Caramel Crush Bars

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These exquisite Caramel Crush Bars will melt in your mouth and leave you begging for more! I bet you can’t eat just one!

Caramel Crush Bars - This exquisite dessert will melt in your mouth and leave you begging for more! I bet you can't eat just one! #inspirationalmomma #caramelcrushbars #caramelbars #caramel #sweettreat #dessert #desserts #deliciousEasy and Delicious Caramel Bars

Who is ready to have their mind blown?  These Caramel Crush Bars are the perfect dessert for everyone with a sweet tooth.  You should also check out these amazing Easy Dreamy Chocolate Bars…another reason to love your oven!

When it comes to desserts, there is one ingredient that I just can’t resist…CARAMEL!  I could even go so far to say that I have a genuine crush on caramel.  And I am not fussy.  It could be drizzled on top of ice cream, swirled delicately amid chocolate and pecans, or simply wrapped in plastic, going solo.  Because of this love, I am always searching for or creating new recipes to satisfy this NEED I have.  These Caramel Crush Bars are my latest creation and have quickly worked their way to my “Favorite Desserts” list.

A couple weeks ago, I posted my Easy Dreamy Chocolate Bars.  These are also definitely on my “Favorite Desserts” list.  Just recently, my sweet Sy’Rih approached me at 8:10pm and informed me she needed to take a treat to school the following day.  She requested her favorite, Easy Dreamy Chocolate Bars.  I quickly started gathering the ingredients when I discovered I didn’t have any sweetened condensed milk.  Determined to still pull through for her, my mind began racing.  Immediately CARAMEL popped into my head.  How could I go wrong by substituting caramel into a recipe??  Result…an amazing creation…Caramel Crush Bars.

Check out my recipe below and be prepared to fall in love!

Caramel Crush Bars - This exquisite dessert will melt in your mouth and leave you begging for more! I bet you can't eat just one! 

How to make Caramel Crush Bars:

  • oatmeal
  • flour
  • brown sugar
  • butter
  • milk
  • vanilla

Caramel Crush Bars - This exquisite dessert will melt in your mouth and leave you begging for more! I bet you can't eat just one!

Now it is time to start baking.  In no time at all, you will be enjoying these sweet, sensational treats!

Preheat your oven to 325ºF.

How to make the crust:

To prepare the crust, melt butter in a large microwave-safe bowl.  Add flour, brown sugar, and quick oats.  Mix these ingredients together until smooth.  I like to use my hands.  I find it much easier.

Caramel Crush Bars - This exquisite dessert will melt in your mouth and leave you begging for more! I bet you can't eat just one!

Set ⅓ of the mixture aside for later. Press the remainder in a greased 9×13 pan.  Bake for 10 minutes.  When it is done, allow the crust to cool.

Caramel Crush Bars - This exquisite dessert will melt in your mouth and leave you begging for more! I bet you can't eat just one!

How to make the caramel filling:

To make the caramel filling, place a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Melt butter completely. 

Next, stir in brown sugar for about one minute or until it is dissolved and smooth.  Do the same with the milk and vanilla.  

Caramel Crush Bars - This exquisite dessert will melt in your mouth and leave you begging for more! I bet you can't eat just one!

Finally, add the flour.  It will appear chunky at first, but keep stirring until becomes smooth.  

Bring caramel filling to a slow boil (stirring continuously) for about three minutes or until it begins to thicken.  Remove pan from heat.

Caramel Crush Bars - This exquisite dessert will melt in your mouth and leave you begging for more! I bet you can't eat just one!

When crust is cool to the touch, pour caramel over top.  Finish things off by sprinkling the remaining crust on top.  Bake at 300ºF for an additional 20 minutes.

Caramel Crush Bars - This exquisite dessert will melt in your mouth and leave you begging for more! I bet you can't eat just one!

These Caramel Crush Bars will appear a bit runny, but they will firm up as they cool.

Caramel Crush Bars - This exquisite dessert will melt in your mouth and leave you begging for more! I bet you can't eat just one!

Caramel Crush Bars - This exquisite dessert will melt in your mouth and leave you begging for more! I bet you can't eat just one!

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Yield: 24

Caramel Crush Bars

Caramel Crush Bars - This exquisite dessert will melt in your mouth and leave you begging for more! I bet you can't eat just one! #inspirationalmomma #caramelcrushbars #caramelbars #caramel #sweettreat #dessert #desserts #delicious

This exquisite dessert will melt in your mouth and leave you begging for more! I bet you can't eat just one!

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • Crust:
  • 1 1/2 cups quick oats
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups butter
  • Filling:
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tbsp flour

Instructions

  1. Melt butter completely.
  2. Mix butter with oatmeal, flour, and brown sugar.
  3. Press 2/3 of this mixture into a greased (I also like using parchment paper) 9x13 pan and bake at 325ºF for 10 minutes. When done, allow it to cool.
  4. Set remaining 1/3 of crust aside for topping.
  5. While crust is baking, melt butter for filling in a saucepan.
  6. Stir in brown sugar until smooth. (about 1 minute)
  7. Repeat for milk, vanilla, and flour, adding each one separately.
  8. Bring to a slow boil for about 3 minutes until it begins to thicken. Be sure to stir continuously.
  9. Remove from heat.
  10. When crust is cool to the touch, pour caramel filling on it.
  11. Sprinkle remaining crust mixture over top.
  12. Bake at 300ºF for an additional 20 minutes.
  13. Bars will appear a bit runny but will firm up when cool.

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76 Comments

    1. I made these today and while they are very good, I’m wondering about the amounts of butter listed. I followed the recipe as listed but ended up with a literal puddle of butter on the top when they were done baking. Did you mean 1 1/2 cups of butter in the crust or sticks of butter?

      1. First off, I’m glad you enjoyed them and thank you for commenting. The amount of butter in my recipe is correct. I use 1 1/2 cups in the crust and 1/2 cup in the filling. This is a very large amount (which is why I think I love these bars so much), but I have never had any excess butter after baking. I wish I had an answer for you, and I hope you have better luck next time.

      2. I wanted to let you know that I did make my Caramel Crush Bars today and experimented by only using 1/4 cup butter in the filling and 1 1/4 cups butter in the crust. I didn’t have any pooling butter after baking, and they are still delicious! I hope this change helps you! Happy baking!

  1. Hi, I just made this and it’s so good. I am taking it to work tomorrow for a coworkers birthday. I’ll let you know what everyone thinks. I’m pretty sure it will be a hit!

  2. I had the same experience as Jen W. There was a puddle of butter on top. I had to throw the whole pan of bars away. I was bummed! And. ..what a waste of butter!

    1. OH NO!!! I feel so bad that you both had this happen. Like I said, I didn’t experience that when I made them. Perhaps I need to bake another batch myself and try to cut the butter down a bit. I will keep you posted and alter the recipe if needed! Thanks so much for helping me improve my recipe!

    2. I wanted to let you know that I did make my Caramel Crush Bars today and experimented by only using 1/4 cup butter in the filling and 1 1/4 cups butter in the crust. I didn’t have any pooling butter after baking, and they are still delicious! I hope this change helps you! Happy baking!

    3. I didn’t throw them out. I baked them a little longer than it called for and then blotted off the extra butter with a paper towel. My husband and I love them but they are a bit greasy. I bet they’ll be delicious if I try the changes you suggested. 🙂

  3. I made these, following the recipe, using the quick cooking oats, and was very disappointed. The butter pooled, and there was no layer of caramel between the oatmeal layers. The recipe for the filling says to mix the ingredients until smooth, but gives no instructions as to whether the sugar should be completely dissolved, brought to a boil to make a caramel, or whatever. I had my doubts about this recipe when I poured the filling over the first layer. I have made recipes with oatmeal crumble type bottoms before with great success. Those recipes had a different ratio of dry ingredients to butter. I suggest 2 cups EACH of quick cooking rolled oats and flour with 1-1/3 cups brown sugar, a 1/2 tsp of baking soda, and only 1 cup of butter for the crumble. To keep the filling from melting into the crumble, you need something to thicken it up and stay together so it will not melt into the crumble. Perhaps some apples or nuts cooked with the filling will help.

    1. First of all, I want to thank you for your comments and suggestions about my recipe. I also want to apologize that the bars didn’t turn out as you had hoped. I have had a few others report that they had the same issues. I have also had many others say they turned out perfectly.

      When I follow my posted recipe, I do have a little of the filling seep into the crust, but I also have a nice thick layer of caramel on top. As always, I am constantly looking for ways to improve my recipes. I will experiment with some of your suggestions and be sure to post any modifications that make these bars even more delicious!

  4. Ok first of all let me thank you for this amazing recipe. Now let me tell you how I roll. Because I am not smart enough to leave a good thing alone, I used all the crust in the bottom and added pecans then poured the caramel on top of that. I baked as per your instructions, but when they came out (oh yes you can see where this is going) I sprinkled a few milk chocolate chips over until melted then spread with back of spoon into a thin layer. Now I have not tried them yet because they are still cooling and are hot enough to burn your goozle snapper, but I will let you know how they turned out.

    1. WOW!! I think I want to come over for supper tonight! You seem to know your way around the kitchen! Please let me know how they are!

      1. Ok one word, AMAZZZZZING! Come on over we are having homemade Chinese takeout, General Tao Chicken, fried rice and eggrolls.

  5. Love this recipe! So easy but satisfying. We had no pooling of butter. It makes me wonder if instead of butter in these cases mardrin might have been used instead? With the extra bit of the filling that was left in the pot sticking to the sides, my SO tossed a hand full of peanuts the popped them in the oven for a few minutes. We munched on those as we waited for the bars to finish up. Yum!

    1. Thanks so much for the positive report, and I’m glad you enjoyed them! I love the peanut idea! I will definitely give that one a try!

  6. I made these today and didn’t have the butter pool on top, but it pooled on the bottom of the pan and they were very greasy. The inside was not fully cooked and so I let it stay in the oven 3 minutes longer and the edges are rock hard. If I try this again, modifications will have to be made. Definitely way too much butter in the crust.

    1. As I have said before, I didn’t have any issues with the amount of butter. I am sorry you did. Looking at the amount in the crust, I would possibly try cutting the butter down from 1 1/4 cups to 1 cup. I am wondering if the brand of butter used changes the results. Perhaps some are a bit more oily than others. I really wish I could help you because my family absolutely LOVES these bars!

  7. I was so excited for these bars but like many others that have commented, they did not turn out. I also had a pool of butter on top (yes I used real butter) and was also confused about how long you are supposed to cook the filling. My filling was really runny when I poured in on the crust. Could you possibly explain how long or to what consistency we are supposed to cook the filling? Sadly, cooking them longer did not help. Super bummed ?

    1. Once again, I am so sorry they didn’t turn out. I recently made them according to my posted recipe just to double-check, and they turned out perfectly. When cooking the filling, I just combine things until the flour is completely dissolved. Once it is, I pour it immediately onto the crust. I will continue experimenting, looking for ways to improve, and I will post any changes made.

  8. I never run out of condensed milk. It’s so easy to make however much I need in the blender! Just powdered milk and sugar with a bit of hot water. There are recipes all over.

    BTW I’m genuinely afraid to try either of these recipes. ..they sound like something I’d devour before they made it out the door! !

    1. Thanks for the tip on the sweetened condensed milk, however, now I would have to buy some powdered milk : ) My daughters and I just made another pan of the Caramel Crush Bars…let’s just say a few rows are gone!

  9. For those of you following the comments on my Caramel Crush Bars, I wanted to let you know that I have altered the ingredients a bit and have had great success. Even though they appear to be a bit runny when they are immediately pulled from the oven, they do firm up when cooled. I hope you and your loved ones enjoy them as much as my family does!

  10. I just made these and I have to say that calling for 1 and 1/4 cups butter (2 1/2 sticks!) sounded like way too much to me. So, I melted all that butter but when I mixed it in to the dry ingredients, I did it gradually until I thought the crumbs had the right consistency. I used most of the butter, but not all. I think the 1/4 cup is not necessary because even though they set up and taste pretty good, they are greasy. I also think salt is necessary to really let the caramel sauce sing. Salted butter is not enough. I’m thinking of adding a half of a teaspoon next time. I’m grateful to you for this recipe as my son is allergic to eggs and peanuts and he thinks they taste great!

    1. Thank you so much for all of your comments. I do agree that these bars are quite buttery, but I think that may be why my family loves them so much! I am also interested to hear how the salt will change things. Please let me know. As for your son…I know allergies can be tough, and I am very excited to hear that he enjoys these! Happy baking!

  11. Just made these today and they turned out FANTASTIC!! Can’t wait to share them with my dinner party tonight! However, I did get a little creative and substituted half of the oats for Frosted Flakes ??

    1. Ooooo…Yummy! I am glad they turned out, and I hope everyone enjoyed them! I am going to have to remember the Frosted Flake substitution! That sounds delicious!

  12. I used whipping cream in place of the milk and added about a Tblsp of sweetened condensed mile. I also added a handful of pecans to the topping.

    1. Oh my! I think I need to come hang out with you. I would have never even thought to make these switches! I think I may be baking tonight to give this a try : )

  13. These bars are delicious and so easy to make! Thank you for posting.
    I think I discovered what makes the butter pool – too much heat. I have a convection oven so I always have to play with the temperature a bit before most recipes work for me. I made several batches (I send treats home with people after my son’s birthday parties) and the first two had the problem with the butter pooling. After I used a paper towel, I noticed that the edges were nearly burned but the middle was still too raw in comparison which always tells me the problem is way too much heat. The next two batches were already in the oven so I turned it down and watched them closely. I noticed at 375, I basically had a tray of boiling caramel that had batter in it. With the heat turned down to 325 and then 300, the boiling stopped and everything looked like it was baking. I tweaked it even more with the final two batches and those came out perfectly! Final baking (I did bake two batches at once with the convection turned on): First baking at 300 for 10 minutes. Final baking at 300 for 20 minutes (I rotated the batches at the 10 minute mark). Perfection! Note that they did not look fully done as I always account for carry over baking.
    I did cut the burned edges off the first two batches and the result was still delicious. My son loved them and I took the rest of the bars to work – they were gone in 5 minutes flat and no one knew they were “over cooked.”
    Bottom line – this is a wonderful recipe and well worth making it work!

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words. But most of all, thank you for all the experimenting you did. I also have a convection oven and will be sure to alter my heat as well. You truly sound like you know your way around the kitchen, and I appreciate the time you took to share your findings! Have a great day and happy baking!

  14. These are unbelievably good. More like candy.
    I used old fashioned oatmeal. I use it in all recipes that call for oatmeal. I feel it has less processing and has always been successful. In this case it may even absorb more of the butter.
    I think the person who suggested a lower oven temperature was on the right track. They cooked awfully fast and cemented themselves to the pan. Next time I’ll do 350 and line the pan with parchment paper for ease of removing them.

  15. I made these last night per the instruction and they turned out fabulously. I will line my on with parchment paper next time because the edges stuck (despite greasing the pan).

    I wish I could have recorded my guy’s reaction when he took the first bite – these are a definite hit here. I forgot to take some with me today to work. I can’t wait to get home and dig in.

    1. I am so glad that you enjoyed them! Sadly, they usually don’t last long in our house! Thank goodness they are easy to make! Happy baking!

  16. Made these this afternoon and after reading all the reviews I made two small changes – I only used 1 cup of butter in the crust (it seemed to be more than enough to hold it all together) and I baked it at 325 for the same amount of time. These turned out incredible! As much as a chocoholic I am, caramel anything is slowly creeping up to tie for first place in favorite flavors lol Since I’m a big fan of salted caramel I sprinkled just a tiny bit of sea salt over the caramel before topping it and holy crap, it;s amazing! I was looking for something different to make and I’m soo glad I found this recipe – its definitely going on my usual baking rotation from now on 🙂

    1. I like those variations and will have to give it a try! These are definitely one of our favorite desserts as well and get made again and again! Thanks for your kind words!

    1. I sincerely apologize. I made some modifications to my recipe and completely forgot to edit my video. The correct baking temperature is 300 degrees. Thank you so much for bringing this to my attention. I will be sure to fix this on my video.

  17. Just to let you know your video shows different baking times and temps than your written recipe. I followed the written recipie so we will see how they turn out!

    1. I do apologize for that. I have changed my video so there is no confusion. I hope your Caramel Crush Bars turned out amazing, and you love them as much as we do!

  18. Might be a typo ? In your pictures and steps after you pour on the caramel and sprinkle the leftover crust you write “Bake at 300ºF for an additional 30 minutes.” In the printable recipe it says “Bake at 300ºF for an additional 20 minutes.”

    1. I do apologize. I have edited the recipe since making the video. The correct baking time is an additional 20 minutes.

      1. Just to let you know, under the 7th picture it still says “………….for an additional 30 mins.

  19. Oh my goodness!!! These are so super delicious!!! I followed your recipe to a T and didn’t change a thing! They came out perfect!! No problems of pooling butter or anything! So light and sweet and crumbly!!!! Thank you so much for sharing! These caramel bars are way easier than the ones i make with actual caramels. Will definitely make these again!!

  20. Is it possible to use a flavored Oatmeal instead of plain? All I have on hand at the moment is the apple cinnamon oatmeal. I wonder if I made these with that if they’d come out with an caramel apple pie flavor?

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