You’ll love the look and taste of these delicious caramel-topped bear paw cookies. They’re simple to make with easy-to-find ingredients, making these cookies perfect for your next woodland-themed baby shower or cookie exchange. These paw-tastic cookies will be a hit no matter what the occasion.
You can’t go wrong with caramel and chocolate, especially when adding a cute paw print on top. These adorable bear paw cookies look almost professional but are extremely easy to replicate in your own home.
The base of these cookies is a chocolate cake mix which is topped with melted caramel candy and decorated with chocolate chips. They are so much fun for kids of all ages to make with you.
Or if you don’t want bear claw cookies, you can skip the paws and let people decorate the caramel cookie however they want for a fun activity.
With so many possibilities this chocolate caramel cookie, is one you will be coming back to again and again just like our peanut butter blossoms!
Why you’ll love this Recipe
- Adaptable – if you don’t want chocolate bear paw cookies cookies then swap out the cake mix for another flavor that pairs with caramel, like vanilla or strawberry. Or change out the bear claws for a cat paw to make it work for you. This is a great recipe to play around with to make it fit your needs.
- Easy to replicate - these simple steps make these cookies almost foolproof. No need to be a professional or have fancy equipment to get make this delicious cookie that is almost too cute to eat.
- Fun for all ages - this simple recipe is one that is great to make with the whole family. Get the kids involved by letting them decorate the cookies, they will love getting to be a part of the fun.
- Chocolate cake mix - easily change the flavors by swapping what cake mix you use. You could make polar bear paw cookies by using a white cake mix and white chocolate chips (like for polar bear paw print cookies). Or strawberry cake mix cookies for a girl’s baby shower. Anything that pairs well with caramel will work here.
- Butter – equal amounts of vegetable oil will also work but I always prefer butter. Salted or unsalted butter is fine!
- Walnuts – swap out chopped walnuts for pecans or almonds if you prefer, or omit them entirely if you prefer. You can also replace them with chocolate chips or mini M&Ms for an extra chocolatey flavor.
- Caramel candy – I have found the best results with Werther’s chewy caramels but you can try other brands if you prefer. Kraft caramels also worked when I tested them.
- Candy melts - these were the perfect size for the cookies I made and I liked the uniformity of them. You could also try using a peppermint patty or chocolate wafer. Feel free to be creative.
- Chocolate chips – again these are just for decorations and can easily be changed out or omitted entirely if you want to make the cookies without the bear paws. I used semi sweet chocolate chips, but any kind will work.
How to make bear paw cookies
Recreating these chewy cookies is simple, just follow the detailed instructions below and refer to the pictures along the way to make it easier.
You will also find the full recipe card at the bottom of the page that you can print out for future use so you can make them now and add them to your Christmas cookies tray in the future!
1 – Make The Cookie Dough
- Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees. Then line two baking sheets with parchment paper, you can a silicone mat or nonstick cooking spray as well but parchment paper is my favorite method. Set the prepared cookie sheets aside.
- Combine the chocolate cake mix and the baking powder in a large bowl. Mix on low using an electric mixer then add in the melted butter and eggs. Beat on low until the batter is light and fluffy. You can also use a stand mixer with a paddle attachment if you prefer.
- After the batter is fully mixed together gently fold in the chopped walnuts with a rubber spatula.
- Cover the bowl of cookie mixture with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes. This will prevent the cookie from thinning out but can be skipped if in a time crunch.
2 – Bake The Chocolate Cookies
- With a small cookie scoop, scoop dough then drop scoops of chocolate batter onto the prepared cookie trays until you have evenly spaced balls of dough on the entire tray. Make sure to leave about 2-3 inches between each cookie dough ball as these cookies will spread. Do this with all of the remaining dough.
- Place the cookies in the preheated oven and bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Or until the tops are baked to your preference, I like my soft so I remove them after they lose their glossy sheen.
- After the cookies are done baking take them out of the oven and let the cookies set on the cookie sheet for about 10 minutes then transfer them onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
While the cookies are baking and cooling, use the time to unwrap the caramels then set aside until you’re ready to melt! Don’t melt too early because you the cookies really need to be cooled before you add the caramel topping!
3 – Make The Caramel Topping
- Once the cookies are completely cool, melt the unwrapped caramels by placing the caramels in a small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave the caramels in 30-second increments. Make sure to stir the caramel after each 30-second increment until the caramels are completely melted and smooth.
- Once the caramels are completely melted drop 1/2 tablespoon onto the top of each cookie to make the pad of the paw. It will be sticky so I suggest using a silicone spatula to gently spread the topping evenly over the cookie.
4 -Decorate And Enjoy
Now is the fun part – turning these into bear paw cookies!
- Add a chocolate candy melt along with three chocolate chips onto each cookie to make each one look like a bear claw. Or get creative and make your own designs.
- Allow the caramel time to set.
- Serve immediately or store in an airtight container until you’re ready to enjoy!
Tips & Storage Info
If you want a flat cookie you can skip the baking powder in the recipe.
If you are short on time, make the dough ahead of time and store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two days before using it. Then just bake and decorate right before serving.
Store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to three days.
I do not recommend freezing these cookies because the texture of the cookies won’t be chewy anymore after thawing and the caramel doesn’t thaw the same way!
You can totally use your own chocolate cookie recipe with these caramel bear paw cookies – just substitute your own chocolate cookies for the cake mix cookie portion of the recipe.
More Themed Treats
If you like fun themed treats like these chocolate bear paw cookies, make sure to check out these recipes next!
- Reindeer cupcakes – these cute treats are perfect for Christmas or skip the chocolate coating and use them as just deer cupcakes!
- Turkey treats – another fun chocolate covered creature that’s as delicious as it is cute!
- Oreo Spider treats – another creature you’d find camping or outdoors, maybe not as cute!
- Bunny cupcakes – simple and cute cupcakes perfect for a spring or woodland theme party!
- Chocolate covered penguins – while I’m calling these penguins, they could also be chocolate covered birds to fit your theme!
Chocolate Bear Paw Cookies
- 15 oz box chocolate fudge cake mix
- 1 Tbsp baking powder
- ⅓ cup unsalted butter melted
- 2 eggs room temperature
- ½ cup walnuts roughly chopped
- 10.8 oz bag Werther's originals chewy caramels
- 3 Tbsp heavy whipping cream
- 22 milk chocolate candy melts
- 66 semisweet chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Then line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Combine the chocolate cake mix and the baking powder in a large mixing bowl. Mix on low then add in the melted butter and eggs. Beat on low again until the batter is light and fluffy.15 oz box chocolate fudge cake mix, 1 Tbsp baking powder, 1/3 cup unsalted butter, 2 eggs
- Gently fold in the chopped walnuts.1/2 cup walnuts
- Cover the bowl and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- With a small cookie scoop, drop scoops of chocolate batter onto the prepared baking sheets.
- Place the cookies in the preheated oven and bake for 8 to 10 minutes.
- Let the cookies cool on the pan for about 10 minutes then transfer them onto a wire cooling rack to let them finish cooling.
- Place the caramels and heavy cream in a small microwave safe bowl. Microwave the caramels in 30 second increments until melted.10.8 oz bag Werther's originals chewy caramels, 3 Tbsp heavy whipping cream
- Drop 1/2 tablespoon of melted caramel onto each cookie.
- Lastly add a chocolate candy melt along with 3 chocolate chips onto each cookie to make each one look like a bear claw.22 milk chocolate candy melts, 66 semisweet chocolate chips