Rich and fudgy brownies stuffed with a layer of caramel sauce and finished with a caramel drizzle. Layers of chocolate and caramel in every sweet and sticky bite!
Who is ready for gooey, fudgy, over-the-top CARAMEL BROWNIES?! These are coming at ya just in time for Valentine’s Day, because I’m pretty sure that brownies stuffed with caramel are the way to everyone’s heart.
I rank brownies as one of my all-time favorite desserts. I love playing around with different flavor combinations like Cream Cheese Brownies, Peanut Butter Brownies, Nutella Brownies, Strawberry Brownies, Zucchini Brownies, M&M Brownies, and Coconut Brownies. And now we have Caramel Brownies in all their sweet and salty, ooey-gooey perfection.
How to Make Caramel Brownies:
My easy one-bowl Homemade Brownies are the base of this recipe. I add a layer of caramel in the middle of the brownies and a drizzle of caramel sauce on top. Here’s how to make them:
- Start by making the brownie batter: Whisk cocoa powder, sugar, salt, flour, and chocolate chips. Stir in eggs, oil, water, and vanilla. Spread half of the brownie batter into the bottom of an 8×8 pan.
- Melt caramel candies with heavy cream until you have a smooth caramel sauce (I do this in the microwave). Pour the sauce over the brownie batter in the pan.
- Add the remaining brownie batter on top of the caramel sauce, spreading it into an even layer.
- Bake the brownies for 35-40 minutes, until the brownies are cooked through but still fudgy.
- Drizzle the top of the brownies with more caramel sauce and a sprinkle of sea salt.
- Do not over bake. Brownies should be removed from the oven just shy of being cooked through. I usually recommend testing brownies by inserting a toothpick into the center, but this recipe is a little tricky because there is a layer of gooey caramel in the center. I recommend checking the top brownie layer only with a toothpick, it should come out with a few fudgy crumbs (and maybe a bit of caramel sauce), but no raw brownie batter.
- Cool completely before cutting and serving. Do not cut into these brownies when they are hot. The caramel sauce will be thin and the chocolate chips will be melted, so it will be quite messy. I recommend allowing them to cool to room temperature before cutting them. My favorite way to serve them is just a little bit warm. I heat each serving in the microwave for just a few seconds right before serving.
- Don’t skip the salt. I absolutely love the saltiness from a heavy sprinkling of finishing salt on top of these brownies. Maldon flaky sea salt is my favorite, but any finishing salt will work here.
What Type of Caramel To Use?
This recipe uses individually wrapped caramel candies that can be purchased in the baking aisle of the grocery store. The caramel candies are melted and combined with cream to form a caramel sauce. If you try to use store bought caramel sauce (like ice cream topping) it will likely be too thin and will not create a distinct caramel layer.
By melting the caramel candies with cream, it creates the ideal caramel sauce consistency. It is thick enough to be cut without oozing out, but it is thin enough to bite through without being too thick and sticky.
How To Store Caramel Brownies:
You can store these at room temperature or in the refrigerator. I recommend warming individual servings in the microwave for a few seconds right before serving. They are best served slightly warm when they are extra fudgy and gooey (as pictured)! You’ll most likely want to serve them on a plate with a fork. The colder these are, the firmer they will be.
- ⅔ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon espresso powder, optional
- ¾ cup chocolate chips , I prefer milk chocolate or semisweet chocolate
- 3 large eggs
- ½ cup vegetable or canola oil
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 25 unwrapped caramel candies**
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream or half & half
- 6 unwrapped caramel candies**
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream or half & half
- flaky sea salt
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8×8 square pan* with foil or parchment paper, leaving a couple inches of overhang on two sides (this will allow you to lift the whole tray of brownies out of the pan for easy removal). Lightly grease the foil/parchment.
- In a large bowl combine cocoa powder, sugar, salt, flour, espresso powder, and chocolate chips. Whisk until combined. Add eggs, oil, water, and vanilla and stir with a rubber spatula until combined (it will be fairly thick).
- Scoop half of the batter into the prepared pan and spread into an even layer.
- Place 25 unwrapped caramels and 2 tablespoons cream in a microwave safe bowl. Cook in 20-30 second increments, stirring occasionally, until the caramels are melted and completely smooth. Pour the caramel sauce evenly over the brownie batter in the pan.
- Add the remaining brownie batter on top of the caramel. I drop spoonfuls of batter all around the pan, then carefully press/spread it into an even layer.
- Bake for 35-42 minutes, until the brownies are baked through, but still fudgy. Be careful not to over bake. Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack to cool for 30 minutes before proceeding with the topping.
- Microwave caramels and cream until melted and smooth. After the brownies have cooled for 30 minutes, drizzle the topping over the whole pan of brownies, then immediately sprinkle with flaky sea salt. Allow the brownies to finish cooling completely on the cooling rack.