Too cakey if they’re overcooked, too saucy if they are undercooked, chocolate brownies need to be baked for just the right amount of time to get that perfect texture. Using good dark chocolate is key to that intense depth of flavor that a great brownie has. I use chocolate that contains at least 55% cocoa solids, but if you want a serious cacao kick, try using chocolate with 70% or 75% cocoa solids. Don’t scrimp on the sugar when you are making brownies; it’s the all-important ingredient for the crisp top layer.–Rachel Allen

A slab of dulce de leche brownies, with five brownies cut from the end.

Dulce de Leche Brownies

4.58 / 7 votes
A chocolate brownie is a fudgy square of deliciousness with just the right amount of goo, and it beats all when it comes to downright indulgence. I adore the effect of the creamy dulce de leche swirled through dark, fudgy brownies.
David Leite
Servings16 brownies
Calories238 kcal
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time35 minutes
Total Time2 hours 45 minutes


  • 6 ounces dark chocolate, (55% to 70% cacao)
  • 12 tablespoons (6 oz) unsalted butter, cut into small chunks
  • 1 ounce good-quality cocoa powder, sifted (about 1/3 cup)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 8 ounces caster or soft light brown sugar, (about 1 1/4 cups lightly packed)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 1/2 ounces all-purpose flour, (about 1 scant cup)
  • One can dulce de leche or caramel or 14 ounces homemade dulce de leche*, caramel, or cajeta


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line the bottom and sides of an 8-inch (20-centimeter) square cake pan with parchment paper.
  • Melt the chocolate, butter, and cocoa powder together in a bowl set over but not touching a saucepan containing an inch or so of simmering water. Do not let the base of the bowl touch the water. When the butter and chocolate are melted, remove the bowl from the heat and stir well to combine. Let cool for about 5 minutes.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, brown sugar, and vanilla until it’s a little light and creamy, about 2 minutes.
  • Still whisking constantly, add the chocolate mixture and whisk until well combined. Sift in the flour and gently fold with a spatula or metal spoon just until combined.
  • Spoon the brownie mixture into the prepared pan. Use a teaspoon to add blobs of the dulce de leche or caramel or cajeta all over the surface of the brownies. Run a small sharp knife or skewer around the pan to create a marbled effect.
  • Bake until the brownies are dry on top but still slightly gooey and fudge inside, 25 to 40 minutes.
  • Let the brownies cool in the pan placed on a wire rack. Cut into squares and try to stop at just one.


*Can I make my own dulce de leche?

It couldn’t be easier to make your own homemade dulce de leche. Simply take off the labels from two 12-ounce cans of sweetened condensed milk. Place the cans in a large pot and add enough water to submerge them. Bring to a boil over high heat then lower the heat to a rapid simmer and cook for about 4 hours. Make sure the cans are always covered by at least 1 inch of water, adding more as needed; otherwise, you might have a dulce de leche explosion on your hands (not as fun as it sounds, we promise). Remove the cans from the water, let them cool, and voilà, you’ve got DIY dulce de leche!
All Things Sweet Cookbook

Adapted From

All Things Sweet

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Serving: 1 brownieCalories: 238 kcalCarbohydrates: 25 gProtein: 3 gFat: 15 gSaturated Fat: 9 gMonounsaturated Fat: 4 gTrans Fat: 1 gCholesterol: 59 mgSodium: 21 mgFiber: 2 gSugar: 16 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2014 Rachel Allen. Photo © 2014 Tara Fisher. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

These brownies are delicious, although they’re very sweet and very rich.

I used a whole 13.4-ounce can of Nestle’s La Lechera Dulce de Leche. At first, I thought it was too much, but the amount turned out to be correct. I used Ghiradelli 60% bittersweet chocolate and Scharffen Berger cocoa. I used an 8-inch Pyrex cake pan and baked the brownies for a total of 40 minutes. They were still very soft in the middle, but I was able to cut them once they cooled. They were very gooey. I think the best thing to do would be to cool them completely, put them in the fridge until cold, and then cut them.

I was able to get 16 squares, but I might cut them smaller next time since they’re so rich. You could serve the squares with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for a brownie caramel sundae.

These dulce de leche brownies are really good. The dulce de leche sank during baking and created little pockets of caramel underneath the marbled surface.

This is also an easy recipe to put together although the dulce de leche takes time to make. It took the brownies about 35 minutes to bake.

I’d be happy to make this dulce de leche brownies recipe again.

I used a store-bought can of caramel sauce. After 20 minutes in the oven, the brownies appeared done when the caramel looked gooey and the brownie looked dry and was starting to blacken slightly, so I decided this was enough cooking. I should have covered the brownies with foil and baked them longer, as they were underdone. I cut the finished brownies into 12 large pieces rather than the 16 suggested, as my tin was rectangular rather than square.

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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Recipe Rating


  1. The batter was wayyyyyy too thick! it tasted soo good but I couldn’t properly swirl in the dulce de leche 🙁

    1. We’re sorry to hear that the batter was too thick to swirl in the dulce de leche, izzy. Did you weigh your ingredients?

  2. These look so delicious! I love brownies, so I want to try this recipe! Perfect for Father’s Day.