Salted Caramel Brownie Marshmallow Hi-Hats are brownies piled high with marshmallow buttercream and a caramel center that are then coated with melted chocolate and sprinkled with sea salt. Try my Peanut Butter Hi-Hat Cookies for another hi-hat dessert.
Salted Caramel Brownie Marshmallow Hi-Hat
Hi-hat decorating is generally associated with cupcakes. It’s the swirl of frosting that goes on top of the cupcake, or in this case, brownies. In this treat, the swirl of marshmallow buttercream is filled with homemade caramel sauce and then topped with melted chocolate. Finally, sea salt is sprinkled on top for that salted caramel flavor.
Caramel Sauce: Be sure to use only granulated sugar when making the caramel. Do not use brown sugar. We tried using half granulated sugar and half brown sugar, but the brown sugar seized up when cooking. This recipe does make a lot of caramel sauce, and you will only need about a fourth of it. But, it will last up to a month in the refrigerator and is delicious on ice cream or other desserts! You can also use store-bought caramel sauce.
Brownies: The brownies are from my homemade brownie mix, which makes delicious brownies whenever you are craving them. You could also use a boxed brownie mix to make the brownies.
Marshmallow Buttercream: I halved my original marshmallow buttercream recipe for this dessert, which was just the right amount. You can use marshmallow fluff or marshmallow creme.
Chocolate Coating: Use semi-sweet chocolate chips for the coating. Just like with the caramel sauce, you will have extra melted chocolate. Use it as a fruit/berry dip or over ice cream.
Topping: To give this dessert a salted caramel flavor, don’t forget to sprinkle some flaky sea salt over the chocolate. You could also use other coarse ground salts like kosher salt or Himalayan pink sea salt.
How to Make Caramel Sauce
The first thing you need to make for these Salted Caramel Brownie Marshmallow Hi-Hats is the caramel sauce. It needs to cool completely before adding it to the dessert. To make the caramel, first, in a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the sugar. Stir constantly, being careful not to burn it. The sugar will take on an amber color.
Once the sugar has melted completely, add the butter to melt, whisking constantly. The mixture will bubble up at this point. If you notice the butter separating, remove the saucepan from the heat and whisk to combine again.
After the mixture is fully combined, cook for another minute, and then slowly drizzle in the heavy cream. Stir to combine and let it simmer for an additional minute. Remove the caramel from the heat and let it cool. It will thicken as it cools.
You will only use about a fourth of this caramel sauce in the hi-hat brownies. However, the leftover caramel can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a month. Use it on a bowl of ice cream or any of your favorite desserts!
How to Make Brownies
As I mentioned, this brownie recipe comes from my homemade brownie mix. On their own, they are delicious brownies, which is why I am using that recipe here.
With the caramel cooling, it’s time to get the brownie batter mixed and baked. To get the batter made, first, melt the butter in the microwave and let it cool slightly. Next, in a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, cocoa powder, flour, salt, and baking powder.
Then, in a separate large bowl, beat the eggs with the vanilla. Stir in the dry ingredients and pour in the melted butter. Mix the ingredients until just incorporated. Pour the batter into a lined 9×9-inch baking dish and bake at 350°F for about 20 minutes. The brownies are done when an inserted toothpick comes out mostly clean with a few dry crumbs. Allow the brownies to cool before cutting them and assembling the dessert.
This is definitely sweet frosting! Butter, sugar, almond extract, and marshmallow fluff (or creme) are all you need to make it… and those ingredients combined are absolutely sweet! Don’t be afraid by all that butter in there. With the addition of the almond extract, it truly is delicious.
Why almond extract? It truly is my secret ingredient in making frostings BETTER and absolutely lives up to its reputation in this recipe. And, you can make this buttercream ahead of time if need be. Simply store it in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Assembling Salted Caramel Brownie Marshmallow Hi-Hats
With the first three parts of this recipe complete, it’s time to get this sweet treat made! To make the dessert, first, use a 2-inch biscuit cutter to cut out the brownies. I was able to cut out nine circular brownies. You will have some extra brownie pieces that you can enjoy!
Or, you could simply cut the brownies in squares, but then you miss out on the hi-hat shape. Place the brownies on a cooling rack that is inside a cookie sheet. The cookie sheet will catch the melted chocolate that will cover the buttercream and caramel.
After the brownies are cut out, add the buttercream to a piping bag with a tip. Or, use a plastic sandwich bag with one of the corners cut off. On each cooled brownie, pipe the frosting in two layers of circles, leaving an opening in the center. Don’t worry, you will top off the brownies with more buttercream after you add the caramel.
Next, using another piping bag or plastic sandwich bag, pipe the caramel into the center of the buttercream swirls, filling up to the top. Grab the marshmallow buttercream again to top off the swirls, covering the caramel. Place the brownies in the freezer for about five minutes as you melt the chocolate.
Chocolate Coating and Sea Salt Topping
While the frosted brownies are chilling in the freezer, melt the chocolate. Add the chocolate chips and vegetable oil into a microwave-safe measuring cup. Using a measuring cup is easy to use to pour the melted chocolate over the brownies. Melt for about 30 seconds in the microwave, stir, and then continue to melt in 15-second increments, stirring after each until the mixture is smooth.
Remove the chilled brownies from the freezer and pour the melted chocolate on top until the frosted brownies are fully covered. Sprinkle the sea salt over the wet chocolate and let the dessert sit for about 15 minutes to allow the chocolate to set. Then, enjoy the salted caramel brownie marshmallow hi-hat! Store leftovers in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.
Looking for More Brownie Desserts?
Salted Caramel Brownie Marshmallow Hi-Hats are brownies piled high with marshmallow buttercream and a caramel center that are then coated with melted chocolate and sprinkled with sea salt.
- 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
- 6 tablespoons butter, room temperature
- ½ cup heavy cream, room temperature
- ½ cup (1 stick or 113g) butter, melted and cooled
- 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup (40g) unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
- ½ cup (64g) all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup (1 stick or 113g) butter, softened
- 2 cups (250g) confectioners' sugar
- ¼ teaspoon almond extract
- 1 jar (7 ounces) marshmallow creme or fluff
- 2½ cups (20 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
- ¼ cup (54.5g) vegetable oil
- sea salt flakes, or other coarse salts like kosher salt or Himalayan pink sea salt
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add granulated sugar. Stir constantly, being careful not to burn. Sugar will take on an amber color. (It is clumpy as it melts, but will all turn to liquid.)
Once sugar melts completely, add butter and melt, whisking constantly until combined. (Sugar mixture will bubble up in this step). If butter separates, remove from heat and continue whisking until combined again.
Once fully combined, cook for 1 more minute and then slowly drizzle in heavy cream. Stir to combine and then let simmer for 1 more minute. Remove from heat and allow the sauce to thicken as it cools completely.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9x9-inch baking dish with parchment paper.
Melt butter and set aside to cool.
Sift together the sugar, cocoa powder, flour, salt, and baking powder.
In a medium bowl, beat the eggs with the vanilla. Slowly add and stir in the dry ingredients.
Pour the melted and cooled butter into the brownie mixture and mix until just incorporated.
Spread the batter into the lined baking dish and bake for 20 minutes. The brownies are done when an inserted toothpick comes out with a few crumbs, but no wet batter.
Set aside to cool.
In a large bowl, cream the butter with an electric mixture on medium speed until the butter is light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. (You can also use a stand mixer with the paddle attachment.)
Add in the almond extract.
Gradually beat in confectioners' sugar, about ½ cup at a time. Once all the sugar is added, mix on high for 2-3 minutes.
Once fully combined, gently fold the marshmallow fluff or creme into the frosting by hand. This can be used immediately or refrigerated until ready to use.
Using a 2-inch biscuit cutter, cut out the cooled brownies. Place them on a cooling rack inside a cookie sheet. (I like to eat the extra brownie pieces.)
Place the marshmallow buttercream in a piping bag fitted with a tip. (Or, use a plastic sandwich bag with a corner snipped off.)
On top of each cooled brownie, pipe the frosting in a circle, squeezing with even pressure straight overhead. Starting at the edge, pipe two layers, making sure to leave a hole in the center.
Put the caramel sauce in a piping bag (or plastic sandwich bag with the corner cut off). Pipe the caramel sauce into the center of the buttercream swirls, filling to the top.
Next, continue the buttercream swirl by piping a little more to cover the caramel center filling.
Chill the brownies in the freezer for about 5 minutes as you melt the chocolate.
In a microwave-safe measuring cup, microwave chocolate chips and oil, uncovered, on high, for 30 seconds, then 10 to 15 seconds, stirring after each interval, until mixture is smooth.
Once the brownies have chilled, pour the chocolate coating over the frosted brownies until fully covered. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt while the chocolate is still wet. Let the chocolate set for about 15 minutes before serving.