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Bourbon Caramel Brownies

  • Author: Joy the Baker
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Cook Time: 50
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes


A decadent caramel swirled fudgy brownie with a splash of bourbon!



For the Caramel

  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 4 tablespoons (2 ounces) unsalted butter, cubed and at room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 tablespoon bourbon
  • ** Double the caramel recipe if you’d like more caramel to drizzle on top of the brownies

For the Brownies

  • 1/2 cup (63 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup (30 grams) Dutch-process unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 8 tablespoons (4 ounces) unsalted butter, cubed and at room temperature
  • 4 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

For the Cream Cheese Filling

  • 4 ounces (half a block) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (65 grams) powdered sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon bourbon
  • the prepared caramel from above
  • sea salt, for finishing


  1. Start by making the caramel. In a small saucepan, stir together the sugar, water, and corn syrup. Place over medium heat and allow to mixture to come to a simmer without stirring it. Swirl the pan if you feel the urge to stir the mixture. Keep an eye of the bubbling sugar mixture. It will begin to brown and caramelize.
  2. Once the mixture reaches a medium amber color, remove the mixture from the heat and quickly stir in the butter and heavy cream, whisking constantly. The mixture will froth and bubble, that’s normal. Whisk until the butter melts and whisk in the bourbon and salt.
  3. Transfer mixture to a small bowl and allow to cool. The caramel will thicken as it cools.
  4. Next, make the brownies! Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9-inch square baking pan, line with parchment paper so that the paper hangs over two sides of the pan (this will make it easier to remove the brownies from the pan after baking). Set the pan aside.
  5. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt.
  6. Simmer a few inches of water in a medium saucepan. This will be the steam for our double boiler.  In a heat-proof bowl add the butter, bittersweet chocolate, and unsweetened chocolate. Place the bowl over the simmering water and allow he butter and chocolate to melt to smooth, stirring occasionally. When chocolate is completely melted, remove the bowl from the double boiler.
  7. Whisk the sugar into the chocolate mixture. The mixture will seem grainy – that’s ok!
  8. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time, whisking until smooth and glossy.
  9. Add the chocolate mixture to the dry ingredients and fold to combine. Don’t over mix, but ensure that all of the flour bits have been incorporated into the batter.
  10. To make the cream cheese mixture, whisk together cream cheese, powdered sugar, egg yolk, and bourbon. Blend until smooth. Whisk in the cooled caramel (half of the caramel if you doubled the recipe above) until thoroughly combined and you’re good to go!
  11. Spoon the brownie batter into the prepared pan. Spoon the cream cheese and caramel mixture over the brownie batter. There’s a lot of the caramel mixture. Don’t worry, we’ll swirl it all together.
  12. Use a butterknife to swirl the brownie batter up and over the caramel. Keep the swirls big so that big caramel and brownie patches remain and the mixture doesn’t get too muddy.
  13. Place in the oven and allow to bake for 40 to 50 minutes until the brownies have set. A toothpick inserted in the brownies should come out with a few loose crumbs, but not wet batter. The brownies take a long time to cook in a low oven so be patient. Just rotate the pan a few times during baking.
  14. Remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature before slicing. Slice generously and enjoy!  Serve with a drizzle of caramel if you doubled the recipe above!


  • Serving Size: 9