Caramel Cashew Bars

filed under: Cookies on November 11, 2018

These Caramel Cashew Bars are seriously amazing. They start with a buttery foundation of crushed shortbread cookies, then topped with a sprinkling of miniature marshmallows and a layer of sweet, gooey caramel. Love treating your guests to amazing desserts? Try my Apple Crisp or easy Piggy Pie Dessert!

Caramel Cashew Bars

Cashew Bars Recipe

These bars come together pretty darn quickly, but a few tools will help make it easier. I like to use a food processor to finely grind the shortbread cookies, but you can also use a plastic bag and a rolling pin. (This works best when you have some aggression to work out!) I also utilized the caramel bits instead of unwrapping caramels. It tastes the same but saves you a LOT of time. You could make your own caramel from scratch as well. Heck, you could make your own homemade marshmallows too if you are feeling super motivated!

How to Make Caramel Bars

How to Make Caramel Cashew Bars

I like to line my pan with foil or parchment to make removal and clean up easier. I found a product at the store that is a combination of both, foil on one side and parchment on the other. It wasn’t as easy to manipulate as the foil, but it worked great! You can use either, but I do recommend choosing one as baked caramel is difficult to clean off pans.

  • Make sure you have all your ingredients out and ready to go. If you are using wrapped caramels, be sure to unwrap them all before starting.
  • Preheat your oven to 325ยฐF.
  • Make sure your shortbread crust is ready before starting the caramel sauce.
  • Use a medium saucepan to melt caramels instead of a small saucepan.
  • Keep a close eye on the bars when you are baking for the second time as you don’t want the marshmallows to get burnt.
  • Let the bars sit for about 10 minutes before cutting as they will be very hot and very soft. (I did not let them sit in the video and they fell apart in my fork! But they still tasted AMAZING.)
  • These bars are SWEET. Be sure to serve with coffee or milk, depending on who you are serving them to. ๐Ÿ™‚

The Best Caramel Cashew Bars

Iโ€™m kind of a sucker for those holiday baking displays in the middle of the grocery store. Come on, I can’t be the only one sucked in by the canned pumpkin pyramids! On my most recent trip, I ended up with 3 bags of cashews, 2 bags of mini marshmallows, and too many cans of pumpkin to count. Some may call it a bit of an obsession, I like to refer to it as preparedness โ€“ ya know, stocking up for Winter – kinda like a squirrel, except this nut is obsessed with cans of pumpkins!

With all these sweet holiday confections overflowing my pantry, I knew I had to find a recipe to put everything to good use.

I’m pretty sure these guys will be a superstar on any holiday dessert table you decide to offer them up on. Different enough to be memorable among the pumpkin pies and Christmas log cakes, but familiar enough to be comforting and perfect with a generous cup of hot cocoa.

5 from 1 vote
Caramel Cashew Bars
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
30 mins

These Caramel Cashew Bars start with a buttery foundation of crushed shortbread cookies, then topped with a sprinkling of miniature marshmallows and a layer of sweet, gooey caramel.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: caramel cashew bars
Servings: 24
Calories: 198 kcal
Author: Amanda Rettke
Shortbread Crust
  • 3 cups finely crushed shortbread cookies
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick or 113g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup (50g) sugar
  • 36 caramels, unwrapped
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups chopped salted cashews
  • 2 cups miniature marshmallows
Shortbread Crust
  1. Preheat oven to 325ยฐF. Line a 13x9x2 inch baking pan with foil - be sure to extend the foil a little over the edges. Spray foil with non-stick cooking spray.

  2. In a large bowl, combine cookie crumbs, butter, and sugar. Press the cookie mixture firmly into the bottom of the prepared pan creating an even layer of crust. 
  3. Bake crust in preheated oven for 15 minutes or until it starts to lightly brown around the edges. Remove pan to cooling rack.

  1. In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, melt caramels and cream until smooth. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and cashews. 
  2. Sprinkle the marshmallows evenly over prepared crust. Spread the caramel-cashew mixture over the marshmallows as evenly as possible.

  3. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the caramel is set. Remove to wire rack and cool completely.
  4. Once bars are cool, use the foil overhang to remove the bars from the pan and cut into squares. Cut them small, these bars are sweet! 

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

Bars can be stored arranged in a single layer in an airtight container for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months.

Love Ooey Gooey Treats? Try these popular recipes:

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Lemon Bars

Snickers Special-K Bars



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  • Blog is the New Black says:

    Great guest post! This looks amazing, Jamie!

    • Amanda says:

      I couldnt agree more… Jamie is so talented!

  • Carin says:

    Looks delicious! But is there a print button on the page? Am I missing it? Help please! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Amanda says:

      Sorry! Just fixed it… should work for you now!

      • Carin says:

        Thanks! Love your site–so pretty and delicious!

  • sue says:

    Oh those look so good!

  • Carsedra - Sweet Tooth Desserts says:

    Oh my, these looking so yummy!!!

    Carsedra of:

  • Aimee @ Simple Bites says:

    So fun to see Jamie over here. These look insane!

    And Amanda, it is always such a pleasure to visit your pretty new site! Have a great weekend. xox

    • Amanda says:

      Thanks you! Right back at you!

  • misbah says:

    these look really delicious. great guest post ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Cookbook Queen says:

    Loving this post Jamie…the bars look amazing!!

    • Amanda says:

      Could she BE any more talented??? ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Jillie says:

    Could I leave out the marshmallow? Would it stay together?

    • Amanda says:

      I will have to ask Jamie-I am sure she will know the best answer!!, but as far as I can tell they are not essential to the recipe for functionality. It seems like they are important in terms of texture… so it might be worth the time in finding a suitable to you replacement. Happy Baking!

  • califncsun says:

    These look so delicious.


  • TidyMom says:

    These look incredibly delicious!! I’m a huge cashew lover!!

    • Amanda says:

      meeeeeeeee too. Its my favorite “office” gift of the Holidays! Hubby usually brings home tins of them. I cant wait!

  • Amber | Bluebonnets & Brownies says:

    First of all, Amanda, I keep meaning to tell you I am in LOVE with the new site design. It’s gorgeous and just so – YOU!

    Jamie, these bars are out of control and I totally want to eat one for breakfast. But I won’t. Because I don’t have any cashews. ๐Ÿ™

    Love you both!

    • Amanda says:

      Thank you so much!!! Off to stalk your blog now. Its my happy place. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Shaina says:

    These look just fantastic. I love the sweet and salty combination.

  • Bonnie Banters says:

    You don’t always see cashews in baked goods, and I love these nuts and caramel! Thanks for sharing these decadent bars!

  • Anna Grace says:

    amanda, i love the new site.. its so beautiful!!! thanks for all you do to inspire young bakers like me! have a great weekend!

  • nicole {sweet peony} says:

    this is a great guest post… i love both of your blogs! i’ve never thought of pairing a nut like cashew with caramel but i know it would be amazing! can’t wait to try these! thanks jamie ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Ann P. says:

    MMMmmm my dad would love these! ๐Ÿ˜€ Perfect dessert to make when I see him for thanksgiving!

  • Megan P says:

    WOW!! i love the new website!! It looks amazing!!!!


  • Kristen says:

    Cashews are one nut that I absolutely love. These look great!

  • Irishbaker says:

    These look delicious.Definitely added to my list of things to make ! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Living The Sweet Life says:

    I love how gooey and sticky these look – – mmmm and the cashews, perfect!

  • Holly W says:

    Such a cute blog!
    Jamie – I’m also a holiday hoarder. I know you can get pumpkin puree all year long, but for some reason, around the first of October, I buy STASHES of it like there’s a shortage. And then I wonder why all I bake from October – January is pumpkin-themed.

  • Natalie @ Cooking for My Kids says:

    These look perfect. Cashews, marshmallows, cookies…wow! Amazing!

  • Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen says:

    I may have a slight addiction to cashews, and caramel so these are like gold to me. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Paula says:

    Wonderful guest post Jen and those bars looks delicious. Those holiday baking displays always make me stop and sometimes over purchase too!