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Homemade salted caramel turtle brownies begin with a batch of one bowl homemade brownies and are topped with pecans, homemade salted caramel, and a sprinkle of sea salt. They’re rich, decadent, and impress every time!

overhead image of salted caramel turtle brownies

Sharing salted caramel turtle brownies today *in hopes* that you’ll find time to make these salty, sweet, sticky, ooey, gooey, chocolatey, fudgy bites of decadence as soon as possible. They’re just like my regular homemade brownies but we’re adding delicious pecans, caramel on top, and a sprinkle sea salt for a little something extra.

Truth is, I wanted to share these brownies earlier, only I couldn’t because I kept miserably failing at the recipe. After three recipe disasters, I realized what I was doing wrong: I kept trying to bake homemade salted caramel into the brownies. Layering the caramel inside the brownies resulted in burnt edges and the caramel layer virtually disappearing. I kept imagining how perfect these calorie bombs would be so I tried one more time. Success! Aren’t we all motivated by dessert?

Learn from my mistakes and follow this recipe closely. Let’s get started!

salted caramel turtle brownies on a silver plate with a fork

Why We Love Salted Caramel Turtle Brownies

So much to love about these brownies!

  • Easy, one bowl homemade brownies
  • Sweet, salty, crunchy, and gooey in every bite
  • Rich, decadent, and totally over the top
  • Makes a lot of brownies so it’s a perfect recipe for a crowd
  • They’re incredibly impressive and no one will know just how easy they are to make
  • Topped with pecans, homemade salted caramel, and a sprinkle of sea salt
  • Did I mention salted caramel?

What are turtle candies? Turtle candies are candy clusters made with pecans, caramel, and chocolate. So there’s no confusion, there are no actual animal turtles in today’s post. 🙂

turtle brownie batter in a glass bowl with a wood spoon

Turtle Brownie Batter

We use my favorite recipe for homemade brownies as the base of this recipe. A one-bowl recipe! I used this particular brownie base because it makes a large 9×13 pan, perfect for large gatherings and can support the decadent toppings.

pouring salted caramel sauce onto brownies in a baking pan

Topping for Salted Caramel Turtle Brownies

I wanted to incorporate homemade salted caramel into these brownies, not store-bought caramel candies. Why? Because homemade salted caramel is liquid gold! Made with 4 simple ingredients, it takes just a few minutes to prepare. It’s a reader favorite recipe, marking its spot in the top 10 most popular recipes on my website. It’s sweet, sticky, buttery, and tastes phenomenal on anything it touches. Here are 50 ways to eat salted caramel!

Instead of baking salted caramel into the brownies, we pour slightly cooled salted caramel ON TOP of the warm brownies. Like a caramel blanket of sorts. (!!!) The salted caramel slightly thickens as the brownies cool. Then, when cutting, the salted caramel gently seeps over the edges. YES!

overhead image of salted caramel turtle brownies with a pecan on top of each brownie square

Turtle Brownie Success Tips

For best results:

  1. Layer the brownies in one layer. The salted caramel on top stays a little sticky so I do not recommend stacking these brownies.
  2. Slice them small because they are pretty rich.
  3. These can be made as a smaller batch! Make my chewy brownies and pour about 3/4 cup of the salted caramel on top. Super simple.
  4. Not a fan of nuts? That’s ok, you can leave out the pecans. The brownies will no longer be turtle-y though. Just plain ol’ salted caramel brownies. Which definitely isn’t a bad thing.
salted caramel turtle brownie on a silver plate with a fork

More Caramel Recipes

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overhead image of salted caramel turtle brownies

Salted Caramel Turtle Brownies

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours, 15 minutes
  • Yield: 24 brownies 1x
  • Category: Brownies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


Salted caramel turtle brownies are deliciously rich with homemade salted caramel and pecans!


  • 3/4 cup (12 Tbsp; 175g) unsalted butter
  • one 4 ounce (113g) semi-sweet chocolate bar, coarsely chopped*
  • 2 cups (400g) granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (82g) unsweetened natural or dutch-process cocoa powder*
  • 1 cup (125g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (120g) chopped pecans
  • 1 cup (180g) semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup (full recipe) homemade salted caramel


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Line a 9×13 inch pan pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on the sides to lift the finished brownies/caramel out of the pan as a whole. This makes cutting easier. I recommend parchment paper because the caramel won’t really stick to it.
  2. In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the butter and 2 ounces of chopped chocolate. Melt in 30 second increments, whisking after each, until completely smooth. Whisk in the sugar until completely combined, then whisk in the eggs and vanilla. The batter will be light brown and a little dull looking.
  3. Add the cocoa powder, flour, salt, remaining 2 ounces of chopped chocolate, pecans, and chocolate chips. Fold it all together with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon. Batter will be very thick. Spread evenly into prepared pan.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes, then test the brownies with a toothpick. Insert it into the center of the pan. If it comes out with wet batter, the brownies are not done. If there are only a few moist crumbs, the brownies are done. Keep checking every 2 minutes until you have moist crumbs. My brownies take 31-32 minutes.
  5. Remove from the oven and pour slightly cooled salted caramel on top of hot brownies. Spread it evenly on top. If desired, and if you like very salty/sweet, sprinkle top with coarse salt. Place the pan on a wire rack to cool completely before cutting into squares. I like to stick the pan in the refrigerator to speed things up.
  6. Cover and store leftover brownies at room temperature for up to 1 week.


  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: Brownies, with or without caramel, freeze well up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator then bring to room temperature before serving.
  2. Chocolate: Chocolate bars are typically sold in 4 ounce bars. 2 ounces will be melted down into the batter and 2 ounces will be chopped up and folded into the batter. I suggest Ghirardelli, Baker’s brand, or Lindt.
  3. Cocoa Powder: You can use either natural or dutch-process cocoa powder. I prefer dutch-process for a smoother flavor.
  4. Smaller Batch: Make these chewy fudgy brownies and pour about 3/4 cup of the salted caramel on top.

Keywords: salted caramel brownies, turtle brownies

Kidding! There IS a turtle in today’s post.

(Franklin found one in the yard!)

franklin in the grass with a turtle

Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. We had these for dessert on Christmas and they were delicious! I already had a batch of your salted caramel sauce in the fridge, so I just warmed it up a little bit and poured it over. I sent all the other leftovers home with other people, but those stayed here with us!

  2. Just wow! I made these and brought them to work for a coworker’s birthday and everyone loved them and hated me for ruining their diets. This brownie recipe could totally stand alone but the caramel makes them insane. Pretty simple to make also. Thanks!!

  3. I made these for our New Year’s Eve celebration. They were amazing! I did have a little trouble with the caramel sauce, but I think that’s because I am new to even attempting anything like that. It also didn’t help that I dropped the measuring cup with the cream in it as I was adding it in. Even so – These are so decadent and everyone raved about them that night. Another winner!

  4. This is brilliant. An excellent recipe and an excellent end product. I cannot thank you enough for coming up with it. I’ve made this twice already and I loved it, and so did anyone else who tasted it. Thank you SO much. You, madam, are a GENIUS!

  5. This is sucha treat Sally!
    I need some advice though.. I poured the slightly warm salted caramel sauce onto the hot brownies and left it to cool on the counter. I had a hard tims getting it out because it seeped to the side of the brownies. Should i chill it right away after i pured it? Or maybe should i cool the salted caramel thouroughly so its thicker before pouring it? Helpppp i want it to be pretty like yours 🙁

    1. Hi Chris! I suggest removing the brownies as a whole (using the parchment paper overhanging on the sides from lining the pan) then pouring caramel on top.

  6. Hi, Sally! I would love to make these for someone’s birthday at work, but am nervous about bringing something in with pecans… can I omit them/substitute chocolate chips?


  7. I made this yesterday and it was truly the most delectable dessert! Thank you for the recipe.
    I made a few changes in the original recipe. I used 200gms of sugar instead of 400g and added a cup of chopped dates. I used almonds and walnuts instead of pecans. In place of butter I used ‘malai’, which is cream which settles on top of boiled n cooled milk.
    Thank you again.

  8. Delicious! Made these in mini-muffin form (without nuts) for daughter’s class birthday treat. Luckiest class on the planet! Everything turned out great. Made 2 versions of caramel: with and without salt. It was hard to wrap them up for givevaway…and harder not to just eat all the sauce with a spoon! Thanks for great recipes!!

  9. These were over the top delicious! I decided to take these to a girl’s game night for a bunch of health fanatics, so I was worried no one would eat them, but they went fast because no one could resist. Thanks for another great recipe Sally! The only changes I made were to sub chocolate drizzled almonds in for the pecans due to my kids allergies and I had the chocolate drizzled almonds on hand and 2 oz of the chopped chocolate I used was unsweetened because I only had 2 oz of semisweet.

  10. Can I swirl some of the caramel throughout the brownie batter (layering in the pan and swirling with a knife, like you do with Nutella brownies) for extra flavor? And maybe toss in a handful of semisweet chocolate chips along with the pecans for texture… 🙂

    1. When I tried to swirl the caramel into the batter it resulted in burnt edges and the caramel disappearing. You can certainly add chocolate chips or nuts!

  11. Hi Sally! I tried this recipe a few days ago. The caramel turned out very hard after I poured it on top of the brownie. It was so hard to cut through let alone biting it. I wonder if I did sth wrong when I made the caramel. You did say in the recipe to remove the mixture from heat when the butter separates. I removed the pan & tried stirring it for a good long time but the caramel & the butter wouldn’t mix, so I thought I would just mix the heavy cream.

    1. Hi Pattrycia! It sounds like the salted caramel was over-cooked. It shouldn’t be rock hard. Rather, it’s more of a chewy texture on top of the brownies. Make sure you’re using a nice sturdy and thick pot for the caramel. Make sure the butter is at room temperature and vigorously whisk it off heat if it begins to separate. Additionally, add another Tablespoon or 2 of heavy cream to thin out the caramel. This will help ensure that it doesn’t “set” into a brittle texture.

  12. these were SO. GOOD. the salted caramel sauce is delicious and the chunks of pecan in the brownies really make them. the only thing is the caramel sauce can get a little hard, but if you microwave the brownie for about 15 seconds before you eat it, and ESPECIALLY if you eat it with a little vanilla bean ice cream… earth-shattering

  13. I made these yesterday & they are amazing!! Chocolate & caramel is a match made in heaven. The brownies are chocolatey, nutty, sticky perfection. And served over a couple of scoops of vanilla ice cream even better!! Everyone loved them & I can’t wait to make them again. Thanks for another keeper Sally!

  14. Hi Sally- about to try your recipe and was wondering if I baked the brownies for 15-20 minutes, then poured the salted caramel over and swirled it a little, how you think it would turn out. I saw in previous comments that swirling before putting in the oven didn’t work and burned the edges, but wasn’t sure if this was a good solution or not.

    1. This might be the only way left I haven’t tested this recipe 🙂 I would be afraid that the top would already be relatively set after 20 minutes so not able to really swirl. Let me know if you decide to test it!

  15. Hi Sally,
    Why fold in chopped chocolate and chocolate chips? Wouldn’t they serve the same purpose?
    Could I increase the chocolate chips? Or they’re different?

    1. You can certainly leave out or replace the remaining two ounces of chopped chocolate that gets folded in at the end. I love the variety of texture – the chopped chocolate turns into melted pools of chocolate while the chocolate chips maintain their shape and harder texture.

  16. Hi Sally,

    I don’t have baking chocolate on hand. Can I use a regular chocolate bar like one from Ghirardelli or Lindt?

    Thank you

  17. Absolutely the most delicious brownies I’ve ever made or eaten. Excellent recipe!

  18. These brownies were so good! My 12 year old daughter made these. I was surprised at how well she did with making the caramel. I just helped her follow the directions exactly and it turned out great.

  19. I baked these for my family for Mother’s day and my cousin’s birthday, and everyone told me that these were the best brownies they have ever tasted…. super decadent and rich chocolate taste!!!! Definitely gonna be my go-to brownie recipe. Thank you Sally <3

  20. I never comment on anything but this was so easy to follow and are so amazing!!

  21. A few weeks ago, I made this in two pans, one with the salted caramel, one without. They were both delicious, but I loved the salted caramel one more. It’s so hard to find a salted caramel dark chocolate brownie where I am, so this is such a gem! I just made another batch because it was so popular, my family wanted more. This time I made it in one pan, with salted caramel drizzle because I was out of ingredients to make another batch of salted caramel. Thank you for the recipe, it’s definitely one I’d use again and again!

  22. These look wonderful, any thoughts on high altitude adjustments for the brownies?

    1. Hi Marie! We wish we could help, but we have no experience baking at high altitude. We know some readers have found this chart helpful:

  23. These are to die for! I used walnuts instead of pecans and had to reduce cooking time for my tiny counter-top oven. They were so delicious! I took a tray to work (all demolished within minutes with very generous compliments!) and had another tray at home. Thanks for this recipe – best ever!!

  24. Followed recipe as directed, including the homemade caramel, and it turned out perfectly. Delicious and fudgey. Will be making again and again. Thanks for the great recipe!

  25. Hi Sally, I love this recipe and make it often. I want to wrap each square to include in hamper gifts. Is it possible to spread half the batter then the salted caramel then the rest of the batter, before baking? So it would be neatly wrapped?
    Thank you!

    1. Hi Rania! We don’t recommend it. Layering the caramel inside the brownies resulted in burnt edges and the caramel layer virtually disappearing. Best to stick with the caramel as a top layer here.

  26. Have made your salted caramel multiple times with rave reviews and was craving a caramel brownie. Think I might use some of my excess hazelnuts instead of the pecans and see how it all blends. I’ll let ya know!!!