Heavier than a newborn but lighter than a case of beer, two pans of bumpy black and yellow caramel brownies sank my rusty scale to 10.5 pounds. It was hard not to sneak one before I delivered the hefty box of bars to one of my favorite customers.
So I did what any self-respecting baker would do. I made another batch to share with my family.This recipe is a mash-up between two of my easy, go-to bar recipes—Yes! Yes! Brownies and Yellow Bars. Too much of a good thing doesn’t pertain to caramel brownies.
I won first place in a Taste of Home Holiday Potluck Recipe Contest with this recipe in 2020. It was published in the December/January 2021 print publication as Two-tone Brownies and it is available on their website as Cake Mix Brownies. Their test kitchen made an adjustment to the baking time and it isn’t what I suggest – at the end, bake the brownies 30 minutes, or until the tops are slightly browned. (Taste of Home instructs 20-25 minutes at the end and it isn’t enough time to fully set the brownies.)
I have made a few adjustments since first publishing this recipe. Box cake mixes are less ounces than they used to be so I decreased the butter in the chocolate cake mix in step one. (I used to put 12 tablespoons in it but it got too greasy. To compensate, I would add another 3/4 cup of dry chocolate cake mix from a second box. This is fine if you don’t mind having a partial box of cake mix around—this is actually how I make it now.)
These are exactly the kind of brownies or treats I look for at bakeries. Something different, lots of chocolate, decadent and filled with caramel.
Black and Yellow Caramel Brownies
- 15.25 oz chocolate cake mix, for 9×13 cake pan
- 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 5 oz can evaporated milk, divided
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 11 oz bag individually wrapped caramels, or KFAFT caramel bits
- 15.2 oz yellow cake mix, for 9×13 pan
- 1 egg, large
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, very soft ,1 stick
- 12 oz milk chocolate chips
- 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- Heat oven to 350°F. Line 9×13 pan with parchment paper or lightly grease the pan.
- Stir together chocolate cake mix, 1/3 cup evaporated milk, 10 tablespoons melted butter.
- Reserve approximately 1/4 cup of the chocolate batter. Spread the rest in the pan and bake for 6 minutes. Remove from oven.
- Scatter 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips onto hot chocolate batter.
- Melt unwrapped caramels over low heat (stove top or microwave) with 1/3 cup evaporated milk until creamy. Pour caramel over chocolate chips.
- Stir together yellow cake mix, 1 egg, and 1 stick very soft butter. Set half the yellow dough aside.
- Using only half of the yellow dough, roll and flatten small portions in your hand. Lay flat pieces on the caramel layer.
- Bake 6 minutes. Remove from oven.
- In a medium saucepan or in the microwave, melt milk chocolate chips, 1 tablespoon butter, and sweetened condensed milk together until smooth. Pour over yellow cake layer.
- To create the marbled top: flatten remaining yellow cake dough into pieces and lay onto milk chocolate. (It won't cover the whole pan.) Flatten remaining chocolate cake dough into pieces and sprinkle in places not covered by yellow dough.
- Using a small spreader or knife, gently spread doughs but leaving messy, marbled bumps.
- Bake 30 minutes or just until yellow parts start to turn golden. Remove from oven. Cool to room temperature. Store in airtight container.
All text and images © Staci Mergenthal • Random Sweets