Don’t get me wrong…I love me a plain, fudge brownie with an ooey-gooey center and a shiny, crackly top. And I generally opt for the classic, but when I first tried these salted dulce de leche brownies, there was no question – I had just tasted the best brownie I’ve ever had, and there was no turning back.
This recipe starts with a super simple, one-bowl, fudge brownie recipe that makes a great foundation for any flavor combos you can imagine. Then we dial it up a notch with a homemade single-ingredient dulce de leche that will make you feel domesticated af.
“Anyone who tries to make brownies without butter should be arrested.”Ina Garten
Salted Dulce de Leche Fudge Brownies
Example Schedule: Bake + refrigerate dulce de leche at 7pm the night before. Mix brownie batter at 9am + swirl in dulce de leche. Bake brownies at 9:30am.
Dulce de Leche
- 1 can (14oz, 396g) sweetened condensed milk
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 stick, 175g) unsalted butter
- 2 ounces (57g) semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 2 cups (400g) granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup (85g) unsweetened natural or dutch-process cocoa powder*
- 1 cup (125g) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Pinch of flaky salt to garnish
Twice the dulce: This recipe creates more dulce de leche than you’ll need for the brownies – enough for you to make 2 batches if you want. Keep the rest of the dulce in your fridge for up to a month for when you want to make another batch, drizzle on ice cream, fill in macarons or dip for churros.
- Make dulce de leche. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Pour one can of condensed milk into a glass baking dish (like a pie pan). Cover tightly with foil. Place covered dish into a larger roasting pan and pour hot water into the large pan until it comes to 1 inch up the sides. Bake for approximately 1.5 hours, checking at the hour mark, or until desired color or thickness (like caramel). Whisk dulce de leche to smooth out any lumps.* Keep at room temp until ready to use if within a couple days. If you’re making it more than a week ahead, refrigerate.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking pan (glass or metal is fine) and line with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on the sides. This makes it easier to lift the brownies out of the pan to cut!
- Mix Brownie Batter. In a large microwave-safe bowl, add chocolate chips and butter. Microwave in 30-second increments, whisking after each until butter is melted. Add sugar and whisk until evenly combined. Then whisk in the eggs and vanilla. The batter will look light brown and dull. But we’re about to fix that!
In the same bowl with the wet ingredients, add flour, cocoa powder, salt, and whisk until just combined. The batter will be extremely thick. Dollop batter into the lined baking pan and spread evenly.
- Swirl in Dulce de Leche. Warm up your dulce de leche in the microwave for 30 seconds and stir, just enough to loosen the consistency in order to swirl. Dollop dulce de leche onto brownie batter and use a spoon to swirl it throughout the pan.
- Bake. Bake brownies for 25-30 minutes, checking at 25 minutes with a toothpick through the center. It’s done if there are a few moist crumbs. Remove brownies from the oven and sprinkle flaky salt on top. I used Cypress Flake Salt from Red Stick Spice Co. Cool brownies before cutting and serving as the brownies develop their chewy and slightly crunchy texture while cooling. Cut brownies with a plastic knife* for the cleanest cuts.
Making Dulce de Leche at Home
Knowing that you can make dulce de leche at home with one ingredient opens a lot of doors! Plus, because it has a high sugar content (it’s basically candy), it will keep well for months. Just give it the ole’ sniff before using it.