Quick & Easy Oatmeal Carmelitas

5 ingredients + 35 minutes = a delicious batch of soft and decadent oatmeal carmelitas, a bar cookie that’s a caramel lover’s dream!

Plate filled with oatmeal carmelitas.

I’m a caramel gal. I cast caramel the same longing looks that most folks reserve for chocolate. Creamy, gooey caramel has always called my name louder than any other form of candy. So as a caramel lover, when I tell you that today’s recipe is something special, you need to know that I am sharing one of my treasures with you.

I’m pretty sure every time someone eats an oatmeal carmelita, an angel earns its wings or God smiles, or maybe a baby is born, or something like that. Either way, I’m pretty sure it’s a big deal in Heaven ;). Oatmeal carmelita bars were first published in a Pilsbury cookbook in 1979 and are still beloved today. One bite and you’ll see why.

Fortunately, when I say this is a quick and easy oatmeal carmelitas recipe, I mean it. All you need is 5 ingredients (flour, oats, butter, brown sugar, and caramel) and 35 minutes and you’ll have a big batch of these beautiful bars. They’re soft and filled with the most irresistible ooey-gooey caramel center. Plus, the oatmeal and brown sugar crumbly topping adds to the caramelized flavor. I tell ya, a caramel lover’s dream! Let’s get started!

oatmeal carmelitas ingredients

Recipe Ingredients

  • Brown sugar (I prefer dark)
  • Old-fashioned oats (quick oats will also work)
  • Self-rising flour
  • Melted butter
  • Caramel

Place sugar, butter, flour, and oats in a large bowl.

Place everything but the caramel in a large bowl.

Stir ingredients together until well-blended.

Stir that together real good until it’s well blended.

Now get a pinch of it to taste because it is WONDERFUL!

Place half of the oatmeal mixture in the bottom on a greased pan.

Pat half of this oat mixture into the bottom of a greased 9×13 pan.

Pour caramel over the oatmeal mix.

Take your caramel sauce and BLOP caramel all over the top.

Spread caramel over the oatmeal.

Then spread it out to cover.

Top with the remaining oatmeal mixture.

Sprinkle the rest of your crumb mixture over the top.

Plate of Oatmeal Carmelitas.

Bake this at 350 for 30 minutes or until lightly browned. Allow them to cool pretty good before cutting so the caramel has time to set up again.

I know, this just sounds so wrong and normally I would quietly encourage you to eat one warm but trust me, that caramel is hot as tar straight out of the oven. Although it is worth a tongue burn, that would inhibit your ability to enjoy then later so I’m thinking of your safety here. 

Stack of oatmeal carmelitas.

Did you see how easy that was? Seriously! It is amazing that a bar with this much deliciousness can be done with so little effort. 

Storage

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. You can also freeze them for up to 3 months. You can wait for them to thaw in the fridge or enjoy them from frozen.

Recipe Notes

  • Traditionally, I could only find the caramel in the Mexican aisle, but these days you can usually locate it in the bakery section at your local grocery store. But if you want to make your own caramel check out our recipe for homemade dulce de leche here.
  • If you want to step up the indulgence, you can spread 1 cup of semi-sweet milk chocolate chips and 3/4 cup of chopped pecans over the caramel layer. You can use any kind of chocolate (milk, white, or dark chocolate) and your favorite nuts, like walnuts.
  • For a salted caramel touch, add a pinch to the oatmeal mixture.

Check out these other delicious cookie bar recipes:

Peanut Butter Cheesecake Cookie Bars

Recipe for Chocolate Chip Bars

Butter Bars From Scratch: Gooey Goodness Awaits!

Recipe for Peanut Butter Granola Bars

Ooey Gooey Cherry Bars

Easy Oatmeal Carmelitas

5 ingredients + 35 minutes = a delicious batch of soft and decadent oatmeal carmelitas, a bar cookie that's a caramel lover's dream!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: oatmeal
Servings: 36
Calories: 125kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 cups self-rising flour
  • 2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 1/2 cups packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup butter melted
  • 2 cans dulce de leche or caramel 14-ounce each

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, stir together the first four ingredients until well blended.
    2 cups self-rising flour, 2 cups old-fashioned oats, 1 1/2 cups packed dark brown sugar, 1 cup butter
  • Pat half of the mixture into the bottom of a greased 9x13 pan.
  • Spread all of the caramel sauce over the top of the oat mixture until evenly covered. Sprinkle this with the remaining crumb mixture.
    2 cans dulce de leche or caramel
  • Bake at 350 for 30 minutes, or until lightly browned. Allow to cool at least slightly before serving so caramel will be set again.

Notes

If you want to make your own caramel check out our recipe for homemade dulce de leche here.

Nutrition

Calories: 125kcal
Tried this recipe?Mention @southernplate or tag #southernplate!

 

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. ~John 14:27

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70 Comments

  1. For an alpaca groomer, you certainly have the very best recipes!!! I really appreciate this one right now since I am making cookies for dessert for my step-son’s wedding rehearsal dinner…need to feed 50 people and making lots of different kinds of cookies should make everyone happy!! This will definitely be one of the cookies shared that night!!

  2. Love carmel, bought the square KRAFT carmels when I could, they were 2 cents apiece and I could get other candies 3 for a penny so buying carmels meant less of them. I also loved MacIntosh taffy which were hard and came in a box, which got dropped on a big rock to break it into small chunks. Don’t think I can get the canned stuff here, but hey can make my own, will try this if I have time this weekend.

  3. When my daddy would go to GEX store when I was a little girl-kinda like an early Target or Wal-Mart, I always loved when I got to go with him. On the way out of the store they had the candy counter and my treat was either a bag of caramel corn or Brach’s caramel squares. I did not get them each time because money was so tight, but when I did, you would have thought I was given the world-on man Christy-thanks for sharing. I have a get together this weekend and wanted something sweet to take-this will be it.

  4. Morning Christy,
    My red-headed, country-girl 11 yr old daughter will love these! I was looking for something besides brownies or chocolate chip cookies to make this weekend for the kids, this is going to be it.
    Thanks for the recipe!

  5. 🙂 What a happy, fun-loving post!! I love hearing about your memories, and the passion behind your favorite recipes!! I will definitely be making these, and I will be sure to get some extra prayers said so Angels to earn more wings, and for more smiles from God too!! I also love seeing that next to you being an author, that you’ve added professional Alpaca groomer to your resume’!! 😉

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