Salted Caramel Turtle Brownies

Homemade salted caramel turtle brownies begin with a batch of one bowl 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 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 brownie recipe
  • 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 fudgy 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
  • 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 (85g) 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


  1. Oh Sally, this is perfect! I’ve been trying and failing to add your amazing salted caramel to the brownies I make for so long now. This is an awesome idea. Thanks so much for all you do! You’re the reason I can bake at all!

  2. Andrea @ Cooking with a Wallflower says:

    Omg, Sally! These brownies have my name all over them! Salted caramel, omg, a blanket of caramel, on brownies sound like the ultimate dessert!! And I seriously cannot wait to try these! And haha, I don’t know I would feel if there was an actual turtle in these brownies. But these brownies! <3

    1. I’ve gotten questions on my turtle cookies before about why they are called “turtle” cookies. So I had to preface the recipe with that haha!

  3. Yum! These look so delicious!
    I love your ‘eat dessert first’ fork!

  4. Marina @ A Dancer's Live-It says:

    I’ve actually been waiting til the last second to bake Christmas things because I wanted to weigh out ALL my options before choosing what to make. Now that you posted these brownies, I definitely know which recipe wins! 😉

  5. Michelle @ Brown Butter and Biscuits says:

    Oh my goodness, these are a few of my favorite things! Chocolate, caramel and pecans?! My mouth is watering! Also great to hear about your trials and failures before landing on the perfect recipe!!

  6. These are next on my list! Also, I believe you left off the “9×13” in step 1 of the instructions. Thanks for the continuous source of yum.

  7. Sorry you had so many struggles with these! I hope the final result makes you feel justified 🙂 They are beautiful and incredibly delicious, I’m sure 😀

  8. Tori// says:

    Oh my, I’m so down with these gorgeous things! Definitely a must try!

  9. Hi….I plan on making these ….. looks so yummy. In your notes above the recipe you mention that it makes a large 9×13 pan. Altho it doesn’t say in the actual recipe directions, I assume you are using a 9×13 pan. It only says to “Line pan w/parchment paper”. I want to print it out & I want to make sure it is 9×13. Thank you so much.

    1. Hi Patricia! My apologies, it’s a 9×13 inch pan.

  10. Sophie Stewart says:

    These sound amazing, I think my mum would love them! Sophie x

  11. Oh my god these look sooo good!

    x Annabelle

  12. Here’s my advice for adding caramel to the brownies themselves. Use solid salted or plain caramels, chop them up and either mix them into the batter or layer them over half the batter and then cover them. works great. FRENCH salted caramels have a softness that blends well with the brownie texture.

  13. These look great, yum! Where is the cute fork from?

  14. Kayle (The Cooking Actress) says:

    I feel you on the frustrations of trying to bake with homemade salted caramel sauce-been there! So glad you figured out this solution, though–that layer of thick and delicious salted caramel on top of the fudgy brownies with the tasty crunchy pecans…yum yum yum!

  15. Merry Christmas, Sally! I’ve been trying to decide what dessert to take to a holiday party and of course, you save the day as usual. ☺ Turtle sundaes are my absolute favorite! In my opinion, you can never go wrong with salty sweet. Hot fudge, gooey caramel, salty pecans, what’s not to love?! ♡

    1. Glad I posted this just in time! Have a great party!! 🙂

      1. Thank you!

  16. OMG I never thought about making brownies like this. Turtles, and all chocolate/caramel combinations, are some of my favourite Christmas chocolates. I literally don’t have any room on my baking list for Christmas 🙁 but there’s a reason my New Year’s resolution isn’t to eat less sweets – I HAVE to make these in January! P.S Such a cute pic of Franklin & the turtle. Every summer, the creek in the forest behind my house is just crawling with them 😉

    1. They would make a great New Years dessert too! 😉

  17. Oh what cute Eat Dessert First forks! Where ever did you find those?

    1. Isn’t is adorable?! It was a gift but here is one from ETSY:

      1. thanks this was what I was going to ask, the food looks yummy

  18. Denise Buechel says:

    Hi Sally., I made you salt choc chip. And there terrible. I don’t know what I did wrong. There flat taste undercooked had to toss them in the trash. I followed your recipe to the tee. You say on your recipe that the dough will be sticky. Which it was. So I wrapped the dough in Sarah wrap. And chilled over night. When I was ready to bake them ., I took out of the refig . And waited till the over heated up until the right temp. We have a thermosstat in the over . So I no the temp was perfect. I rolled the balls just as you said. And spaced them out on the cookie sheet and cooked them for the right amount of time. But like I said the cookies never rose. And they spreaders out a little bit. But I couldn’t even pick them up with them falling apart. The only thing I can of. Is maybe the dough got too soft. My hands were covered in chocolate . More than when I cooked your chewy choc chip. I think Maybe they need more flour. 

    1. Hi Denise! The dough maybe got too soft. Which recipe are you referring to? Salted caramel chocolate chip cookies?

  19. Sara @ Last Night's Feast says:

    Yum! I can’t wait to try these!

  20. That salted caramel looks so good!

  21. Tiffany at Weird Little French Cookie says:

    I seriously cannot wait to make these! This is going on the to-bake list for right after the holidays. Thanks again for another mouth-watering recipe 🙂

    1. Tiffany at Weird Little French Cookie says:

      I made these and I feel sick now from how many I’ve eaten – these are some seriously good brownies. And your salted caramel is now my go-to caramel recipe.

      1. They’re honestly my favorite. I’m glad you love the caramel too!

  22. These looks divine Sally and I am so pleased after several attempts, you came up with a winner! Merry Christmas to you and your family and Happy Holiday xxx

  23. Simply delicious! BTW- Your photography is Beautiful!!

  24. I’m trying to find where the 1 C of semi-sweet chocolate chips is used. Help please 🙂

    1. Nevermind. Finally found it after reading 3 times. Maybe I need to get my eyes checked!

  25. I always love your recipes! Whenever I bring anything to a party, I always come to you for help for what to make! You never let me down! 🙂 Haven’t actually tried these yet, but I made them–will try them tonight–can’t wait!! Merry Christmas!!!

  26. I don’t even notice the beautiful brownies in the pictures surprisingly, I notice the fork!

    1. 🙂 I got the fork as a gift but you can find similar on Etsy:

  27. Sally these are gorgeous and will definitely be on my New Years Eve dessert list

    1. Let me know how you like them!!

  28. 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!

    1. You have to hoard these for yourself. Haha I don’t blame you!

  29. These look beautiful! I love all your recipes because they always turn out so delicious. Can’t wait to try these. Caramel on anything tastes amazing!

  30. Valentina | The Baking Fairy says:

    These look scrumptious, and that gooey caramel layer on top is seriously dreamy! 

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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