Salted Caramel Bars

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I have a deep love for all things salted caramel. I like salted caramel ice cream. I like salted caramel cookies. And I especially like salted caramel on top of shortbread and served as a bar. These little heavenly bites of goodness are RICH and DECADENT and you only need a quick bite to satisfy any sweet tooth!

I made this yesterday for my clients in Malibu and they were almost all gone before I could snap a quick picture to share with you! Needless to say I am going to have to make more of these ASAP to give away as holiday gifts!

The flakiness of the shortbread balances out the heavy caramel on top for the perfect bite!

Salted Caramel Bars

Course Dessert
Cuisine French
Servings 12 Bars


  • 10 tbsp unsalted butter softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 egg yolk whisked
  • 1 2/3 cups AP flour
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 12 tbsp light corn syrup
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 4 tbsp sugar
  • 4 tbsp heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • Sea salt flakes


  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and line a 9-by-9-inch pan with parchment paper with the edges of the parchment hanging over the sides. This will make removing the bars easier.
  • In a large bowl combine the butter, sugar and salt with a fork. Add the yolk and combine with the fork. Add the flour and using your hands, combine the dough until its flaky. Transfer the dough into the parchment lined pan and press down with your hands or the bottom of a measuring cup. Refrigerate this for 30 minutes. Once chilled, bake for 25 minutes until lightly browned.
  • Once baked, remove and set aside to cool.
  • Meanwhile, in a pot combine the topping ingredients; butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, salt, sugar and cream. Bring to a boil and make sure all the sugar is dissolved. Stir for about 5-10 minutes until its thick and bubbly. If you have a candy thermometer - the caramel should be about 248 degrees. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla extract and pour on top of the shortbread.
  • Refrigerate for 2-4 hours. Then sprinkle with the sea salt flakes and serve!


  1. I see… I see…. this is how you get McDreamy & Clooney’s attention. Now I get it. Lure them with the most luscious looking caramel bars, ever! Yum!

  2. I made a similar bar last year for holiday gifts; it had an additional layer of chocolate on top of the caramel but still…crunchy shortbread, caramel and salt? Like you…I can’t get enuf of that combination. I make new treats every year for family and friends but this one they begged me to do again. Think I might try it sans the chocolate; these look divine.

  3. Cannot wait to make these. But one important question: What is the secret to getting a good, clean cut when you slice them? Every time I make bar cookies of any kind they come out raggedy. Brownies too. What am I doing wrong?

    1. Erika! Once they are set – take a knife, and run it under HOT water. Then cut a slice. Run it under hot water again and then slice away… continue until they are all sliced! I didn’t know this trick either until I had to make a billion brownies for a big party and I needed them to look fab – and the hot water w/ the knife does the trick!

  4. Sea salt caramel has got to be one of my favorite things, ever. There’s a gelato place nearby that has sea salt caramel gelato which is my ultimate weakness. These look fantastic!!

  5. Gaby, do these seem bake-sale-ish to you? They look incredible, and I’ve been thinking about doing a salted caramel bar recipe for our bake sale next year, but i wonder if they are too mushy/soft? Thanks!

    1. Hi Alina,

      I am from the US now living in the UK.. You can get corn syrup at Selfridges in the American food section.

  6. These look great! Actually in the process of making them, and am wondering how long you think they’ll keep? And how I should store them? Also, another silly question…loved the tip you gave on getting clean slices, but how did you shape yours so lovely?
    My apartment smells DELICIOUS – thanks!!

    1. Hey Hillary,

      I think they will keep for at least a week – maybe a week and a half! Store them in the fridge so they hold their shapes!!!

      I cut mine into squares and then again into triangles by cutting the square on a diagonal!

      Happy Baking!!!

  7. WARNING: These are possibly addicting and could be harmful to your 2011 resolution to lose weight! Gaby, is it normal for the caramel layer to get oozy UNLESS the bars are refrigerated? Stored mine between parchment paper but they definitely needed to be refrigerated. Try decoratively drizzling dark chocolate over the top to satisfy those craving chocolate w/ their salted caramel.

  8. First of all, smart move Gaby parchment paper is your friend! This is an ooey gooey chewy crunchy yummy sweet salty recipe! Need I say more.

  9. I don’t know if I did something wrong, but my caramels were SO hard! We literally had to suck on it for like 20 minutes in order to eat it! The flavour was great, don’t get me wrong. This was my first time making caramel so maybe I did something wrong, but it was nearly impossible to eat! I’m not giving up though; I have a feeling there will be more caramel recipes in my future.

  10. I’ve made a variation of these for years, learning from my mum born/raised in the UK. We use Lyle’s Golden Syrup and top the hot caramel with a broken up Cadbury milk chocolate bar.Please do not forget to line the pan with parchment. Salted caramel was not in vogue though it’s a wonderful idea.This is a divine and gorgeous treat that, though cut in small morsels, always disappears far too quickly. Perhaps I won’t wait until the holidays to make a pan or two….

  11. Have to qualify my comments by stating up front that I am NOT a good cook (when I try a new recipe, the family heads for the phone to order pizza)…made these this afternoon (did have parchment paper, didn’t have a candy thermometer), and they were a SUCCESS–yippee!!! Not as pretty as the pictures, but they taste yummy–a definite “make again!” Thanks for sharing 🙂

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