Simple Sinful Caramel Brownies Made With Cake Mix

5 / 5 (1 review) 10 Comments

Stack of caramel brownies

The ultimate brownie for caramel lovers!

This caramel brownie recipe keeps things nice and simple with the use of a cake mix and store-bought caramels. Yay for simple! Don’t let the simplicity of this recipe fool you though, these caramel brownies taste amazing. No one will ever guess they were made from a cake mix!

Also, even though it is really quite easy to whip up these sinful brownies, you do still need to plan ahead for the cooling and refrigeration time. Make them the night before or the morning of.

Ingredients

Ingredients for cake mix caramel brownies

You can use other chocolate cake mixes, but German Chocolate cake mix (find some here) is the best option for this recipe. I use the Betty Crocker brand, but Duncan Hines is a popular one as well.

Making the Brownie Batter

Dry cake mix in mixing bowl with evaporated milk and melted butter

To start off, just mix the 4 brownie ingredients together until it combines into a thick batter, similar to cookie dough. Easy peasy. 

Mixed brownie batter

If you’d like to add chopped pecans to the brownies, use ½ cup finely chopped and just mix it in with the brownie batter.

Layer #1

First brownie layer in pan

Take half of your batter (put the other half in the fridge) and spread it into your prepared pan. I just used a pan with a foil sling for easy removal.

Bake this layer for about 8 minutes, sprinkle chocolate chips over top, and then set aside for later.

Making the Caramel Filling

Caramels and evaporated milk in glass mixing bowl

There are two good ways to melt the caramels for these brownies: in the microwave or with a double broiler.

If you don’t have a double broiler, the microwave works great! Just be sure to microwave it in intervals (30 seconds works) and stir between each interval.

Note: For a smaller caramel layer, use ⅓ cup evaporated milk and 1 bag (11 oz) Kraft caramels (about 39 caramels).

Pouring caramel over brownie chocolate chip layer

Once your caramel is ready, pour it over the brownie chocolate chip layer you just made, as pictured above.

Topping Things Off

Top layer of brownie over caramel filling

I chose to use the method from the cheesecake chocolate chip bars to make the top brownie layer.

Just take small amounts, around a tablespoon or two in size, and flatten it in your hands. Then place each disc of batter on top of the caramel layer until the top is covered and the batter is used up (holes are okay).

Caramel brownies with cake mix

Final Thoughts

I love eating these caramel brownies chilled because the chilled chocolate chips add a nice texture! The caramel is a little less messy that way too. However, they are still very delicious at room temperature.

For more sweetness, you could also sift a 1/4 cup of powdered sugar over the top before serving, but these are already so sweet, I just figured I didn’t need it. Let me know if I’m missing out!

Note: I have made these in an 8×8 pan as well, but I much prefer the thickness of these caramel brownies baked in the 9×9. If you’re a real brownie-lover, you should probably invest in a 9×9 pan anyway!

German chocolate brownies

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Sinful brownies

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Simple Sinful Caramel Brownies Made With Cake Mix

5 / 5 (1 review)
Prep Time: 10-15 minutes | Cook Time: 35-40 minutes
Yield: 9x9 pan | Serves: 16

Ingredients

  • 1 box (15.25 oz) Betty Crocker German Chocolate cake mix
  • 1/3 cup evaporated milk
  • 2/3 cup (11 tablespoons) butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Filling:

  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 60 (about 1 pound) Kraft caramels, unwrapped

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Line a 9x9 square baking pan with foil, allowing ends to hang over the edge of the pan. Spray foil with cooking spray.
  3. In a large bowl, stir the dry cake mix, 1/3 cup evaporated milk, and melted butter until incorporated.
  4. Spread half of the batter into the prepared pan. Place the bowl with the other half of the batter in the refrigerator.
  5. Bake for about 8 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, sprinkle the chocolate chips evenly over the brownie layer, and set aside.
  6. Add caramels and 1/2 cup of evaporated milk to a medium glass bowl. Microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring between, until smooth. (Or use a double boiler on the stove top to gently melt the caramels.)
  7. Pour the caramel over the brownie base.
  8. With the chilled half of brownie batter, use your hands to flatten small amounts at a time into discs, about 1/8-inch thick. Place the discs of batter over the caramel layer until you have covered the top. (It’s ok if there are some holes.)
  9. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Let cool to room temperature, about 1-2 hrs, then cover and refrigerate for at least a few hours, until ready to serve.
  10. Using the foil, lift brownies out of the pan and cut them into 16 bars and serve.

Notes

Brownies will need to cool for at least 3 hours before serving.

Recipe Adapted From: The Pioneer Woman

Ingredients: Butter, Cake Mix, Caramel, Chocolate, Evaporated Milk, Pecans, Powdered Sugar
Meal Type: Desserts, Mother's Day, Super Bowl Party, Egg Free, Meatless
Categories: Brownies and Bars, Oven

Comments & Reviews

  • Getting ready to make these. Think we will be skipping the refrigerate for several hours part. 😉

  • I wonder if you could just bake the bottom batch of brownie, and the top batch separately, pour caramel over the bottom batch and just lay the top batch on top? Or does the caramel need to be baked too?

    • I don’t think it is necessary for the caramel to be baked. But I wonder if baking the top brownie layer separately would make it difficult to assemble because the brownies are a bit crumbly and crusty. Let me know how it goes if you try it!

  • These Caramel Brownies are divine. I’m looking forward to trying them!

  • I have been making these bars for YEARS (omitting the pecans) and a secret I learned is after you bake the bottom layer and pour the caramel and chocolate chips over the top…put it in the freezer for about 15-20 minutes. This way when you go to put the top layer of cake mix on top, the caramel layer is hard enough you don’t have to worry about smearing 😉

  • Do you think in the interest of ease for me I could just swirl the caramel mixture throughout my Ghirardelli triple chocolate brownie mix, that way I would only bake once as per directions on box, and get caramel mixed throughout brownies? Would the proportions remain the same? I had sinful brownies once in Pittsburgh PA some 40 years ago and have been looking for a way to duplicate them. Yours look great, and very close to what I remember. Thanks

    • You know, I’m not sure! I haven’t tried that method myself. I think proportions would be about the same because most brownie mixes can be made in a 9×9 pan. Let us know how it goes if you try it! Otherwise, these brownies are pretty simple since they involve a cake mix and just a few other ingredients, so this recipe is worth a try too! 🙂

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