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This easy carmelitas recipe is completely irresistible! These are soft and chewy oatmeal cookie bars packed full of gooey caramel and melted chocolate.

Close up of three carmelitas stacked, with a bite missing from the top bar.


Caramels, pumpkins, apples… Fall is here! I went to the store to pick up oats, and when I walked in, the first thing I noticed was the heaps of apples and pears. Right behind them was a basket filled with caramel candies. As soon as I saw those candies, I started to think about sweet, gooey, chewy desserts and I almost forgot what I went to the store for. Luckily, this Carmelitas recipe reminded me to grab the oats.

Why You’ll Love This Carmelitas Recipe

  • Extra chocolatey. My version of Carmelitas cookie bars should really be called Chocolitas. There’s a good amount of caramel in here, of course, but I also doubled the chocolate for the chocoholics in this house.
  • Easy to make. Aside from being addictively delicious, one of the best things about carmelitas is how easy they are to make with simple ingredients.
  • Irresistible. Every bite is packed full of melted chocolate and creamy homemade caramel, with chewy oats. It’s the best version of an oatmeal cookie you’ll ever have!
Oats, caramels, sugar and other carmelita ingredients in bowls.

What You’ll Need

My original recipe included only half a cup of chocolate chips. This time, I ended up with a whole cup or more of chocolate chips AND caramel chips. I’ll share the original version, too, but if you are a chocolate lover, go ahead and double the amount of chocolate chips like I did here.

Here’s what you’ll need. Be sure to scroll down to the recipe card for specific amounts.

  • All-purpose flour
  • Rolled oats – Use old-fashioned rolled oats, not instant oats
  • Light brown sugar – Dark brown sugar also works if that’s what you have on hand.
  • Baking soda
  • Butter – There is a generous amount of unsalted butter in this recipe. It’s worth it!
  • Caramel candies – Any brand of caramel candies works, just make sure that caramel is the only thing in them.
  • Heavy cream – You could also use half and half.
  • Semi-sweet chocolate chips – Feel free to use dark chocolate chips if you want these to be less sweet and enjoy the more intense dark chocolate flavor.

How to Make Carmelitas

Ok, it’s time to make the most amazing oatmeal cookie bars ever! Here’s how to do it:

  • Make the oatmeal dough. Start by mixing flour with oats, brown sugar, baking soda, and melted butter until that’s well combined.
  • Bake. Press about half of the dough into the bottom of a lined and greased 9×9″ baking pan. Bake at 350ºF for 10 minutes.
  • Prepare the caramel. Meanwhile, melt caramels with cream in a saucepan over low heat.
  • Assemble. Take the baked oatmeal layer out of the oven and sprinkle chocolate chips over the crust. Pour the melted caramel over top. Crumble the other half of the oatmeal dough over the caramel.
  • Bake again. Finally, the bars go back into the oven for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown.
  • Cool. Let the carmelitas cool completely before lifting them out of the pan and slicing.
Two carmelitas stacked inside a pan of bars.

Tips for the Best Carmelitas

  • Let them cool before cutting. Because the caramel and chocolate are so gooey while hot, these cookie bars are easier to cut once they have cooled. I know it’s hard to wait, but it will be worth it!
  • Line your baking sheet. Don’t skip this step, it makes it much easier to remove the cookie bars from the pan and cut them. I use foil but parchment works, too.
  • Experiment with mix-ins. If you like, you can add up to 1/2 cup of mix-ins such as coconut flakes, chopped nuts, chopped dried fruit, or even more chocolate! It’s up to you.
Close up of three carmelitas stacked, with a bite missing from the top bar.

How to Store

  • Storing. You can store cooled carmelitas in an airtight container on the counter for up to 3 days. These cookie bars also keep well in the fridge. Store them in an airtight container for up to 1 week in the fridge.
  • Want to freeze carmelitas? You can do that, too! I recommend freezing individual slices wrapped in plastic wrap. Place the wrapped slices in a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 3 months.
  • When you’re ready to enjoy a slice simply defrost overnight in the fridge, on the counter for a few hours, or heat in the microwave for 30 seconds after removing the plastic wrap.

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This easy carmelitas recipe makes delicious oatmeal cookie bars filled with gooey caramel and chocolate!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Cooling Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 16 bars


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  • Prep your tools. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line a 9×9 pan with aluminum foil leaving an overhang on opposite sides to lift the bars out. Grease lightly with cooking spray. Set aside.
  • Make the oatmeal dough. In a large bowl combine the flour, oats, brown sugar, baking soda, and melted butter; mix until well combined.
  • Bake. Press half of the oatmeal mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan and put it in the oven to bake for 10 minutes.
  • Prepare the caramel. While the first layer bakes, combine caramels and cream in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir until smooth.
  • Add chocolate and caramel. Remove the pan from the oven and layer the chocolate chips over the crust. Pour caramel mixture over chocolate chips.
  • Add the final oat layer. Crumble the remaining oatmeal mixture over the caramel.
  • Finish baking. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until light golden brown.
  • Cool. Remove from oven and completely cool before removing from pan and cutting into bars. Preheat oven to 350˚F.


Calories: 269kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 9mg | Sodium: 137mg | Potassium: 147mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 32g | Vitamin A: 89IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 58mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.

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  1. tanya1234 says:

    luv it

  2. Meghan says:

    Carmelitas are the best! These look fantastic & now I want to make a batch!!

  3. mjskit says:

    I have never had anything like this! Caramel candies baked inside the mixture! You’re killing me! I love caramel, chocolate and oatmeal cookies, so I do believe I would LOVE these!

  4. Lora @cakeduchess says:

    Love these delicious bars. I adore caramel and and with the chocolate and oatmeal-oh my yumminess!

  5. Carolyn says:

    Love carmelitas…one of my all-time faves!