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Stack of 3 Caramelitas on a plate

Caramelitas - AKA Caramel Oatmeal Bars

These caramel oatmeal bars- AKA Caramelitas - have a layer of oatmeal cookie dough, chocolate chips and gooey caramel with even more oatmeal cookie on top. They're loaded with so much deliciousness and perfect for anyone who loves caramel.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword Caramelitas
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 15 large bars
Calories 473kcal


  • 9x13 inch (23 x 33 cm) baking pan - see notes for alternatives


  • 1 ⅓ cup unsalted butter (300 grams) melted
  • 1 ⅓ cup light brown sugar (266 grams) or ⅔ cup brown sugar and ⅔ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 ¾ cup all-purpose flour (219 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups rolled oats (200 grams) quick oats or old-fashioned oats work
  • 2 cups chocolate chips (260 grams)
  • 1 cup caramel sauce (240 ml) choose something thick


  • Preheat the oven to 350F (180C) degrees. Line a 9x13 inch pan with parchment paper so that there's an overhang around the edges. Alternatively, line with foil and lightly grease.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the melted butter, brown sugar and vanilla extract until evenly combined. Ideally, it won't look like the butter is separate.
  • Stir in the flour, baking soda and salt. Then stir in the oats.
  • Press about half of the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan to form an even layer. Place the remaining half of the dough in the fridge. Bake in the preheated oven for about 15-20 minutes, or until golden on top.
  • Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes.
  • Sprinkle the chocolate chips on top to form an even layer.
  • Pour/ spoon the thick caramel sauce on top of the bars. I always use a very thick caramel topping and warm it up in the microwave slightly so that it's easier to pour.
  • Section off small bits of the remaining cookie dough. Flatten them down and place on top of the caramel sauce to form an even layer. If some caramel shows through, that's ok. Alternatively, you can crumble to remaining dough overtop.
  • Place the pan back in the oven and bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until the top is golden.
  • Cool the bars completely - this will take about 4 hours.
  • When ready to slice, carefully remove the bars from the pan using the overhang from the parchment paper/foil. Place on a cutting board and slice using a large sharp knife (not a table knife).


  1. Pan Sizes:
    • This recipe was made in a 9x13 inch (23x33 cm) pan.
    • For thinner bars, it can be made in a 10x15 inch (25.5x38 cm) jelly roll pan (keep all the ingredients the same). The base layer will bake for 10 minutes on its own. Then the top layer will need to bake for about 15 minutes, or until golden. If using a jelly roll pan, I recommend just greasing it and slicing the bars in the pan (instead of lifting them out with the parchment before slicing) because it's very hard to lift out such a large tray of bars.
    • For a smaller batch, half the recipe and bake in an 8x8 inch pan. To half the recipe, you'll need:
      • ⅔ cup unsalted butter
      • ⅔ cup light brown sugar
      • 1 teaspoon vanilla
      • ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
      • ½ teaspoon baking soda
      • ¼ teaspoon salt
      • 1 cup oats
      • 1 cup chocolate chips
      • ½ cup caramel. 
  2. Caramel Sauce: Choose something thick to minimize the risk of the caramel seeping through and melting into the base layer. Caramel can also be replaced with dulce de leche. 
  3. Storage: Store bars in an airtight container at room temperature or in the fridge for up to 1 week. Bars can be frozen for up to 2 months. Then thaw in the fridge. 
  4. Nutrition: Details provided are an estimate only and based on 1 bar, assuming the pan is sliced into 15 equal-sized pieces. 


Calories: 473kcal | Carbohydrates: 64g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 47mg | Sodium: 228mg | Potassium: 99mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 34g | Vitamin A: 572IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 65mg | Iron: 2mg