For the best fudgy Nutella brownies, my recipe has Nutella on the inside and salted caramel sauce on the crackly top. Chocolate & salted caramel & Nutella?! OMG, right?! The Nutella flavor is subtle and the perfect complement to the rich flavor of the chocolate, and the salted caramel sauce just takes these brownies to a whole new level of amazing! It’s my new favorite brownie recipe, and I think it will be yours too.
If you’re anything like me, brownies are your kryptonite. I simply cannot resist warm brownies fresh from the oven, whether they’re cakey or fudgy, middle or corner piece, have a topping or not…they’re all delicious! That being said, however, I’ve come up with the perfect combination for the best brownies ever! Let’s just say that I’ve taste tested more than one. Okay, more than two. Okay, more than…well, you get the idea.
While regular chocolate brownies are scrumptious, brownies with Nutella are even better. I love Nutella, whether it’s swirled with peanut butter, or spread on toast, a banana, or even swirled with peanut butter, or even a chocolate chip cookie. So why not add it to brownies to take your dessert game to the next level!
In addition to tasting like heaven, what I love about these fudgy Nutella brownies is that they’re soooo easy to make from scratch. You probably have most, if not all, of the ingredients in your pantry already. And after you top them with my homemade caramel sauce, you’ll never buy brownie mix or caramel sauce at the store again! And if that isn’t exciting enough, my salted caramel sauce is made without a candy thermometer, so no need to go out and buy fancy equipment!
Confession Time: The first time I developed this fudgy Nutella brownie recipe was about a year ago. They were tasty, but too dense and a little too fudgy. I can’t believe I just said that anything was too fudgy, but it’s true (by the way, if you’re looking for homemade fudge, check out my easy fudge recipe). So it was time to reevaluate my recipe and change a few things. My old recipe used unsweetened cocoa powder, but I’ve replaced that with real chocolate chips. After lots of taste testing, I’m glad to tell you that this recipe is it! The brownies are still thick, moist, and fudgy, but not overly so. I hope you try it and let me know what you think!
Ingredients For Fudgy Nutella Brownies
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 c granulated sugar
1/4 c light brown sugar, packed
3/4 c all purpose flour
1/2 c salted butter, softened to room temperature
2 large eggs
1/2 c chocolate chips or chopped chocolate, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 c Nutella
Butter or vegetable shortening for greasing the pan
Ingredients For Caramel Sauce
1/8 c water
1/2 c granulated sugar
3 Tbsp salted butter
1/4 c heavy whipping cream
Coarse sea salt (like Maldon)
Handheld or stand mixer
9 x 9 baking pan
How To Make Fudgy Nutella Brownie Batter
Preheat oven to 350℉. Melt chocolate chips by microwaving for 30 seconds, then giving them a stir, then repeat microwaving for 15 seconds, then stirring, a few more times until the chocolate is smooth. While it’s still warm, stir together the melted chocolate with the Nutella.
Using a handheld or stand mixer, cream together the butter and both sugars for about three minutes. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix again. Next, add the chocolate/Nutella and mix just until smooth.
In a separate bowl, stir together the flour and salt. Finally, add this to the wet ingredients and again mix just until smooth. The consistency of the batter will be quite thick, but no worries, this is to be expected.
Using a rubber spatula, spread the batter into a greased 9″ x 9″ baking pan, making sure to scrape all of that chocolate-hazelnut yumminess into the pan.
Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean. Also, give the brownie pan a shake. If there’s any jiggle, give them just a few more minutes and then they’ll be ready.
Easy Caramel Sauce Recipe
Learning how to make caramel sauce is easy, but it can also be a little bit finicky. Once you learn to make your own, though, and realize how easy and absolutely delicious it is, there will be no turning back.
Note: No candy thermometer is used in making this caramel sauce.
A second note: This entire process will only take about 10 minutes, so stay at the stove and keep a close eye on your caramel sauce, as things happen quickly.
Add water to a small pot. Very carefully, pour the sugar into the center of the pot. Don’t worry if the sugar is slightly higher than the water level, it will get soaked in as it cooks. Turn the heat to low-medium. Do not, I repeat do not stir and do not move the pot. If the sugar touches the sides of the pot, it will turn brown and crystallize and you’ll have to start all over (see tips below).
The sugar water will begin to bubble rapidly. Just leave it be (be very careful with this bubbling sugar water, it’s extremely hot and will burn you badly). When it begins to turn a light amber color (this is caramelization!), remove it from the heat. Immediately add the butter and stir until melted. Lastly, add the heavy whipping cream and whisk until smooth (if the caramel sauce foams and bubbles up at this point, that’s fine and normal…keep whisking). Keep in mind that caramel sauce thickens as it cools.
Once the brownies are finished and have cooled a little bit, pour over the caramel sauce and sprinkle with coarse sea salt. My recipe makes about 1 cup of caramel sauce, so you’ll have some left over…save it! This stuff is liquid gold and amazing over ice cream, drizzled over popcorn, or homemade caramel apples!
I absolutely insist that you try these brownies…you will love them!
-The Nutella flavor in these brownies is subtle, so if you’d like even more hazelnut flavor, after you’ve spread the brownie batter into the baking pan, swirl some Nutella on top before baking.
-Sprinkle some chopped nuts on top of the brownie batter for a nutty crunch or a sprinkle of powdered sugar after baking…or both!
-Serve brownies a la mode, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top of the brownie, then pour the caramel sauce over everything!
- You’ll get the fudgiest brownies when they’re just slightly underbaked. So insert a toothpick in the center to check for doneness. You’ll know your brownies are finished baking when there are still a few crumbs…that’s the perfect time to the take them out of the oven. Also, give the brownie pan a shake. If there’s any jiggle, give them just a few more minutes and then they’ll be ready.
- Brownies will be easier to remove from the pan if you let them cool first. Once cooled, cut into nine pieces for large brownies or into smaller pieces to make brownie bites for the kids.
- If you prefer, you can grease the baking pan with butter, then line it with parchment paper (the greased pan will help hold the paper in place) before adding the brownie batter.
- How long do brownies last? While brownies are best within the first day or two, they’ll last up to four days when stored on the counter in an airtight container.
Caramel Sauce Tips
- Caramel sauce will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for at least several weeks. To reheat, just zap it in the microwave for a few seconds. While I have read that you can freeze brownies for up to 3 months, then reheat them in the oven, I haven’t tried it myself (let me know if you do!)
- How to thicken caramel sauce? Keeping in mind that caramel sauce will thicken quite a bit when it cools…if you’d like the sauce even thicker, heat it in a pot on the stove, over low heat, for 5-10 minutes (note that the color won’t get darker, but it will get thicker). Alternatively, if the sauce is too thick after it’s cooked, heat it again on the stove at a low temperature and whisk in a tablespoon or two of heavy whipping cream.
- Fun fact: Caramel sauce is gluten free.
- Side Note: Do you call it car-a-mel or car-mel?
Can You Fix Burnt Caramel Sauce?
Sorry, no. Here’s the science of it: In the first step of making caramel sauce, we want to dissolve the sugar into the water. Sugar is a crystal. If a wet crystal of sugar gets onto the side of the pan, the water will evaporate and the sugar will become a crystal again. If this dried crystal then gets mixed into the liquid again, it will start a chain reaction of forming more and more crystals…turning your mixture grainy, dark, and burned. This is the reason to not stir or touch the pot while it’s cooking (after adding the butter, it’s safe to whisk, as well as after adding the heavy whipping cream)…but sometimes it also happens due to plain bad luck. You may be able to recognize that crystallization has happened when the sugar water quickly turns a dark amber/brown color along an edge of the pot, which then spreads to the rest of the mixture (this is what has happened to me, anyway). If this happens, your caramel will have a burnt taste to it (not good). And unfortunately, the only solution is starting over. The good news is that it only takes about 10 minutes to make a new batch. If you love science (like me!), read more about the Science of Caramel.
Do you have a sweet tooth like me? Check out a few more of our delicious recipes:
- Easy Fudge Recipe
- Chocolate Cake in a Mug
- Strawberry Shortcake Waffles with Nutella
- Mint Chocolate Ganache Cheesecake
- Homemade Cinnamon Rolls
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes
- Raspberry Coconut Chocolate Truffles
- Irish Coffee Chocolate Mousse
- Chocolate Zucchini Bread
- How to Make Croissants (and Pain au Chocolat!)
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Fudgy Nutella Brownies with Salted Caramel Sauce
Fudgy Nutella Brownies
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3/4 c granulated sugar
- 1/4 c light brown sugar, packed
- 3/4 c all-purpose flour
- 1/2 c salted butter, softened to room temperature
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 c chocolate chips or chopped chocolate, melted
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 c Nutella
- Butter or vegetable shortening for greasing the pan
Salted Caramel Sauce
- 1/8 c water
- 1/2 c granulated sugar
- 3 Tbsp salted butter
- 1/4 c heavy whipping cream
- Coarse sea salt (like Maldon)
Fudgy Nutella Brownies
- Preheat oven to 350℉.
- Melt chocolate chips by microwaving for 30 seconds, then giving them a stir, then repeat microwaving for 15 seconds, then stirring, a few more times until the chocolate is smooth.
- While the melted chocolate is still warm, stir together the melted chocolate with the Nutella.
- Using a handheld or stand mixer, cream together the butter and both sugars for about three minutes.
- Add the eggs and vanilla and mix again.
- Next, add the chocolate/Nutella and mix just until smooth.
- In a separate bowl, stir together the flour and salt. Finally, add this to the wet ingredients and again mix just until smooth. The consistency of the batter will be quite thick, but no worries, this is to be expected.
- Using a rubber spatula, spread the batter into a greased 9″ x 9″ baking pan.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean. Also, give the brownie pan a shake. If there’s any jiggle, give them just a few more minutes and then they’ll be ready.
Salted Caramel Sauce
- Add water to a small pot.
- Very carefully, pour the sugar into the center of the pot. Don't worry if the sugar is slightly higher than the water level, it will get soaked in as it cooks.
- Turn the heat to low-medium. Do not, I repeat do not stir and do not move the pot.
- The sugar water will begin to bubble rapidly. Just leave it be (be very careful with this bubbling sugar water, it’s extremely hot and will burn you badly).
- When it begins to turn a light amber color (this is caramelization!), remove it from the heat.
- Immediately add the butter and stir until melted.
- Lastly, add the heavy whipping cream and whisk until smooth. Caramel sauce will thicken as it cools.
- Once the brownies are finished and have cooled a little bit, pour over the caramel sauce and sprinkle with coarse sea salt.
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