This is a family favorite recipe that we enjoy making over the holidays….um, okay who are we kidding, we enjoy making this recipe ALL the time! No holiday required!
It is simple, because we start off with a box cake mix. We have great success using the Cherrybrook chocolate cake mix and our favorite chocolate chips are the semi-sweet chocolate chips by Equal Exchange, although you may of course use any brand that you like.
1 box of chocolate cake mix
1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup of dark brown sugar
1 cup of chopped walnuts
1 stick of vegan butter
1/3 cup of soymilk
First preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Then melt the stick of butter, and combine the melted butter with the dry cake mix. Add the soymilk and the nuts and mix using a spoon. (It will be thick.) Next, butter the bottom and sides of a 9×12 glass pyrex dish very well. Divide the mixture in half, approximately, and press half of the mix into the bottom of the pyrex dish. You will have to spread it thin, but it will rise when baked, no worries! Now you are ready to pop this first layer into the oven for 8 minutes.
While the bottom layer is baking, it is time to make the caramel. In a small saucepan, put the dark brown sugar along with a dash of soymilk, about an 1/8 cup – add more if needed. Stir over medium heat until it starts to bubble. Keep stirring!
Look out for the consistency to start to change. It will begin to stick to the spoon a little bit as you stir, and will change from being very thin and runny, to having a little bit more thickness to it when you drip it off the spoon.
This is a tricky step, because if you leave it on the stove too long, it will become hard and stiff and will not work. So, better to stop a bit early and have it be on the thin side than to wait too long.
This is what happens when you wait too long… no good.
When the bottom layer comes out of the oven, pour the caramel over it evenly. Then sprinkle about 3/4 cup of chocolate chips evenly on top of the caramel.
Now for the top layer of cake mix. Since you are working with a hot base layer here, it is not possible to spread the cake mix on top. Instead, I press out a handful at a time and flatten it into thin pieces in my palms. Then place on top of the chocolate chips. Continue pressing and placing until you have finished all the cake mix and covered the tray. It doesn’t have to be perfect, at this time it will look like a bunch of misshapen puzzle pieces all laid out – that’s great.
Top it off with another layer of chocolate chips, then into the oven for 27 minutes.
Make sure not to let it cook for too long. It should be on the gooey side when you take it out of the oven, because it will firm up when it cools. If it stays in the oven too long it will get hard. We have unfortunately been forced to eat “chip-tooth brownies” in the past when we made this mistake!
Cut into small pieces and watch your family fall in LOVE!