the candy may drop out of the cookie.

The caramel inside needs to set back up because it will be gooey and because a mess if moved while hot!

Looking For More Caramel Stuffed Desserts? Try These…

Caramel filled oatmeal chocolate chip cookies stacked

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Stack of Carmelita Cookies

Carmelita Cookies

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  • Author: Cookies & Cups
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes + chill time
  • Yield: 36 cookies 1x
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: Dessert


These caramel filled oatmeal chocolate chip cookies are a spin on a classic Carmelita Cookie Bar!


  • 1 1/4 cups butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 3 cups quick oats
  • 2 cups chocolate chips
  • 36 unwrapped Rolo candies, frozen (or any other caramel filled individual caramel filled chocolate candy)


  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment mix the butter and brown sugar together on medium speed for 2 minutes.
  2. Add in the eggs, vanilla, baking soda, and salt and mix for 1 minute until incorporated and smooth.
  3. Turn mixer to low and add in flour, mixing until just combined. And then adding the oats, turning up the mixer to medium if necessary until evenly incorporated.
  4. With the mixer on low, add in the chocolate chips until combined.
  5. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and chill dough in the refrigerator for at least an hour. During this time freeze your caramel filled candies.
  6. When dough is ready, preheat your oven to 350°F and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  7. Using a medium (2- tablespoon) cookie scoop portion out the dough. Press a caramel candy into the dough, wrapping the dough around the candy and sealing it, forming a ball. Place your dough balls about 2- inches apart on lined baking sheet.
  8. Bake for 10-12 minutes until edges are golden and tops have just set.
  9. Let cookies cool on baking sheet for 4-5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to finish cooling.


Freezing candies and chilling dough is recommended because the caramel candy will sink to the bottom of the cookie and stick to your pan.

If you forget to freeze the candies and chill the dough, allow the cookies to cool completely on the baking sheet.


  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 230
  • Sugar: 19.5 g
  • Sodium: 136.8 mg
  • Fat: 11.4 g
  • Carbohydrates: 29.8 g
  • Protein: 3 g
  • Cholesterol: 27.9 mg

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59 comments on “Carmelita Cookies”

  1. Does it work to use classic caramel squares for these cookies? Or would they get too hard once cooled?

  2. I had the same trouble as Nicole. Cookies taste amazing, but didn’t look it. I chilled dough and Rolos and followed directions to a T. Can’t figure out what went wrong.

  3. Forgetful Sian

    Just wondering if anyone can help me out…I found a link to this page through a food page on facebook (which had a lot of other ideas I wanted to try out) But I have completely lost the page to be able to like it!!! >:( Soooo does anyone have any idea what page it was? Def going to try these on the weekend!! ๐Ÿ™‚ x

  4. Jewell Ulrich

    Oh my goodness … these cookies look fantastic! I can’t wait to try them!

    I just about died laughing while reading your bunk bed story! I can totally relate. Our boys had bunk beds, and instead of climbing up onto the bed to make it, I discovered it was easier to pull the bed away from the wall and just make it while standing on the floor. I’m tall, so it wasn’t a problem for me. It might be worth investing in some of the little sliders that you place under furniture legs to help it glide across the carpet easier, and if you are not tall, perhaps a step ladder might help as well. Good luck … and thanks so much for the recipe … and the hearty laugh! ๐Ÿ˜€

  5. gottahavechocolate

    These sound so delish, can’t wait to try them. Thank you for sharing. btw, in your directions, there is a small error. After baking, you meant to let the cookies “cooL” on the baking sheet, not ‘cooK’. Thought yo might want to edit that. : D

  6. I am using rolos this time but I have also used milk duds which work well. they have the carmel in them and also make the cookie have a chewy middle!

  7. So, I have a girlfriend who makes the best carmelitas and when I saw this recipe I quickly forwarded it to her and told her we Must. Make. These.

    We followed the recipe to a tee (except we used right-out-if-the-fridge butter.) and they turned out AMAZING!!! Of course, ours didn’t yield 40 cookies because we ate most of the batter, but we got 2 – 2 1/2 dozen out if it.

    I think I might even use this recipe (without the rolos) when I make oatmeal chococalte chip cookies. I love how they kept their shape and didn’t flatten out at all. When I use the recipe on the back of the Quaker container, they always come out flat as a sheet of paper.

    I am not a blogger but can I tell you that these cookies takes excellent photographs? I facebooked our baking and everyone was drooling over them.

    Thank you for sharing!

  8. I made these for someone’s birthday at work and they were a huge hit. However, it didn’t make close to 40 cookies.. more like 20. But, overall, delicious… after some trial and error at first.

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