Caramel Apple Brownies Recipe

by heidi on October 29, 2012

If you haven’t noticed by now, I have a crush on fall and all the bounty it delivers. Squash, root veggies, all of it. Don’t leave anything out. Please.

Especially apples.

Caramel Apple Brownie from FoodieCrush

October weather in Utah is meant to shock us natives straight out of any hopes that fall might last forever. Last week on one of my early a.m. walks, one that was in the super chilly low-30’s, I was stumbling through the darkened streets when I found myself playing kick the can with a bunch of fallen apples.

But where’d they all come from? And more importantly, were there more?

Caramel Apple Brownie from FoodieCrush

There were a few in the gutter, a few more across the street. And then I hit the motherlode. The tree about 15 feet in front of me and it didn’t look like anyone had plucked the ripened fruites for quite a while given all the rotting specimens on the ground and the low hangers just begging to be saved from the near freezing temps that would snap any hopes of them warming up a Thanksgiving pie.

And so they found a new home. With me.

My favorite apple sweet treat is Apple Crumble. Yes, I loved my mini Apple Cuplettes and my Bloody Caramel Apples, and while baking the classic apple pie is still on my to do list, I wanted to make something that would put Smudge’s cooking skills to work.

So we settled on a recipe I had tagged from an issue of Martha Stewart: Apple Brownies.

Caramel Apple Brownie from FoodieCrush

I’m a total brownie nut. If I could have either cake, cookies or any other sweet treat, brownies would win every time. I’m still on the hunt for the perfect brownie recipe which is why I haven’t had the resolve to post one yet because I couldn’t bear it if it was just, meh. And then you’d think I was a brownie fraud or I had no taste in brownies and that is so far from the truth! So if you have a recipe for the ultimate chocolate brownie, please link it below. One that’s fudgie and cake-ish all at the same time. That’s my hope. My dream.

But I digress.

Caramel Apple Brownie from FoodieCrush
That’s why I figured we should give the apple version a try. Thanks to my extra chromosome I am compelled to add chewy and gooey to nearly every one of my dessert recipes. Luckily I’ve passed along some of my behavioral traits to Smudge and we settled on adding caramel.

So we drizzled caramel on top before baking and the result was a smooth, creamy goo, but not as caramel over the head luscious as I had expected. Oh man! What to do…Well. We did what Smudge said we should do. DUH! We added more!

Caramel Apple Brownie from FoodieCrush
As the brownies cooled a bit more we made another high speed trip to the grocery store for more caramels. Once home Smudge peeled wrappers and I melted goo and we both put on our best plaid design making skills and drizzled more over the top. Whoa. A whole new level of gooeyness—and teeth picking.

Caramel Apple Brownie from FoodieCrush
The verdict? My taste testers gave it a huge thumbs up. And guess who wants to get up and go walking with me in the morning to look for more apples?

A couple of quick tips about the recipe:

1. Use a good quality, preferably organic sweet apples. The apple flavor is meant to shine so using the best fruit is essential. I used a honeycrisp apple in my version.

2. If pecans aren’t your thing go ahead and sub walnuts. Toasting the nuts before would bring out an even more earthy taste.

3. If you want the flavor of caramel for a topper but are looking for something a little smoother you could top with a store bought caramel coating rather than the melted candies. However this version won’t set up the same as the candies.

4. Don’t be alarmed. The dry mixture is a bit crumbly on the outset to compensate for the moisture released from the apples to create a moist brownie base.

5. If you want really straight cuts for your brownies, cool in the fridge for 30 minutes or so to get the best edges. If you’re not too particular go ahead and follow the directions below. Or if you just can’t take it, eat them straight from the pan. I won’t judge.

Caramel Apple Brownie Recipe

Serving Size: 12 brownies

Caramel Apple Brownie Recipe


1 stick salted butter, melted and cooled, plus more for dish
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup chopped pecans, plus ¼ cup whole pecans
2 large firm-sweet apples (about 1 pound) peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes, about 2 3/4 cups
20-25 caramel candies


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 9 X 9 brownie pan or pyrex dish with parchment paper that extends up the sides of the pan. Butter parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. In another bowl beat together butter, sugar and egg with a hand mixer until light and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add chopped pecans and apples, and stir by hand until combined. Add flour mixture, and stir until combined.
  3. Spread batter in pan. Place caramel candies in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 30 seconds, stir and then microwave for another 30 seconds. Drizzle caramel over batter, top with whole pecans and bake until golden, about 35 to 40 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes, then cut into 12 bars. If you like an extra caramel flavor for topping, drizzle additional melted caramel over the top of the cooled brownies and allow to set before cutting.

adapted from Martha Stewart Living

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Posted in: baking and breads,desserts and sweets,recipes,vegetables and fruits

{ 54 comments… read them below or add one }

Averie @ Averie Cooks October 29, 2012 at 1:35 am

These are awesome looking. A couple years ago I made caramel apple bars and my husband is STILL talking about them. It’s his fave flavor and I think I need to try your recipe next b/c it looks fab. And your daughter. Whoa. She grew up since the last pic I saw of her. What a little lady! :)


Angela Simpson October 29, 2012 at 3:25 am

Oh my goodness Heidi, these look amazing!! Your photos are absolutely gorgeous. I have a crush on all fall produce too, and apples are my fall staple fruit. Consider this one bookmarked!


heidi October 29, 2012 at 8:09 am

Thanks Angela, glad I have a fellow apple crusher :)


Blog is the New Black October 29, 2012 at 6:42 am

Holy moly! These sound amazing!!!!!


Lori @ RecipeGirl October 29, 2012 at 7:30 am

I love Smudge! We need to make and eat these before Thursday since Brooks is getting braces!! No more caramel for him, lol!


heidi October 29, 2012 at 8:10 am

Oh yes. There would be no caramel covered apple brownies for him! But you could do half covered with caramel for you and leave the other half off?


kelley {mountain mama cooks} October 29, 2012 at 7:32 am

Gorgeous. Apples are my favorite ingredient right now and I can’t seem to get enough. I’m sure when smothered in caramel, I’d be even happier. The smudge is stunning- my favorite pic of the post. xoxo


heidi October 29, 2012 at 8:11 am

Smudge taunting Pippa is my favorite of the post too. But then, I’m a bit partial :) XO


Maria October 29, 2012 at 7:35 am

Love apple everything and with caramel…I am sold! These remind me of my Salted Caramel Apple Crumb Bars. I think we need to have a party:) And Smudge is just darling!


Gerry @ Foodness Gracious October 29, 2012 at 7:35 am

I love this recipe courtesy of Lori :) I dress it up all different ways as its so versatile. Last time I threw in some white choc chunks, and sea salt on the top…delicious. I must try these caramel apple ones though!


Mackenzie {SusieFreakingHomemaker} October 29, 2012 at 7:50 am

Oh I absolutely love this recipe! I’m a caramel loving helper too!! :-)


Deborah October 29, 2012 at 8:15 am

I seriously want one of these, and the pictures are priceless!!


Kathryn October 29, 2012 at 8:15 am

You can’t ever go wrong with the combo of caramel and apple and these bars sound so incredibly delicious with all those apple-y chunks.


Cookin' Canuck October 29, 2012 at 8:24 am

Now I have a huge apple, caramel, etc. craving! It looks as though those forlorn apples found a VERY good home inside of these gorgeous brownies. Love the shot of the caramel craving dog!


carrian October 29, 2012 at 8:28 am

STOP. IT. I cannot take the temptation anymore!! I’ve eaten more sugar this month than I ever have before, and it’s not even Christmas cookie season yet!!!


Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes October 29, 2012 at 9:20 am

Ahhh these are very tempting on this monday morning :)


britainknee October 29, 2012 at 9:23 am

Yum! These look so much tastier than regular chocolate brownies (and easier to eat than actual caramel apples!)


Becky @ Project Domestication October 29, 2012 at 9:55 am

These look divine. I am holding off on making apple pie until Thanksgiving and these brownies might tie me over.

As far as brownie recipes my favorites include:
- Cook’s Illustrated Chewy Brownie Recipe (they mimic store bought brownies)
- The Baked Brownie
- The Baked Sweet n’ Salty Brownie
- Dorie Greenspan’s Tribute to Katherine Hepburn Brownies
- Dorie Greenspan’s Honey-Nut Brownies (more cakey)
- Dorie Greenspan’s White Chocolate Brownies (Amazing but not white chocolate, they have raspberries and meringue on top.)
(All on my blog. ;) It’s so hard for me to pick a favorite. Though I tend to like more fudgy ones… Can’t wait till you post your favorite!)


Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar October 29, 2012 at 10:50 am

These are beautiful!


Kristen October 29, 2012 at 12:25 pm

First of all, the lighting in your kitchen has me green with envy!

I’m a purist when it comes to brownies… however, these are so tempting!


Cassie | Bake Your Day October 29, 2012 at 1:09 pm

Your kitchen and daughter are beautiful, as are you and these brownies. Oh my goodness, so decadent! Love these photos.


Mandie @ Oh So Decadent October 29, 2012 at 2:24 pm

These look so wonderful! A deconstructed caramel apple is the perfect dessert for autumn! Definitely saving this one :).


Barbara | Creative Culinary October 29, 2012 at 3:36 pm

I’ve made these same bars…and then had to drizzle some more caramel on top! What is the point if it’s just baked in anyway…there has to be some element of goo if you ask me!

I made Apple Toffee cookies last night…and some goo went on them too. It’s evident I have a goo issues. :)


Stefanie @ Sarcastic Cooking October 29, 2012 at 3:39 pm

These look gorgeous!!! I think this might be the dessert I make for Thanksgiving!


Cookie and Kate October 29, 2012 at 5:23 pm

Good gracious, these look amazing. I would bake more decadent desserts if I had a helper, or at least someone to help me eat it! Smudge is rocking those pink pants, love it.


Loretta | A Finn In The Kitchen October 29, 2012 at 9:05 pm

Oh boy! These look great! Apple pie is on my list this week…But I can’t decide if I’m going to do a streusel topping or double crust.


Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet October 29, 2012 at 9:06 pm

I am in pursuit to find the best brownie recipe myself. Only few weeks ago I started the series on my blog. I’ve had a crush on apples since I can remember – they do make for a perfect addition to brownies. Your version looks absolutely amazing! The caramel drizzle and all! The picture of Smudge is precious!!


what katie's baking October 29, 2012 at 9:41 pm

omg i have a crush on fall, too! these are the perfect fall dessert. also your pictures are wonderful!


Laurel October 30, 2012 at 7:29 am

Wow! I can’t wait to make these. I’m a fellow brownie-lover, so I have to share the link to Smitten Kitchen’s best brownie recipe.


Julie @ Table for Two October 30, 2012 at 8:47 am

I have all the ingredients to make this! I just might have to since I have some major cabin fever right now. I love fall and all the seasonal flavors :)


Patti October 30, 2012 at 1:21 pm

The brownies look wonderful and the cook is even better, love that girl!


Rachel @ Baked by Rachel October 30, 2012 at 1:33 pm

These would make me immensely happy


Joanne @ Inspired Taste October 30, 2012 at 4:22 pm

Holy Moly this looks amazing! Seriously need a bite NOW!


Martyna @ Wholesome Cook October 31, 2012 at 5:03 am

What a lucky find! Love your puppy dog too, she’s super cute! On the note of finding things growing on trees, there’s a house near the kids’ school with a peach tree in the frontyard. Now we are heading into summer here, so the tree is starting to be covered in fruit. Last year most of them rotted, so this year I am going to watch closely and save them, just like you did!


Amy October 31, 2012 at 12:51 pm

These look great. Thank you for sharing the recipe. One quick question: if you don’t have a microwave, can you melt the caramels in a double boiler or just in a saucepan? Have you tried it?


Dawn R October 31, 2012 at 1:54 pm

These look extraordinarily awesome!! Can’t wait to make them. Thank you!


Delishhh November 2, 2012 at 11:17 am

These look awesome but love love the photo of your daughter and your dog!!


Ruth November 3, 2012 at 8:30 am

Oh my, these look good. No, these look awesome, they look a whole new league of awesomeness!!!


shazza November 4, 2012 at 8:00 am

Made these twice using apples I picked up from a neighbors trees, some fuji, some red delicious (which really are delicious when they are fresh, not like those from the store, not ‘mealy’) I digress…
The blondie/brownie recipe was great, I made no adjustments to first one, second one used toasted chopped hazelnuts. Perfect combo of sweet, and sticky.


Delishhh November 4, 2012 at 8:26 pm

So i forgot to write this – but since you are a brownie nut – you have to try Swedish brownies here is the recipe – hands down my favorite! Even Deb at Smitten Kitchen thinks so since that is also her favorite brownie recipe. . .


Laura (Tutti Dolci) November 7, 2012 at 10:42 pm

These might just be my new favorite brownie! Pinned!


Carol | a cup of mascarpone November 8, 2012 at 4:43 am

These are sensational! Gorgeous photos, too!


Adam November 9, 2012 at 7:47 am

I love that shot of Smudge and carmel loving dog! So cute.


Holly W November 9, 2012 at 9:10 pm

Heidi, these look SO good. I’m a sucker for an apple + caramel combo.
As for brownies, the base of these Brownies (minus the frosting & berries… although that’s a superb option as well) is quite amazing.
Let me know if you try them out!


marla December 7, 2012 at 10:57 am

You totally went for it with these!! LOVE.


Lorna Pretorius January 19, 2013 at 3:52 am

Tried these yesterday. Didn’t have pecans, so substituted almonds, which worked well, and used white choc chips on top instead of caramel, which was also yummy. They’re delicious, but a little sweet for my taste, so next time I’ll use 1/2 a cup of sugar instead of a full cup.


Clash of Clans Cheats July 22, 2013 at 2:48 pm

Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though you relied on the video to make
your point. You clearly know what youre talking about, why waste your intelligence on just posting videos to your site when you could be giving us something enlightening to read?

Reply July 23, 2013 at 4:44 am

Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though you relied on the video to make your point.
You obviously know what youre talking about,
why throw away your intelligence on just posting videos to your site when you could
be giving us something enlightening to read?


Ashley B. October 22, 2013 at 11:40 am

Made these last week for a little party and they were devoured in minutes–the perfect fall treat!


Holly Waterfall November 10, 2013 at 9:47 pm

I’ll be honest, I rarely make treats from other blogs, but Heidi, I think these must happen in my kitchen soon. I would absolutely choose brownies over any other treat as well. And Caramel Apple seals the deal!


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And besides, drinking a few glasses of water can make you feel half full before getting to the dinner table.

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Sanford June 9, 2014 at 3:36 pm

Hmm is anyone else having problems with the pictures oon this blog loading?
I’m trying to determine if its a problem on my ennd or if
it’s the blog. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.


Avianti Jewelry September 18, 2014 at 12:50 pm

This is so amazing!… I don’t have taste testers… Oh no, now I can’t share this with people and have to eat it all by myself…. Such a shame, but that’s okay, I’ll fall on that grenade ;D


tracie @ beets+birch October 10, 2014 at 9:00 am

made this today! it is very good. i did make my own caramel sauce because i didn’t have store caramels. mine is VERY moist more cake like, not really a ‘bar’ style ‘brownie and’ not saying it won’t be eaten because OH YEAH IT WILL. just wondering if that’s the style it was supposed to be like?


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