Gooey Chocolate Caramel Bars with Kahlúa 

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Chocolate caramel bars with Kahlúa are decadent, gooey, and layered with caramel, chocolate, coconut, and pecans. Each layer adds a new dimension of flavor and texture to create the perfect dessert for any occasion.

Gooey chocolate caramel bars.

I’ve always been a fan of gooey, delicious cookie bars, and these chocolate caramel bars with Gooey Chocolate Caramel Bars with Kahlúa are perfect for the holidays; they have layers of flavor with chocolate, caramel, Kahlúa, coconut, and pecans. 

Add them to a dessert platter when entertaining or serve them with a fruit platter for a well-rounded dessert. These sweet bars are perfect for parties and entertaining. They stay gooey at room temperature, so you can make them ahead of time and serve them when you’re ready. 

If you love bars, check out The Ultimate Brookies Bar Recipe and my Shortbread Bars.

Quick Tips

  • Use a chocolate bar instead of chocolate chips, as the bars melt better than chips.
  • Buy already toasted pecans for this recipe to add extra flavor depth.
  • Use parchment paper to line your pan for easier removal and cleanup.
  • Experiment with different flavors. Instead of Kahlúa, add bourbon or rum for an extra kick of flavor.
  • The first crust layer will seem thin, but that is okay and how it’s supposed to be.
Chocolate caramel bar with kalua and melted chocolate chips.

How to Make Chocolate Caramel Bars with Kahlúa 

I will cover everything you need to know to make this recipe. If you prefer to skip, please scroll down to the bottom of the post, where you will find the recipe card and measurements to make these bars.

Equipment 

You’ll need:

  • Small saucepan or microwave-safe bowl to melt the caramels.
  • 9×13 baking dish 
  • 2 mixing bowls
  • Measuring spoons and cups
  • Rubber spatula 
Pecan, unsalted butter, shredded coconut, brown sugar, vanilla extract and caramels in a bowl.

Ingredient Notes 

  • All-purpose flour – I prefer King Arthur flour when baking. If you’re not using a kitchen scale, correctly measure your flour by lightly spooning it into the measuring cup and then leveling it off with the back of a knife.
  • Brown sugar – Light brown sugar adds warmth and depth to the bars. These bars aren’t overly sweet, so dark brown sugar can make them cloyingly sweet.
  • Unsalted butter – It’s important to use unsalted butter in this recipe; you don’t want your chocolate caramel bars to be too salty. If you only have salted butter, reduce the added salt by half.
  • Chopped toasted pecans – You can also use walnuts or almonds instead of pecans.
  • Coconut flakes – The coconut flakes add a delicious tropical twist to these bars. I used unsweetened coconut, but either will work for this recipe. Feel free to omit coconut if you’re not a fan of coconut.
  • Salt – Just a pinch balances the sweetness and enhances all the flavors in these bars.
  • Vanilla extract – Always use pure vanilla extract for the best flavor. You can also use vanilla bean paste or scrape a vanilla bean instead.
  • Caramels – The caramels give these bars their signature gooey center. 
  • Kahlúa – This coffee liqueur adds a subtle but delicious flavor to the bars. If you don’t have any, you can use another coffee-flavored liqueur or strong-brewed coffee. 
  • Semisweet baking chocolate – Use high-quality chocolate for the best results. You can also use dark or milk chocolate, depending on your preference.
Melted chocolate and caramel.

Directions

Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).

Combine the all-purpose flour and brown sugar in a mixing bowl.

Cut in the unsalted butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Press the crumb mixture into the bottom of an ungreased 13x9x2-inch baking pan.

Bake the shortbread crust in the preheated oven for 15 minutes.

Sprinkle chopped pecans and coconut flakes over the partially baked crust.

Mix sweetened condensed milk, Kahlúa and vanilla in a separate bowl.

Pour the mixture over the crust.

Bake at 350°F (175°C) for 25-30 minutes or until the filling is set.

Melt caramels over medium-low heat in a small saucepan until melted and smooth.

Drizzle the caramel mixture over the baked filling to make a gooey caramel layer.

Sprinkle with semisweet baking chocolate on top.

Let the bars cool completely before cutting them into squares.

Store the Chocolate Caramel Bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.

How To Store 

This recipe does well at room temperature for the day. If you have leftovers, cover them and store them in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. You can also freeze for up to 3 months.

If you freeze them, make sure you bring them to room temperature before serving. 

Recipe Variations and Substitutions

  • Use bourbon or rum instead of kalua for a different flavor profile.
  • Instead of semisweet chocolate, use dark chocolate or milk chocolate chips.
  • Add a layer of crushed pretzels on top for some salty crunchiness.
  • Make your caramel sauce to drizzle over, or use melted caramels.
  • For a thicker bar, use a small 9×9 square pan. 
  • Sprinkle thick sea salt over the top after they are baked.
  • If you’re a peanut butter fan you can always add a little layer in there!

Frequently Asked Questions

How to melt caramel? 

To melt caramels, use a small saucepan on the stovetop over medium-low heat or microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring until smooth and melted.

Can I make these bars without Kahlua?  

If desired, you can leave out the Kahlua and substitute it with strong-brewed coffee. You can also use a different liquor if you prefer.

Can I use store-bought caramel sauce? 

Yes, you can use store-bought caramel sauce instead of melting caramels. Just make sure to warm it up before drizzling over the bars. 

Chocolate caramel bars with layers of coconut, caramel, pecans and chocolate.

More Dessert Recipes You’ll Love

​Enjoy your delicious, gooey chocolate caramel bars with hot coffee or tea for the ultimate indulgent treat. 

These bars are perfect for the holiday season, parties, and entertaining; just be prepared to share the recipe with everyone who tries them!

With simple ingredients and easy steps, you can recreate these decadent treats at home and impress all your friends.

Chocolate caramel bars.

When you make these bars, let me know what you think. Please leave a review and start rating below, happy baking!

You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM, and PINTEREST to see more delicious recipes, cocktails, desserts, and parties!

Gooey chocolate caramel bars.

Chocolate Caramel Bars

These bars are layered with delicious ingredients and have a gooey texture. They have a chocolate and caramel flavor and are great to serve any time of the year!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
10 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 24 Bars
Calories: 284kcal
Author: Eden

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, dark or light will work.
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 cups pecans, chopped
  • 1 cup coconut flakes, shredded
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp Kahlua 
  • 20 caramels
  • 6 ounces semisweet baking chocolate, chopped

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  • Combine the all-purpose flour and brown sugar in a mixing bowl.
  • Cut in the unsalted butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
    cutting butter into a bowl with flour.
  • Press the crumb mixture into the bottom of a greased 13x9x2-inch baking pan.
  • Bake the shortbread crust in the preheated oven for 15 minutes.
  • Sprinkle chopped pecans and coconut flakes over the partially baked crust.
    Pecans and coconut flakes spread over shortbread cookie.
  • Mix sweetened condensed milk, Kahlúa and vanilla in a separate bowl.
    Sweeten condensed milk in a white bowl.
  • Pour the mixture over the crust.
  • Bake at 350°F (175°C) for 25-30 minutes or until the filling is set.
  • While the bars are baking, melt caramels over medium-low heat in a small saucepan until melted and smooth.
  • Drizzle the caramel mixture over the baked filling to make a gooey caramel layer.
  • Sprinkle with semisweet baking chocolate on top.
    Melted chocolate and caramel.
  • Let the bars cool before cutting them into squares.

Notes

Store the Chocolate Caramel Bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.
Swap out the nuts for walnuts or pistachios. 
If you don’t have Kahlúa you can use any coffee liqueur or espresso .

Nutrition

Calories: 284kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 17mg | Sodium: 94mg | Potassium: 186mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 23g | Vitamin A: 174IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 75mg | Iron: 1mg
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5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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