Brownies and nuts go together like strawberries and cream. Nothing beats the toasty crunch of pecans or walnuts with the rich chocolate gooeyness of a brownie. But this recipe for pecan caramel brownies takes decadence to another level! Add dollops of silky caramel into the brownie batter and it’s basically like winning the brownie lottery!
Of course, this recipe for caramel nut brownies is vegan and gluten-free and no one would be the wiser. The combination of light and dark muscovado sugar gives the brownies a wonderful crisp top while the actual brownies themselves are the perfect balance of fudgy, gooey and chewy.
What do you need to know before you make this pecan caramel brownie recipe?
If you prefer your brownies pure, you can find the original version of this brownie recipe without any additions here.
You’ll need a couple of hours head start on this recipe as the caramel needs to be cold from the fridge before you add it to the brownie batter. Adding the caramel cold will stop it completely absorbing into the brownie mix. I have linked the blue border recipe for vegan caramel in the ingredients but if you don’t fancy making it you can always use store-bought or leave it out and just make pecan brownies. Likewise, if you’d prefer to make caramel brownies skip the pecans.
Questions about the recipe or do you want to change something about these pecan caramel brownies? I’ve included all the recipe notes at the bottom of the page with the hope of improving your experience here at blue border. If you found this useful, I’d love your support on Instagram, click here to follow.
- 100g vegan caramel, cold from the fridge
- 100g pecans, roughly chopped
- 15g ground flaxseed
- 75g water
- 25g cocoa powder
- 150g gluten-free flour, all-purpose
- ½ tsp. xanthan gum
- ½ tsp. baking soda
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 100g 70% non-dairy chocolate
- 100g non-dairy butter or margarine
- 170g light muscovado sugar
- 30g dark muscovado sugar
Before you get started, put your caramel in the fridge for 2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 160C/320F and line a 22cm by 28cm baking tray with non-stick baking paper. Place the pecans on an oven tray and toast for 5-8mins, keeping a close eye on them as nuts burn easily in the oven.
Combine the ground flax with water, mix well and set aside.
Sift the cocoa powder, flour, xanthan gum, baking soda and salt into a large mixing bowl. Add half the pecans to the dry ingredients and mix briefly (keep the remaining half aside).
Melt the chocolate using the double boiler method. Once the chocolate is melted add the butter, stir the butter through the chocolate until both are well combined. Remove from the heat and add the sugar, stir until there are no sugar lumps left in the mixture.
Gently fold the chocolate mixture into the dry ingredients and add the flax and water. Continue to mix until everything is well combined. Transfer the mix to a baking tray, use a teaspoon to dollop the caramel evenly over the batter and sprinkle with the remaining pecans. Bake for 30mins.
Allow the brownies to fully cool before slicing.
NOTES: Vegan Pecan Caramel Brownies
I use Dove’s Farm gluten-free flour and love the way it performs.
If you’re in the US try Bob’s Red Mill One for One gluten-free flour or King Arthurs all-purpose gluten-free flour.
Xanthan gum (what is it and do I have to use it?)
Xanthan gum is a binder made through the process of fermenting simple sugars. In this recipe, xanthan gum helps hold the brownies together in the absence of natural binders like eggs and gluten.
I have only tested the recipe with xanthan gum and as it contains pecan and caramel it really needs the extra help from a binder. You can try the recipe without it but the brownies may not hold together so well when slicing.
Dark chocolate is usually the easiest to find vegan and 70% cocoa solids is a great sweet spot. At 70% you’re pretty much guaranteed good quality chocolate without it being too bitter.
If you can find 60% this will make your brownies a little sweeter but don’t forget to make sure it doesn’t contain milk solids.
Can I buy vegan caramel instead of making it?
Yes, there are lots of options for store-bought vegan caramel and you should be able to find some online or in your local health food store.
Natures Charm is a good worldwide brand to look out for.
Can I use a different nut?
Yes, you can sub pecans for your favourite nut but I think walnuts and pecans work the best with brownies.
Can I use a different type of sugar?
The combination of light and dark muscovado gives these brownies their crisp top, rich flavour and fudgy texture. If you change the type of sugar you use you won’t get the same depth of flavour or wonderful texture.
For help and troubleshooting your gluten-free vegan baking check out –