Turtle Brownies

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Rich and fudgy turtle brownies are a divine treat! Topped with a homemade butterscotch sauce and filled with pecans, these brownies are not to be missed.

My kids always get so excited when I’m making brownies. What’s not to love about fudgy, chocolatey brownies?

Brownies are one of the first things I learned how to make as a kid, and yet we don’t have them nearly as often as we would like.

Gray plate with two turtle brownies on it.

When I get in the mood, though, we have brownies a lot, which means lots of different kinds of brownies coming out of the kitchen, like peppermint brownies and strawberry cheesecake swirl brownies.

These turtle brownies are some of my favorites. I’ve been making them for years, and my former officemates couldn’t keep away from any batch I brought in!

Filled with pecans and topped with a homemade butterscotch sauce, they’re always a hit. If you love turtle candies, you’ll love these!

Ingredients for turtle brownies

You’ll need all the usual ingredients for brownies, plus a couple of extras.

Ingredients for turtle brownies on a tile surface with labels.

Unsweetened chocolate – While some brownie recipes use cocoa powder, I use melted chocolate for turtle brownies to make them ultra rich and fudgy.

Unsweetened chocolate is usually sold in bars by the chocolate chips. You’ll need 4 ounces, which is the same size as many of the bars.

I recommend Ghirardelli, though Baker’s is also easy to find.

Butter – You’ll need butter for both the brownies and the sauce. Use unsalted butter, since we’ll be adding salt to the recipe.

Granulated sugar – Granulated (white) sugar is mixed into the brownie batter to sweeten it.

Brown sugar – Brown sugar is added to make the butterscotch sauce. You can use light or dark brown sugar, depending on the flavor you prefer.

Eggs – Standard large eggs. Because we’re only using 2 eggs, don’t worry if you have a different size egg.

Heavy cream – Also labeled heavy whipping cream, this is added to the sauce to make it rich and smooth.

Vanilla – I always recommend pure vanilla extract rather than imitation vanilla. The flavor is worth it!

Salt – A little salt is added to both the brownie batter and the sauce to boost flavor. 

Flour – This recipe uses all-purpose flour. If you make any flour substitutions, note that the texture of the brownies might turn out differently.

Pecans – Chopped pecans are added to both the batter and on top of the brownies. You can use pecan halves to make a pretty top, if you prefer.

Overhead of a cut batch of turtle brownies with pecans and an offset spatula.

How to make turtle brownies

To make these brownies, first line an 8×8 square baking pan with parchment paper or foil, then lightly coat with nonstick spray. The paper/foil will make it easier to remove the brownies from the pan for cutting and serving.

Combine 1 stick butter and chocolate in a microwave safe bowl. Heat in the microwave for 1 minute, then remove and stir. 

Continue heating in 30 second increments until the chocolate is almost completely melted, then stir to melt fully and make smooth.

Whisk in the sugar until blended, then whisk in the eggs one at a time.

Mix in the vanilla and salt, then add the flour.

Stir just until the flour is incorporated, making sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl. 

Fold in half of the pecan pieces, then spread the batter into the pan.

Bake the brownies for 20 minutes. They’ll get a second bake after adding the sauce.

While the brownies are baking, make the sauce.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the butter and brown sugar, whisking to melt.

Once the sugar is fully dissolved, whisk in the cream and salt.

Bring to a boil and cook for about 5 minutes, whisking to prevent any scorching on the bottom of the pan.

Remove from heat and add the vanilla. It will bubble a bit so be careful!

Whisk until smooth, then set aside until ready to use.

After 20 minutes of baking, remove the brownies from the oven. Use a toothpick or fork to poke holes all over the brownies.

Pour the sauce evenly over the brownies, then sprinkle on the rest of the pecans.

Return the brownies to the oven for 10 minutes.

Let cool completely before slicing and serving.

Tips and tricks

  • Line your baking pan with parchment paper or foil. This makes it easier to remove the brownies to cut and serve.
  • Don’t overmix the batter once you add the flour. The flour should be just blended; this should take no more than 20 strokes.
  • To make a caramel rather than butterscotch sauce, swap the brown sugar with granulated sugar.
  • Try this recipe with walnuts instead of pecans.
  • Put the brownies in the refrigerator or freezer to cool quickly and get a fudgier texture.
  • For cleaner slices, use a large sharp knife, wiping the blade clean after each cut. Brownies that are fully cooled will slice better.
Caucasian hand holding a turtle brownie with a bite taken, showing fudgy interior.

Storage tips

These turtle brownies store well at room temperature for up to 3 days. Make sure to cover them tightly with foil or transfer to an airtight container.

Brownies can easily be frozen to enjoy later! 

To freeze, let them cool completely, then remove from the pan. Either wrap the uncut slab of brownies in plastic wrap then foil, or cut the brownies into individual servings before wrapping.

I love to freeze them in individual portions because they make wonderful snacks when cravings hit! 

To thaw, let them come to room temperature, or unwrap and microwave for 30-60 seconds. 

Frozen brownies will keep for about 3 months.

Love this recipe? Please leave a 5-star review below! It means so much when you enjoy my recipes, so let me know how it goes and leave a comment if you have any questions.

Gray plate with two turtle brownies on it.

Turtle Brownies

Topped with butterscotch and filled with pecans, turtle brownies are a wonderful treat.
Author : Megan Myers
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Save
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Course Desserts
Cuisine American
Servings 16 servings
Calories 247 kcal


For the brownies

  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup pecan pieces, divided use

For the sauce

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 8×8 square pan and line with parchment or foil.
  • In a microwave-safe bowl, combine butter and chocolate and heat for 1 minute. Stir, then continue heating in 30-second increments until chocolate is nearly melted, then stir until smooth. (You can also use a saucepan set over low heat.)
  • Stir sugar into chocolate mixture. Add eggs, one at a time, then stir in salt and vanilla. Stir in flour until just incorporated, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl, then fold in half the pecan pieces.
  • Pour into prepared pan and smooth to the edges. Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, make the sauce.
  • To make the sauce, in a small saucepan combine butter and brown sugar over medium heat. Once sugar is fully melted, whisk in cream and salt. Bring to a boil and cook for about 5 minutes, whisking to prevent scorching. Remove from heat and whisk in vanilla, then set aside.
  • Remove brownies from oven and poke all over with a toothpick. Drizzle butterscotch sauce over the top and scatter on remaining pecans.
  • Return to oven for another 10-15 minutes, depending on how gooey you like your brownies. Let cool before serving.


Calories: 247 kcalCarbohydrates: 23 gProtein: 3 gFat: 18 gSaturated Fat: 8 gCholesterol: 43 mgSodium: 85 mgPotassium: 111 mgFiber: 2 gSugar: 16 gIron: 2 mg

Nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate based on online calculators. Any nutritional information found on Stetted should be used as a general guideline only.

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About Megan

I focus on fresh ingredients and easy methods, with spins that keep meals interesting. Dinnertime shouldn’t be stressful or complicated, and I’m here to help you enjoy the time spent in the kitchen. Read more…

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  1. You evil, devious, wonderful woman! 🙂
    It’s not breaking my diet so long as I just stare longingly at these and drool on my keyboard, right? Right?
    Okay, so we both know I’m totally making a batch of these on the weekend, as soon as I can get my hands on all the ingredients. But let’s just pretend that isn’t going to happen, so that I can live in denial for a few more days.

  2. If I’m going to have any nuts in my brownies it’s going to be pecans, because they go so well with the salty sweet awesomeness. But why is this called a turtle brownie? Does it secretly contain turtles? I’ve always wondered…

    Jax x

    1. @Jackie, they’re turtle brownies because there is a type of candy called a turtle made with pecans, caramel, and chocolate. You arrange the pecans in such a way that when you pour over the chocolate they look sort of like turtles 🙂