These salted caramel brownie cups are a quick and easy way to win over chocolate lovers. All you need is a few pantry staples and a muffin tin to create these bite-sized treats.
Table of contents
Salted Caramel Brownie Cups
You may have picked up on the fact that I'm a bit of a brownie aficionado by the number of brownie recipes I've posted. Just a bit. A teeny, tiny bit.
I also wrote a cookbook (Even Better Brownies), so I like to think I know a thing or two about these chocolatey treats. 🙃 That's why you can trust me when I say this salted caramel brownie cups recipe is easy (& delicious). You can make these almost as quickly as you can make a box mix; I’m talking in the oven in 20 minutes or less. And no need to even pull out the hand or stand mixer!
Oh, and the salted caramel sauce? The salted caramel sauce is pretty amazing straight off the spoon. Not that I would know or anything…
Ingredients for Salted Caramel Brownie Cups
These salted caramel brownie cups don’t require a ton of ingredients; here’s what you’ll need to make them:
- Butter: The one and only. You'll need it for both the brownies and the salted caramel sauce.
- Vegetable oil: Vegetable oil helps keep these brownie cups nice & moist. (I know, I'm sorry...)
- Sugar: This recipe uses both granulated and light brown sugar for the ideal fudge brownie texture that's not too sweet; you'll also need granulated sugar to make the salted caramel!
- Eggs: Four large (room temperature) eggs are all you need!
- Vanilla: Leaving it out will result in brownies that taste a little bland.
- All-purpose flour: Only 1¼ cups of all-purpose flour is needed!
- Cocoa powder: Because this recipe doesn't use any melted chocolate, I recommend using a Dutch-processed cocoa for that deep, chocolatey flavor although your regular unsweetened cocoa powder will work just fine!
- Salt: Brownies made without salt taste a little plain, so don’t skip it. You'll also need just a pinch for the salted caramel sauce.
- Heavy cream: For the salted caramel!
Salted Caramel Brownie Cups Recipe Troubleshooting & FAQ
SALTED CARAMEL BROWNIE CUPS: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Can I halve this salted caramel brownie cups recipe?
Yes! You can easily halve the recipe. You can adjust the ‘servings’ slider from 16 to 8 in the recipe card to get the proper ingredient measurements.
Can I use coconut sugar instead of brown sugar?
Totally! You can use coconut sugar instead of brown sugar for the brownie cups. It would be a yum substitution.
Can I use dark brown sugar instead of light brown sugar?
Yup! Your brownies will be a tad more complex in flavor and will be a little moister, which will also contribute to a fudgier brownie. Dark brown sugar contains more molasses (and therefore more moisture) than light brown sugar, but generally, they can be used interchangeably!
How can you tell when the brownie cups 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 moist crumbs; they might even still look ever so slightly underdone in the center. The residual heat of the pan will continue to finish cooking them to fudgy perfection, however, so make sure to let them cool completely in the pan.
SALTED CARAMEL BROWNIE CUPS: TROUBLESHOOTING
Help! My brownie cups came out dry! What did I do wrong?
If you used cup measures as opposed to weight measures, your ingredients were probably a little off. As weird as this sounds, measuring cups aren’t as accurate as you think. For example, somebody who scoops the measuring cup into the flour will have way more than somebody who uses a spoon to scoop the flour into the same sized measuring cup (and the person who spoons the flour into the measuring cup will probably still have more than the needed amount). This is why you should really be measuring by weight with a kitchen scale instead—it’s much more reliable and completely eliminates any inconsistencies.
Alternatively, if you measured your ingredients by weight and the brownies still came out too dry, you might have overmixed your brownie batter or overbaked the brownies. Overmixing the batter will allow air to get trapped in the batter and will result in dry, cakey brownies. Overbaking is pretty self-explanatory; make sure you remove the brownies when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with moist crumbs sticking to it. If it comes out clean, you’ve probably overbaked them.
Help! My brownie cups stuck to the pan! What did I do wrong?
To make sure your brownie cups don't stick, either use cupcake liners or spray each individual cup with nonstick cooking spray; I prefer using cooking spray! Also, be sure to let the brownie cups cool in the pan. If you try to remove them too soon, they have the tendency to stick and break apart!
Help! My salted caramel tastes really bitter! What did I do wrong?
Caramel isn't one of those things you can set and forget— once the sugar starts to brown, the caramelization process happens quickly. If you're not careful, the sugar can burn and take on a bitter, unpleasant taste. Make sure you keep a close eye on it as the sugar melts and add your butter as soon as the sugar has completely melted and is amber in color.
*Originally posted on May 22, 2018.*
*Recipe, photos, & post updated on July 20, 2021*
Salted Caramel Brownie Cups
For the Brownie Cups:
- 115 g unsalted butter melted
- 115 g vegetable oil
- 300 g granulated sugar
- 110 g light brown sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 150 g all-purpose flour
- 85 g cocoa powder
- ¼ tsp fine sea salt
For the Salted Caramel Sauce:
- 100 g granulated sugar
- 45 g unsalted butter
- 60 g heavy cream
- ½ tsp fine sea salt
- Preheat oven to preheat to 350°F (180°C). Spray a muffin pan with nonstick spray or line with cupcake liners and set aside.
- Make the brownie cups: Whisk the melted butter, oil, and sugars together until well combined, about 1 minute. Add the eggs and vanilla; beat until lighter in color, about 4 minutes.
- Sift in the flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients with a rubber spatula until just combined.
- Equally spoon the batter into the prepared muffin pan and bake for 15-20 minutes. If testing with a toothpick, the toothpick should come out with a few wet crumbs (not batter) for fudge-textured brownies.
- Make the salted caramel: Heat the granulated sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly with a high heat resistant rubber spatula or wooden spoon. Sugar will form clumps and eventually melt into a thick brown, amber-colored liquid as you continue to stir. Be careful not to burn.
- Once sugar is completely melted, immediately add the butter and stir until melted and combined, about two minutes. (Be careful with this step because the caramel will bubble rapidly when the butter is added.)
- Very slowly drizzle in the heavy cream while stirring. Allow the mixture to boil for 1 minute then remove from heat and stir in the salt. Allow to cool down before using it. (Caramel thickens as it cools.)
- Once your brownies have finished cooking, remove the pan from the oven and allow them to cool and set in the pan. Sprinkle some flaky sea salt on top of brownies immediately after removing them from the oven
- Drizzle some caramel sauce on top of the cooled brownies & enjoy!
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