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Vegan Salted Caramel Brownies

These vegan salted caramel brownies are basically one giant fudgy overload of chocolate and caramel – and they’re AMAZING. With an ultra-fudgy vegan chocolate brownie layer, perfectly chewy-gooey salted caramel and a luscious vegan chocolate ganache, they’re every chocoholic’s dream come true – and you’ll want to make them over and over (and over) again.

This post has been created in collaboration with Tilda. All opinions expressed in the post are my own… plus, there’s a whole lotta deliciousness ahead – so read on. (For more information you can check out my Disclosure Policy.)

Vegan salted caramel brownies on a piece of brown parchment paper.

I stuffed all the very best things into this recipe: ultra-fudgy brownies that are almost bursting with chocolate, perfectly chewy-gooey salted caramel, and the most luscious, glossy chocolate ganache. And it’s all VEGAN!! (Not that you could possibly tell.)

It’s all one giant fudgy overload of chocolate and salted caramel… and it’s glorious.

And even though there are three components to this recipe (including from-scratch caramel), the recipe is actually surprisingly easy to make! It also doesn’t use any unusual ingredients (no egg replacements here!) and you don’t even need to use a stand or a hand mixer. There’s also no coconut cream in either the caramel or the ganache, as I know that the frequent use coconut cream and coconut oil in vegan baking can be a common complaint.

Vegan salted caramel brownies arranged on a white plate, with glasses of milk in the background.

For this recipe, I teamed up with Tilda, who you might be familiar with from their wide range of various rice products. They’ve just released an exciting new product, Tilda Rice MLK – a 100% plant based, dairy free and gluten free organic milk alternative that’s naturally sweet without any added sugars.

Its sweetness makes it perfect for baking (as well as adding to coffee or overnight oats) and I was super excited to test it out in this recipe. You can find Tilda Rice MLK in Waitrose, both in-store and online.

Now, without further ado: let’s talk brownies!

Eating a vegan salted caramel brownie with a fork, with a dramatic caramel pull.

Before we get to the bits and bobs of making these amazing brownies – if you like what you’re seeing, subscribe to my newsletter to keep up to date on the latest recipes and tips!

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Note: the whole recipe, including the ingredient quantities, can be found at the bottom of this page – just scroll down to the bottom, or click the ‘Jump to Recipe’ button at the top of this post.

How to make vegan salted caramel brownies

There are three components to these brownies – but don’t worry!! Each component comes together in no time and is super easy to whip up.

Here’s a quick overview of the whole process, and I will take you through it step by step with detailed photos and all my top tips below.

To make these vegan caramel brownies:

  1. First, make the vegan chocolate brownies, bake them to fudgy perfection and allow them to cool in the baking tin.
  2. Then, prepare the vegan caramel and, while it’s still fairly hot (around 165ºF/75ºC), pour it over the cooled brownies and spread it out into an even layer. Then, chill it in the fridge until firm.
  3. Make the quick 3-ingredient vegan chocolate ganache, allow it to cool a bit until slightly thickened, and then pour it over the caramel layer. Spread it out with an offset spatula or the back of a spoon. I like to create swoops and swirls in the ganache as additional decoration. However, if you want a completely smooth finish, you can skip the cooling step and pour it over the caramel straight away while it’s still quite warm and runny – that way, it will settle into a smooth, even, glossy layer. Chill the assembled vegan caramel brownies in the fridge for about 30 minutes or until the ganache is fully set.
  4. As an optional step, you can sprinkle some flaky salt over the brownies, before slicing and serving. For extra neat slices, I like to use a sharp knife dipped into hot water (and then wiped dry before cutting).

The 4-step process of assembling vegan salted caramel brownies.

How to make THE BEST vegan brownies

The vegan brownie part of this recipe is incredibly easy to whip up, and it gives the perfect results: a fudgy brownie, slightly chewy in texture, packed with chocolate and topped with a paper-thin, crinkly, glossy crust.

Strictly speaking, whether or not the brownies have that gorgeous glossy crust doesn’t really matter, as it will get covered in caramel and ganache anyway… but there’s something terribly satisfying about pulling a batch of brownies out of the oven and seeing that shiny, crinkly crust on top.

Ingredients for vegan brownies

You need just 7 ingredients to make the vegan brownie base:

  • Caster/superfine or granulated sugar. Either will work fine in this recipe, but I prefer to use caster sugar. Because it has a smaller grain size, it dissolves quicker, which is ideal when making the sugar syrup (more about that below!).
  • Tilda rice milk (Rice MLK). You’ll use it to make the sugar syrup that’s responsible for the gorgeous glossy crust. This also adds moisture to the brownies, so you can achieve that wonderful fudgy-gooey texture.
  • Dark chocolate. For best results, use a high quality vegan dark chocolate with 60-70% cocoa solids.
  • Vegan butter alternative. I recommend using a firm vegan butter block rather than a soft vegan spread.
  • All-purpose flour. The amount of flour is optimised to give vegan brownies that actually set (rather than end up as a chocolatey soup) without making them dry, cakey or floury.
  • Dutch processed cocoa powder. This contributes to the wonderfully intense chocolate flavour and also to the fudgy-chewy texture.
  • Salt. Like with most chocolate desserts, salt helps to bring out the chocolate flavour to really make these brownies *shine*.

The ingredients required for vegan chocolate brownies.

The sugar syrup with Tilda Rice MLK

The first step in making these vegan brownies is to prepare a simple sugar syrup with the sugar and the Tilda rice milk alternative. Now, a sugar syrup is a rather unusual ingredient in a brownie recipe – so, here’s the reason behind it:

The sugar syrup replaces the mixture of whipped-up eggs and sugar normally prepared in a regular, non-vegan brownie recipe. This is what gives the brownies their drop-dead-gorgeous shiny top and contributes to their fudgy texture.

The important thing is to keep the amount of rice milk low, just enough to dissolve all the sugar when heated. If you add more rice milk or other liquid, the shiny top will disappear and the texture will go from deliciously fudgy to something that resembles a dense, under-baked cake (trust me, it’s not pleasant or appetising at all). That’s to say… follow the recipe.

To make the sugar syrup:

  1. Add the sugar to a heat-proof bowl or jug (if using the microwave), or to a saucepan (if preparing it on the stovetop).
  2. Add the rice milk.
  3. Heat the sugar mixture with occasional stirring until the sugar is fully dissolved – but not so much that the mixture starts boiling, evaporating or caramelising.
  4. At this point, you shouldn’t see any graininess from the sugar, it should all be fully dissolved. The mixture will change in colour and transparency from the original opaque milky-white to a light yellowish liquid that’s more see-through. Allow the syrup to cool until warm.

The 4-step process of making simple sugar syrup.

Simple sugar syrup in a measuring jug.

Making the vegan brownie batter

To make the brownie batter:

  1. Add the warm sugar syrup to the warm mixture of melted chocolate and vegan butter.
  2. Whisk well to combine.
  3. Sift in the dry ingredients (flour, cocoa powder and salt)
  4. and whisk well until you get a smooth brownie batter with no flour clumps. The batter will be fairly runny at this point and it should be beautifully glossy and luscious.
  5. Then, transfer the batter into a lined 8-inch (20cm) square baking tin
  6. and smooth out the top.

The 6-step process of making vegan chocolate brownies.

Baking the vegan brownies until fudgy

To get perfectly fudgy brownies, you’ll need to bake the brownies at 320ºF (160ºC) for about 35-38 minutes. However, as all ovens are a bit different (and often not 100% correctly calibrated), it’s best to test the doneness of the brownies with a toothpick or skewer: when you insert it into the middle of the brownie, it should come out with a mix of half-baked batter and moist crumbs attached.

The toothpick test for perfectly fudgy brownies.

It’s very likely that your baked brownies will have a slightly raised edge with a somewhat sunken centre. That’s to be expected and perfectly okay! However, as an optional additional step that will make the finished caramel brownies extra gorgeous, you can compress the raised brownie edges while the brownies are still hot from the oven with a small offset spatula or the back of a spoon.

Finally, allow the brownies to cool completely in the baking tin.

Compressing the raised edge of the vegan chocolate brownies with the back of a spoon.

The chewy vegan caramel layer

The caramel layer is basically a veganised version of the chewy caramel from my INSANELY delicious Gluten Free Caramel “Twix” Cookies. And this vegan version is just as easy to make as the original. 

However, make sure to use a digital food thermometer or a candy thermometer when making it. It’s crucial that you heat the caramel to the correct temperature at each stage of the process if you want it to have the perfect luscious, slightly chewy texture in the end.

Another great thing about this vegan caramel is that it doesn’t use any coconut cream or coconut oil, which I know is a common complaint when it comes to much of vegan baking.

Once you’ve prepared the caramel, allow it to cool to about 165ºF (75ºC) and pour it over the cooled brownie layer. Then, smooth it out into an even layer with a small offset spatula or the back of a spoon, and chill in the fridge until it’s firm to the touch.

Pouring vegan caramel on top of vegan salted caramel brownies.

Spreading vegan caramel on top of vegan salted caramel brownies.

How do you make sure that the caramel isn’t too hard or too soft?

The key to the most amazing caramel brownies is to get the caramel layer texture just right. Too hard, and it will be unpleasant to eat. Too soft and you’ll be left with a sticky (if terribly delicious) mess.

To get the caramel texture right, there are two main things you should keep in mind:

  • Make sure to measure the ingredients listed in the recipe below precisely and accurately (ideally with a digital food scale), and don’t be tempted to change the ingredient quantities.
  • Heat the caramel to the correct temperature at the correct stage of the process. You’ll first need to cook a mixture of sugar and golden syrup to 295ºF (145ºC) – this step is responsible for most of the flavour in the caramel. Then, after you’ve added the vegan cream and butter, you’ll need to heat the caramel until it reaches 230-240ºF (110-116ºC) – this is responsible for the texture of the caramel. This temperature range gives you the option to “choose your own adventure”, so to speak. The lower end of 230ºF (110ºC) will give you a softer, gooier caramel that will very slightly ooze out of your brownies. The higher end of 240ºF (116ºC) will give you a firmer, chewier caramel that will hold its shape better, but you might not get a very dramatic caramel pull when you eat it. Either option will end up delicious.

All that said, the final texture of the caramel layer can still vary slightly depending on what kind of vegan heavy/double cream and butter alternatives you use. That’s mainly because different brands of these dairy free alternatives can vary quite widely in terms of composition and fat content. However, if you use a vegan cream alternative with a fat content of around 30% and a firm vegan butter block, you should get the perfect caramel texture.

Eating a vegan salted caramel brownie with a fork, with a dramatic caramel pull.

The luscious vegan chocolate ganache

The third and final component of these wonderful vegan salted caramel brownies is the ganache. To make it, you’ll need rice milk, vegan butter (use a firm vegan butter block, not a soft spread) and a high quality dark chocolate with a cocoa solids content of 60-70%.

I especially loved using Tilda Rice MLK to make the ganache because of its natural sweetness, which beautifully balances out the slight bitterness of the dark chocolate. Honestly, I now want to put this ganache onto *everything*.

Here’s how to make the vegan ganache:

  1. In a heat-proof bowl (if using the microwave) or in a saucepan (if making it on the stovetop), combine the vegan butter and rice milk. Heat until hot and the butter has fully melted.
  2. Add the chocolate and allow to sit for 2-3 minutes. Then, stir it well until you get a smooth, luscious, glossy ganache. Don’t worry if it looks a bit split initially – just keep on stirring and it will come together and emulsify.

The 2-step process of making vegan chocolate ganache.

Now, you have two options:

  • You can pour the ganache over the chilled caramel straight away. As the ganache is fairly warm and runny at this point, it will settle into an even, smooth, glossy layer.
  • Alternatively, you can chill the ganache in the fridge for about 10-15 minutes until it’s thickened up a bit. Then, pour it onto the chilled caramel layer and create swirls and swoops as a bit of extra decoration. This is what I decided to go with.

Pouring vegan chocolate ganache on top of vegan salted caramel brownies.

Spreading vegan chocolate ganache on top of vegan salted caramel brownies.

Chilling the vegan salted caramel brownies & finishing touches

Once you’ve added the ganache, chill the brownies in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or until the ganache is fully set. You can finish them off with a sprinkling of flaky sea salt before serving.

Sprinkling vegan salted caramel brownies with flakey sea salt.

A little side note here: I cut the whole brownie block into squares straight away because I was photographing them. However, I recommend cutting individual brownies as you go (that is, cut when you want to eat or serve them). Even when kept in the fridge, some of the caramel can ooze out a bit, so it’s better to adopt a “cut-as-you-go” approach to avoid a sticky, oozy situation.

How do you get neatly cut brownies with clean, sharp edges?

There are numerous ways to cut brownies, and here’s my go-to, favourite one that works particularly well for this recipe, where you have to contend with fudgy brownies, sticky caramel and also the ganache on top.

To get neatly cut caramel brownies:

  • Use a sharp metal knife.
  • Dip the knife into hot water for a few seconds and then wipe it dry.
  • Cut while the knife is still hot. Press it straight down while cutting, don’t use a sawing motion.
  • Wipe the knife as clean as possible between slices.

Vegan salted caramel brownies arranged on a white plate, with glasses of milk in the background.

How long do these vegan salted caramel brownies last?

You can keep these vegan caramel brownies in the fridge in a closed air-tight container for up to 5 days. I like to enjoy them cold straight from the fridge (they’re extra chewy-fudgy that way), but you can also leave them out at room temperature for 10-15 minutes before serving.

And there you go! This is absolutely everything you need to know in order to make the most EPIC, unforgettable vegan salted caramel brownies. Seriously, if you make these, you’ll be everyone’s favourite person. 

Just be prepared to be asked to make them again… and again.

Happy baking!

Signature of the author, Kat.

Close-up of a vegan salted caramel brownie.

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Vegan Salted Caramel Brownies

These vegan salted caramel brownies are basically one giant fudgy overload of chocolate and caramel – and they’re AMAZING. With an ultra-fudgy vegan chocolate brownie layer, perfectly chewy-gooey salted caramel and a luscious vegan chocolate ganache, they’re every chocoholic's dream come true – and you’ll want to make them over and over (and over) again.
Print Rate
Prep Time 1 hr 30 mins
Cook/Bake Time 35 mins
Chilling Time 1 hr 10 mins
Total Time 3 hrs 15 mins
Servings 16

Ingredients

Vegan chocolate brownies:

  • 250 g (1¼ cups) caster/superfine or granulated sugar
  • 160 g (⅔ cup) Tilda rice milk (You can get Tilda Rice MLK in Waitrose here!)
  • 240 g (8½ oz) dark chocolate (60-70% cocoa solids), chopped
  • 90 g (¾ stick + ½ tbsp) vegan butter (I recommend using a firm vegan butter block, not a soft spread.)
  • 180 g (1½ cups) plain all-purpose flour
  • 60 g (½ cup + 1½ tbsp) Dutch processed cocoa powder
  • ½ tsp salt

Vegan salted caramel:

  • 180 g (¾ cup + ½ tbsp) vegan heavy/double cream alternative (I recommend using one with a fat content of about 30%.)
  • 45 g (⅓ stick + ½ tbsp) vegan butter (I recommend using a firm vegan butter block, not a soft spread.)
  • 100 g (½ cup) caster/superfine or granulated sugar
  • 80 g (3½ tbsp) golden syrup
  • ¼-½ tsp salt

Vegan chocolate ganache:

  • 50 g (3 tbsp + 1 tsp) Tilda rice milk (You can get Tilda Rice MLK in Waitrose here!)
  • 28 g (¼ stick) vegan butter (I recommend using a firm vegan butter block, not a soft spread.)
  • 100 g (3½ oz) dark chocolate (60-70% cocoa solids), chopped

You will also need:

  • flaky sea salt (optional)

Instructions

Vegan chocolate brownies:

  • Adjust the oven rack to the middle position, pre-heat the oven to 320ºF (160ºC) and line an 8-inch (20 cm) square baking tin with parchment/baking paper.
    Tip: When lining the baking tin, make sure to leave enough overhang so that you can easily remove the finished brownies from the tin.
  • In a heat-proof bowl or jug (if using the microwave) or in a saucepan (if using the stovetop), mix together the sugar and Tilda rice milk, and heat them together until the sugar is fully dissolved – but not so much that the mixture starts boiling, evaporating or caramelising.
    At this point, you shouldn’t see any graininess from the sugar, it should all be fully dissolved. The mixture will change in colour and transparency from the original opaque milky-white to a light yellowish liquid that’s more see-through. Allow the syrup to cool until warm.
  • In a separate heat-proof bowl above a pot of simmering water or in the microwave, melt together the chocolate and vegan butter. Set aside to cool until warm.
  • Pour the warm sugar syrup into the warm chocolate mixture, and whisk well until combined.
  • Sift in the flour, cocoa powder and salt. Whisk well until you get a smooth, glossy, runny brownie batter.
  • Pour the batter into the lined baking tin and smooth out the top.
  • Bake in the pre-heated oven at 320ºF (160ºC) for about 35-38 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out with some half-baked batter and moist crumbs attached.
  • Optional extra step: It’s very likely that your baked brownies will have a slightly raised edge with a somewhat sunken centre. That’s to be expected and perfectly okay! As an optional additional step that will make the layers in the assembled caramel brownies extra neat, you can compress the raised brownie edges while the brownies are still hot from the oven with a small offset spatula or the back of a spoon.
  • Let the brownies cool completely to room temperature in the baking tin.

Vegan salted caramel:

  • In a heat-proof bowl or jug (if using the microwave) or in a saucepan (if using the stovetop), heat the vegan cream alternative and half of the vegan butter together until hot and all the butter has melted. Set aside until needed, making sure that the mixture stays warm.
  • In another saucepan, combine the sugar and golden syrup, and cook over medium-high heat with frequent stirring until the mixture reaches 295ºF (145ºC).
  • Remove from heat, pour in the cream mixture and stir well until combined.
  • Return to the heat and cook with constant stirring until the mixture reaches 230-240ºF (110-116ºC). Immediately remove from heat and stir in the remaining butter and salt.
    Tip: You can tweak the texture of your caramel by controlling its temperature. The lower end of 230ºF (110ºC) will give you a softer, gooier caramel that will very slightly ooze out of your brownies. The higher end of 240ºF (116ºC) will give you a firmer, chewier caramel that will hold its shape better, but you might not get a very dramatic caramel pull when you eat it. Either option will end up delicious.
  • Allow the caramel to cool to 165ºF (75ºC) before pouring it over the cooled brownie layer. Use a small offset spatula or the back of a spoon to smooth it out into an even layer.
  • Chill the caramel-topped brownies in the fridge for about 30 minutes or until the caramel is firm to the touch.

Vegan chocolate ganache:

  • In a heat-proof bowl (if using the microwave) or in a saucepan (if making it on the stovetop), combine the vegan butter and Tilda rice milk. Heat the mixture until hot and the butter has fully melted.
  • Add the chocolate and allow to sit for 2-3 minutes.
  • Stir well until you get a smooth, luscious, glossy ganache. Don’t worry if it looks a bit split initially – just keep on stirring and it will come together and emulsify.
  • If you want a smooth finish on your ganache: Pour the ganache over the chilled caramel straight away and smooth it out into an even layer. As the ganache is fairly warm and runny at this point, it will settle into an even, smooth, glossy layer.
  • If you want to create swoops and swirls in your ganache: Chill the ganache in the fridge for about 10-15 minutes until it’s thickened up a bit. Then, pour it onto the chilled caramel layer and create swirls and swoops with a small offset spatula or the back of a spoon as extra decoration.
  • Chill the assembled brownies in the fridge for about 30 minutes or until the ganache is fully set.
  • Optional: Sprinkle the brownies with flaky sea salt.

Slicing & serving the brownies:

  • I recommend cutting individual brownies as you go (that is, cut when you want to eat or serve them). Even when kept in the fridge, some of the caramel can ooze out a bit, so it’s better to adopt a “cut-as-you-go” approach to avoid a sticky, oozy situation.
  • To get neatly cut caramel brownies, use a sharp metal knife. Dip the knife into hot water for a few seconds and then wipe it dry. Cut while the knife is still hot, pressing it straight down while cutting – don’t use a sawing motion. Wipe the knife as clean as possible between slices.

Storage:

  • The vegan salted caramel brownies keep well in the fridge in a closed air-tight container for up to 5 days.
    I like to enjoy them cold straight from the fridge (they’re extra chewy-fudgy that way), but you can also leave them out at room temperature for 10-15 minutes before serving.
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2 thoughts on “Vegan Salted Caramel Brownies”

  1. Hi, the actual brownies turned out amazing! When I combined the caramel ingredients, as soon as the heavy cream mix combined with the hot syrup mix, it immediately congealed even while stirring constantly. I’m not sure what happened?

    Reply
    • Hi Shey, it sounds like your cream mix might have been too cold and when it came into contact with the hot melted sugar, it caused the sugar to seize up. That’s not a problem, it sometimes happens to me as well – if you continue heating it with stirring, it should melt again and you will still get a perfectly luscious, smooth caramel in the end.

      Reply