Gingerbread Caramel Gooey Bars

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Gingerbread Caramel Gooey Bars are so chewy and flavorful, it’s hard to stop eating them! These easy dessert bars are made with lots of brown sugar, molasses and sweetened condensed milk so they stay nice and soft.

If you like these gooey bars you should also try my Carrot Cake Gooey Bars or these Oatmeal Cream Pie Gooey Bars.

Gingerbread Caramel Gooey Bars stacked on wax paper

How To Make Gingerbread Caramel Gooey Bars

My inspiration for these bars came from one of my favorite bloggers – Dorothy, from Crazy for Crust. When I saw her Pumpkin Toffee Gooey Bars I almost fell out of my chair. I knew I had to make a version myself and gingerbread seemed like the perfect way to go. I mean how do you make something gooey and delicious even gooier? Add molasses and caramels. Chewy city.

You start out with a yellow cake mix. Nice and easy. It quickly gets sticky with 3/4 a cup of molasses. After adding the molasses, dark brown sugar and spices, the delicious smell will have you wanting to eat the batter.

Top view of three Gooey Bars stacked between layers of wax paper

In the first round of these bars, I used caramel bits. I normally use the square caramels and cut them into pieces, but in the interest of saving time I gave the bits a shot.

The bits just didn’t quite do it. They are meant to hold their shape, like a chocolate chip, but I wanted gooey and melty. And you just couldn’t really taste them amongst the star power of the molasses and ginger.

Three Gooey Bars stacked with wax paper

So for round 2, I went back to my beloved square caramels. I melted them down most of the way, leaving some chunkiness, and added the melted caramels right into the sweetened condense milk. Once combined, it all looked like delicious caramel. When sandwiched between the gingerbread dough and baked, the caramel-y chunks were just as melty and gooey as I’d wanted. Perfect! The caramel totally compliments the gingerbread.

A close up of Gingerbread Caramel Gooey Bars stacked on top of each other

These Gooey Bars Are Delicious For Breakfast or Dessert

I had these bars for breakfast for about a week straight – they go perfect with my pumpkin coffee. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Then I decided I needed to try and save the rest for my mom, who is a big gingerbread fan. Saving them was not an easy task. I wasn’t entirely sure if they’d stay soft, but after almost a week and a half they were still so moist and chewy. These bars would be perfect for sending in a care package to someone.

Three square Gingerbread Caramel Gooey Bars stacked on wax paper with more paper between each one

My Whole Family Loved These Easy Dessert Bars

My mom fell in love at first bite. She tried to hide them from my dad. Remember the cavernous caves of the pantry I told you about (see my Caramel Rolo Rice Krispie Treats post)? She considered using those for hiding, but was afraid she’d forget about them (it recently happened with something else).

But then later, while eating one, she had a weak moment and gave my dad a bite. His sweet tooth is as bad as mine. After that, she didn’t get another bar. He devoured them all. They were anxiously awaiting this recipe, so naturally it’s the first thing I’m sharing after Thanksgiving.

Three square Gingerbread Caramel Gooey Bars stacked on wax paper

Speaking of Thanksgiving, I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday! I know I did. It was so nice to get away for a few days and relax with friends and family. We were able to get together with some friends we hadn’t seem in a while, so that was really nice.

And now that Thanksgiving is officially over, we can get right into the Christmas spirit. We’ve already got the music going and the wreaths hung. Tonight we do the tree. I can’t wait. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Three square Gingerbread Caramel Gooey Bars stacked on wax paper
Recipe

Gingerbread Caramel Gooey Bars

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 9-12 Bars 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Gingerbread Caramel Gooey Bars are so chewy and flavorful, it’s hard to stop eating them! These easy dessert bars are made with lots of brown sugar, molasses and sweetened condensed milk so they stay nice and soft.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 15.25 oz yellow cake mix
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup molasses
  • 1 stick butter (1/2 cup), softened
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 5.5 oz caramels (about 20 caramels)
  • 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk

Instructions

1. Combine cake mix, egg, molasses, butter, sugar, flour and spices and mix until smooth. Batter will be thick and sticky.
2. Melt caramels in a microwaveable bowl until mostly smooth, with a few chunks left.
3. Add melted caramel to sweetened condensed milk and combine.
4. Line a 9×9 pan with parchment paper, extending the paper up the sides of the pan.
5. Add half of the gingerbread batter to the pan and spread evenly. Batter will be sticky, so it might help to drop spoonfuls into the pan, then spread.
6. Pour caramel mixture over the gingerbread dough in the pan.
7. Drop spoonfuls of remaining dough over the caramel layer, spreading a bit to mostly cover the caramel layer.
8. Bake at 350 for 30-33 minutes.
9. Allow to cool completely in the pan so that the caramel has a chance to firm up (you could also refrigerate it, but the caramel may become hard to cut), then cut into squares. Bars should be good if stored in an airtight container for 7-10 days.

Keywords: cake mix bars, ooey gooey bars, gooey bars, dessert bars recipes, gingerbread bars, caramel dessert, caramel bars recipe, easy dessert recipes, easy dessert for a crowd

Modified from Crazy for Crust

Enjoy!

More Dessert Recipes You Might Like:

Peppermint Brownie Ice Cream Cake

Peppermint Brownie Ice Cream Cake with fudge dripping down on a white platter

Caramel Rolo Rice Krispie Treats

Three square Caramel Rolo Rice Krispie Treats stacked on white paper

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49 Comments
  1. Nancy P.@thebittersideofsweet

    That caramel layer in the middle looks amazing! thanks so much for linking this to Less Laundry, More Linking party!

  2. Lauren @ Imperfect & Fabulous

    These look amazing! I love gooey caramel. I’m stopping by from Create It Thursday.
    -Lauren @ imperfectandfabulous.blogspot.com

  3. Katrina @ In Katrina's Kitchen

    Are you even kidding me right now? I’m in love with these bars. Anything “gooey” and I’m ALL IN!

  4. Rebecca @ Dorm Room Baker

    These wouldn’t last more than five minutes in my house! Between my parents, my sisters, and I we’d devour them immediately! The problem in my house is that hiding sweets is so common that we all know where to look to find them!

  5. Sara @ Confectionary Tales

    OMG these look amazing. I am loving your blog and now that you’ve gotten my cookies, I can finally comment! These are on my to-bake list for sure.

    1. lifeloveandsugar@gmail.com

      Thanks so much Sara! Glad we got connected through the cookie swap. ๐Ÿ™‚ The cookies are yummy – thank you!

  6. Rachel @ Bakerita

    The words “gooey” and “caramel” had me sold. These look so good, and I can just imagine how quickly they would be devoured by my housemates. Pinning!

  7. Vicki Bensinger

    Lindsay these amazing. I’m sure they wouldn’t last long in my house. I love gooey butter anything especially growing up in St Louis, home of the Gooey Butter Cake. Nice creation and definitely gooey!

Lindsay
About Lindsay

I'm a wife and mom to twin boys and a sweet black lab with a serious sweets addiction! Bring on the sugar!

Scripture I’m Loving

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12