Oatmeal Carmelita Bars

Stacked oatmeal carmelitas

I am sharing one of my all time favorite dessert bars today.

I got the recipe from a neighborhood cookbook about ten years ago, and I can tell you that these little bars are a huge hit wherever you take them.  This is the recipe that most people demand from me, and if I don't get right on sharing it, they keep reminding me that they really, really need it and ask if I could please hurry up and share it with them.

I don't blame them.  If I didn't have this recipe and  I tried these chocolaty, caramelly little bars, I would be demanding the recipe too.

Keep scrolling past the recipe for some of my notes and tips about making this recipe.

Carmelitas served on plate

Yield: 15 bars
Author: Domestic Daybook - Tonia
Oatmeal Carmelita Bars

Oatmeal Carmelita Bars

These chocolate, caramel, oat bars will have people demanding this recipe from you wherever you take it.
Prep time: 20 MinCook time: 10 MinTotal time: 30 Min


  • 1 cup quick oats
  • 1 cup flour
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¾ cup melted butter
  • 32 – 35 caramels
  • 5 Tbsp milk
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9x13 pan. Combine together the brown sugar, baking soda, salt and butter until light and fluffy. Add the flour and quick oats and stir until combined. Press 1/2 – 2/3 of the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan and bake for 10 minutes. While that is baking melt your caramels and milk together in the microwave or the top of a double boiler, stirring often. When you remove the oat mixture from oven, sprinkle with the chocolate chips and drizzle the caramel mixture over all. Crumble the remaining oatmeal mixture over the top. Return to oven and bake for about 15 minutes more or until top is lightly golden. Cool and cut.
Did you make this recipe?
Tag @domesticdaybook on instagram and hashtag it #domesticdaybookrecipes

Notes and Tips for this recipe:

Use enough dough to cover the bottom of the pan you are using.  Don't worry too much if you don't have a lot of dough left over.

Carmelitas ready for 2nd bake

You can see, I probably only had about 1/3 to 1/4 of the dough left for sprinkling on top before its second trip to the oven and the bars still turned out beautifully.

Do not overbake these bars.  I have overbaked them in the past, and they were still delicious, but definitely not nearly as good as when they are baked properly.

Instead of unwrapping all the individual caramels, I have used an 11-ounce package of Kraft Caramel Bits.  I just melt those down with the milk or cream called for in the recipe and it makes life much easier.  

melted caramel

If my kids are home, however, I put them to work unwrapping the caramels.  They are always willing because there are a few leftover caramels left over in the bag after unwrapping the ones you need and I reward them with one for their hard work.

If I am taking these bars somewhere, I usually line the baking dish with some aluminum foil and spray it with cooking spray, before adding the oat mixture.  That way, it is easy to remove the entire batch from the pan for easier and more uniform cutting after the bars are cool.  Just make sure that you don't have any stray pieces of aluminum foil sticking to the bottom of the bars.

Store any leftovers in an airtight container.  They are best if eaten within a few days.  I have also had good luck with freezing these bars.

Oatmeal Carmelitas in pan

Oatmeal Carmelitas.  Definitely a favorite around here! 

Oatmeal Carmelitas