• Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cooking Time: 28 mins
  • Serves: 12

Salted Caramel Pretzel-Topped Fudge Brownies

  • Recipe Submitted by on

 Ingredients List

  • Salted Caramel Sauce:
  • 1/4 cup half-and-half or cream
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • about 12 caramels, unwrapped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • Note – If using storebought caramel sauce to save time, use about 2/3 cup to 3/4 cup (just eyeball it)
  • Brownies:
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/4 sticks), melted
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 tablespoons brewed coffee (leftover from the morning brew is fine), optional but recommend to enhance chocolate flavor and does not make brownies taste like coffee
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso coffee granules, optional but recommend to enhance chocolate flavor and does not make brownies taste like coffee
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, optional and to taste
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup mini-pretzels or pretzels


Salted Caramel Sauce – In a medium saucepan, combine cream, butter, and heat over medium-low heat to melt butter and until mixture is simmering, stirring frequently.
Add the caramels, salt, and stir frequently until melted. Take pan off the heat; set aside while preparing the brownie batter.
Brownies – Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8-by-8-inch baking pan with aluminum foil leaving overhang on the sides, spray with cooking spray; set aside.
In a large, microwave-safe bowl, add the butter and heat on high power to melt, about 1 minute. Allow butter to cool momentarily so you don’t scramble the eggs.
Add the eggs, sugars, optional coffee, vanilla, and whisk to combine.
Add the cocoa powder, optional espresso granules, optional salt, and whisk to combine. If your cocoa powder is lumpy, it could take a couple minutes of vigorous whisking.
Add the flour and stir until just combined, don’t overmix.

Turn batter out into prepared pan, smoothing it lightly with a spatula or knife. Batter is very thick and fudgy so take your time to work it into the corners of the pan.
Add the pretzels in an even, flat layer over the brownie batter.
Drizzle the caramel sauce over the top in an even zigzag pattern. The entire surface of the pan won’t be completely covered in caramel sauce, but while baking, the sauce thins out, melts, and ultimately covers the whole pan.
Bake for about 26 to 28 minutes, or until done; don’t overbake (I baked for 26 1/2 minutes). A toothpick inserted in the center should come out mostly clean, but will likely have a few moist crumbs, but no batter. The caramel sauce will never ‘set up’ so make sure to examine the brownie portion, not the caramel portion, when glancing at your toothpick.
Allow brownies to rest for at least 1 hour, or overnight, before lifting out with foil overhang and slicing. It’s very important to let them cool properly to give the caramel a chance to soak in. When slicing, I used a large serrated knife. The knife needs to pierce the pretzels, and it’s inevitable that the brownies will get a bit squished and messy in the slicing process; embrace it. Brownies will keep airtight at room temperature or refrigerator for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 6 months. Some people prefer to store rich brownies like this in the fridge and serve them slightly chilled.

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