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Salted Caramel Butter Bars Recipe

Salted caramel butter bars are a dessert that's a sure crowd-pleaser with its rich, buttery shortbread crust layered with luscious salted caramel. Perfect for holidays, family gatherings, or whenever you need a sweet treat.

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Photos of Salted Caramel Butter Bars Recipe

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Most of the ingredients for this recipe are likely already in your pantry. However, you might need to make a special trip for the caramels. You can find them on the candy aisle of your supermarket. Also, make sure to get coarse sea salt, which gives a nice contrast to the sweetness of the caramel.

Ingredients for Salted Caramel Butter Bars

Butter: Adds richness and a creamy texture to the crust and crumble topping.

White sugar: Sweetens the shortbread crust.

Powdered sugar: Contributes to the softness of the cookie dough.

Vanilla: Enhances the flavors of the other ingredients.

Flour: Helps to form the crust and crumble topping.

Caramels: Melted into a rich, sweet layer in the middle.

Whipping cream: Makes the caramel layer extra creamy.

Coarse sea salt: Balances the sweetness and enhances the overall flavor.

One reader, Ive Nettles says:

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These salted caramel butter bars are absolutely divine! The buttery crust is perfectly balanced with the rich caramel filling, and the touch of sea salt adds an irresistible twist. They're a crowd-pleaser and always disappear in no time. A definite must-try for any dessert lover!

Ive Nettles

Techniques for Perfect Salted Caramel Butter Bars

How to prepare the crust: Combine the butter, sugar, powdered sugar, vanilla, and flour to form a soft dough. Press half of the dough into the bottom of a 9x13-inch dish and refrigerate the remaining half.

How to melt the caramels: In a microwave-safe bowl, heat the caramels, heavy cream, and vanilla for 1 minute, stirring until smooth.

How to assemble the bars: After baking the crust, pour the melted caramel over the hot crust, sprinkle with coarse sea salt, and crumble the remaining dough over the top before baking again.

How to cool the bars: Allow the bars to cool completely before cutting into squares and serving.

How To Make Salted Caramel Butter Bars

Loaded with a delightful balance between sweet and salty, these easy-to-make butter bars are crumbly and buttery and layered with a tasty salted caramel.

Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking: 45 minutes
Total: 55 minutes



  • 2cupsbutter,softened
  • 1cupwhite sugar
  • cupspowdered sugar
  • 1tbspvanilla
  • 4cupsflour
  • 14ozcaramels,(1 bag), unwrapped, or 11 oz unwrapped Caramel Bits
  • cupwhipping cream
  • ½tspvanilla
  • 1tbspcoarse sea salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a 9×13-inch pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Lightly spray with cooking spray.

  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, and powdered sugar. Add the vanilla and beat until combined. Mix in the flour and combine until it forms a soft dough.

  3. Press ½ of the dough in the bottom of a 9×13-inch dish and place the other half of the dough into the refrigerator.

  4. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes.

  5. Remove the pan from the oven and melt the caramels, heavy cream, and ½ teaspoon of vanilla in the microwave for 1 minute. Stir together until smooth.

  6. Pour evenly over the hot crust. Just lightly sprinkle the coarse sea salt over the crust. Take the remaining dough out of the refrigerator and crumble it over the top of the caramel.

  7. Return the pan to the oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes until the filling is bubbly and the top is firm.

  8. Let them cool completely before cutting, then serve and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

The whole tablespoon of sea salt doesn’t have to be entirely used. Just lightly sprinkle it evenly on top of the dough. Don’t make them too salty.


  • Calories: 417.08kcal
  • Fat: 21.50g
  • Saturated Fat: 12.96g
  • Trans Fat: 0.74g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 5.46g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.52g
  • Carbohydrates: 53.56g
  • Fiber: 0.68g
  • Sugar: 32.08g
  • Protein: 3.78g
  • Cholesterol: 54.62mg
  • Sodium: 212.28mg
  • Calcium: 39.70mg
  • Potassium: 80.06mg
  • Iron: 0.34mg
  • Vitamin A: 168.76µg
  • Vitamin C: 0.10mg

Pro Tip for Mastering Salted Caramel Butter Bars

When melting the caramels, heavy cream, and vanilla together, it's crucial to stir the mixture frequently to prevent it from burning. If the caramel mixture starts to harden before you're ready to pour it over the crust, simply reheat it in the microwave for a few seconds until it's pourable again. This will ensure a smooth and even caramel layer in your salted caramel butter bars.

Time-Saving Tips for Making Salted Caramel Butter Bars

Prep ahead: Prepare the dough and caramel filling in advance and store them in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Use store-bought caramel: Save time by using store-bought caramel sauce instead of making it from scratch.

Double batch: Make a double batch of the dough and freeze half for later use to cut down on prep time for future batches.

Chill the dough: Chill the dough in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before pressing it into the pan to make it easier to work with.

Pre-cut caramels: Use pre-cut caramels to save time on unwrapping and cutting individual caramels.

Substitute Ingredients For Salted Caramel Butter Bars Recipe

  • butter - Substitute with coconut oil: Coconut oil can provide a similar richness and flavor to butter, and it's a great dairy-free alternative.
  • white sugar - Substitute with coconut sugar: Coconut sugar has a similar sweetness and can add a subtle caramel flavor to the bars.
  • powdered sugar - Substitute with maple sugar: Maple sugar can add a unique flavor and sweetness to the bars, similar to powdered sugar.
  • flour - Substitute with almond flour: Almond flour can add a nutty flavor and a gluten-free option for the recipe.
  • caramels - Substitute with date caramel: Date caramel can provide a natural sweetness and a similar caramel-like texture to the bars.
  • whipping cream - Substitute with coconut cream: Coconut cream can provide a rich and creamy texture, and it's a great dairy-free alternative.
  • coarse sea salt - Substitute with Himalayan pink salt: Himalayan pink salt can provide a similar salty flavor and a touch of color to the bars.

Presenting Your Salted Caramel Butter Bars

  1. Elevate the plating: When presenting the salted caramel butter bars, focus on creating an elegant and visually appealing presentation. Use clean lines and precise placement of the bars to showcase the layers and textures.

  2. Incorporate artistic drizzling: Enhance the visual appeal by incorporating artistic drizzling of caramel sauce on the serving plates. This adds a touch of sophistication and artistry to the presentation.

  3. Garnish with edible flowers: Add a pop of color and a delicate, natural element to the presentation by garnishing the plates with carefully selected and edible flowers. This adds a touch of refinement and elegance to the overall presentation.

  4. Utilize gold leaf accents: For a luxurious touch, consider incorporating delicate and edible gold leaf accents to the plating. This adds a sense of opulence and elevates the dessert to a fine dining level.

  5. Create a symmetrical arrangement: Arrange the salted caramel butter bars in a symmetrical and visually pleasing manner on the plate, paying attention to balance and proportion to create a stunning presentation.

  6. Dust with powdered sugar: Before serving, delicately dust the plates with a light sprinkling of powdered sugar to add a touch of elegance and create a visually appealing backdrop for the dessert.

  7. Use high-quality serving ware: Select elegant and high-quality serving ware that complements the dessert, such as fine china or artisanal ceramic plates, to enhance the overall presentation.

  8. Incorporate a caramel swirl: Create a decorative caramel swirl on the plate using a squeeze bottle, adding a touch of finesse and artistry to the presentation of the salted caramel butter bars.

Essential Tools for Making Salted Caramel Butter Bars

  • Oven: An essential appliance for baking and roasting dishes.
  • 9x13-inch pan: A baking pan of specific dimensions commonly used for making bars and brownies.
  • Parchment paper or aluminum foil: Used for lining the baking pan to prevent sticking and make cleanup easier.
  • Mixing bowl: Used for combining ingredients and mixing the dough.
  • Microwave: Used for melting the caramels and cream to create the caramel filling.
  • Whisk: Used for stirring and combining ingredients, especially when making the caramel filling.
  • Cooking spray: Used for lightly coating the parchment paper or aluminum foil to prevent sticking.
  • Measuring cups and spoons: Essential for accurately measuring ingredients such as flour, sugar, and vanilla.
  • Spatula: Used for spreading and smoothing the dough in the baking pan.
  • Knife: Used for cutting the bars into individual servings once they are cooled.

Storing and Freezing Your Salted Caramel Butter Bars

  • Once the salted caramel butter bars have cooled completely, cut them into squares or bars of your desired size.
  • Place the cut bars in an airtight container, separating each layer with a piece of parchment paper or wax paper to prevent them from sticking together.
  • Store the container at room temperature for up to 5 days. The butter bars will remain soft and chewy.
  • If you prefer a firmer texture, you can store the bars in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Just let them sit at room temperature for a few minutes before serving to soften slightly.
  • For longer storage, you can freeze the salted caramel butter bars:
    • Wrap each bar individually in plastic wrap, ensuring a tight seal.
    • Place the wrapped bars in a freezer-safe container or freezer bag, removing as much air as possible.
    • Label the container or bag with the date and freeze for up to 3 months.
    • To thaw, remove the desired number of bars from the freezer and let them sit at room temperature for about an hour, or until they reach your preferred texture.
  • If you find that the caramel layer hardens too much after refrigerating or freezing, you can microwave the bars for a few seconds to soften them slightly before serving.

Reheating Leftover Salted Caramel Butter Bars

  • The best way to reheat leftover salted caramel butter bars is to preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Place the bars on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and heat them for 8-10 minutes, or until they're warmed through and the caramel is gooey again. This method ensures that the bars retain their original texture and flavor.

  • If you're in a hurry, you can also reheat the bars in the microwave. Place a single bar on a microwave-safe plate and heat it for 15-20 seconds, or until it's warm and the caramel is melted. Be careful not to overheat the bars, as this can cause the butter to melt and the bars to become greasy.

  • For a crispy exterior and a soft, gooey interior, try reheating the bars in an air fryer. Preheat the air fryer to 350°F (175°C) and place the bars in the basket, leaving some space between each one. Heat the bars for 3-4 minutes, or until they're warmed through and the caramel is melted.

  • If you want to enjoy your leftover salted caramel butter bars with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, you can reheat them in a skillet. Melt a small amount of butter in a skillet over medium heat, then add the bars and cook them for 1-2 minutes on each side, or until they're warmed through and the caramel is melted. Serve the bars warm with a scoop of ice cream on top for a decadent treat.

Interesting Trivia About Salted Caramel Butter Bars

The salted caramel butter bars recipe is a delightful treat that combines the rich flavors of butter, caramel, and sea salt. These bars are perfect for satisfying your sweet tooth and are great for sharing with friends and family. They can be enjoyed as a dessert or as a special treat with a cup of coffee or tea. The combination of the buttery crust, gooey caramel filling, and the hint of sea salt creates a delicious and indulgent flavor experience. These bars are a crowd-pleaser and are sure to become a favorite in any gathering or event.

Salted Caramel Butter Bars: Budget-Friendly or Splurge-Worthy?

This salted caramel butter bars recipe is moderately cost-effective for a household. The use of basic ingredients like butter, sugar, and flour keeps the cost reasonable. However, the quantity of butter and caramels may slightly elevate the overall cost. The approximate cost for a household of 4 people is around $15-$20. The rich and indulgent flavor of these bars justifies the cost, earning a solid 8/10 rating.

Are Salted Caramel Butter Bars Healthy or Unhealthy?

The salted caramel butter bars recipe is undeniably delicious, but it's far from being a healthy treat. Let's break down the ingredients:

  • Butter: The recipe calls for a whopping 2 cups of butter, which is a significant amount of saturated fat.
  • Sugar: With 1 cup of white sugar and 1½ cups of powdered sugar, these bars are loaded with empty calories and can contribute to blood sugar spikes.
  • Flour: While flour itself isn't inherently unhealthy, the 4 cups used in this recipe add to the overall calorie count without providing much nutritional value.
  • Caramels and whipping cream: These ingredients further increase the sugar and fat content of the bars.

While indulging in a treat like this occasionally is fine, regularly consuming such high-fat, high-sugar foods can lead to health issues like obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.

To make this recipe healthier, consider the following modifications:

  • Reduce the amount of butter and replace some of it with a healthier alternative like Greek yogurt or mashed avocado.
  • Cut back on the sugar content by using less white and powdered sugar, or experiment with natural sweeteners like honey or maple syrup.
  • Incorporate whole wheat flour or oat flour to increase the fiber content and nutritional value.
  • Use a smaller amount of caramel and opt for a lower-fat cream or milk in the filling.
  • Add some chopped nuts, like almonds or walnuts, to the topping for a boost of healthy fats and protein.

Editor's Opinion on This Delightful Treat

The salted caramel butter bars recipe is a delightful combination of rich buttery crust, gooey caramel, and a hint of sea salt. The balance of sweetness and saltiness creates a perfect harmony of flavors. The texture is both crumbly and chewy, making each bite a delightful experience. The recipe is straightforward and easy to follow, making it a great option for both novice and experienced bakers. The bars are a wonderful treat for any occasion and are sure to impress anyone with a sweet tooth.

Enhance Your Salted Caramel Butter Bars Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes: Create a creamy and flavorful side dish by adding roasted garlic to your mashed potatoes. The rich and savory flavor will complement the sweetness of the salted caramel butter bars.
Grilled Pineapple Slices: Grill pineapple slices to bring out their natural sweetness and add a tropical twist to your dessert. The caramelized edges will pair perfectly with the buttery and salty flavors of the bars.
Bacon-Wrapped Asparagus: Wrap asparagus spears in crispy bacon for a savory and indulgent side dish. The smoky and salty bacon will contrast with the sweet and gooey caramel in the dessert, creating a delicious flavor combination.

Delicious Alternatives to Salted Caramel Butter Bars

Creamy Tomato Basil Soup: This creamy tomato basil soup is a comforting and flavorful dish that is perfect for a cozy night in. The combination of ripe tomatoes, fresh basil, and creamy texture makes this soup a crowd-pleaser.
Grilled Lemon Garlic Salmon: Grilled lemon garlic salmon is a light and refreshing dish that is perfect for a summer barbecue. The zesty lemon and garlic marinade adds a burst of flavor to the tender and flaky salmon fillets.
Mixed Berry Cobbler: Mixed berry cobbler is a delightful dessert that showcases the natural sweetness of fresh berries. The buttery and crumbly topping pairs perfectly with the juicy and tart berries for a satisfying treat.

Appetizers and Main Dishes to Serve with Salted Caramel Butter Bars

Stuffed Mushrooms: Impress your guests with these savory stuffed mushrooms filled with a flavorful mixture of cream cheese, garlic, and herbs. The perfect bite-sized appetizer to kick off any meal.
Spinach and Artichoke Dip: Indulge in a creamy and cheesy spinach and artichoke dip, served with crispy tortilla chips for dipping. This classic appetizer is sure to be a hit at any gathering.
Main Courses:
Chicken Alfredo: Creamy and indulgent, this classic Italian dish features tender chicken and al dente pasta smothered in a rich, cheesy Alfredo sauce. Serve with a side of garlic bread for a satisfying and comforting meal.
Beef Stroganoff: Tender strips of beef cooked in a creamy, savory sauce and served over a bed of buttery egg noodles. This hearty and flavorful dish is perfect for a cozy night in with loved ones.

Why trust this Salted Caramel Butter Bars Recipe:

This recipe guarantees a delectable treat with its perfect balance of butter, sugar, and caramel. The combination of whipping cream and vanilla adds a luxurious touch, while the sprinkle of coarse sea salt elevates the flavor profile. The meticulous layering and baking process ensures a delightful texture and rich taste. Trust in the expertise behind this recipe, as it promises a delightful experience for your taste buds.

Have you tried making these delectable Salted Caramel Butter Bars? Share your experience and any tweaks to the recipe in the Baking and Desserts forum section.
Can I use salted butter instead of unsalted butter in this recipe?
Yes, you can use salted butter, but you may want to reduce the amount of additional salt added to the recipe to balance the overall saltiness.
Can I use store-bought caramel sauce instead of making my own?
Absolutely! Using store-bought caramel sauce can save time and still result in delicious salted caramel butter bars.
How should I store the salted caramel butter bars?
Store the bars in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, or in the refrigerator for up to a week. If stacking the bars, place parchment paper between the layers to prevent sticking.
Can I freeze the salted caramel butter bars?
Yes, you can freeze the bars for up to 2-3 months. Wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and place in an airtight container before freezing. Thaw at room temperature before serving.
Can I use a different type of salt for the topping?
Absolutely! You can experiment with different types of salt such as fleur de sel or Himalayan pink salt to add a unique flavor and texture to the bars.

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