Basement Brownies

These Basement Brownies, also known as the best chocolate caramel brownies, are a big time favorite on

Watch the short video showing you how to make these Basement Brownies, then you can print out the complete recipe and make them yourself!

Chocolate Caramel Basement Brownies

They’re so easy to make, and there is a great story behind them!

Basement Brownies recipe

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 sister-in-law 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!  Don’t you love that?!

Ingredients for Basement Brownies
You’ve gotta love a recipe with only 5 ingredients.  Super simple.  They start with a boxed mix… which is not usually my style of baking, but these brownies turn out so awesome that you can’t even tell it starts with a box.

And sometimes starting with a boxed mix is just what we need in our busy day-to-day lives!  It’s okay to take short-cuts once in a while.

How to make basement brownies 

How to Make Basement Brownies:

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.

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

Basement Brownies recipe - from
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.

Inspiration for Basement Brownies
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!

Here are a few more brownie recipes you might enjoy:

5 from 1 vote

Basement Brownies

The best caramel brownies!

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword brownies
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 28 minutes
Total Time 48 minutes
Servings 20 brownies
Calories 347 kcal


  • 50 caramels, unwrapped
  • 15.25 ounces German chocolate cake mix
  • 1 cup evaporated milk, divided
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) salted butter, melted
  • 12 ounces semi sweet chocolate chips


  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.

Recipe Video

Nutrition Facts
Basement Brownies
Amount Per Serving (1 brownie)
Calories 347 Calories from Fat 171
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 19g 29%
Saturated Fat 9g 45%
Cholesterol 24mg 8%
Sodium 304mg 13%
Potassium 252mg 7%
Total Carbohydrates 41g 14%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Sugars 29g
Protein 4g 8%
Vitamin A 5.2%
Vitamin C 0.4%
Calcium 10.7%
Iron 11.7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Basement Brownies, otherwise known as the best Chocolate Caramel Brownies!  Recipe from #chocolate #caramel #brownies #recipe #RecipeGirl
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  • Jennifer Sposito wrote:

    These are the exact brownies my mom made as I was growing up, but she called them “Ecstasy Brownies”! After she passed away, I scoured her kitchen for the recipe and couldn’t find it. My mom’s best friend actually posted your video on Facebook, not realizing it was the same one! I made a comment about it and she said “I thought these brownies seemed familiar”! I’m planning on making them for my 5 year old’s Girl Scout Halloween party. Thanks for helping me continue a tradition ?

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      that’s so fun to hear!

  • Susan L Morrison wrote:

    These brownies are great & can be spruced up by drizzle salted caramel over the top & a few nuts (ok so you need to eat with a fork or spoon but what the heck)

  • Martie wrote:

    I’ve been making these for 40 years, but they have a different name (of course). Ree Drummond also makes a version.

  • Kelly wrote:

    How can unwrapping 50-60 caramels be part of a ‘quick’ recipe?  That would take forever!

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      It doesn’t take as long as you think- they slide right off. Plus, you can put a kid on that task 🙂

  • Katherine Smith wrote:

    Can you use unsalted butter? I have a lot of unsalted butter but no salted butter.

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      Sure- just add a bit of salt to the recipe.

  • Elaine Wilson wrote:

    Oh, the original recipe called for an 18.5 oz size cake mix and a 1 lb bag of caramels. I have adjusted my ingredients for a smaller cake mix. A bag of caramels is now 11 oz.

  • Elaine Wilson wrote:

    Been making these for at least 30 years. Called “Turtle Brownies” in my cookbook. I make them in a 9×13 Pyrex dish. Also add a generous amount of chopped pecans. Fantastic warm from the oven with vanilla ice cream on top. Like a hot Sundae!

  • Kara wrote:

    Does anybody know if any adjustment needs to be made for high altitude?

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      I don’t think so. I’ve made these in Denver many times without any problems.

  • Esther wrote:

    It would be helpful to know how much the caramels equal in terms of cups. I am using up some caramel topping, and will make a “guess-timate” that these is equal to at least 2.5 cups. Instead of using evaporated milk, I will take your “safe substitution” of a combination of half and half and “clarified” milk. There are always endless possibilities for “safe substitutions,” so without going out to purchase a German Chocolate Cake mix, I will make a half batch of my own German Chocolate Mix from scratch. I think the results will be the same. Thanks for any clarification on the amount of melted caramels!

  • Marie wrote:

    We call them Carousel Brownies… is a work thing.

    We use a 9×13 though. I like triple chocolate fudge cake mix, and we always top them with dark chocolate frosting.

    Best eaten with a fork!

  • Judith53545 wrote:

    I am wondering if I double the recipe, could I then use a 9 x 13 pan?

    • Lori Lange wrote:


  • Linda Robinson wrote:

    Forgot to ask, if I use the caramel topping, how much do I use? Ours come in like a pint jar size, would I use the whole jar? And add the same amount of milk too?

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      I’ve never tried this with caramel topping, so I’m not sure.

  • Linda Robinson wrote:

    Finally got this recipe to print today. If a person uses the caramel topping do you still thin with the evaporated milk. For those that used a 9 x 13 pan, did you have to adjust the baking time? Can a person use margarine instead of ‘real’ butter? Need to go to store to get a cake mix. Thanks for your help.

  • Colleen Houk wrote:

    Making these for Super Bowl Sunday. Was going to try doubling to bake in a 9×13 pan…I don’t have a 9×9…
    May have some batter left over so frosting for hubby!

  • Virginia romero wrote:

    Love this. I make this all the time. My family loves them. But I call them “TURTLE CAKE”. I put nuts in the middle on top of the Carmel & nuts on top. 

  • Grammely wrote:

    Other appropriate names for these delightful, deliciousness of Carmel & Brownie

    The Amazzing Disappearing Brownie
    Or for security reasons
    Fort Knox Brownies
    Area 51 Brownies
    Nuclear silo brownie
    Or for me personally – Hi dear nephew, I made you your favorite brownie; and by the way, my car breaks need replacing (insert any mechanical work on you auto – 1 pan is all that is required to entice my exceptionally skilled and overall awesome nephew-man)

  • V wrote:

    We’ve done these since the 80’s.  My mom FROZE them, butwe prefer them from the fridge!  Makes them sinfully gooey and ah-maz-ing!!!!  We do it in a 13×9 though.  Never thought about making them thicker!!  Even better!  

  • Heather wrote:

    These brownies are sooo good! I did not have a 9×9 pan I only had a 9×13 pan. I was worried that they wouldn’t turn out because the pan was too big.,but they did they were wonderful. Don’t eat to many they are really rich.

  • Casey wrote:

    I followed this recipe exactly and my batter came out much thinner, like a regular cake batter consistency, not at all like what is shown in the video. They aren’t done yet so I don’t know how they will come out. Any idea why that may have happened?

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      I’m not sure… did you use regular milk instead of evaporated?

  • Kathy Robertson wrote:

    I’m going to try them with white chocolate, and maybe some coconut and pecans