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Peanut Butter Caramel Bars Recipe

Peanut Butter Caramel Bars Recipe

When my husband and our three sons sit down to dinner, they ask, "What's for dessert?" I have a happy group of guys when I report that these rich bars are on the menu. They're chockfull of yummy ingredients. —Lee Ann Karnowski, Stevens Point, Wisconsin
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 50 min. + chilling Bake: 20 min. + cooling YIELD:36 servings


  • 1 package yellow cake mix (regular size)
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 large egg
  • 20 miniature peanut butter cups, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 jar (12-1/4 ounces) caramel ice cream topping
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup salted peanuts
  • 1 can (16 ounces) milk chocolate frosting
  • 1/2 cup chopped salted peanuts


  • 1. In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, butter and egg; beat on low speed for 30 seconds. Beat on medium for 2 minutes or until no longer crumbly. Stir in peanut butter cups.
  • 2. Press into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan. Bake at 350° for 18-22 minutes or until lightly browned.
  • 3. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, combine the cornstarch, caramel topping and peanut butter; stir until smooth. Cook over low heat for 25-27 minutes or until mixture comes to a boil; stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat; stir in peanuts.
  • 4. Spread evenly over warm crust. Bake 6-7 minutes longer or until almost set. Cool completely on a wire rack. Spread with frosting; sprinkle with peanuts. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before cutting. Store in the refrigerator. Yield: about 3 dozen.
Editor's Note: Reduced-fat peanut butter is not recommended for this recipe.

Nutritional Facts

1 each: 215 calories, 10g fat (4g saturated fat), 13mg cholesterol, 218mg sodium, 29g carbohydrate (21g sugars, 1g fiber), 3g protein.

Reviews for Peanut Butter Caramel Bars

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sd20 User ID: 5560294 224745
Reviewed Apr. 13, 2015

"These were fine but have other bar recipes we like better so probably won't make these again. I baked as directed but thought crust was a little to hard and being refrigerated made them even harder. Not even sure why they need to be refrigerated."

MY REVIEW User ID: 193450 223535
Reviewed Mar. 25, 2015

"Delicious! Make sure you have a glass of milk handy!!"

dschultz01 User ID: 1076910 222901
Reviewed Mar. 16, 2015

"Excellent! But with these ingredients, was there ever any doubt?"

Jolena User ID: 87898 221217
Reviewed Feb. 23, 2015


Sue Zappa User ID: 1094741 220145
Reviewed Feb. 9, 2015 Edited Feb. 10, 2015

"This recipe is nearly identical to one I submitted to the Pillsbury Bake-Off in 1993! Leave out the cornstarch, & only cook the caramels & peanut butter until the caramels are melted. I added 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips to the canned frosting & warmed it over low heat until the chips melted. Gave it additional chocolate flavor! The peanuts are a nice addition! These bars are addictive!"

Callie651 User ID: 8252424 220115
Reviewed Feb. 9, 2015

"Recipe sounds wonderful but wondering if directions are correct--cook caramel and pb for 25 -27 minutes? Sounds a bit long . . ."

mamabear04 User ID: 301173 73955
Reviewed Dec. 18, 2012

"Have made this several times. Have a cup of coffee ready, it is very rich."

HeatherHH User ID: 1550099 73949
Reviewed Feb. 8, 2012

"There are SO good. Gooey and rich and definitely taste homemade. My only suggestion would be to chop the peanuts that go on top for a better presentation and nicer texture."

slug9000 User ID: 3827284 29893
Reviewed Feb. 28, 2010

"These are delicious! The chocolate frosting gives them an interesting and unique flavor. They are best right out of the fridge!"

lightedway User ID: 4228023 67099
Reviewed Sep. 13, 2009

"This is a fun recipe. I recommend getting all your ingredients together before getting started. The saucepan mixture came together quickly for me. These bars are extraordinary. They disappear fast and freeze well too! Thank you Lee Ann"

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