Chocolate Brownies with Homemade Caramel Sauce and Salted Caramel Frosting

by aimee @ shugarysweets on April 18, 2013

 Homemade Caramel Sauce is delicious and easy! Perfectly paired with Dark Chocolate Brownies and Salted Caramel Frosting!

Dark Chocolate Brownies with Salted Caramel Frosting and Homemade Caramel Sauce: easy recipe for #caramel sauce! @shugarysweets

I’ve been doing some recipe testing this week, and homemade caramel sauce was part of that testing. I tried this recipe and this recipe. Honestly, they were both delicious, the first one was a bit more work. The second one from Anna is the one I based my recipe from. Except I wanted it to be even easier. I tried it THREE times.

For you. I wanted to make sure that it came out right each and every time. By the third time I didn’t need a candy thermometer, but I’m including the recipe with the thermometer so that there are NO questions. If you cook it too long, you will get sugar crystals and it will start to harden (into caramels). While it’s delicious, it won’t be smooth. If you don’t cook it long enough, it will be too thin. Still quite tasty, but a thin sauce.

Don’t be afraid of candy thermometers. I know. Some of you are getting ready to click away because you just hate them. Trust me though, once you use it, you won’t be scared. Kind of like yeast. Some people are afraid of making recipes that call for yeast. Anyone?? But, as many of you know, once you use it, you get the hang of it all!

Dark Chocolate Brownies with Salted Caramel Frosting and Homemade Caramel Sauce: easy recipe for #caramel sauce! @shugarysweets

Plus, wouldn’t it be worth it to have a jar of this caramel sauce? If you’re absolutely afraid of candy thermometers, I’ve also included approximate TIMES, so that you can try this without one. Just know, you may have to tweak it a little based on your own stovetop.

Now that you made some homemade caramel sauce, you can totally rock it out with these Chocolate Brownies. I used my favorite Duncan Hines Dark Chocolate Brownie mix and paired it with my Salted Caramel Swiss Meringue Frosting recipe. A match made in heaven. No more jarred caramel sauce for this girl!

Dark Chocolate Brownies with Salted Caramel Frosting and Homemade Caramel Sauce: easy recipe for #caramel sauce! @shugarysweets

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Chocolate Brownies with Homemade Caramel Sauce and Caramel Frosting

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 1 pint

Ingredients

    For the Caramel Sauce:
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream, divided
  • 6 Tbsp unsalted butter

Instructions

  1. In a medium saucepan, melt butter on medium heat. Add sugars and 1/2 cup heavy cream. Continue whisking on medium heat until mixture comes to a boil (this process takes about 6-8 minutes). Reduce heat to medium low, whisking continuously, boil for about 3 more minutes, until temperature on a candy thermometer reaches 220 degrees. Add remaining 1/4 cup of heavy cream and whisk until blended. Cook on medium low an additional two minutes. Remove from heat.
  2. Pour mixture into a pint sized mason jar and allow to cool at room temperature. Sauce will thicken as it cools. Refrigerate for up to two weeks. the sugars may crystalize when cold. You can reheat it in the microwave or bring it to room temperature. ENJOY.
  3. To make brownies: Prepare a 13x9 brownie mix according to package directions. Cool completely before frosting. Use homemade caramel sauce in my Salted Caramel frosting recipe. Drizzle with additional caramel sauce. Sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt. ENJOY!
http://www.shugarysweets.com/2013/04/chocolate-brownies-with-homemade-caramel-sauce-and-caramel-frosting

I love all things Caramel. Here are a few of MY favorite caramel recipes:

Salted Caramel Bark: I made this after refusing to spend money at Costco to buy their version. It was incredible and needs to be made again ASAP!

Salted Caramel Bark from @shugarysweets

Salted Caramel Hot Cocoa Bars: they may seem winter-y, but you can bet we will eat these all year long!

Salted Caramel Hot Cocoa Bars

Caramel Popcorn: delicious homemade caramel corn. For extra goodness, cover in melted white chocolate. OMG yum!

Caramel corn with White chocolate from @shugarysweets

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{ 84 comments… read them below or add one }

Gladheart Hannah April 18, 2013 at 8:03 pm

I love all things caramel as well! I’ve been trying to come up with homemade syrups for banana splits as the store-bought ones all have high fructose corn syrup in them. This may have just made my day :)
Thanks!
Hannah

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Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar April 18, 2013 at 8:06 pm

That salted caramel looks sooo good! Lovely recipe!
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Jenn April 18, 2013 at 8:08 pm

Caramel sauce is one thing I have never been successful making, but I never give up :) I have just enough whipping cream in the fridge to try out your recipe!
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aimee @ shugarysweets April 19, 2013 at 9:45 pm

Just keep swimming, just keep swimming. Sorry, just watched Finding Nemo today, LOL.
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wendy October 14, 2013 at 9:37 pm

Couple things . First get a good candy thermometer . Second never start a caramel of any kind if you are in a hurry . I usually never get my heat over low/med on my stove and always make sure my phones and other things are within reach so I can stand there and stir. GL ! Home made caramel is the best !

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Rachel @ Baked by Rachel April 18, 2013 at 8:09 pm

Ahhh you cheated on the brownie! Was hoping for an incredible box like super moist recipe but I totally get cheating. It happens. On the other hand, nothing beats homemade caramel sauce!
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aimee @ shugarysweets April 18, 2013 at 8:34 pm

I do have a delicious dark chocolate brownie recipe, I just totally cheated on this recipe! here’s the link to my fav brownie: http://www.shugarysweets.com/2012/10/3-way-brownie-bites
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Averie @ Averie Cooks April 18, 2013 at 9:27 pm

Talk about recipe testing in the name of perfection. Glad you nailed it on the fourth go-round. And what fun taste-tests along the way! :) I made caramels today too!
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aimee @ shugarysweets April 20, 2013 at 9:12 am

I do it for my readers. it’s a tough job, this recipe testing :)
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the baking cup - carolina April 18, 2013 at 9:48 pm

love these brownies! and that salted caramel looks so good!!
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aimee @ shugarysweets April 20, 2013 at 9:13 am

Thank you!!!
aimee @ shugarysweets recently posted..Chocolate Brownies with Homemade Caramel Sauce and Salted Caramel FrostingMy Profile

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Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust April 18, 2013 at 9:53 pm

Your photos are a work of art Aimee. So is this sauce!
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aimee @ shugarysweets April 20, 2013 at 9:13 am

Thanks Dorothy, I was pretty excited about these photos!
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Nicole @ Young, Broke and Hungry April 18, 2013 at 10:59 pm

This salted caramel sauce would make a shoe taste good! Yowza
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aimee @ shugarysweets April 20, 2013 at 9:14 am

Haha, this made me chuckle. And it’s true!
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Janina Locascio April 18, 2013 at 11:07 pm

I found your site through Pinterest, by clicking on your reeses cookie dough dip. Looked A-M-AZING. I didn’t know which recipe to comment on since they all looked delicious, so I decided to go to your homepage and comment on here! Your blog is fantastic and all of your recipes look unreal.

I am a healthy food blogger, but still get a lot of inspiration from fun, dirty little treats like yours! Will definitely be a follower and will make some of your recipes for parties :-)

Thanks :) Again, love the site!

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aimee @ shugarysweets April 20, 2013 at 9:27 am

Yeah! So glad you found me, thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment!!
aimee @ shugarysweets recently posted..Chocolate Brownies with Homemade Caramel Sauce and Salted Caramel FrostingMy Profile

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Monica April 18, 2013 at 11:35 pm

Oh yum, this looks absolutely delicious! I love the caramel sauce on top!

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aimee @ shugarysweets April 20, 2013 at 9:27 am

Yeah, it is a lovely touch!
aimee @ shugarysweets recently posted..Chocolate Brownies with Homemade Caramel Sauce and Salted Caramel FrostingMy Profile

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Angie@Angie's Recipes April 19, 2013 at 5:43 am

These look dangerously addictive and delicious!
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aimee @ shugarysweets April 20, 2013 at 9:28 am

Thanks Angie! they are!
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tanya April 19, 2013 at 7:56 am

It’s a tough job, being a recipe tester, but someone’s got to do! Aimee, this is some delicious sauce! Caramel is my absolute favorite! I love the pictures Aimee!
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aimee @ shugarysweets April 20, 2013 at 9:29 am

It is rough, but I take it seriously ;)
aimee @ shugarysweets recently posted..Chocolate Brownies with Homemade Caramel Sauce and Salted Caramel FrostingMy Profile

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Jocelyn @BruCrew Life April 19, 2013 at 8:18 am

I’m thinking I just want the spoon and that jar of delicious caramel. Would it be wrong to hide in the closet with both? Love the new pics :-)
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aimee @ shugarysweets April 20, 2013 at 9:29 am

Nope, nothing wrong with that! Glad you like the pics :)
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Kelly @ hidden fruits and veggies April 19, 2013 at 8:29 am

ooooh that caramel? NEED. I’m crazy for caramel and that looks pretty perfect.
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aimee @ shugarysweets April 20, 2013 at 9:30 am

I could put caramel in every dessert and be a happy girl!
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Erin | The Law Student's Wife April 19, 2013 at 9:07 am

I literally have candy thermometer on my Target list for today, even before reading this! How did you know? ;-) I love that this sauce will work with our without it, but naturally I’ll need to “test” it just for fun!
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aimee @ shugarysweets April 20, 2013 at 9:30 am

Definitely you need to test this! ENJOY!
aimee @ shugarysweets recently posted..Chocolate Brownies with Homemade Caramel Sauce and Salted Caramel FrostingMy Profile

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Erin @ The Spiffy Cookie April 19, 2013 at 9:46 am

I am definitely not afraid of candy thermometers, especially when it means I can have this!
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aimee @ shugarysweets April 20, 2013 at 9:32 am

Good to hear you brave girl! ENJOY.
aimee @ shugarysweets recently posted..Chocolate Brownies with Homemade Caramel Sauce and Salted Caramel FrostingMy Profile

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Kathy April 19, 2013 at 11:19 am

I would love to have a jar of caramel sauce in my fridge! I will have to try this!
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Jess @ On Sugar Mountain April 19, 2013 at 11:48 am

Ok I am totally one of those people who are terrified of candy thermometers. Food blogger or not, something about boiling sugar to those temperatures scares the bejesus out of me. BUT – I don’t think I’d ever forgive myself for not trying this amazing caramel sauce!

Off to find a candy thermometer. ;)
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aimee @ shugarysweets April 20, 2013 at 9:33 am

Do not be afraid young jedi, it’s worth the extra effort!
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Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious April 19, 2013 at 12:44 pm

Brownies were totally meant to have caramel sauce slathered all over!
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aimee @ shugarysweets April 20, 2013 at 9:34 am
Kayle (The Cooking Actress) April 19, 2013 at 12:50 pm

Ahhhhh I’m so hungry I should not be looking at this delectableness right now!
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Colleen, The Smart Cookie Cook April 19, 2013 at 12:51 pm

Wow, this looks unreal! So much goodness in one place! And you’re right, that sauce does look easy. But I’d probably drink it all before it ever made it to a brownie…
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aimee @ shugarysweets April 23, 2013 at 9:58 pm

Well, seeing that I made 4 batches, there was a little bit left for brownies :)
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Eva @ Eva Bakes April 19, 2013 at 1:20 pm

Oooh, come to mama! I was afraid of yeast and caramel for the longest time, but you’re right – they aren’t so scary and are actually pretty easy. :)
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Jocelyn (Grandbaby Cakes) April 19, 2013 at 1:40 pm

These look so heavenly, I want to cry!
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aimee @ shugarysweets April 20, 2013 at 9:35 am

I know the feeling :)
aimee @ shugarysweets recently posted..Chocolate Brownies with Homemade Caramel Sauce and Salted Caramel FrostingMy Profile

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Ashley April 19, 2013 at 3:04 pm

I need this sauce in my life! I don’t think I could stop with the brownie. I’d put it on everything. :)
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Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking April 19, 2013 at 3:11 pm

This is actually killing me inside a little bit… Ok, a lot bit. Amazing, Aimee!
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marcie@flavor the moments April 19, 2013 at 3:35 pm

That sauce looks so good! I’ve never made my own. I gotta get with it!
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aimee @ shugarysweets April 20, 2013 at 9:37 am

Oh you do need to try this Marcie!!
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Jessica@AKitchenAddiction April 19, 2013 at 5:28 pm

Love dark chocolate and love salted caramel. . .must make this soon!
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Deborah April 19, 2013 at 6:28 pm

Oh my goodness – these look seriously amazing!!
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Gloria @ Simply Gloria April 19, 2013 at 7:07 pm

Oh my! Everything about this is calling my name!
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aimee @ shugarysweets April 20, 2013 at 9:43 am

I think that means you need to make a jar for lunch :)
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Gloria @ Simply Gloria April 20, 2013 at 4:13 pm

I’m all about making sugary goodies as a meal! lol
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Elizabeth @ Confessions of a Baking Queen April 19, 2013 at 7:50 pm

Can I please have a straw!!!? I could drink this up!!
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aimee @ shugarysweets April 20, 2013 at 9:44 am

Sure thing!!!
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Heather @ French Press April 19, 2013 at 8:15 pm

I always thought I preferred my brownies plain, but you just changed my mind! I have to make some caramel stat
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Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet April 19, 2013 at 9:34 pm

Oh my! This looks amazing, Aimee! It’s hard to beat homemade caramel sauce! Can’t wait to try yours! Thanks for linking up!
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aimee @ shugarysweets April 20, 2013 at 9:45 am

Thanks Anna!
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Melanie (Reasons To Skip The Housework) April 20, 2013 at 12:03 am

Girl, do you ever make anything BAD? everything is always so mouth watering!
I’d love for you to come link this up at The Weekly Creative- a party I co-host with The Girl Creative!

http://www.reasonstoskipthehousework.com/2013/04/the-weekly-creative-4/

Smiles,
Melanie
Reasons To Skip The Housework
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aimee @ shugarysweets April 20, 2013 at 9:47 am

Oh yes, I’ve had numerous recipe fails, just ask my family :) But thank you!!
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Medeja April 20, 2013 at 12:53 am

Oh that caramel sauce looks gorgeous!
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Nancy P.@thebittersideofsweet April 20, 2013 at 3:44 pm

Yep I could use some of this in my fridge!
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Wendy April 20, 2013 at 6:43 pm

Wonderful caramel sauce, just in time for ice cream season! A scoop of vanilla ice cream with caramel sauce is summery heaven to me. :) I do sincerely appreciate the 4 batches and all the research. :)
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aimee @ shugarysweets April 22, 2013 at 7:39 am

Oh yeah, with ice cream this is amazing. Tried it :) And you’re welcome for the research, least I could do!
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Nutmeg Nanny April 21, 2013 at 11:59 am

Oh my word, this looks delectable! That caramel sauce looks perfect :)

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Chocolate Shavings April 21, 2013 at 7:15 pm

You had me at caramel sauce!

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Meg @ Sweet Twist April 21, 2013 at 8:23 pm

I love the use of brown and white sugar. I love caramel!!
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Julie @ Julie's Eats & Treats April 21, 2013 at 8:51 pm

Oh they look so yummy! Great job Aimee :)
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aimee @ shugarysweets April 22, 2013 at 7:40 am

Thanks Julie!!!
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Renee @ Awesome on $20 April 22, 2013 at 12:46 am

Why on Earth would someone be afraid of a candy thermometer. I guess we all have our idiosyncrasies. Surely no one is afraid of salted caramel. I can’t wait to try these. I’m married to a caramel fiend.
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aimee @ shugarysweets April 22, 2013 at 7:41 am

I think the thought of watching the temperature closely scares people. :) ENJOY the recipe!!
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Ashton April 22, 2013 at 10:07 am

This is a home run!! It’s totally on my summer list of things to make. I always think about ice cream when I think about caramel sauce!
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aimee @ shugarysweets April 23, 2013 at 7:47 am

I’m obsessed now. Seriously gets easier each time you make it! And with ice cream? Yeah, it’s good.
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Kiran @ KiranTarun.com April 22, 2013 at 7:08 pm

Omg. I’m lost at words. That looks insanely good!!
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PapaLos @ The Man, The Chef, The Dad April 23, 2013 at 12:33 am

I used to always make my own caramel sauce and I never used a candy thermometer.

…in hindsight, I’m fairly certain that explains why it was truly successful only 2 out of 5 times…

Having a jar of caramel is insanely handy and I’d say well worth the investment of a candy thermometer. Thanks for sharing!
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aimee @ shugarysweets April 23, 2013 at 7:48 am

Haha!! Now that I know what it should look like, and how long it boils on MY stovetop, I’m obsessed with making this. No candy thermometer for me anymore.
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Carol | a cup of mascarpone April 23, 2013 at 9:49 am

I’ve been dreaming about this all night since seeing it just before falling asleep last night on FB’s Fabulous Food Blogs Recipes! Absolutely delicious looking!!!
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Meghan @ The Tasty Fork April 23, 2013 at 1:15 pm

I just bought a candy thermometer because I was tried of guessing the temperature. That caramel sauce looks amazing! And on top of brownies??!! Yes, please!!
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Trish - Mom On Timeout April 23, 2013 at 3:14 pm

Homemade caramel sauce is the BEST! This looks like the perfect treat :)
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Hayley @ The Domestic Rebel April 23, 2013 at 4:07 pm

These are perfection! That sauce.. just hand me a straw!
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aimee @ shugarysweets April 23, 2013 at 9:59 pm

Haha, thanks Hayley :)
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Tonia@thegunnysack April 25, 2013 at 10:20 am

Ohhh…chocolate and caramel…what a combo!
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Danielle June 19, 2013 at 9:32 pm

How did you know I was craving something caramel-y and delicious right now? :D This looks delicious, you wonderful mind-reader, you!

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Raechel August 12, 2013 at 2:00 pm

I made this the other night, and just…wow! I’m putting on EVERYTHING! Apples, grapes, ice cream, brownies, coffee. I’ve tried a couple caramel sauce recipes, and this is hands down the best one so far! I didn’t use a thermometer, but strictly followed the time frames. I didn’t notice any crystallization, unlike other recipes I’ve tried. Light, smooth, delicate, and simply delicious! Such a great recipe! Cheers!

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aimee @ shugarysweets September 2, 2013 at 8:56 am

I’m so glad to hear it turned out great for you! Thanks for the feedback :)
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Lynne August 16, 2013 at 4:12 pm

Your recipes are awesome! Have you ever tried this one:

•1 cup water
•1 cup mayonnaise
•1 teaspoon vanilla extract
•2 cups all-purpose flour
•1 cup sugar
•3 tablespoons baking cocoa
•2 teaspoons baking soda

•BROWN SUGAR FROSTING:
•1/2 cup packed brown sugar
•1/4 cup butter, cubed
•2 tablespoons milk
•1-3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
Directions
•In a large bowl, combine the water, mayonnaise and vanilla until well blended. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa and baking soda; gradually beat into mayonnaise mixture until blended.
•Pour into greased 9-in. square or 11-in. x 7-in. baking pan. Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool completely.
•For frosting, in a small saucepan. Cook and stir brown sugar in butter until bubbly. Remove from the heat; stir in milk. Gradually add confectioners’ sugar; beat until smooth. Frost cake. Yield: 9-12 servings.

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