Serious Eats / Amanda Suarez

Cakes can be fussy, and cookies take some work to portion and bake. But dessert bars? Layer everything in a single pan, bake it, and slice into squares for that potluck, bake sale, or lunch box. No matter what you love, this list has what you’re looking for. Bright citrus? Chewy caramel? Deep, dark chocolate? We’ve got you covered with 14 of the best dessert bar recipes.

Glossy Fudge Brownies

Serious Eats / Vicky Wasik

These fudgy brownies are rich and complex. Brownies are all about brown ingredients—dark chocolate, Dutch cocoa powder, and brown sugar—but this recipe adds one more: brown butter.

Sweet and Salty Stout Marshmallow Bars With Pretzels and Potato Chips

Serious Eats / Morgan Eisenberg

The Rice Krispie treats of your childhood get a grown-up makeover thanks to crushed potato chips and pretzels bound with homemade chocolate-stout marshmallow.

Strawberry Pretzel Salad

Serious Eats / Amanda Suarez

Not a salad but definitely a dessert, strawberry pretzel salad is a delightfully salty-sweet, creamy, and crunchy staple at picnics, potlucks, and holiday celebrations.

Salted Dulce de Leche Brownies

Serious Eats / Nila Jones

These rich, super-fudgy brownies are topped with dollops of homemade dulce de leche and a generous sprinkle of sea salt. Consider yourself warned, because you’re going to want to make these every day.

Jammy Fruit Bars

Serious Eats / Vicky Wasik

These bars are a perfect vehicle for market-fresh blueberries, cherries, and peaches in season, or your favorite jam during those times in between.

Vegan Brownies

Serious Eats / Vicky Wasik

With Dutch cocoa, dark chocolate, and cocoa butter, these vegan brownies are fudgy and flavorful, with beautifully glossy tops.

Sunny Lemon Bars

Serious Eats / Vicky Wasik

A cross between lemon curd and lemon meringue pie, these lemon bars have a tender crust and a generous yellow filling made with whole eggs and yolks.

Biko (Filipino Sticky Rice Cake)

Serious Eats / Vicky Wasik

These sticky and sweet rice cakes are topped with a gooey caramel glaze and crispy coconut curds.

Cornflake Marshmallow Treats

Serious Eats / Amanda Suarez

The naturally sweet and earthy flavor of Corn Flakes shines in this riff on classic Rice Krispies treats.

Maple Walnut Blondies

Serious Eats / Yvonne Ruperti

Pure maple syrup and chopped walnuts add extra flavor and texture to simple blondies.

Pistachio Millionaire’s Shortbread With Coriander Butterscotch Recipe

Serious Eats / Robyn Lee

Adding ground pistachios to the shortbread here adds flavor and keeps the dough from becoming tough. Fruity, citrusy coriander adds welcome complexity to the whiskey-spiked butterscotch sauce and the acidity of dark chocolate offsets the sweet richness of the butterscotch and shortbread.

Brown Butter Blondies

Serious Eats / Carrie Vasios

Blondies already have a butterscotch-y, caramel-y flavor thanks to ample amounts of brown sugar and some vanilla. Adding browned butter simply takes that same flavor profile up a notch.

Salted Cashew Caramel Bars

Serious Eats / Carrie Vasios Mullins

These bars are dangerously crave-worthy. The first step is to make a shortbread cookie base that’s buttery and a bit salty. The second is to make a gooey caramel topping and mix it with salted cashews. 

Hello Dolly Bars

Serious Eats / Carrie Vasios

Also known as “seven-layer bars” and “magic cookies,” these gooey treats combine coconut, chocolate chips, pecans, and a graham cracker base.

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