the ultimate german chocolate caramel bars

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These are one of our “must make” holiday treats every year. They’re chocolaty, caramely, nutty and gooey. In short, perfect. There are a lot of recipes for German Chocolate bars out there, but my addition of extra chocolate chips and extra pecans make these the ultimate. I also make sure to buy the super moist version of German chocolate cake mix with pudding added. It makes all the difference! These are the perfect accompaniment to a cup of French press coffee, hearty black tea, or milk!

~ preheat oven to 350 degrees F. ~

14 oz. individually wrapped caramels, unwrapped (I use Kraft)

1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk (not low fat)

1 (18 oz.) box moist “pudding in the mix” German chocolate cake mix (I use Pillsbury)

3/4 cup butter, melted + more for greasing cake pan

1 large egg, lightly beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips (I use Nestle Toll House)

2 heaping cups chopped pecans

Butter a 9 x 13 glass cake pan.

In a medium saucepan, very slowly melt the caramels along with the sweetened condensed milk. Stir constantly and watch closely so the caramel doesn’t burn. Cook just until melted and remove mixture from burner.

In a large mixing bowl: Combine dry cake mix, melted butter, egg, and vanilla until mixed well. Spread 3/4 of this mixture into the prepared cake pan, patting it into an even layer with your fingers. Bake for 7 minutes in preheated oven. Remove from oven. Cover evenly with the caramel, then the chocolate chips, then the nuts. Sprinkle little crumbles of the remaining cake mix over the top. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes.

Cool completely in the pan before cutting into 24 squares.



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  11 comments for “the ultimate german chocolate caramel bars

  1. Dena
    December 15, 2015 at 9:25 am

    I got this recipe off the back of a German Chocolate cake mix back in 1990 or 91 while we lived in England. It’s delicious and I’d lost the recipe! Thanks for posting it.

    • Melissa
      December 15, 2015 at 7:47 pm

      This is probably similar… although my recipe has definitely been kicked up a notch! Way more caramel and chocolate 🙂 Enjoy!

  2. Katherine Hinds
    December 15, 2015 at 11:30 am

    Looks really yummy. Must try this

    • Melissa
      December 15, 2015 at 7:46 pm

      enjoy! 🙂

  3. connie
    December 17, 2015 at 12:17 pm

    we used to call these “Better than Sex” brownies… made them many times in the 90s.. thanks for sharing again!

  4. Shannon
    December 17, 2015 at 5:52 pm

    Maybe I’ll add some coconut, too.

  5. Carol
    December 18, 2015 at 2:49 pm

    Just made this and a little confused… Did the bottom crust as directed but it was still a little too wet to pat down. Finally wet my hands and seemed to do okay. But you say to “crumble remaining cake mixture on top. How do you crumble a very moist,wet mixture? The only difference is the cake mix was only 15 oz instead of the 18 you state in the recipe.

    I added flour enough to try to get a crumble but it baked exactly like that…with lumps,of cake mix on top. Was something left out or put down wrong. Hope it tastes okay…..

    • Melissa
      December 18, 2015 at 3:16 pm

      Sounds like you did it right 🙂 You can’t really mess these up. The smaller cake mix might make a tiny difference, but I wouldn’t worry about it. Enjoy! ~M

  6. Nancy A.
    December 20, 2015 at 5:26 pm

    I can’t seem to find a cake mix that is 18 oz., they are all downsizing!

    • Melissa
      December 20, 2015 at 9:29 pm

      I made a batch using the 15 oz. cake mix, and it works just fine 🙂

      • Nancy A.
        December 21, 2015 at 4:22 am

        Thank you for letting me know, Melissa! Want to make this for sure!

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