Caramel Coconut Pecan Bars Recipe
We love cookie bars at our house. I began my love of cookie bars quite young as it was one of those childhood sweet treats my Mom made often for us. Enter caramel. If I had to choose between chocolate and caramel? Well, there's no contest. My heart belongs to creamy, buttery, caramel. These caramel coconut pecan bars begin with a caramel cake mix combined with an easy caramel filling that's embellished with a sprinkle of toffee bits, shredded coconut and toasted pecans. Pure heaven.
How to Make the Best Caramel Coconut Pecan Bars
- Ingredients you'll need to make homemade Caramel Coconut Pecan Bars: One box caramel cake mix, chopped pecans, quick cooking oats, dulce de leche, evaporated milk, sweetened flaked coconut, large egg, salt, English toffee bits. (bits-brickle)
- Kitchen tools you'll need: A stand mixer or hand mixer, medium bowl, measuring cups and spoons, whisk, pastry cutter, 8 x 8 or 9 x 9 inch non stick baking pan,
- Caramel cake mix can be difficult to find at times. If you're unable to find it, no worries! I've made these bars with butter pecan cake mix and yellow cake mix, too. They're slightly different, yet still delicious.
- Dulce de Leche is a luscious thick caramel. It's readily available in most grocery stores in the Hispanic foods section and at times with the sweetened condensed milk. You can also find it in speciality food markets like World Market and Williams Sonoma.
- You may also be able to adapt this recipe with a thick caramel ice cream topping in the same amount. Emphasis on thick. If it's too thin, the filling will be runny.
- Once the bars have cooled for a few minutes, run an offset spatula or knife around the outside to loosen the edges. This will help later when cutting into portions to devour.
- If you'd like to make your own caramel, checkout my technique for making Homemade Dulce de Leche in a slow cooker.
- Store Caramel Coconut Pecan Bars in an airtight container at room temperature or chilled for up to 4 days.
More Easy Cookie and Dessert Bars to Make
Cookie bars and dessert bars are a tasty option to make when you need handheld desserts. More easy bar recipes you may also like to try:
- Rich and delicious no bake Caramel Pecan Turtle Scotcheroos.
- Bodacious Butterfinger Cookie Bars are filled with chopped butterfingers making them rich and chewy.
- Easy Cherry Pie Crumb Bars are a cake mix hack and no one will ever know.
- Pecan Pie Bars are a terrific option for handheld dessert.
- Peanut Butter Mallow Bars are a family favorite.
- Island inspired Pineapple Coconut Chess Bars.
- Frosted Sugar Cookie Bars from Cupcakes and Kale Chips.
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Helpful Kitchen Items:
Caramel Coconut Pecan Bars
- 1 cup pecan pieces toasted
- 1 15.25 oz box caramel cake mix See Cook's note
- ½ cup quick cooking oats
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¾ cup cold butter cubed
- 1 13.4 oz can dulce de leche
- 1 5 oz can evaporated milk
- 1 large egg
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup shredded sweetened flaked coconut
- ½ cup English toffee bits
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spread pecan pieces in a single layer on a baking pan. Toast for 6-8 minutes, then set aside to cool.
- To a medium-size mixing bowl, add the cake mix, oats and cinnamon. Sift together with a whisk.
- Cut the cold butter into the dry ingredients using a hand mixer, food processor, or by hand using a pastry blender. Continue until all of the butter is incorporated and the mixture is crumbly. Separate out 1 cup and keep chilled.
- Press the remaining mixture into an 13 x 9 inch non stick metal pan that has been sprayed with a baking spray.
- Bake for 15 minutes until the edges begin to brown.
- Meanwhile, using an electric mixer or a whisk, whip together dulce de leche, evaporated milk, egg and salt.
- Layer the pecans, toffee bits and coconut over the crust. Drizzle the caramel filling evenly on top.
- Crumble reserved chilled streusal topping and place back into the oven. Bake for 35-40 minutes until golden.
- Cool completely in the pan on a baking rack before cutting.
- Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
- If you're unable to find caramel cake mix you can adapt this recipe using butter pecan or yellow cake mix with no other adjustments needed.
- Dulce de Leche is a luscious thick caramel. It's readily available at most grocery stores in the Hispanic foods section or at World Market and Williams Sonoma.
THE CAKE MIX IS IT CARAMEL APPLE BY DUNCAN HINES ?
It's actually just caramel cake mix. I've found it at my local Walmart and Food Lion. If you're unable to find it, you could likely adapt using the Caramel Apple or even Butter Pecan in a pinch.
I can't find the Carmel Cake mix, what do you recommend as substitute?
Ah that's too bad! You could use a yellow or butter pecan in a pinch. The bars will have a slightly different flavor but will still be tasty.
Hi Teresa, thanks for sharing your technique. For years, I made dulce in a very similar manner, but, now that it's readily available and so affordable, I most often purchase it. It's also available at speciality stores like World Market. Thanks for your visit, Melissa
I have made Dulce de Leche before by using a can of sweetened condensed milk, cooking it in the can.Remove the label,poke a couple of holes in the top of the can. Place the can in a saucepan and fill with water to near the top of the can. Let the pot and can simmer gently for about one and a half to two hours for runny dulce de leche, or up to four hours for solid dulce de leche. Add more water, as necessary, when the level boils down too much.
When it's done, let it cool for a while, and then carefully open the can completely and eat directly (for the solid variety) or use as a dessert spread (for the liquid variety).
The resulting product should be colored tan or brown.
Hey Linda, I know exactly what you're talking about...it looks almost exactly the same however, the dulce will be clearly marked, "Dulce de leche" Good catch! Walmart even carries it here in our area. Hope you can find it. 🙂
I checked last night Melissa. They have the Nestles brand (similar packaging) but in English it says "Sweetened Condensed Milk" so I don't think it's the same thing you posted. I'll keep looking.
It's one of my favorite things ever, hope you can find it! 🙂
Looks lovely Melissa. Thanks for the tip on the dulce de leche. I'll be looking for it in my international aisle:)