Turtle Brownies are rich, fudgy brownies bursting with chocolate chips and pecans, and they’re slathered in a quick salted caramel sauce. These brownies come together in one bowl in just 10 minutes, and bake in 20 minutes. Enjoy these brownies warm from the oven for the ultimate dessert experience!
This recipe is sponsored by our friends at DeLallo. Thanks for supporting the brands that make Blue Bowl possible! All opinions are my own.
Why you’ll love these Caramel Turtle Brownies:
- Rich, Fudgy Brownies – My fudgy brownies come together in no time, with deep chocolate flavor and the perfect moist, fudgy texture. No dry brownies here!
- Gooey Caramel Sauce – An easy 10-minute salted caramel sauce dresses up these turtle brownies. It’s perfectly balanced and not too sweet.
- Pecans – Chopped pecans pair beautifully with the chocolate and caramel flavors in these brownies.
- Easy Dessert – This recipe is easy enough for any skill level of baker to successfully make, and these are the best turtle brownies!
As always, the full recipe with measurements & directions can be found at the bottom of this post.
- Butter – I always use salted buter for the best flavor, but feel free to use unsalted butter if you prefer.
- Semi-Sweet & Milk Chocolate – I use a mix of each for rich chocolate flavor that’s not too sweet and not too dark.
- Vegetable Oil – Oil keeps brownies moist and fudgy, while butter provides more flavor. So, I use a mix of each for the best of both worlds!
- Cocoa Powder – I prefer natural cocoa powder in my brownies, but you could use dutch process here for a darker chocolate flavor. They’re not interchangeable when rising agents (baking powder or soda) are involved, but since we don’t have that in brownies, you can use either!
- Eggs – Use large eggs, at room temperature.
- Sugar – I like to use a mix of granulated sugar and brown sugar for added depth of flavor.
- DeLallo Instant Espresso Powder – DeLallo’s Instant Espresso Powder intensifies the chocolate flavor of this cake without making it taste like coffee. It’s one of my best baking tricks!
- All-Purpose Flour – Flour adds structure. Spoon & level your flour for best results, or use a scale. Scooping the measuring cup directly in will lead to too much flour.
- Pecans – Chop your pecans on a cutting board so the pieces aren’t too large.
- Chocolate Chips – Chocolate chips add extra chocolate richness & also help create that crackly, shiny top!
- Dairy-free – Use your favorite, trusted dairy-free butter and heavy cream to make this recipe dairy-free.
- Gluten-free – I have not tested a gluten-free version of this recipe. Let me know if you do try it, as it’s always helpful to hear about substitutions!
- Nut Allergy – Feel free to leave out the nuts and make these as decadent caramel brownies if you can’t have nuts. You could also use walnuts if you prefer them to pecans.
How to Make this Turtle Brownies Recipe Step-by-Step:
Step 1: Make Caramel Topping. Cook sugar until it melts, then whisk in butter and heavy cream. This caramel comes together in just 10 minutes! Set aside to cool while you make everything else. This can be made up to 1 week ahead.
Step 2: Make Brownie Batter. Melt chocolate and butter together in a large bowl, in the microwave. Whisk in the cocoa powder and vegetable oil, then whisk in the sugars, eggs, vanilla, and salt. Stir in the flour and espresso powder last, stopping when a few streaks of flour remain. Stir in the chopped pecans and chocolate chips.
Step 3: Bake Brownies. Spread batter in a lined 9×13 baking pan and top with more chopped pecans and chocolate chips. Bake as directed in the recipe card below for best results.
Step 4: Pour Caramel Over Brownies. Let the baked brownies cool for 20-30 minutes, then pour caramel sauce over the top of the brownies. Add a sprinkle of flaky sea salt, too!
Serving + Storing these Caramel Pecan Brownies:
Let the brownies cool at least 1 hour before slicing. The longer you let them cool, the more easily they’ll hold a shape, but I do like to dive in while they’re still warm and the caramel layer is gooey. Store cooled brownies in an airtight container in the fridge for 4-6 days (due to the caramel sauce). Let come to room temperature for 10-30 minutes before enjoying.
Expert Success Tips for Homemade Brownies:
- Oven Thermometer – An oven thermometer will tell you if your oven is actually running at the temperature you set it to. Your oven may not be accurate. Accurate oven temperature is crucial for most bakes, so I leave an oven thermometer in at all times to keep an eye on my oven’s calibration.
- Kitchen Scale – A food scale is the best way to make sure your flour is at the proper weight, since amounts will vary SO widely based on how you measure it, as well as the measuring cup you use, as they are not standardized.
- Don’t Over Bake – A toothpick should never come out clean from the center of a pan of brownies. It should have moist crumbs at the edges, and have thickened batter/crumbs in the center. It will have a *slight* jiggle when you remove the pan from the oven.
- Quick Chill – Pop the pan of turtle brownies into your fridge after they’ve been out of the oven for 10-15 minutes. Chill them in the fridge for 30-40 minutes to quickly cool them so you can cut them sooner. They won’t be chilled completely – it just speeds the cooling process.
Your sugar likely wasn’t melted all the way when you added the butter. See my 10-Minute Salted Caramel Sauce recipe post for an in depth look at this recipe with troubleshooting tips.
A half batch of this recipe can be baked in an 8×8 pan or a loaf pan if you want thicker brownies. A half batch in an 8×8 pan will have a similar bake time, and will likely need at least 8-10 minutes more in a loaf pan, but start low. You can always add more time! You can double the recipe and bake in a 9×13 pan for extra thick brownies. Bake time will be around 40-50 minutes for a double batch.
- Chocolate – Feel free to use milk or dark chocolate chips if you prefer them to semi-sweet chocolate chips. Chocolate chunks or chopped chocolate bars work, too.
- Caramel – You can use store-bought caramel sauce in a pinch, but I truly think nothing compares to the taste of homemade!
- Brownie Mix – Pinched for time? Use your favorite boxed brownie mix, adding the pecans and chocolate chips into the batter as directed here, then top with my homemade caramel sauce and you’ll still have delicious brownies!
- Nuts – Swap walnuts for pecans if you don’t like pecans, or omit the nuts if you have a nut allergy. You could try chopped pretzel twists in their place for a crunch!
- 9×9 Pan – A ceramic or metal 9×13 pan is ideal for this recipe.
- Offset Spatula – An offset spatula makes spreading batter a breeze, and I use it for tons of things – especially when frosting cakes, bars, etc.
More Brownie Recipes to Love:
- Gooey S’mores Brownies
- Fudgy Gluten-Free Brownies
- Black Forest Brownies
- Layered Mint Chocolate Brownies
- Salted Caramel Pretzel Brownies
Did you make this recipe? Snap a photo and leave a comment!
Decadent Turtle Brownies
Salted Caramel Sauce
- 1 cup granulated sugar 210 grams
- 6 tbsp salted butter, cubed 85 grams
- 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp heavy cream
- pinch of flaky sea salt
For the Brownies
- 1/2 cup salted butter 170 grams
- 2 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped use a baking bar or good quality chocolate chips
- 2 ounces milk chocolate, chopped use a baking bar or good quality chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup cocoa powder 87 grams
- 1 and 1/2 cups granulated sugar 312 grams
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed 110 grams
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, spooned & leveled 65 grams
- 2 tsp DeLallo Instant Espresso Powder Use 1-2 tbsp if you want an espresso flavor in your brownies. 2 tsp will not make them taste like coffee – it will enhance the chocolate flavor!
- 1 and 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup + 1 handful extra pecans, roughly chopped
- Prep: Preheat your oven to 350° F. Grease a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray and line with parchment paper.
- Make Caramel Sauce: Make the caramel sauce according to my salted caramel sauce recipe, linked here.
- Make the Brownie Batter: Melt the butter, the 2 ounces of semisweet, and the 2 ounces of milk chocolate together in a large microwave-safe mixing bowl. Melt in 30 second intervals, stirring between each, until fully melted and smooth. Whisk in the oil, then the cocoa powder. Add the sugars, and whisk until just combined. Add the eggs, vanilla, and salt, and whisk until combined, then continue whisking for 30 seconds. Fold in the flour and espresso powder, stopping when a few streaks of flour remain. Fold in 1 cup of chocolate chips and 1/2 cup of pecans.
- Bake: Spread the batter evenly in your prepared pan, and scatter the remaining 1/4 cup chocolate chips and handful of pecans on top. Bake for 19 to 25 minutes. A toothpick inserted into the center should pull out moist crumbs, not wet batter, and should come out clean at the edges. (You can also use the tip of a knife to lift up a little piece from the center to see the doneness more clearly, if you have a hard time judging when brownies are done). It should look like thick batter that's still a tad undercooked, but shouldn't look like complete liquid. The brownies will set up as they cool.
- Serve & Store: Let brownies cool in the pan on a wire rack for 30-60 minutes before slicing and serving. Just before slicing, pour on the caramel sauce. Use as much as you like! Tip: When brownies are ready to slice, you should be able to lift the brownies out of the pan by the parchment paper overhang without it feeling like they'll buckle in the middle. Store leftover brownies – cooled to room temp – in an airtight container in the fridge for 4-5 days. Let sit out at room temperature for 10-30 minutes before enjoying. If you don't add the caramel over top, you can store the brownies at room temp and add caramel to individual slices.