Peanut Butter Brownie Caramelitas

filed under: Brownies on January 19, 2015

Peanut Butter Brownie Caramelitas are brownies that have a sweet caramel center, along with a layer of peanut butter morsels to make each bite a blissful treat. If you love the combination of chocolate and peanut butter, be sure to check out my Chocolate Peanut Butter Ooey Gooey Cake!

Peanut Butter Brownie Caramelitas

There is actually a scientific reason that people love the combination of peanut butter and chocolate. It’s called Dynamic Sensory Contrast. It has to do with our taste buds loving contrasting textures. But, I don’t need a scientific explanation as to why I love this combination so much. Then, with caramel added to the mix, it takes it to a whole new level. I would gladly continue researching this chocolate, peanut butter, caramel combination any day! And, let me start with these Peanut Butter Brownie Caramelitas!

Stack of three Peanut Butter Brownie Caramelitas

Peanut Butter Brownie Caramelitas Recipe

This recipe starts with the perfect brownie recipe and is layered with a caramel center and peanut butter chips.

Brownies Ingredients (full recipe below)

  • Butter
  • Granulated sugar
  • Flour
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Salt
  • Baking powder
  • Eggs
  • Vanilla extract
  • Peanut butter morsels

Caramel Sauce Ingredients

  • Caramel bits
  • Vanilla extract
  • Milk

Overhead view of Peanut Butter Brownie Caramelitas!

How to Make Peanut Butter Brownie Caramelitas

It all starts with the brownie recipe. You will bake the brownies in two stages. The first bake will be with the bottom brownie layer. Then, you will bake them again after adding the peanut butter morsels, caramel sauce, and second brownie layer.

Once you have the brownie batter ready, pour half (about 2 cups) of the batter into a prepared 9-inch square pan. Bake this layer for 10-12 minutes at 350°F. Meanwhile, prepare the caramel sauce by adding the caramel bits and milk into a medium saucepan, cooking over medium-low heat for about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the vanilla, stirring until everything is incorporated.

After you have removed the brownies from the oven the first time, cover the top with a layer of peanut butter morsels. Then, pour the caramel sauce over the morsels. Finally, pour the remaining brownie batter on top and bake for 18-20 minutes. Let them cool completely before enjoying them.

Peanut Butter Brownies CaramelitasTips for Success:

  • I mention in the recipe to use a prepared pan.  For this recipe specifically, I recommend lining the pan with parchment paper that extends up over the sides.  Carmel can be very sticky and unforgiving when washing dishes!  Not only does the parchment help you to easily remove the brownies from the pan, but also means there is one less dish to wash.
  • You are baking one layer of brownie, and then immediately adding some peanut butter morsels over top. Then, you are covering the morsels with hot caramel, followed by the remaining uncooked brownie batter. Even though there is a lot of heat there, not all the morsels will melt.  I preferred the texture of unmelted morsels, but if you prefer you can melt the morsels first and spread on with an offset spatula.
  • Make sure that you allow the brownies to cool before cutting.  The caramel does need the time to cool so that it may slightly solidify.

They looked harmless enough at first.  But then I started cutting into them… and the crispy flakey chocolatey crust cracked under the pressure of my knife. Just under the surface was this river of golden caramel. I may have shed a tear of joy, or maybe it was drool but either way, it was hard to contain my excitement.

Peanut Butter Brownie Carmelitas

Looking for More Brownie Recipes?

Chocolate Cherry Brownies

Ooey Gooey Pecan Pie Brownies

Salted Caramel Brownies

Rocky Road Brownies

Peanut Butter Brownie Caramelitas
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
45 mins
Total Time
1 hr

A caramel sauce and peanut butter morsels are nestled between layers of brownie in this decadent dessert!

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: peanut butter brownie caramelitas
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 533 kcal
Author: Amanda Rettke
  • 1 cup (2 sticks or 227g) butter, melted, then cooled
  • 2 cups (400g) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (125g) all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup (79g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons McCormick® vanilla extract
  • 1 cup peanut butter morsels
Caramel Sauce
  1. Melt butter in microwave and set aside to cool slightly.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking powder.

  3. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs with the vanilla. Add the eggs and vanilla into the dry ingredients and gently stir.

  4. Pour the melted butter into the brownie mixture and mix until just incorporated.

  5. Spread 1/2 of the brownie batter (about 2 cups) into a prepared 9-inch square pan and bake for 10-12 minutes at 350°F.

Caramel Sauce
  1. Place caramel bits in a medium saucepan and turn heat to medium-low. Add in milk and stir until all caramel bits are melted (about 5 minutes). Remove from heat and add in vanilla, stirring until fully incorporated.

Assembling the Brownies
  1. When time is up, remove brownies from oven and cover with 1 cup of peanut butter morsels.

  2. Pour caramel sauce over peanut butter morsels.

  3. Cover caramel sauce with remaining two cups of brownie batter.
  4. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until edges start to get a little dark.
  5. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely, at least 4 hours.


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  • Annie says:

    Does not say at what temp to cook brownies

  • Karen says:

    I made these last night and it was a disaster so I’m hoping you might be able to help me figure out where I went wrong. The recipe didn’t state what temp to bake at so I just did it at 350 degrees.

    I couldn’t find Kraft caramel bits in the grocery so I used an 11oz bag of caramel squares. They were all individually wrapped so I unwrapped and melted. I used Hershey’s unsweetened cocoa, King Arthur organic unbleached all purpose flour, whole organic milk, KerryGold butter, unbleached organic sugar, organic vanilla extract.

    Everything seemed fine in mixing and prep except the brownie mixture was so very thick. Like so thick I couldn’t even hardly get it out of the bowl into the 9×9 glass brownie dish. I put parchment paper in dish and it just stuck so much to the parchment paper that is was hard to spread that 1st layer down. Needless to say when I was putting the 2nd layer of brownie mixture over the peanut butter and caramel it was hard to spread it over it all.

    I ended up cooking it for almost 25-30 minutes because it just seemed so liquid still when I checked it at 18-20 minutes. I then let it cool overnight instead of 4 hours. This morning when I tried to take it out of the pan and cut into squares it was a big gooey mess. The parchment paper was stuck to the glass and stuck to the brownies. I ended up getting it out of the pan but it was just a mess. Peeling the paper off the bottom of brownies resulted in tearing the paper and just having to cut it off the brownies. Needless to say they aren’t pretty squares but a gooey mess of crumbles and most of it in the trash because I couldn’t get paper off.

    Where did I go wrong?

    • Amanda says:

      Hi Karen! I am SO sorry there were issues. Sounds like you used quality ingredients and I am sorry about the time and expense. The only thing That I can see that might have gone wrong it… did you pour half the brownie mixture into the pan and bake it? Then remove the baked brownies, add the caramel and remaining brownie and bake longer?

    • heidi says:

      Same thing happened to mine following directions exactly except forgot to line with parchment paper…..let it cool over night it was one gooey mess couldn’t cut into brownies looked nothing like picture above. Did pick at some of the goo it tasted good would have been great if it turned into a brownie.

  • Samantha @ Samantha's Kitchen Table says:

    OH. MY. GOODNESS. Those look absolutely worth any extra time spent on the treadmill ! I’m all about “everything in moderation” but with those in my kitchen, I might have to redefine my definition of moderation;)

  • Renee @ Tortillas and Honey says:

    Oh my. These brownies look absolutely lovely and delicious! I don’t think brownies can really get better than this!

  • Thalia @ butter and brioche says:

    Oh god.. all that oozing caramel is making my mouth water. Incredible images… pinned!

  • Po says:

    These look heavenly! I absolutely love caramel. I’ll definitely try it out in the near future. ;;)

  • MM says:

    I actually made these and thought I would share my experience for anyone else considering hazarding a try at this sinful treat. I followed the recipe pretty much exactly, with a 9×9 inch pan, no substitutions, and baked at 350,, but I baked them longer than called for. The first layer I left in about 15-17 minutes. It was still reeeaally liquidy after the 10-12 called for, so I gave them a few more minutes until it had firmed up a bit.

    The second layer on top of the caramel is trickier to spread than the first, but I find it’s not bad if you just put dollops all around and then the warm caramel underneath will make it easier to smooth out. Plus, once it’s in the oven, it’ll even out anyway.

    The second round in the oven I found again was still very jiggly/not at all firm or crackly after 20 minutes. Usually my oven runs a bit hot and I pull stuff out early, but these seemed to need more time. I probably could have pulled them after 28-30 minutes, or whenever I noticed the top seemed firm to touch, but I left them in another few minutes since I couldn’t really tell if the edges had started to darken. Mine didn’t turn out looking quite as pretty with the caramel flowing out (I think some of it may have gotten more mixed in with the brownie layers, or perhaps it’s just because I baked them much longer) but they were still really fudgy and had caramel and peanut butter flavor. Perhaps if I had baked them somewhere between the recommended time and when I pulled them would have looked more like the picture.

    By the way, just a warning to prep the pan underneath the parchment paper too. Whenever I make stuff with caramel, I always seem to get some that seeps around the parchment paper into the corner of the pan, and this time was no exception.

    Definitely a tasty treat if you’re willing to splurge on some major calories! Thanks for sharing!

  • Michelle says:

    Have you ever doubled the recipe and put in a 9×11? I’m afraid a smaller pan will last for ten minutes.

    • Amanda says:

      I would definitely make this recipe as is and THEN attempt doubling it if that is what you want. 🙂

  • Tonya says:

    I wonder if you can omit the peanut butter or replace with chocolate?

  • Shelby says:

    hello! I have a few questions, can I use a salted caramel recipe in place of the Kraft caramels? also I’d worry the caramel would maybe burn, would it be such a bad idea to bake the top layer of brownie on it’s own and just stick on top of the peanut butter and caramel while it’s still warm and just let it cool like that? just a thought, I’m new to the homemade caramel thing so I need as much tips as I can get lol, thanks for your time!

  • Natasha Jones says:

    This is a giant mess. How are you supposed to put gooey brownie batter on top of liquid caramel? Plus a 9 inch square pan is way too small to hold the ingredients. I have caramel dripping all over my oven (yes, I’ve lined it because I knew this would happen). After the listed cooking time I’m starting to smell burnt caramel, yet the center of the brownie is still completely liquid. I have been baking for a long time and I’m really disappointed with this.

    • Amanda says:

      Hi Natasha- I am so sorry that you are having issues. The brownie batter should go over the caramel easily, not sure how that is a problem. And yes, if the caramel is not covered entirely there may be edges and bits that get done faster than the center. If you cooked the bottom layer first then it should definitely not be liquid still. Can you tell me how I can re-word the directions so that this would work better for you in the future?

      • Natasha Jones says:

        I ended up using a 9×13 pan. A thin layer of batter, bake about 5 minutes until just set. I used a thicker caramel layer that I used for a previous recipe, layered according to your recipe. I spread the remaining batter with a small cookie scoop, dipped in ice water after every scoop, and carefully spread it over the caramel layer. I baked it about 20 minutes, checking with a toothpick after 15. It turned out really great, everybody loved it. I really like the idea of there brownies, I just had to get those right.

  • Ami@NaiveCookCooks says:

    These look super delicious!! That caramel layer – yumm!!

  • Colleen says:

    What did I do wrong? The caramel absorbed into the brownies. I did not have a yummy river of melty caramel. 🙁

    Still tasty but not what I was hoping for.

    • Amanda says:

      Did you use the peanut butter chips? Was the brownie cooked for the recommended time before you put the peanut butter chips on it? Did you use all of the caramel?

      • Colleen says:

        Yes, Yes, and Every last bit I could scrap out of that dang pot. Do people not use all the caramel? Who are these people and why are they allowed to bake?

        By the by, everyone enjoyed them, so taste wasn’t an issue. One thing I did have to do was heat the brownie batter a bit before adding it to the pan – for bottom – and top, otherwise it was simply too thick to spread. More like a really sticky dough than batter.

  • Cheri says:

    Best brownies I ever made. I was feared and revered the day I brought these in to the office. Not only is the caramel and peanut butter the best addition to a brownie you could ever imagine, but the brownie recipe all by itself is amazing!

    • Amanda says:

      YAY!!! I am so so so glad you enjoyed them!!

  • Cheri says:

    OK I just made these for the 2nd time. Both times I doubled the recipe and used a 9×13 pan. This definitely increases the baking time….by quite a bit more than I thought it would. Lots of monitoring required and continued poking with a wooden skewer to check progress. But as long as you don’t let them over bake it works out fine. The first time I prepared the pan but didn’t use parchment paper. Big mistake. USE THE PARCHMENT PAPER. They are cooling in the pan right now, and checking them, the paper seems to be pulling away nicely and did its job. I said it before, but let me say it again….these are the best brownies I have ever made!

  • Tiffany says:

    Hey there,

    I was wondering if the bottom half is supposed to be fully cooked, or at least firm before you spread the peanut chips and caramel on it? I baked at 350 for 15 minutes and it still wasn’t cooked, so I just added the peanut butter and caramel on top, but it all seemed to incorporate with the liquidy bottom half. Then when I added the brownie batter on top, it was kind of stiff and heavy and took a lot of spreading it around to finally get it to cover the caramel, and it seemed like it was just sinking to the bottom.

    It’s in the oven finishing off right now, but I kind of have low hopes that it will turn out correctly.

    • Amanda says:

      Yes Tiffany, the bottom should be firm, but not fully cooked. Your instincts were exactly right! Sorry about any other issues… I do hope they tasted amazing? Let me know if we can trouble shoot anything else.

  • Holly Birkeland says:

    Where can I find peanut butter morsels? Or should I use crushed up Reeses peanut butter cups?

  • Erica says:

    These look and sound incredibly delicious! Can’t wait to try them!
    Have you ever used heavy cream instead of milk in the caramel sauce? I’ve never used milk. I’m just wondering if milk and cream are interchangeable or if I need to change the amount if I sub it. Any thoughts on that?

  • dina says:

    Can I use peanut butter instead if morsels?
    what about ready made dulche de leche?

  • Sharon says:

    Can I use chocolate chips instead of peanut butter morsels

  • Angy says:

    I made these last night and they did not work out too well. Is there a misprint on the amount of butter? They top layer of batter just did not cook and it seemed like the butter was the problem. Also, they were insanely sweet. If I ever try them again, I am going to cut the butter and sugar in half.

  • Emily says:

    This isn’t going so hot!

    Currently trying to make these brownies. I followed the recipe and even cooked the bottom layer longer, spread the chips and Carmel (so far so good) but noticed the 2nd half of my batter (in the time it took the other half to cook) really thickened up. Which worried me and is why I baked the bottom longer. Sure enough my fears came to pass. When I tried to put on the 2nd layer of batter, it sank into the first layer causing the sides to bubble way up and all the raw batter went in the middle.

    I really don’t think it’s going to cook well now, but I put it back in the oven with my fingers crossed.

    Next time I make it, the whole batter will go in the pan and the carmel mix will either be swirled in or just used as a topping.

    4th of July Dessert Fail.

  • Sarah C. says:

    I’d love to make these! They look amazing. I was wondering if I could sub chocolate chips for the peanut butter ones, as they’re what I’ve got on hand. Hope to try these as soon as possible. They look absolutely glorious.


  • Leia @ Eat It & Say Yum says:

    Amanda! These brownies are KILLING it! They look amazing, and I can’t wait to bake them up! Yum! Pinning!

  • Penny says:

    Thank you for posting! CANNOT WAIT to make these!!!!