I discovered this on Sweets for Saturday, a link party hosted by Lisa that I usually participate in. The picture was enough to lure me to click on the link and go to Jenn's Eat Cake for Dinner blog. I'm so glad I did because this cake was scrumptious. Totally high calories but totally worth it, especially if you like pumpkin or caramel or both. Normally, when I try a recipe from someone else's blog, I link back to it so you have to go to that blog to get the recipe. That seems like good blogging etiquette to drive traffic to their blog. However, I did make a couple of modifications to Jenn's version so I'm listing my changes and the modified recipe below. Please do visit her blog though to get the original recipe (you might like her version better) and check out her other delicious creations. I'm also taking the liberty of renaming her confection as mine turned out more like a cake than a typical blondie.
The main change I made from Jenn's version is I think it would be better if the bottom layer of batter was initially baked for a few minutes first. When you have a caramel layer in the middle, the bottom layer tends to soak in the caramel without fully baking. To keep the bottom from being overly moist, I recommend giving it a bit of a head start in baking. I didn't do that and ended up having to put this back in for a second baking, even though the toothpick taste came out clean the first time. The bottom was still too moist. I also omitted any kind of nuts in the caramel-chocolate chip layer since I prefer cakes without them if they're mixed into the cake (as opposed to staying crisp on top).
This is one of the few confections that I prefer at room temperature rather than eaten warm. When it was warm, it was a little too mushy/gooey for me. When it was at room temperature, you can taste the pumpkin and cinnamon flavors better. In fact, I think this was actually better the next day when the flavors had time to develop and meld together. The texture was also more set; it was moist without being overly gooey. Just general overall deliciousness - thanks Jenn!
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 extra large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 (11 oz) package caramel bits
1/4 cup whole milk
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 9x13 inch pan with foil and spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.
- Cream together butter and brown sugar. Add eggs, vanilla and pumpkin puree and blend until combined. Slowly add cinnamon, flour, soda and salt. Spread about 1/2 of the batter into pan evenly and bake for 6-8 minutes. While it's baking, melt caramel bits and milk in a small saucepan until smooth, stirring constantly.
- Remove baking pan from oven and sprinkle chocolate chips over the top. Pour caramel evenly over chocolate chips. Dot remaining batter over top and spread dollops out with a small spatula, gently covering as much of the caramel as possible. Bake 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. It might have caramel on it, but it shouldn't have cake batter.
- Serve warm (might get oozing caramel) or cool completely. Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.