Frosted Caramel Zucchini Bars

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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 from box cake mix recipe

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.

A close up of a piece of cake

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!

Use up garden zucchini in these simple 5 ingredient Frosted Caramel Zucchini Bars. The caramel cake mix matches perfectly with the cream cheese frosting.

You are going to add 1 egg, ½ 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: easy homemade blondie recipe
frosted caramel zucchini bars: easy homemade blondie recipe

Frosted Caramel Zucchini Bars

5 from 1 vote
Use up garden zucchini in these simple 5 ingredient Frosted Caramel Zucchini Bars. The caramel cake mix matches perfectly with the cream cheese frosting.
Servings 16
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 22 minutes
Total Time 32 minutes

Ingredients
 

  • 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

Optional Toppings:

  • 10 Kraft caramels
  • 1 tablespoon sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Instructions
 

  • 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.

Notes

We like these bars best when the are cold, so we store them in the fridge. They do not have to be stored in the fridge, but should be stored in an airtight container.

Nutrition

Calories: 316kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 304mg | Potassium: 91mg | Sugar: 36g | Vitamin A: 130IU | Vitamin C: 1.4mg | Calcium: 86mg | Iron: 0.8mg
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Calories 316

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Jamie @ Love Bakes Good Cakes
8 years ago

I just bought a bunch of zucchini at the store this weekend! This sounds like an amazing way to use them, Julie!

Melanie @ Carmel Moments
8 years ago

These sound wonderful. Great way to use up that zucchini I’m just beginning to harvest.
Pinning.

dina
8 years ago

they look delicious!

Deb @ Cooking on the Front Burner
8 years ago

I love how this recipe uses a box mix to keep it simple! We had to stop growing zucchini as it took over our garden 🙂 but I do get some at the farmer’s market… great recipe!

Michele @ Alwayzbakin
8 years ago

These look amazing! I love recipes that start with a cake mix. You really can’t go wrong. ;-D

Prudy | butter, basil, and breadcrumbs
8 years ago

Ahh…hahaha!! I’m so with you. I start out all gung – ho with my garden, and by the beginning of August, it will be looking so tired of trying to take care of itself… it’s not that I don’t want to take care of the garden, I just don’t have time.

Oh, who am I fooling? I”m with you. I don’t like work. 🙂

I’m loving these bars. I need to get some zucchini, soon! 🙂

Cathy@LemonTreeDwelling
8 years ago

I wish gardens would just grow themselves, don’t you?? Maybe if I had the promise of these zucchini bars I’d be able to push myself to do the work involved in gardening! They look amazing!!

Emily @ Love, Pasta and a Tool Belt
8 years ago

These look so delicious!

Pure Grace Farms
8 years ago

These bars are perfect for my zucchini onslaught. A delicious way to put them to good use. Would love it if you would come by and share this great recipe this evening (Tues 7PM EST) at the Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hop.
Blessings,
Shari
http://puregracefarms.com/2014/07/wonderful-wednesday-blog-hop-80/

Angelina
8 years ago

So these are healthy because of the zucchini, so I can add an extra one to my plate, right?! I am saving this for my soon to be over abundance of zucchini!

Elizabeth
8 years ago

Yum!! This is so yummy! I can’t believe how easy it is. Just add zucchini to cake mix! What a great idea. Thanks for sharing!

Anne
8 years ago

I think these will end up being my favorite thing to make with zucchini. I’m going to make some tomorrow!

The Better Baker
8 years ago

I am SO making these!!! I LOVE doctoring a cake mix…and the caramel flavor sounds perfect. Your photos are amazing. Thanks for sharing at Weekend Potluck. (Did I miss seeing a link back? We’d love it if you’d link back to the party within your post…makes you eligible to be featured). Thanks and thanks again!

lisa
8 years ago

These look amazing! I can consider them healthy, right? 🙂

Sumee
8 years ago

Oh my! Love the look of this. I love using zucchini in bread, this one looks deeeelicious!