) Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth: Dulce De Leche Bars Recipe

As I sit down to write this recipe, I cannot help but feel a deep sense of nostalgia for the flavors of my childhood. Growing up in Brazil, I was always surrounded by the most delicious treats, ranging from exotic tropical fruits to rich and indulgent desserts. However, there is one flavor that truly stands out, and it is the wonderful dulce de leche. This creamy and caramel-like spread is made by slowly cooking sweetened condensed milk until it turns into a rich and decadent delight.

In today’s recipe, I’ll be showing you how to create something truly special that incorporates dulce de leche into a classic dessert format: cookie bars. These bars are the perfect way to indulge in the rich sweetness of dulce de leche, combined with crunchy pecans and wholesome oats. Whether you’re looking for a comforting after-school snack or an impressive party dessert, these dulce de leche bars are sure to satisfy your cravings.

So join me as we embark on a journey full of caramelly goodness and melt-in-your-mouth textures. With just a few simple ingredients and some easy-to-follow instructions, you’ll be able to create these irresistible bars in no time at all. So without further ado, let’s get started on this wonderful dulce de leche cookie bar recipe!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Dulce De Leche Bars
Dulce De Leche Bars

If you’re a fan of sweet treats and decadent desserts, then this Dulce De Leche Bars Recipe is definitely for you. Imagine indulging in a sinfully delicious, melt-in-your-mouth cookie bar that’s packed with caramel goodness – that’s what these bars are all about!

But this recipe isn’t just about the caramel. It’s also loaded with wholesome ingredients like pecans, oats, and unsalted butter. These goodies give the bars a pleasant crunch and a nutty flavor that perfectly complements the rich caramel.

One of the best things about this recipe is its simplicity. The bars are unbelievably easy to make, taking only minutes to whip up the dough, press it onto a pan, and bake it to perfection. The result is a soft and chewy cookie with a tender crumb that will have your taste buds singing praises.

Not only is this recipe simple, but it’s also versatile. You can customize it based on your preferences or available ingredients – swap out the pecans for almonds or walnuts, add some chocolate chips or dried fruits for extra indulgence, or use gluten-free flour if you’re allergic to wheat.

Whether you’re planning to entertain guests or simply want to treat yourself to something sweet, these Dulce De Leche Bars will not disappoint. You’ll love how easy they are to prepare and how utterly delicious they taste – it’s like having your very own slice of heaven on earth!

Ingredient List

 Sink your teeth into these indulgent dulce de leche bars.
Sink your teeth into these indulgent dulce de leche bars.

Before we start our dulce de leche bars recipe, let’s gather all the necessary ingredients. These are the following bars ingredients that you will need:

For the Bars:

  • 2 1/2 cups quick-cooking oats
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup unsalted margarine, softened to room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar, packed
  • 3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For the Dulce de Leche Layer:

  • 14 oz. can of sweetened condensed milk
    OR homemade dulce de leche

    • 2 cups whole milk
    • 1 cup granulated sugar

For the Topping:

  • 1 cup pecans, chopped (or any nuts you like)

Now that we have everything ready, let’s proceed to the next section of why you’ll love this recipe!

The Recipe How-To

 Sweet, buttery and oh-so-decadent!
Sweet, buttery and oh-so-decadent!

Now that you have all the ingredients ready, it’s time to start making these delicious Dulce De Leche Bars. Below are step-by-step instructions on how to make this recipe.

Step 1: Preheat and Grease

Begin by preheating your oven to 350°F (180°C). While the oven is heating up, grease a 9×13 inch baking pan with unsalted butter or margarine.

Step 2: Mix Dry Ingredients

In a medium bowl, mix together old fashioned oats, quick-cooking oats, all-purpose flour, brown sugar, baking soda and salt.

Step 3: Add Butter and Mix It In

Add the softened unsalted butter and mix well until the mixture is crumbly.

Step 4: Press Half Mixture at Bottom of Pan

Press half of the mixture into the greased pan firmly.

Step 5: Bake for 15 Minutes

Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes or until lightly golden brown.

Step 6: Combine Dulce De Leche and Pecans, Pour Over Baked Crust

While the crust is baking, melt the dulce de leche in a saucepan over low heat or microwave on high for around two minutes. Once melted, stir in the chopped pecans.

Pour the dulce de leche and pecan mixture over the baked crust spreading it evenly.

Step 7: Add Remaining Crust Mixture Over Dulce De Leche Layer

Crumble remaining oatmeal crust mixture evenly overtop of dulce de leche layer making sure not to press down too hard so as not to combine with dulce de leche layer.

Step 8: Bake for 20-25 Minutes Until Lightly Browned

Bake for another 20-25 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the bars are cooked through.

Step 9: Cool and Chill

Let the Dulce De Leche Bars cool completely in the pan. Once cooled, place in the fridge for an hour to chill.

Step 10: Cut and Serve

Finally, cut into bars and serve either chilled or at room temperature.

Enjoy your delicious Dulce De Leche Bars!

Substitutions and Variations

 A treat so delicious, you'll be begging for seconds.
A treat so delicious, you’ll be begging for seconds.

When it comes to baking, there are always ways to switch things up and make the recipe your own. Here are a few substitutions and variations that you can try when making Dulce De Leche Bars:

– Pecans: If you’re not a fan of pecans, you can easily substitute them for another nut like walnuts or almonds. You could also omit the nuts altogether if you prefer.

– Unsalted Butter/Margarine: If you don’t have unsalted butter or margarine on hand, you can use regular butter or margarine but decrease the amount of salt that the recipe calls for.

– Quick-Cooking Oats/Old Fashioned Oats: If you only have one type of oat on hand, don’t fret! You can use either quick-cooking or old fashioned oats in this recipe without changing the overall result.

– Chocolate Dulce De Leche Bars: To take things up a notch, try adding chocolate chips to the batter before baking. This will create a decadent and indulgent chocolate-dulce de leche flavor that is sure to impress.

– Cheesecake Variation: For those who love cheesecake, why not try making dulce de leche cheesecake bars? Simply mix 1/4 cup of dulce de leche into your favorite cheesecake recipe and pour over the oatmeal crust. Bake as directed and voila – dulce de leche cheesecake bars!

– Twix Bars Variation: Take inspiration from Twix bars and add a layer of caramel between the crust and topping. This will give you an extra layer of sweetness that will perfectly complement the oatmeal crust.

– Magic Bars Variation: If you love magic bars, try this variation with dulce de leche. Mix 1/2 cup of dulce de leche with 1/2 cup of sweetened condensed milk and pour over the crust. Top with chocolate chips, shredded coconut, and chopped nuts.

These are just a few of the many variations you can try with this Dulce De Leche Bars recipe. Don’t be afraid to get creative and have fun with it!

Serving and Pairing

 These bars are perfect for satisfying your sweet tooth cravings.
These bars are perfect for satisfying your sweet tooth cravings.

Serving Dulce De Leche Bars is a simple and seamless process as it pairs well with a variety of dessert options. Serve this delicious treat as an after-dinner dessert, a midnight snack or just to satisfy your sweet tooth. To enhance the flavor of this decadent bar, it can be paired with a cup of hot chocolate, coffee or even milk. The combination of the rich and creamy filling of Dulce De Leche Bars with the warm and comforting coffee aroma offers an excellent contrast in flavors.

Furthermore, serving Dulce De Leche Bars alongside vanilla ice cream creates a pure heaven for dessert lovers. The coolness and creaminess of the vanilla ice cream complement the sweetness and caramel flavors of the bars perfectly. You can also add pecan pie filling to the ice cream to give it an extra layer of crunchy texture.

Another exceptional pairing for Dulce De Leche Bars is fruit compote or apple slices. The fresh fruit adds a sweetness to the dish that pairs well with the filling’s intense caramel taste. Warm apple pie filling drizzled over Dulce De Leche bars creates an autumn feel in your home, making it an ideal recipe for fall gatherings.

Lastly, Dulce De Leche Bars can be paired with any cheesecake recipe or even Twix bars, creating a unique twist on classic desserts. This versatile dessert pairs well with many different dishes, making it the perfect treat for all occasions.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Get ready to cross over to the dark side with these irresistible dulce de leche bars.
Get ready to cross over to the dark side with these irresistible dulce de leche bars.

These Dulce de Leche Bars can be made ahead and stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days. For longer storage, you can place them in the fridge or freezer. These bars will keep in the fridge for up to one week and in the freezer for up to three months.

To reheat these bars, let them thaw completely if frozen, and then bring them back to room temperature before warming them up in the microwave or oven. If reheating in the oven, cover the bars with aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 10-15 minutes, or until warm.

If you plan to freeze the Dulce de Leche Bars, be sure to separate each bar with a layer of parchment paper to prevent them from sticking together. Once thawed, they may become a bit softer due to their high moisture content. However, their taste and texture will remain unchanged.

These bars are perfect for meal prepping or bringing to potlucks and gatherings. They are easy to make ahead of time and transport with you. The rich caramel flavor of dulce de leche combined with crunchy pecans and delicious oats makes these bars great for any occasion. Don’t hesitate to prepare a batch ahead of time for an upcoming party or event; everyone will love them!

Tips for Perfect Results

 This dessert is as easy as pie, but tastes even better.
This dessert is as easy as pie, but tastes even better.

To ensure the best outcome when making Dulce De Leche Bars, there are a few tips and tricks to keep in mind. Here are some helpful pointers to make sure that your dessert comes out perfectly every time.

Firstly, when it comes to baking with oats, make sure to use quick-cooking oats or old-fashioned oats. Avoid using steel-cut oats or instant oats as they can lead to varying results in texture and consistency.

Also, it’s important to note that Dulce De Leche is essentially caramel made from milk and sugar. It takes a bit of patience and time to make this delicious caramel sauce. To ensure the perfect consistency, make sure to cook it low and slow over medium-low heat for at least two to three hours.

When it comes to butter or margarine, always use unsalted. This will allow you to control the amount of salt and prevent any unwanted flavor changes.

Make sure to pack the brown sugar tightly when measuring out the ingredients. Packed brown sugar will ensure that the bars turn out moist and chewy.

Do not overbake the bars! Check on them regularly during baking, and remove them from the oven just before they look fully cooked. This will allow the bars to set while remaining soft and chewy.

Finally, don’t be afraid to get creative with substitutions and variations in your recipe. Add pecans or chocolate chips for a twist on the classic recipe, or try making Dulce De Leche Cheesecake Bars or Twix Bars using the same base ingredients. With these tips in mind, you’re well on your way to creating a delicious and crowd-pleasing dessert that everyone will love.


As a chef, it’s common to receive various questions about the ingredients, directions, and even variations of a recipe. To help you with that, let me answer some of the most frequently asked questions I have encountered in this Dulce De Leche Bars recipe. By the end of this section, you’ll have all the information you need to prepare these bars perfectly every time!

What is the difference between caramel and dulce de leche?

Although caramel and dulce de leche may seem alike in appearance and flavor, they are quite distinct in terms of how they are made. While caramel is created by slowly boiling sugar and water until it turns golden brown, dulce de leche is produced by slowly cooking milk and sugar until it transforms into a creamy, luscious substance with a sweet caramel essence.

Is dulce de leche just sweetened condensed milk?

You can create a delectable and silky caramel sauce for your desserts with just one ingredient: sweetened condensed milk. It’s called dulce de leche, and it’s both thick and rich.

How long does it take for condensed milk to turn into dulce de leche?

For a rich and gooey dulce de leche, start by cooking a can of condensed milk for a few hours. The length of time you cook the can will depend on how dark and thick you want the caramel to be. Two hours will result in a lighter shade of caramel, while three hours will give you a darker and more viscous caramel. Remember to check the water level in the pot and add more water as needed to keep the can submerged while it cooks.

Is dulce and condensed milk the same thing?

The process of making dulce de leche involves using either condensed milk or a combination of milk and sugar, while caramel is created solely by boiling sugar and water.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, these Dulce de Leche bars are the perfect combination of sweet, salty and buttery flavors with a crunchy texture that will satisfy any dessert lover. With simple ingredients, easy-to-follow instructions and potential variations, this recipe is perfect for any occasion or event. Impress your family and friends with these delicious bars that will leave them wanting more. The gooey caramel made of sweetened condensed milk and sugar, mixed with the nutty pecans and oats, create a mouth-watering treat that everyone will love. These bars can be served on their own or paired with fresh fruits or ice cream for an even more indulgent experience.

Whether you’re looking for a treat to satisfy your sweet tooth, planning a gathering or searching for a new dessert recipe to try out, these Dulce de Leche bars are the answer. These bars are not only indulgent but also simple to make and versatile in terms of substitutions and variations, meaning you can tailor them precisely to your likings. So, what are you waiting for? Give this recipe a try today and experience the magic of dulce de leche!

Dulce De Leche Bars

Dulce De Leche Bars Recipe

These bars are so very delicious! A little is a lot - if you get my drift? Found this one on the Pillsbury site, as well. We tried these because we were able to do a lot of experimenting during all the Holidays and we are now settling back to normal, with a bunch of new recipes added to our repertoire. This was prepared at the Pillsbury test kitchens and they named these very, very rich Mexican-inspired bars as a favorite. I did not include the cooling time of 2 hours & 15 minutes.
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Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine Argentinian
Calories 197.5 kcal


  • 2 (18 ounce) rolls refrigerated sugar cookie dough
  • 1 3/4 cups quick-cooking oats or 1 3/4 old fashioned oats
  • 2/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 (14 ounce) bag caramels, unwrapped
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter or 1/2 cup unsalted margarine
  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 3 tablespoons caramel topping
  • 3 tablespoons toasted almonds, chopped or 3 tablespoons chopped toasted pecans


  • Prehaet oven to 350°F.
  • Break up 1 roll of cookie dough into large bowl.
  • Add 3/4 cup of the oats, 1/3 cup brown sugar, and 1 teaspoon vanilla; mix well.
  • With floured fingers, press dough mixture evenly in bottom of ungreased 15x10x1" baking pan to form crust.
  • Bake 13-18 minutes or until lightly browned.
  • Meanwhile, break up remaining cookie dough into same bowl.
  • Add remaining oats, brown sugar and vanilla and mix well.
  • In large heavy saucepan, heat caramels, butter and condensed milk over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until caramels are melted and mix is smooth.
  • Remove partially baked crust from oven.
  • Spread caramel mixture evenly over crust.
  • Crumble remaining dough mixture over caramel mixture.
  • Return to oven; bake 18-22 minutes longer or until golden brown.
  • Cool 15 minutes.
  • Run knife around the edges of pan to loosen.
  • Cool completely, about 2 hours.
  • Using a small spoon, drizzle caramel topping over bars.
  • For bars, cut into 8 rows by 6 rows.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 48gCalories: 197.5kcalCarbohydrates: 29.3gProtein: 2.6gFat: 8.2gSaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 14.7mgSodium: 126.5mgFiber: 0.5gSugar: 17.5g
Keyword < 60 Mins, Bars, Cookie and Brownie, Dessert, For Large Groups, Fruit, Kid-Friendly, Kosher, Mexican, Nuts, Oven, Potluck, Stove Top, Sweet
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Dora is a chef well-versed in Brazilian and American cuisine. After a hard day's work in the kitchen of her restaurant, she finds the time to jot down recipes for her food blog. Her recipes are sure to delight foodies everywhere, as she strives to make each one unique and enjoyable to read.