Turtle brownies made with crunchy pecan topping, melty chocolate and gooey caramel are a perfect addition to your fall dessert table. Perfect for Thanksgiving and Christmas! If you're a fan of Snickers, this is the recipe for you!
When you're looking for ideas for a different kind of dessert to accompany pumpkin pie have you ever considered desserts with pecans? Pecans are one of my favorite nuts that give excellent flavor and crunch to these turtle brownies.
Why This Recipe Works
- Pecans jazz up turtle brownies and give them an incredible crunch and flavor.
- Easy to make with few ingredients like salted caramel, cocoa powder and pecan nuts.
- Turtle brownies are another Thanksgiving dessert option in addition to traditional favorites like pumpkin pie.
- Delicious crinkle top and crunchy edges of a traditional brownie.
- Turtle brownies are easy to make homemade from scratch - skip the boxed mix and try this version!
Ingredients For This Recipe
Here are the ingredients you need to make this recipe. Reference the recipe card at the bottom for exact measurements and the notes below for substitution ideas.
- sugar: you can use granulated sugar or coconut sugar, both work well in this recipe.
- cocoa powder: can sub for cacao powder if you have that.
- baking powder: omit for a chewy brownie.
- salted caramel sauce: can use store-bought or make your own at home - directions in the recipe card.
How to Make This Recipe
This is a step by step walkthrough of how to cook this recipe. Exact cook time and temperatures are available in the recipe card at the bottom.
- Mix together melted butter, vanilla and sugar in a bowl. Add in eggs and whisk until smooth.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking powder. Add sugar and butter mixture to dry mixture and mix until just combined.
- Fold in chocolate chips, salted caramel sauce and pecans (or walnuts if you prefer). Bake at 350F for about 40 minutes.
- See recipe card for making homemade salted caramel sauce.
- If you have a few extra minute try toasting the pecans prior to chopping. This will heighten the pecan flavor and give these pecan brownies an added crunchy factor.
- These turtle brownies are more cakey than fudgy. If you like chewy brownies omit baking powder.
- Top turtle brownies with vanilla ice cream and an extra drizzle of salted caramel to take these over the top!
- Chop pecans finely or coarsely, whatever your preference is! I like them to be smaller so they mix in well throughout the bar.
- Storage tips: store in an airtight container on the countertop for up to 4 days.
- Freezer tips: store in the freezer in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months.
Using store-bought salted caramel or dulce de leche is great for this recipe. You can also make salted caramel at home in a few easy steps.
I made homemade salted caramel with almond milk. Combine 1 cup sugar with ½ cup water in a saucepan.
Heat over medium-low heat until little bubbles form on the side and then increase the heat to high and boil for 8-10 minutes or until caramel becomes a darker color.
Remove from heat and stir in 3 tablespoon butter, ¾ cup almond milk, ½ teaspoon arrowroot and 1 teaspoon salt. Allow caramel sauce to cool and thicken.
The main ingredients in turtle brownies are typical brownie ingredients like cocoa power, flour, sugar, baking powder, butter and eggs. The difference in turtle brownies are the additional of caramel and pecans.
You do not have to refrigerate brownies, they will last in an airtight container on the countertop for up to 4 days. To have them last longer, store them in the refrigerator or freeze them.
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Healthy Turtle Brownies
- ¾ cup butter melted
- 1 cup sugar may sub for 1.5 cups coconut sugar if desired
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 eggs
- ¾ cup flour
- ⅓ cup cocoa powder
- ¼ + ⅛ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup pecans chopped, divided
- 2 tablespoon salted caramel sauce
- Preheat oven to 350f. Line an 8X8 baking dish with parchment paper or spray with coconut oil spray.
- Mix together the butter, sugar and vanilla extract.
- Add eggs and mix until combined.
- Mix together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Slowly add to egg mixture until combined.
- Fold in chocolate chips, ½ of the chopped pecans and 1 tablespoon salted caramel. Pour batter into prepared pan.
- Bake at 350F for 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out mostly clean. Top with 1 tablespoon salted caramel sauce and remaining chopped pecans.
Salted Caramel Directions
- Combine 1 cup sugar with ½ cup water in a saucepan. Heat over medium-low heat until little bubbles form on the side and then increase the heat to high and boil for 8-10 minutes or until caramel becomes a darker color.
- Remove from heat and stir in 3 tablespoon butter, ¾ cup almond milk, ½ teaspoon arrowroot and 1 teaspoon salt. Allow caramel sauce to cool and thicken.