4.77 from 17 reviews

Caramel Chocolate Bars

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freshly baked caramel bar topped with chocolate chips and flaky sea salt

These caramel chocolate bars may bring back wonderful childhood memories of biting into your favorite Girl Scout Samoas Cookie, (although I did not set out to do a copy-cat recipe).

After making these salted caramel chocolate chip cookies I’ve been on a salted caramel kick. And I have to say…it’s not a bad kick to be on! ?

The surprise for me with these bars is that friends and family who are not coconut lovers, are enjoying these Caramel Chocolate Bar as much as coconut lovers do. My husband swears he isn’t a coconut fan, but I saw him eat 2 of these bars within minutes. ?

freshly baked caramel bar topped with chocolate chips and flaky sea salt

When you take your first bite your taste buds will initially explode with the buttery crispness of the brown sugar crust.  Then, piled on top of that you’ll enjoy the chewy goodness of coconut & oats. Lastly, creamy swirls of salted vanilla caramel wrapped around milk chocolate chips ooze through each layer and top this delightfully decadent bar in all of the best ways.

One bite and you will find yourself thinking about all the times throughout the day you can enjoy one; with a cold glass of milk, a steamy cappuccino, or with an after dinner glass of wine (my personal favorite option!)

And if you’re not yet convinced, you’ll love these caramel chocolate bars because…

  • They are quick and easy to make
  • You probably have most of the ingredients on hand already
  • Easily make them gluten free, if needed.
  • The flaky sea salt on top adds the perfect finishing touch because salted caramel is life.
  • They’re simply amazing and you literally won’t want to share!

Looking for more easy bar recipes to try? How about these Banana Chocolate Chip Bars or Oatmeal Breakfast Bars? Or maybe these Cranberry Bliss Bars or Apple Pie Bars are more your style.

Ingredient Notes

Scroll down to the recipe card for the full list of ingredients and measurements.

ingredients to make caramel bars in small white bowls
  • All-Purpose Flour- All-Purpose Flour is the most commonly used flour.  For these bars it adds to the crispy-chewiness of the rich Caramel Chocolate Bars.
  • Brown Sugar-  I prefer using light brown sugar for this recipe, but you can substitute dark brown sugar.  Dark brown sugar will give the cookies a richer taste, slightly change the color of the crust, and possibly the texture.
  • Butter- By grating the frozen butter, the fluffy pieces mix quickly and evenly into the flour.
  • Condensed Milk- Sweetened condensed milk adds to the creaminess and depth of caramel flavor.
  • Quick Oats- Quick oats are preferred since they cook faster than Old Fashioned Oats.
  • Coconut- shredded coconut boosts the chewy bite of these Caramel Chocolate Bars. You can find the shredded coconut in the baking isle in the grocery store.
  • Vanilla Caramel- A hint of vanilla flavor adds to the deliciousness of these bars. You can use regular soft caramels if preferred.
  • Chocolate Chips- The milk chocolate chips compliment the sweetness of the caramel. Use your favorite chocolate (semi-sweet, dark, etc.)
  • Other Ingredients Needed- vanilla extract and milk
an up close image of caramel and milk chocolate chips

Step by Step Directions

Be sure to scroll down to the recipe card for the full recipe instructions.

  1. Mix together brown sugar and flour. Grate the frozen butter and mix it in. Press into a 9×13 pan and bake @ 350°F for 15 min.
  2. Combine the oats and coconut and pour over the partially baked crust.
  3. Combine condensed milk and vanilla and pour over oats and coconut.
  4. Bake 25 min. cool 10 min.
  5. Melt caramels in milk in saucepan. Cook until melted then pour over the oat and coconut layer.
  6. Top with chocolate chips and flaky sea salt.
  7. Cool completely and then cut into bars.
grated butter on a small wooden cutting board with a box grater and brown sugar in a mixing bowl

Tips and Variations

  • After cooling the bars, cut them into squares or diamonds. Simply run a sharp knife under hot water before slicing, then clean the knife between cutting the next slice.
  • If you aren’t a coconut fan, you can substitute finely chopped nuts for the coconut.  They will add the texture you are looking for along with some added flavor.
  • Light Brown and Dark Brown sugars can be used interchangeably, but you will see some differences with the dark brown sugar.  The color of the bars may be darker, the flavor a bit more robust, and the texture may be different.
  • Freeze the butter before grating. Grating is a great way to evenly distribute the butter in the flour and brown sugar mix.
  • If you can not find vanilla caramels, use regular soft or chewy caramels.
freshly baked caramel bars topped with chocolate chips and flaky sea salt


How can you tell when the caramel chocolate bars are done? 

The center will be set. 25-30 minutes will be plenty of time!

How many bars does a 9×13 pan make? 

That depends on how you cut them, but typically you will get 24 bars from a 9 x 13 pan. 

How long do these bars last?

Stored in an air tight container, they will last up to one week in the fridge and up to 3 months in the freezer.

How long should the bars cool before slicing?

The chocolate will be very melty. I recommend waiting at least an hour. (I know, it’s hard to wait!!) I’ve made these in advance and placed in the fridge and cut once cooled that way too.

Can I make these gluten free? 

Converting your favorite recipes to your gluten free lifestyle is easy. Substitute the all purpose flour for All Purpose gluten free flour.  Oats are not a gluten containing grain, but are often contaminated by the way they are grown and stored.  The best way to be sure your oats are not gluten contaminated is to buy certified gluten-free oats. With these two substitutions, you should be all set to bake.

a stack of caramel chocolate bars topped with flaky sea salt on parchment paper

Are you team LOVE coconut or HATE it?

Before You Begin! If you make this, please leave a review and rating letting us know how you liked this recipe! This helps our business thrive & continue providing free recipes.

freshly baked caramel bar topped with chocolate chips and flaky sea salt
4.77 from 17 reviews

Caramel Chocolate Bars

Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes
Total: 1 hour
Servings: 24 bars
These rich, caramel chocolate bars feature all kinds of goodies! Shredded coconut, oats, salted vanilla caramel and melty milk chocolate.



  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 12 Tbsp. unsalted butter, frozen


  • 3/4 cup quick 1-minute oats
  • 3/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk (1 1/3 cups)
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract


Last step! If you make this, please leave a review and rating letting us know how you liked this recipe! This helps our business thrive & continue providing free recipes.


  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Make the crust: In a medium size bowl mix together flour, brown sugar, and salt. Grate the frozen butter using a box grater and add the butter to the brown sugar and flour. Break up any larger shreds of butter into small pea sized pieces. Combine until mixture resumes coarse crumbs.
    1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 cup light brown sugar, packed, 1/2 tsp. salt, 12 Tbsp. unsalted butter, frozen
  • Evenly press the crumb mixture into the bottom of a 9×13 baking pan. (You can line with parchment paper first if you prefer). Bake for 15 minutes.
  • Combine the oats and coconut and pour over the partially baked crust.
    3/4 cup quick 1-minute oats, 3/4 cup shredded coconut
  • Stir together the sweetened condensed milk and vanilla extract and pour over the oats and coconut, being sure to get all along the edges of the pan too.
    14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk (1 1/3 cups), 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
  • Bake for ~25 minutes or until the filling is set. Cool for 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, melt caramels and milk in saucepan. Whisk and cook over medium-low heat until smooth and melted then pour on top. Sprinkle the top with chocolate chips and flaky sea salt. Cool completely and then cut into bars.
    40 vanilla caramels (2, 4.51 oz. bags), 1/4 cup whole milk, 1 cup milk chocolate chips, flaky sea salt



  • Storage: Store in an air tight container, they will last up to one week in the fridge and up to 3 months in the freezer.
  • Feel free to omit the coconut and add in chopped walnuts or pecans.
  • The vanilla caramels might look like they vanilla creme isn’t melted at first – but it will. Just keep whisking 🙂 

Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is automatically calculated. It should only be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Kroll’s Korner can’t make any guarantees to the accuracy of this information.

Krolls Korner

Krolls Korner

Welcome to my tiny “korner” on the Internet! I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist who loves cookies as much as kale. (OK, maybe I like cookies a little bit more but shh, don’t tell anyone). I am so glad you’re here! Follow along for hassle free, realistic and approachable recipes.

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I’ve made these twice-once as written and once with King Arthur 1-1 gluten free flour and they both turned out great. They are super sweet, so I cut small squares to serve.

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Other people in my family liked them, but the blend of flavors tasted a little random to me–thy didn’t seem to blend very well. It didn’t taste like a samoa cookie, but maybe that’s just me. I made them to go in Christmas goodie boxes, and they sure were pretty though!

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I love these bars! Bringing these tonight to our friends Christmas get together.
Thank you for another great recipe!

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Adrienne L.

I love these bars! They are almost like a candy bar. Super indulgent and delicious. I am a coconut lover, so I added some on top as well.

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Janet Fluty

I was worried my caramel wasn’t going to turn color but it eventually did (I used Kraft caramels so it may have been a little different). My family still enjoyed but my daughter thought it would be better with mini chocolate chips

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Michelle Gomez

So yummy! But my caramel is hard? Is that normal?


I made these tonight and they are delicious! I suggest carefully pouring on the sweetened condensed milk, because it’s really difficult to spread once it’s down. I’ll definitely make these again!


Made these last weekend. Used homemade caramel in place of the candies. They were delicious and got rave reviews. Great recipe!


Wondering if I can just use homemade caramel sauce instead of melting caramels. If so, how much do you think? Appreciate your feedback. Hoping to make these for tailgating this weekend.


Do these have to be refrigerated or can be left on shelf for a market day?