Thick oat crumble cookie bar is filled with a layer of homemade caramel and chocolate. This carmelitas recipe will be your favorite dessert bars for your dessert table!
I've been making these bars for years. They are always a winner. Even requested for my sister's wedding reception. And since they are so sweet you only need a small piece so the recipe feeds many. Check out my recipe for a peanut butter version.
What is a Carmelita bar?
One of the most delicious dessert bars you will ever eat! A thick oat crumble topping and crust are filled with a gorgeous homemade caramel sauce and a layer of chocolate. These bars are sweet so you only need a little piece.
How do you make Carmelitas?
The beauty of this recipe is that the crust and topping are the same thing, you just divide them. I like to use a little bit more for the bottom, 12oz, and a little less for the topping, 8oz of the crumble mixture.
You could easily use store-bought caramels and melt those with a little heavy cream over a saucepan. But I like to make homemade. If you want to use the full can of sweetened condensed milk then double the recipe or make my Salted Millionaires Shortbread recipe.
What ingredients do you need for caramel filling?
In a heavy-bottomed saucepan over low-medium heat add all the ingredients: sweetened condensed milk, brown sugar, heavy cream, corn syrup, unsalted butter and salt, I love to use fleur de sel.
Cook over medium heat for roughly 10 minutes, whisking continuously, the mixture will thicken up and darken, once mixture reaches 246F take it off the heat and set aside. I HIGHLY recommend using an instant-read thermometer for this, it makes the process of making caramel/ toffee so much easier. I use my trusty Thermapen Mk4 for all my temperature needs.
Once you've made the caramel filling and crumble mixture you are good to go.
Start with a greased foil-lined square pan place the crust mixture down evenly, bake for 10 minutes, then sprinkle an even layer of chocolate chips then the caramel. Finally, top with the remaining crumble mixture to create an oat topping. Bake for an additional 16-20 minutes or until golden brown.
Now the hard part. You wait.
If you cut these bars up before they are completely cooled you will end up with a sloppy mess. If you are impatient like me place the bars under a fan to cool for 30 minutes then wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 2 hours.
Can I double this recipe?
Of course, I often do in a 9X13 pan of this carmelitas recipe. You just need to adjust the baking time, it will take longer. I can't remember exactly how long but I would look at the crust at 15 minutes and then the final bake time around 25 minutes, or until golden brown. These are a great dessert to make ahead of time. I make mine the day before and cut the day of worked perfectly for my sister's wedding reception.
Craving more caramel?
Please let me know if you make this Carmelitas Recipe by leaving a rating and review below!
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Thick oat crumble cookie bar is filled with a layer of homemade caramel and chocolate. These dessert bars are perfect for your next dessert table!
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: 16-20 Bars 1x
Crust and Topping
- 145 grams (Heaping 1 Cup) All-Purpose Flour
- 100 grams (1 Cup) Old- Fashioned Oats
- 150 grams (¾ Cup) Brown Sugar
- 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
- ¾ Teaspoon Salt
- 2 Teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract
- 6oz (1.5 Sticks) Unsalted Butter, melted
- 7oz Sweetened Condensed Milk
- 3.5oz Brown Sugar
- 2oz Heavy Cream
- 2oz Light Corn Syrup
- 2oz Unsalted Butter
- 1 Teaspoon Sea Salt
- 6oz Chocolate Chips/Chunks
Crust & Crumble
- Preheat oven to 350F and line an 8X8 square pan with two pieces of foil or one large piece so that the foil overhangs up on top of the sides. Grease the pan evenly. Set aside.
- In a large bowl mix together flour, oats, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt. Add vanilla and melted butter.
- Press just over half* of the mixture into the prepared pan. Bake for 10 minutes. While baking prepare caramel filling
- In a large saucepan over low- medium heat add condensed milk, brown sugar, heavy cream, corn syrup, butter and sea salt. Cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes, whisking continuously, the mixture will thicken up and darken, once mixture reaches 246F take it off the heat and set aside.
- Once the crust has baked sprinkle chocolate chips to create an even layer then pour caramel sauce over to create another even layer. Finally, crumble remaining oat mixture on top evenly. Bake for an additional 16-20 minutes, or until golden brown. Let bars cool in pan for 1 hour then wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours before slicing.
- Slice into 4 rows and then 4 columns for 16 equal size pieces.
*I weighed it out 12oz for top and 8oz for the crumble topping.
- Prep Time: 20
- Cook Time: 25
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Bake
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: chocolate caramel recipes, how to make carmelitas recipe, easy carmelitas, dessert bar recipe
WOW. These ARE amazing. I wanted to eat the whole tray!!!!
Lucy Ogrady says
I loved these and my family loved them too!! Heaven!!
Carmelitas were my husbands favorite cookie as a kid. I wanted to learn how to make them for him and followed your recipe and my family loves the homemade caramel:) they didn’t last long in our house.
Elizabeth Waterson says
Thank you so much for coming back to review the recipe Sara, I appreciate it so much. I am so pleased your whole family enjoyed them!! Take care. XX Liz
What quantity of oats is it? As when on metric it says 100g (1 cup) but when on US it says 2.5 cups (1 cup) The brown sugar also looks odd on US. Thanks
Elizabeth Waterson says
Hi Louisa, so sorry for the confusion, it is 100 grams or 1 cup of oats and 150 grams or 3/4 cup of brown sugar. I am reaching out to my recipe card developer because you are right it is odd and wrong! Thank you so much for bringing this to my attention. Please let me know if you have any other questions or if you try the recipe I would love to know what you think! XX Liz