Recipe Review

“Knock You Naked” Brownies Absolutely Live Up to the Name — and Use a Brilliant Cake Mix Hack

published Mar 16, 2024
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Stacked brownies with gooey middle and powdered sugar on top
Credit: Kiersten Hickman

If there are dinners out there that inspire you to get down on one knee, then maybe dessert should be for… well, you get it. Or at least this brownie recipe does: a German chocolate layered brownie with a gooey caramel filling that will “knock you naked.”

Inspired by an adapted recipe from Ree Drummond, these brownies are certainly an upgrade from your usual boxed mix. But do they live up to the name? You know I had to find out, so I decided to try Gaby’s version from her blog What’s Gaby Cooking.

Get the recipe: Knock You Naked Brownies

How to Make Knock You Naked Brownies

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9×9” baking sheet with parchment paper.

Melt butter in a large microwave-safe mixing bowl. Whisk together with one box (18.5-ounce) of German chocolate cake mix and 1/3 cup of evaporated milk.

Split the brownie dough in half. Press half of the brownie dough into a thin even layer at the bottom of the pan. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes.

While the brownie dough is baking, shape the other half of the brownie dough in a 9×9” square on another piece of parchment paper. Set aside.

Using a double boiler (or a saucepan with a heatproof glass mixing bowl), melt whole caramels with evaporated milk. Stir occasionally, then whisk when the caramels are melted until the mixture is smooth.

Pour the caramel on top of the half baked brownie layer. Top with semi-sweet chocolate chips.

Flip the parchment paper with the unbaked layer of brownie mix and place as the top layer, peeling back the parchment slowly.

Bake the brownies in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until the top layer of the brownie is baked and set.

Let the brownies cool to room temperature, then place in the fridge for several hours. When it’s time to serve, let the brownies sit on the counter for 15 minutes for easy slicing. Top with powdered sugar, then serve!

Credit: Kiersten Hickman

My Honest Review

Don’t worry folks, these brownies absolutely live up to the name. I am absolutely shocked how they turned out, especially with the layer of caramel that set really nicely in the middle. As I mentioned, I was extremely skeptical that the layer of caramel would even work, but the process surprisingly went smoothly and the brownies look absolutely delicious.

And they taste delicious, too. Using a German chocolate mix for this recipe is definitely the key here; I think a typical chocolate or devil’s food cake mix would be too much for this recipe. The German chocolate has a more subtle flavor that pairs nicely with the super sweet, ooey-gooey caramel.

Needless to say, they’re heavenly. The kind of brownies that you can’t help but find any excuse to make them. Dinner party? Girls’ night in? A random Tuesday night? These brownies are for every occasion.

Credit: Kiersten Hickman

3 Tips for Making Knock You Naked Brownies

  1. Butter the pan first.This is a general tip I learned when making bars or brownies such as this. Before lining a pan with parchment paper, grease the pan with butter so the paper easily sticks to the pan. This keeps the edges of the brownies straight and makes removing the brownies a clean, easy process.
  2. Add pecans. While it’s not necessary, you can add pecans to the brownie mix if you want to add a little crunch to your bar. Or, feel free to sprinkle pecans at the center with the semi-chocolate chips if you want to keep those brownie layers even.
  3. Use a ruler. This may seem silly, but trust me. You don’t want your second brownie layer to be too small or too big for your pan; you’ll want to flip it over and have it sit snug right on top. I highly recommend using a ruler to make sure you’re shaping it correctly.

    Get the recipe: Knock You Naked Brownies