Basement Brownies

I love a recipe with a good story behind it.  My family was recently visiting my brother and sister-in-law in beautiful Colorado.  As usual with my snoopy nature, I scoured my SIL Sarah’s personal recipes with hopes of finding some new treasures to try.  These Basement Brownies caught my eye!


These Chocolate- Caramel brownies are called Basement Brownies because when Sarah was a little girl… she used to make them for her Dad, who used to sneak these brownies into the basement to hide them so he could have them all for himself.  The name, “Basement Brownies” has stuck.


You’ve gotta love a recipe with only 5 ingredients.  Super simple.


The caramels are melted with a little bit of evaporated milk to create a caramel sauce.  Sarah says that in-a-pinch she has also used jarred caramel sauce in place of melting your own.  The cake mix is simply combined with evaporated milk and butter.  A portion of the batter is slightly baked, then topped with chocolate chips and caramel, then topped with more batter and baked again.


The result is not so impressive-looking, right?  Just you wait…!!


The inside brownie part is slightly gooey, and there are two layers in there that can put anyone into a delightful sugar coma:  one layer of melted chocolate chips and one layer of ooey caramel too.  Oh YEAH.  Basement brownies.  After a few bites of these, I can completely understand how they got their name.


And here’s the culprit right here.  This handsome guy is Sarah’s Dad, the brownie lover who gave these guys their deserved name– brownies-so-good-you’ve-gotta-hide-them-in-the-basement!  We understand.  Completely.

Thanks, Sarah… for a great recipe!

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Basement Brownies

Yield: 16 to 20 brownies

Prep Time: 20 min

Cook Time: 28 min

so good, you'll want to hide them in the basement so you can have them all for yourself!

Ingredients:

50 to 60 caramels, unwrapped
One box German Chocolate Cake Mix (I used 15.25 ounce box)
1 cup evaporated milk, divided
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) salted butter, melted
One 12 ounce package semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9x9-inch pan.

2. Melt caramels and 1/3 cup evaporated milk in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir until caramels have completely melted and the mixture is smooth.

3. In a large bowl, combine the dry cake mix, remaining 2/3 cup evaporated milk and butter. Mix by hand until batter is smooth and combined.

4. Pour a little over 1/2 of the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 8 minutes only and then remove from the oven. Sprinkle chocolate chips evenly on top of the partially cooked brownie. Drizzle caramel on top of the chocolate chips. Drop spoonfuls of the remaining batter on top. You probably won't have enough to cover the caramel completely.

5. Return the pan to the oven and bake for an additional 18 to 20 minutes until the brownies feel fairly set on top and the edges are lightly browned and crisp. Let the brownies cool completely before cutting. The longer they have time to cool, the more they will firm up.

Source: RecipeGirl.com (from my sister-in-law Sarah)

Leave a Comment




72 Responses to “Basement Brownies”

  1. 1

    Lori H — August 1, 2012 @ 3:58 AM

    These are wonderful brownies. We have always called them Sin Brownies, for obvious reasons :)

  2. 2

    Beth — August 1, 2012 @ 4:52 AM

    I love these! I made this exact recipe in college in the late 70′s. We called them “Fat Bars” because that’s what you would be if you ate too many of them! They are very good warm too – messy but delicious.

  3. 3

    Aimee @ ShugarySweets — August 1, 2012 @ 5:35 AM

    Oh, I fall for caramel everytime! Look great, and easy too!

  4. 4

    Averie @ Averie Cooks — August 1, 2012 @ 6:02 AM

    Love the name/story behind these almost as much as I like the looks of them!!

  5. 5

    Catherine Daugherty — August 1, 2012 @ 6:09 AM

    I love this brownie recipe. Chocolate and caramel — yum! I want to thank you for inspiring me to adapt your chocolate chip-irish cream cupcakes. Here is my version: http://praycookblog.com/2012/08/black-and-white-irish-cream-cupcakes-and-baileys-cream-frosting/

    Thank you!

  6. 6

    Ali @ Gimme Some Oven — August 1, 2012 @ 6:31 AM

    Ha!!! I think everyone has had a few “basement” favorites in their lives. These look so delicious!! :)

  7. 7

    Maria — August 1, 2012 @ 6:34 AM

    What a fun brownie recipe! I want to hide in the basement with the entire pan!

  8. 8

    beth — August 1, 2012 @ 6:40 AM

    These are one of my standbys–I think the original name given to them was “better than sex” brownies. Heh. I usually just call them caramel brownies, or, ahem, caramel whities–I really like making them with yellow or white cake mix instead of the german chocolate). I also melt the caramel with evaporated milk in the microwave, but also caution to be VERY CAREFUL when pouring the caramel mixture over the brownie–my sister got it on her arm, which resulted in 2nd degree burns. I’ve never done that, but just pay attention. :)

    These are really amazing brownies.

  9. 9

    Annamaria at Bakewell Junction — August 1, 2012 @ 7:15 AM

    These look sooo gooood. I’ll have to try them.

  10. 10

    Lorrie — August 1, 2012 @ 7:26 AM

    Someone brought these to my baby shower in 1987 and I begged for the recipe. I kept it all these years!

  11. 11

    Rachel @ Baked by Rachel — August 1, 2012 @ 7:33 AM

    Chocolate and caramel are meant to be together.

  12. 12

    kelley — August 1, 2012 @ 7:43 AM

    I want to sneak to the basement and eat these too! Caramel and chocolate is always a winning combination and sometimes short cut quick recipes are the best!

  13. 13

    Hayley @ The Domestic Rebel — August 1, 2012 @ 8:06 AM

    Holy cow, these look decadent. Love me all that oozing caramel!

  14. 14

    Catalina @ Cake with Love — August 1, 2012 @ 10:17 AM

    Oh wow I love all that caramel and melted chocolate! And the short ingredint list is a winner too!

  15. 15

    Christina @ Sweet Pea's Kitchen — August 1, 2012 @ 10:45 AM

    Oh man….these brownies look amazing! I love that they are made with a boxed mix too! :)

  16. 16

    Ashley B. — August 1, 2012 @ 10:55 AM

    These are my mom’s “secret” brownies–every one of my friends in high school would request them at every possible opportunity to celebrate, and they became known in amongst we ten catholic school girls as “pot brownies”–they are that amazing :)

  17. 17

    angela — August 1, 2012 @ 11:16 AM

    Do you think you could use a 9×13?

  18. 18

    Jen @ Savory Simple — August 1, 2012 @ 12:56 PM

    good lord that looks good!

  19. 19

    Jen @ Jen's Favorite Cookies — August 1, 2012 @ 1:13 PM

    These look SO amazing! I don’t have much of a basement, though, and “bathroom brownies” just don’t sound very good, do they?! Gotta try this!

  20. 20

    Jen — August 1, 2012 @ 2:16 PM

    These look so good! I love caramel and these look amazing! I think I need to try them soon!

  21. 21

    Lynna — August 1, 2012 @ 3:17 PM

    LOL. Bringing them down the basement to eat them all.

    These brownies look so decadent and divine!

  22. 22

    Kate H. — August 1, 2012 @ 3:21 PM

    What a sweet recipe!

  23. 23

    Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious — August 1, 2012 @ 7:28 PM

    What a wonderful story behind these brownies! I absolutely love these! Although I think I’ll have to go to spin class 5x a week to work these off!

  24. 24

    Caralyn @ glutenfreehappytummy — August 1, 2012 @ 7:52 PM

    ohmygosh that is so funny how they got their name!! i can just picture it:) they look amazing!

  25. 25

    Karen @ Sugartown Sweets — August 1, 2012 @ 8:47 PM

    *Basement Brownies*..that caught my eye too! So moisty looking-yum! I too am a recipe “snooper”! I’d love to try these!

  26. 26

    Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers — August 2, 2012 @ 4:22 AM

    Oh my gosh these brownies are insane!!! I love it!!

  27. 27

    Shica — August 2, 2012 @ 5:55 AM

    OMG!…..these look soooooooo good..making these TOnight!

  28. 28

    Cathy @ Noble Pig — August 2, 2012 @ 7:11 AM

    Wow, those look as sinful as could be…which makes them perfect!!!

  29. 29

    susan baldner — August 2, 2012 @ 7:51 AM

    Does it have to be German chocolate or can you use Devils Food? I have several of those in my pantry….

  30. 30

    Mary Miller | A Passionate Plate — August 2, 2012 @ 7:55 AM

    Lori, this is a great story! My dad is a certified “chocoholic” and we used to hide batches of chocolate chip cookies in the basement so he couldn’t find them and eat them all – kind of a reverse scenario. This recipe looks FAB! I just might make some for my own dad! :-)

  31. 31

    sally @ sallys baking addiction — August 2, 2012 @ 8:39 AM

    I’d hide them all for myself too! I love these Lori, can’t beleive a decadent brownie like this is SO easy..?! Crazy.

  32. 32

    Anne P — August 2, 2012 @ 9:10 AM

    These look beautiful–I love that a recipe so simple can produce such lovely ooey gooey results!

  33. 33

    Andrea {From the Bookshelf} — August 2, 2012 @ 10:24 AM

    YUM! Just my kind of brownie!

  34. 34

    Lori Lange — August 2, 2012 @ 10:29 AM

    No, I think that would be too big for this recipe.

  35. 35

    Vicky — August 2, 2012 @ 11:19 AM

    My husband LOVES brownies he will be so excited i found this recipe! Looks delicious!

  36. 36

    Erin @ Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts — August 2, 2012 @ 12:02 PM

    We have had these in my family for years – dating back to my Grandma. LOVE them!! This story is hilarious :)

  37. 37

    Beachrockie — August 2, 2012 @ 5:25 PM

    I have a recipe that calls this Snickers cake and adds nuts with the choc chips. I got tired of melting the caramels and now use a jar of ice cream topping instead.

  38. 38

    Amanda — August 2, 2012 @ 5:54 PM

    Just found your site and I love your easy to follow recipes!! Please post more recipes for boneless chicken breasts. Thank you.

  39. 39

    carrian — August 2, 2012 @ 7:52 PM

    I love that this old recipe is popping up all over the web. My family grew up with this same recipe, and it’s all my brother and I have ever requested for our birthdays instead of cake, and it wasn’t the 4th of July without them. Now my husband claims these brownies as his number one favorite dessert, so my mom is constantly sending him a package as a surprise, and she makes them for us any time we visit. Love the recipe

  40. 40

    Paula @lkg4sweetspot — August 2, 2012 @ 11:59 PM

    ok, I want to know why Sarah has never made these when I was visiting??? They look really good, in that really bad way!

  41. 41

    Krista — August 3, 2012 @ 8:56 AM

    I can see why he would sneak to the basement to eat those! I’d have to sneak somewhere too…I think I would need a moment alone with all that awesomeness!

  42. 42

    Vera Zecevic — August 3, 2012 @ 11:16 AM

    It looks so softy and delicious! I will try this recipe surly! Perfect for my Pinterest collection . Bye

  43. 43

    Eliana — August 3, 2012 @ 12:00 PM

    The gooey texture of these brownies is what dreams are made of. They look incredible Lori!

  44. 44

    Anna @ hiddenponies — August 3, 2012 @ 3:55 PM

    LOVE the name and story, and they definitely look worth sneaking to the basement with! Great post!

  45. 45

    Miss — August 3, 2012 @ 7:44 PM

    I am going to have to try these, amazing!

  46. 46

    Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy — August 4, 2012 @ 7:44 AM

    I need these in my life. Maybe for treat day!

  47. 47

    Kim B. — August 4, 2012 @ 4:01 PM

    These look FABULOUS!!! Can’t wait to try :)

  48. 48

    Lori Lange — August 5, 2012 @ 7:36 AM

    Probably!

  49. 49

    JulieD — August 6, 2012 @ 8:53 AM

    Wow!! I need these in my life…they look amazing!! Sarah’s a genius! Thanks so much for sharing her recipe!

  50. 50

    Wendy — August 7, 2012 @ 1:59 PM

    I made these yesterday. They were SOooo sweet! If I make them again, I will cut the chocolate chips in half and add walnuts.

  51. 51

    Lenoria — August 7, 2012 @ 2:22 PM

    I have a recipe for Turtle Cake, which my daughter always requests for her birthday cake without the pecans it calls for, that sounds like this but I would never have thought to make brownies with it – but I definitely will now! I can’t wait to make these as a surprise.
    Thank you so much!!

  52. 52

    Kevin (Closet Cooking) — August 7, 2012 @ 6:53 PM

    Love that hidden layer of caramel!

  53. 53

    Rhonda — August 9, 2012 @ 11:02 AM

    These look so amazing and sound easy to make! Thank you for sharing.

  54. 54

    Katrina — August 9, 2012 @ 6:21 PM

    I need these to live. For real.

  55. 55

    RecipeGirl's Mom — August 10, 2012 @ 5:15 AM

    Don’t know how I missed this post! Wonderful story about my favorite daughter-in-law. Great picture of them too,.

  56. 56

    Katie — August 11, 2012 @ 6:58 AM

    These look so yummy. I usually do my brownies with some kind of mint but I know my house is going to love them with caramel in them.

  57. 57

    luv what you do — August 18, 2012 @ 4:41 PM

    I have caramel bits in my pantry at this moment…wow those look incredible!

  58. 58

    Janet — September 9, 2012 @ 11:56 AM

    I make a recipe very similar called Snickers Bars, the only difference is that I add salted peanuts as a layer, I think the salted peanuts help to cut the sweetness a little. Very ooey gooey and delicious!!!!

  59. 59

    Miriam — September 19, 2012 @ 4:55 PM

    This recipe sounds so good but
    I don’t have a German Chocolate cake mix. Do you think I could use a regular brownie mix.

  60. 60

    Lori Lange — September 19, 2012 @ 5:01 PM

    Hard to say, since I have only tried it with a cake mix! I wouldn’t think it would turn out the same.

  61. 61

    Jules — September 30, 2012 @ 3:20 PM

    Mmm… Making these IMMEDIATELY!

  62. 62

    Audrey — November 8, 2012 @ 8:31 AM

    Made these AMAZING brownies last night – thought people might be interested to know that the Devil’s Food mix worked really well and tasted yummy! I also used a tin of Carnation Condensed milk boiled up into caramel instead of melting the sweets…came out perfectly. Thank you Lori!

  63. 63

    Kim B — December 21, 2012 @ 8:00 PM

    I made these yesterday. The only bad thing about them is they only make a small pan! My son LOVES them, and my poor daughter can’t have them because she just got braces on. But I know she would love them! I will be making these again!

  64. 64

    Jaclyn G — January 22, 2013 @ 5:56 AM

    Hi, i used a 8×8 pan and they didnt come out like brownies, more like a molten cake. I also had to use the caramel topping used for ice cream, because 5 stores didnt carry caramels! I needed to eat them with a spoon. They were still delicious, but i am wondering could it actually be that the pan was too small or was it the caramel? Any thoughts? Just an FYI, i may make htem again like this and mix with ice cream.

  65. 65

    Lori Lange — January 22, 2013 @ 7:28 PM

    I’d say that the smaller pan created a thicker brownie, and the brownie didn’t have a chance to cook all the way through… resulting in a very gooey brownie!

  66. 66

    Rachele — February 9, 2013 @ 6:29 AM

    I have made these brownie twice in a week.. They are awesome.. Thanks for the extra 5lbs i gained.. LOL..

  67. 67

    Domooooooooo — February 9, 2013 @ 9:50 AM

    Has anybody made this with milk chocolate brownie mix or fudge mix stuff? If you haven’t, we’ll do you think it would work?

  68. 68

    Lori Lange — February 9, 2013 @ 12:48 PM

    Haven’t tried- but probably would be fine.

  69. 69

    Terri — February 9, 2013 @ 3:48 PM

    I have made these a few times and have cut the caramels in half and added some nuts to the chocolate mix.. totally delish.. too die for really.. really yummy with ice cream

  70. 70

    NEW ORLEANS HONEY — November 11, 2013 @ 10:14 AM

    I LOVE THE NAME BUT SINCE I LIVE IN NEW ORLEANS AND WE ARE WAYYYYY BELOW SEA LEVEL, NOBODY HAS A BASEMENT IN NEW ORLEANS AREA. HOWEVER I LIKE THE NAME AND KEEP IT I WILL. THEY LOOK DELISH AND I WILL BE TRYING THEM SOON.
    THANK YOU AND YOUR SIL.
    HONEY

  71. 71

    Angela F — May 23, 2014 @ 6:10 PM

    Has anyone tried this with peanut butter??

  72. 72

    valle — September 6, 2014 @ 9:44 AM

    These are baking now. Can’t wait to try them. Definitely do NOT melt caramel in microwave. I spilled it on my foot and had 2nd degree burns.