Salted Caramel Bars make a great addition to any holiday dessert buffet.

A layer of rich, buttery salted caramel topping on a light, flaky and oh so delicious shortbread crust – how in the world could THAT be wrong?

Honestly though, I’ve had a little bit of an addiction to making caramel lately – specifically salted caramel – and these bars are the perfect way to share my addiction with others.

These salted caramel bars make a wonderful dessert to take to a friend’s house throughout the holidays or to an office party or even to a church potluck. Just be ready with the recipe, because everytime I’ve taken these bars somewhere, I’ve always been asked multiple times how to make them and have sent email after email with the recipe for these babies.

Luckily, from here on out I can simply reply, “Yes, they are on the blog.”

To keep the salted caramel firm, I store the bars in the refrigerator until about 20 minutes before I plan to serve them. If you have to leave them out longer, it won’t hurt anything, the salted caramel will just be a much softer texture. You can decide how you like them best, but I wouldn’t advise eating them straight out of the refrigerator. The caramel will be a bit too sticky at that point until they’ve warmed a bit.

Of course, if you are really desperate and they’ve been in the refrigerator, I have been known to pop one into the microwave for about 10 seconds.

Desperate times call for desperate measures.

Also, I’ve found that they are more easily eaten if you cut them into smaller bars, about 2-inches. If you plan to serve larger bars, I recommend serving them with a fork to eat similar to my caramel pie.

Here’s the recipe for my salted caramel bars. I hope you love them as much as we do!

Salted Caramel Bars Recipe

5 from 6 votes
Salted Caramel Shortbread Bars make a great addition to any dessert buffet.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 24


For the Salted Caramel Layer:

  • 1 cup butter, 2 sticks
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • cup packed brown sugar
  • ¾ cup light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ cup half and half
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  • Shortbread Crust
  • Preheat oven to 325º F.
  • Make shortbread crust according to directions for a 9×13-inch baking pan. Set aside to cool as you prepare the caramel.
  • Salted Caramel Layer
  • To prepare the caramel, mix all ingredients through half and half in a heavy bottomed, 3-4 quart saucepan.
  • Cook over low to medium heat until the caramel has reached a warm golden brown color and has reached the 250º F on a candy thermometer, or the hard ball stage.
  • Remove from the heat, add vanilla extract, and beat until creamy with a wooden spoon.
  • Pour onto prepared shortbread crust and allow to cool for about 10 minutes. Cover with plastic and place into the refrigerator for 1-3 hours to overnight to allow caramel to firm.
  • Store in the refrigerator to keep the caramel firm, recommended.
  • Remove from the refrigerator about 20 minutes before ready to serve.


Prep time does not include time for chilling salted caramel shortbread bars in the refrigerator for caramel to firm before serving.


Calories: 260kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 42mg | Sodium: 242mg | Potassium: 33mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 21g | Vitamin A: 482IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Robyn xo

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About Robyn

Robyn Stone is a cookbook author, wife, mom, and passionate home cook. Her tested and trusted recipes give readers the confidence to cook recipes the whole family will love. Robyn has been featured on Food Network, People, Southern Living, and more.

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Recipe Review


  1. Are these too soft or get messy if they are out for hours? Where I want to take them they cant be refrigerated at all.

    1. At room temperature, they do become softer. If warmer than that, I would say they would become very soft.

  2. Robyn~ please help me. I made these this morning and it just didn’t work.
    The recipe for the Shortbread Crust says to preheat your oven to 350 but the Salted Caramel Bar recipe states 325.
    Secondly, how do you know the caramel has reached a warm golden brown color when there is brown sugar in it? Looked brown to me from the start.
    How long do you suggest “beating” it? My definition of creamy might be different from yours.
    I followed the directions precisely cooking the mixture until my candy thermometer read 250 and beat until creamy. Poured it on the crust, cooled 10 min before putting it in the fridge.
    End product was caramel hard as rocks. Unfortunately, had to dispose of the whole thing in the trash. So sad.

    I would appreciate helpful hints as I really want to make these! Also, I live quite nearby – would you consider giving a “caramel” cooking class? Crossing my fingers.

  3. 5 stars
    Hello Robyn,
    These are addicting and I believe should be outlawed. I make them and by the end of the night they are gone!! I have made your salted caramel 3 times already since finding your site. I can’t tell you enough how much I LOVE your Southern recipes and cute, funny stories. The best part of all is all those great hints you give before actually seeing the recipes. The lemon bars have been made 7 times already and I am making the truffles for Easter along with the coconut cake that everyone loves. I can’t wait to see what I get in my e-mail everyday from you. Have a great day from Las Vegas, Kathy

  4. 5 stars
    Have you ever tried freezing these to be used at a later time? I made them last Christmas and they were a big hit. I’m making them again this year but want them to last through the holiday season. Wasn’t sure if I made them now, if I could freez them for a couple weeks or if they would end up getting soggy.

    1. Hi Joelle,
      I’m so glad you love them. Aren’t they delicious? I’ve not tried freezing them, but please let me know if you try it and how they work.


  5. Hi Robyn … Quick question are you suppose to stir the caramel while waiting for it to get to the 250 F temp? And what do you mean when you say: To prepare the caramel, mix all ingredients through half and half in a heavy bottomed, 3-4 quart saucepan.

    I don’t get the though half and half part .. what it that suppose to mean? I made this last night and was stirring to start with then the last 10 or so mins I stopped stirring .. but I don’t think I did it right, cuz this morning my caramel is rock hard. I put all the in ingredients including the half and half .. once it reached the 250 F temp I took off heat and added the vanilla. What is the approximate time that you cook the caramel for, if you could give me an idea. I would really love to make it again and hopefully get it right, because it looks so delish and I really want to try it. Thanks for the great recipe 🙂

  6. My husband is on a salted caramel kick at the moment. These bars were a hit. I let the bars cool, topped with melted chocolate almond bark and returned to the refrigerator. They were delicious and are definitely going into my recipe box so I can make them again. I loved the flaky shortbread crust and he loved the gooey caramel. Thanks for sharing!