Gluten-free oatmeal cookie bars with a layer of melted caramel and rich chocolate. These decadent bars are great to make for a crowd and will become your new favorite thing to bake!

If you love gluten-free oatmeal chocolate chip cookies and caramel, this is the easy gluten-free dessert for you! You can easily use dairy-free caramel sauce to make these dairy-free.

stack of gluten free oatmeal cookie bars with chocolate and caramel on white marble background


Every year growing up, my Mom would make a delicious plate of our favorite homemade holiday treats to bring to the neighbors. Chocolate caramel oatmeal bars (aka caramelitas!) were always one of my favorite parts of those plates.

The combination of oats, chocolate, pecans, and caramel is truly decadent!

The top layer is crumbly and crisp with a glorious middle layer of soft melted caramel and chocolate. The chopped pecans are optional, but give it all a delicious crunch. Is there anything else you could want from a cookie bar?

For more gluten-free treats try these gluten-free rice krispies treats, gluten-free shortbread cookies and gluten-free biscotti.

How to Make Gluten-Free Oatmeal Bars

mixing together the dry ingredients in a glass bowl with a wooden whisk
  • In a large bowl, combine the oats, flour, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt and whisk to combine.
  • Add the melted butter and stir until crumbly.
caramels and cream in a glass bowl then the same bowl after melting in the microwave
  • In a small bowl, add the caramels and heavy cream.
  • Microwave on 50% power for 3-4 minutes, stirring every minute or so until melted and smooth.
  • Place 1/2 of the oat mixture in the bottom of the prepared pan. Press to make an even layer.
  • Pour over the caramel mixture and carefully smooth over the oat mixture.
  • Sprinkle the chocolate chips (save a few for the top if you like) and nuts if using over the caramel.
  • Sprinkle the rest of the oat mixture over top then sprinkle with a few chocolate chips if desired, then bake!

Tip: Wait until the gluten-free oatmeal bars are fully cool before slicing. Then the caramel and chocolate will be set so you get clean slices. You can speed up the cooling process by placing the bars in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

Make them Dairy-Free

To make these gluten-free oatmeal bars dairy-free, use dairy-free chocolate chips and a dairy-free caramel like this caramel sauce. You can also use vegan butter like Earth Balance buttery sticks in place of the butter.

gluten free oatmeal bar being picked up by hand

Gluten-Free Oatmeal Bar Storage Tips

To Store

These bars will keep tightly covered or in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

To Freeze

  • You can freeze the entire rectangle of bars, or cut them into 24 slices and freeze them individually. Wrap the slices in parchment paper then store them in a large ziploc freezer bag for best results.
  • You can also bake the bars in a disposable foil pan – then cover the whole pan with foil to freeze. The bars will keep frozen for 2-3 months.

More Gluten-Free Cookie Recipes

I hope you like this recipe as much as we do! If you try it be sure to leave me a comment/rating below. I’d love to hear from you!

stack of gluten free oatmeal cookie bars with chocolate and caramel on white marble background
5 from 5 votes

Gluten-Free Chocolate Caramel Oatmeal Bars

Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Servings 24 bars
Gluten-free oatmeal cookie bars with a layer of melted caramel and rich chocolate. These decadent bars will become your new favorite thing to bake!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups gluten-free quick oats
  • 1 1/4 cups gluten-free 1:1 baking flour
  • 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter melted
  • 2 1/2 cups chocolate chips
  • 50 soft caramel candies unwrapped
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans optional

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 350F. Spray 9×13 pan with cooking spray. You can also line the pan with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray for easy clean-up/removal.
  • In a large bowl, combine the oats, flour, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt and whisk to combine. Add the melted butter and stir until crumbly.
  • In a small bowl, add the caramels and heavy cream. Microwave on 50% power for 3-4 minutes, stirring every minute or so until melted and smooth.
  • Place 1/2 of the oat mixture in the bottom of the prepared pan. Press to make an even layer. Pour over the caramel mixture and carefully smooth over the oat mixture. Sprinkle the chocolate chips (save a few for the top if you like) and nuts if using over the caramel. Sprinkle the rest of the oat mixture over top then sprinkle with a few chocolate chips if desired.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes until the crust has turned golden brown and the caramel is bubbly. Allow the bars to cool completely before slicing. (I usually put them in the fridge for 1-2 hours to speed up the setting.)
  • Cut into bars and enjoy!

Notes

Tip: Wait until the gluten-free oatmeal bars are fully cool before slicing. Then the caramel and chocolate will be set so you get clean slices. You can speed up the cooling process by placing the bars in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
Dairy-Free? To make these gluten-free oatmeal bars dairy-free, use dairy-free chocolate chips and a dairy-free caramel like this caramel sauce. You can also use vegan butter like Earth Balance buttery sticks in place of the butter.
Storage: These bars will keep tightly covered or in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
To Freeze: You can freeze the entire rectangle of bars, or cut them into 24 slices and freeze them individually. Wrap the slices in parchment paper then store them in a large ziploc freezer bag for best results. You can also bake the bars in a disposable foil pan – then cover the whole pan with foil to freeze. The bars will keep frozen for 2-3 months.

Nutrition

Calories: 384kcal | Carbohydrates: 52g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 31mg | Sodium: 208mg | Potassium: 130mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 39g | Vitamin A: 362IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 76mg | Iron: 1mg

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Hi, I’m Erin!

BS Food Science,

MS Nutrition

I believe you can make amazing, gluten-free food with everyday ingredients that everyone will enjoy. I’m here to share my tried-and-true recipes with you!

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    These were fantastic and so easy. Made them for a large gathering and everyone loved them, even the gluten digesters
    I made them exactly as recipe is written.
    Thanks for a great new treat that I should not make too often….they’re dangerously good

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