A layered brownie that’s more indulgent than a slice of pie. These pecan pie brownies are a delicious twist on the classic Thanksgiving pie, and are perfect for every season.
Pie crusts are great, but the best part of pie is the filling. When I make my homemade pecan pie I can’t resist scraping up any leftover caramel filling as I wait for the pie to bake. The sweet, sticky caramel sprinkled with chopped pecans is nearly perfect on its own, but I think chocolate makes any dessert better.
I have tons of brownie recipes on my site, but my favorite cocoa brownie recipe is the one I turn to when adding extra layers like in these pecan brownies. The brownies are rich, fudgy and sturdy enough to support a thick layer of pecan pie filling. It’s a texture explosion with the soft brownies, gooey caramel, and crunchy pecan topping. These brownie pecan bars are guaranteed to satisfy both brownie and pie lovers!
Start with the brownie layer
Usually when making a layered brownie I have to test out several recipes, but my first attempt at these brownies with pecan pie topping came out exactly as I had dreamed. Slightly adapting my cocoa brownie recipe for the base, these easy pecan pie brownies can be made without a mixer or fancy equipment.
Start by preheating your oven to 350ºF/180ºC and lining an 8×8 inch baking pan with parchment paper, leaving enough overhang to lift the pecan brownies out after baking. Now comes the easy part. Simply heat the butter, sugar, cocoa and salt in a microwave-safe bowl in 30-second intervals until melted. Make sure to stir in between each interval, repeating the process until the butter is fully melted. You can also do this in a small saucepan over medium heat. Whichever way you choose, know that the mixture may appear gritty and that’s perfectly fine.
Let the mixture cool for a few minutes, until warm. Using a whisk or spatula, stir in the vanilla extract. Then add the eggs, one at a time, stirring in between until the batter is thick and shiny. Add the flour, stirring the thick batter until just combined. Pour the brownie batter into the pan and smooth down the top. Bake the brownies for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out with a few crumbs.
How to make pecan pie brownies
While the brownies are baking, you can get started on the pecan pie layer. This pecan pie brownies recipe uses lots of pecans, and I recommend toasting them before using to add an extra boost of flavor. This little step really takes these pecan pie brownies to new levels!
To make the pecan layer, heat the butter, sugar, and corn syrup in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir constantly until the sugar dissolves, then remove from heat and let it cool slightly. Once cooled, whisk in the rest of the ingredients, adding in the chopped pecans as the last step. Mix everything together until well combined (unlike the brownie mixture you can’t overmix this).
The final step in the pecan brownie recipe is to add the pecan filling to the baked brownies. Pour the pecan mixture over the brownie, spreading carefully to the edges. Return the pan to the oven and bake another 20-25 minutes, until the pecan topping is golden and set.
Let the brownies cool completely on a wire rack, even cooling further in the fridge for a few hours before slicing into squares. Since these are sticky, the extra chill from the fridge helps firm them up for easier cutting. These are sweet, gooey, fudgy brownies that are decadent but secretly really easy to make!
Other brownie recipes:
- 10 tablespoons (140g) unsalted butter
- 1 1/8 cups (225g) granulated sugar
- 2/3 cup (65g) unsweetened cocoa powder (I use Dutch-process, natural is ok too)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup (70g) all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick/56g) unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup (100g) light (or dark) brown sugar
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) light corn syrup or pure maple syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups (250g) pecan halves, preferably toasted, coarsely chopped
Preheat the 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, combine the butter, sugar, cocoa powder and salt, and melt in the microwave in 30 second-intervals, stirring in between each interval, until the butter is melted (or melt in a small saucepan over medium-low heat). If the mixture appears gritty, that’s ok. If the mixture is hot, set aside for a few minutes until it’s warm.
Using a whisk or a rubber spatula, stir in vanilla extract. Add the eggs, one at a time, stirring after each one. Stir until the batter is thick and shiny. Add flour and stir until the mixture is well mixed and shiny. The batter will be thick. Spread evenly in the pan and smooth the top.
Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies comes out with a few moist crumbs, 20-25 minutes (when done baking, take the pan out of the oven to add the pecan layer on top).
While brownies are baking, make the pecan layer: Heat butter, sugar, and corn syrup/maple syrup together in a saucepan, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves. Let mixture cool slightly, then whisk in the rest of the ingredients, adding the chopped pecans last. Mix until combined. Gently pour the pecan mixture over the baked brownie, using a spoon or small offset spatula to carefully spread all the way to the edges. Bake until the pecan pie layer is golden and appear set, 20 to 25 minutes. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack. I recommend letting it set in the fridge for a few hours before slicing into squares.