These salted caramel pretzel brownies are sweet and salty fudgy brownies. They are loaded with salted crushed pretzels and swirled with homemade caramel!

pretzel brownies topped with salted caramel on a round wire cooling rack.

If you’ve been around awhile, you know my coffee brownies are a big hit at Cambrea Bakes! I’ve made brownies stuffed with Oreos, and stuffed sprinkle brownies, and now I’m stuffing them with crunchy pretzels!

These pretzel brownies are gooey, fudgy, and perfectly balanced with a salty and sweet flavor. Serve them with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for the ultimate treat!

If you love brownie recipes, you must try my super-popular Brownie S’mores, Red Velvet Brownies, and Bourbon Brownies.

brownies with pretzels on a parchment lined tray.

why you’ll love these pretzel brownies

  • Chocolate flavor: If your sweet tooth is craving chocolate, brownies are always a good idea! These brownies are made with rich dark chocolate and are perfect for chocolate lovers.
  • Salty brownies: The extra salty flavor from the pretzels highlights and enhances the chocolate flavor. It also balances the sweetness, similar to my miso brownies.
  • Great for any occasion: Make this brownie recipe for any occasion and people will be BEGGING for the recipe!

ingredient notes & substitutions

ingredients needed to make pretzel brownies in bowls with labels.

Pretzels: Mini pretzels are preferred because they are easier to cut through and you get more pretzel flavor in every bite. If you only have regular-sized pretzels on hand, break them in half.

Brown sugar: This recipe calls for light brown sugar but dark brown sugar can be substituted.

Chocolate chips: Semi-sweet chocolate chips are best because they are sweet without being too bitter, but you can use dark chocolate instead.

Cocoa powder: Unsweetened Dutch cocoa powder is recommended for the richest chocolate flavor and color.

Heavy cream: This ingredient is crucial to getting the right consistency of the caramel. Do not substitute it or the caramel will be too thin. 

Full ingredient measurements and instructions can be found in the recipe card below!

recipe instructions

Before you start, line a square 8×8 baking pan with parchment paper on all four sides. Preheat the oven to 350 F/180 C.

dry sugar melting in a saucepan.

Step 1: Melt the sugar.​ In a pan, heat the granulated sugar and cream of tartar for 5-6 minutes until it starts to melt. Push (don’t stir) the sugar around the pan to ensure it is melting evenly.

caramel in a pan with melted butter on top.

Step 2: Add in the butter.​ After 5-6 minutes, the sugar should be completely melted and amber in color.

Immediately remove the pan from the heat and stir in the. butter. It will start to bubble vigorously which is normal! Keep stirring, it will take 1-2 minutes to incorporate.

salted caramel in a sauce pan bubbling.

Step 3: Stir in the cream.​ Stir in the heavy cream and salt and place it back on the stove over medium-low heat.

Once fully incorporated, carefully pour it into a heatproof bowl to cool.

wet ingredients for brownie batter in a bowl.

Step 4: Whisk the wet ingredients.​ In a large bowl, whisk the sugars, eggs, and egg yolk until light and fluffy.

brownie batter in a mixing bowl.

Step 5: Mix in the melted chocolate and dry ingredients. Stream the melted chocolate and butter into the batter, whisking constantly to combine.

Then use a rubber spatula to fold in the dry ingredients until just combined.

mini pretzels layered on top of brownie batter in a baking pan.

Step 6: Layer the pretzels. Evenly spread half of the brownie batter into the prepared pan. Place an even layer of mini pretzels over the batter.

salted caramel and pretzels layered on top of brownie batter.

Step 7: Layer the salted caramel.Spoon dollops of the caramel over the pretzels, reserving a small portion for the top (2-3 tablespoons).

swirled caramel on top of the brownie batter.

Step 8: Bake! Evenly spread the rest of the brownie batter over the pretzels and caramel.

Dollop the rest of the caramel on top of the brownies and swirl it into the batter with a knife or toothpick.

Add a few more pretzels on top, then bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out smeared with clear caramel and a few moist chocolate crumbs.

expert baking tips

  • Use a kitchen scale. Baking with a scale is much more accurate than cup measurements. To convert this recipe, click the “metric” button next to the ingredients title on the recipe card. If you do not have a scale, use a spoon to fluff the flour first, then spoon it into your measuring cup.
  • Use the right pan. The caramel will cook best in a light-colored stainless steel pan so you can see the color, which will keep it from burning. This post on making caramel is really helpful if you want to learn more!
  • Wait to cut them. I know it’s so hard to wait but they are much easier to cut when they are cool!
  • Use a serrated knife. A large serrated knife is best to cut through the caramel and pretzels cleanly.

storage & freezing

Store any leftovers in an airtight container or ziplock bag at room temperature for 2-3 days.

You can freeze any baked brownies in an airtight container or freezer bag for up to one month!

faqs

Can I use store-bought caramel instead?

Yes, although homemade caramel will have a better flavor!

Can I use a boxed brownie mix instead to save time?

Definitely! Follow the box instructions for baking.

Can I leave out the caramel or pretzels (or both)?

Sure! The baking time will be quicker though, keep an eye on them so they don’t overbake.

more recipes to try

If you tried this or any other recipe on my website, please let me know how it went in the comments below, I love hearing from you! Also, please leave a star rating while you’re there! You can also tag me on Instagram or Facebook so I can check it out!

salted caramel pretzel brownies on a rack.

Pretzel Brownies with Salted Caramel

5 from 2 votes
– by Cambrea Gordon

These salted caramel pretzel brownies are sweet and salty fudgy brownies. The best part is they are loaded with salted crushed pretzels and swirled with homemade caramel!
Print Recipe Save Recipe Pin Recipe
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 16 servings
Need Metric Measurements?Use the button options below to toggle between US cups and Metric grams!

Ingredients 
 

Salted Caramel

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ tsp cream of tartar
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
  • cup heavy cream, room temperature
  • ½ tsp fine sea salt

Brownie Batter

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour, *see notes for measuring*
  • ½ cup + 1 tbsp unsweetened dutch cocoa powder
  • ½ tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 1/2 cups mini pretzels

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 F/180 C and line an 8×8 square baking pan with parchment paper so it hangs over all sides.
  • Cook the sugar and cream of tartar over medium-high heat in a stainless-steel pan until the sugar starts to melt.
    Occasionally push (don't stir) the sugar around the pan to make sure it is melting evenly. After about 5 minutes, the sugar should be completely melted and amber in color.
    1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar, ¼ tsp cream of tartar
  • Remove the pan from the heat and immediately stir in the butter. It will bubble, which is normal! Keep stirring until the butter is completely combined which will take about 1-2 minutes.
    6 tbsp (84 g) unsalted butter
  • Stir in the heavy cream and salt and place it back over a medium-low heat, stirring until completely combined. Pour the caramel into a heat safe dish and set it aside to cool.
    ⅓ cup (73 g) heavy cream, ½ tsp fine sea salt
  • In a large bowl, whisk the egg, egg yolk, sugar, and brown sugar until light and fluffy, about 1 minute.
    2 (110 g) large eggs, 1 (17 g) large egg yolk, ½ cup (100 g) granulated sugar, 1/2 cup (110 g) light brown sugar
  • Melt the butter and chocolate together in a microwave safe dish or pot on the stove until smooth and combined, then stream it into the eggs, whisking constantly until combined.
    ½ cup (113 g) unsalted butter, 2/3 cup (110 g) semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Mix in the vanilla.
    2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Fold in the all-purpose flour, cocoa powder, and salt until just combined.
    2/3 cup (86 g) all-purpose flour, ½ cup + 1 tbsp (50 g) unsweetened dutch cocoa powder, ½ tsp fine sea salt
  • Evenly spread half of the brownie batter into the baking pan.
  • Press 1 cup of the pretzels in an even layer on top of the batter.
    1 1/2 cups (80 g) mini pretzels
  • Spoon dollops of the caramel on top of the pretzels, saving a few tablespoons for the top of the brownie.
  • Spread the rest of the brownie batter on top.
  • Dollop the top with the rest of the caramel and use a toothpick to swirl it as best as possible into the batter.
  • Press the rest of the pretzels on top, then bake for 30-33 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted into the center comes out covered in clear caramel and a few moist chocolate crumbs.
    Let cool completely on a wire rack then slice with a serrated knife and enjoy!

Notes

Step-by-step process photos are provided above, in the body of this post.
Can I use store-bought caramel instead? You could definitely use store-bought caramel, but I highly recommend making it yourself because it has the BEST flavor!
*Measure your flour properly. This is my #1 baking tip! Do not ever scoop a measuring cup into your flour as this always leads to using too much flour. Instead, use the spoon-level method. This means fluffing the flour first, then spooning it into your measuring cup/spoon. For the BEST results, use a kitchen scale!*
Serving: 1serving | Calories: 548kcal | Carbohydrates: 71g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 116mg | Sodium: 449mg | Potassium: 179mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 51g | Vitamin A: 766IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 43mg | Iron: 2mg

The calorie information provided for the recipe is an estimate. The accuracy of the calories listed is not guaranteed.

The calorie information provided for the recipe is an estimate.

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2 Comments

  1. Janine M. says:

    Wow these were SO good. Perfect balance of salty and sweet!5 stars

  2. Janine M. says:

    Wow these were SO good. Perfect balance of salty and sweet!5 stars