40 Caramel Desserts That Are Delicious in the Fall (and Every Other Season)

Chocolate desserts are bold and decadent. Fruit desserts are stunning and refreshing. But for buttery, burnt-sugar bliss, look no further than caramel desserts. From cookies to cakes to tarts, there are a *ton* of ooey-gooey treats to make that are filled, covered or swirled with the stuff. Read on for 40 caramel confections that are just the ticket for your first fall dinner party (though they taste just as good devoured solo on the couch).

25 Easy Dessert Recipes with 5 Ingredients or Less

1. Caramel-chocolate Macadamia Tart

Caramel and nuts go together like peanut butter and jelly. Here, chopped macadamia nuts meet caramel custard atop a press-in cocoa crust.

2. Swedish Cinnamon Buns Topped With Salted Caramel

They blow American-style cinnamon rolls way out of the water. Think ribbons of cinnamon-sugar laced with crunchy almonds and pools of salted caramel.

3. Slow-cooker Salted Caramel Rice Pudding

Rice pudding is such an underrated dessert, but we’re betting one bite of this Crock-Pot gem will push it right to the top of your list. (After all, it basically cooks itself.)

4. Vegan Miso Caramel Dip With Pretzels And Granny Smith Apples

This plant-based caramel doesn’t have a drop of dairy in it. Canned coconut cream takes over for butter and heavy cream, while miso paste gives it a punch of salty umami.

5. Brown Sugar Cookies With Dulce De Leche

Ta-da, your contribution to this year’s holiday cookie swap. Not only are these star-shaped treats gorgeous (thanks, fancy sprinkles), but they also only take 25 minutes to make from start to finish.

6. Caramelized Butternut Squash Upside-down Cake

A million times more impressive than pumpkin pie, but just as autumnal. Cooking the squash beforehand while you’re mixing the batter is the key to getting it uber caramelized.

7. Caramel Coconut Macaroons

The easy-as-pie caramel is baked into and drizzled on top of the macaroons, so they’re extra buttery and sweet.

8. Mini Caramel Pecan Pies With Cinnamon Roll Pie Crust

Behold: Fall in a teeny-tiny, delicious package. Might we suggest serving them after Thanksgiving dinner?

9. Crème Caramel

You’re only six ingredients away from this silky custard doused in drippy caramel sauce. The secret to its rich texture and flavor? Sweetened condensed milk.

10. Caramel-stuffed Gingerbread Crinkle Cookies

Paper doll-shaped gingerbread men are classic…but boring. These chewy spiced alternatives are way more surprising, and they’re stuffed with easy store-bought caramels to boot.

11. Upside-down Banana-caramel Bread

All it takes to create the drool-worthy caramel for this breakfast-dessert hybrid is butter, brown sugar and bananas, similar to bananas foster.

12. Sticky Toffee Honeycomb Cake

Traditionally, this British sponge cake is loaded with dates and toffee sauce. Our modern riff on the treat stars nothing but butter and honeycomb, which reduce into a thick caramel-like coating.

13. Salted Caramel And Chocolate Rice Krispies Squares

The O.G. version is flawless, but these are no doubt more exciting. Your guests will never know you used store-bought salted caramel sauce.

14. Chocolate-caramel Pretzel Tart

Warning: This sweet-and-salty trifecta will blow your mind. We’re suckers for the thick caramel filling and chocolate ganache, but our favorite part is the press-in pretzel crust.

15. Caramel-stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

We can hear your kids asking for seconds already. Dunk them into hot cocoa when the weather’s cold or use them to make ice cream sandwiches in the summertime.

16. Caramel Almond Cake

How does it get that crunchy gourmet-looking crust? We’re so glad you asked. Before the cake is finished baking, it gets crowned with a layer of sugared slivered almonds, which turns toasty and golden brown in just a few minutes.

17. Miniature Banoffee Cobblers

Gooey caramel + soft bananas + light-as-air whipped cream + crunchy graham crackers = heaven in a ramekin.

18. Caramel Chocolate Coconut Cheesecake

There’s store-bought dulce de leche (aka a thick caramel made by slowly cooking sugar and milk together) both in the cream cheese filling and swirled on top. Don’t skimp on the toasted coconut chips.

19. Mini Caramel Apples

These have Halloween party written all over them. And since the recipe uses small lady apples, your kids can actually bite into them, unlike those behemoths at the county fair.

20. Sweet Potato Brownies With Date Caramel Frosting

Three cheers for better-for-you desserts. Despite how moist and fudgy these brownies are, they’re loaded with potassium and fiber (and only contain 8 grams of sugar each).

21. Ice Cream Sundae With Pineapple Caramel

It’s tart. It’s sweet. It’s downright divine. Pineapple caramel pairs best with vanilla ice cream, but feel free to drizzle it onto grilled tropical fruit, pie or apple slices as well.

22. Vanilla Bean Thumbprint Cookies With Dulce De Leche

The delicate cookies are rolled in vanilla-infused sugar (which is nothing but blitzed vanilla bean seeds and sugar) before they’re baked for extra flavor.

23. Slow-cooker Monkey Bread

Considering that the base is store-bought biscuit dough and it all comes together in a Crock-Pot, it’s safe to say that this recipe is foolproof, down to the sticky praline topping.

24. Pecan Pie Scones

Meet your new go-to brunch recipe. These handhelds are studded with pecans and chunks of sugary pie crust before being stuffed with three-ingredient caramel filling.

25. Sea Salt Butterscotch Tart

Can you believe this Insta-worthy beauty is plant-based and gluten-free? Chalk it up to the crispy almond shortbread crust and coconut cream filling.

26. Brown Butter Caramel Thumbprints

If you’re a sucker for all things made with brown butter, then buckle up. These cuties dusted in cinnamon-sugar will leave you speechless.

27. Cardamom Crème Brûlée

Don’t sweat it if you don’t have a kitchen torch for the crackly caramel crust. Simply pop the ramekins in a cold oven and turn on the broiler until the tops are golden brown.

28. Banoffee Pie With Honeycomb

Canned dulce de leche, three-ingredient honeycomb and the easiest crust of all time keep fussiness at a minimum, resulting in a shockingly easy 40-minute recipe.

29. Butterscotch Icebox Cookies

We *love* icebox cookies because they’re a breeze to make ahead. Just prep the dough, refrigerate or freeze it in the shape of a log, then slice and bake whenever you need a fresh batch.

30. Grilled Peaches With Caramel Sauce

Grilled dessert is a thing. A gloriously delicious thing. Serve these peaches at your next summer barbecue and your guests will ask for it year after year.

31. Salted Caramel Apple Pie Bars

As if a crumbly shortbread crust, spiced apple filling and brown sugar-oat streusel weren’t enticing enough, these handhelds are drizzled with salted caramel before being served.

32. No-bake Salted Caramel Cups

Any dessert that doesn’t require us to turn on the oven is one after our own heart. The base is a wholesome mix of oats, pecans, pretzels and Medjool dates.

33. Salted Caramel Butterscotch Blondies

These chewy bars are already loaded with brown sugar, butter and salted caramel sauce. The butterscotch chips are just a bonus.

34. Real Deal Southern Caramel Cake

This Southern classic boasts moist yellow butter cake enrobed in thick, luscious caramel icing made with basics like butter, evaporated milk and sugar.

35. No-churn Ice Cream With Salted Caramel

There’s no need to buy an ice cream maker for this summer delicacy. All it takes is an electric mixer, a loaf pan and a freezer.

36. Unbelievable Butterscotch Pudding

Forget the packet stuff—this homemade alternative is just as simple to prepare. The hardest step is waiting for it to chill in the fridge before digging in.

37. 5-ingredient Salted Caramel Peanut Butter Truffles

Catch us making these for every single person on our Christmas list.

38. Cheddar And Caramel Popcorn Mix

If you snack like us, it’s always near impossible to decide between sweet and salty. Luckily, this recipe offers the best of both worlds.

39. Salted Caramel And Milk Chocolate Brownies

The brownies are oozing with the flavors of not only chopped milk chocolate, but also instant coffee and hazelnut liqueur.

40. Caramel Crunch

You know how the best part of a crumble is the bits of crispy brown sugar on top? You’re about to whip up an entire sheet pan’s worth of the stuff. Happy noshing.

For even more great recipes, check out our first cookbook, Only the Good Stuff.

taryn pire

Food Editor

Taryn Pire is PureWow’s food editor and has been writing about all things delicious since 2016. She’s developed recipes, reviewed restaurants and investigated food trends at...