These dulce de leche brownies are incredibly fudgy, sticky, chewy, chocolatey and made extra special with the addition of rich, creamy dulce de leche. They’re very easy to make too! Check out the recipe with lots of tips, FAQs and step-by-step photos for perfect brownies every time.
(Looking for other dulce de leche dessert recipes? Try these dulce de leche cupcakes. They’re filled with dulce de leche and frosted with dulce de leche buttercream.)
While I love making desserts with condensed milk (check out this reader favorite Meyer Lemon Pie with Condensed Milk), I’m relatively new to the delicious world of dulce de leche.
Better late than never, though. Because dulce de leche is one of the most delicious things ever.
And these dulce de leche brownies are out of the world.
Let’s get to it.
What is dulce de leche
If you’re fairly new to dulce de leche like I am, dulce de leche (pronounced dool-seh deh leh-cheh) or caramelized milk or milk jam in English, is a confection from Latin America prepared by slowly heating sugar and milk over a period of several hours (source).
The simplest way to make it at home is to heat prepared sweetened condensed milk until brown and golden. I usually just buy a jar or a can from the store.
Why you’ll love making these brownies
I have my fair share of brownie recipes here on the blog and I expect I’ll be coming up with a lot more. They’re just so easy to make and always a hit with everyone.
These dulce de leche chocolate brownies (or brownies con dulce de leche) have become my newest favorite because:
- They’re special but just as easy to make as regular brownies.
- Which makes them perfect for the holidays, bake sales, potlucks and more.
- It’s a 1-bowl recipe, which makes for an easier clean up.
- They freeze incredibly well, too. So you can make a batch when you have the time and thaw them when you need them.
- Most importantly, they are delicious. A lot of the feedback I’ve gotten has been overwhelming positive; someone even said these are the best brownies they’ve ever tasted. Yay!
What you’ll need
You’ll only need pantry staples here. Some key things to note about the main ingredients:
- Dulce de leche — while you can make your own dulce de leche, I usually just buy a jar or a can from the store. In our supermarket, it’s located in the baking aisle. You can also usually find it in the Latin section, if your supermarket has one, or in Amazon.
- Cocoa powder — I always use Dutch process unsweetened cocoa powder. If you only have natural unsweetened cocoa powder, according to King Arthur Flour, you can use that in a pinch without making any adjustments to a recipe.
- Coffee — coffee enhances the chocolate flavor in brownies but if you’re serving them to kids or can’t take caffeine, you can use decaf or substitute with the same amount of lukewarm water.
As for baking tools, you’ll need a 9×13 inch baking pan. I mix the brownie batter by hand.
How to make (with photos)
Preheat your oven to 350F. Line a 9×13 inch pan with parchment paper with a slight overhang on each side. Grease the parchment paper and set side.
In a large bowl, whisk cocoa powder and baking soda until combined. Add melted butter and whisk until smooth.
Then add coffee and continue whisking until your batter is thick and creamy.
Add sugars, vanilla extract, salt and eggs. Whisk until fully incorporated.
Add all-purpose flour and gently fold until just combined. Do not over mix.
Transfer your brownie batter into your prepared pan. Put dollops of dulce de leche on top and gently swirl with a thin knife to spread it around.
Gently tap the pan on your counter a few times to help the batter settle then bake for 30 minutes or until it starts to brown at the edges but the centre still feels a little jiggly.
You want a toothpick inserted in the middle to come out with minimal but slightly moist crumbs.
Take out of the oven and allow to cool on the counter. Then chill for at least an hour until the brownies are set.
Remove from the pan, cut into squares using a sharp knife or a bench scraper and serve cold or at room temperature.
Expert baking tips
Brownie recipes are some of the easiest recipes to make. I find them more forgiving than cookies and simpler than cakes.
Here are more baking tips to make baking brownies even easier.
- Use room temperature ingredients — they’re easier to incorporate and helps you avoid over-mixing the batter.
- Measure ingredients correctly — this is especially important with flour. Too much or too little flour can negatively impact brownies. I always use a kitchen scale.
- Don’t over-mix the brownie batter — over-mixing results to dry, crumbly brownies.
- Bake at the correct temperature — all ovens are different so it helps to use an oven thermometer to make sure you’re always baking at the correct temperature.
- Cool before slicing into squares — if you want nice, clean, neat slices, cut your brownies when they’re completely cool. Personally, I chill them in the fridge for a few hours, especially for really fudgy brownies like dulce de leche, to make slicing easier.
Secret to fudgy brownies
Nothing worse than a cakey brownie, right? And in my experience, these things make brownies properly chewy and fudgy as they should be.
Brown sugar helps create that sticky, fudgy texture.
Remember it’s better to under-bake than over-bake brownies.
Use the baking time in this recipe (or any brownie recipe) as a guide and then start testing your brownies about 10 minutes before the end, or just when they start pulling away from the sides of your pan.
The tester or toothpick you insert in the centre must not come out clean.
What you want are bits of crumbs (not wet batter) sticking to it. The brownies will continue to cook as they cool.
It also helps not to over mix your brownie batter once you’ve added the flour.
Brownies are great out of the oven but I’ve found that they become extra fudgy and chewy after a day in the fridge.
We love to eat brownies chilled and it’s easier to slice them neatly too.
I love baking with dulce de leche but it’s also great on bread, drizzled on pancakes and waffles, added as topping to cheesecakes, and more.
While they look a lot alike and taste similar, dulce de leche and caramel are different in that dulce de leche is made from condensed milk (milk and sugar) while caramel is made from sugar and water.
It’s thicker, richer and wonderfully creamier. It tastes closer to caramel than condensed milk.
I store leftover brownies in a covered container in the fridge, where they become chewier and fudgier over time. They should keep for up to a week.
You can also freeze them. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and foil, then place in a freezer-safe container. They should be good for about about a month. Thaw before serving.
You certainly can. I encourage you to give this brownies-from-scratch recipe a try though; you’ll be surprised how easy it is to make as well.
Dulce de leche brownies go especially well with:
- Salted mini pretzels
- Salted and roasted nuts
- Dark chocolate chips
- Vanilla ice cream
They’re great on their own too. Make some today. Enjoy!
Other brownie recipes
I love making brownies. If you do, too, you’ll enjoy these:
Dulce de Leche Brownies
- ¾ cup Dutch processed unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ⅔ cup unsalted butter melted and slightly cooled
- ½ cup espresso or strong coffee lukewarm
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- ½ cup packed brown sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 pieces large eggs room temperature
- 1 ⅓ cups all-purpose flour
- 10.5 oz dulce de leche room temperature
- Preheat your oven to 350F. Line a 9×13 inch pan with parchment paper with a slight overhang on each side. Grease the parchment paper and set side.
- In a large bowl, whisk cocoa powder and baking soda until combined.
- Add melted butter and whisk until smooth.
- Add coffee and continue whisking until your batter is thick and creamy.
- Add the sugars, vanilla extract, salt and eggs. Whisk until fully incorporated.
- Add all-purpose flour and gently fold until just combined. Do not over mix.
- Transfer your brownie batter into your prepared pan.
- Put dollops of dulce de leche on top and gently swirl with a thin knife to spread it around.
- Gently tap the pan on your counter a few times to help the batter settle then bake for 30 minutes or until it starts to brown at the edges but the centre still feels a little jiggly. You want a toothpick inserted in the middle to come out with minimal but slightly moist crumbs.
- Take out of the oven and allow to cool on the counter. Then chill for at least an hour until the brownies are set.
- Remove from the pan, cut into squares using a sharp knife or a bench scraper and serve cold or at room temperature.
- Coffee enhances the chocolate flavor in brownies but if you’re serving them to kids or can’t take caffeine, you can use decaf or substitute with the same amount of lukewarm water.
- Remember to use use room temperature ingredients. They’re easier to incorporate and helps you avoid over-mixing the batter, which results to dry, crumbly brownies.
- For clean, neat slices, allow the brownies to chill in the fridge for at least an hour.
- See the post for more baking tips, FAQs and step-by-step photos.
Nutritional information are estimates only.