Dulce de Leche Brownie Recipe

Chocolate dulce de leche brownie recipe

I thought I’d share this recipe for Dulce de Leche Brownies. I had several jars of the dulce de leche in my refrigerator, waiting to be used. And since I happened to be craving chocolate brownies, I though – “Why not combine the two?”

In the past, I’ve used homemade Dulce de Leche in this recipe, although you can use store-bought. I think these brownies are really fun to make: who doesn’t like swirling caramel? Just be careful not to overdo it. You wanted big, gooey pockets of dulce de leche, not thin lines of it. So don’t overdo it!

Dulce de Leche Brownies
Print Recipe
12 brownies
Adapted from The Sweet Life in Paris (Broadway Books)
8 tablespoons (115g) salted or unsalted butter, cut into pieces
6 ounces 170g) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/4 cup (25g) unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
3 large eggs
1 cup (200g) sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup (140g) flour
optional: 1 cup (100g) toasted pecans or walnuts, coarsely chopped
1 cup Dulce de Leche (or Cajeta)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (175 C).
Line an 8-inch (20 cm) square pan with a long sheet of aluminum foil that covers the bottom and reaches up the sides. If it doesn’t reach all the way up and over all four sides, cross another sheet of foil over it, making a large cross with edges that overhang the sides. Grease the bottom and sides of the foil with a bit of butter or non-stick spray.
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Add the chocolate pieces and stir constantly over very low heat until the chocolate is melted. Remove from heat and whisk in the cocoa powder until smooth. Add in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the sugar, vanilla, then the flour. Mix in the nuts, if using.
Scrape half of the batter into the prepared pan. Drop one-third of the Dulce de Leche, by heaping spoonfuls, evenly spaced over the brownie batter. Then drag a knife through the dulce de leche mounds to swirl it slightly. Spread the remaining brownie batter over, then drop spoonfuls of the remaining Dulce de Leche in dollops over the top of the brownie batter. Use a knife to swirl the Dulce de Leche slightly, again.
Bake for 35 to 45 minutes. The brownies are done when the center feels just-slightly firm. Remove from the oven and cool completely.

Storage: These brownies will keep well for up to 3 days at room temperature. They can be frozen for up to two months

Related Recipes and Posts

Chocolate FAQs

Chocolate Milkshakes with Coffee and Almond

Cocoa Powder FAQs

Baked Mint Brownies

Chocolate Idiot Cake

Chocolate Sherbet

Never miss a post!


  • Jess
    June 8, 2006 7:04am

    growing up cuban, it seems we always either had cans of condensed milk boiling away on the stove…or already half-eaten in the fridge. but, like you, i have been too scared to attempt this as an adult. i’ve never thought of making it in the oven. how very exciting!! gracias, david.

  • June 8, 2006 8:36am

    It’s also a “staple” in Singaporean kitchens. Parents would add a dollop or two in Milo and other drinks for the kids, or we would spread it over sliced bread. Never thought of putting it into brownies though. I like the sound of “Dulce de Leche” so much more sophisticated and tempting than “condensed milk”.

  • sarah
    June 8, 2006 8:57am

    oh man…i made david’s dulce de leche recipe for the first time about 2 months ago and as soon as it was cool enough, i was standing over the stove, scooping the sticky sweetness from pie plate to mouth with my finger! even though my hubby made a huge batch of brownies last night, i really need to try these!

  • Alisa
    June 8, 2006 9:26am

    The thing is, once you’ve seen the last episode, you will want to see it again, and maybe go back to the first few seasons and so on and so on. I suggest taking a grocery store break sometime soon.

  • June 8, 2006 10:25am

    I still have a jar of confiture de lait left over from my trip to Paris – could I use that instead of dulce de leche?

  • Mark
    June 8, 2006 11:18am

    Prepare yourself. Those final episodes of SFU are exhilarating and desvastating.

  • --Lisa
    June 8, 2006 12:17pm

    That’s funny – my mom used to make Dulce De Leche in the can all the time. I’ve done it myself but not recently. The one “safety” thing I do is to put something on the bottom of the pot and put the can on that something so it isn’t setting right on the burner. “Fully cooked” dulce takes 4 hours or so, and is solid (well, gelled) and you can cut it into wedges and serve with fruit and cheese. Yum. Now I will have to do that this weekend. :)

  • June 8, 2006 2:29pm

    This looks sinfully delicious! I would love a piece right now! Yum!

  • June 8, 2006 2:30pm

    This looks sinfully delicious! I would love a piece now!

  • June 8, 2006 3:18pm

    these look amazing! if i wasn’t already planning to make banana nut bread this weekend i would try the brownies. although, the dulce de leche might be good spread on a nice slice of the BNB. :)

  • June 8, 2006 4:13pm

    I am SO upset that I didn’t have these around to nibble on while I made my way through season 5 of Six Feet Under! I may just have to fire up the oven and rent the DVDs again. Looks delicious, David.

  • gladys
    June 8, 2006 5:29pm

    mmm, can you pass me one of those?

  • anne
    June 9, 2006 1:38am

    david! my pocket coffee and microplane foot file both came today! ever consider a career at HSN? great sales pitch. :)

  • Linda
    June 9, 2006 2:44am

    My mum used to make Dulce de Leche all the time – she was Scottish and she would boil a can of condensed milk on the stove. She wasn’t a fancy schmancy cook but she used it for cake fillings – mostly pineapple upside down cakes – yummy – I miss my mummy so much!
    She was such a character.

  • June 9, 2006 3:09am

    Luisa: I’m sure you could use it, but it’s probably very good and I would save it for spreading on toast, and use something more ‘plebian’.

    Anne: Glad you got both! You can get all hyped up on espresso…just don’t shave your feet off.

    As for those of you who boil cans of milk on the stovetop, yes, you can do it. Although if the water boils out of the pan, the can may explode and I don’t want to look like one of those corpses on Six Feet Under, sans Rico to fix me up. Some people puncture the can first, but the way I do it seems to work fine and no one’s ever complained!

  • J. Bo
    June 9, 2006 3:46am

    Oh, my f***ing lord, I just made a pan of these to send to my sweetie… and now I’m going to have to make another batch.

    See, I will most likely die from instant-onset diabetes on account’a eating NEARLY THE WHOLE DAMN PAN after testing just a weensy corner (QC is SO important in baking, I feel).

    There is no control. This stuff is evil. EVIL, I TELL YOU!

    Oh, I hope you’re happy, mister…

  • June 9, 2006 5:23am

    Just when I was looking for the perfect brownie recipe. It looks delicious David.

  • Edward
    June 9, 2006 6:59am

    My friends love me for my chocolate brownies, so these look like they’ll be an amazing addition to my repetoire. A must-do for the weekend. I’ve never made dulce de leche before, but my friend Mark is an experienced maker and these are his tips:

    ‘I boil them for 45 mins to an hour . On high nothing between can and pot , pref do not use a aluminium pot as the two metals seem to react.
    Take the label off and as much of the glue off as possible as this is difficult to get off the side of the pot afterwards.
    The longer you cook it the thicker and darker the caramel becomes.
    There is no real science to it just make sure the can is covered by the water at all times, and rotate
    the can to cook the caramel evenly , i.e. 15 mins on its top 15 mins on its bottom , then roll it 15 mins on either side.
    When you take it off the stove run cold water into the pot and let it cool off before opening.
    Do not open when very hot as the can tends to “burp” and the caramel is hot.

    Do not let the pot boil dry, this leads to spectacular results , a friend of my mother did just this and it was amazing
    just how much surface area one can can cover !!!!!!!’

    Be careful out there

  • Adele
    June 9, 2006 9:07am

    I used the crockpot method last year to make ducle de leche and the results were pretty good. It might just be time to make it again, just for these brownies………………..

  • June 13, 2006 4:54pm

    I’m sure I’ll bake these Brownies soon ! yummy, and thanks ;)

  • Sil (Bs As)
    June 15, 2006 10:59am

    I’ve tried them, fantastic!! so humid… but I cooked them just 20 min or so…depends on each oven I guess… thanks for sharing the recipe!!

  • June 27, 2006 10:10pm

    Hey David, I have a quick question – I’m planning to make these brownies on Thursday (to eat for breakfast during the Germany-Argentina match, if you must know, so yes, caramel is a-okay for breakfast!). I was hoping to use my salted butter, but I don’t have a scale at the moment. I don’t know that I can get a semi-precise 1/2 cup chunk off the pound plus block of the salty butter I have. If I use unsalted butter, would you recommend throwing in some salt?

    Ok, I lied, I have two questions. I’m also on the hunt for the most perfect caramel recipe ever of all time. I mean, being kind of far from Jacques Genin – whose caramels I have never tried yet TORTURE ME every time I come to your site, thanks – and occasionally wanting some that are not enrobed in Fran’s perfect chocolate, I’ll have to go and make my own. Anyway, do you have a recipe or know of one you might recommend? If so, I would be forever grateful. Thank you!

  • June 28, 2006 2:26am

    Leah: Yes, just add a nice pinch of salt, to balance the flavor.
    As for making caramels, Carole Bloom’s book, “Truffles, Candies and Confections” has a whole chapter to recipes that you’d find helpful. Happy baking!

  • Andi*
    June 30, 2006 8:18pm

    I just made Molten Chocolate Babycakes..
    Nigella Lawsons recipe…….
    I used William Sanomas bittersweet chocolate shavings…yumm…..
    We love the chocloate ones you get at Mustache Cafe on Melrose in California….
    sooo and my point is???
    I want to make your brownies.,but I want to suggest to you to try the W/S Chocolate shavings in your brownies…
    The Hot Chocolate is sold twice a year in W/S here in Vegas……its Guittard chocolate not cocoa…a little pricy but these babycakes are do die for….(0)¿(0)…..the chocolate is creammy silk..
    Keep on blogging,