Salted Caramel Stuffed Chocolate Cookies


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Salted Caramel Stuffed Chocolate Cookies rich dark chocolate cookies, filled with creamy caramel and topped with a sprinkle of salt. Put a plate out and they’ll disappear fast (but only if you’re willing to share)!

overhead image of chocolate cookie with caramel spilling out

Want to make someone smile? Hand them a plate of homemade chocolate cookies. Even better, watch them bite into a rich chocolate cookie and discover creamy caramel wrapped up inside. These cookies contain the very best sort of surprise – a sweet one!

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adding a caramel to the cookie dough

Make a batch for neighbors, coworkers, family, friends. Or maybe for that really nice grocery delivery person who never seems annoyed when you make 89 specific requests in the “notes” section of your order.

Frank and I only have one car. Three kids, one car. We have the logistics down to a science. But we couldn’t make it work if not for grocery delivery services which mean that I don’t need the car to buy groceries for all the recipes you see on this site. If they hadn’t already, our local grocery store definitely flagged me as being high maintenance while testing many variations of these cookies. That’s because this is one recipe where a few specific ingredients make all the difference. Here’s what I mean…

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cookies on a parchment lined sheet pan

Soft Caramels

When I started dreaming up these cookies, I was imagining a chocolate cookie with a caramel center that spills out when the cookies are still warm. Getting that caramel center right turned out to be super challenging! I quickly discovered that regular caramels (like those used to make caramel apples) get too firm when the cookies cool. It’s like finding a caramel rock in the center – no fun!

overhead image of Caramels for Salted Caramel Stuffed Chocolate Cookies

I tested caramel-filled chocolate candies too, thinking that Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Caramel Squares or caramel-filled Hershey’s kisses might work. But with each of these candy options, the caramel got lost once the cookies were baked.

The answer, my friends, is “soft” caramels. These things are totally addictive on their own, but are the perfect filling for cookies. They are super soft and stay that way inside the chocolate cookies. Werther’s Soft Caramels are the best I found.

Caramels for Salted Caramel Stuffed Chocolate Cookies

Dark Cocoa Powder

The key to the dark chocolate flavor of these cookies is Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa. But the flavor isn’t the only thing I love about this stuff. The dark cocoa powder also gives these cookies a much darker and more profoundly chocolate-y color which makes the pop against the caramel inside.

overhead image of cookies on a white napkin

The dark cocoa powder works just like regular unsweetened cocoa powder, but I love the darker chocolate results so much that I had to share the secret with you. Any regular unsweetened cocoa powder will work as well, so no need to run out and buy this stuff if you’re not attached to the dark chocolate color / flavor.

Cocoa for Salted Caramel Stuffed Chocolate Cookies on a grey countertop

The finish of these cookies is just a sprinkle of flaky sea salt that gives these cookies a hint of salty crunch in each bite.

sprinkling salt on the top of cookies

Salty-sweet-chocolate-caramel combo for the win!

overhead image of cookies and caramel on a sheet pan

To freeze: Roll dough into balls and place on a sheet pan. Transfer sheet pan to the freezer. When dough balls are frozen solid (about 4 hours), transfer to a freezer-safe bag. Freeze for up to 3 months. Bake directly from the freezer at 300°F for 15 to 17 minutes.

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Salted Caramel Stuffed Chocolate Cookies
4.84 from 18 votes

Salted Caramel Stuffed Chocolate Cookies

These rich dark chocolate cookies are filled with creamy caramel and topped with a sprinkle of salt. Put a plate out and they’ll disappear fast (but only if you’re willing to share)!
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 40 cookies


  • Mixing Bowl
  • Parchment Paper
  • Half Sheet Pan
  • Stand or Hand Mixer


  • 2 ½ cups All Purpose Flour
  • ¾ cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder (see note)
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • ½ teaspoon Salt
  • cups Unsalted Butter, softened
  • 2 cups Granulated Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 40 Soft Caramels (see note)
  • 3 Tablespoons Large Grain / Flaky Salt optional (like Maldon Sea Salt Flakes)


  • Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Spray two sheet pans with nonstick cooking spray or line with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  • Using a standing or hand mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Add vanilla and eggs and gently mix until combined, ~1 minute more.
  • Add dry ingredients in three increments, mixing for 1 minute between each addition. Continue mixing on low until just combined.
  • Transfer cookie dough to the refrigerator for 10 minutes. (The dough will firm up slightly which will make it easier to roll.
  • While the dough chills, unwrap the soft caramels. Set the unwrapped caramels on wax paper to keep them from sticking.
  • Form the cookies by taking a golf-ball sized portion of chocolate dough and rolling it into a ball. Press between your palms to flatten slightly and place a soft caramel in the middle. Roll the dough around the caramel and place the cookie dough on the prepared sheet pan. Continue with the remaining dough / caramels, leaving at least 4 inches between each cookie (they will spread out as they bake).
  • Bake the cookies until the edges are crisp and the centers are still soft, 9 to 11 minutes.
  • As soon as the cookies come out of the oven, sprinkle them with salt. Allow them to cool on the sheet pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  • Store cookies at room temperature for up to 4 days.


Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa is my favorite in this recipe. It gives the cookies a rich dark chocolate flavor and a darker color which makes the caramel filling really pop! Regular unsweetened cocoa powder will work just fine.
Werther’s Soft Caramels are the best I found for filling these cookies. They stay soft after cookies have cooled.
Want to freeze these for later? Roll the caramel-filled balls and freeze them on parchment or wax paper until solid. Transfer to a freezer bag and freeze for up to 6 months. You can bake them straight from the freezer, but will need to add a 2-4 minutes to the baking time. Enjoy!
The chocolate cookie recipe featured here is an adaptation of this one.


Calories: 164kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 24mg | Sodium: 90mg | Potassium: 59mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 193IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Author: Jess Smith via Inquiring Chef
Cost: $3.00
Calories: 164
Keyword: baking, chocolate, cookies, easy baking, salted caramel
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Molly and Clara are back at it in the kitchen. These four year olds had no complaints about the many batches of these cookies we tested before we got it just right. (Nor did they complain about the many spatulas they got to lick in the process.)

two little girls helping with baking cookies
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About Jess Smith

Jess is the recipe creator and photographer at She spent nearly a decade as the Chief Recipe Developer for the award-winning meal planning app Cook Smarts. Her colorful, healthyish recipes have been featured in popular online publications including Parade, Hallmark, and HuffPost.

4.84 from 18 votes (16 ratings without comment)

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  1. 5 stars
    Made a double batch last night! My nephew is severely allergic to dairy so swapped out the butter for vegan Brand butter unsalted Flora and it worked well! He was so excited 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    Heck Lady, these are amazing! I have been looking at these on my pinterest page forever just looking for the perfect time to make them. I made them last night mainly because our dinner guest is a huge caramel fan. Major compliments from adults and kids alike! Definitely a new favorite and will be at the top of the rotation. These are killer! Bravo!

    1. Yay!! So glad you finally made them Dana! I haven’t made a batch in awhile, but this is a reminder that I need to…

  3. The cookies taste delicious but I can’t seem to get the caramel to stay within the cookie! I suppose I could add more dough but I was following your golf ball size reference. Almost every cookie leaked resulting in a drier caramel ):

    1. Oh no! I’m so sorry to hear that Michelle. There are a couple of things that might be happening – perhaps the caramel is cold which might prevent it from softening at the same rate as the cookies. Try just warming the caramels by squeezing them a bit in your hand before adding them or place the wrapped caramels in a baking dish in the oven with just the oven light on (not any heat or the caramels will melt, but the having the light on creates a warmer environment than most of our houses are this time of year) for 10 to 15 minutes. I have never had to make the cookies any larger, and don’t like to because I love the cookie to caramel ratio of these, but I would guess the cold/firmer caramels may be the issue.

    2. I had that happen on some when I moved them to a cooling rack so I let them sit on the tray longer to set up. I used the mentioned Werthers Soft caramels. I also smashed out the caramels into a disk shape before squishing into the dough to distribute the caramel a bit but I lost track of which ones I made like that so really it’s inconclusive if that helped.

    1. You’ve got to try them, Neuf! They can’t compete with whatever baked treats you surely just had in Italy…but they’re still tasty. 😉

    1. Oooo – love those holiday baking days Karista! I suspect we’ll put these on our list too – they’ve become a family favorite over the past couple weeks.