Dessert Recipes | Recipes

Cake Mix Cookie Bars Dessert Recipe

These cake mix cookie bars are rich and delicious, but are so easy and take just a few minutes to assemble. They can be served warm and gooey straight from the oven, or let them cool and serve perfect little bars.

This post was first published in 2013. It’s been updated with brand new images and much more information. Enjoy!

Something I would love to do at some point in my life is sort through and organize the recipes in my recipe box.

Yes…I still have a recipe box, and if you’ve followed me for even a little while, you know it’s full of cards, bits of paper, and pages torn out of magazines.

I could never give it up.

In that recipe box, is a card for “Almost Candy Bars.” The recipe card is in my handwriting, but the space for “recipe from the kitchen of” says Mom.

Since my mom passed away several years ago, any reminder of her is always a good thing. I wish the card was in my mom’s handwriting, but just the fact that it was her recipe makes it very special. For this post, I renamed her recipe “cake mix cookie bars,” but all the easy ingredients are the same. It takes just a few minutes to assemble, and pop in the oven.

cake mix cookie bars ingredients
  • I used a 9 x 13 inch baking dish for these cookie bars, but the original recipes says to use a 10 x 15 inch pan. The bigger pan would give you a thinner bottom crust, and the sweetened condensed milk would spread out more. Both versions are delicious!
  • To serve these cake mix cookie bars warm from the oven, just scoop portions out of the pan with a large spoon. Bowls work best, and it’s delicious to add a bit of whipped cream or ice cream.
  • To serve the recipe as bars, make sure to let it cool completely. Use a very sharp knife to make the cuts, and then remove the pieces with a spatula. (Do not use a ceramic knife to cut the bars…it may break!)
  • Store these cake mix cookie bars in an air tight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
  • Variations: any type of nut can be substituted for the walnuts. Pecans or sliced almonds would be delicious. I recommend using the chocolate chips, but the butterscotch chips can be swapped out with another variety. White chocolate or caramel chips would be beautiful as well as very tasty. I’ve never tried it, but I am fairly sure a yellow cake mix can be substituted for the white cake mix.
cake mix cookie bars ready to bake
three cake mix cookie bars on pedestal

Cake Mix Cookie Bars Dessert

These cake mix cookie bars are rich, delicious, and they take just a few minutes to assemble.
4.84 from 6 votes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cake mix cookie bars
Servings: 20 bars
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Cooling time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 40 minutes


  • 1 box white cake mix
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick very soft)
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup butterscotch chips
  • 1 cup walnuts (chopped)
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk (14 oz.)


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • In a large bowl, combine the cake mix and butter until tiny crumbs form. Use a pastry blender or your fingers.
  • Spray the sides of a 9 x 13 glass baking dish with nonstick spray.
  • Press the cake mix/butter mixture into the bottom of the pan, smoothing it out, and making it as even as possible.
  • In layers, sprinkle the chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, and walnuts.
  • Drizzle the can of sweetened condensed milk over entire pan.
  • Bake for 25 minutes.
  • Cool completely. Cut into bars.


Serving: 1bar | Calories: 228kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 100mg | Potassium: 152mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 21g | Vitamin A: 209IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 69mg | Iron: 1mg
Like this recipe?Follow me at @onsuttonplace

If you make these cake mix cookie bars, and love them, please consider coming back and leaving a five star review. It would really help me, and I would appreciate it very much. Thank you!

three cake mix cookie bars on pedestal

These cake mix cookie bars are definitely a splurge, but when you make them, there are plenty to share with family and friends. I took some to my dad, and told him the story of the recipe card. He gave these cake mix cookie bars two thumbs up, and said I could make them anytime!

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  1. Kim N (from British Columbia) says:

    This looks super simple. I am going to try it with a GF cake mix. I love your blog, your decorating talent & the recipes you share. Thank you

  2. MARY-ANN (FROM CANADA!) says:

    Ann, your cake mix dessert bars look so yummy! Thanks for the recipe. I am definitely going to make them this week! Your recipes are always so good!

  3. 5 stars
    For anyone wondering, these were delicious using a yellow cake mix. Remind me of 7 layer bars which I don’t like because I don’t care for coconut.

  4. These look easy to make and delicious! Can’t wait to try! Thanks for the recipe, Ann!

  5. 5 stars
    Thanks for this super simple recipe Ann. It has my two favorite ingredients – Quick and Easy!!!! I added coconut and pecans. Next time I would substitute the butterscotch chips for something else. ( They are just a little too sweet for me. ). My husband loves these and they are perfect for a crowd. I really enjoy your recipes and everything about your blog!

  6. 5 stars
    Yummy and so easy! Certainly going in my recipe box.

  7. 5 stars
    Ann, I loved reading that you still use a recipe box! When anyone asks what would you save if your house was on fire and you could only grab one item, my answer is always my recipe box. It contains the hand written and delicious recipes of so many beloved relatives and friends. I can get replacement pictures and have all of our “important” personal papers backed up in a bank box. There is no way I could replace Mother’s or Granny’s, just to name two, hand written notes on the recipe cards and the happy memories of my times with them.

  8. june becklin says:

    5 stars
    These look so nummy I cannot wait to try. I typically I make a similar bar using graham crackers as the base but that is not an ingredient I often have on hand…especially since we no longer have little ones under foot.
    I do however always keep a cake mix on hand and its typically white my favorite.

    Fun idea…I have three of my moms recipes framed individually in floating glass frames I purchased at Target. Grease marked and all😊
    Gosh I miss her cooking and baking.

    I also framed my grandmother’s seven minute frosting, a book plate (assuming she must have somehow put together booklets of her recipes) and a piece of her catering stationary displayed in my china hutch. She catered all over the Twin Cities…initially by streetcar but eventually her two brothers helped and did the driving. She never drove a day in her life. Miss them both so much.

  9. Like you I have handwritten recipes from family and friends that represent sweet memories gathered around a table. I organized them into a notebook so I could insert each recipe into plastic sleeves. The page style varies from full page to photo style 4×6 but it is organized and I can add to it. You could take photos and make a recipe book too preserving the handwritten aspect. Adding the cookie bar ingredients to my grocery list!

  10. I love the responses to your yummy recipe. I do not like using my iPad either- too awkward and messy when it “times out” in the middle of cooking. I am in the beginning phase of organizing family favorite recipes. I am considering using a notebook. I know you have recipe cards and pages available to print, but have you considered creating a Recipe Binder similar to your beautiful Garden Journal- with cover, binder title and possibly section tabs? I think it would be the perfect solution. Your illustrations are always so cheery and lovely- they would suit anyone’s kitchen shelf. Thank you for sharing another special recipe.

  11. Several years ago, I reorganized my recipes. It was the best thing I could have done! I was quite a process but I learned a lot! What to do with the old, handwritten cards? I gathered handwritten family favorites in my mom’s, mother-in-law’s, several grandma’s, etc. handwriting and had them color copied-stains & all! Then I mounted, matted, and framed them collage style for use as kitchen “art”. I have received many compliments on this project over the years.

  12. Nancy Sharp says:

    I have pinned so many of your recipes. I don’t have a recipe box but I have several notebooks I put recipes in. I try recipes on blogs and Pinterest and if it’s a winner I print it off. I don’t like to follow a recipe on my iPad. I’m sure that’s my age.😀
    I have several recipes in my mom’s handwriting that I cherish. She had beautiful penmanship. I didn’t inherit it. I even have recipes in both my grandmother’s handwriting.
    Now that I’m 75, I am working on a notebook of family favorites that are in one place. Simplifying at my age is the best way to go!

  13. Hi Ann! Oh yum – I just sent the recipe to my printer. My recipe box goes back to the early 70s. It is a big wooden box designed to hold some sort of military shells. I acquired it when my husband was a young lieutenant! Early favorites are stored there. Now I have probably a dozen of the white Staples notebook binders (the 2” thick kind). Even with those I turn to the computer sometimes but really don’t like to try and use a computer recipe from the screen.
    Like you i treasure those few recipes that are handwritten!

  14. Gail Martin says:

    Your recipe box just caught me by surprise. I have 3. .. one from my mom and each of my grandmothers. I also have their betty Crocker red book with tons of their hand printed recipes as well as cut outs from the paper and such. What a treasure! In mine I have included your moms pot roast as well as many others that you have posted that I have cooked. My little pocket say: Ann’s Recipes.

  15. I think I may have this same recipe. I still have my old recipe box but hardly ever look into them anymore. I made the switch to digital years ago but I would have a hard time parting with my box of recipes. I was hoping you would post a picture of your recipe box at the end of the post.

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