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Carmelitas

close up shot of Carmelitas bars stacked on top of each other
These soft, gooey homemade carmelitas are filled different layers of decadent sweetness that caramel lovers will adore.
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Table of Contents
  1. CARMELITAS INGREDIENTS
  2. HOW TO MAKE THIS CARMELITAS RECIPE
  3. HOW TO SERVE
  4. STORAGE
  5. MORE RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
  6. JUMP TO RECIPE

One bite and you’ll be hooked on these soft, gooey homemade carmelitas. The buttery, delicious oatmeal and brown sugar crust is layered with creamy soft caramel, dark chocolate chips, and nuts to create a delicious confection that is sure to be a crowd pleaser.

Looking for more irresistible dessert bar recipes? Check out these pecan pie bars and these five star bars.

CARMELITAS INGREDIENTS

You’ll need:

  • Two bags Kraft pea-size caramels
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups oats
  • 1 ½ cups brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ cups unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
  • ¾ cup chopped walnuts

SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS

OATS: If you use quick oats, your mix will be more dough-like. If you use rolled oats, your mix will have a more defined texture. I used quick cooking oats for this.

NUTS: You could also make this oatmeal carmelitas recipe with pecans instead of walnuts if you’d prefer. 

CARAMEL: I like using caramels best for the caramel filling but I know some recipe versions call for caramel sauce instead. A fun alternative would be a salted caramel sauce. You could even try making them with homemade caramel.

CHOCOLATE CHIPS: You can substitute dark chocolate chips for either milk chocolate chips or semi-sweet chocolate chips.

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HOW TO MAKE THIS CARMELITAS RECIPE

STEP ONE: Preheat the oven to 350°F and line the bottom of a 9×13-inch pan with foil or parchment paper.

PRO TIP:

Line the pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper and spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray. This makes clean-up a breeze because these are very ooey-gooey and messy! 

STEP TWO: In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, oats, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt.

PRO TIP:

The salt helps create a beautiful balance to the sweetness of this dessert, don’t skip it! 

STEP THREE: Stir in the melted butter until well blended.

STEP FOUR: Press HALF of the crust ingredients into the bottom of the prepared pan. Set the other half of the oat mixture aside.

STEP FIVE: Bake the crust in the oven for 8 minutes at 350°F.

STEP SIX: While the crust is baking, in a medium pan over low heat, melt the caramels and cream, stirring occasionally until smooth and creamy. Then add in vanilla.

STEP SEVEN: Remove the pan from the oven and sprinkle chocolate chips and walnuts over the baked base.

STEP EIGHT: Pour the melted caramel mixture over the top of the chocolate chips and walnuts.

STEP NINE: Crumble the remaining oatmeal mixture evenly on top of everything and press down gently on the oatmeal mixture.

STEP TEN: Return to the oven and bake for an additional 20 minutes.

PRO TIP:

Let the bars cool completely before slicing. Even though they’re tempting, don’t slice too soon or they’ll fall apart because of the melted chocolate and gooey caramel inside! 

HOW TO SERVE

Serve these delicious bars with a glass of milk or homemade pumpkin spice latte to wash them down. If you want to have an extra decadent dessert, you could serve a bar with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side.

STORAGE

ON THE COUNTER: These oatmeal carmelitas are so soft and luscious. As soon as they’re ready, you’ll want to inhale them. But, in case you have any left, you’ll want to store them in an airtight container at room temperature.

IN THE FREEZER: These chewy bars can be frozen for up to four months in an airtight container.

You can’t go wrong with the chewy texture, rich flavor and creamy caramel in these yummy carmelita bars. They would be a fantastic option to give a friend or neighbor or share at a cookie exchange for a special treat. And they look great on a Christmas cookie tray!

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Can I freeze these cookie bars?

These bars can be stored in the freezer for up to four months.

How do I store these bars?

You can store these bars at room temperature for up to a week.

Can I use caramel sauce instead of caramels?

You could use a high-quality, thicker caramel sauce instead of the Kraft caramels in this delicious recipe if you’d like.

MORE RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE

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close up shot of Carmelitas bars stacked on top of each other

Carmelitas

5 from 2 votes
These soft, gooey homemade carmelitas are filled different layers of decadent sweetness that caramel lovers will adore.
Prep Time 12 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 42 minutes
Servings 24

Ingredients
  

  • 2 bags Kraft pea-size caramels
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups oats
  • 1 ½ cups brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ cups butter melted
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
  • ¾ cup walnuts chopped

Instructions
 

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F.
  • Line a 9×13 pan with foil and spray the foil with nonstick spray.
  • In a medium bowl stir together the flour, oats, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt.
  • Stir in the melted butter until well blended.
  • Press HALF of this oat mixture into the bottom of the foil-lined 9×13 pan. Set the other half of the oat mixture aside.
  • Bake the crust in the oven for 8 minutes.
  • While the crust is baking, in a medium pan over low heat, melt the caramels and cream, stirring occasionally until smooth. Then add in the vanilla.
  • Remove the pan that has been baking in the oven and sprinkle with chocolate chips and walnuts.
  • Pour the caramel mixture over the top of the chips and walnuts.
  • Crumble the remaining oat mixture evenly on top of everything and press down gently on the oat mixture.
  • Return to the oven and bake for an additional 20 minutes.
  • Let the bars cool completely before slicing.

Notes

TIP: The salt helps create a beautiful balance to the sweetness of this dessert, don’t skip it! 
 
TIP: Line the pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper and spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray. This makes clean-up a breeze because these are very ooey-gooey and messy! 
 
TIP: Let the bars cool completely before slicing. Even though they’re tempting, don’t slice too soon or they’ll fall apart because of the melted chocolate and gooey caramel inside!

Nutrition

Calories: 299kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 37mg | Sodium: 210mg | Potassium: 125mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 427IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 49mg | Iron: 1mg
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  1. Rachel F. says

    Hello, question. Due to a dairy allergy, I’ll be using coconut caramels…. what size are the bags of caramels you use, ie how many ounces is each package? Thank you in advance!

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