CrockPot 5 Layer Brownie Recipe

Day 119.

Hold on to your hats. This is one rich, satisfying, amazing dessert. 

And it took all of 5 minutes to prepare. The most difficult part for me was climbing up on to a bar stool to reach the baking cabinet over the refrigerator.

We were lucky in that we had everything on hand for this brainstorm---which is good because after all the vegetable dishes I've been eating lately, my sweet tooth was on the prowl.

The Ingredients.

1 16-ounce package of brownie mix (I had a box of the Whole Foods GF 365 brand--it has chocolate chips in it!)
1/4 cup melted butter
1 egg
1/4 cup water
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup walnuts
1/4 cup coconut
1/4 cup oats (I used Bob Red Mills Gluten Free Rolled Oats)

The Directions.

I used my mini 1.5 quart crockpot for this dish, because my other one had a chicken dish in it (coming tomorrow!). 

The proportions of the oats, coconut, and walnuts are for the mini crock. 

If you decide to use a larger size, use enough of the toppings to spread over the whole surface area, OR use a baking dish inside of your big guy ---- the way I describe, HERE.

--melt butter (I was lazy and didn't want to dirty another bowl, so I melted the butter in the crock while I was doing the dishes)

--add 1/4 cup of water, the egg, and the brownie mix

--stir until none of the powder is left dry; batter will be quite thick

--pour can of sweetened condensed milk over the top.

--Shuffle children quickly out of the kitchen because you are "working" and lick out the inside of the can, being careful so you don't cut off your tongue.

--wash sweetened condensed milk off of your face

--cover milk with a layer of oats, then coconut, then walnuts.

--close up crockpot and cook on high, if using a little crock, low if using a bigger one. 

Test with a knife after two hours, if it comes out clean, cook for another 20-30 minutes with the lid off to get rid of the collected condensation and to help solidify the condensed milk. 

You will know this is done when the edges pull away from your stoneware.

Since I used my mini crockpot, this cooked for about 4 1/2 hours altogether. 

That's a really long time to wait for brownies, so I needed to go to Target and buy stuff we didn't need to eat up the time.

The Verdict.

Well worth the wait.
We ate these for dinner.
and then for breakfast.
and we were happy.

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Posted by: Stephanie O'Dea | A Year of Slow Cooking at April 28, 2008

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What they say about this article

  1. Amazing. Thanks for sharing.

  2. "wash sweetened condensed milk off of your face" - snort!

    This looks great!!

  3. I know you use Pamelas Baking Mix instead of flour for your recipes. Will any baking mix work (like Bisquick). Can you use it as substitute for baking cookies and cakes? Also, if you don't mind me asking, what is your reasoning for the mix instead of flour (health reasons, taste, etc.)

  4. Hi Carrie, my youngest has celiac, which is a gluten intolerance (allergy). We don't use anything that has wheat, barley, or rye in it.

    I use Pamela's instead of an all-purpose flour. I am not really very familiar with Bisquick anymore---doesn't it have shortening in it? Pamela's has a few different types of GF flours and starches along with some baking powder and xantham gum--which helps it behave as if it had the rising and sticky properties of gluten.

    If you do not have wheat allergies, I'd stick to normal AP flour.


  5. Anonymous4/28/2008

    A question, oh Crockpot Goddess. :)

    I read your blog daily but have yet to make anything despite me saying "Oh, I'm so going to Steph's for dinner! (or dessert as the case may be)". :) I'd love to try some of your recipes.

    However, I don't use my crockpot very often because the one I bought is too big and just makes too darn much when I cook in it. Can I put a casserole dish in it to make the pot smaller?

  6. hi cookie, I miss you!

    I've baked with a smaller casserole dish inside of the crock, and it has worked wonderfully. I've also put a metal loaf pan in it with success, and when I get around to making meatloaf, that's what I'm going to do.

    so, I would venture to say, yes, but I haven't actually tried it out first hand. which means you totally should and then tell me how it works out...

  7. OXO makes a

    Tiny Spatula that is perfect for getting all the "milk" out of the condensed milk can.

    Trust me. It's worth it! ;)

  8. If you want to make this non-dairy, can you just skip the condensed milk?

  9. omg, I need a spatula like that.

    sarah, you could totally leave out the milk. but then you would only have 4 layers and would have to change the name. ;-)
    does non-dairy brownie mix exist?


  10. Oh, goodness, after all the sweets I ate over the weekend my body just shivers at the thought of more sugar. But, I will difinitely save this one for next weekend's sugar binge. =)

  11. YUM! I can't wait to try this recipe!

  12. Oh, I do have a question--

    I have a crockpot that is supposed to have 3 temperature settings, low, high and warm. It seems to me that the low and high are about the same, and that warm might be the low temperature. Do you know how I could test this out? Maybe I just need to toss it and get a new one!

    ps--I have done meatloaf, I didn't use another pan I just rolled it. It worked great!

  13. Anonymous4/28/2008

    I miss you too!!
    I'll give this a try sometime soon and let you know. I love seeing all the cool things you make. :)

  14. Anonymous4/28/2008

    You make me want to skip paying bills this afternoon and make this instead!! ( I guess if it only takes 5 minutes, I could do both) Mine would have to be 4 layers if I did it right now... I don't have any coconut!! I also don't know if I have the right size crockpot. I might have to try the baking dish in the crockpot as well.

  15. Anonymous4/28/2008

    I seriously went to make the brownies right now, and I don't have any walnuts either!! BUMMER! I guess it will have to wait for another day. thanks again for the great idea!

  16. I have to make this one. In fact, if I HAD the sweetened condensed milk on hand, I would have it cooking away right now. YUM

    Thanks for sharing your creativity!

  17. ack! you all are so sweet and nice---I want to have you over for dinner and buy you puppies.

    cheri, on Rival's webpage they have a FAQ and one is "what temperatures will high and low reach?"
    it says that they will eventually reach the same temp... weird.

    I cook stuff on low if I am going to leave the house at all. I figure I can always flip it to high when I get back if something needs to cook faster.


  18. OH YUM!!! i can't wait to try this!!

  19. There goes my diet!

  20. Anonymous4/28/2008

    Hellooo....come to Mama....I be lovin your repices anyway. But this is the motherload. I am in true love and awe now. Sigh, purr, thump back leg....

  21. Wow...I think that is all I can say, because that looks AMAZING! Too bad my husband doesn't like chocolate....if I try this one I'll end up eating the whole thing!

  22. Anonymous4/28/2008

    Oh hello, that looks dangerous. I will have to make that. :)

  23. Anonymous4/28/2008

    I just wanted to say i found your blog yesterday and made the oatmeal for breakfast YUMMM! I read all ur recipes and added many to my book thanks for doing this!!

  24. Anonymous4/28/2008

    There is no way I can wait that long.

  25. Brownies for dinner and breakfast.


  26. okay, loaded my sugar attack in the large crock.

    do you cook it on high or low?

    OMG...this is going to be so good...I need some icecream to top it!

  27. Anonymous5/02/2008

    I am making these for dinner...and tomorrow's breakfast. Did you spray your crock first? Thanks!

  28. Hi Lyssa--I didn't for this recipe, because I melted the butter directly in the crock. There is never any harm in spraying it though---and it will definitely help with clean up!


  29. My first attempt at this recipe wasn't exactly a roaring success - in my medium sized (3 quart, maybe?) crockpot the mixture burned after an hour on high. We could smell it through the whole house! I turned it down to low but the entire outside of the pot was charred. Even the goodies on top got charred, while the middle was raw. I think my crockpot gets exceptionally hot - too hot! I cooked the brownies for a further hour on low and the middle was done to perfection, but the burned taste really went through the pot so it wasn't very good. But spooning the brownies from the very centre gave us a real glimpse of what this recipe would be like if I hadn't burned it - it would be YUM! I think the fault was my crockpot, not the recipe, so I'm going to give it another try, tomorrow, on low :) And I do suggest spraying the crockpot liner with Pam - I will next time :)

  30. Anonymous5/08/2008

    Hi, I made these last night for dessert and they are Very very good!! The only thing I would do different is spray the cp with pam, and cook it on low. Thanks for sharing it with us.


  31. Anonymous7/09/2008

    I just watched Racheal Ray and got connected to your site. I was wondering how many crockpots you have and what different sizes?
    Susan J, WV

  32. Anonymous7/18/2008

    I really liked this recipe but want to ask how everyone else got the brownies out of the crockpot. Mine all broke apart as I was trying to pry them out, but, they were yummy!

  33. Anonymous7/20/2008

    I made this yesterday for a family dinner and it was amazing!!! DH and I ate the little bit of leftovers for breakfast.

    My favorite thing in the crockpot is my amazing Salsa Roast. I buy a big, cheap beef roast and put it in the crock. I top it with 1 packet of dry onion soup mix, about 8-12 oz of salsa, and 1 can of cream of mushroom soup. I cook it on high for about 4 hours and then turn to low and cook it until it is falling apart and easily shreds with a fork. We then eat it on buns, in tortillas with burrito toppings, or on top of mashed potatoes or rice. It is SOOOO GOOD!!!

  34. Anonymous9/11/2008

    Dumb question, but for the oats can I use quaker oats? Or will that be too much like oatmeal...

  35. nope! quaker oats are fine!

  36. Oh my gosh is this yummy! And oh so rich!!! While it was bubbling away, I threw in a handful of chocolate chips to the top (after finding a small ziplock with some left over choc. chips in it) and it was the perfect "top layer". Just wonderful! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  37. Anonymous10/19/2008

    I JUST found your blog, and this was the first thing I made. Although I am inspired to use the pot more and more now. =)
    Okay, so overall this was very yummy, however the edges weren't so much! They were a little crispy, which is fine by me, but the sweetened cond. milk turned really bitter around the edges! Is that normal?? If/when I do this again, I will cook it on low the whole time, and maybe I should drizzle the milk all the way to the edge?

  38. We loved this recipe! I definitely helped fix my chocolate craving! I will be making this recipe again! Thanks so much for sharing!

  39. Anonymous12/31/2008

    My kids can't have milk, so I substitued a can of coconut milk, and it was wonderful! I've enjoyed a number of your recipes this year, thanks so much for posting.

  40. I put these in the crockpot to "bake". I can't wait to try them!! :)

    Thanks so much for all of your hard work on this website. There are so many great recipes I can't wait to try!

  41. Anonymous1/08/2009

    i tried doubling this and cooking it in my crock which is maybe 5.5 quarts and it didn't work very well. i cooked it on low and the outside burned while the center didn't cook through. BUT, we scooped out the middle and it was super yummy. next time i'll use a smaller dish and set in the crock.

    i have tried so many of your recipes and my family is so thankful. we had the azorean spiced beef stew last night. it is a family favorite now...along with so many of your other recipes. i need to get another crock pot. i used my first one so much that the crock cracked. i got a new one a couple of months ago but it stays dirty most of the time! sometimes i want to cook 2 things at the same time;) thanks again. i miss you now that it's 2009!

  42. You are not only an amazing cook, but also such a clever writer! I love this blog!

  43. Anonymous1/30/2009


  44. Anonymous2/01/2009

    Hello, I just found your website and love it! I was curious about the brownie mix. Can you use any brownie mix (like a pre-boxed mix)? I am really excited to make this and try it. I have a larger crock pot so any suggestions so this won't fall apart/burn? Thanks!!

  45. Hi Anon,
    yup, go ahead and use your favorite box mix. The readers who have tried this in a big crockpot weren't overjoyed with the results. You may be better off putting the batter in an oven-safe dish inside of your crock (pyrex, corningware). Then cover and cook. The worry is that the edges will burn before the center has set.

  46. I saw this recipe and fell in love. I went out and purchased a 1.5 quart specifically for this recipe (and a couple others that my other crock pots are too big for - this was just the reason I needed) and got all the ingredients together. After reading that the new 1.5 quarts only cook on what is equivalent to "low" heat, I was admittedly worried, but figured if you can do it 2 1/2 hours on high, I'll give it 4-5 hours.

    I tried making it today, but my coconut was way older than I thought, so I just omitted it and the oats, and instead did brownie mix, sweetened condensed milk and pecans (kind of a turtle brownie).

    It SMELLED fabulous. Problem is, I started getting a burnt smell around 3 hours. The sides definitely started to cook, but the center was pure liquid. The longer I left it on, the stronger the burnt smell. My husband and I decided to stop it, although it broke both our hearts because it really did smell good. Picking at what's in the crock along the sides, I have yet to encounter any actual burnt areas. I'm guessing if I had let it go much longer, there would have been nothing but burned hunks to pick from.

    Ah well, I tried.

  47. Crystal Hartmann5/15/2009

    I made these today, and had the same problem with thorough cooking as others. I will try again.....and have a suggestion. I bake wedding cakes as a business. To combat the too done sides, and the runny middle, I'm going to try a heating core. You use this in the middle of cakes larger than 10 inch to ensure proper baking, and they WORK! Wish me luck!

  48. I was looking for something creative like this. Then tried this awesome recipe. This recipe does not disappoint. It's a snap to prepare and really tasty.

  49. Anonymous7/28/2009

    WHAA!! I had to throw this out - burnt edges and soggy middle. Should have read the comments before attempting this in my biggish crockpot.

  50. Sadly, even using a 1.5 quart crockpot, I did not have good luck with this recipe. Carrie, every other one of your recipes that I've tried have been triumphs, so I suppose I was due. It wasn't a complete disaster, but, despite thoroughly spraying the ceramic liner, the brownie layer stuck to the sides and burned. The combination is delicious, though, so I may try baking this in the oven.

  51. Anonymous11/14/2009

    I used the Whole Foods brownie mix, Earth Balance, and coconut milk instead of sweetened condensed milk (no dairy, no gluten!), and they came out great! I added a layer of chocolate chips, and some more oats to help soak up the coconut milk. I crumbled the walnuts so that they weren't really a whole layer, just a bonus. I ended up using the low setting instead of the high, and they needed an extra half hour with the lid on, but otherwise, great!

    My house smells like chocolate and coconut. I call that a win.

  52. I made these the other day and have since shared the recipe with at least 3 people via email plus all my Facebook friends. They were amazing! I left out the coconut because we're not big fans. I have apparently been living under a rock because I have never cooked with sweetened condensed milk. I may never go back to regular. Followed your directions exactly and made sure to lick the can!

  53. cindythern4/18/2010

    So...I was a little worried about making a double batch in a 4 qt for work. I think there was a lot of "peeking" going on, but I managed to get them done without burning them. I did cook them on low for about 6 1/2 hours, but after about 4, I took a knife and made cuts from the center out to break up the edges and try to get the underdone center to spread and cook. The edges were perfect, the center was softer - one of my coworkers said I should have just told them it was a crockpot lava cake. Very tasty - I'd do it again.

  54. Great! The edges were a little more done, but not burnt. I will make this again. I'd love to try it in doubled in my 4 qt.

  55. You just solved my problem of "I live in Japan, land where ovens are scarce....but I want brownies!!"

    I've suffered for five years. Myself and my natural female chocolate cravings thank you!!

    Man, does a crock pot save your life over here! By the way, I was told about your blog via a community I am in for crock pot recipes/etc. Thanks so much for all the wonderful recipes.

  56. I hate to be the party pooper, but after reading about all the troubles people had with this recipe, I just baked it in the oven. It was FANTASTIC!! I am a chocolate purist. I don't like anything in my brownies, and I especially hate nuts in my baked goods. This recipe, however, was amazingly delicious. My favorite parts - the way the condensed milk pooled around the edges and made a chewy caramely candy edging, and the richly delicious roast flavor of the walnuts!

    I followed the recipe from my brownie mix, poured everything on top and followed the recommended baking directions. I believe I had to increase the bake time by about 10 minutes. I will definitely be going back to this recipe!

  57. Anonymous3/26/2011

    I have a little 1.5 qt pot, but it's a "plug and go" temp control. I'm assuming it's a lower setting, because this is taking a while. 3 hours into it, and it's EXPANDING almost up to the lid. Anyone else with this "problem"? The edges are bubbling away....but not yet pulling away. I'm wondering..seriously..should I take the lid off so it won't tip itself off?

  58. These are the best browines ever. We have made them several times and have figured out how to do them in the oven. We just can't wait for the crockpot! Yumm

  59. thetravelgal6/20/2011

    Didn't have any problem with this recipe. I used my 2-quart crockpot and followed the directions exactly (except I sprayed the crock instead of melting the butter in it). One thing I noticed is that she used 16 oz. brownie mix, and mine was 19.8 oz. So I used my kitchen scale to measure out and omit 3.8 oz. of dry mix before beginning the recipe. I don't know if that would make a difference or not, but some of you who had trouble may want to consider this if your brownie mix was bigger than hers. :-)

  60. Haha oh my goodness, this post made me laugh, "Shuffle children quickly out of the kitchen because you are "working" and lick out the inside of the can, being careful so you don't cut off your tongue. Wash sweetened condensed milk off of your face." I love it!! These look so good, I can't wait to try them! Thanks for sharing

  61. Hello friendly crock pot using pals! I had to make a desperate choice. I had all the ingredients except for the coconut. I substituted with mini marshmallows. I hope it turns out! I'll let you all know as soon as it is finished. This recipe sounds amazing! My day is complete now with beef stew in one crockpot and one with this genius crockpot brownie. I just found your site today (Thank Goodness)!!!

  62. Hello---

    Thanks for the GREAT recpies. This one didn't work for me, but I didn't read the comments before I attempted it. I don't have a small crockpot and I don't really have much confidence in my ability to cook within a crockpot---way too much room for user error! I think I will, however, attempt it in the over because I need to get this into a form I can share. The parts that I did try, were AMAZING!

    Again, thanks for the amazing recipe.

    I think I'll just buy the smaller crockpot. This recipe is worth it.

    For those of you who did do it in the oven, anyone have any tips in terms of pan size, oven temp and cook time? Any additional tips aside from following package instructions?

    Last question, how do I know this brownie is done (either in crockpot or oven)? Will the condenced milk be runny and "harden" when it cools--or should it be more "firm"? Is the only indication the actual brownie part?

    Actually, this is the last question---can I use steel cut oats?

    I'm not a baker, can you tell:).

    Thanks, all!!!!!!

  63. LOVE the directions... especially the warning about the condensed milk! Cannot ever be too careful ; )

  64. After 6 hours of cooking on low in my 1.5 qt pot it still wasn't cooked all the way through. We ate it like a Lava Cake directly out of the pot. I almost think I liked it better this way.

  65. Have you tried this in a 6-qt crockpot? If so, did you just double the ingredients (or use another measurement), then cook on low and keep an eye on it? Thanks for the recipe :)

  66. DETAILS!! will help us all.... I would like to ask that people need to give more details when their recipe doesn't work!!! Give the make, model & size of the crockpot and the year purchased.

    Crockpots have worked for decades, but recently some manufacturers have foolishly made the crockpots to work at higher temperatures (w/ ridiculous fear food will spoil - duh! they're burning all the enzymes & nutrients out of the food), and that is why many recipes which work in the original crockpot specs are now burning.

    We all need to know which of these brands to avoid, so we stop giving these manufacturers our $$$$!!!

  67. I made it 6 layers added white choc chips YUM
    I used a glass dish that fits in my crock pot and put water in the crock and did a water bath to cook/bake it 3-4hrs on low BUT EVERY crock is different ; towel over crock then lid to catch condensation. i used 1/2 cup of the toppings oats,nuts,coconuts,choc chips ♥ this is so AMAZING , since i lined my dish with tinfoil and a piece of parchment paper a little condensed milk got under the parchment paper if i had a spring form pan small enough that would of rocked but i am pretty PLEASED with my out come and this is a keeper i dont normally like coconut but these flavors all came togthere so nice ; im kinda like wowed at how pretty and tasty BUT EASY it was

    here are some pics




  68. I've come back to this recipe 3 times. I'm really going to make it this time. I saw it on CD I was glad to see they gave you credit for it, but it says it only makes 6 servings???? Oh lordy. A package of brownie mix makes a BUNCH more than that and this is so rich I'd say at least 18 to 24 servings.

    Thanks for all the great crock pot recipes.

  69. I won a 1.5 qt crock pot, and knew I had to use this recipe to christen it! Of course, i melted my butter then realized I was out of sweetened condensed milk, so I used a can of pumpkin, mixed it in... and everything else (I omitted the coconut b/c DH doesn't like, and i added some Heath bits and choc chips)

    It took about 4 hours total - and it is AMAZING! Now I want to have company so I can make this :D

  70. We have nut allergies. Is there something that can be substituted for the walnuts (maybe double the coconut?) or just leave them out? Thanks. These sound amazing!

  71. Hi reader lady, sure thing! Your choice--- either omit completely or add a bit more coconut.

  72. I made these and it was a bust. Outside burned, yet very liquidy on the inside. Turning it on low didn't help....just cooked the outside more.