Introduction: FAT BARS - AKA Chocolate Caramel Bars

About: I am very fortunate to teach math and STEM classes in Southwest Wisconsin.

Fat Bars are a sticky caramel and gooey chocolate dessert bar. I have been making these bars for the past 30 years! They are a favorite of my students and are often asked for on a reward day or treat day Friday.

Step 1: Ingredients and Tools


1 - 15.25 oz Pillsbury German Chocolate Cake Mix

1 - 11 oz bag Kraft Caramels, unwrapped

3/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons of butter, more for greasing the pan

1 - 5 oz can of Carnation Evaporated Milk, divided

2 cups of semi-sweet chocolate chips


1 9 x 13 in cake pan


2 medium microwave safe bowls

1 cup liquid measuring cup

Step 2: Preparing the Chocolate Layer ...

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, oven rack in the middle. Put the butter in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for a minute, then stir. If the butter is not completely melted, microwave in 15 second intervals, stirring after each interval, until completely melted. To the melted butter, add the German Chocolate cake mix and 1/3 cup of the evaporated milk. Stir until completely mixed. Let the chocolate base sit for 5 minutes to firm up. Reserve 1/2 to 3/4 cup of the chocolate base to be used later.

Step 3: Preparing the Pan and Baking ...

Lightly grease the pan with butter. Place all but 1/2 to 3/4 of a cup of chocolate base into the greased pan. Pat the chocolate base evenly into the 13 x 9 pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes. The base will start to firm up and lose its glossy appearance, but will not be completely baked at the end of the 8 to 10 minutes. At the end of the bake time, remove pan from oven.

Step 4: Now the Caramel Layer ...

While the chocolate base is baking, unwrap the caramels and place in a microwave safe bowl. Add the remaining evaporated milk and microwave on high for 1 -2 minutes. Stir. Microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring after each interval until the caramel mixture is smooth. Do not overheat as the caramel will get hard and sticky. Once the caramel is smooth pour it over the partially baked chocolate base. Gently spread the caramel to the edges of the pan.

Step 5: The Finishing Touches ...

Once the caramel is spread over the chocolate base, sprinkle the chocolate chips evenly across the caramel layer. Divide the reserved chocolate base into small pieces about the size of a nickel and evenly sprinkle over the chocolate chips. Gently press the chocolate dough pieces into the caramel and chocolate chip layers. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes or until the caramel just starts to bubble. Remove from oven and cool. When cool, cut into 24 bars and enjoy.

Sweet Treats Challenge

Participated in the
Sweet Treats Challenge