These from-scratch caramel brownies are some of the most luscious, delicious, decadent brownies you will ever lay your lips on.
Caramel brownies. Everyone needs a recipe in their arsenal and let me tell you, these are possibly some of the most luscious, decadent brownies I have ever eaten.
A brownie base cooks alone and is then smothered with creamy caramel and another layer of brownie batter and chocolate chips (and nuts, too, if you love ’em!).
Those layers bake together to create a dense, rich brownie infused with chewy, gooey caramel.
I preferred these brownies slightly chilled. The pictures I snapped were while the brownies were warm (hence the melty goodness of the chocolate) but after cooling and an hour or so chilling in the fridge, the caramel layer was even more pronounced. And very, very deadly in it’s addictiveness.
You probably don’t want to be making a habit of baking these decadent brownies every day but when you want a show-stopper of a brownie, this is the one. Plus, I like knowing that I have finally purged the secret of these other-worldly brownies from my soul so you can join me in my inhalation of caramel brownies.
I’m becoming quite an expert on the matter, which may or may not be something to publicly brag about.
One Year Ago: Asian Noodle Salad
Two Years Ago: Chocolate Thumbprints
Three Years Ago: Italian Chicken Pastina
For the brownies:
- 1 cup (227 g) butter
- 12 ounces (340 g) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 1½ cups (318 g) sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1¼ cups (178 g) all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1½ cups pecans, coarsely chopped (optional)
- 1 cup (170 g) semisweet chocolate chips
For the caramel filling:
- 14 ounces (397 g) caramel candies, unwrapped
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a 9×13-inch baking pan with foil and grease the foil well with butter or cooking spray. In a large, microwave-safe bowl, combine the chopped chocolate and butter. Microwave in intervals of 1 minute at 50% power until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth, stirring in between intervals. Whisk in the sugar, eggs and vanilla until incorporated. Stir in the flour and salt just until combined. Spread about half of the brownie batter in the bottom of the prepared pan in an even layer.
- Bake for 18 minutes. Remove from the oven (keep the oven on!) and let the brownies cool for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, add the chopped pecans (if using) to a medium skillet over medium heat. Toast, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and light golden brown. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- To make the caramel filling, combine the caramels and cream in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds at 50% power. Stir. Repeat the process, keeping a close eye on the mixture as it can burn very easily (make sure you use low heat in the microwave). Continue the microwave process until the caramels and cream are melted and combined.
- Stir in half of the pecans to the caramel mixture. Immediately spread the caramel mixture over the bottom brownie layer. Scoop the remaining brownie batter in spoonfuls over the caramel layer and spread it evenly across the caramel layer (spooning the batter in piles over the caramel will help to get an even layer of batter over the caramel). Sprinkle the chocolate chips and the remaining pecans on top of the final brownie layer.
- Bake for 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely before slicing and serving. I found the brownies sliced easier once they had been cooled and refrigerated for an hour or two.
- Lift the brownies from the pan using the edges of the foil. Remove the foil and cut the brownies into individual squares. Store in an airtight container.
Recipe Source: adapted slightly from Annie’s Eats via The Pastry Queen by Rebecca Rather
74 Comments on “Caramel Brownies”
I just made these for the second time without the pecans (because nuts are always so controversial), and they were a HUGE hit. I used Nestle semi-sweet chocolate chips instead of baking chocolate because that’s all I had. I cooked the bottom layer according to the directions, I believe, but after I added the rest of the brownie batter on top, I had to keep putting them back in the oven to cook longer. I took them out when a toothpick inserted through the top layer in various places around the pan came out clean. They were perfect!
What chocolate do you mean when you say 12 ounces bittersweet or semi sweet chocolate coarsely chopped? It seems like a lot of bakers chocolate. Or can I use chocolate chips.
I use bar chocolate (not the kind you eat like a candy bar, but baking chocolate or I often get the pounds plus bars of chocolate at Trader Joes). You can try using chocolate chips; I’ve found higher quality chocolate chips (like Ghirardelli or Guittard melt best).
I was wondering if this recipe doubles well? Could I put it into a sheet pan?
As long as the sides of your sheet pan are high, you can double, otherwise (if the sides are 1-inch or lower), I’d recommend 1 1/2-ing the recipe for a sheet pan so it doesn’t bubble over.
Can I make these a couple of days before and store in the fridge overnight? So for example, bake them on Wednesday evening, store them in the fridge and eat them Friday morning?
This is my one of my favorite recipes to bake for my office. My friends love them
Don’t usually leave comments but I made these brownies for a work party and they were a big hit. I actually had one co-worker make me promise to make these for their birthday. Wonderful easy recipe to follow. Personally I used walnuts instead of pecans and I skipped the microwave, I’m an old-fashioned stove top kind of gal. Double boiler method is best for melting chocolate and I melted the caramel on the stove too.
These are dangerously good! Very, very fudgy – almost to the point where I thought I undercooked them, but they are cutting perfectly. The chocolate chips really put it over the top – requiring a scoop of vanilla ice cream with each piece to cut the richness 🙂 I think next time I’ll tweak a bit – perhaps pour some caramel on top with sea salt…Thanks for the great recipe!
Thanks for responding! I can’t wait to try it!
Hi Mel- I’m curious what you think about making these with your 10 minute caramel sauce in place of the caramels. Maybe if it cooked a little longer? Have you ever tried it with any of your caramel recipes? Just wondering…
Hi Jody – I don’t think the 10-minute caramel sauce is thick/firm enough for the brownies – it would probably be a runny mess. The foolproof caramel recipe I just posted would work great, though.
Mel, these brownies are evil, just evil! I made them for Labor Day, Fourth of July, and company a couple of times, and everyone loves them. But there is always part of the pan left, and I can NOT stop eating them. Like every time I pass the pan, I can’t stop myself from opening them back up and grabbing “just a nibble,” until I’ve eaten the rest in one day.
Made these amazing brownies for a tailgate party last weekend. They were a huge hit. Everyone kept eating them and moaning over the goodness of them! Grateful we had them to assuage our grief over our teams loss : )
I want to try this recipe but I’ve not been successful making brownies in the past… I tend to over bake them. How do you know when a brownie is cooked properly?
Melodye – generally a toothpick will come out with moist crumbs and if you gently press in the center, they should be slightly firm.
Everyone loved them! Thank you 🙂
Hi sorry one more question. Found caramels so did the recipe as follows and looks amazing. They are for tomorrow. Should I keep in fridge?
Jessica – yes, I think these brownies taste better slightly chilled anyway and I always store them in the refrigerator.
I just took it out of fridge and has become a thick texture. But still worried will get too liqudy when heated up
I made my own caramel but it seems a little to loose. I’m going to see how it cools but feel once its heated up with brownie it will become loose again. Any suggestions on how to make it thick or only option to get the caramels?
Hi Jessica – I’m sorry your caramel seems to thin. It’s hard for me to know what went wrong since I don’t know what recipe you used for caramel, etc. If it doesn’t thicken after it cools, you might try reboiling for a few minutes to thicken it some more or just start over with a new batch and cook to a higher temperature.
Can you use regular caramel topping
Jessica – are you talking about ice cream caramel topping? If so, then no. It needs to be authentic caramel (thick and chewy kind).
I may or may not have eaten half of the pan on my own. No one witnessed it, so I guess no one can say for sure. Soooo yummy!
I was looking for something special to make my husband for Valentines Day, and then I remembered this recipe! I halved it and baked it in a pie dish, so we’ll be having Caramel Brownie Pie for dessert tonight. Thanks, Mel!
I just finished the final layer and popped these in the oven! Shhh..I added a little sea salt to the caramel. 😉 Thank you for the great recipe! I’ll be shipping these off to relatives across the country. If mine turn out as good as yours look, I’m sure they’ll be thanking you! 🙂
I made these last night…y.u.m.m.y.!!! I didn’t have caramel candy, so I made a recipe from Brown Eyed Baker (http://www.browneyedbaker.com/2012/05/22/homemade-salted-caramel-sauce-recipe/). Fabulous! Thanks for another great recipe!
I also ended up with very gooey brownies so be warned, cook longer! Although they were a delicious gooey mess:)!
Tiffiny – it sounds like you probably need to add several more minutes onto the baking time. The top layer should be gooey because of the caramel but not because of the brownie batter – I think it probably wasn’t baked through all the way.
Hi Mel! I just made these last night. Unfortunately my top layer did not cook all the way, total sadness. It’s so gooey, almost like batter. Is it supposed to be this way? I’ve never had any problems with recipes from your site, they are always so good! So I’m wondering where I went wrong. I guess this is a good excuse to try making them again and baking them longer the second time.
The flavors are great just a bit too gooey.
Amazing Brownies! I paired them with a Ruby Porto. Together they were heaven!
I made these last week for friends.
It can be hard to get things like caramel sauce over here, so I used 1 1/2 cups of the Dulce de Leche with no added heavy cream. I added 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and 1/4 teaspoon salt to the Dulce de Leche. I warmed the Dulce de Leche in the microwave for about 1 1/2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds. I spread the Dulce de Leche over the brownie layer and sprinkled the pecans on, finishing with the rest of the recipe as written.
They turned out truly amazing. Congrats on the new baby. We finally have a baby girl after all our little men too!
making these today! with homemade caramel…just because it’s fun. the batter already tastes good! congrats on the new baby! how very exciting!
Norniea – I’d try using milk instead of cream because buttermilk is going to have a better chance at curdling when heated.
These have been my favorite treat for 30 years, and havent made them in so long! How do you think Buttermilk would work instead of cream for melting the caramels? I dont want to go to the store just for cream, but have Buttermilk in the fridge. Thanks!
These were the best brownies I have ever had! Absolute perfection. Thank you for the recipe!! Deadly though- I can’t make these more than once a year for the sake of my booty.
Again Mel, fantastic!!! Made them yesterday and my daughter and I LOVED them!! She took some in baggies today for her friends at school and they all texted me saying how amazing there were lol!! HUGE hit! Thanks again!
I can never make these again because they will RUIN all the work I’ve put in at the gym. Ugh, why did I have to make them, I will never be able to forget them, they will haunt me forever. If you are looking for a really decadent and delicious treat, look no further, these are incredible.
I am DEFINITELY making these, I was looking for a good carmel brownie recipe to try and this by far looks the best. But I had a little question before my endeavor. I’m very partial to fudgy brownies, and I noticed the recipe called for 4 eggs. Should I reduce the eggs to 2 for fudginess, or is the for fudgy enough?
Jessica – yes, for a more fudge-like brownie, you’ll probably want to decrease the eggs. I thought this brownies was plenty fudgy but it is also very rich so maybe the lack of fudginess was disguised by all the other good things going on.
They sound wonderful! I was wanting to know if you think I could do this with a boxed Bownie mix? I need to use some up but want to do something to help them be more yummy!
Louise – I’m a little out of touch with brownie mixes so I can’t say for sure. It’s worth a try, though, just watch baking times. The consistency of the brownies may be different so just keep an eye on everything.
To Kira, I did use the hard kind as most recipes I’ve tried in past have asked for them and also, I’m in England at the moment and don’t think I can buy soft ones here. I’m sure the soft ones would work FAR better in the microwave. Next time I’ll either make my own caramel or do them on the stove for quicker melting. But either way, the hard ones worked a charm–didn’t harden like I was afraid of.
I’m back w/ my review! These were a big it at the family party. I had to make a few modifications for what I had. I made a special trip to the store to get the ingredients, but didn’t get the semi-sweet choc and only 8 oz of caramels. Um, brain fart?? So, I had to use my trusty Hershey’s Best Brownie recipe since it uses cocoa powder. Virtually the same, just a few modifications for the powder vs the bars. I just used the 8oz of caramels w about 1/8 cup of the cream. It did seem that I had to bake them the 2nd time around for about 30 min to get the top done…maybe just my oven? Note to self: don’t store in fridge overnite – impossibly hard to cut straight out of the fridge when you are in a hurry to get out the door….oops! I think next time I might put some of the nuts in the caramel layer. Delish! After all my modifications, I’m not sure I should even be commenting on this recipe….haha! But, they went down smooth and busted my diet for the day 🙂 Thanks again for some serious yumminess!
I am curious if you used hard candy caramels of soft ones? And Mel, which do you use in your recipe? Thanks!
Hi Kira – I used the regular ol’ Kraft brand of soft caramels.
oooh, slightly chilled, yes! caramel that’s a wee bit set is just as delicious as the gooey stuff and far less messy. 🙂
I made the brownies this weekend for a party and they went from table to gone in 2 mins. I didn’t even get one I had to beg my husband for a bit. Thanks for the awesome recipe
So I made these last night and WOW! I was really nervous the caramel would harden but it is just delish. Fab recipe. Thank you. I’m taking it to a potluck this morning. Sure to go down a storm.
All I may do different next time (to save money and time) is to make my own caramel from scratch cuz I think it tastes better than werther’s and it MUCH easier to make than to melt. It took me about an hour to melt the candies in the mike going back and forth every 30 seconds. Would have taken 10 minutes to make it on the stove from scratch.
But thank you for an INCREDIBLE recipe. The brownies are great and I keep nibbling. Hope there is some left for the potluck!
So glad you enjoyed them! They really are the best brownies EVER!
Oh Yum! These look amazing! I just made (mint) brownies this week, but I guess I’m going to be making some more.
These brownies look amazing! I love caramel on anything.
You’re killing me..those look lethal! Yummmm
I love, love, love brownies. I’m drooling right now!!!
Brownies are my one weakness! These look so good.
The problem with your blog is that I KNOW every recipe you post is going to be amazing. Could you quit tempting me with these recipes? At least don’t put up pictures. Seriously I am about to take my sons picture off of my desktop and put this one.
well! this looks uh-mazing! love the site.
I only had to see the picture before I had to print!!! Can’t wait to make these!!:)
Oh. My. Goodness, Mel.
These look unbelievably rich and delicious! I can see myself enjoying one right now with a big glass of milk. YUM!
Thanks for sharing!
Wow those look AMAZING!!
That’s so crazy that you shared these today. My sister recently gave me a recipe for “Turtle Brownies” that is very similar to this that I was planning on making this weekend! Ha! Now I really can’t wait to make them!
OK….my diet is officially blown!! haha! Gonna make these for a family get together this weekend and hopefully everyone will inhale the whole pan and the leftovers won’t hang around and jump onto my thighs like they always do…..shame on them! 🙂
These look aaaamazing! Be still my caramel loving heart.
Seriously Mel, you’re ruining my diet. These look soooo good. I never really liked that caramel brownie recipe that calls for a cake mix…these look like they would kick that recipe’s trash. I’m gonna have to try them…and share…lots 🙂
You are very right, everyone needs a Caramel Brownie recipe and this one looks like a keeper. I can almost smell them! I think I need to go make them. Chocolate, caramel and nuts are my weakness 🙂 Not good for my swimsuit though, hahah.
They look sticky and delicious. Now that I saw these early in the morning I think I’m in trouble. Now I have to get my chocolate fix somehow.
That is the most gorgeous brownie I have ever seen, Melanie! I love chocolate, but I really, really love caramel! Your combination of both makes these TO DIE FOR in my opinion! I am making these this weekend…thanks for sharing! Have a great weekend! 🙂