Caramel lovers, this one is for you! These Caramel Crumb Bars are so simple to make, and a delicious sweet treat. The base and topping are made from the same mixture and they are filled with creamy caramel. They’re so tempting – try them today!
Why we love this recipe:
Similar to my Easy Jam Bars, these Caramel Crumb Bars come together easily. The preparation time is minimal, but the resulting taste is incredible! Delicious recipes that are easy are my favourite, and this one is definitely one of the best yet!
Like my Belgian Lemon Tea Cake, the base and the crumble topping are one and the same. You simply reserve about a quarter of your mixture to crumble over the top. As the base cooks, you prepare your caramel filling. Once the base is golden, coat with the caramel and crumble over the topping. Bake until the crumble mixture is perfectly cooked. Truly, the most difficult part of the recipe is waiting for the bars to cool down!
Ingredients in this Recipe:
Please see the recipe card further along in the post for exact quantities of ingredients and the full method.
Unsalted Butter – I prefer to use unsalted butter in baking, so I can better control the taste of the dish.
Rolled Oats – use gluten-free oats if required.
Plain/All-Purpose Flour – use gluten-free flour if required.
Sweetened Condensed Milk – Full fat only! Do not use low fat or skim.
Step by Step Instructions:
You’ll need to start by preheating your oven to 175 Degrees C (350 F). Line a 27×18 cm (11×7 inch) tin with baking paper. Spray the baking paper with a little oil. This will stop the slice from sticking.
Then, start the preparation of the Caramel Crumb Bars:
- In one bowl, combine all the dry ingredients except the sugar. Mix well.
- In another bowl, combine the sugar, vanilla and melted butter. Mix well.
- Combine both bowls, and mix one more time.
- Press about ¾ of the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan and bake for 12 minutes.
5. Whilst the slice is baking, prepare your caramel.
Melt the butter in a saucepan on medium heat.
6. Once melted, add in the sugar and whisk. Once combined, add the condensed milk. Whisk for 5 minutes until the caramel is slightly thicker and bubbling. (Stir constantly!)
7. Pour the caramel onto your biscuit base. Gently tilt the tin to spread the caramel evenly.
8. Crumble the remaining mixture over the top of the caramel, using your fingers. Bake for 12-15 minutes.
Tips for Success and FAQs:
The Caramel Crumb Bars must chill before being cut, otherwise they will fall apart. I like to cool them on the bench for 30 minutes, and then transfer to the fridge for 30 minutes. Then, I cut the bars into squares, and enjoy!
I use gluten-free flour and oats when I make these Caramel Bars. Gluten-free oats are more readily available these days, and work perfectly in this recipe.
I also have a recipe for Easy Jam Bars that you might wish to try.
These freeze really well! Allow the bars to cool completely, and then put them in a sealed container. Allow to defrost in the fridge overnight and bring back to room temperature before consuming.
Store in an airtight container. The bars will be at their best for the first two days but will last for 4 (they will just get a bit soft). I keep them in the pantry, but if the weather is warm, keep them in the fridge. If storing in the fridge, remove at least 10 minutes prior to serving.
Other great recipes for you to try:
Love caramel as much as we do? Here are some of our other favourite recipes:
Entertaining and looking for some more sweet treats that work well on a share platter? Here are some more tasty ideas:
- Almond Cookies
- Lemon Madeleines
- Chocolate Coated Strawberries
- Pecan Puffs
- Chocolate and Peanut Butter Banana Bites
- Mini Meringues with Berries and Cream
- Jam Shortbreads
I hope these Caramel Crumb Bars become your new favourite sweet treat (like they are mine!) Be sure to let me know in the comments below when you have given them a try – I love hearing from you!
Caramel Crumb Bars
Base & Topping Mixture:
- 1 ½ cup (225 g) all purpose/plain flour See Note 1
- 1 ½ cup (120 g) rolled oats See Note 2
- ¾ cup (185 g) unsalted butter, melted
- ⅓ cup (70 g) brown sugar
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon baking/bicarb soda
- oil spray
- ½ cup (125 g) unsalted butter
- ½ cup (100 g) brown sugar
- 395 g can of condensed milk See Note 3
For accuracy, we recommend weighing your ingredients. This will produce the best results.
- Preheat your oven to 175 Degrees C (350F).
- Line a 27cm x 18cm (11″ x 7″) tin with baking paper. (Allow an overhang – it makes it easier when removing the slice!) Coat the baking paper with some oil spray.
To Make the Base & Topping Mixture:
- In one bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients, except for the sugar. Mix well.
- Melt your butter. Add this to another bowl, and combine with the vanilla and brown sugar.
- Combine the contents of both bowls, and mix well.
- Firmly press about ¾ of the mixture into the tin. (You'll need to reserve about 150g or ¾ cup of mixture).Bake for 12 minutes. While the slice is baking, prepare the caramel as per the instructions below.
To Make the Caramel Filling:
- Melt the butter in the saucepan. Once melted, add in the sugar and whisk.
- Once combined, add the condensed milk. Whisk for 5 minutes until the caramel is slightly thicker and bubbling. (Stir constantly!)
- Pour the caramel onto your base. Gently tilt the tin to spread the caramel evenly. Crumble the remaining mixture, using your fingers, over the top of the caramel.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes.
- Remove the slice from the oven, and allow to cool for 30 minutes on your bench.
- Put the slice in the fridge, and chill for a further 30 minutes.Remove the slice from the tin, and cut the slice into squares, and enjoy!
- Use a gluten-free all-purpose/plain flour if you require. (This has been tested, and works perfectly)
- Use gluten-free oats if required.
- Sweetened Condensed Milk – Full fat only! Do not use low fat or skim.
- For the most accurate measurements when baking, we suggest you weigh your ingredients.
- When measuring flour, use the spoon and level method. Firmly compacting the flour by scooping the cup into it can cause your measurements to be inaccurate.
- The serving size and nutritional information is based on the bars being cut into 12 and one being enjoyed as a serving.
- The Caramel Bars really need to chill before cutting, otherwise, they will fall apart.
The nutritional information is an estimate only, and is derived from online calculators. For accurate results, we recommend calculating the nutritional information based on the ingredients and brands you use.
Everything I want in a dessert! I’m making them for our 4th of July celebration!
Lizet, I am delighted that you will be making the Caramel Crumb Bars and do hope that you enjoy them. Happy 4th July! 🙂
These caramel bars look amazing Alex! I love anything with a crumble topping – and the addition of caramel is pure genius!
Thank you, Robyn, the caramel and the crumble together – absolutely delicious! 🙂
Love a good caramel bar. These look super tasty and using ingredients I already have in the pantry, perfect!
Love how fudgy the caramel layer is with the combination of that crunchy topping! Such a delicious and decadent treat!
Thank you, Sylvie, they really are a great treat. In fact, difficult to resist! 🙂
Dawn - Girl Heart Food
These look simply heavenly, Alex! Love caramel. Bet these would be so good for an afternoon treat!
Hi Dawn, I am so pleased that you like these Crumb Bars. They certainly would be ideal as an afternoon treat. I love that they are so easily made. 🙂
I can’t believe how easy this was to make! My husband is a huge fan of caramel and so I decided to make this for him for dessert last night. He said it was the best caramel dessert he’s ever had!
Jamie, that is fantastic, I am delighted that the Crumb Bars were so successful. Thank you for letting us know. 🙂
Katherine | Love In My Oven
Aaah Alex, I love all desserts involving caramel! These look sooo good. I need at least a dozen!
Caramel is always a winner, isn’t it Katherine? These bars are so delicious, I do hope that you try them! 🙂
Oh my goodness, could it get any better? Such an easy recipe and so yummy.
It’s difficult to get better than a caramel-filled crumb bar. 🙂 They are very, very good! I do hope that you try them. 🙂
Alexandra, these look so good! I do love anything caramel so I think I’d love these. Recipes like this are perfect because there is no rolling involved just pressing into the tin – so easy. Thanks for the recipe!
Thank you for the lovely comments, Marcellina. These caramel-filled crumb bars are delicious – so hard to resist! 🙂
Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen
I’m absolutely drooling Alex. These look so delicious. My husband loves anything caramel and I love anything crumb! Can’t wait to bake a batch!
Thank you for the great comments Mary Ann. It sounds as if these will be perfect for both you and your husband! 🙂 Enjoy. 🙂