Salted Caramel Turtle Brownies

How to make salted caramel turtle brownies with homemade salted caramel and one bowl brownies!! Recipe on

Sharing salted caramel turtle brownies today *in hopes* that you still have room left on your Christmas baking list.

And even if not, salted caramel turtle brownies will squeeze their salty, sweet, sticky, ooey, gooey, chocolate, fudgy selves onto your Christmas baking list anyway. Also, so there’s no confusion, turtles are those candy clusters with pecans, caramel, and chocolate. There are no actual animal turtles in today’s post.

How to make salted caramel turtle brownies with homemade salted caramel and one bowl brownies!! Recipe on

Truth is, I wanted to share these brownies earlier in December part of the cookie palooza. Only I couldn’t because I kept miserably failing at the recipe. And just the other day… another failed batch. I was ready to throw in the towel this past Tuesday, but kept imagining how perfect these calorie bombs would be on all of our cookie platters this weekend. I was motivated by dessert. Aren’t we all?

So here’s 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. “Did you forget to put the caramel in?” No, Kevin, I didn’t. It seeped and baked right into the batter. Or it got tired of all the Christmas music I’ve been listening too and just left. Either could be possible at this point.

Failed batch 2: then I tried making the salted caramel, chilling it until relatively solid, then chopping it up to stir into the brownie batter. This just created extra steps and took too long.

And failed batch 3: chopping up soft store-bought caramels and stirring those into the batter along with chopped pecans. Less steps? Yes. Delicious? Oh gosh yes. But it’s not homemade salted caramel sauce. Store-bought caramels will never be homemade salted caramel sauce. 🙁

I tried one more time.

Here's how to make salted caramel turtle brownies! Recipe on

Here's how to make salted caramel turtle brownies! Recipe on

What if we just poured slightly cooled salted caramel ON TOP of the warm brownies. Sort of like a caramel blanket of sorts. (!!!) The salted caramel would slightly thicken as the brownies cool. Then, when cutting, the salted caramel would gently seep over the edges. This could work. And, my baking friends, this could be beautiful.

How to make salted caramel turtle brownies with homemade salted caramel and one bowl brownies!! Recipe on

Sometimes the simple lazy girl method wins the race. And I think we’re all ok with that!

Real quick, 2 things:

  1. 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.
  2. The brownie base is my recent seriously fudgy brownies recipe. A one-bowl recipe! I used this particular brownie base because it makes a large 9×13 pan, perfect for large gatherings this time of year. Want to make a smaller batch? See my recipe note.

The salted caramel on top stays a little sticky so I do not recommend stacking the brownies. I do recommend slicing them a little smaller because they’re quite rich. And serving with a napkin. And maybe a warning label. And a gym membership.

How to make salted caramel turtle brownies with homemade salted caramel and one bowl brownies!! Recipe on

Salted caramel brownies

Salted Caramel Turtle Brownies

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours, 15 minutes
  • Yield: 24 brownies
  • 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 (95g) 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 this summer ♥)


Merry Christmas!!

How to make salted caramel turtle brownies with homemade salted caramel and one bowl brownies!! Recipe on


  1. Happy New Year! So glad you figured out the salted caramel brownie riddle: I finally gave up a few years ago after too many failed experiments.
    Quick question: What kind of salt? (kosher? Maldon? fine sea? Pink Himalayan? Obviously I have a salt hoarding situation, but I’m woefully ignorant when it comes to knowing which one to actually use when/how)


    1. Salt hoarding… lol!

      So I like to use kosher salt in most of my baking recipes. For topping desserts– and most of my cooking– I use coarse or fine sea salt.

  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.  My mom use to buy 2 cans of Borden condense milk. In a deep pan fill with water enough to cover the two cans. Boil for 3 hrs. Making sure never to let the water run low. Flip the cans over every hour. At the end of the 3 hrs using a large bowl, with the can facing downward in the bowl with a can opener ready to pierce the can, some of the Carmel will squirt out,continue to open can. When you’re done opening both cans, stir. The carmel will thicken in a short time. It is great. Could this be used over the brownies. 

  5. 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!

  6. 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.

      1. I forgot to ask! What should i do to thicken it more? Does the whipping cream actually thicken the sauce or loosen it further? I promise this is the last question thank you

  7. 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?


      1. I made these today without the pecans (put 1/2 c. of semi-sweet chocolate chips in instead) and they are absolutely delicious!

  8. 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.

  9. I wonder…what if you put 1/2 of the brownie mix and baked it for like 15 min and then poured the caramel sauce and put the rest of the brownie batter on top and finished cooking at for another 15 or so minutes? I really love the idea of caramel in the middle! Thoughts?

    1. I think that sounds great, but I’m fearful the top layer won’t have enough time in the oven. Let me know if you try it.

  10. 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!!

  11. 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.

  12. 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!

  13. 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.

      1. Thanks Sally for answering my questions & clearing my doubts. I wonder how I would know if the caramel is already over-cooked.

  14. 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

  15. 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!

1 2

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

With kitchen-tested quality recipes and step-by-step tutorials, my goal is to give you the confidence to bake and cook from scratch.

Recipes You’ll Love



Sally's Baking Challenge

Join the community on the 1st of every month as we tackle a new challenge recipe.

View More

Sally's Cookie Palooza

A tradition since 2013, every December we countdown to Christmas with 10 new cookie recipes in a row!

View More

Sally's Pie Week

The first week of every November is all about Thanksgiving Pies.

View More

My Cookbooks

About Sally

Welcome to my Kitchen!

I’m Sally, a cookbook author, photographer, and blogger. My goal is to give you the confidence and knowledge to cook and bake from scratch while providing quality recipes and plenty of pictures. Grab a cookie, take a seat, and have fun exploring! more about Sally