Salted Caramel Butter Bars

If you have been following my blog for a while, you should be pretty familiar with my obsessions. Caramel is one of them. Anything that is baked with gooey caramel becomes an instant favorite for me!
saltedcaramelbutterbarsSorry friends. These are called salted caramel BUTTER bars for a reason. They may not help the weight loss program at all. And they are packed with butter. But I promise they are worth every bite. These are the bars that someone brings to a get together and you HAVE to get the recipe. Or the tiny cookie square on a cookie exchange plate that is the best one! A delicious butter shortbread crust with a gooey salted caramel center. Simple yet amazing! These are the perfect balance of salty and sweet and will always be a hit!


Salted Caramel Butter Bars

5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Author Alyssa Rivers
Servings 16 Bars

A delicious butter shortbread crust with gooey caramel in the inside!

Course Dessert
Cuisine American


  • 2 cups butter softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 14 oz bag caramels unwrapped or 11 oz unwrapped Caramel Bits work great
  • 1/3 cup whipping cream
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 Tbsp coarse sea salt


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a 9x13 pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Lightly spray with cooking spray.
  2. In a large mixing bowl cream together butter, sugar, and powdered sugar. Add vanilla and beat until combined. Mix in the flour and combine until it forms a soft dough.
  3. Press half of the dough in the bottom of a 9x13 dish and place the other half of the dough into the refrigerator. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes.
  4. Remove the pan from the oven and melt the caramels, heavy cream and 1/2 tsp vanilla in the microwave for 1 minute. Stir together until smooth. Pour evenly over the hot crust. Lightly sprinkle the coarse sea salt over the crust. I didn't end up using the entire T, just lightly sprinkle evenly on top. You don't want them too salty. 🙂
  5. Take the remaining dough out of the refrigerator and crumble over the top of the caramel. Return the pan to the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes until filling is bubbly and the top is firm. Let them cool completely before cutting.
Nutrition Facts
Salted Caramel Butter Bars
Amount Per Serving
Calories 531 Calories from Fat 243
% Daily Value*
Fat 27g42%
Saturated Fat 16g80%
Cholesterol 70mg23%
Sodium 707mg29%
Potassium 101mg3%
Carbohydrates 68g23%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 41g46%
Protein 5g10%
Vitamin A 793IU16%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 51mg5%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Alyssa Rivers

I am Alyssa and the blogger behind The Recipe Critic. I started my blog in June of 2012 as a place to share my passion for cooking. I love trying new things and testing them out with my family.

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Cookies and Treats


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  1. Does anyone know if these bars keep well? Would love to make them for our cookie exchange but I’m afraid the salt may make them “weepy”

    1. Hi Bev, was wondering if you found out weather or not these can be frozen… having a picnic at the end of the month, and want to get a head start on some of the food.

  2. I would really like to make these but where I am living right now its almost impossible to find soft caramels. Do you have any suggestions? Could I use Herseys caramel sauce? If yes do I still need to mix in cream and vanilla? or I could make my own caramels but its seems time consuming to make them into squares and re-melt again! Trying to wrap my head around this. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

    1. Why not make your own caramel for use in this recipe? You only need a thermometer. I guarantee the bars will be the tastier for it!!

  3. This recipe was very easy to follow and delicious. I didn’t have time to do a trial run before Thanksgiving so I cooked them the day of and they were a big hit.

    I can’t wait to try more of your recipes in the future. THANK YOU, Alyssa!

  4. Love! have made them many many times. My husband originally found this recipe on line and asked me to make it. OMG! It’s now an addiction and my go to recipe for parties.

  5. What font is that? That you used to write salted? I love it and is that your own handwriting for your name, Alyssa? So pretty. ( I have a font problem)

  6. Made these for Easter. They were VERY rich and very sweet, but a huge hit. People wanted to stop eating them, but couldn’t bring themselves to do it.
    I thought the whole tablespoon of vanilla was a typo so I used 1 tsp and it was absolutely fine. And I don’t care for store bought caramel sauce so I found a 3-ingredient foolproof caramel sauce on pinterest to do it myself and it was phenomenal. I’d say it was well worth the extra time to make the sauce, but it’s actually probably quicker, because I’m thinking it would take all night to unwrap 50 little caramel candies, and it won’t be enough filling in my opinion.
    So I will def make this again, same as I did the last time.

  7. Made these for a baby shower and they were a huge hit! A delight in both flavor and texture. We find them especially refreshing refrigerated. Because they are so rich, I cut them in 1″x1″ squares, which made for a pretty presentation but allowed the guests to go back for seconds. And thirds. And fourths……. Thank you!!!
    Oh, it wasn’t clear if the butter was salted or not, so I used two sticks of each. Perhaps you could do a quick edit on the recipe to clarify that point. Again, thank you!!!

  8. A friend of mine made these at work and they were so delicious! So I made these for thanksgiving tomorrow. They turned out great! Easy and delicious!!

  9. Hands down the BEST recipe ever! I double the caramel. Most requested from my family and friends. Have 6, yes 6 times since thanksgiving! I always have dough left over. Freezes well and makes shortbread like cookies! Double the caramel is key. Thank you so much for my new, and most loved recipe!

  10. This is the second time I made these. Last batch just disappeared. This time home made salted caramels were used instead of store bought.. This time the top layer, instead of crumble, I rolled out the crust and refrigerated. It broke apart in assembly unfortunately but good idea I think. Last ones were a bit crunchy on the bottom so I am minimizing baking time. Just out of oven, smells Great! How long will they last? Freezing some for presents.

  11. I have made this twice now, going for a third soon. Original version I was not completely happy with the top layer in pea size bits some came out too crunchy. Also first batch I over baked, my oven is new. Second I tried to roll out the top but it fell apart in assembly. The bits put back together had a nice cut glass texture, still a bit over baked. Was thinking if I made the middle, (home made caramel too.) poured it into the pan to set it in the fridge/freezer; removed it from the pan then assembled again, same pan; parchment paper first then pour layer one, place the middle on top then pour the final layer making it only have to bake once. Will give the cake a bit of time for temperature to equalize before baking.
    Any input? My ideas sound?

  12. I made these for a Christmas party and receive ed texts the same night raving about the bars. I made them for every one. The only change I made was making my own caramel. Thanks for an awesome recipe!

  13. Me again, Butter was on sale and I still have home made caramel to use up. What to do?
    Came together well again. I sliced the dough from the fridge into squarish 1/4 inch slices and filled the surface of the caramel completely. Cooked only to the minimum times. Edges browned in spots.

  14. My girlfriend called in a panic for me to help out with some baking and I said of course there is a recipe I would like to try, salted caramel butter
    bars! So I made some homemade caramel mixed them up and prayed that they were going to be good and dropped them all off for her without tasting them . About 3 hours later I received many texts from her and a few others about how wonderful these bars were and could I make more! So I’m going to make some for myself first. She saved me one to Try! Oh my god were they Good! Definitely on my Christmas baking list, after I mastered the making of the caramel these were a breeze to make. Thanks so much for the wonderful recipe!

  15. I’ve made these at least 4 times and each time I can’t believe how good they are! Simple recipe and delicious. They’re now my go-to when bringing treats to work or during the holidays. Thank you!

  16. These are easily some of the best dessert bars I’ve ever made. I took them to my dad’s for Christmas Eve dinner, and then to my sister in laws for another celebration on Christmas day. I brought the leftovers to work today, and everyone is asking me for the recipe. They are absolutely delicious, and so easy to make too!

  17. I believe next time I will make this in a jelly roll pan (11 X 17) and use closer to 3/4 of the crust on the bottom, otherwise it is WONDERFUL! Oh my gosh it is DELICIOUS! For someone who normally LOVES chocolate desserts, this non-chocolate option is AMAZING!!!

  18. 5 stars
    This is my absolute favourite dessert bar recipe. I make these every Christmas to give out to family and friends because everyone loves them!! I just wanted to say thank you for sharing this amazing recipe! They have become a yearly tradition in this house!

  19. 5 stars
    My niece makes these for Christmas and they are wonderful but this year the bottom was
    a little hard. Can you bake them less time in order for them to come out softer on the bottom?

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