Gluten-Free Caramel Brownies with Espresso

If you love super rich desserts with equally deep, intense flavors, these are absolutely for you!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword desserts for a group, gluten-free desserts
Prep Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 2 hours
Servings 32
Calories 200 kcal
Author Valentina K. Wein


For the caramel:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder

For the brownies:


For the caramel

  1. In a medium-sized saucepan, pour the water over the sugar and cook this mixture over medium heat, until the color is a dark amber. This should take about 15 minutes. If you want a slightly more mellow -- less intense -- caramel, go for a lighter amber color, with should take less than 15 minutes. Do not ever stir this mixture while it's cooking!

  2. Once you've achieved the desired color, reduce the heat to low and carefully whisk in the butter, heavy cream, and sour cream. Stand back! When you add these ingredients, the mixture will likely hiss and bubble up. Continue to whisk until it's smooth. Then mix in the espresso powder, stir to blend, and remove from the heat. Let is sit at room temperature until you're ready to use it.

For the brownies

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.

  2. Line an 8 X 8 X 3-inch baking pan with parchment paper. Use a wide enough, and long enough piece of parchment, so that it will cover the sides. Use scissors to cut a diagonal slit in each corner, so that the paper lies flat in all areas. 
Set aside.
  3. Place the chocolate, butter, espresso and vanilla in a medium-sized saucepan over medium low heat. Stirring often, heat until the chocolate and butter are melted and completely blended.
  4. Remove from heat and transfer the chocolate mixture to a large bowl and let it cool for at least 15 minutes or so.
  5. Add the sugar and mix well. Then add the eggs one at a time, whisking well after each addition. 

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake in the preheated 375°F oven until cake has risen and the top and edges have formed a thin crust, about 25 minutes.

  6. Let it cool in the pan until it's room temperature, at least 1 hour.
  7. When cake has cooled, pour the caramel in the center of the top surface. The cake will likely have sunk a bit, everywhere except the edges. This allows the caramel to flow evenly over the top surface, stopping at the edges.
  8. If it doesn't spread on its own as you're pouring, simply use a small spatula to very gently guide it. (You don't want the caramel to be too hot, or it might seep into the brownies too much, and if it's too cool, it won't spread -- so the key is making sure it's just warm enough to spread evenly.)
  9. You could serve it now, but it's best to let it set for a couple of hours, and ideally overnight -- at room temperature. (Simply because it will be a bit messy if you don't wait.) You could speed it up in the refrigerator as well.

Recipe Notes

Please note that the prep time does not include letting the caramel set after you've added it to the brownies, should you choose to do so.

This caramel portion of the recipe can be made up to at least a week ahead of time. Keep it stored in the refrigerator and warm it to soften.