I Made Ree Drummond’s Knock You Naked Brownies and They Don’t Disappoint

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The Pioneer Woman is famous for her comfort foods and dreamy sweets. I made her Knock You Naked Brownies to see if this recipe lived up to the hype!

Ree Drummond Pioneer Woman Knock You Naked BrowniesTaste of Home, Emily Parulski/Taste of Home, via @thepioneerwoman/Instagram

While browsing the Pioneer Woman’s recipes one day, I ran across her Knock You Naked Brownies. With a name like that, I had to know if they’d knock off more than my socks. These gooey, layered caramel brownies look absolutely divine and people love them. As a self-proclaimed chocoholic, I couldn’t wait to try the recipe myself!

See what ingredients the Pioneer Woman can’t live without.

How to Make Knock You Naked Brownies

Ingredients

  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • 1/3 plus 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 box German chocolate cake mix
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 60 caramels
  • 1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • Powdered sugar, for dusting

Tools You’ll Need

Initial Thoughts

Looking at the ingredients, I could tell these were 2.0 brownies. I love how Ree turned a box of cake mix into a gooey, decadent brownie filled with creamy layers of caramel and chocolate. You can’t go wrong with a classic chewy brownie, but dressed-up brownies are irresistible.

Getting Started

First things first, I greased and floured an 8×8 pan. The Pioneer Woman’s recipe called for 9×9, but I didn’t have one. An 8×8 works great; you may just need to increase the baking time a little bit. I mixed the cake mix, 1/3 cup evaporated milk, melted butter and pecans. The batter was thick, so splitting it in half was easy! Using my fingers, I pressed half of the batter into the pan. Then, into the oven it went for 8-10 minutes at 350°F.

While that baked, I started on the caramel sauce. I recommend starting this as soon as you put the brownies in the oven because the caramels take a while to melt. Using a double boiler, melt the caramels and 1/2 cup evaporated milk (read more about the difference between evaporated and condensed milk), stirring occasionally.

When the caramel has melted into liquid gold, pour it over the first layer of brownies. Sprinkle chocolate chips on top. Ree suggested 1/3 cup, but I added a few more chocolate chips to cover it entirely.

Use up any evaporated milk still left in the can with these evaporated milk recipes.

Ree Drummond Naked Brownies Dough Emily ParulskiEmily Parulski/Taste of Home

Then comes the hard-ish part. Since you can’t spread the remaining dough on the caramel layer, you’ll need to make a free-form dough square on a sheet of wax paper and transfer it to the pan of brownies. I recommend forming the square right before you top the brownies, otherwise, it may stick to the wax paper. (Read more about common brownie baking mistakes.) This happened to me, but it wasn’t a huge problem. I simply moved it over piece by piece. That second layer of brownie looked like chocolate icebergs floating on a sea of caramel. Wowza!

Pioneer Woman Naked Brownies In Dish Emily ParulskiEmily Parulski/Taste of Home

The Big Reveal

After 25 minutes, the brownies came out of the oven looking spectacular and smelling amazing. They were a little jiggly, but a toothpick came out clean, so I knew they were done. (Learn more brownie baking tips from our experts.) I was not looking forward to waiting for them to come to room temperature and then chill for a few hours in the fridge until they were set. But wait, I did… and I’m glad because these puppies were well worth the wait!

ree drummond knock you naked brownies in baking dishEmily Parulski/Taste of Home

Cold brownie + gooey caramel = perfection. This is NOT for people who don’t have a sweet tooth. These are very sweet brownies for the chocolate-caramel-loving soul. If you’re up for another chocolate challenge, work through our most decadent chocolate desserts. I don’t know why Ree cut them into six extra-large pieces—I cut mine into 16, and friends said even those were a little too big. You only need a little square to experience dessert bliss.

The Unexpected Twist

Not surprisingly, I LOVED Ree’s over-the-top brownies. But wait! I’ve had these before. Midwesterners call them Illini bars, so named because people bring them tailgating at U of I football games. On her show, Ree mentions that she received some “killer brownies” from a friend of hers, and this was a re-creation of the recipe. I bet she received a big ol’ batch of Illini bars!

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Emily Racette Parulski
Emily Racette Parulski is a Senior Editor for Taste of Home, specializing in email newsletters. When she’s not writing about food, she’s baking something sweet to feed her chocolate obsession.