Salted Dulce de Leche Brownies

salted dulce de leche brownies

I’ve been writing this blog for several years now and I feel pretty comfortable around here. You guys let me share my favorite recipes, you let me ramble about pizza, ask rhetorical questions like a fictional writer on a popular HBO series, learn from my baking mistakes, and we all laugh together at my dating stories. In fact, I feel like I can be myself around you guys more than when I’m on a first date. Like I have no qualms sharing secrets here, but I don’t share my secrets (immediately) with my dates. Instead, I prefer to list them down on this blog for the whole world to know. Here are some of my secret shames:

1) I go to Chipotle after running at the gym.

2) When I order sushi for delivery, the restaurant puts in three pairs of chopsticks (not even two!)

3) When I make recipes that call for about 2/3 of a can of dulce de leche, I eat the remaining 1/3 plain and straight from the can while watching The Mindy Project.

If you’re a potential date and you’re still interested after reading this, sweet. Bonus points if you’re the guy who got my “low-key but I don’t mean Thor’s brother” reference. Thanks!

salted dulce de leche brownies pan

In general, dulce de leche is one of my secrets. It’s one of my go-to ingredients when I want to make something extra special.

When I first started baking and I was just a baby blogger, any time I needed something special, I would bust out the Nutella. Nutella Cake Balls. Nutella Banana Pudding. Nutella Fudge. (Those are all recipes from four years ago and if you click on any of them, you’ll see some vintage pre-DSLR photos.) I mean, don’t get me wrong, Nutella will always have a place in my heart and hips (Dark Nutella Cherry Truffles. Nutella Almond Butter Muddy Buddies. I could do this all day).

But dulce de leche – ah, mi amor. Dulce de leche is caramel’s more exotic, sensual cousin. Dulce de leche is milkier, silkier, thicker. I’m in love with it.

dulce de leche brownies

I love the thick, velvety, sticky texture. I love the sweet caramel taste. I love making treats that highlight it, like alfajores or dulce de leche cheesecake. The latest treats I made are these Salted Dulce de Leche Brownies which I gave away to some friends last month for Valentine’s Day.

I made my favorite fudgy brownies, dark and intense, dolloped spoonfulls of dulce de leche on top before baking, then finished with sprinkles of flaky smoked sea salt. Each bite of dark chocolate brownie, creamy dulce de leche, and crunchy salt was magnificent.

And that’s no secret.

dulce de leche brownies with sea salt

I buy dulce de leche in a can or in a jar but you can make your own. Either way, I’m warning you that you might be tempted to eat whatever remaining dulce de leche you have straight up with a spoon.

Yield: 16 brownies

Salted Dulce De Leche Brownies


1 1/4 sticks butter, softened
2 large eggs
3/4 cups dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon chocolate extract
1 teaspoon instant coffee powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup (8 oz) dulce de leche
2 teaspoons smoked sea salt (or any other flaky salt)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine softened butter, eggs, sugars, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, chocolate extract, and coffee.
  3. Mix well, then stir in flour and salt. Whisk together until smooth.
  4. Spread brownie batter in a foil-lined buttered 8x8 pan.
  5. Dollop spoonfulls of dulce de leche on top of brownie batter. Use a knife to make swirl patters, running knife perpendicularly.
  6. Bake 22-24 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in brownie comes out clean. (The dulce de leche will stick to the toothpick, but the brownie base should be set.)
  7. Sprinkle smoked sea salt on top. Let brownies cool to room temperature before serving. You can opt to chill or freeze first, and serve cold (which is how I prefer these brownies!)

I used Nestle La Lechera dulce de leche (in a can) which is very thick. If your dulce de leche is more liquidy, you can also try baking the brownie base first spreading the dulce de leche on top after baking, and then sprinkling with sea salt. I recommend serving the brownies chilled.

dulce de leche brownies with smoked sea salt

These are some of the best brownies I’ve ever made, so I hope you give them a try! And please tell me you have secret shames, too!


49 Responses to “Salted Dulce de Leche Brownies”

  1. #
    Michelle posted March 16, 2015 at 9:21 am

    Oh my!

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted March 16, 2015 at 3:37 pm

      Yup :) Happy Monday, girlfriend!

  2. #
    Lauren at Keep It Sweet posted March 16, 2015 at 3:20 pm

    Ah these look and sound amazing! And #3 makes you even more awesome:-)

  3. #
    Sues posted March 16, 2015 at 3:33 pm

    What guy wouldn’t want to date you after seeing treats like this?? Obviously, there are a million more reasons why you’re awesome, but this blog is the perfect dating ad :)

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted March 16, 2015 at 3:38 pm

      You’re the best, thank you! xo

  4. #
    Kayle (The Cooking Actress) posted March 16, 2015 at 3:33 pm

    I think you sound delightful and I don’t know who wouldn’t wanna date you! Lol and these brownies won’t hurt your chances with the fellas either….that gooooey dulce de leche and the salt and the brownies….mmmmmm irresistible!

  5. #
    Molly Galler posted March 16, 2015 at 5:33 pm

    The intro to this post is one of my favorites ever. Also, these brownies look incredible!

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted March 17, 2015 at 12:41 pm

      Haha thanks Molly! You and I can talk about dating stories all day long ;)

  6. #
    Mariana de Sousa posted March 16, 2015 at 6:22 pm

    I don’t think anyone can blame you for having 1/3 of the dulce straight from the tin. I would for sure. I think these brownies would disappear pretty quickly around here too x

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted March 17, 2015 at 12:42 pm

      Thanks Mariana! I kinda wish I had a can lying around here right now ;) Enjoy the rest of the week!

  7. #
    Ashley posted March 16, 2015 at 8:17 pm

    haha I love the chopsticks thing! Amazing.

    And these brownies! They look amazing! I’ll take one for dessert please!

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted March 17, 2015 at 12:42 pm

      Haha thanks girl! Enjoy the rest of the week!

  8. #
    Monica posted March 17, 2015 at 8:52 am

    What a fun read, Bianca. Now, I am on team Nutella all the way but you’ve got me thinking. : ) I just made cinnamon rolls with Nutella and maybe I should try it with dulce de leche next! My son and I have been talking about things like that lately because he’s learning about food in his Spanish class. I was thinking churros dipped in dulce de leche? Anyway, brownies look luscious!

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted March 17, 2015 at 12:44 pm

      Aw thanks Monica! Oh my gosh churros dipped in dulce de leche sound amazing. Si, por favor :)

  9. #
    Kelly posted March 17, 2015 at 1:55 pm

    Hahaha you are my hero girl! Love #1 and 3 :)
    These brownies are epic, I am swooning over that thick layer of dulce de leche!

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted March 17, 2015 at 2:45 pm

      Thanks Kelly! The thick layer is key :)

  10. #
    Mike@TheIronYou posted March 17, 2015 at 2:10 pm

    I think that on you’re next date you should ask the guy “How do you feel about dulce de leche?”
    If the answer is not enough enthusiastic, then you should dump the guy on the spot.
    Liking dulce de leche is a make-it or break-it moment, right?

    Oh btw, the brownies looks awesome! :)

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted March 17, 2015 at 2:46 pm

      Yes I like that idea! I will ask that question on all first dates from now on. I don’t care if guys start calling me that crazy dulce de leche chick.

  11. #
    Kelsey @ Snacking Squirrel posted March 17, 2015 at 3:12 pm

    Dulce- delicious it should be cuz thats exactly what they are!! :) HAPPY ST.PATTY’S DAY TO YOU!

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted March 18, 2015 at 11:44 am

      I think we should def start calling it dulce de licous!

  12. #
    Maureen | Orgasmic Chef posted March 17, 2015 at 5:08 pm

    Now why didn’t I think of this when I was making my sister’s old fashioned brownie recipe?? I love this idea!

  13. #
    David @ Spiced posted March 17, 2015 at 5:08 pm

    I love that you called dulce de leche caramel’s sensual cousin! But it’s totally true. That stuff is magic! And I’m loving the brownie + dulce de leche combination you’ve got going on here. Those brownies would absolutely not be safe in my kitchen. I also feel like we bonded there for a moment over Chipotle. That place is amazing. True story: we went on vacation out of the country last year and Chipotle was both the last meal we ate before we left and the first meal we are when we got back. (It helps that it was located right next to our gate in the airport…but still…)

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted March 18, 2015 at 11:50 am

      Chipotle is definitely worthy of a bonding moment! Those salad bowls…

  14. #
    Meghan posted March 17, 2015 at 6:05 pm

    These look so amazing. I have been craving dessert all day, and now I need these!

  15. #
    Juliana posted March 17, 2015 at 9:13 pm

    Wow Bianca, these brownies look great and I like the dulce de leche on it…and a touch of salt…beautiful pictures!
    Have a great week :)

  16. #
    Tandy | Lavender and Lime posted March 18, 2015 at 2:40 am

    I love dulce de leche and as it is so easy to make, it can be a treat all on its own any time. However, these brownies look like a must try for the indulgence :)

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted March 18, 2015 at 11:51 am

      Thanks, Tandy! I should def try making dulce de leche at home next time.

  17. #
    Ami@NaiveCookCooks posted March 18, 2015 at 3:37 am

    I have never made my own dulce de leche before but since brownies are my fav dessert I am tempted to make this from scratch for these sinfully delicious looking brownies!!

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted March 18, 2015 at 11:52 am

      Thanks Ami! They would def be worth it ;)

  18. #
    Joanne posted March 19, 2015 at 7:35 am

    I mean, what else are you supposed to do with the rest of the can of dulce de leche?! Keep in the fridge to let it get moldy?! Uhhhh no. Best eat up. :P I might make these brownies as an excuse just to eat part of a dulce jar. And also to have these brownies. WIN/WIN.

  19. #
    Shashi at RunninSrilankan posted March 19, 2015 at 10:42 am

    Leftover dulce de leche is just not meant to be on a shelf in a fridge! In fact, leftover dulce de leche should be eaten after Chipotle or sushi! Yeah?! :)
    These brownies look fantastic Bianca – I so love that thick dulce de leche topping!

  20. #
    Amy (Savory Moments) posted March 21, 2015 at 8:41 am

    These brownies look super! Dulce de leche is such a perfect topping, especially with a touch of salt. Perfect!

  21. #
    grace posted March 25, 2015 at 9:14 am

    i would totally seek out the brownie with the thickest portion of dulce de leche. :)

  22. #
    Honey, What's Cooking? posted March 26, 2015 at 3:03 pm

    OMG.. that looks sooooooooo crazy good. I love sea salt and caramel on anything. Love the idea of baking the dulce de leche with the brownies. Keeper!

  23. #
    Laura @ Laura's Culinary Adventures posted April 2, 2015 at 7:55 am

    Yum! You definately couldn’t throw the remaining dulce de leche away! Waste not, want not :)

  24. #
    Stacy | Wicked Good Kitchen posted April 3, 2015 at 9:25 am

    Oh, my! Bianca, these dulce de leche brownies are off…the…chain! They look beyond scrumptious and I cannot wait to try them. Thanks for sharing, girl. Wishing you a happy and meaningful Easter! xo

  25. #
    Chris @ Shared Appetite posted April 23, 2015 at 2:46 pm

    This. Yes. Just yes. There’s not much in the world that is better than a fudgy brownie smothered in dulce de leche and kissed with salt. This is the epitome of my comfort food!

  26. #
    Jo posted August 21, 2018 at 1:21 am

    I don’t understand this recipe. The dulce de leche melted straight into the brownie batter, and then (I’m guessing because if that) it took forever to cook and burned the bottom while trying. Looks nothing like the pic.

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted September 5, 2018 at 10:48 am

      Hi Jo, sorry this didn’t turn out well for you. I’ve made this a couple of times and always used the same kind of thick dulce de leche (Nestle La Lechera in a can) and it stays on top.

  27. #
    Kim posted September 4, 2018 at 4:36 pm

    I haven’t tried the recipe yet but I’m afraid that the caramel topping will melt and mix either the batter? Do you have this problem?

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted September 5, 2018 at 10:52 am

      Hi Kim, thanks for the note. I always use the same kind of dulce de leche (Nestle La Lechera in a can) which is thick and spreadable, and I haven’t had this problem. If your dulce de leche is a little on the liquidy side, you can also bake the brownie batter first, and then dollop it on top after baking. Good luck!

  28. #
    Jax taylor posted December 10, 2018 at 10:06 pm

    This recipe sucks. What a waste of dulce de leche. The brownies never cooked.

  29. #
    Barbara Fozard posted August 12, 2019 at 5:36 pm

    I followed this recipe to a “T,” and these were not even STARTING to be done after 22 minutes! I added 10 more minutes, then 5 more, then 3 more, then 3 more, & finally 2 more! A total of 45 minutes in an 8” square pan at 350. My oven may be off, but it baked cupcakes just fine earlier today!?? Don’t know yet. They smell delicious! I can’t wait to try them! More later!

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted August 22, 2019 at 5:30 pm

      Hi, Barbara – how did the brownies turn out? Hope you enjouyed them!

  30. #
    Leanne posted July 19, 2020 at 3:36 pm

    Decided to try this to bring for Sunday dinner at my sister’s. Disastrous. I kind of thought that with 1 c cocoa and only 1/2 c flour it didn’t seem right, but was hoping it would work. It did not set, even after double the cooking time. Running to the grocery store now for a dessert to bring.

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted July 19, 2020 at 5:41 pm

      Sorry to hear that, Leanne. I’m not sure what happened as I’ve used this brownie base dozens of times.

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