Salted Caramel Butter Bars

These Salted Caramel Butter bars are one of my most requested recipes ever! The buttery cookie is filled with a creamy, salted caramel that is so rich and beyond delicious.

Salted Caramel Butter Bars

Salted Caramel Butter Bars are THE BEST Cookie Bar of ALL TIME!

I can’t begin to explain to you how much I love these Salted Caramel Butter Bars…I make them ALL THE TIME. They are one of my most requested desserts to bring to parties and there is never one left! And might I add, if you happen to be entering a cookie contest, these will guarantee you victory. Unequivocally.

The base is a buttery shortbread that comes together very easily and the filling is simply caramels, milk or cream, and a little salt! You can use pre-made caramels, or even a thick caramel sauce. I do recommend using caramels over sauce, because I think the texture is more chewy and hold up better than sauce, but so many of you who have made this recipe let me know that you have used caramel sauce and it’s worked out well!

These cookie bars are really super simple and can be adapted in different ways…I even made a Salted Nutella Butter bar based on this recipe. The buttery crust, the chewy caramel and the omg deliciousness of it all has never disappointed. Salted caramel runs through my veins at this point. Oh and there is even an APPLE version in my book!
These are a must in my house at the holidays…or whenever I am looking to make people fall in love with me 🙂

How To Make Salted Caramel Butter Bars

How To Make Salted Caramel Butter Bars

It’s all a pretty easy process, just a few steps, honestly: you make dough, you divide dough, you bake some of the dough, you chill some of the dough…

You melt caramel, you spread caramel, you sprinkle salt on the caramel, then you sprinkle more dough.
Then finish baking.
It’s easy and oh so delicious!!

Salted Caramel Butter Bars

I will tell you that these cookie bars are next level. Yes, there is a lot of butter, yes there are a lot of calories, BUT I urge you not to eat the whole pan. I actually don’t think that is physically possible! ha! Have one, savor it, love it, and SHARE them!
I might go as far to say that they are one of the best things that I have made in a while.
I know you will love them..that is if you like butter, sugar and delicious caramel filling.  Yeah, that’s what I thought.
They sure won’t help your fat jean/skinny jean dilemma, but they are guaranteed to make you happy while you’re wearing elastic 🙂

Looking For More Caramel Recipes? Try These:


Salted Caramel Butter Bars

  • Author: Cookies & Cups
  • Prep Time Prep Time: 30
  • Cook Time Cook Time: 50
  • Total Time Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield Yield: 24 bars 1x
  • Category Category: Cookie Bars
  • Method Method: Baking
  • Cuisine Cuisine: Dessert


Salted Caramel Butter Bars are a buttery shortbread filled with creamy salted caramel! A MUST MAKE!


For the Crust:

  • 2 cups salted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1½ cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 4 cups all purpose flour

For the Filling:

  • 14 ounces soft caramel candies (about 50 individual caramels), unwrapped
  • 1/3 cup milk or cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • optional – 1 tablespoon coarse sea salt


To Make the Crust:
  1. Preheat oven to 325°. Coat a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the butter, granulated sugar, and powdered sugar together on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add the vanilla and mix until combined. Turn the mixer to low and add in the flour, mixing until a soft dough forms.
  3. Press one-third of the dough evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan. Wrap the remaining dough in plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the edges are a pale golden brown. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool about 15 minutes.

To Make the Filling:

  1. While the bottom crust is baking and the remaining dough is chilling, make the caramel filling. Place the unwrapped caramels in a microwave-safe bowl. Add the milk or cream. Microwave on high for 1 minute. Remove from the microwave and stir until smooth. If caramels are not completely melted, microwave on high for 30-second intervals, stirring after each interval, until smooth.
  2. Once the caramel is melted add in your ½ teaspoon of vanilla and stir until combined.
  3. Pour the caramel filling over the cooled crust. If you are going to salt the caramel sprinkle it on caramel layer now.
  4. Remove the remaining chilled dough from the refrigerator and crumble it evenly over the caramel.
  5. 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 – 30 minutes.
  6. Let cool completely before cutting into squares.


  • Store airtight for up to 5 days

Keywords:: salted caramel, cookie bar, butter, butter bars, cookie recipe, cookies and cups

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Hi! I’m Shelly and I’m an addict. Of the buttercream sort. I started this site a few years ago as a way to justify my sugary, buttery obsession with desserts. It has worked out well for me so far, because as it turns out you guys all love sugary, buttery desserts too! It feels good to know you're not alone, doesn’t it?

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Terri Gray
October 31, 2020 6:43 pm

I had to bake for 45 minutes to get the topping golden brown. But the recipe is delicious! Thank you!

October 17, 2020 8:29 pm

i really love the idea behind these ingredients but 4cups of flour in a 9×13 pan seems like way too much ?! and 2cups of butter?!

October 15, 2020 11:24 am

Instead of using all butter for the crust, could you do a 50/50 split of butter and shortening?

October 16, 2020 10:28 am
Reply to  Shelly

Thank you – then I shall do exactly that!

September 30, 2020 9:25 pm

Waaay too sweet and greasy. Why do so many online desserts have too much sugar in them? The concept is very good but the ingredient ratios need some adjustment. More flour and much less sugar and butter.

September 24, 2020 11:14 am

Shelly, do you make these in a 9×13 glass pan or a 9×13 metal pan? I know that the heating properties of glass and metal are different, and (for instance) brownies made in a glass pan will turn out with a thicker, tougher crust than the same recipe made in a metal pan. So I presume the choice of materials makes a difference in how these bars turn out, and I’d love to know what you use.

Phyllis Philp
September 16, 2020 12:34 am

I’ve made these several times, and they are delicious. My grandson adores them, even more than my cream puffs.

Luke Hamen
August 21, 2020 7:11 pm

Left over wayyyyyy too much dough. It was also very very sweet. My family likes sweet desserts but this was just tooooo much. When I made it, the dough seemed too thick, like it wouldn’t work out but it did. Overall, I wouldn’t make it again but it wasn’t awful.

July 18, 2020 2:00 am

If I only have unsalted butter, would I add salt to the dough? And how much?

July 12, 2020 4:51 pm

The recipe calls for 14 oz. of the standard wrapped kraft caramels… I hate unwrapping all those little squares but the packages of unwrapped Kraft caramel bits are only 11oz. will that make a difference?

July 1, 2020 3:36 pm

So good! I replace the caramel with fresh raspberries in the summer, always a HIT!

June 23, 2020 4:42 am

Looking awesome would love to try it.

June 11, 2020 11:00 am

Hello! I would love to try these, but am not huge on 4 sticks of butter…is there an alternate or way to reduce this without losing flavor or texture? I appreciation any suggestions!! 🙂

July 31, 2020 11:00 pm
Reply to  Rachele

Sour cream

May 27, 2020 6:46 pm

Wow! You gotta make these. They are phenomenal

May 4, 2020 2:19 am

I’ve made these twice now and everyone who has tried them absolutely loves them. I did not make any alterations to the recipe except baked a little longer. I use unwrapped kraft caramel bits. The dough isn’t easy to work with and it seems like it’s not going to turn out but they do and they’re amazing! Very rich, very delicious, a great special occasion treat.

March 19, 2020 4:45 pm

These definitely weren’t the BEST of ALL TIME!!! They were just okay.

Shelly Hi! I’m Shelly and I’m an addict. Of the buttercream sort. I started this site a few years ago as a way to justify my sugary, buttery obsession with desserts. It has worked out well for me so far, because as it turns out you guys all love sugary, buttery desserts too! It feels good to know you're not alone, doesn’t it?

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