Monday, March 18, 2013

Chocolate, Caramel, Pecan Layer Bars

When I get the itch to bake, I like to go through my recipe box and look for things I've jotted down but not yet made.  On the latest look through, I came across a recipe I'd acquired last spring when visiting my grandparents.  Somehow I managed to get my hands on one of Mi-Mi's old Southern Living Annual Cookbooks (1979 to be exact) and I came across a recipe for Chocolate-Caramel Layer Squares.

I knew husband would love these and it didn't take require many ingredients, so it fit the requirement of letting me bake without destroying the kitchen.  Southern Living called them layer bars, but they're really more like brownies...gewy...nutty brownies.


1 (14 ounce) bag caramels
2/3 cup evaporated milk, divided
1 (18.5 ounce) box German Chocolate cake mix*
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup chopped nuts
1 (6 ounce) package semisweet chocolate morsels

*I'm assuming that in 1979, German Chocolate cake mix came in 18.5 ounce boxes, but today the boxes are 15.25 ounces.  I used the 15.25 ounces and it turned out just fine!


Combine caramels and 1/3 cup evaporated milk in double boiler.  Stir constantly until caramels are completely melted.  Remove double boiler from heat.

Combine dry cake mix, remaining 1/3 cup evaporated milk, and butter in medium bowl.  Once combined, stir in nuts until dough holds together.  Press half (or a little more than half) into a greased 13x9" baking pan.  Bake at 350 for 6 minutes.

Remove from oven and sprinkle chocolate morsels over crust.  Then pour caramel mixture over chocolate morsels, spreading evenly.

Evenly spread remaining cake mix over caramel mixture (I spooned small amounts evenly, then carefully spread with my spatula).  Return to oven and bake 16-20 minutes.  Cool, then chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before cutting into small bars.

Does these not look amazing?



  1. Okay, those look ridiculous! (And by ridiculous, I mean ridiculously awesome!) Pinning for sure :)

  2. You are killing me with this daily yummy goodness. That looks so rich and decadent.

    Wanted to let you know that I have nominated you for a Liebster Award. Please check out my blog to see the details. Much love.

    1. Oh my goodness - thank you so much! I'm going to shoot you an email later today with a question.

  3. These look so good. I just tried the pioneer woman's salted caramel brownie recipe, but they were hard to get out of the pan (still delicious though!). Baking the caramel in the middle sounds awesome.

    1. Oh man...that sounds yummy too! These can be a little tough, but baking the bottom layer of cake batter helps a LOT. The sides just get sticky from the caramel. I used a heavy spatula and flipped them out.

  4. Wow. Saw these on the link party. They look sooooooooo good. I'm your new follower. Hoe you will visit my blog and follow back.

    1. Hi Angel! Thanks for stopping by and following! Heading over to check out your blog now. :)

  5. Gurrrrllll, you had me at chocolate! Seriously, the hot caramel kind of scares me (ouch) but otherwise looks pretty easy to bake. Did you ever hear about this recipe:
    Another sinful treat.

    PS Loving the photography!!

    1. gosh. That looks amazing. I didn't even think of how hot the caramel is...maybe it's a good thing I wasn't worrying about it! haha. YOUR photography is looking quite nice too! :)