Pumpkin Spice White Chocolate Chip Caramel Bars are a layer of caramel sauce perfectly sandwiched between layers of white chocolate chip bars flavored with pumpkin spice. If you would rather leave out the pumpkin spice and go with semi-sweet chocolate chips, be sure to check out my Chocolate Chip Caramel Bars.
Pumpkin Spice White Chocolate Chip Caramel Bars
It’s that time of year again when everything has added pumpkin spice. And, these bars are no exception. There is something delicious about pairing white chocolate and pumpkin. It may not sound like the flavors go together, but pumpkin works super well with all kinds of chocolate, from dark to white chocolate.
Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chip Caramel Bars Recipe
The one ingredient that really stands out in this bar recipe is the pumpkin pie spice. With Pumpkin Spice in the name, it better be noticeable! I used my Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice in this recipe, and I would encourage you to do the same.
If you use the store-bought pumpkin spice, be aware that you may need to use a bit more of the spice than is in this recipe. It doesn’t pack quite the punch as the homemade pumpkin pie spice! And, don’t forget about the ooey-gooey caramel layer!
Bars Ingredients (full recipe below)
- Granulated sugar
- Brown sugar
- Vanilla extract
- All-purpose flour
- Baking soda
- Pumpkin pie spice
- Kosher salt
- White chocolate chips
Caramel Sauce Ingredients
- Evaporated milk
How to Make Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice
You probably have all the spices on hand for the homemade pumpkin pie spice, so check your cupboards! It’s simply 4 tablespoons cinnamon, 4 teaspoons ground nutmeg, 1 teaspoon ground ginger, and 1 teaspoon ground cloves. If you make your own, you are set for all the other pumpkin spice recipes that pop up this time of year!
Store the spice in a sealed container for up to 6 months.
How to Make Pumpkin Spice White Chocolate Chip Bars
One tip for these bars is to get ready to get messy. Spreading the cookie dough into the bottom of a greased pan (even if it is lined with parchment or foil) can make quite the mess.
You can try dipping your fingers in flour before spreading the cookie dough into a flat layer or using a large spatula that has been greased or dipped in flour. No matter how I try to do this step I always end up using my hands. 🙂 Before we get to that part, let’s get the dough ready. Grease a 9×13-inch baking pan and preheat the oven to 350°F.
- In a large bowl, soften the butter in the microwave for 30 seconds.
- Mix in both sugars with a hand mixer.
- Add in the eggs and vanilla, mixing until incorporated.
- Add in the flour, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Mix on low.
- Fold in the white chocolate chips.
- Press half the cookie dough down into the prepared baking dish.
- Bake for 10 minutes as you prepare the caramel sauce.
How to Make the Caramel Sauce
The sauce has 2 ingredients–caramels and evaporated milk. I have also used half & half, heavy whipping cream, and whole milk in place of the evaporated milk and found them to work just as well.
To make the sauce, simply place the caramels and evaporated milk into a saucepan over medium heat and stir until the caramels are melted and the evaporated milk is incorporated. This takes anywhere from 5-10 minutes. Once the sauce a creamy and smooth, remove it from the heat.
From-Scratch Caramel Sauce
If you want to make the sauce completely from scratch here is an easy recipe.
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 stick butter
- 1/4 cup whole milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
Bring brown sugar, butter, and milk to a gentle boil (medium to medium-high heat) and cook until thickened, about 1- 2 minutes. Remove from heat; add vanilla extract. Stir well and allow to cool for 5 minutes before adding to cookie bars.
Assembling the Pumpkin Spice White Chocolate Chip Caramel Bars
After the initial 10 minutes of baking the bars and the caramel sauce is ready, it’s time to get the layers added and baked. First, pour the caramel sauce over the bars, making sure to get every nook and cranny. Next, place flattened dollops of the renaming dough on top of the caramel.
To flatten the dough, I find it works best to pick up a small handful, flatten it in my hand a bit, and then place that directly on top of the caramel. Do this with the remaining cookie dough; it is okay if there is some caramel showing.
Finally, bake the bars for 15-18 minutes, or until the caramel is bubbling and the cookie is golden brown. Allow the bars to cool before cutting and serving.
Looking for More Dessert Bar Recipes?
Pumpkin Spice White Chocolate Chip Caramel Bars are a layer of caramel sauce perfectly sandwiched between layers of white chocolate chip bars flavored with pumpkin spice.
- 1 cup (2 sticks or 227g) butter
- 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
- ½ cup (100g) brown sugar, packed
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 3½ cups (438g) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 3 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 cups (336g) white chocolate chips
- 5 ounces evaporated milk
- 1 package (11 ounces) caramel bits or wrapped caramels, unwrapped if using wrapped caramels
Preheat the oven to 350°F and spray a 9x13-inch baking dish with nonstick spray.
In a large bowl, add the butter. Soften it in the microwave for 30 seconds.
Mix in the granulated sugar and brown sugar with a hand mixer.
Add in the eggs and vanilla, mixing until incorporated.
Add in the flour, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Mix on low until combined.
Fold in the white chocolate chips.
In the prepared baking dish, press half the cookie dough down. Try to get an even layer. Set the remaining cookie dough aside.
Bake for 10 minutes. While the cookie bars are baking, prepare the caramel.
In a saucepan over medium heat, add the evaporated milk and caramel bits. Stir frequently for about 8 minutes, or until the caramels are melted and the evaporated milk is fully incorporated. Remove from heat.
Pour the caramel sauce over the bars, making sure to get every nook and cranny.
Carefully start placing flattened dollops of the remaining cookie dough over the hot caramel. I find it works best to pick up a small handful, flatten it in my hand a bit, and then place that directly on top of the caramel. Do this with the remaining cookie dough; it is okay if there is some caramel showing.
Bake for an additional 15-18 minutes, or until the caramel is bubbling and the cookie is golden brown.
Allow the bars to cool to room temperature before cutting and serving.