Fudgy Turtle Brownies

fudgy turtle brownies stacked on cutting board
Photo: Ren Fuller
Prep Time:
45 mins
Total Time:
1 hr 45 mins

Earn plenty of brownie points by offering these chewy, gooey treats to the kid's troop or to friends on any festive occasion. What makes them so extra? The fudgy base is covered with pecan halves, cream caramel, and melted chocolate—a combo borrowed from old-fashioned turtle candies.


Cream Caramel

  • ¾ cup sugar

  • ¼ cup light corn syrup

  • cup heavy cream, room temperature


  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for dish

  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour

  • ½ teaspoon baking powder

  • Kosher salt

  • 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (1 ½ cups), plus 2 ounces melted

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 1 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 cup packed light-brown sugar

  • 4 large eggs, room temperature

  • 1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract

  • 2 cups pecan halves (8 ounces)

  • Flaky sea salt, such as Jacobsen, for sprinkling


  1. Caramel: Combine sugar and corn syrup in a saucepan. Cover and cook over medium-high heat until sugar has dissolved and mixture boils, about 5 minutes. Uncover and continue to cook, swirling pan occasionally and brushing down sides with a wet pastry brush, until mixture turns medium amber, 3 to 4 minutes more. Carefully add cream in a slow stream (mixture will bubble vigorously). Remove from heat and stir until smooth. Let cool until caramel thickens slightly but is still pourable, about 10 minutes. Makes 1 cup. Use immediately.

  2. Brownies: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Line bottom and long sides with parchment, leaving an overhang; butter parchment.

  3. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt. In a large heatproof bowl set over (not in) a pot of simmering water, melt chopped chocolate and butter with oil. Remove from heat. Add both sugars; whisk until smooth. Add eggs and vanilla; whisk until glossy, 1 minute. Add flour mixture; stir just until combined (do not overmix). Pour batter into prepared dish; smooth top with a spatula. Arrange pecans on top in a single layer.

  4. Bake until a tester inserted into center comes out with moist crumbs, 40 to 45 minutes. Transfer dish to a wire rack; let cool completely.

  5. Drizzle caramel over brownies; let cool until set, 30 minutes. Drizzle with melted chocolate; sprinkle with flaky salt. Let chocolate set (refrigerate for a few minutes, if desired), then cut into squares and serve.

Cook's Notes

For a store-bought cream-caramel sauce, we like Fat Toad Farm Traditional Goat's Milk Caramel ($14 for 8 oz., fattoadfarm.com).

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