Basement Brownies

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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 scroll down to the bottom to print out the complete recipe and make them yourself!

basement brownies on a blue patterned plate

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

basement brownies displayed on a white and blue patterned plate

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 laid out 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.

four photos showing process of making caramel in a saucepan on the stove with a wooden spoon

showing process of baking basement brownies in four pan assembly photos of batter, caramel, chocolate chips


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.

basement brownies in the baking pan
The result is not so impressive-looking, right?  Just you wait…!!

basement brownies on a blue and white patterned plate
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.

Sarah and Dad
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:

basement brownies on a blue patterned plate
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4.91 from 11 votes

Basement Brownies

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


  • 50 caramels, unwrapped
  • One 15.25-ounce box German chocolate cake mix
  • 1 cup evaporated milk, divided
  • 3/4 cup (1½ sticks) salted butter, melted
  • 12 ounces semi sweet chocolate chips


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



Serving: 1brownie | Calories: 347kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 24mg | Sodium: 304mg | Potassium: 252mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 29g | Vitamin A: 260IU | Vitamin C: 0.3mg | Calcium: 107mg | Iron: 2.1mg
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  • Janet wrote:

    Which shelf in the oven should these caramel brownies be baked?

  • Suzie wrote:

    This Wisconsin dairy land girl forgot the butter. I actually think this might be considered a sin ? None the less they still turned out great. I can eat the whole pan now right?? Thanks for the great recipe.

  • Janet wrote:

    Recipe girl, I only have unsalted butter. Should I add a pinch of salt or does it make a difference?

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      Yes, just a pinch should be fine!

  • Paula McNerlin wrote:

    Been making this for years. It is often requested by my adult kids for their birthday cake. Making one now for my daughter’s 31st tomorrow. I used the triple chocolate cake mix and also Frost it with milk chocolate frosting. Amazing.

  • MJ wrote:

    To put these over the top, yes it is hard to believe you can, cut brownies in portions, freeze and here it is – dip them completely in Ghiradelli dark chocolate melting wafers.

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      Thanks for the tip!

  • Cathy B. wrote:

    These look so very very good. If I used jarred caramel sauce, how much (in cups) would I need to use? Would I heat up the jarred caramel sauce and do I still need to add the milk? Would love to hapear back as soon as you get a chance.

    Thank you so much. By the way, I love your recipes!!

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      Hi Cathy, I don’t have an exact measurement for you. You can just kind of eyeball it and drizzle caramel over the top. No milk needed if you use sauce. Good luck!

  • Brian Maxwell wrote:

    Great tasting brownies and super easy. Thanks for sharing.

  • Heather Nelson wrote:

    My grandmother used to make these as a kid! She called them “Killer Brownies” every Christmas someone would eat too many and make themselves sick! My mother started making them after my grandmother passed away but there was never a recipe written down and I never could remember the ingredients or how to make them until one day coming across this post online. Thank you so much for sharing this and bringing my childhood back to life and letting me be able to bake these with my kids now!

  • Trang wrote:

    Uhhh… yummmmm! Love the filling. Thanks for sharing!

  • Tara wrote:

    Mmm, you totally got me with the caramels!

  • Beth Pierce wrote:

    What a scrumptious dessert recipe! I will definitely be having these for dessert tonight!

  • Stephanie wrote:

    These were phenomenal! Love the caramel inside!!!

  • April wrote:

    OMG these were SO GOOD. All that caramel yumminess…. I can’t wait to make them again!

  • Sally Mabry wrote:

    How set is set? I cooked for over 25 min. Edges crisp but center very giggly. Cooling now. Don’t know if will set up. Any suggestions?

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      After 25 minutes, it should be fine (if you used a 9×9-inch pan). How did they turn out?

  • Tony Janicik wrote:

    The instructions state that you can use caramel sauce instead of melting the caramels. How much of the sauce?

    “…Sarah says that in-a-pinch she has also used jarred caramel sauce in place of melting your own. …”

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      I’m not sure how much Sarah uses. She probably just eyeballs it!

  • Deborah wrote:

    Ok the recipe calls for 3/4 cup butter melted – is that 3/4 melted butter or 3/4 butter than you melt lol?

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      Melt 3/4 cup butter in the microwave, or in a small saucepan.