★★★★★

Salted Caramel Hot Cocoa Bars

All the coziness of a cup of cocoa baked into a luscious dessert bar. Salted Caramel Hot Cocoa Bars are filled with mini marshmallows and caramel, then topped with chocolate drizzle and sea salt. Perfect for a cold winter’s day!

Hot chocolate mix isn’t just for making a warm drink! Did you know you can use it in your baking too?

Why this Recipe Works

This recipe for Salted Caramel Hot Cocoa Bars has it all: chocolate, caramel, a hint of saltiness and, of course, lots and lots of marshmallow-y goodness.

With hot chocolate powder baked right into the batter, the bars have a distinct chocolate flavor that tastes exactly like a cup of cocoa. The blend of sweet and salty is made even better with the addition of both mini marshmallows AND marshmallow bits!

They come together as easy as a pan of brownies and taste delicious chilled, straight out of the fridge. If you’re looking for a salted caramel dessert that’s a little different from the norm, you’ll love these Hot Cocoa Bars!

Salted Caramel Hot Cocoa Bars- rich and chewy fudge brownies filled with caramel, chocolate and marshmallows. #saltedcaramel #hotchocolate www.shugarysweets.com

Ingredient Notes

  • Hot Chocolate Mix. Any sweetened powdered cocoa mix you enjoy will work here, though you’ll want to avoid flavored varieties.
  • Marshmallow bits. The topping on these bars is made from marshmallow bits NOT mini-marshmallows. You can find them, usually in jars, near the hot chocolate mix section of the grocery store.
  • Caramel bits. I use the Kraft brand. You’ll find them near the chocolate chips in the store.
  • Chocolate morsels. This recipe uses semisweet chocolate chips in the dough and melted milk chocolate for drizzling on top.

Easy Instructions

These bars start by blending brown sugar with cocoa mix, eggs and vanilla, then adding a mixture of melted chocolate and butter. You’ll mix in the dry ingredients, then fold in Kraft caramel bits and mini marshmallows.

Pour the batter into a parchment lined baking dish, bake and cool. Finally, you drizzle melt chocolate over the bars, toss on the marshmallow bits and finish it off with a sprinkle of coarse salt.

Cut into squares and stash in the fridge until you’re ready to eat–that is, if you can resist grabbing one from the pan right away!

Salted Caramel Hot Cocoa Bars- rich and chewy fudge brownies filled with caramel, chocolate and marshmallows. #saltedcaramel #hotchocolate www.shugarysweets.com

Tips and Tricks

  • A 13 x 9 inch pan works best for this recipe. Line the pan with parchment paper for easier cutting and clean up, and to prevent them from sticking.
  • Best enjoyed cold. Salted Caramel Hot Cocoa Bars are a little gooey when they first come out of the oven (in the best possible way!). Keeping them chilled helps them hold their shape while still staying moist and chewy. The flavors shine even more when the bars are eaten cold, too.
  • Make sure to use kosher salt or sea salt. Table salt will not work on these bars; it’ll dissolve into the bars as they bake and the salty flavor is less strong than coarse salt, so you’ll lose the “salted” element of “salted caramel.”

Recipe FAQs

What are Kraft caramel bits?

Kraft caramel bits are miniature versions of the classic caramel candy squares. They soften as they bake in these bars so you’ll get ribbons of silky caramel in each bite.
It’s well worth picking up a couple of bags so you can make Caramel and Chocolate Rice Krispie Treats or a batch of Turtle Brownies after the Hot Cocoa Bars!

Can I make this recipe in a square brownie pan?

You can make this in a square brownie pan but the finished bars will be thicker and you will likely need to add a few more minutes of baking time. I haven’t tested the recipe in a square pan, so I can’t vouch for the results.

How do you store these bars?

You should store these Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate Bars sliced in squares, covered in the fridge. They are best enjoyed within 3 – 4 days, but in my house they disappeared much faster. Maybe that’s because I couldn’t resist sneaking a square every time I walked past the fridge!

Can I substitute mini marshmallows for the marshmallow bits?

You can substitute mini marshmallows for the bits, but I much prefer the consistency and look of the smaller bits on top.

Can I make Salted Caramel Bars with regular table salt instead of kosher salt?

No, you should not make salted caramel bars (or any salted caramel dessert) with table salt instead of coarse salt. Kosher salt has a lovely distinct flavor that contrasts perfectly with the sweetness of the caramel and chocolate.
If you don’t have coarse salt, you could leave off the salt and make plain caramel hot cocoa bars instead!

Why just drink your hot chocolate when you can eat it too? This Salted Caramel Hot Cocoa Bars recipe makes it easy to have a decadent dessert

Yield: 16 bars

Salted Caramel Hot Cocoa Bars

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • ½ cup semi sweet chocolate morsels
  • ⅔ cup light brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup hot chocolate powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 ¾ cup all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 2 cup mini marshmallows
  • 1 cup Kraft caramel bits
  • ¼ cup milk chocolate morsels, melted
  • ¼ cup MarshMallow Bits
  • ½ tsp kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 13x9 baking dish with parchment paper.
  2. In a small bowl, melt ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate morsels with butter in microwave, stirring every 30 seconds until combined.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, add brown sugar, hot cocoa mix, eggs and vanilla. Add melted chocolate mixtures, flour, baking powder and salt. Mix until thoroughly combined. Fold in mini marshmallows and caramel bits. Pour into baking dish. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from oven. Cool completely. Drizzle with melted chocolate and sprinkle the mallow bits and salt on top. Cut into squares and refrigerate. ENJOY!

Notes

  • I used the mallow bits, not mini marshmallows. They come in a jar and can usually be found near the hot cocoa mixes at the grocery store.

Did you make this recipe?

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About Aimee

Aimee is a dessert lover (specifically rice krispie treats), workout enthusiast, self-taught foodie, and recipe creator.

Learn more about Aimee.

Affiliate Disclosure:**There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation. However, I only recommend products I love! Thank you for supporting Shugary Sweets! See my disclosure policy for more info**

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Posted on January 20, 2013

Comments & Reviews

  1. So I’m back because I wanted to let you know I made these yesterday and they are DELICIOUS! I need to get the rest out of my house before I eat them all. You know they are good when every time my husband goes in the kitchen he cuts himself off a bite. 🙂

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