Caramel Cashew Shortbread Bars | Creme de la Crumb

Caramel Cashew Shortbread Bars

Buttery shortbread crust topped with chewy caramel, crunchy cashews and sea salt!
Course Dessert
Keyword caramel, cashew, short bread
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 12
Author Tiffany


  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Caramel Layer

  • 2 cups caramels (see note)
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream or other milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup cashew halves
  • coarse sea salt


  • Preheat oven to 350. Line a 9x9 inch baking pan with foil or parchment and grease well. In a medium bowl blend together butter and powdered sugar until fluffy.
  • In a small bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Add flour mixture to butter bowl and mix until smooth.
  • Press mixture in the bottom of your prepared baking pan. Bake for 15-20 minutes until very lightly golden (not overdone!).
  • When you crust is done baking, set it out to cool. In a microwave-safe bowl heat caramels and heavy cream for 2 minutes on half-power. Stir and return to microwave for another 20 seconds at a time, stirring after each, until smooth.
  • When caramel is completely melted and smooth, stir in vanilla and caramels. Immediately pour mixture over shortbread crust. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt (if desired - highly recommended!) and allow to cool completely before cutting into bars and serving. Store in airtight container.


For the caramel: You can use the popular caramel squares - unwrapped - or Kraft makes "bits" now that come in a bag near the chocolate chips in most grocery stores and one bag works great for this recipe. 
If you use salted cashews, you might want to go light on the added sea salt.