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These Pecan Pie Brownies take the best part of pecan pie, the gooey, nutty filling, and bake it right on top of rich chocolate brownies. It's the ultimate dessert mashup!
Table of contents
Fudgy Pecan Pie Brownies
It's no secret that I'm an expert when it comes to brownies. I mean, I have a bunch of made-from-scratch brownie recipes, and I've even written an entire brownie cookbook. So you can trust me when I say these pecan pie brownies are the brownie mashup you never knew you needed. Of course, pecan pie on its own is great, but when you take the gooey, nutty pecan pie filling and bake it over a homemade brownie... the results are unbelievably delicious.
Why You'll Love This Pecan Pie Brownie Recipe
- Simplicity. No mixer is required! This recipe is two simple one-bowl recipes combined.
- Flavor. Two rich, decadent layers – fudgy brownies on the bottom with a layer of gooey pecan pie filling on top.
- Texture. Some pecan pie filling bakes into the top of the brownies making a brownie that's both fudgy and chewy. What's not to love about chewy homemade brownies paired with a perfectly crunchy topping?!
- Size. This recipe is made in an 8×8-inch pan, but these brownies are rich, so you can get anywhere from 9 to 16 servings!
These pecan pie brownies are made with pretty common ingredients. Here's what you'll need:
- Butter: It provides flavor and helps keep these brownies nice and moist. You'll also need a bit of butter for the pecan pie layer.
- Cocoa powder: I recommend using Dutch-processed cocoa for that deep, chocolatey flavor, but an unsweetened natural cocoa powder will work just fine too!
- Espresso powder: This is different than instant coffee! Espresso powder further brings out the chocolate flavor; don't worry... your brownies won't taste like coffee, I promise! If you can't get your hands on any espresso powder, just leave it out.
- Sugar: This recipe uses dark brown and granulated sugar for the ideal chewy fudge brownie texture.
- Vanilla: Leaving it out will produce brownies that taste a little bland.
- Salt: Similar to vanilla, salt is a flavor enhancer, so don’t skip it!
- Eggs: Three large (room temperature) eggs are all you need; two for the brownie layer and one for the pecan pie layer.
- All-purpose flour: Only a little more than ½ cup of all-purpose flour is needed!
- Maple syrup: This both sweetens and thickens the pecan pie layer while providing a fantastic flavor.
- Pecans: I mean, these are pecan pie brownies, after all...
Note: You can substitute any type of nut for the pecans; walnuts, almonds, pistachios, cashews, or a combination will all work perfectly!
How to Make the Best Pecan Pie Brownies
These pecan pie brownies are extremely simple to make, and the results are unreal. Trust me! There are two essential components for this recipe: the brownie layer & the pecan pie layer!
The Brownie Layer
The brownie layer contains your standard brownie ingredients; you know… butter, flour, eggs, etc. This particular brownie recipe only uses cocoa powder which makes for a deliciously chewy brownie that comes together extremely quickly.
To make these pecan pie brownies, you’ll first line an 8×8 pan with parchment paper; this will help remove the brownies once they're topped, and the pecan pie filling has set. After the pan is lined with parchment paper, you’ll mix your brownie batter. There's nothing complicated happening here, you just need a large bowl and a whisk. Once your brownie batter has come together, just pour and carefully spread the batter into the pan and bake at 350°F (180°C) for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with moist crumbs. Then you’ll make the pecan pie layer.
The Pecan Pie Layer
This is the star of the show here. It's simply butter, brown sugar, maple syrup, vanilla, salt, pecans, and an egg that get whisked together here and then poured over the baked brownies. Then you'll just throw the pan back into the oven for another 20 minutes until the pecan pie topping has set.
If you really want to take the pecan pie layer to the next level, toast your pecans first!
How to Toast Pecans
Oven: Place the pecans on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and bake at 350°F (180°C) for 5-8 minutes, stirring once, until fragrant and they begin to brown. Watch them closely so they don’t burn!
Stovetop: Place pecans in a dry skillet over medium heat. Cook, shaking or stirring the pan occasionally until the pecans are fragrant and begin to brown. As soon as they are toasted, remove them from the hot skillet.
Serving & Storage
Serving: You can serve these brownies warm or at room temperature. They're best served within the first 3 days of being made. I like to reheat them a little in the microwave before eating!
Storage: Leftovers should be stored in an airtight container and can be kept at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Leftovers can also be wrapped in plastic wrap surrounded by tin foil and then frozen for up to 2 months!
Recipe Troubleshooting & FAQ
Can I double this recipe?
Yup, you can double the recipe and bake it in a 13×9-inch pan… you’ll just want to watch the bake time. I’d start by checking for doneness around 20 minutes and every 2 minutes afterward until you achieve moist crumbs on a toothpick for the brownie layer. For the pecan pie layer, I would again check at 20 minutes and every 2 minutes after; if you tilt the pan, no liquid should run or be visible. You can adjust the 'servings' slider from 16 to 32 to get the proper metric measurements.
What pan should I bake these pecan pie brownies in?
This brownie recipe calls for an 8x8-inch metal pan! It is possible to bake brownies in a glass pan, but I don't recommend it. Glass bakeware is slower to heat than metal, and once it's hot... it retains that heat for much longer. So when using a glass pan to bake something like a batch of brownies, you may find that the sides and bottom brown at a much faster rate than the interior cooks... which is (obviously) not ideal!
How can you tell when the brownies are done baking?
A toothpick is your best friend when testing brownies for doneness. You’ll want to remove these brownies when your toothpick is covered in fudgy, moist crumbs (not batter!). You definitely don't want to overbake the brownie layer, as you'll be putting the pan back in the oven to bake longer after you pour the pecan pie filling on top.
Pecan Pie Brownies
For the Brownie Layer:
- 100 g granulated sugar
- 110 g dark brown sugar
- 43 g unsweetened natural or Dutch process cocoa powder
- ¼ teaspoon espresso powder
- 113 g unsalted butter melted
- 2 large eggs (100 g)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 75 g all-purpose flour
For the Pecan Pie Layer:
- 28 g unsalted butter melted
- 75 g dark brown sugar
- 56 g pure maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 large egg (50 g)
- 140 g pecan halves whole or chopped
To Make the Brownie Layer:
- Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease and line an 8x8-inch pan with parchment paper, letting the excess extend over the sides of the pan. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the sugars, cocoa powder, espresso powder, and butter until combined.
- Whisk in the eggs, one at a time, until completely incorporated, followed by the vanilla and salt.
- Stir in the flour and mix until just combined. Pour the brownie batter into the prepared pan and spread it into an even layer.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes. Test the brownies with a toothpick at the 20-minute mark. Insert it into the center of the pan; if it comes out with wet batter, the brownies are not done. If there are fudgy, moist crumbs, the brownies are done. Keep checking every 2 minutes until you have moist crumbs. Keep the oven on while you prepare the pecan pie layer.
To Make the Pecan Pie Layer:
- In a medium bowl, whisk the butter, brown sugar, maple syrup, vanilla, and salt until smooth. Whisk in the egg until combined and then stir in the pecans until coated.
- Top baked brownies with the pecan pie topping, spreading evenly. Return to oven and bake until pecan mixture is set, about 20 minutes. (If you tilt the pan, no liquid should run or be visible.)
- Let the brownies cool completely in the pan before removing them and slicing them into squares.
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