Toffee Blonde Brownies with Cheater Caramel Icing No candy thermometer! Check out my shortcut to halfway homemade caramel icing on these soft and chewy toffee bars.

Toffee Blonde Brownies with Cheater Caramel Icing

Stack of 3 Toffee Blonde Brownies with Cheaters Caramel Icing served on a dark brown wooden cutting board

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Double yum! Bits of toffee candy in the chewy brownie topped with a fail-proof caramel icing that tastes like the old-fashioned kind where your Grandma had to use a candy thermometer and had to frost the cake quickly or it would set up like concrete and sometimes crystalize and harden before you could get the entire cake frosted.

The brown sugar makes them chewy. Toffee bits add the crunch. They don’t even NEED the icing but, you know me, I’m going to “gild the lily” and make something yummy even yummier!

Toffee Blonde Brownies with Cheaters Caramel Icing served on a dark brown wooden cutting board with a metal spatula

The Cheaters Caramel Icing secret revealed: It is basically a simple caramel sauce made with brown sugar and butter then powdered sugar is stirred in at the end to make it spreadable!

If you are looking for something a bit out of the ordinary for your Christmas cookie swap or office party, these chewy toffee bars are your answer! I love the fact that they are simple to make, make a lot, and I don’t have to cut them out and decorate them.

Toffee Blonde Brownies with Cheaters Caramel Icing served on a dark brown wooden cutting board with a metal spatula

The icing easily spread to the edge of the brownies and settles into every nook and cranny, then magically turns into this caramel-flavored icing that will remind you of the old-fashioned frosting without all the work-another Southern shortcut!

These are also perfect for back to school lunches, potlucks, or get out of your comfort zone and go meet the new neighbors-or share with the ones that have lived on your street and you’ve never met them!

Check out a couple of my other shortcut “giftable” recipes:

Microwave Cranberry Pistachio Brittle , 3 Ingredient Cinnamon Sugar Pecans, Sugardoodles and Microwave Peanut Brittle

Be sure to follow me on FacebookInstagramPinterest and Twitter and don’t leave before you send me your email address here so you don’t miss a single post on my Southern shortcut recipes!

Toffee Blonde Brownies with Cheater Caramel Icing
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
20 mins
Total Time
40 mins
With every bite you get soft and chewy blonde brownies with bits of toffee and caramel icing that tastes like the old-fashioned icing your Grandma used to spread on her three layer Caramel Cake. The “cheater” part of the icing is that no candy thermometer is needed and it doesn’t harden before you get the brownies frosted like the old-fashioned kind is prone to do. This recipe is basically a caramel sauce with powdered sugar stirred in!
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: bars, blonde brownies, caramel, cookie swap, cookies, icing, toffee
Servings: 2 dozen
  • 1/2 cup salted butter softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 8-oz package Bits o’ Brickle Toffee Bits (Found near chocolate chips.)
Cheater Caramel Icing:
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 3 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 2 cups powder sugar sifted
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350°.

    Beat butter and sugars together with an electric mixer in a large mixing bowl 3 minutes at medium speed or until light in color. Set a timer; this step is important. Add eggs, one at a time, beating just until each one is incorporated. Add vanilla and beat at low speed just until incorporated

  2. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium size bowl. I like to use a large paper plate so I don’t have to wash another bowl. Add flour mixture and toffee bits to mixing bowl; beat just until flour is incorporated.

  3. Line a 13 x 9-inch baking pan with aluminum foil, allowing edges to overhang 2 inches on the end. This will help remove the brownies for easy cutting. Coat the foil with cooking spray or brush lightly with oil. Dollop batter on bottom of lined pan, then spread the batter evenly to the edges of the pan. Bake for 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean. Don’t over bake them. You want them to be a little soft and gooey. Let cool in pan 20 minutes on a wire rack.

  4. Meanwhile, prepare the icing. Combine brown sugar, evaporated milk, butter, and corn syrup in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring often. Boil 5 minutes without stirring. Set a timer. Remove from heat and let cool 15 minutes. Stir in powdered sugar and vanilla.

  5. Beat caramel mixture in the saucepan with a handheld electric mixer about 5 minutes or until it starts to thicken. It will still be pourable but will thicken as it cools. Pour icing over brownies in pan, spreading it to the edges. Let the brownies and icing cool completely and icing is firm, about 1 to 2 hours, before cutting.

Author: gritsandgouda

Hi! I’m Kathleen. I’m a food stylist, recipe developer, cookbook author, and event planner loving life in a charming town called Gardendale, Alabama, with my husband and two teenage children. I love to cook and laugh…not necessarily in that order.

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