Copycat Potbelly Sheila’s Dream Bars Recipe

Potbelly is a famous restaurant that started off as an antique shop. Now known for its mouth-watering subs and sandwiches, it has over a hundred branches. Given the success the determined quirky shop gained through their delicious offerings, it would only be right to honor their name in this recipe. We’ll be taking something off their menu and teaching you their delicious Potbelly Sheila’s Dream Bars recipe. Behind this sweet treat is a woman named Sheila Hastings. She was the wife of the original owner. Sheila was surely a wise woman during her time if she was able to cook up this beautiful dish. 

A layer of caramel and chocolate chips sandwiched between decadent, buttery oats that would melt in your mouth with every bite. It’s a great recipe when you’re looking for a sweet yet savory snack. You can pair it with a cup of tea or coffee. As with the classic Potbelly showstopper, our Sheila’s Dream Bars recipe tastes like it came straight out of the restaurant. This copycat dessert will be a hit during any occasion and everyone will be begging to get their hands on this recipe. 

If you’re looking for more copycat dishes, you can also try our Domino’s Chicken Alfredo Recipe. Follow up that creamy pasta with this delicious dessert. So, grab your spatula and let’s get started. 

Copycat Potbelly Sheila’s Dream Bars Recipe

How To Make Copycat Potbelly Sheila’s Dream Bars

Oozing in caramel and chocolatey goodness, this dream bar recipe tastes as if it came straight out of Potbelly itself.

  • 40 caramels (unwrapped)
  • 5 tbsp evaporated milk
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup oatmeal
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¾ cup butter (or 1 ½ sticks – softened)
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • pinch of sea salt
  1. Preheat your oven at 350 degrees F.

  2. Melt the caramels and the evaporated milk in a saucepan, making sure to not let them burn.

  3. As soon as everything is melted, remove them from the heat and set them aside.

  4. Combine all of the dry ingredients including the butter in a bowl in order to form a crust mixture.

  5. Set aside half of the crust mixture for later use and press the other half onto a 9×13 inch baking pan and bake it for 10 minutes.

  6. Afterward, remove from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes.

  7. Top the crust mixture with the melted caramel mixture and chocolate chips, followed by the other half of the oatmeal crust mixture on top. Bake for another 15 minutes.

  8. Once you remove it from the oven, lightly sprinkle the crust mixture with sea salt or kosher salt.

  9. Let the mixture cool before cutting it into small bars and serving. Enjoy!

Make sure to use only old-fashioned, regular oats for this recipe. Don’t use instant oats as they will not cook as well.

If you don’t have evaporated milk to melt the caramels in, whole milk works fine too. Avoid using condensed milk as that will make the mixture too sweet and thick.

We recommend leaving the bars for a few hours in the fridge until they are set. The caramel will be very gooey when the bars come out of the oven so they need time to harden a little.

How To Make Copycat Potbelly Sheila's Dream Bars

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Oozing in caramel and chocolatey goodness, this dream bar recipe tastes as if it came straight out of Potbelly itself.

Preparation: 10 mins
Cooking: 25 mins
Total: 35 mins
Makes:

Ingredients

  • 40 caramels unwrapped
  • 5 tbsp evaporated milk
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup oatmeal
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¾ cup butter or 1 ½ sticks - softened
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • pinch of sea salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven at 350 degrees F.

  2. Melt the caramels and the evaporated milk in a saucepan, making sure to not let them burn.

  3. As soon as everything is melted, remove them from the heat and set them aside.

  4. Combine all of the dry ingredients including the butter in a bowl in order to form a crust mixture.

  5. Set aside half of the crust mixture for later use and press the other half onto a 9x13 inch baking pan and bake it for 10 minutes.

  6. Afterward, remove from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes.

  7. Top the crust mixture with the melted caramel mixture and chocolate chips, followed by the other half of the oatmeal crust mixture on top. Bake for another 15 minutes.

  8. Once you remove it from the oven, lightly sprinkle the crust mixture with sea salt or kosher salt.

  9. Let the mixture cool before cutting it into small bars and serving. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Make sure to use only old-fashioned, regular oats for this recipe. Don't use instant oats as they will not cook as well.

If you don't have evaporated milk to melt the caramels in, whole milk works fine too. Avoid using condensed milk as that will make the mixture too sweet and thick.

We recommend leaving the bars for a few hours in the fridge until they are set. The caramel will be very gooey when the bars come out of the oven so they need time to harden a little.

Nutrition

  • Calcium: 79mg
  • Calories: 407kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 52g
  • Cholesterol: 29mg
  • Fat: 21g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Iron: 2mg
  • Potassium: 240mg
  • Protein: 4g
  • Saturated Fat: 12g
  • Sodium: 120mg
  • Sugar: 38g
  • Vitamin A: 319IU
  • Vitamin C: 1mg
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Commonly Asked Questions

How do I know if my caramel mixture is burning?

When the mixture starts to turn dark with smoke and foaming around the edge, that shows it’s close to burning. Make sure to heat the mixture just long enough so the caramel fully melts.

Can I substitute the caramel mixture with dulce de leche?

Yes, you can. It should give you the same sweet, caramelized taste and will save you some preparation time.

sweet oatmeal dream bars

Conclusion

With its combination of crispy and gooey textures, this Dream Bar is perfect for your sweet tooth cravings. Try baking these for your next party and they will be snatched up in no time!

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