Out Of The Box Brownies: Magical brownie recipes that start with a box

Celebrate Elvis Presley’s Birthday on January 8…with the Elvis Brownie

January 08, 2013 By: Denise Leo, Global Brownie Ambassador Category: Candy Bar, Decadent, Fruit, Holiday, Off the Beaten Path, Peanut Butter


There’s only one Elvis. But there are TWO Elvis Brownies: The Graceland Elvis Brownie (left, with super-chunky peanut butter and Mallow Cups) and The Vegas Elvis Brownie (right, the same, but dipped in banana batter and pan-fried in butter).

Celebrate The King’s birthday today, you know you wanna, baby! See Elvis Brownie recipe and video


Banana Caramel Blondie

January 07, 2013 By: Denise Leo, Global Brownie Ambassador Category: Blonde Brownie, Caramel, Fruit, Nutty


If you love banana nut bread, but want it in a dessert form, look no further than this easy-to-make banana caramel blondie recipe. It’s nutty, sweet, moist, and ready to put an exclamation point at the end of any picnic, potluck, or home-cooked meal.



  • 1 box banana cake mix
  • 2-3 eggs, as called for on the box
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 8-0unce package cream cheese
  • 1 to 1.5 cups walnuts, chopped
  • Optional: Chopped chocolate or (gasp) truffles


  • 6 ounces, or about 3/4 cup, caramel dip (I used Marzetti brand)
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 2 ounces of dark chocolate, shaved



Decide if you want a higher, fluffier blondie or a shorter, denser blondie. If you want higher and fluffier, use 3 eggs; if not, use 2 eggs. Put eggs in a bowl and scramble them. Melt butter in microwave for about 40-45 seconds and mix it in with the eggs. Pour in the banana cake mix.


Batter will be thick. Add cream cheese and mix thoroughly.


Add a cup of chopped walnuts. If you LOVE walnuts, add a cup and a half! Do not spoon this delicious batter directly into your gullet. Resist!


Pour this thick, nutty, heavenly smelling batter into a well-greased 9×13-inch pan. Bake at 350 for about 30-35 minutes until a center-placed toothpick comes out nearly clean. Watch it carefully because you don’t want to overbake this one. It’s sooo good when it’s tender and perfectly baked. Remove from the oven. If you like, you can chop up some chocolate (I got extravagant and used truffles) and shove those pieces down into the still-warm crust for a chocolatey surprise.



I put chocolate into HALF of my banana blondies so my guests would have a choice.

Let cool. Spread caramel into a thin layer over the crust of your blondies.


Here, you can see my “half chocolate/half plain” strategy.


Garnish your caramel layer with a sprinkling of about 1/4 cup of chopped walnuts.


And, hey, because I’m a brownie ambassador, I’ve always got some chocolate bars stashed away for emergencies. So, I busted out some dark chocolate (Hershey’s Special Dark, in this case) and I cut some shavings onto the top. Life’s just better with extra chocolate on top, even if it’s just an ounce or two.


Oh my. There she is. Your newest little blondie bombshell! She’s the banana caramel blondie, complete with walnuts and a little chocolate flair, just for good measure.


The Elvis Brownie

August 02, 2011 By: Denise Leo, Global Brownie Ambassador Category: Candy Bar, Creative, Decadent, Off the Beaten Path, Peanut Butter



  • Boxed brownie mix (plus eggs, oil, and water as directed on box)
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter (your choice of crunchy or creamy)
  • About 3 T. water
  • 5 twin-packs of MallowCups, a total of 10 cups (please be aware: they have coconut in them)
  • If you can’t find MallowCups, substitute about 1/2 c. marshmallow fluff
  •  1 ripe banana
  • 1 T. milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 T. flour
  • 1-2 T. butter


First, you really should be playing Viva Las Vegas while you work on this recipe. And maybe Jailhouse Rock and Burning Love.

Next, prepare your brownie mix as directed on box. Pour it into a greased 8 x 12-inch pan.

Mix peanut butter with water, adding a little water at a time. Add water until it is a little thicker than your brownie batter. (Note: Some folks say it’s rather futile to mix peanut butter with water. In fact, I might actually be one of those folks. If you’re one of those “oil-and-water-don’t-mix” kind of people, I suggest that you use a nice, creamy, spreadable peanut butter and skip the water step altogether.) 

Thin your peanut butter (crunchy or smooth) with a few tablespoons of water until it's easy to mix and a little thicker than your brownie batter. This step is optional, as it's pretty tough to get PB and water to mix.

Add tablespoon-sized dollops of peanut butter mixture on top of the brownie batter. (Is the word “dollop” EVER used for something that is NOT completely delectable?)

Add peanut butter mixture by tablespoon-sized dollops to the top of your chocolate brownie batter.

Swirl the peanut butter and brownie batters together with a knife, but not too much. Keep it chunky and funky, just like the King would’ve wanted it.

Use a knife to swirl it up. But not too much. Keep it chunky and funky.

Bake the swirly delightful mess as directed on the box mix.

While you’re waiting for the brownies to bake, cut those sweet little MallowCups into bite-sized chunks.

Any time I use the phrase "bite-sized chunks" on this site, I begin to salivate uncontrollably. Do you do that, too?

When you remove the brownies from the oven, while the crust is still warm and soft, push the MallowCups deep down into the crust. If you can’t find MallowCups in your store, take half-teaspoonfuls of marshmallow fluff and push them down into the warm crust. Not too much, just a bite of fluff for each brownie.

Put those lil' guys right into the crust. Don't be shy. You'll want to push the MallowCups pretty deep down into the brownie. When you get to the pan-frying stage, you'll want to keep all that chocolate and mallow from sticking up the pan.

Let cool until the brownies are set enough to be cut and served. Some people will want to stop right here and serve a really delicious peanut-butter-and-mallow brownie. Let’s call that The Graceland Elvis.

This next step is not for the faint of heart–and it will lead you to The Vegas Elvis.

In a blender, place banana, milk, flour, and vanilla and buzz it for just a few seconds until you get a lumpy batter. Pour into a small pan or dish. This is your Elvis Dipping Pool. You’re getting excited, aren’t you? Stay focused.

Preheat a skillet on medium to medium-high. Melt butter in the skillet. Cut a square serving of brownie. Dip your Elvis brownie into the dipping pool batter. Make sure The King gets a good swim.

Give that Elvis brownie a little dip in his banana batter. He's gonna love you for it.

Fish it out and pan-fry that bad boy for maybe 45-60 seconds on each side (side A and side B — you younger bakers are probably not going to “get” that one).

The pan-frying step is going to make you crazy -- because you're not yet eating that brownie. Hang tight, Colonel, you're almost all the way to Vegas.

Serve hot, just like Momma Presley woulda done. You might even want to sprinkle a little confectioners sugar on there for good measure. Lawd Almighty, I feel my temperature risin’…

Who says, "There's only ONE Elvis?" I count two of them: The Graceland Elvis (left) and The Vegas Elvis (right, pan-fried in banana batter).