If you love turtle candy, then this chocolatey, crunchy, and gooey brownie recipe is for you! Our Turtle Brownies are full of chocolate, pecans, and caramel. The chocolate lovers in your family will love this decadent chocolate dessert.
How to Make Turtle Brownies from Scratch
You will find a complete list of instructions as well as ingredients needed at the bottom of the post. I have included in-process photos as well as basic steps to make this recipe for your reference below.
I think one of my favorite things about brownies is that they are really very versatile. They work for any holiday or event. You can add any topping you’d like, and they are perfect served up warm right from the oven.
If you are looking for a few other simple, yet delicious dessert recipes, here are a couple that we think you might enjoy such as our Creamy New York-Style Cheesecake and our Strawberry Watermelon Cupcakes. Of course, if more brownies are on your mind, then make sure to check out our Andes Mint Brownies and our Copycat Cosmic Brownies.
Here's Why This Recipe Works
This recipe works because:
- It's easy to make
- Uses Basic ingredients that you already have in your pantry
- Delicious - I mean what's better than chocolate, pecans, and caramel?
Expert Tips, Ingredient List and Suggestions for Recipe Success
You will find a complete breakdown of the ingredients needed to make this recipe in the printable recipe card below. This is just a brief list of key suggestions and tips for your reference.
- Unsalted butter - make sure to always use unsalted butter when a recipe calls for additional salt to be added. That way you can control the amount of salt you are adding to your baked goods.
- Pure vanilla extract - when possible, always use pure vanilla extract.
- Kraft Caramel bits - if these aren't available, the wrapped caramels will work just as well or jarred caramel sauce will work too. I used salted caramel chips from Trader Joes and then omitted the kosher salt.
- Refrigerate Turtle Brownies for the best texture and taste. You don't need to by any means, and they store perfectly well in an air-tight container on your countertop, however, I think they taste the best when store in the fridge.
- Have someone in the family with a nut allergy? No problem, just leave off the nuts and add more caramel.
- Store-bought brownie mix - you can totally use a store-bought mix instead of making it from scratch.
- Unsweetened cocoa powder - if you are making these totally homemade, use unsweetened cocoa powder instead of sweetened. You will be getting enough sweetness from the granulated sugar.
What is the Secret to Good Brownies?
Beating your ingredients, such as your sugar and eggs together thoroughly is key. Not overbaking your brownies is also very important.
Do you Need Eggs for Brownies?
Yes, you do. Think of the eggs as a binding agent to hold all of the ingredients together.
Should you Beat Eggs before Adding to the Brownie Mix?
Yes! Absolutely! The key to making your brownies top-notch is to whip each egg thoroughly after adding them to the batter.
Why Are They Called Turtle Brownies?
These luscious brownies got their name because any time you make a dessert that uses the combination of pecans, chocolate, and caramel, it's automatically considered some type of turtle dessert. Due to the fact that when you make turtle candy, you use pecans as the legs, and you add chocolate and caramel candies as the body.
How to Store These
Place the brownies in an airtight container and leave them on the counter for up to one week. However, for best results, place the airtight container in the fridge. In there, they will last up to one month.
Can You Freeze Them?
Yes! Place them in a freezer-safe container and freeze them for up to three months. When you are ready to enjoy them, place the container in the fridge and let them thaw. Then, once you are ready to serve them, bring the container to room temp.
Step by Step Directions
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Step 2: Prepare the 8x8 baking dish.
Step 3: Sift together the dry ingredients (flour and unsweetened cocoa powder) in a medium bowl and set aside.
Step 4: In a large bowl, cream the unsalted butter and sugar until it's light and fluffy. Then add in the eggs and mix together one at a time. Then incorporate the vanilla.
Step 5: Slowly add in the dry ingredients being careful to not overmix.
Step 6: Add in the chocolate chips, caramel, and pecans. You will have better results when stirring these ingredients into the batter with a spatula.
Step 7: Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
Step 8: Bake for at least 25 minutes. Using a cake tester or toothpick, check the brownies 2" from the side of the pan. If the tester comes out with crumbs or totally clean, they are done. If it isn't done, put back into the oven at 5-minute increments.
Step 9: When the brownies are done, remove them from the oven and set them aside.
Step 10: Allow them to cool. Once they have cooled, heat up the caramel sauce in the microwave just so it's warm enough to drizzle. Then drizzle over the tops of the brownies and sprinkle the chocolate chips and chopped pecans on top and serve.
- Medium bowl
- Large bowl
- 8 x 8 baking dish
- Parchment paper/foil
- cutting board
- Hand mixer/Stand mixer
Ingredients for the Brownies:
- ½ cup unsalted butter (1 stick), room temperature
- 1 cups granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ cup all-purpose flour spoon measured and leveled with a knife method
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt only use the salt if using regular caramel bits. I didn't since I used salted caramel chips.
- ½ cup chopped pecans
- ½ cup chocolate chips
- ¼ cup Caramel Bits or salted caramel chips (which is what I used)
Ingredients for the Topping:
- ¼ cup caramel sauce
- ¼ cup chopped pecans
- ¼ cup chocolate chips
- Lay out one stick (½ cup) of unsalted butter and the two eggs and let them come to room temperature.
- Prepare your 8 x 8 baking dish by lining it with parchment paper or with foil. If you prefer, you can spray it with a non-stick baking spray. If you are trying to keep it as oil-free as possible, Just stick with the parchment paper and don't use the baking spray.
- Turn your oven to 350 degrees and let the oven preheat.
- In a medium-sized bowl, sift in the all-purpose flour that you have scooped out with a spoon into a measuring cup and leveled with a knife and the unsweetened cocoa powder and then set the bowl aside.
- If you are using a hand-held mixer, then you will do the following steps using a large bowl. If you have a stand mixer, then use the bowl that comes with the mixer to do the next steps.
- In a large bowl, add the softened butter (you do not want it melted). Cream the butter until it's light and fluffy. This will take about 5 minutes. Next, add the sugar and cream together for approximately another 3 minutes until they have combined together.
- Next, add one egg and mix the egg in thoroughly. Repeat the process with the second egg. Then add in the vanilla.
- Slowly incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet mixture. Start by turning the mixer off, then add ⅓ of the dry, turn to slow speed, mix, turn up the speed, then repeat the process. You do not want to over mix the batter. Just mix until everything is incorporated.
- Add in the chopped pecans, chocolate chips, and caramel bits (or caramel chips). Stir these ingredients in using a spatula. Also scrape the sides of the bowl with the spatula to make sure that you get everything mixed together.
- Pour the batter into a prepared 8x8 baking dish and smooth with the spatula or offset spatula. Place into the oven.
- Bake for 25 minutes. Using a cake tester or toothpick, check 2" from the side of the pan (not the middle) to see if the brownies are done. If crumbs come up on the tester or if the tester is clear, then they are done. If it isn't, then place the brownies back into the oven at 5-minute increments until done.
- When they are done, remove from the oven, and allow them to cool.
- Once they have cooled, heat up the caramel sauce in the microwave just so it's warm enough to drizzle. Then using a spoon, drizzle the caramel over the tops of the brownies and sprinkle the chocolate chips and pecans over the tops of the brownies. Slice and serve. You can also do this step while the brownies are still a little warm. However, remember that the chocolate and caramel will melt and you will have a gooey topping. You can also microwave the brownie a bit after you put the topping on. Either way, these are simply scrumptious!