Caramel Apple Gooey Bars

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Apple Gooey Bars are the best dessert for fall! They are easy to make with cake mix, and each bite is loaded with apples and gooey Rolo caramel candy. If you love caramel apples, you will LOVE this easy gooey bar recipe.

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Stack of Caramel Apple Gooey Bars with rolo candies around them

Guys, I have a serious problem with gooey bars – I can’t stop making them! But, oh, I love them, and these apple gooey bars are my new favorite for the fall season. I mean, who can so no to apples, caramel, and chocolate? Not me.

What are Caramel Apple Gooey Bars?

Gooey bars are just what they sound like: dessert bars that are ooey-gooey on the inside. They are one of my favorite dessert bars. What makes them “gooey” is sweetened condensed milk.

Caramel apple gooey bars combine Rolos with apples and cake mix to make the perfect fall gooey bar recipe!

What I love about this type of dessert bar is that the combinations are endless. I seriously can’t stop thinking of combos. I mean, stand in the candy aisle at Walmart for a minute and just imagine.

This time it was the Rolos that inspired this newest creation. Rolos are amazing – caramel and chocolate. Two things that go so well with apple. I just can’t. Get. Enough! (Psst…here are all my gooey bar recipes!)

Stack of Caramel Apple Gooey Bars with rolo candies around them

Ingredients

Yellow Cake Mix: You can use any brand but I’ve used both Betty Crocker or Duncan Hines.

Egg: Be sure to buy large eggs.

Butter: Be sure it’s softened!

Cinnamon: Because it pairs so well with apples!

Apples: I used Granny Smith but you can also use anything you like (except full red delicious or similar, those would get too mushy)

Unwrapped Rolos: For the filling, or a similar caramel candy.

Sweetened Condensed Milk: Regular or fat-free are both fine.

How to Make Apple Gooey Bars

  1. In a large bowl (or stand mixer), combine the cake mix, egg, butter, and cinnamon until the dough forms a ball.
  2. Press half of the dough in the bottom of a prepared 9×9” baking pan. Top the dough with the apples and Rolos.
  3. Pour the sweetened condensed milk evenly over the top. Place chunks of the remaining dough evenly over the top of the filling and then gently press the dough on top.
  4. Bake bars for 35 minutes a 350°F or until the top just begins to turn golden. Then, remove the bars from the oven and cool them completely in the pan before slicing. 

Tips and Variations

  • I don’t precook the apples for this recipe, so they are a little chewy in the bars. I like them this way, but if you prefer softer apples, you should precook them first.
  • I like Granny Smith apples for this recipe because they’re tart, which works well with the sweet bars. If you want to use sweeter apples, try Honeycrisp or Golden Delicious.
  • If you don’t want chocolate in your bars, you can switch the Rolos for soft caramel candies. I don’t recommend using caramel sauce because it could change the texture of the bars or get absorbed into the dough, which means no gooey caramel. Boo.
  • You can also use caramel Hershey kisses for this recipe instead of the Rolos.
  • You can speed up the cooling process and stick the bars in the refrigerator. However, I don’t recommend serving them cold from the fridge. Let them come to room temperature so the caramel candy can soften. You don’t want anyone breaking a tooth on a cold Rolo!
  • It’s best to store your gooey bars are room temperature. Keep them tightly wrapped, and they will keep well for a few days.
Stack of Caramel Apple Gooey Bars with rolo candies around them

Have fun experimenting with this Apple gooey bar recipe – any candy that goes with apples will work. So, think chopped peanut butter cups, mini Hershey bars, or try different baking chips like chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, butterscotch, or peanut butter chips. You can also add nuts like chopped walnuts or pecans.

These are the perfect way to use up those apples from the orchard and the perfect excuse to buy Rolos. Not that you really need an excuse. These suckers are good – the perfect fall gooey bar!

More Gooey Bar Recipes You’ll Love

Caramel Apple Gooey Bars

If you love caramel apples, you will LOVE this easy Caramel Apple Gooey Bar recipe. They are perfect for fall and loaded with apples and Rolo caramel candies.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Yield 16 bars
Serving Size 1 bar

Ingredients

  • 1 (approx 15 ounce) yellow cake mix
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup (113g) unsalted butter , softened
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 ½ cups (approx 180g) diced apples (Granny Smith)
  • 30 (161g) Rolos , unwrapped
  • ½ cup (4 ounces by volume) sweetened condensed milk

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9×9” pan with foil and spray with cooking spray.
  • Mix cake mix, egg, butter, and cinnamon in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. The dough will form a ball.
  • Press about half of the dough in the bottom of the pan. Top with diced apples and Rolos. Pour the sweetened condensed milk evenly over the top. Place bits of the remaining dough evenly over the top and press gently to compact.
  • Bake bars for about 35-45 minutes, until the top just begins to brown. Remove from oven and cool completely before slicing. The refrigerator helps this step, but be sure to serve room temperature so no one breaks a tooth on a cold Rolo!

Recipe Notes

Note: the apples are a little chewy. I like them that way in these, but if you prefer a softer apple you can cook the apples before adding them in step 3. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a frying pan and add the apples. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the just start to become translucent, about 5 minutes. Add as directed to the top of the cake mixture and continue from there.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1bar | Calories: 146kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 31mg | Sodium: 39mg | Potassium: 75mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 240IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 48mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional information not guaranteed to be accurate

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword apple, cake mix, caramel
Stack of Caramel Apple Gooey Bars with rolo candies around them and recipe title on top of image

If you love caramel apples, you will LOVE this easy Caramel Apple Gooey Bar recipe. They are perfect for fall and loaded with apples and Rolo caramel candies.

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45 CommentsLeave a comment or review

  1. those gooey apple caramel bars…can a person use caramel topping instead of rolls…and how much. Would like to make soon. Please let me know. Again thank you !

    1. Hi Pat! Unfortunately, no, you shouldn’t use liquid caramel topping in place of the Rolos. You could use caramel candies (any kind, the Kraft caramels or Hershey’s Caramel Kisses, etc) in place of the Rolos. If you want to use caramel sauce, you can try using it in place of the sweetened condensed milk but I don’t think that will work – instead I’d get that new caramel sweetened condensed milk that Eagle brand just released!

    1. Yes, but it will be thicker than the bars you see, since a 9×13 is not quite double a 9×9. Baking time might be affected, but it’ll still be amazing!

  2. I wanted to tell you that you’ve made addicts of my children with this recipe! My five year old is devastated that I don’t intend to make more until next week when his grandma comes and my two year old started crying when I told her they’re all gone. Thank you! This recipe is amazing!!

  3. What a great fall recipe. Not only are these bars delicious, they make my home smell like fall and I love it. I found your blog when I pinned your funfetti gooey bars (now a staple!), and am now hooked on baking and sharing the gooey bar love. Thanks, and can’t wait to try more of your recipes!

  4. I made these today, and they are SO good! Plus, the house smelled amazing while they were baking. Thank you for the recipe. It’s a keeper!

  5. Oh my yes, chocolate and caramel go perfectly with apples! (As does PB… But that’s a gooey bar for another time? 😉 ) I love how many candy-related recipes you’re putting out lately. Such great inspiration for using up the half-eaten bags in my coat closet (yes, I’m trying to hide it until Halloween)!