Pumpkin Caramel Layer Bars


Pumpkin Caramel Layer Bars

On Friday I got to have a lunch date with my husband and see Gravity in 3D thanks to his company.  A couple times a year they rent out a theater and the employees get to go see one of the new movies that is out.  This is the first time they had extra tickets, and I was able to go too.  I can’t remember the last time we saw an adult movie in the theater, so it was a fun afternoon.  The only downside; they didn’t supply the popcorn.  Can you go to a movie and not get popcorn?  It is my favorite part!

Pumpkin Caramel Layer Bars

October is here.  I shared with you Pumpkin Cake Rice Krispie Treats, and brownies that used Pumpkin Spice M&M’s a couple weeks ago, but this is my first full on pumpkin recipe.  I finally gave in and opened a can of pumpkin.  I have 2 more in the pantry, so get ready.  Don’t worry, I won’t go crazy.  My husband doesn’t like pumpkin, so I don’t do too much with it.  I have a couple ideas, but I will take it easy.  Are you a big fan of pumpkin?

Pumpkin Caramel Layer Bars

We have been making Caramel Layer Bars in my family for years.  My grandma used to make them, and they have become a staple in my family.  I decided to make a pumpkin version.  I sent these to work with my husband, and they disappeared quickly.  He came home and said they got rave reviews from people.

Pumpkin Caramel Layer Bars

Yields 24

Pumpkin Bars with a layer of gooey caramel.

15 minPrep Time

30 minCook Time

45 minTotal Time

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    Pumpkin Bars
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Filling
  • 1 (14 oz) package caramels, unwrapped
  • 2/3 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 cup chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 13x9 inch baking dish with non-stick spray or line with parchment paper.
  2. In a microwave safe bowl melt together caramels and evaporated milk. Heat for 45 seconds and a time.
  3. In the bowl for an electric mixer combing butter and brown sugar. Cream until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs, vanilla, and pumpkin puree. Mix until well combined, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  4. Stir in flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt.
  5. Spread 2/3 of the batter into the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Bake for 5 minutes.
  6. Remove from the oven sprinkle evenly with chocolate chips. Pour melted caramel. Drop spoonfuls of the remaining batter over the caramel.
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes. A tester should come out clean from dough, there will be some caramel on it.



  1. This one is calling my name. It looks fantastic!

  2. These look great. So sad that your husband doesn’t like pumpkin. I can’t wait to see what else you have up your sleeve!

  3. Looks amazing! I am definitely making this! I knew I should have bought caramels this weekend!

  4. Yummy pumpkin and caramel go so good together and these look so gooey delish!

  5. These bars look so good, I love the pumpkin and caramel combo!

  6. I heard that movie was really good. Did you like it? That drippy caramel looks delicious. I bet these bars are fantastic.

  7. Mmm these sound super scrumptious!

  8. Loook at that gooey layer! I’m in love!

  9. That caramel filling looks crazy decadent! Love it!

  10. Why must your torture me when I am trying to eat so healthy! GAH these looks good!

  11. Oh man these are pretty much my dream dessert. I am so nuts for anything pumpkin and the gooey caramel puts them over the top. Love this!

  12. I haven’t heard of that movie so I’ll go check it out! And your husband’s company sounds nice with the entertainment perks. :)

    These look so so so good. And on top that, your best pictures ever! 😀

  13. Mmm love that oozy caramel!

  14. Holy smokes! These bars look killer!!

  15. What a fun date! Haven’t seen that one yet. But my oldest saw it in 3D and he said it’s amazing.
    My most favorite Fall ingredients are right here in front of my eye balls!! Caramel and pumpkin. I’m in total bliss right now. Already pinned!

  16. Drool! These look like pure heaven, Erin!! I just cracked open the pumpkin too! Can’t wait to see more recipes :)

  17. Oh I can’t wait to try these, mainly because of the oozing caramel!

  18. No popcorn?!?! What a tragedy! What did you think of the movie? I’ve heard good things! And these bars? Well they look delicious! Thank you for sharing them!

  19. That is gooey goodness on a plate! Delish!

  20. These look amazing, I’m suddenly SO hungry. Pinning :)

  21. I made these, and they were NOT good. The caramel all sunk to the bottom of the pan and the pumpkin cake part was dry. :( And yes, I followed the recipe perfectly.

    • I am sorry these didn’t work out for you. I have made them 3 times, and not had these problems. I would like to work through them with you to see if we can figure out why they didn’t turn out.

  22. Cinnamon, caramel and pumpkin all together equals DELICIOUS!! I shared it in my Pumpkin Round Up on my blog today! :) http://shariblogs.com/35-pumpkin-dessert-recipes/

  23. This recipe looked awesome and I need to make it for a gathering this weekend. In order to make sure it turns out right I made a batch last night. I followed the recipe as it was listed except my caramel bag was 11oz so I cut the evaporated milk back to 1/2 of a cup. I cooked the bottom layer for 5 minutes at 350, took everything out spread the chips and caramel like the recipe says to. I let the recipe cool and cut it the next morning. The caramel spread a little throughout the mix, it wasn’t the thick layer your image shows. The top and bottom turned out more like a cake then a cookie. I didn’t sift my flour but when I scoop flour I do it by the spoon full and shake it into the measuring cup to separate it, that way I get a true 1 3/4 cup and not more. Any help would be great. I assume to reduce the flour a bit and maybe increase the caramel. I just want advice of how to make them turn out more like cookies instead of cake.

    Thanks for any help.

    • Mine are more like cake than cookie. They are soft and chewy. So I think you did everything right. My bag of caramels was 14 oz, and they were warm when I pictured them, so the caramel looks gooey. You could definitely use more caramels to get an even thicker layer.

      • My total bar size seems taller then what your image looks like. If I had to guess the total height of my bar is 1 1/2 inches tall, it just doesn’t have the same consistancy as what your picture shows. A lot more air pockets like a cake would have, while your image looks more cookie like. Still tastes great just wasn’t sure it came out right.

        Thanks for the help!

        • I wonder if the height has to do with where i live. I live in CO, and things tend to flatten out here, given the altitude. My only other guess is that maybe it was how much you mixed ingredients if you used a mixer. If you incorporated a lot of air in there, maybe that has something to do with it.

          • Hello Erin,

            I’ve made these two more times now and they turned out much better. Some key things to point out from my own experiences. All of the caramel bags they have in the stores around me are 11 oz. so I bought two bags and averaged that 50 pieces is close to 11 oz. I cut the evaporated milk down to 1/2 a cup or even slightly less. My first batch had the same issue as another post that the caramel mixed into the batter because my caramel sauce had too much liquid. I also cut the flower down to 1 1/2 cups just to reduce the cake like results from my first try. I made sure not to over mix, when I added the dry ingredients to the wet I mixed on the lowest speed for less than a minute, until there was no more noticeable flour. After doing these things my results were much closer to your images and still tasted great. Thanks for the help.

            Can’t wait for your pumpkin cookie post!

    • I was thinking about this more. I do have a recipe for Chewy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies that I am posting next week. If you wanted to do a true bar cookie, you could use that as the base, and add a layer of caramel. The recipe is going up on Wednesday, so check back then if you are interested!

  24. Oh wow!! These look so crazy I can’t wait to try it!


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