24 Hour Caramel Brownies are homemade brownies with a layer of caramel baked in between and topped with chocolate morsels. Yes, I know. 24 hours to wait before you can dive into these brownies? Yes. Is it worth it? YES. And if you happen to love over-the-top decadent brownie creations, try my Toasted Marshmallow Brownies!
24 Hour Caramel Brownies
This recipe starts with my best brownie recipe. And then, a thick layer of homemade caramel is placed in between two brownie layers. On top of that, literally, is more chocolate morsels for a chocolate caramel delight in every bite!
Yes, there is a reason I recommend you wait 24 hours before cutting the brownies; the chilling time keeps the brownies from being an ooey-gooey mess (even though they are still delicious as an ooey-gooey mess). In my humble opinion, these taste better chilled! I have never said that about a brownie before, so it was a shock to me too!
As stated, there are two parts to this recipe–the layer of caramel and the brownies. You will need two 8-inch baking dishes lined with parchment paper, one for the caramel and one for the layered brownies.
Butter: Unsalted Challenge butter is used in both the brownies and the caramel. I opted for Challenge Butter for the best results. Challenge Butter is made the old-fashioned way, churned fresh daily from the freshest milk and cream from happy cows at family-owned dairies since 1911. (I also used Challenge Butter in my Kentucky Butter Crunch Cake and Buttery Bubble Bread, which are two recipes you will have to try after you have made these brownies.)
Coffee: You may have noticed brewed coffee in the brownies. Whether you like coffee or not, caffeine does something amazing to brownies. Caffeine (specifically in dark coffee or espresso) enhances the flavor of chocolate and boosts the richness of the brownie without adding a coffee flavor. So simply put, the coffee makes your brownies taste brownier. Science. In a pinch, you could use decaf coffee as well, preferably one with a strong flavor. If you are unable to use coffee, you can use water.
Chocolate: Use semi-sweet chocolate morsels or chunks for both the brownie batter and to sprinkle on top of brownies. You can also use semi-sweet chocolate morsels.
How to Make the Caramel Layer
Before you start the caramel, be sure to set aside an 8×8-inch baking dish lined with parchment paper. Again, you will need a second pan for the brownies. To make the caramel, add the butter and sugar to a medium saucepan over medium heat. After the butter has melted, add the corn syrup and condensed milk.
Bring the mixture to a boil and reduce the heat to low, stirring constantly. Continue to stir constantly for 10-15 minutes until the caramel begins to thicken and reaches a deep golden color. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.
Pour the caramel into the lined baking dish and place it in the freezer to chill as you prepare the brownie batter. Be sure the caramel chills for 20-25 minutes. This will make the caramel layer very easy to work with! As you can see in the pictures above, it flops easily onto the brownie batter and then you simply remove the parchment paper. (more on that below)
How to Make 24 Hour Caramel Brownies
While the caramel layer is chilling in the freezer, make the brownie batter. You will need 3 tablespoons of brewed coffee, so set some aside from your morning cup or enjoy the rest of it while you make the brownies.
First, in a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the sugar, butter, and coffee. Cook until boiling. Next, remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the chocolate morsels until the mixture is smooth. Then, add in the egg and vanilla. Finally, add in the flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix just until combined, making sure to not overmix.
Pour half of the brownie batter into the bottom of the second 8×8-inch baking dish lined with parchment paper. Then, remove the chilled caramel from the freezer. Using the edges of the parchment paper to lift out the sheet of caramel, flip it over into the brownie pan, on top of the bottom layer of the brownie batter.
Add the remaining brownie batter onto the caramel layer and top with additional chocolate morsels. Bake for 38-40 minutes, until the edges start to pull away from the pan. Let the brownies cool at room temperature for a while before placing them in the refrigerator to chill overnight.
Do I Have to Wait 24 Hours to Enjoy These Brownies?
Well, as I have stated in the past, you don’t have to do anything. But, in this case, there is a reason the brownies are called 24 Hour Brownies. Chilling the brownies will help keep their form, thickness, and distinct layers when cut. In addition, I prefer the taste of the brownies after they have been chilled.
If you just don’t have the patience to wait to cut into the ooey-gooey brownies (which I understand), this is your warning…the brownies will fall apart and end up flat. But, they are still yummy!
Just in case you don’t believe me on the ooey gooey factor – here is a picture of the brownies that have NOT chilled. These were left out at room temperature for 6 hours.
Definitely edible (SO YUM) but you need a spoon. If that is the consistency you want, just scoop the brownies into a bowl and enjoy! (But then promise you’ll refrigerate them and try them chilled too… !)
- ¾ cup (1½ sticks, 170g) Challenge butter, unsalted
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- 3 tablespoons brewed coffee
- ¾ cup (150g) granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons Challenge butter, unsalted
- 1½ cups (265g) semi-sweet chocolate morsels, or chunks
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup (120g) all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ cup semi-sweet chocolate morsels, for sprinkling on top
- Line an 8×8-inch baking dish with parchment paper.
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add butter and sugar. Stir occasionally until butter is melted.
- Add corn syrup and condensed milk. Stir to combine.
- Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce heat to low, stirring constantly.
- Simmer 10-15 minutes, stirring constantly until the caramel mixture reaches a deep golden color and thickens slightly.
- Remove the caramel from the heat and stir in the vanilla.
- Pour the caramel into an 8×8-inch baking dish that has been lined with parchment paper. You will want the parchment paper to go up and over the edges for easy removal. Place the dish in the freezer for 20-25 minutes as you prepare the brownie batter.
- Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line an 8×8-inch baking dish with parchment paper.
- Brew a cup of coffee. You will only need 3 tablespoons in this recipe. (Enjoy the rest!)
- In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, butter, and coffee. Cook over medium heat until boiling.
- Remove from heat and stir in the chocolate morsels until melted and smooth. (Do not be worried if chocolate looks like it’s seized; it will relax when the egg is added.)
- Mix in the eggs and vanilla.
- Add the flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix until just combined.
- Pour half of the brownie batter into the lined baking dish (approximately 1¼ cups).
- Take the caramel out of the freezer. Using the edges of the parchment paper, remove the caramel from the pan and flip it over on top of the bottom layer of the brownie batter.
- Top the caramel layer with the remaining brownie batter. Sprinkle with chocolate morsels or chunks (optional).
- Bake 38-42 minutes or until edges start to pull away from the pan.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool to room temperature. Refrigerate overnight (don’t skip this!) and serve cold.