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Salted Caramel Gooey Butter Bars

Gooey Butter Bars

There are a few types of gooey butter bar (or as we say here in St. Louis, gooey butter cake) bakers: those who make yeasty cake-like gooey butter bars, those who prepare a “cheater” version made with cake mix and cream cheese, and those who bake a from-scratch version made with evaporated milk.  I prefer the last option and, judging from the results of my informal Facebook survey, most of you prefer bars when they are covered in salted caramel!

Since I know you can’t all make it to St. Louis, I made you some salted caramel gooey butter bars here on the blog!! I also made some gooey butter spudnuts which you should try next!

My salted caramel gooey butter bars start with a buttery crust. That’s topped with a layer of salted caramel (follow the recipe to make it from scratch or save time and use store-bought caramel sauce). The caramel layer is covered in rich gooey butter filling and, once out of the oven, more caramel sauce may be drizzled on top.

Gooey Butter Bars

I originally developed the gooey butter bar recipe for Go Bold With Butter and I took my commitment to using real butter seriously.  These gooey butter bars are super rich and I wouldn’t have it any other way (see my brookies for another really intense dessert bar).  I always start snack time by putting just half of a bar on my plate, somehow convincing myself that I won’t need the other half.  I end up reaching for the second half every time.

If You Like These, You May Also Like…

My snickerdoodle bars. They are also quite buttery, though not as buttery as these. And, they have a wonderful cinnamon flavor.

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Salted Caramel Gooey Butter Bars
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4.25 from 8 votes

Salted Caramel Gooey Butter Bars

Gooey butter bars are a classic dessert, elevated with salted caramel.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword gooey butter bars, salted caramel
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Servings 16 2” square bars
Calories 354kcal
Author Stef


Salted Caramel Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into tablespoon-sized pieces
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Bar Base Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter cold and cut into tablespoon-sized pieces

Bar Filling Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup evaporated milk


Salted caramel Instructions

  • Place water and sugar in a medium-sized saucepan on medium-high heat and vigorously stir until sugar is dissolved and begins to boil.
  • Once boiling, stop stirring and let boil until the sugar’s temperature reads 370 F on a candy thermometer.
  • Immediately remove from heat and carefully add butter. Swirl the pan until the butter is completely melted.
  • Add the heavy whipping cream and immediately stir vigorously to combine.
  • Stir in salt.
  • Cool to room temperature.

Bar Base Instructions

  • Place all ingredients in a mixing bowl and use your hands to mix until the ingredients come together to form fine crumbs.
  • Press into the bottom of a greased 8”x8” pan.
  • Top with 3/4 cup of the salted caramel from above. If needed, tilt the pan slightly so the caramel will flow to evenly cover the whole crust.

Bar Filling Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 F.
  • In a mixing bowl, beat sugar and butter until fully combined.
  • Mix in the corn syrup and egg.
  • Alternately add the flour and the evaporated milk in three additions, mixing until just combined (the batter will appear slightly curdled).
  • Evenly distribute topping over caramel.
  • Bake for 35 minutes or until the edges of the bars are just turning brown. When you shake the pan, the center should still be somewhat loose but not liquid. Be careful not to over-bake, as you will then lose the gooey aspect of the gooey butter bars.
  • Cool to room temperature and optionally drizzle remaining salted caramel sauce on top.
  • Cut into squares and serve.


Nutrition Facts
Salted Caramel Gooey Butter Bars
Amount Per Serving
Calories 354 Calories from Fat 180
% Daily Value*
Fat 20g31%
Saturated Fat 12g60%
Cholesterol 67mg22%
Sodium 60mg3%
Potassium 60mg2%
Carbohydrates 41g14%
Sugar 29g32%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 655IU13%
Vitamin C 0.2mg0%
Calcium 42mg4%
Iron 0.8mg4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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Salted Caramel Gooey Butter Bars
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8 comments on “Salted Caramel Gooey Butter Bars”

  1. Amysays:

    Great flavor combinations, and how can you complain about gooey.

  2. You know, I have only been to St. Louis twice but I never knew that gooey butter bars were their thing. I had Imo’s pizza and frozen custard (because that’s a thing where I grew up too and I love it). But either way, I need this salted caramel version!

  3. Liz Tsays:

    5 stars
    Amazingly delicious. Read your blog about the “fake” butter cake and I’ve made it before. It was called Chess cake. Never knew there was an original recipe. So incredibly yummy. Served it for family night and everyone went back for seconds. The goey is so goey and the crust is perfect. Loved putting the homemade salted caramel. Love your recipes.

  4. Emilysays:

    3 stars
    The recipe does not specify white or brown sugar, so that was not helpful. They taste good but not as caramely as I had hoped.

  5. I just adore your style thanks for the effort and style simple sexy food with STYLE and taste !

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