No-Bake Salted Caramel Cups Recipe - Skillful Cook
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No-Bake Salted Caramel Cups

14 reviews / 4.9 average

No-Bake Salted Caramel Cups! Oat crust with a soft salted caramel center, topped with chocolate and sea salt. Perfect for a quick snack or dessert!

Salted caramel for the win!

Also: oats for the win.

And also more specifically: oats with pretzels and dates and pecans and caramel and chocolate and sea salt as a snack and dessert — um, yes. Going for the epic major win here.

No-Bake Salted Caramel Cups.

If you’ve been to my house, our studio, or a workshop here recently, there is a 100% chance that I offered you a peanut butter pretzel energy bite or raw salted chocolate snack bar because I can’t stop poppin’ these easy, versatile, nutritious little snacks. I hope you’ve enjoyed this phase of overwhelming love for the snack zone, because friends? Today we level up.

About 3 days ago, I officially graduated from the basic snack obsession to a more sweet, more luscious, more snack-meets-dessert type situation that includes a similarly delicious oat and date and pretzel base, a layer of chocolate with sea salt on top, and a little golden nugget of soft salted caramel tucked away inside. GOLDEN NUGGET. SOFT SALTED CARAMEL. NO-BAKE. I cannot. Buuut I really, really can. Things are getting serious and delicious.

These little snacky-dessert winners are called No-Bake Salted Caramel Cups, and they remind me of peanut butter cups but a more interesting, sophisticated and homemade version.

Oat crust with a soft salted caramel center.
Old fashioned quaker oats.

The thing I love most about No-Bake Salted Caramel Cups is that there is literally never a bad time for them. I would consider this one of THE MOST universally appealing foods at any time of day. Whatever time of day you're thinking of right now - it's gonna work. You really just can't go wrong.

For example.

Morning treat (hi Saturday morning looking at u), mid-morning snack treat, post-lunch sweet bite, pre OR post workout celebration, afternoon pick-me-up (just try it with a nice creamy, strong latte. I mean, UGH can you even right now?), or probably most likely in our case -> the answer to the question: what will we eat as a bed-time-ish snack while we sit on the couch and watch movies?

Answer: oat and pretzel cups with a little soft salted caramel kiss and a chocolate top hat, with a light, little touch of sea salt fairy dust for good measure.

No-Bake Salted Caramel Cups.
No-Bake Salted Caramel Cups.

The thing I love second most about No-Bake Salted Caramel Cups is that they are one of those you-already-have-everything-on-hand recipes, which is my ultimate goal in life and therefore one of the things I strive for with the recipes I share on POY. Our blog tagline should be: recipes that you will actually make in real life. That's my goal.

And with our beloved oats being right at the core of this recipe, this recipe stays true to that goal.

You can mix and match and make it work with whatever you have on hand — as long as you've got the oats as the solid base ingredient (which you obviously do). Being that oats are nutritious, affordable, versatile, and always in the pantry, the oats are the bring-it-all-together mother of this little caramel cups ingredient family.

No-Bake Salted Caramel Cup.

Annnnd go.

Mwah! Happy Friday, lovely people of the food internet.

I don't tell you often enough how much I like you. Now have a salted caramel cup.

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Caramel Cups in a stack.

No-Bake Salted Caramel Cups

  • Author: Skillful Cook
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 10-12 cups 1x


No-Bake Salted Caramel Cups! Oat crust with a soft salted caramel center, topped with chocolate and sea salt. Perfect for a quick snack or dessert!


Units Scale
  • 1 1/2 cups Quaker Rolled Oats
  • 1 1/2 cups pecan halves
  • 1/2 cup pretzels
  • 8 whole medjool dates, pitted
  • 2/3 cup coconut oil, melted
  • a pinch of coarse sea salt
  • 1 cup thick caramel - could be homemade caramel or store-bought caramel pieces melted into a sauce
  • 2 cups chocolate chips, melted
  • sea salt, optional, for topping


  1. CRUST: Pulse the oats, pecans, and pretzels in a food processor until broken down into small pieces. Add the dates, coconut oil, and sea salt and pulse until a soft dough forms. Refrigerate for about 15-20 minutes to help the mixture become easier to work with.
  2. CARAMEL: Meanwhile, prepare the caramel and melt the chocolate.
  3. ASSEMBLY: When the crust mixture is firm enough, press into a muffin tin, leaving a well in the center of each. Add a tablespoon or two of caramel into each cup and top with chocolate. Sprinkle with sea salt if you want. Refrigerate or freeze until hardened. Remove from muffin tins and serve (give them a little time if they've been frozen). Yummmmmy.


The crust for these can also be made with the Peanut Butter Pretzel Energy Bites base!

  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 5 mins
  • Category: Dessert
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: caramel cups, no bake caramel cups, oatmeal caramel cups

Thank you to our friends at Quaker Oats for sponsoring this post!

One More Thing!

This recipe is part of our easy chocolate desserts page. Check it out!

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    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Hi Lindsay! These sound scrumdididdlyumotious. And I appreciate the encouragement to enjoy them as a “snack” whenever the mood strikes 😉 Reminds me of those childhood special occasions when my dad was out of town and my mom and I would have cake for breakfast 🙂 So, my question! You mention that we can sub what’s we have on hand for the pretzels. What kinds of things were you thinking as subs? I never have pretzels. I have Panko bread crumbs? Seems weird tho, right?What kinds of subs were you thinking of? Or could I just add a bit more salt and oats and avoid the pretzel/pretzel sub quagmire altogether?

      1. Skillful Cook Logo

        Hi Elizabeth! You could just omit the pretzels and add a little more oats to the base mixture. If you have rice krispies or chex cereal on hand, that might work too!

  1. Skillful Cook Logo

    I seriously feel like I could grab one of those right from the screen and pop it into my mouth! These look so yummy!

    BTW I want to tell you that I really enjoy your writing. You are very relateable. You make me laugh and smile during every post! Thanks for creating such great content! 🙂

  2. Skillful Cook Logo

    Awesome! Such a cheeky way of chomping down on some millionaires’ shortbread. Without the shortbread of course. I’m a headchef of a luxury catering company and these would be an awesome treat for client gifts year end. Thanks;)

  3. Skillful Cook Logo

    These look amazing!!! What could you use instead of the pretzels to make gluten-free?

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Hello, you can get gluten free pretzels and they are good at Kroger and Walmart. Good luck.

      1. Skillful Cook Logo

        Looking forward to making these this weekend. Can you tell me what to add to store bought toffees when melting to make cheats toffee sauce? Is it best to melt in a pan or microwave? X

        1. Skillful Cook Logo

          Great question, Collette. I’m not entirely sure, but I feel like butter or heavy cream would help? Melting in a pan would be best!

  4. Skillful Cook Logo

    It looks like the pictures indicate chia and you wrote in your post about chia and flax but the recipe does not reflect that. Would they be 1/4 cup (both or one or the other) as listed in the pretzel energy bites?

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Good question, sorry for the confusion. So I made this with both the pb pretzel energy bite crust AND the raw bar crust to see which I liked better. And I liked both. 🙂 The recipe reflects the raw bar crust since those held together a little better. But if you do want chia and flax, use the energy bite crust which is linked in the recipe notes! 🙂 I’ll go back and edit the post so it’s less confusing.

  5. Skillful Cook Logo

    Oh my, these look amazing! They are now top of my list of ‘to do’s’ tomorrow! One question – I’m gluten free and can’t find gf pretzels near me. Could I substitute something else for the pretzels? What would you recommend? Thank you and please keep up these amazing treat / dessert recipes! X

  6. Skillful Cook Logo

    I’m not much of a caramel girl…how do you think it would it work if I swapped out peanut butter for the filling instead??

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Totally! I love that idea! You might want to make them a little smaller though just so it’s not an overwhelming amount of PB in there.

  7. Skillful Cook Logo

    What, and how much, do you think I can swap out for the coconut oil? One for one with canola?

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Coconut oil is pretty important because of its properties at different temperatures. It can be both a solid (when cold) and a liquid, whereas other oils do not harden up. I did use butter for one version of these and it was delicious and hardened up just fine to hold it all together.

  8. Skillful Cook Logo

    These just look amazing!! I’m going to try them this week. The kids start school on Monday and I’m sure they will love it as an after school snack. I hope I don’t eat them all before they get home. Yum!

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      YES! perfect after school snack. I eat them when I come home from the studio which is basically the same thing, right?

  9. Skillful Cook Logo

    Love this recipe – YUM! And I love dates, but have none in my pantry/have no time to run to the store. Any substitution recommendations?

  10. Skillful Cook Logo

    Oh Lindsay I could just give you one huge hug right now! These look insanely delicious, moorish and addictive and I can’t wait to make them.
    I’ll try a more healthified version with a refined sugar free caramel, and repost back to how it goes! xx

  11. Skillful Cook Logo

    these look awesome! and you’re right – these can be eaten ANY time of day.. although i feel that way about all no bake energy balls!