Last week I went to Instagram and polled my followers.  What did they want to see more of?  Sweet or Savory?  To my surprise…they said SWEET!  Which was music to my ears because I am a sugar lover, through and through.  So these Salted Caramel Butter Cake Bars are for all of my viewers.  I will start right now and say…you are welcome.  There are about 10 awesome things about this recipe but let me share the top three.  1) The crust and topping are made with a cake mix. 2) Adding kosher salt to melted caramel is heavenly. 3) Salted Caramel Butter Cake Bars will make your family jump for joy!

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Do you like making dessert bars?  Try these…Glazed Lemon Poppy Seed Bars, Pecan Shortbread Bars and Blackberry Crumble Bars.

Using a cake mix for the crust and topping is such a great idea.  Especially when you are using the Butter Recipe Mix.  Butter makes everything better!  I also love to use the Caramel Bits.  Not only do you not have to unwrap each individual caramel but they also melt super quick.

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Using a Butter Cake Mix to Make Shortbread Mixture

The crust and topping starts with cake mix, butter and egg.  You can use a wooden spoon but a hand mixer moves it along quickly.

It will look crumbly when mixed but that is exactly what you are looking for.  

Pour 2/3 of the mixture into the bottom of a greased 8×8 baking pan.  Pack it down firmly using your hands or the bottom of a measuring cup.

The last 1/3 needs to be covered and refrigerated until it is ready to use.

Bake the crust at 350 degrees for 13-15 minutes or until it is lightly browned.  

Caramel Bits melted and turned into Salted Caramel

While the crust is cooling for a few minutes, begin melting the caramel.  Add milk or heavy cream to the caramel bits and microwave.  Start with 45 seconds, stir and then add 25 second intervals until it is smooth and melted.

Isn’t it beautiful!

Pour melted caramel over the baked crust and then sprinkle kosher salt over caramel.  It might look like a lot but it helps cut through all of the sweetness.  The salt is optional, so omit if you prefer to not include it.

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Take the rest of the mixture from the refrigerator and crumble over the top of the salted caramel.  Press it down slightly.

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Bake for an additional 15 minutes.  It should be lightly golden brown.  Let the bars cool completely before cutting them into 12 equal squares.

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In the end, you will get three layers of pure goodness.  The bottom crust is a lot like shortbread, then the caramel is soft…yet slightly salty, topped with more of the shortbread like mixture.  A totally delicious dessert that only requires 6 ingredients is a home run in my book.

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Salted Caramel Butter Cake Bars

Salted caramel and a butter cake mix are turned into a delicious bar cookie that everyone will love.

Course Dessert
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 12 bars

Ingredients

Shortbread Crust

  • 1 box butter cake mix
  • 1/3 cup butter {softened}
  • egg

Caramel Layer

  • 11 oz. Caramel Bits candies
  • 2-3 tbsp milk or heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tbsp kosher salt {optional}

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray an 8x8 pan with non-stick spray.  Mix dry cake mix, softened butter and egg with either a wooden spoon or an electric mixer.  The mixture will be crumbly and that is how it should be.  Take 2/3 of the mixture and press it into the using your fingers or the bottom of a measuring cup {reserve the remaining 1/3 of mixture and refrigerate until ready for use}.  Bake for 13-15 minutes or until it is a pale golden brown.  Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes.

  2. While the crust is cooling, put the caramels and milk into a microwave safe bowl.  Microwave for 45 seconds and stir, continue with 25 second intervals until it is smooth and melted.  Add vanilla and stir.  Pour caramel over crust and spread out evenly.  If desired, sprinkle caramel with kosher salt.  Take remaining cake mixture and sprinkle it over the top of the caramel mixture, pressing it slightly.  Bake for an additional 15 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool completely before cutting into 12 even squares.  Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

SHOP THIS RECIPE:

8×8 Square Baking Pan

10 Piece Microwave Safe Mixing Bowl Set