Homemade Twix Bars with layers of shortbread, homemade caramel, and melted chocolate.  An irresistible copy-cat recipe of my favorite candy bar!

Homemade twix bars with layers of shortbread, caramel and chocolate, cut into rectangles, placed on a grey board.

I first made this recipe back in 2015, after my twin sister called me going on and on about some homemade Twix bars that she had at a little sweets shop in Utah called “The Sweet Tooth Fairy”.

She described each detail of their homemade treat: a shortbread crust, a thick caramel layer, and chocolate on top. If that’s not your cookie bar love language, then I don’t know what is!

I wasn’t the first to share a similar recipe online, but I may be the first to use an incredible homemade caramel layer, rather than melting store-bought caramel. That layer of homemade caramel is completely what sets these apart.

Three photos showing the process for making homemade twix bars, including a shortbread crust baked in a glass 9x13'' pan, caramel poured on top of the crust, and melted chocolate smoothed over the caramel, with a spoon

 

How to make Homemade Twix Bars:

Start be making an easy shortbread crust. You only need five ingredients: flour, butter, powdered sugar and vanilla. This shortbread crust recipe is adapted from King Arthur Flour, and it’s just as excellent as it is EASY.

Press the dough into the bottom of a parchment lined 9×13” pan. I like to line the pan with parchment paper so that I can lift the bars from the pan once they’re completed, and cut them much easier.

While the shortbread crust cools, make the caramel.

 

Twix bars cut into small rectangles.

Add all of the caramel ingredients to a saucepan and bring to a gently boil. Boil, stirring often, until the caramel is golden colored and passes the “soft ball” ice water test. Grab a cup of ice water, spoon some of the caramel into it. Use your fingers to try and pinch the caramel sauce together into a ball. If you can for a really soft ball with your fingers, it’s ready.

Pour the hot caramel over the cooled shortbread crust. Allow to cool, for a few minutes, and then refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or even overnight.

Smooth melted chocolate over the caramel and allow it to set.

All chocolate is not created equal, when it comes to melting, so use a chocolate with a higher ratio of cocoa butter. I like to use baker’s chocolate bars, a good quality chocolate bar, or melting chocolate. If you want to use chocolate chips, you will need to add more butter to get them to melt properly, and I’d choose a high quality brand, like Ghirardelli.

Store the bars in the fridge.

A homemade twix cookie bar with a shortbread crust, middle layer of caramel and topped with chocolate.

These bars really are incredible, and they get rave reviews wherever I bring them. Hope you love them!

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Recipe

Homemade twix bars with layers of shortbread, caramel and chocolate, cut into rectangles, placed on a grey board.
Prep 2 hrs
Cook 35 mins
Total 2 hrs 35 mins
Add to Meal Plan

Ingredients
  

For the Shortbread:

  • 1 cup butter cold, (*see note)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Caramel:

  • 1 cup butter (*see note)
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk

For the Chocolate:

  • 3 cups chopped milk or dark chocolate
  • 1 Tablespoon butter

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Line a 9×13″ pan with parchment paper, or spray really well with non-stick cooking spray.

For the Shortbread Crust:

  • In a large bowl, use a pastry blender to combine the butter, sugar, flour, and vanilla until the mixture comes together. Press the shortbread dough into the pan. 
  • Bake for 28-35 minutes or until the crust is very lightly golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.

For the Caramel:

  • Combine all of the ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium heat. 
  • Maintain the heat at medium and bring mixture to a rolling boil, stirring often. 
  • Continue to cook, stirring constantly until the mixture reaches the soft ball stage, about 15-20 minutes). 
  • I test the "doneness" of the caramels using the ice water method: Stick several ice cubes in a cup and add cold water. Drop a spoonful of caramel into the ice water. If you're able to clump the caramel sauce together in your hands to form a very soft ball, then it's ready. When the caramel starts to turn golden brown, I do the ice water test every few minutes until I find that it's ready, just to make sure I don't overcook it.
  • Once it reaches soft ball stage, remove from heat and pour the warm caramel over the cooled shortbread crust. Allow to cool for a few minutes,  then refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight.

For the chocolate:

  • Add the butter and chocolate to a bowl and use a double boiler (or your microwave at low power, 30 second intervals, stirring in between) to melt the chocolate until smooth. 
  • Pour melted chocolate over the set up caramel and smooth into an even layer. Refrigerate until the chocolate is set. 
  • Store in the fridge, covered, for up to 1 week. 

Notes

*Salted or unsalted butter can be used. If using unsalted butter, add a pinch of salt to both the shortbread and caramel recipes.

Nutrition

Calories: 438kcalCarbohydrates: 57gProtein: 3gFat: 22gSaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 50mgSodium: 187mgPotassium: 89mgSugar: 47gVitamin A: 580IUVitamin C: 0.6mgCalcium: 89mgIron: 0.9mg

Did You Make This Recipe?

Tag @TastesBetterFromScratch on Instagram with #TastesBetterFromScratch!

Shortbread crust recipe is from King Arthur Flour.

 

Have you tried this recipe?!
RATE and COMMENT below! I would love to hear your experience.

 

*I first shared this recipe in April 2015. Updated April 2018.

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About The Author

Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

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Comments

  1. I just made these and LOVE them. I added a pinch of salt to the caramel but otherwise used the recipe. I plan on cutting a freezing half the pan so the last a good long while.

  2. 4 stars
    Delicious! Recommend half the amount of chocolate layer. I used semi-sweet chocolate chips (cuz that’s all I had) and it over powered the bar. Next time I’ll be sure to use milk chocolate.

  3. What happens if we use dark corn syrup instead of light? I could not find light one in the grocery store.

    Thanks

  4. Hi Lauren, thanks for sharing this recipe. I’m going to try and incorporate the shortbread and caramel recipes you have provided for the filling layers of a Twix cake.

  5. 4 stars
    Very satisfied with the taste! However, there was a LOT of butter used in this. I was wondering if i could cut it without ruining the recipe?

  6. Hi! Thanks for sharing your recipe 🙂 how do you make sure the chocolate will not crumble or crack when you’ll cut it after refrigerating? Also, how do we make the caramel solid even after cutting them into pieces?

    1. Cool the twix bars but let them thaw just slightly before cutting them. I like to remove the entire pan onto the counter (it will be one large rectangular block) and cut it with my chefs knife into squares. The caramel will not be entirely solid but will set up well so that it’s not oozing from the bars.

  7. 4 stars
    Delicious!!! I personally will use a larger pan next time to make the layers a bit thinner. My family complained there was too much caramel (even possible???) and I didn’t use all of the shortbread mixture because it looked like it’d be too thick. So, a bigger Pan would solve this. I do appreciate having a ton of mixture and caramel for the layer though! A lot of recipes with layers, feel like you are scraping every last scrap to cover the pan.

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