Served hot or cold, these gooey chocolate pecan brownies are the perfect dessert! Fudgy brownies stuffed full of chocolate chips and crunchy pecans then sprinkled with sea salt – what’s not to love?
The combination of chocolate with salty toasted nuts makes for the BEST brownies!
These brownies are the perfect sweet treat for parties and to give as gifts, or why not serve them warm with a scoop of ice cream for the holidays? Pecan desserts just scream Thanksgiving for me!
✏️ Recipe creation
Pecans are one of my favorite nuts, and they’re perfect in a moist chocolate brownie. I wanted to make a pecan brownie recipe that was purely chocolate pecan goodness.
The recipe is based on my best ever triple chocolate brownies. If you’re a chocolate lover then these brownies are for you!
The addition of chopped pecans to gooey brownies is a fun mix of tasty textures and giving them a sprinkle of salt on top helps balance the sweetness.
This brownie recipe calls for the following ingredients:
- Unsalted butter
- Dark chocolate
- Caster sugar (white finely granulated sugar)
- Soft light brown sugar
- Vanilla extract
- Plain flour (all-purpose flour)
- Cocoa powder
- Milk chocolate chips
- Pecans (¾ chopped, ¼ whole)
- Sea salt flakes (optional)
See the recipe card for quantities.
I like to use part white sugar, part brown sugar in this recipe to add a touch of caramel-like sweetness to the brownies. However, you can choose to use either all white or all brown sugar to the same total sugar amount.
You can choose to swap the milk chocolate chips for either white or dark chips. Alternatively, you can choose to leave them out – your brownies will still be delicious!
I like to use sea salt flakes to sprinkle onto these pecan brownies, but you can use small pieces of rock salt or other small salt flakes / pieces.
You can use any type of unsweetened baking cocoa powder, such as natural cocoa powder, Dutch processed cocoa powder and black cocoa powder (great for a darker brownie!). This is not the same as hot cocoa power like you’d use to make a hot chocolate, which won’t work in this recipe.
I like to use roughly chopped pecans inside my brownie batter so they’re easier to cut and eat, but you can use whole pecan halves for this instead.
- I recommend sieving your flour and cocoa powder for a smooth brownie batter.
- To measure your ingredients, it’s best to use weights rather than cups for better accuracy.
- I prefer using vanilla extract to vanilla essence. It has a purer vanilla flavour as it’s less processed.
- For the chocolate to melt into your brownie batter, I recommend a high-quality dark chocolate, unsweetened chocolate or bittersweet chocolate (e.g. semisweet chocolate chips). I like to use Callebaut dark chocolate for this recipe.
- I’d also recommend using unsalted butter where possible, rather than salted butter, so you can control how much salt goes into your brownies. I like mine to be low salt so I don’t add much to the brownie batter (more on the top!), but you can add an optional ¼ teaspoon salt depending on taste.
- You can buy your pecans whole, then chop ¾ of the recipe amount for inside the batter, leaving ¼ to scatter whole on top.
I use the following equipment for this recipe:
- 8-inch square baking tin
- Electric hand mixer or stand mixer (or whisk / fork)
- Large mixing bowl
- Medium mixing bowl
- Heatproof bowl
- Rubber spatula or wooden spoon
- Weighing scales
- Measuring spoons
I usually use an 8-inch square baking tin for these brownies, but you can instead swap for a 9-inch pan of brownies. Your brownies will be slightly thinner and need baking for 5mins less time.
If you want to make a big batch or only have a larger brownie pan, such as a rectangular 13-inch pan, it’s best to double the recipe and cook for an extra 10-15mins.
It’s easiest to beat your egg-sugar mixture using an electric mixer. You can either use the beaters on a hand mixer or the paddle attachment on a stand mixer.
I usually melt my chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl in the microwave. If you don’t have a microwave, you can instead use a small saucepan of boiling water on a medium heat. Place your heatproof bowl on top, and the steam will heat it up. The bowl shouldn’t touch the boiling water though. Stir until your butter and chocolate are fully melted.
- I like using digital scales for weighing my ingredients as it's easy and accurate. I quite like KitchenAid or Salter scales.
- It’s best to use actual measuring spoons. Cutlery teaspoons and tablespoons aren’t actually the correct volume - I never knew it before!
- I’d also recommend levelling off any heaped scoops for a more accurate measurement.
- If you're planning to use a stand mixer for this recipe, I would recommend using the paddle attachment on a low to medium speed to whip up the sugar-egg mixture.
- You can also get great results for your brownie by using a medium bowl and a hand mixer for the sugar-egg mixture. It’s also possible to use just a fork or whisk if you don’t have an electric mixer (but it’s much harder by hand!).
- Even if your brownie pan is non-stick, I recommend greasing and lining your tin with parchment paper or greaseproof paper. Leave a small overhang of paper to make it easier to lift your brownies out of the tin after baking.
First, preheat the oven to 180°C / 160°C (fan) / Gas Mark 4 / 350°F.
Step 1: If needed, chop 100g/1cup of pecans, leaving the rest whole.
Step 2: In a heatproof bowl, melt the butter and dark chocolate either in the microwave (30secs at a time) or over a double boiler, stirring until smooth.
Steps 3 - 4: In a separate mixing bowl, using an electric mixer beat the eggs and sugar. This should whip up to thick and creamy like a milkshake and can take roughly 3-8mins.
Steps 5 - 6: Pour the cooled chocolate mixture over the eggy mousse, add in the vanilla extract and then gently fold together.
Steps 7 - 8: In a separate bowl, sieve the plain flour and cocoa powder, whisking together and then stirring in the chocolate chips and chopped pecans.
Steps 9 - 10: Add the wet ingredients into the dry mixture, slowly folding in until only just combined.
Steps 11 - 12: Pour the brownie batter into a greased and lined 8-inch baking pan, then scatter the whole pecans on top. Bake for 25-30mins, until papery and cracked on top, but with a slight wobble in the middle.
Allow the brownie to cool in the tin before removing and cutting into squares.
It’s best to store your chewy pecan brownies in an airtight container. They should keep for up to a week stored like this.
Alternatively, if it’s hot where you live or you’d like to firm up your brownies a bit, you can store your brownies in the fridge. I also quite like the cold fudgy texture of a fridge brownie!
If you want to freeze your brownies, you can wrap them in plastic wrap / cling film and then a layer of aluminium foil and freeze them. Or freeze them in an airtight container. They should last up to 2 months frozen.
💭 Top tips
- I find that the best way to mix your ingredients is to slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. This helps to reduce the lumps in your mixture giving you a smooth brownie batter as it’s beaten together gradually.
- When melting the chocolate and butter together, I usually do so in a microwaveable bowl and heat in the microwave. Melt the mixture slowly in 15-30secs bouts, stirring between, so it doesn’t burn the chocolate. You can also use a double-boiler - heating water in a saucepan with the chocolate and butter in a heat-proof bowl on top.
- Once you’ve whipped up your sugar-egg mixture to a thick milkshake-like consistency, try not to knock any of that air out when mixing in your other ingredients – fold it all in gently where possible.
- For that perfectly crinkly top, it’s also best to work quickly to get your brownie batter made and straight into the oven.
- Your brownies are fully cooked once they’re cracked and papery on top, and there is only a slight wobble left in the middle when you give the pan a little shake.
- Once your fudgy brownies have baked, leave them in the tin to cool completely before you remove them and cut them into squares. This stops them from breaking when you try to lift them out. You can also transfer them to a wire rack after allowing them to cool in the tin for at least 20mins.
- For neatly sliced pecan brownie bars, place your cooled baked brownie in the fridge for 30mins – 1hr before cutting it into squares. Be sure to use a sharp knife too and wipe the blade between cuts for the ultimate neatness.
Your pecan chocolate brownies should last for up to a week stored in an airtight container at room temperature or in the fridge.
Yes! You can freeze your brownies wrapped in a layer of cling film and a layer of foil for up to 2 months.
If you want to reheat your brownies to serve warm, you can microwave individual brownies on a heatproof plate for 10-15secs.
If you’ve got any specific questions on making your pecan brownies, please feel free to leave a comment below and I’ll try my best to help out!
Why not take your pecan brownies to the next level, and add a little bourbon to the mix? Add 2-3 tablespoon bourbon to your finished brownie batter before baking. Bourbon pecan brownies are sure to be a hit for a party!
For more of a pecan pie brownie twist, you can top your brownies with a layer of pecan pie topping like from my pecan pie bars recipe. You can use half the recipe for a thinner layer. Once your brownies have baked, pour over your homemade pecan pie filling and continue to bake for a further 15-20mins.
You can also add a swirl of caramel into your brownie batter before topping with pecans and baking for delicious pecan caramel brownies!
Decorations and toppings
I love topping these brownies with sea salt flakes as soon as they come out of the oven.
For extra chocolate flavor you can drizzle melted chocolate on top of your cooled gooey brownie. I like to use a mix of white chocolate and milk chocolate for this.
If serving your nutty brownies warm, be sure to pour custard, cream or ice cream on top - yum!
If you’re looking for a dairy-free pecan brownie recipe, then you can swap the butter for a plant-based baking block instead.
Be sure to check the dark chocolate you are using in the batter is dairy-free too.
To make gluten-free pecan brownies, swap the plain flour for gluten-free flour. I recommend using a gluten-free plain flour blend, such as King Arthur's measure for measure flour or Freee from Doves Farm.
🧁 Other goodies
Looking for some other goodies to make?
For all the chocolate lovers, check out these easy recipes:
- Peanut butter swirl brownies – a favorite brownie recipe of mine!
- Oreo chocolate drip cake
- Chocolate orange cake
- Bailey’s Oreo brownies
- Slutty brownies (Oreo brookies)
Or if you love pecan recipes perfect for fall, you might love these desserts:
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- 125 g (½ cups) unsalted butter
- 125 g (¾ cups) dark chocolate
- 2 eggs large
- 70 g (⅓ cups) caster sugar white granulated
- 115 g (½ cups) soft light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 60 g (½ cups) plain flour all-purpose
- 30 g (⅓ cups) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 50 g (¼ cups) milk chocolate chips
- 125 g (1 ¼ cups) pecans (100g / 1 cup) chopped, (25g/ ¼ cup) whole
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt optional
- Pre-heat oven: 180°C / 160°C (fan) / Gas 4 / 350°F
- In a heatproof bowl, melt the butter and dark chocolate either in the microwave (30secs at a time) or over a double boiler, stirring until smooth.
- In a separate mixing bowl, using an electric mixer beat the eggs and sugars. This should whip up to thick and creamy like a milkshake and can take roughly 3-8mins.
- Pour the cooled chocolate mixture over the eggy mousse, add in the vanilla extract and then gently fold together.
- In a separate bowl, sieve the plain flour and cocoa powder, whisking together and then stirring in the chocolate chips and chopped pecans.
- Add the wet ingredients into the dry mixture, slowly folding in until only just combined.
- Pour the brownie batter into a greased and lined 8-inch baking pan, then scatter the whole pecans on top.
- Bake for 25-30mins, until papery and cracked on top, but with a slight wobble in the middle.
- Allow the brownie to cool in the tin before removing and cut into squares.
Nutritional information is an estimate based on an online nutritional calculator, actual values may vary.
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