These chocolate caramel pecan bars are the perfect treat when you want something sweet and delicious. In fact, they’re actually quite addictive, whether you have them for a snack or dessert.
It’s best to read the entire post because I provide additional information and tips. However, if you’re in a hurry, please just click on the jump-to-recipe button at the top of the page. This will take you to the printable recipe card.
Dessert bars are so fun to eat, and they’re a great dessert, after school treat, or snack for a crowd.
Whether you serve them for dessert or as a snack, you’ll be the hero of the day. Because everyone loves the person who makes awesome desserts, right?
These bars the perfect treat when you want to show your appreciation for a job well done. So bring these to hand out after your child’s game. Whether they win or lose, they will certainly appreciate this yummy treat.
Easy and Delicious Cookie Bars
I’m not as much of a sugar junkie as my husband is, but for some reason, I can’t get enough of these. Maybe it’s because they’re so yummy?
There’s just something about the blend of chocolate, caramel, and nuts that sends me into orbit.
This is one of the easiest yet most impressive sweet treats you can make. But you don’t have to tell anyone how quickly you whipped it up.
Have you ever noticed that it’s always difficult to get the first bar out of the pan? I made a mess of that one, but the rest turned out pretty wonderful.
Ingredients for Chocolate Caramel Pecan Bars
These dessert bars consist of layers. Here are the ingredients you’ll need:
- Yellow cake mix
- Brown sugar
- Evaporated milk
- Caramel chips or bits
- Chocolate chips
I normally use semi-sweet chocolate chips. But sometimes I use milk chocolate if that’s all I have on hand.
For exact measurements of each ingredient and full directions, go to the recipe card at the bottom of the page. You can even print out the card by using the “print” button.
How to make Chocolate Caramel Pecan Bars
This is a super simple recipe. In fact, you’re basically assembling it in layers, so there’s nothing complicated about it.
You can use either an 8” x 8” metal baking pan or a 7” x 11” casserole dish. I’ve made it in both, and it doesn’t seem to make a difference.
Melt the butter in the microwave and add the cake mix and half of the evaporated (not sweetened) milk. Stir until well mixed.
Press half of the mixture into the bottom of a greased baking pan or casserole dish.
Bake for 5 minutes.
Pour the caramel bits and the other half of the evaporated milk into a medium sized bowl. Microwave for approximately 1-1/2 minutes.
Stir and keep microwaving in 30-second segments, until all of the caramel is melted and stirs into the milk.
After it has a smooth consistency, pour it over the bottom crust.
I usually tilt the pan from side to side to make sure it’s level.
Sprinkle a 1/2 of a bag of chocolate chips over the bottom crust.
The chips will melt when you pour the hot caramel mixture over them.
Place the pecans in a single layer over the chocolate chips.
Gently press them down, either with the back of a spatula or with your fingertips.
If you like your dessert extra sweet, add brown sugar to the remaining crust and mix it well. Or you may leave out the brown sugar if you prefer.
And then sprinkle the rest of the crust mixture over the pecans and chocolate chips.
Bake this in the oven until the top crust is brown and crunchy.
Your house will smell so good!
Let It Cool
After you remove it from the oven, you need to let it cool for at least an hour before you cut it into squares or rectangles.
If you want, you can put it in the refrigerator after about half an hour to speed up the cooling process. But my fridge was full, so I didn’t.
Perfect Potluck Dessert
If you’re going to a party or get-together with friends and family, these chocolate caramel pecan bars are the perfect items to bring.
However, be prepared to share the recipe or tell everyone that it’s a secret recipe (with a big smile and a wink of course).
Most people who attend potluck events are there to socialize more than anything. When they get delicious food, that’s a bonus.
In addition to these bars, other good things to bring are various salads and sides.
I’m a big salad lover! In fact, I can turn almost anything into a salad. I figure salads can consist of whatever I want to include.
Some of my favorites are this zucchini and squash salad and this tomato cucumber corn salad with feta. In case someone doesn’t care for feta, you can bring that in a small container on the side. People can add it if they want.
One of the nice things about bringing a salad with this chocolate caramel pecan dessert is that there’s some balance.
A lot of people like baked beans. So I took one of my mom’s old recipes, doctored it up a bit, and came up with this delicious crockpot baked beans recipe. It’s loaded with flavor, and even some people who don’t care for beans like it.
Another popular dessert is this no-bake pineapple pie. It tastes so good that people think you spent hours working on it. No one has to know how easy it is unless you want to tell them.
Too Good to Keep in the House
One of the reasons I made these bars when I did was that I’ll be seeing someone who loves sweet treats soon. So I can bring them to her.
Since I know that if they’re in the house, I’ll eat them, it’s always good to have them gone.
Regular or Gluten-Free Chocolate Caramel Pecan Bars
The only ingredient in these bars that might have gluten is the cake mix. So I use a gluten-free version.
However, you can use the regular one if you’re able to tolerate gluten. It really doesn’t matter which you use because they both taste the same.
Fortunately, many of the major companies make gluten-free mixes, and it’s not difficult to find them these days. Even Aldi has their own gluten-free cake mixes, and they’re very good.
This time, I used one of the major brands that you can find in most grocery stores.
If you like these chocolate caramel pecan bars, you’ll like some of my other favorites. Close to the top of my list is this recipe for peanut butter Cocoa Krispie treats.
For a delicious balance of tart and sweet, try these 3-ingredient lemon bars. They are so yummy!
These rich and deliciously decadent mint chocolate mint brownies will send your senses into orbit! You don’t have to tell anyone how easy they are to make.
When it’s time to celebrate anything, try this 2-ingredient festive fudge. It’s melt-in-your-mouth delicious!
More Fun Recipes
I love checking out new, fun recipes posted by some of my favorite bloggers.
Even when they post similar recipes, they often have a different ingredient that I never would have thought of.
- 1 package of yellow cake mix
- 2 cups of caramel chips or bits
- 2/3 cup of evaporated milk
- 1/4 cup of brown sugar (optional)
- 1/2 cup of melted butter
- 1/2 package of chocolate chips
- 1 cup of chopped pecans
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray the bottom of a 8” x 8” baking pan or 7” x 11” casserole dish.
- Mix the cake mix with the melted butter and 1/3 cup of evaporated milk until it becomes thick dough. Press half of the mixture into the bottom of the pan to form the bottom crust.
- Put the bottom crust in the oven for 5 minutes. Remove.
- Pour the caramel bits and evaporated milk into a medium-size mixing bowl. Place in the microwave for 1-1/2 minutes. Remove and stir. If the caramel bits haven’t melted, return it to the microwave for 30 seconds. Repeat this process until the bits have melted.
- Pour the hot caramel mixture over the bottom crust.
Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the caramel bits.
Place the pecans in a single layer over the chocolate chips.
- If you choose to add the brown sugar for an extra sweet crust, add it to the remaining dough and mix well. Then sprinkle the dough over the caramel mixture. If you don’t want it too crumbly, press the dough down. Or you can leave it alone for a crumbly top.
- Bake in the oven for 25 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and allow it to cool for at least an hour before cutting it into squares or rectangles. If you want to speed the process, place it in the refrigerator to cool.
Don’t try to cut it before it has time to cool, or it will fall apart. I know this from experience.
Nutrition InformationYield 12 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 466Total Fat 18gSaturated Fat 7gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 10gCholesterol 24mgSodium 594mgCarbohydrates 76gFiber 2gSugar 56gProtein 4g