Skip to Content

Gooey Pecan Dream Bars

Please share

Gooey pecan dream bars are the perfect mix of soft and gooey with a little bit of pecan crunch. They use a box cake mix, toffee bits, and sweetened condensed milk to make an easy but memorable dessert.

Stack of pecan dream bars with thin cakey crust and gooey pecan topping.

If you like gooey butter cake and pecan pie, you are going to love these tasty gooey pecan dream bars. They have a texture and flavor that will remind you a little bit of both in a super simple to make recipe.

These yummy bars were an instant hit when we tried them. My little sister liked them so much she went home and made a batch for her friends.

Of course pecans make me think of Thanksgiving, but they don’t need to be saved for the holidays. They are so quick to put together you can really enjoy them any time.

Whenever your sweet tooth is acting up, you can pull a handful of simple ingredients out of the pantry and have a wonderful treat in no time. You will have to make a batch to see how good they are for yourself.

Making These Easy Bars

The base is a lot like you would make for a gooey butter cake. You just take softened butter, an egg and a cake mix and stir it together.

Ingredients ready to be made into pecan dream bars.

It may seem a bit crumbly at first, but it should press into a nice crust on the bottom of a 9×13-inch pan. Just trust the process and get it spread evenly.

Then mix together some toffee bits (like the Heath ones you find in the baking aisle), pecans and a can of sweetened condensed milk. Pour that mixture over the crust and bake until the top is golden and bubbly.

The toffee bits melt into the condensed milk adding rich depth of flavor. They also help set the mixture up and hold everything together.

Make sure your bars are good and cool before you cut and serve them. They will taste amazing warm, but will look quite messy if you don’t give them a chance to set up.

Tips and Tricks

A number of different cake mixes work for this recipe. Try using white, yellow, butter or even chocolate.

Be sure to use sweetened condensed milk not evaporated milk.

English Toffee Bits are found in the baking aisle by the chocolate chips. Get the ones without chocolate on them.

Do not over bake, you want the center to be a bit gooey. The bars will continue to set up as they cool.

How do you store caramel pecan dream bars?

Store your pecan bars in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days. Or freeze for up to 3 months.

What to do With the Rest of the English Toffee Bits:

Pecan dream bars cut into squares and ready to serve.

More Pecan Dessert Recipes:

If you like pecan treats, you have to try pecan pie cheesecake. It is the best of both worlds and would be perfect for Thanksgiving or Christmas.

Or make a caramel pecan pie. This recipe gives you rich flavor by using caramels instead of corn syrup.

Hand holding pecan dream bar showing crust holding a gooey caramel like pecan filling.

Pecan pie baked oatmeal is a good option for breakfast time. Or make honeyed pecans for salads, garnishes or a snack.

If you tried this recipe, or any other recipe on my website, please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how it went in the comments. Hungry for more?  Be sure to stay in touch on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram for all of the latest updates.

Stack of pecan dream bars with thin cakey crust and gooey pecan topping.

Caramel Pecan Dream Bars

Carlee
Gooey pecan dream bars are the perfect mix of soft and gooey with a little bit of pecan crunch. They use a box cake mix, toffee bits, and sweetened condensed milk to make an easy but memorable dessert.
4.72 from 38 ratings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 24 Bars
Calories 238 kcal

Ingredients
 

  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • cup butter softened
  • 1 large egg
  • 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • ½ cup toffee bits

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350°F and grease a 9×13-inch pan.
  • Mix together cake mix, softened butter and the egg. The mixture may be a little bit crumbly.
    1 box yellow cake mix, ⅓ cup butter, 1 large egg
  • Press the crust into the bottom of the greased pan.
  • Stir together the condensed milk, pecans and toffee bits. Spread over the crust.
    14 ounces sweetened condensed milk, 1 cup chopped pecans, ½ cup toffee bits
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the filling is golden brown and bubbly.
  • Cool completely before cutting and serving.

Notes

Store your pecan bars in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days. Or freeze for up to 3 months.

Nutrition

Serving: 1barCalories: 238kcalCarbohydrates: 34gProtein: 3gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 27mgSodium: 217mgFiber: 1gSugar: 25g
Tried this recipe?Mention @carleecooks or tag #cookingwcarlee!

Please share

Recipe Rating




Becky Lee

Monday 14th of August 2023

Do they need to be refrigerated

Carlee

Monday 14th of August 2023

You can keep them at room temperature for up to 3 days or refrigerate them for up to a week.

CJ

Saturday 29th of July 2023

They are delicious, but I always toast my pecans in every recipe and I think it really added to this recipe. Thanks!

Carlee

Saturday 29th of July 2023

That's a great idea! Toasted pecans really are wonderful.

Karen

Tuesday 25th of July 2023

I made these bars today and they are so easy to make and they taste delicious. I didn't have a problem with the cake part sticking to me-the butter made my hands oily. I am going to make these for a family reunion coming up-they are too good not to share! Thanks for the recipe!

Carlee

Wednesday 26th of July 2023

I am so glad you liked them. I hope they are a hit at the family reunion.

Peggy

Wednesday 31st of May 2023

Delicious! But what's the trick to pressing the dough into the pan evenly and without it sticking to you or whatever you're pressing with?

Carlee

Wednesday 31st of May 2023

That is the trickiest part of the recipe, for sure. You can either get your fingers slightly damp or spray the bottom of a measuring cup with cookies spray and spread the dough.

Andrea Nine

Wednesday 9th of November 2022

A dream indeed! Looks so yummy!

Carlee

Wednesday 9th of November 2022

They really are!