If you’re having a bout of the munchies why not whip up your own batch of Chocolate Caramel Biscuit Bars? If you’re a fan of making your own favourite chocolate bars at home, you’ll love this recipe. These chocolate caramel treats offer a unique twist on Twix bars, featuring a foundation of buttery ginger-nut biscuits, generously layered with a creamy caramel made from condensed milk, and topped with velvety milk chocolate coating that stays gooey when set. All with a subtle hint of orange too!
These luscious caramel slices are similar to Twix bars or Millionaires shortbread. If you’ve ever had either, you’ll understand the appeal of a shortbread biscuit base, coated in chewy caramel, and covered in chocolate.
This original recipe adds a special twist to the caramel-coated biscuits – a touch of orange zest and gingernut biscuits to the base, creating a warm, spicy, irresistible biscuit crumb just like these Gingersnap Biscuits and these Shortbread Ginger Bars. On top, you’ll find a velvety caramel layer, just the way you like it.
The melted chocolate layer is blended with orange juice, giving the chocolate cookie bars a hint of citrus and spicy ginger twist. The added orange juice to the milk chocolate coating gives your homemade caramel bars a glossy, citrusy finish that pairs beautifully with the gingernut’s spice, it remains gooey and soft when set.
Making your own caramel filling from scratch may seem difficult, but with a few simple steps and some pantry staples, you can create a batch of these irresistible bars that will have everyone begging for more. No fancy equipment or gourmet skills needed – just pure, unadulterated deliciousness, ready to be enjoyed with family and friends.
Why You’ll Love These Caramel Biscuit Bars
- Easy-to-Find Ingredients: This recipe uses common pantry items, making it accessible to all.
- Effortless Preparation: Simple steps and detailed guidance for making the caramel mean you will become a kitchen pro in no time.
- Impressively Delicious: These caramel biscuit bars offer gourmet-like flavour and presentation. Leaving everyone wanting more.
- Food Processor: Used for crushing gingernut biscuits into breadcrumbs for the base. It simplifies and speeds up the process.
- 23x23cm (9x9inch) Square Tin: To shape and set your caramel biscuit bars.
- Baking Paper: To line the square tin and ensure easy removal of your bars.
- Grater: Needed to grate the orange zest, adding a zesty flavour to the base.
- Heavy-Based Saucepan: Used to melt butter and sugar for the caramel layer. Choose a heavy-bottomed Pan for even heating.
- Shallow Bowl: Use a shallow heatproof bowl to melt the chocolate.
- Spatula or Wooden Spoon: Essential for continuous stirring while making the caramel to prevent burning. Use one that is heatproof to high temperatures for the caramel.
- Small Palette Knife: Useful for spreading the layers evenly.
- Measuring Scales: For accurate measurements of ingredients, especially for the caramel layer.
- Gingernut Biscuits: Crushed to create the biscuit base. You can even make your own ginger biscuits from scratch.
- Unsalted Butter: Used in the biscuit base and caramel layer to provide richness and flavour.
- Orange Zest: Adds a citrusy aroma and flavour to the biscuit base.
- Caster Sugar: Used in the caramel layer to sweeten and create a toffee-like consistency.
- Golden Syrup: Enhances the caramel layer’s sweetness and texture.
- Condensed Milk: Provides a creamy and sweet base for the caramel layer.
- Milk Chocolate: Melts to create the glossy chocolate topping. You can use whole bar chocolate or chocolate chips.
- Fresh Orange Juice: Adds a hint of citrus to the chocolate topping.
Additions and Substitutions
- Nuts: Sprinkle chopped nuts like almonds, walnuts, or pecans over the caramel layer for added crunch and flavour.
- Dried Fruits: Mix in dried fruits like raisins, cranberries, or chopped apricots into the biscuit base for a fruity twist.
- Spices: Add a pinch of ground cinnamon powder or nutmeg to the biscuit base for warm, aromatic notes.
- Peanut Butter: Add a layer of peanut butter in between for an alternative flavour.
- Sea Salt: Sprinkle a touch of flaky sea salt over the chocolate topping for a sweet and salty contrast.
- Toasted Coconut: Sprinkle toasted coconut flakes over the chocolate topping for a tropical twist.
- Vanilla Extract: Add a teaspoon of vanilla extract to the plain caramel for extra flavour.
- White Chocolate: For a decorative touch, drizzle the milk chocolate layer with some melted white chocolate.
- Orange Extract: Want to add even more orange flavour to your chocolate bars? Add a few drops of orange extract to the chocolate layer to give a real zing.
- Digestive Biscuits: Instead of gingernut biscuits, you can use digestive biscuits for a different flavour profile. You could also use Graham Crackers.
- Rich Tea Biscuits, Oatmeal Biscuits or Crunchy Chocolate Cookies: All can be used as an alternative for the biscuit base.
- Shortbread Base: You can make these copycat Twix bars more original by using shortbread to create the base.
- Milk Chocolate: Substitute dark chocolate or white chocolate for a different chocolatey experience.
- Brown Sugar: This can be used instead of white sugar for a deeper flavour, but it can make it difficult to tell exactly when the caramel is ready. If you choose to substitute, use a sugar thermometer to be precise.
- Cold Water: You can replace the orange juice for water instead if you’d prefer.
If you want to make copycat Twix Bars or Millionaires shortbread that look just like the real thing, you will need to use a shortbread biscuit base, slice the bars once the caramel sets and omit the orange juice from the melted chocolate.
You will also need to use more chocolate.
For homemade Twix bars, carefully coat each caramel biscuit bar with melted chocolate by submersing each one fully so that all the sides of each biscuit are completely covered. Then place on a wire rack with baking paper underneath to catch the excess chocolate drip as they set.
You may find that two coatings of chocolate are needed to fully coat the sides of the biscuits and create your very own homemade Twix bars.
For Millionaires shortbread, layer it in the same way, use a shortbread base and don’t add the juice to the chocolate so that it sets completely.
Step-By-Step How To Make Caramel Biscuit Bars – Homemade Twix
Step 1: Preheat the Oven
- Preheat your oven to 160°C (320°F).
Step 2: Creating the Biscuit Base
- In a food processor, pulse Gingernut Biscuits until they resemble fine breadcrumbs. You can also use a rolling pin and break them down in a food storage bag.
- Grate the vibrant orange zest.
- Melt unsalted butter, incorporating the grated orange zest.
- Combine the melted butter, orange zest, and crushed biscuits, creating a moist, crumbly mixture.
Step 3: Assembling the Base
- Line a 23cm square tin with baking paper, ensuring some paper overhangs for easy removal.
- Transfer the biscuit mixture into the lined tray, pressing it down evenly and firmly.
- Bake in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes until the base is set and lightly golden, then let it cool in the tin.
Step 4: Making the Caramel Layer
- In a saucepan, melt unsalted butter, caster sugar, and golden syrup over low heat.
- Once the butter melts and the sugar dissolves, add condensed milk and stir continuously until it transforms into a rich toffee hue. Watch closely, as it can change quickly. Remove from heat when it reaches the desired colour.
- Pour the caramel evenly over the cooled biscuit base, letting it cool and set.
Step 5: Infusing the Chocolate Orange Layer
- Melt milk chocolate, then blend in fresh orange juice until well combined.
- Pour the chocolate and orange juice mixture over the caramel layer, spreading it into an even layer with a spatula.
- Optional: Decorate the tops of the biscuit bars with candied orange peel for extra orange flavour.
Step 6: Letting the Caramel Biscuit Bars Set
- Allow the entire creation to cool and set. For quicker results, refrigeration is an option.
Step 7: Slicing and Serving
- Once fully set, use the overhanging baking paper to lift the caramel biscuit slab out of the tin. Place it on a cutting board and carefully cut it into the desired number of equal-sized rectangular bars.
Making Caramel From Condensed Milk – Tips!
There are different ways to turn a tin of condensed milk into caramel. One way, which was often used for banoffee pie is to boil the unopened can for a few hours in water. Whilst this is an effective method, it isn’t always completely fool proof or safe and making homemade caramel can become somewhat of a technical challenge.
For this chocolate caramel bar recipe we are adding butter and sugar to the condensed milk with a little golden syrup and heating it gently until it turns into caramel.
I advise to use a heavy bottomed pan to heat your caramel. Using a thin based saucepan can cause an uneven heat, which in turn, may burn parts of the mixture before the rest has had a chance to reach the correct temperature.
When cooking the caramel layer, be sure to stir it continuously, it’s important to not let it stick. I can’t stress how important it is to stir the caramel continuously at this point. If you leave it, it could burn in places or leave a gritty, grainy texture. There is no saving ruined caramel unfortunately.
I use a heatproof flexible silicone spatula to stir the caramel, it ensures that you can scrape the base quickly and evenly, leaving none behind or stuck to the base as you stir.
Don’t be tempted to rush the cooking time by turning up the heat either, you’d be surprised how quickly it will go from caramel to burnt. Burning the caramel will completely ruin the flavour, so this is a step which requires full attention.
Exercise caution when making the caramel. In order to turn the condensed milk into caramel, this sugar mixture needs to reach a high temperature of around 171°C (340°F) before it will caramelise. Meaning, that the mixture is super hot and sticky, it will stick to skin and burn you quickly. Wear long sleeves and stir it gently.
The moment it turns a toffee colour take it off the heat. At this point it will be thick enough to set, but isn’t meant to be hard on the teeth. The caramel will have the texture of a homemade Twix bar at this stage, which is what you want.
Yes, you can experiment with different biscuit varieties, like Digestive biscuits or shortbread, to create unique flavour profiles for your bars.
Absolutely, feel free to use dark chocolate if you prefer a richer, less sweet chocolate layer.
Absolutely, you can substitute gluten-free biscuits or cookies for the gingernut biscuits to make the base gluten-free.
You should stir the caramel continuously over a low heat, never allowing it to stick to the pan. Keep an eye on the colour. As soon as it turns a toffee colour, remove it from the heat.
Pro Tips and Guidance
- Precise Biscuit Crumbs: For the biscuit base, make sure to process the Gingernut biscuits until you achieve fine crumbs. This ensures a sturdy and evenly textured base.
- Even Baking: When baking the biscuit base, use a spatula or the back of a spoon to press it down firmly and evenly in the tin. This helps create a level base that can hold the caramel and chocolate layers evenly.
- Watch the Caramel: When making the caramel, keep a close eye on it. Stir continuously and be cautious as it can go from a pale colour to a toffee hue quickly. Remove from heat promptly once it reaches the desired colour.
- Prep the Tin: Line your baking tin with parchment paper, leaving some overhang on the sides. This overhang acts as handles, making it easier to lift the bars out of the tin after they’ve set.
- Smooth Chocolate Topping: After pouring the melted chocolate topping, use a spatula or the back of a spoon to smooth it evenly over the caramel. This creates a neat and glossy finish.
- Set Each Layer: Be sure not to rush the layers, allow each one to cool completely before adding the next one. Otherwise, you might find your layers will seep into each other and end up a gooey mess!
- Chill for Setting: Allow the bars to cool at room temperature for a while to avoid condensation forming under the plastic wrap. Then, refrigerate them to fully set the layers. This ensures clean cuts when you slice the bars.
- For a Solid Chocolate Topping: If you’d prefer the chocolate topping to be more solid, omit the orange juice. If you still want the orange flavour, add a few drops of orange essence to the melted chocolate or use orange flavoured chocolate instead.
- Room Temperature: If the weather is cool, these caramel biscuit bars can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. Ensure the container is sealed well to prevent them from becoming stale.
- Refrigerator: The optimal way to store these bars is in the fridge, you can store them in the refrigerator for a week to 10 days. Place them in an airtight container in single layers.
- Freezer: Due to the texture, I don’t advise you to freeze these homemade Twix bars. However, you could attempt to do so before adding the chocolate topping.
Check Out These Sweet Recipes
Made with Rice Krispies and melted Mars Bars, these chocolate slices are no-bake and easy to make.
Another no-bake treat filled with Maltesers and similar to Tiffin. Filled with Malt flavours and plenty of chocolate.
Full of flavour and pretty too! These oat bars are packed with a variety of dried fruit and seeds. They’re easy to customise too.
Chocolate Caramel Biscuit Bars – Homemade Twix
For the Biscuit Base
- 300 g Gingernut Biscuits
- 100 g Unsalted Butter
- 1 tbsp Orange Zest
For the Caramel
- 110 g Unsalted Butter
- 100 g Caster Sugar
- 2 tbsp Golden Syrup
- 200 g Can of Condensed Milk, Roughly Equating to 0.5 Can of 397g Condensed Milk
- 150 g Milk Chocolate
- 3 tbsp Fresh Orange Juice
- Preheat your oven to 160°C (320°F).
- Place the Gingernut Biscuits in a food processor and pulse until they are finely crushed, resembling breadcrumbs.
- Grate the orange zest.
- Melt the unsalted butter, either in a microwave or on the stovetop. Once melted, add the grated orange zest to it.
- Pour the melted butter and orange zest mixture over the crushed biscuits.
- Stir the biscuit crumbs, melted butter, and orange zest thoroughly until they are fully combined. You should have a moist, crumbly mixture.
- Line a 23cm square tin with baking paper, leaving some paper overhanging the edges.
- Transfer the biscuit mixture into the prepared tray and use the back of a spoon or palette knife or your hands to press it down evenly and firmly.
- Place the tin with the biscuit base in the preheated oven and bake for approximately 10 minutes until the base is set and lightly golden. Remove it from the oven and allow it to cool in the tin.
- In a saucepan, melt the unsalted butter, caster sugar, and golden syrup over low heat. Once melted, add the condensed milk. Stir continuously over low heat until the mixture turns a rich toffee colour. Be cautious as it can change quickly. Remove from heat immediately when it reaches the desired colour.
- Once the biscuit base has cooled, pour the caramel evenly over it and allow the caramel layer to cool completely and set.
- Melt the milk chocolate using a microwave or a double boiler. Stir in the fresh orange juice until well combined.
- Pour the melted chocolate and orange juice mixture over the caramel layer and spread it out evenly with a spatula.
- Allow the entire dish to cool and set. You can place it in the fridge for faster setting.
- Once fully set, use the overhanging baking paper to lift the caramel biscuit slab out of the tin. Place it on a cutting board and carefully cut it into as many bars as you desire.
- Precise Biscuit Crumbs: Process Gingernut biscuits into fine crumbs for a sturdy base.
- Even Baking: Press the biscuit base evenly in the tin for a level surface.
- Watch the Caramel: Stir continuously; remove from heat when it turns toffee-coloured.
- Prep the Tin: Line with parchment paper for easy bar removal.
- Smooth Chocolate Topping: Use a spatula to achieve an even, glossy finish.
- Set Each Layer: Let each layer cool completely before adding the next.
- Chill for Setting: Refrigerate to fully set the layers.
- For a Solid Chocolate Topping: Omit the orange juice or use orange-flavoured chocolate for a different twist.