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
Save Recipe

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. 3 stars
    I love making the caramel from scratch! However, this slice is too large for me (9 by 13) It is VERY rich and VERY sweet. I should have tried 1/2 the recipe. Overall I thought the shortbread was too soft, that there was too much caramel, and too thick a chocolate topping. For both my hubby and I it made the slice a little too much. But it was fun to make. The pictures on this site are what it comes out like. I think I would rather cut up the cookie and caramel base and dip them into chocolate so it has a thin coating and is more reminiscent of the actual store bars.

    1. UPDATE: So it took a while, but we finally have finished the slice. Now it is gone, we miss having it around to steal a sweet bite every now and then. After a few days, the flavors settled down and melded together so it seemed a lot better.

  2. 5 stars
    Made it and everyone loved! It took the shortbread layer a little longer in the oven—more like 40 minutes. But that’s probably just my oven. I’ve tried making caramel before and it’s always been a disaster but this was easy and turned out perfectly! Making another batch this week. This is my new annual Christmas baking project! Thank you!

  3. 1 star
    The caramel wasn’t true caramel and the shortbread wasn’t true shortbread. It was way too sweet. Less is more. I will never make this again.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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?

  7. 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.

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

    Thanks

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Hello, can you leave out the light corn syrup for the caramel or is there something you could use instead?
    Thanks!

  12. 4 stars
    They’re good however I would recommend cutting back on the caramel and cholate by a third, there’s too much, the ratio to the shortbread is off

    1. I agree with this, I made them last night and everyone who tried them agreed that there was too much caramel. Additionally, if you don’t use salted butter, make sure to add a little salt to the caramel, or else the bars will be much too sweet. I wouldn’t eat them until they’ve chilled for at least 4 hours after the chocolate layer, they’re much better cold. Overall, a great recipe, I just would’ve preferred a smaller chocolate/caramel to shortbread ratio. Thanks Lauren!

  13. I’m not sure if you’ll see this. I just came across your recipe and I’m curious, is the butter supposed to be cold or room temp for the crust?

  14. I’m about to make these and am wondering if you have a trick on cutting them? I’d like clean sharp edges and wonder if its best to score them after they come out of the oven?

    1. I chill them in the fridge to set up, then I remove them onto my counter and let them sit for 15 minutes or so to allow the chocolate to soften just a little so it doesn’t crack as I cut it. Then I use my stainless steel scraper/chopper to cut firm straight lines.

  15. I’d love to make these in an 8×8 or 9×9 baking pan- what adjustments, if any, would you recommend? Can’t wait to try these!!❤️

  16. Made these for my grandaughters cheer bake sale and they were a hit. I will be making these again. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

  17. Every Sunday we have a family style dinner with friends at our house . These were amazing and super easy to make, however my chocolate did seize up as well I’ve never had that happen before. O too added some boiled water and the chocolate smoothed out . Needless to say everyone enjoyed them, thanks for the great recipe!

  18. Hi! My family and church family love these. I get requests from everybody to make them some.

  19. 5 stars
    These are so yummy and the recipe was easy to follow! But my chocolate topping separated from the caramel when I cut them into pieces. Maybe they were too cold when I sliced? I did cut them straight out of the fridge.

  20. 5 stars
    Made once before to see if I could pull off the homemade caramel part, and if they turned out the way I imagined…and they did! SO well! Everyone loved them so much that they’re now requested as birthday gifts! Great recipe & instructions-me & my family thank you!

  21. Hi: I was looking for ideas for different cookies and the like for my nephew’s wedding rehearsal dinner and these looked like something I would like to include. I decided to give them a “trial run” before the party as it was my first time making caramel. I ended up with brown flecks in my caramel and I was just wondering why.

    Thanks in advance for any advice you can give me in this regard.

    Lynn

    1. Most likely the brown specks were from Caramel burning or scorching on the bottom of pan. I’d advise turning heat down slightly and be sure to scrape bottom of pot well each time you stir right from the beginning. Best wishes.

  22. 4 stars
    Right! Was super excited to make this. First off, don’t have corn syrup in Australia so I used golden syrup. Tastes great. Had quite a lot of caramel in the end, but it’s ok. When I tried to melt the chocolate and butter the chocolate seized up so I added some boiling water and all was good. Tastes really good, quite sweet but I mean that’s expected. Awesome!!

  23. 5 stars
    Made these this weekend and they were amazing. The office loved them!
    Thanks the caramel does make a difference!

  24. 5 stars
    Your story was so cute!! These look delicious but are they really 700 calories?! Eesh!! Sometimes my suppers are less calories than that!

    1. Hi Victoria–sorry, that was reflecting bigger servings than I meant to. The nutritional info now reflects 24 servings/bars.

    1. Hi Caroline, I haven’t experimented with freezing these so I really can’t say for sure. Let me know if you try it!

  25. Thank you for this recipe! I was just looking into how to make ’em yourself and the first instructions I found all called for industrial made caramel or caramels – like Werthers. The first one actually made me chuckle. The author wanted to make Twix themselfes cause of the additives. An effort rendered completely pointless when using industrially made ingredients.

    I’ll defenetly be making Twix White next! ^^

    Greetings
    the py

  26. Made this and the chocolate doesn’t work with the butter. It seizes ups and turns into a rock. Did it in the microwave and then in a double boiler and the same thing happened. I don’t see anyone else having this problem, so I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong…

    1. Hi Karley, if the chocolate was seizing it means it was getting too hot, too fast. Next time turn your microwave to half power and stir every 10-15 seconds, or use a double boiler. Hope that helps!

    1. Hi Timmie, I’m so sorry, my site is having technical problems with the recipe card when viewed on a desktop or tablet device. You will be able to see the recipe if you pull it up on your mobile phone. I’m trying to resolve the problem ASAP. Sorry for the inconvenience!

  27. I will definitely be trying these! They look amazing. I love your blog and it’s fun when you mention your twin. My husband and Justin were good friends in high school and roommates at BYU so I have gotten to know Liz a bit and she’s awesome! We were at their wedding and I didn’t know about your blog back then but I wish I had been able to say hi to you in person! 🙂

    1. Thanks Claire, you’re so sweet! I wish we could have met in person to! I’ll have tell Liz that we connected 🙂 Thanks for commenting! And I hope you like the Twix Bars!

  28. Made these today for my sons work..cant wait to see how they turned out…making the chocolate top soon 🙂

  29. These look so, so delicious (and maybe a little dangerous too)! It’s been a really long time since I’ve had a Twix bar, but I think I’d rather have one of these…