Use up your overabundance of garden zucchini in these simple 5 ingredient frosted caramel zucchini bars. The caramel cake mix matches perfectly with the cream cheese frosting.
Frosted Caramel Zucchini Bars
I have a confession. I am a wanna-be gardener. I love gardens, and whether they are colorful flower gardens, soothing water gardens or no-nonsense vegetable gardens, I like to look and dream that I could have a garden that would rival the best of any garden.
When it comes down to it, gardens take a lot of work. A lot. And here’s another confession…I don’t really like to work. Which means that my gardens are not always a success. But every year we try and believe it or not, we do get produce from our little 20×20 foot garden.
One veggie that we always have an overabundance of is zucchini. If you have a garden, I know you understand. I can’t ever have an overabundance of tomatoes so that I can make sauces and salsa to last us the year. But zucchini? We eat it until we are sick of it.
This year we have 4 zucchini plants. Usually I plant 2, but I could only find packs of four this spring. We’re trying to be good and eat the zucchini grilled or sautéed, but what’s the fun of having zucchini plants if you can’t make some zucchini bread, muffins and these new Frosted Caramel Zucchini Bars?
The zucchini bars here are super easy. They start with a Duncan Hines caramel cake mix. I can’t get enough of using cake mixes as a starter for recipes. So yummy!
You are going to add 1 egg, 1/2 stick of melted butter and 1 cup of shredded zucchini to the cake mix. Make sure that you shred the zucchini into small pieces with your food processor or grater. Chopped zucchini would not work in this recipe for us because if the kids see large pieces of zucchini in the frosted bars, they’d quickly say “No Thanks!” Keep everyone happy by shredding that zucchini finely and the pickiest of eaters won’t even know there’s zucchini inside.
The batter for these bars will be very thick. It will be so thick that you’ll say, “Is the batter supposed to be this thick?“. Yes. It’s supposed to be that thick. Press it into your 8×8 greased baking pan. When the bars are done baking, you’ll end up with thick, moist bars that will taste like caramel heaven. Frost the tops with cream cheese frosting, drizzle with some melted caramels and top with nuts, if you’d like to make them fancy.
What’s your favorite thing to make with zucchini? I’d love to hear your ideas!
Frosted Caramel Zucchini Bars
- 1 box Duncan Hines caramel cake mix 16.5 ounces
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup butter melted
- 1 cup shredded zucchini
- 16 ounces cream cheese frosting
- 10 Kraft caramels
- 1 tablespoon sweetened condensed milk
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 8x8 square baking pan with cooking spray.
- In a medium size bowl, combine the cake mix, egg, melted butter and zucchini. Mix until combined. The batter will be very thick. Press the mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 20-23 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow the bars to cool.
- Once the bars are cool, frost the bars with cream cheese frosting.
For the optional toppings:
- In a small bowl, microwave the Kraft caramels and sweetened condensed milk in 15 second intervals, mixing inbetween times. Do this until the caramels are melted. Drizzle the caramel on top of the frosting. Sprinkle the top of the bars with the chopped walnuts. Cut into squares and serve.