These fudgy brownies are swirled with thick ribbons of homemade caramel. A true indulgence, these caramel brownies are guaranteed to cure any sweet tooth craving!
My sweet tooth has no limits, which is how I found myself experimenting with my favorite fudgy brownie recipe. Chocolate caramels are a classic confection, so it’s no surprise these flavors work together in brownie form. I prefer to make these caramel brownies from scratch with a homemade caramel. This extra adds the perfect amount of toffee flavor to these caramel brownies.
Before you begin the caramel brownie recipe, you need to make your caramel so it can cool. One of the best things about this homemade caramel is you can make it however you prefer. If you want a caramel with a deep toffee flavor, let it cook until it is a deep golden brown. For a more subtle, and visible after baking, caramel, remove it from the heat before it becomes a deep amber.
It’s important to have all your ingredients measured, ready, and nearby so you can add them immediately when making caramel. The process moves quickly, so it’s helpful to be prepared.
In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the water and sugar over medium heat. You’ll want a pan large enough that the sugar coats the surface in an even thin layer. Before you turn on the heat, make sure all of the sugar is evenly moistened without any dry spots. Once you add the heat, do not stir the mixture. Instead, gently swirl and shake the pan occasionally so the caramel will cook evenly and not burn.
Continue cooking until the sugar has melted and the caramel turns a medium amber color (or however dark you prefer it). Once it reaches your desire amber shade, add the butter carefully (the mixture will bubble up) and whisk vigorously until it has melted and fully combined. Remove the caramel from the heat and carefully add the cream, whisking until combined. Lastly, stir in the salt. Transfer the hot caramel carefully to a heatproof jar where it can cool to room temperature before using.
How to make caramel brownies
Once your caramel is cool, it’s time to make the homemade caramel brownies. Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C and line an 8×8-inch baking pan with parchment paper, leaving enough overhang so you can lift the brownies out of the pan after baking. Trust me, you’ll want the extra help since these caramel fudge brownies are extra fudgy.
In a large heat-proof bowl, melt the chocolate and butter in the microwave in 20-30 second intervals. Stir in between each interval until fully melted (you can also do this in a saucepan over simmering water). Add sugar to the chocolate mixture, whisking until combined. Add the eggs and whisk vigorously until shiny. Fold in the flour and salt, using a rubber spatula, just until combined. Be careful not to overmix the brownie batter.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Spoon large dollops of the cooled caramel on top of the brownie batter. Using a knife or skewer, swirl the two batters together for a marbled effect. It’s easy to over swirl and completely mix the batters, which causes the caramel to disappear into the batter during baking. Make sure you still see several caramel blobs on top. You can also sprinkle some coarse sea salt on top for a salted caramel brownie. If you like the flavor of salted caramel, definitely try this out!
Bake the caramel brownies for 23-27 minutes, until the edges are set but the center is still soft. A toothpick inserted into the center will come out with moist crumbs — not completely clean. Let the brownies cool completely on a wire rack, then refrigerate for easy cutting. You can serve these brownies cold or at room temperature, but make sure to store any extras in the fridge so the caramel doesn’t melt.
Other caramel recipes:
- Caramel Apple Bread
- Caramel Apple Upside Down Cake
- Caramel Fudge
- Caramel Popcorn
- Salted Caramel Cheesecake Mousse
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons (28g) unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) heavy whipping cream, slightly warmed in the microwave
- pinch of salt
- 200 g/7 ounce bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 150 g (1 1/3 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 2/3 cup (90g) all-purpose flour, sifted
- 1/4 teaspoons salt
- pinch of coarse sea salt, to sprinkle on top of the brownies, optional
- Have all of your ingredients measured, ready, and close to the pan so that they can be added immediately when it’s time. Keep a constant eye on the stove. The temperature of the caramel will be very high, so keep your face and body away from the pan.
- In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan (large enough to coat the surface with an even thin layer of sugar), heat water and sugar over medium heat. Make sure all of the sugar is evenly moistened from the water and there are no dry spots. It’s important to not stir the mixture, and instead gently swirl and shake the pan occasionally so the caramel will cook evenly and won’t burn. The caramel will usually start to brown at the edges first. In that case, push the liquefied sugar towards the middle of the pan using a heatproof utensil such as a whisk, spatula, or wooden spoon.
- Once all the sugar has melted, watch the pan, swirling it occasionally until the caramel turns a medium amber color. Add the butter carefully (mixture will bubble up), and whisk vigorously until butter has melted and fully combined.
- Remove from heat, then carefully add cream and keep whisking until combined. Mix in salt. Transfer carefully to a heatproof jar and let cool completely at room temperature before using.
- Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C. Line an 8×8-inch baking pan with parchment paper or aluminium foil, leaving enough overhang on the sides for lifting the brownies out after baking.
- In a large heat-proof bowl, place chocolate and butter. Heat in the microwave in 20-30 second intervals, stirring in between each interval, until melted (or set it over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring occasionally). Add sugar to chocolate mixture and whisk until combined. Add eggs and whisk the mixture vigorously for several seconds until shiny. Add flour and salt and fold, using a rubber spatula, just until combined.
- Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth the top. Spoon dollops of caramel on top of brownie batter. Using a knife or skewer, gently swirl the two batters together to get a marble effect. Be careful not to over swirl and completely mix the batters tighter. You want to still see lots of the caramel blobs on top. If using, sprinkle coarse sea salt all over the surface of the batter.
- Bake for 23-27 minutes, until the edges are set but the center is still very soft. Be careful not to overbake. A toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies should come out with moist crumbs, not dry. Let brownies cool completely on a wire rack, then refrigerate until set for easy cutting. Lift brownies out of the pan using the parchment paper and cut into squares. Serve cold or at room temperature.
- Store brownies in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Brownies can be frozen for up to 2 months. Thaw them overnight in the fridge.