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Fudgy Nutella Brownies with Salted Caramel Sauce (Photo by Viana Boenzli)
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5 from 2 votes

Fudgy Nutella Brownies with Salted Caramel Sauce

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?! It's my new favorite brownie recipe, and I think it will be yours too.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: nutella brownies, salted caramel sauce
Servings: 9 brownies
Calories: 545kcal

Equipment

  • Handheld electric mixer or stand mixer with paddle attachment
  • 9 x 9 inch baking dish

Ingredients

Fudgy Nutella Brownies

  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar, packed
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup salted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup chocolate chips or chopped chocolate, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup Nutella
  • Butter or vegetable shortening for greasing the pan

Salted Caramel Sauce

  • cup water
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons salted butter
  • ¼ cup heavy whipping cream
  • Coarse sea salt (like Maldon)

Instructions

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. 

Notes

 
  • Variations
    • More Nutella! - 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.
    • Nutty - Sprinkle some chopped nuts on top of the brownie batter for a nutty crunch or a sprinkle of powdered sugar after baking...or both!
    • A la mode - Serve brownies a la mode, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top of the brownie, then pour the caramel sauce over everything!
 
  • Brownie tips
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 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.
 
 
 

Nutrition

Calories: 545kcal | Carbohydrates: 67g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 29g | Sodium: 225mg | Potassium: 181mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 56g | Vitamin A: 590IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 58mg