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Caramel Brownies

5 from 16 votes
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posted: 12/16/22

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This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy

Caramel Brownies are so easy to make and so delicious! Everyone always wants this caramel brownie recipe. With only six ingredients, this is going to be your new go to brownie recipe!

Caramel Brownies cut and stacked with wax paper separating.

Many years ago when I went to visit a dear friend after she had just had a baby, she had a pan of these amazing brownies on her counter. She was such a kind soul, that even after just giving birth she was willing to share these with me. After just trying one little slice, I knew I had to have the recipe.

These Caramel Brownies are worth all the hype in the world. While I don’t usually make recipes from box mixes, this is the perfect exception. They are easy and fantastic. You will not be able to resist going back for seconds and thirds.

Reader Review

This recipe is SO good. Followed exactly and 10/10 recommend.

How to Make Caramel Brownies

This caramel brownie recipe is truly the best, simply irresistible! Here is a brief overview of how to make caramel brownies. For the full recipe and all of the measurements, scroll to the printable recipe card at the bottom of the page.

  1. Make the caramel sauce. You start by melting some caramel with evaporated milk. Be sure to stir often to avoid burning it.
  2. Make the brownie batter. Combine the chocolate cake mix, melted butter, evaporated milk, and vanilla. Your batter won’t have the consistency of a typical brownie batter. It’s a little more like dough.
  3. Press first layer into pan. Divide the batter in half and spread half of it into a greased 9 by 13 baking pan. It will be thin and that is ok.
  4. Bake the first layer. Bake for about 8 minutes.
  5. Add the caramel. Spread it evenly on the first brownie layer and sprinkle with chocolate chips.
  6. Add the second brownie layer. Add globs of the remaining batter to the pan, don’t try to spread it evenly just drop it in globs over the caramel layer.
  7. Bake until set.
saucepan of caramel sauce pouring into a pan of brownies to make caramel brownies

Caramel Tip!

Make sure to use chewy caramel candies to make the caramel sauce. If you can only find a one pound package, remove the extra two ounces, this isn’t one of those times in life where more caramel is better. Store-bought caramel sauce is too thin and won’t set up properly so will not work in this recipe.

How to Tell When Brownies are Done

When the brownies start to pull away from the sides of the pan, they are almost done. You will also notice some cracking on top of the brownies. If you like your brownies more gooey and moist, remove them from the oven toward the minimal suggested baking time.

Variations

  • Make it salted. Add kosher salt to make salted caramel brownies. Sprinkle 2 teaspoons kosher salt on top of the caramel sauce before topping with the brownie batter. I have the best salted caramel brownie recipe that comes together in the crockpot.
  • Switch the chips. Use dark chocolate, semi-sweet, milk chocolate chips, or a combination. Mini m&m’s are also a colorful and fun addition.
  • Add nuts. Layer 1/2 cup walnuts or pecans on top of the caramel sauce with the chocolate chips.
  • Add coconut. Toss in 1 cup of shredded coconut when you add the chocolate chips.
overhead of pan of caramel brownies on cooling rack
TOP PICK

The Best 9 x 13 Pan

This is my very favorite baking dish. I especially love it for brownies because you get those nice straight sides and corners.
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Tips and Tricks

  • Use a quality baking pan. I love the one from USA Baking that I have linked above, but if you are loyal to your baking dish, fantastic! Just keep in mind that the baking dish does matter, and can often impact how a recipe like this turns out.
  • Use Kraft Caramel Bits instead of individually wrapped caramels. That eliminates the step of unwrapping each individual caramel.
  • Double check your can of evaporated milk. It is the same size and labeling as sweetened condensed milk, which I do not recommend for this recipe. It is very easy to buy the wrong can.

Storing and Freezing

If by chance you have any leftover brownies, store them in an airtight container for up to four days. They can be stored on the counter.

These brownies freeze really well. Once completely cooled, I recommend cutting them into individual squares prior to freezing so you can take them out one at a time to eat. Freeze in a single layer for four hours. Then transfer them to an airtight container. Place them back in the freezer and store them for up to three months.

FAQ

Can I use store-bought caramel?

No, it won’t set up properly when baking. Making the homemade caramel sauce as directed is so gooey and delicious that it is worth it.

Is it better to make brownies with butter or oil?

Depends on the brownies. This recipe uses butter which adds a richer flavor that we all know and love. Butter helps the brownie batter rise while using oil can create denser brownies.

Are chocolate brownies gluten free?

The cake mix used in this recipe does contain flour and I have not tested the recipe with a gluten-free option.

Do I have to use german chocolate cake mix?

Nope! Any chocolate cake mix will work. German chocolate is a pretty mild chocolate which makes it work well in this brownie recipe.

individual caramel brownies stacked with wax paper separating.

Other Bar Recipes:

If you love this caramel brownie recipe as much as I do, leave me a comment and let me know! I love hearing from you.

Caramel Brownies cut and stacked with wax paper separating.
5 from 16 votes

World’s Best Caramel Brownies

Serves: 24
(tap # to scale)
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 26 minutes
Total: 36 minutes
These World's Best Caramel Brownies are so easy to make and so delicious! Everyone always wants this caramel brownie recipe. With only six ingredients, this is going to be your new go to brownie recipe!

Ingredients

Caramel Sauce

  • 14 ounces caramel candies (caramel bits work really well in this recipe because you can skip the unwrapping)
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk

Brownie Batter

  • 15.25 ounces German chocolate cake mix (see note)
  • 1/3 cup evaporated milk
  • 3/4 cup butter melted (12 tablespoons)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Additional For Filling

  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  • Take the plastic off all of the caramels and put them in a small saucepan with 1/2 a cup of evaporated milk over medium heat. Heat until the caramels are completely melted and the sauce is smooth, being careful to stir frequently.
  • While the caramels are melting, mix together the dry German chocolate cake mix, 1/3 a cup of evaporated milk, the melted butter, and the vanilla. Mix until it is a smooth consistency.
  • Divide the batter in half and spread half evenly into a greased 9 by 13 inch pan. Bake for 8 minutes.
  • After 8 minutes pull the brownies out, and top with the caramel sauce (spreading it very gently to make an even layer), sprinkle with chocolate chips, and then layer on the second half of the batter.
  • Put it back in the oven for 18 minutes or until the brownies begin to pull away from the side of the pan.

Notes

You are only using the dry box mix. Do not use the ingredients or instructions on the box.
Calories: 513kcal (26%) Carbohydrates: 85g (28%) Protein: 5g (10%) Fat: 19g (29%) Saturated Fat: 8g (50%) Monounsaturated Fat: 2g Cholesterol: 18mg (6%) Sodium: 709mg (31%) Potassium: 147mg (4%) Fiber: 2g (8%) Sugar: 51g (57%) Vitamin A: 200IU (4%) Vitamin C: 0.8mg (1%) Calcium: 160mg (16%) Iron: 3.1mg (17%)
Author: Lisa Longley
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Caramel Brownies cut and stacked with wax paper separating.

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World’s Best Caramel Brownies

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Hi! I'm Lisa Longley, and I am committed to giving you simple dinner ideas and recipes that are easy to make; recipes that will fill your home with joy. I am the owner and author of SimpleJoy.com and I'm so glad that you are here.

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  1. Nanda says

    Hi, I wonder if I would be able to use dulce de leche instead of making the caramel sauce? Would the consistency work? Have you tried it this way? How much should I use? Thanks!

    • Lisa Longley says

      Nanda, I’m not sure. It’s been a good while since I’ve baked with Dulce de Leche, and my memory is that it’s a lot thicker than the sauce used here. Though I don’t necessarily think that will be a problem. If you give it a try, let me know how it works!

  2. Lindsey @ American Heritage Cooking says

    The question here is not whether or not these are the world’s best brownies (because obviously they are) it is how did I miss these for over a whole month?!?! Pinned. Gooey, chocolate fabulousness!

    • Lisa Longley says

      Lol Lindsey! Actually . . . they were missed for a whole two years!! I just recently updated the photo ;)

  3. Alexis says

    I can’t find German Chocolate Cake mix anywhere here – can I substitute it with any other chocolate cake mix?

    • Lisa Longley says

      I recently made another cake, Alexis, and I used vanilla cake mix, so I think it should be fine with chocolate cake, I just think it might taste a little different but still good.

    • TLC says

      5 stars
      Wondering…where, pray tell, do you live ???

  4. Randa says

    How did you know they were done? Are you supposed to have them sit for a while before eating them? I just made them and they look and smell amazing.

  5. Sezzy says

    If using a normal chocolate cake would you follow the box guidelines for making the cake , or ignore and add the evaporated milk , butter and vanilla , sorry new at this .x

    • Lisa Longley says

      I haven’t tried it with regular chocolate cake, but yeah, just use the mix, ignoring the instructions on the back. Let me know how it turns out! I’m curious to see how it works with just regular cake mix.

  6. Daphne Ennor says

    Hi from Australia. I see you have said that other cake mixes can be used but just for interest what is German chocolate cake mix like? What makes it different from a normal chocolate cake mix? I don’t normally use packet cake mixes but it sounds like a yummy easy recipe. Thanks

    • Lisa Longley says

      Okay. You are going to laugh at me. I have never actually used German Chocolate Cake Mix to make a cake! :O I’ve only used it in these brownies. I’m going to have to give this recipe a go with regular chocolate cake mix to see how it turns out!

    • Dianna Stewart says

      It is just a lighter chocolate…

  7. Emily says

    Ok, DROOLING over here! These look amazing!

  8. Sheryl says

    I believe there’s a typo: 14 oz caramels (vs. 4 oz).

    • Lisa Longley says

      Oh my goodness Sheryl. I can’t believe it took this long for anyone to notice that! Eeeep!! Thanks for catching this!

  9. Sue says

    Hi want so much to try these but I can’t get German box cake mix, is English brownie box mix as good an better than regular box cake mix.

    • Lisa Longley says

      Hi Sue! Ugh. You aren’t the first person with this problem. I should really try to make it with regular chocolate cake mix and see how it turns out. I don’t think that the brownie mix will work, though if you give it a try please let me know how it goes! I’ve certainly been known to take kitchen risks myself :)

  10. Lindsey Nielsen says

    What kind of chocolate chips is best? I’m feelin’ semi-sweet, just because I don’t want overload my guests with *too* much sweet, but I could be wrong… Thoughts?

    • Lisa Longley says

      I love using milk chocolate, but both would be delicious!

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