Salted Caramel Cream Cheese Brownies are fudgy, rich, studded with chocolate chips, covered with a layer of thick caramel, and sprinkled with sea salt.
If you saw the Chocolate Cake with Ganache and Peanut Butter Sauce a couple of posts back, then you may have seen me mention these Salted Caramel Cream Cheese Brownies inspired by Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Brownies from Le Creme De La Crumb. I made the salted caramel version almost two weeks ago, so they are long gone now. They were so good that I’m already considering making another batch sometime soon.
Initially, I decided to make Salted Caramel Cream Cheese Brownies for John and Kale. There are no walnuts or pecans in these so that Kale could eat them, too. We have to be super careful now since he’s in braces. Apparently, I didn’t think the whole process through because he can’t have caramel either. Guilt got the best of me, and he ended up with the chocolate cake. That left more brownies for me, though! 🙂
Salted Caramel Cream Cheese Brownies are so easy to make. They are fudgy, rich, chewy, and have a thick layer of salty caramel over the top. What’s not to love?!
Prep and Preheat:
Line a 9 x 9-inch cake pan with foil and spray well with cooking spray. Trust me here. The caramel topping likes to stick. To everything! Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Melt the chocolate chips for the cream cheese batter only and make sure the cream cheese is nice and soft. In a separate bowl, melt the butter.
Make the Cream Cheese Batter:
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the melted chocolate chips, egg, cream cheese, sugar, flour, and vanilla. Set aside for later.
Make the Brownie Batter:
In a medium bowl, whisk the melted butter, cocoa powder, and espresso powder until the cocoa and espresso powders have completely dissolved. Add the butter and cocoa mixture to the bowl of the mixer along with the eggs, sugar, vanilla, and salt. Mix on low speed to combine.
*Note: Make sure the butter isn’t too hot when mixed with the eggs or the eggs will scramble.
Combine the Batters:
Carefully pour the cream cheese batter into the brownie batter and mix on low speed until just combined. Remove the bowl from the mixer. Gently fold in the chocolate chips and pour the batter into the prepared cake pan.
Bake the Brownies:
Place the cake pan in the oven for 40-45 minutes. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out mostly clean. Allow the brownies to cool completely in the pan.
Put the caramel bits or squares and heavy cream into a small saucepan over low heat. Continue to stir until they melt together. Immediately pour the mixture over the cooled brownies.
Allow the caramel to set before serving. Setting takes approximately 3-4 hours at room temperature or 1 hour in the refrigerator. Cut into 12 equal pieces.
Used for this recipe:
- 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted
- 1 egg
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 Tablespoons All-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon espresso powder
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 10-11 ounces caramel squares
- 3 Tablespoons heavy cream
- Sea Salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line a 9 x 9-inch baking dish with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the melted chocolate chips, egg, cream cheese, sugar, flour, and vanilla. Set aside.
Combine melted butter, cocoa powder, and espresso powder in a medium bowl and whisk until combined and powders dissolve.
Add the butter and cocoa mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer along with the eggs, sugar, vanilla, and salt. Mix on low speed to combine.
Combine the cream cheese batter to the brownie batter and mix on low speed.
Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish and place in the preheated oven for 40-45 minutes.
Brownies are done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean.
Allow brownies to cool in the pan.
Add the caramel and heavy cream to a small saucepan and melt over low heat stirring constantly.
After the mixture melts, pour over the cooled brownies and sprinkle with sea salt.
Allow the caramel topping to cool before serving. 3-4 hours on the countertop or 1 hour in the refrigerator.