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Chocolate Caramel Oatmeal Bars

25 reviews / 4.5 average

Let me read your mind. You’re in love with these chocolate caramel oatmeal bars and their ooey-gooey-chocolate-caramel middle layer, tied for first place with the buttery-soft oatmeal cookie crust. Yes, yes you are.

Let me read your mind again. You’re not a caramel person.

First of all, that’s weird and you should reconsider. Secondly, this:


So now that that’s out of the way, let’s talk about my absence from the internet the last few days, gooooing on weeks. The internet is weird, because it’s like after the initial phase of feeling like you’re going to shrivel up and die socially, you kind of want to stay gone from the internet. Do you know what I mean? And am I from another time period? because I always want to capitalize Internet.

Other than my brief internet encounter last week to give away some free spa money, Bjork’s been holding down things here on Pinch o’ Yum while I’ve been living up the rustic life in the Wisconsin Northwoods. aka laying on the dock. My brothers did their usual crazy things while my parents tried to keep up and Bjork and I read books and drank Arnold Palmers and ate too many of these bars. Family time.

Boy tubing on the lake.

I also went to our friends’ baby’s first birthday party.

Woman and man with kids.

And I should be done editing all the pictures I took around the time he turns 18. So definitely been busy.

But enough about my personal social life outside of the Internet with a capital I. Let’s talk about CARAMEL in all caps. Like what caramel looks like when lovingly poured over chocolate chips over buttery oatmeal crust.

Chocolate caramel oatmeal bars in a clear baking dish.

Something about these bars is just so dang good. Like get outta the house or get in my belly good. I mean, you heard my girl Jill in the email at the beginning. She doesn’t even like caramel, but oh, this caramel. This caramel and these bars that have that magic power that draws you in and never lets you go. And do you want to hear a true story? I was shaking my head in awe as I wrote that part about the magic power. Official weird food blogger status: achieved.

Chocolate caramel oatmeal bars on a cutting board.

This recipe comes from my mom’s recipe box, which is a cute little wooden box that is  full of every kind of recipe hand-written on a card. The box itself is both totally priceless and a little bit frightening. She has about a million recipe cards floating around in there. The salads are in with the desserts, which are in with the casseroles, and op! here’s Grandma’s applesauce! I’ve been looking for that recipe card everywhere! And on, and on, and on. I spent a lazy afternoon just grabbing a stack of recipe cards out of that box and flipping through them, and I think I could do that for another whole week.

Speaking of recipe cards, this one says it’s from the Pluckers. I don’t know the Pluckers, but dear Pluckers, thank you to the moon and back for this most incredible ooey-gooey-can’t-stop dessert bar recipe. You nailed it.

Chocolate caramel oatmeal bars on a spatula.
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chocolate caramel oatmeal bars

Chocolate Caramel Oatmeal Bars


These chocolate caramel oatmeal bars have a sticky-sweet layer of melted chocolate and caramel over a oatmeal cookie crust. SO addicting!


  • 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 1/3 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 9 tablespoons salted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
  • 40 soft caramel candies
  • 6 tablespoons milk or cream (I used heavy whipping cream)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine the flour, oats, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Melt the butter, let it cool, and pour into the mixing bowl with the dry ingredients. Stir (I just used a wooden spoon) until a soft dough forms. It should be just slightly crumbly. If the dough feels wet and heavy, add a little more flour.
  2. Press 3/4 of the dough into a 9×13 baking dish. Reserve the remaining 1/4 for topping. Bake for about 13 minutes or until the top is barely golden brown.
  3. While crust is baking, unwrap caramels and melt in the microwave with the cream. Stir until the mixture is smooth and pourable.
  4. Sprinkle chocolate chips over the baked crust. Pour the melted caramel over the chocolate chips. Crumble the remaining dough with your fingers (add a little more flour if it’s not crumbly enough) and sprinkle over the top of the bars. Bake for another 15-20 minutes, until the top layer is golden brown. Let stand for several hours or until the caramel is cooled.
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 40 mins
  • Category: Dessert
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: chocolate caramel oatmeal bars, oatmeal bars, chocolate caramel bars

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Chocolate Caramel Oatmeal Bars with an ooey-gooey-chocolate-caramel middle layer, and a buttery-soft oatmeal cookie crust.

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  1. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Oh my! These look AMAZING! My father-in-law especially loves oatmeal, and the kids love chocolate and caramel – it’s the perfect thing for our next family gathering. I hear you on the missing from the Internet thing – me TOO! I’m struggling a little bit to get back on track after a week on the beach and a family wedding over the weekend. It’s sort of nice to be MIA, isn’t it??? Love the cookie bars, and enjoy your family!

  2. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Is it even possible for someone to not like caramel? That sounds like some sort of illness, and anyone who doesn’t like caramel should see their doctor immediately 🙂 Caramel is one of my many, many weakenesses and these bars look too good to resist! I’m excited about the oats in there, too. Yummmmm

  3. Pinch of Yum Logo

    A couple years ago I made bars with oats, caramel candies, and chocolate chips. Very similar to these and I’ll never forget them b/c I had to unwrap 40 caramels! Better you than me this time 🙂 They look incredible. I am totally a caramel person, too!

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      It actually didn’t take me as long as I thought it would, but as usual I was short on time and I dropped at least 30 of the 40 as I unwrapped… grr. The things we do for caramel!

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      I think it just put them totally over the top. The ones we had at the cabin were good, but these… something about them was extra… creamy. 🙂 I guess heavy whipping cream can do that.

  4. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I want to drink that caramel. 🙂 I am so a caramel person!! And I would adore these. Sometimes a break from the virtual life is nice – go have some adventure in the real world. It feels good!!

    Our family time is usually me pouring myself wine while everyone plays card games.

  5. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Bjork, I want to create my own virtual recipe box of Lindsay’s recipes, so I don’t have to search through every time I want a recipe. So, can you magically create a little button on POY that will let me do that… or are all of her recipes on Pinterest and can I just do it from there?

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      Um… Feeling sheepish… I guess you already did that. Just found out how to use the button.

  6. Pinch of Yum Logo

    A few of my favorite things in a gooey square, and mouthwatering pictures to keep me staring. Definitely going to pack this recipe away for when we have company, because if I make it any other time I will without question eat the pan within the day! Thanks for sharing this, Lindsay!

  7. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I’m not into caramel at all. I mean the square candy that will surely rip out a few well-placed fillings. But . . . this looks too good to be true, so I will definitely have to try it.

    By the way, Internet is most definitely spelled with a capital I, at least in the publishing business. 😉

      1. Pinch of Yum Logo

        When referencing the global Internet, one should use uppercase, since it differentiates the usage from a generic internet (as in the Internet is an internet , but not all internets are the Internet). Modern usage of Internet has become more generic, however, so that even many grammarians no longer capitalize it. BTW—I can’t wait to try these Bars—they look Ah-maxing! 💛

  8. Pinch of Yum Logo

    These are SO good! I just made them.
    I made my own caramel, which worked surprisingly well!

  9. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Hi Lindsay,
    I just love your blog and have been following Pinch of Yum for a year now! I just found out that I have celiac disease and was wondering if you could do some gluten free recipes 😉

  10. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Tania M Mitchell

    In Australia ‘Candies’ mean hard sugar lollies, so what exactly do you mean by caramel candies? These look divine by the way and will def give them a go.
    Cheers T