Vegan Caramelitas

by Ala
1 pan
35 min

When it comes to vegan desserts, these Vegan Caramelitas are among the best I’ve ever had! A golden brown sugar crumb filled with layers of chocolate and dairy-free caramel makes these quick bar cookies an irresistible addition to any dessert spread. It’s no exaggeration to say that these Vegan Caramelitas are among one of the best–and easiest–desserts that you will ever make. With gooey, luxurious dairy-free caramel and semisweet chocolate sandwiched between two layers of golden brown sugar oat crumble, these bars are wildly addictive and I’m almost embarrassed that you haven’t already thrown your phone or laptop aside to start whipping up a batch stat!

While the original recipe calls for regular butter and caramel, I made my version vegan-friendly as an added bonus for those out there who either have dietary restrictions or are just looking for a great way to health things up as we head into the throes of the holiday season. I also used a brilliantly simple 5-minute Vegan Caramel recipe from dear Aimee at Wallflower Kitchen (though not to be confused with this Wallflour kitchen!), but if you’re pressed for time you can always use a premade dairy-free jar from the store as well.

Recipe details
  • 1  pan
  • Prep time: 10 Minutes Cook time: 25 Minutes Total time: 35 min
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For the caramelitas:
  • 1 1/2 cups + 2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup vegan margarine, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups quick-cooking oats
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup dairy-free semisweet chocolate chips
For the vegan caramel:
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegan margarine, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup soy milk (or dairy-free milk of choice)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the caramelitas:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8x8-inch baking pan with parchment paper and lightly grease all edges. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, mix together 1 1/2 cups flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Add margarine, oats, and sugar, then cream together until a crumbly mixture forms.
Pat half of mixture into prepared baking pan and bake for 10 minutes.
Sprinkle chocolate chips and evenly pour vegan caramel (recipe below) over oat crust, then crumble the remaining dry mixture on top until filling is covered.
Bake for an additional 20-25 minutes, until edges have set and oat crumble turns a light golden color. Remove from oven and cool completely before slicing and serving! You can also store these cookies in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 7 days and in the freezer for up to a month.
For the vegan caramel:
In a pot over medium heat, bring sugar, margarine, and soy milk to a gentle boil. Allow mixture to continue boiling and stir occasionally until mixture thickens (approximately 5-7 minutes). Turn off heat, then stir in vanilla.
Allow to cool to room temperature. If making beforehand, you can also refrigerate caramel in an airtight container for up to 3 days--make sure to bring back to room temperature before using.
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