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Peanut Butter Caramel Bars

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
  • Makes
    about 3 dozen


  • 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


  • 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.
  • Press into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan. Bake at 350° for 18-22 minutes or until lightly browned.
  • 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.
  • 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.
Editor's Note
Reduced-fat peanut butter is not recommended for this recipe.

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Average Rating:
  • pattiejean
    Mar 19, 2019

    These were so easy to make, and to die for!! Will make again. I followed the recipe except left out the chopped peanuts. We love peanut butter but not everyone in my family likes the whole nuts in things. I like keeping them in fridge as it keeps the frosting firm.

  • sd20
    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.

  • wintermom9597
    Mar 25, 2015

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

  • dschultz01
    Mar 16, 2015

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

  • Jolena
    Feb 23, 2015


  • browniemonster
    Feb 17, 2015

    No comment left

  • Sue Zappa
    Feb 9, 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
    Feb 9, 2015

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

  • TanyaBell
    Apr 30, 2013

    No comment left

  • mamabear04
    Dec 18, 2012

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