These decadent, one-bowl Hawaiian brownies with macadamia nuts and a glorious fudge topping are absolutely amazing (and completely dangerous, if you know what I mean)!

Macadamia Chocolate Brownies

Considering I’ve spent the last couple decades of my life insisting that nuts do not belong in brownies, I am sufficiently humbled. Maybe it’s just macadamia nuts (which I love wholeheartedly), but holy cow, these brownies have made me rethink life.

Why would I even entertain the thought of making such a brownie given my strong feelings about nuts + brownies? That’s a great question.

I originally figured I would make them without nuts. But when I spied a bag of macadamia nuts that had been languishing in the pantry for ages, I thought “what the heck, I’ll live on the edge.”

Plus, this brownie recipe had been calling to me for months from a cookbook I bought at Disneyland earlier this year (no surprise the souvenir I sought out at the happiest place on earth was a cookbook).

Macadamia Chocolate Brownies

Figuring I’d probably be lukewarm about the finished brownies, I made them for a playgroup-type lunch I had at my house a few weeks ago. And basically, the ladies that attended probably have no idea how close they were to never even seeing a single one of these brownies.

They are so good. So, so good. I took that bite (in the picture below) – you know, taking one for the team since I needed that quintessential photo of a brownie with a bite taken out. And the rest is history.

Actually, the brownies were nearly history. The thinner, decadent brownie base with that silky fudge topping and the crunch of lightly salted macadamia nuts throughout was nearly my undoing.

Macadamia Chocolate Brownies

Completely and utterly uncomplicated, these brownies are outstandingly delicious. I cut them into smallish squares, which seemed to compliment the somewhat delicate appearance of them (they aren’t really delicate but appear that way since this recipe makes a delightfully thinner brownie than more classic, thick, fudgy brownies).

Serve them chilled, and be prepared for some of the most ridiculously delicious brownies ever (if you need more convincing, I’m pretty sure I can get written statements from my friends who experienced, luckily, the yumminess that day at my house).

If you are tempted, like me, to leave nuts out of brownies because of pure preference (and not allergies), I urge you to dig deep and make them just like this. Fudge + macadamia nuts + brownies = heaven.

Macadamia Chocolate Brownies

One Year Ago: German Potato Salad
Two Years Ago: Dinner in a Pumpkin
Three Years Ago: Salt Crusted Potatoes with Fresh Rosemary

Hawaiian Brownies {Chocolate + Macadamia Nuts}

Yield: Makes a 9X13-inch pan of brownies

Hawaiian Brownies {Chocolate + Macadamia Nuts}

I have a hard time finding unsalted, dry roasted macadamia nuts unless I seek out specialty markets or online shopping. I've found that I really like the flavor of the lightly salted dry roasted macadamia nuts in this recipe. Try to find "lightly salted" so the salt flavor isn't too strong.

I prefer bittersweet chocolate in this recipe but you could substitute semisweet, I am sure if you don't mind a slightly sweeter brownie (milk chocolate will be too sweet, I think).


  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks, 6 ounces) butter, cubed
  • 1 1/4 cups (9.25 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate (a heaping 1/2 cup)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (5 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) coarsely chopped dry roasted macadamia nuts (see note above)
  • Fudge Topping:
  • 6 ounces (1 cup) chopped bittersweet chocolate or chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup half and half or cream
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) coarsely chopped macadamia nuts


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9X13-inch baking pan (I've only tested this recipe with a metal pan; you might want to decrease the oven temp to 325 if using glass). Set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan or in a microwave-safe bowl, combine the butter, sugar, and 4 ounces chocolate. Melt over low heat (or microwave) until smooth, stirring often; don't let the mixture overheat. Let cool for a bit (lukewarm is fine, hot is not).
  3. Whisk in the eggs, salt and vanilla.
  4. Stir in the flour and macadamia nuts together until just combined.
  5. Spread the batter evenly in the pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes until set and a toothpick comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs (add time as necessary if they take longer to bake).
  6. Remove the pan from the oven and let the brownies cool completely.
  7. For the fudge topping, combine the 6 ounces chocolate and half and half (or cream) in a small saucepan or microwave-safe bowl. Heat over low heat, stirring constantly, until melted, smooth, and glossy.
  8. Set aside for the topping to cool completely, stirring often if you want to speed up the process and avoid a skin forming on the surface.
  9. When cool but still spreadable, use an offset spatula or knife to spread the topping evenly over the cooled brownies.
  10. Sprinkle macadamia nuts on top.
  11. Chill until ready to serve.

Recipe Source: adapted from Chef Mickey Disney cookbook (a cookbook I picked up at Disneyland earlier this year)

13 Responses to Hawaiian Brownies {Chocolate + Macadamia Nuts}

  1. Robin says:

    These are amazing

  2. Maria says:

    I made these tonight but I would definitely suggest using semisweet chocolate for the topping instead of bittersweet.

  3. Paige says:

    These brownies look heavenly! I’m going to need these in my life asap.

  4. Heidi says:

    This look amazing! I can’t wait to try it. Just an FYI, I clicked on One Year Ago: German Potato Salad – it redirects to 30-Minute Quinoa Enchilada Skillet Meal. Will go search for the German Potato Salad now as my son has been begging for me to fins a recipe and make it. 🙂

  5. Teresa R. says:

    Can’t wait to try these. Chocolate is my life!

  6. Amy W. says:

    Oh, my goodness!! I have long loved the macadamia nut/chocolate combo, and to have it in brownie form is a dream! Thanks, Mel! You’re a doll!

  7. Maria D. says:

    These look really yummy!

  8. Jen says:

    Hi, Mel! You are a household name and we adore you for providing such fabulous recipes! My husband usually asks, “Is this from Mel or Our Best Bites?” I can’t wait to take out a small loan 😉 in the very near future to buy more macadamia nuts (I ironically used what I had in a pie yesterday) so we can gobble these up! Question: Do you love your oven and would recommend it? Pretty PLEASE, share with me what make/model of oven you have. We are replacing our oven and I would like to get a double oven range. I noticed in your cinnamon roll video that you have one and was hoping you could shine some light on the topic. I too bake a lot and have been trying to do my research, but the reviews are so mixed. Does the upper oven heat evenly to bake rolls, cupcakes, etc.? I will do my best to make sure you get the commission! 😉 THANKS SO MUCH!

    • Sandra says:

      Hi Jen, I hope you don’t mind my opinion as well:
      -Love not having to heat up the large oven (top also preheats very quickly)
      -My kids always use top to reheat pizza and make massive amounts of toast (Maytag has toasting feature)
      -Top very similar to baking on top and bottom rack of traditional oven – at same time! (too close to heating element for rolls and cupcakes imo)
      -great for casseroles/lasagnas if covered with foil
      -I’m a bit more careful to watch when baking cookies due to proximity of heating element
      -bottom oven very close to floor…my mother states her knees couldn’t handle the bending required to use bottom oven
      -great for baked potatoes
      I really love having the smaller top oven…good luck with your decision
      The brownies look great by the way!

    • Mel says:

      Hi Jen – yes, I do love my split oven! Of course, if I had the kitchen of my dreams, I’d have about six ovens built into the walls, but since that isn’t going to happen, I’ve opted for a split oven in the last two houses we’ve had where it wasn’t possible to put in double ovens..and I’d do it over and over again. Having said that, I’ve had two different models (a Kenmore in our house in Minnesota and now a Maytag in this house). There are pros and cons.

      -You lose the bottom drawer for storage
      -The bottom oven is right by the floor so it’s a lot of bending (not a big deal to me but may be to other people with back/knee issues)
      -In both models (Kenmore and Maytag), I haven’t been super impressed with the convection option in the lower, bigger oven (the top oven isn’t convection); doesn’t bake super evenly, in my opinion

      -I love being able to heat up that smaller top oven if I don’t need the whole oven – for casseroles, baked potatoes, rolls, etc. I actually love the way it bakes in this Maytag model – my rolls brown nicely on top and my cookies turn out great
      -Can cook multiple dishes at different temps
      -I can cook three pans of cookies at a time (two in the bottom on convection and one in the top) – more cookies, yay!

      And lots of other things. Basically, I’d get a split oven in a heartbeat. I wish I could say I know of the perfect model. I chose both of the models I’ve had based on the size of the burners on the top (I want two bigger burners) – maybe there are better models with smaller burners on top? I don’t know. I mean, the Maytag I have now is pretty good; I really don’t have many complaints except for the sometimes uneven baking in the bottom oven. Good luck! And thanks, Sandra, for sharing your thoughts and opinions, too!

      • A says:

        About the convection oven–a large part of the reason for the uneven cooking is because convection ovens require a slight adjustment in temperature compared to gas ovens. From what I’ve read, the temperature is decreased, with the difference being made up for by the convection. The convection allows for the oven to heat up much more evenly.

        There’s a lot more to it of course, and I’d recommend anyone dealing with issues regarding their convection ovens to read up on it a bit further before experimenting. As always, please be safe when doing said fiddling, and make sure your food is cooked through to the correct temperature before consuming! 🙂

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