Donita's Caramel Brownies

"Donita was a friend I met while living in Kentucky. She used to bring these brownies to potlucks and kindly shared the recipe with me. I have made my own changes over the years, but it is still basically the same recipe she used. You can add 1 cup chopped nuts if you like, however I feel these are rich enough without them."
photo by HeatherFeather photo by HeatherFeather
photo by HeatherFeather
Ready In:


  • 1 (18 1/2 ounce) box German chocolate cake mix, unprepared (or a box of brownie mix, see notes)
  • 34 cup unsalted butter, melted (1 1/2 sticks)
  • 23 cup evaporated milk, divided (I have used both regular and light)
  • 1 (14 ounce) bag Kraft caramels (48 squares) or (14 ounce) bag chocolate riesen candies, unwrapped
  • 1 (12 ounce) bag semi-sweet chocolate chips


  • Preheat oven to 375 F and line a 9x13" baking pan with foil. Grease the foil lightly.
  • Mix together the dry cake mix, melted butter, and just 1/3 cup of the evaporated milk.
  • Spread half of this mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 6 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, melt the unwrapped candies with the remaining 1/3 cup evaporated milk in the microwave (time will adjust based on your wattage, about 3 minutes).
  • When the first layer is done pre-baking, remove from the oven and cover with chocolate chips (and nuts if you are adding any).
  • Pour the melted caramel mixture all over the top.
  • Spoon the remaining raw batter in blobs all over the top and bake another 15-18 minutes.
  • Allow too cool, then lift out of the pan and cut with a large knife, using a rocking motion - they are very gooey and if you try to cut them too soon it will be very messy.
  • NOTE: If using brownie mix instead of cake mix, then skip the melted butter and the first 1/3 cup of evaporated milk and simply prepare the batter according to the brownie package instructions. Pour half the mixture into the pan, and then continue with the rest of the recipe as directed. You may also need to adjust the time for the brownies, a little longer until it is bubbling up. Keep these brownies in the fridge to firm up.

Questions & Replies

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  1. Oh, my. Proceed with caution! These are AMAZING! I first tried with the brownie mix (as adjusted in the notes) with mediocre results. Then used the cake mix (although I used devil's food), with FABULOUS results. These have quickly become a family fave!
  2. Wow! I used the chocolate riesen candies, and only about 6oz of the mini chocolate chips along with finely chopped walnuts. Talk about a chocolate lovers dream! Thanks for posting as these were a huge hit at my house:)



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