Caramel Peanut-Topped Brownie Cake

My mom and sisters came to lunch yesterday and for dessert we cut into this sticky, gooey confection called Caramel Peanut-Topped Brownie Cake.  It’s safe to say that all of us came away with a belly ache.

Caramel+Peanuts+Brownie Cake=Too Rich

Oh, and we ate it with whipped cream and a glass of milk to boot.  But don’t let that scare you away.  The lesson here is that it’s best in small doses, not big wedges topped with whipped cream.  Ahem.

The cake was super duper easy to make. However, and I hate to criticize any of Dorie Greenspan’s recipes, it was not one of the better recipes in Baking:  From My Home To Yours.  Mine came out pretty dry–easily remedied when I poured the hot caramel on top of it.

As for the caramel…..oh! It was so easy to make and very delicious. The recipe states that there will be too much caramel for the cake and to use the excess to make caramel sauce for ice cream, etc. Well, I will tell you that it didn’t last that long. We ate it by the spoonful and on slices of green apples.

Verdict: I will definitely make the caramel again, but not the cake.

My little guy was delighted when he saw me put the cake on the table. (Indulge me while I tell you a cute story!)

He climbed up into the chair and yelled to his sister, “Ninny! Lunch time!” (Her name is not Ninny, but that is how he pronounces her name. And it was way past lunchtime.)

And then he went to town. Because I’m a good mom and we have dentists in the family, I didn’t stop him.

This cake was good. I don’t want to lead you astray. The caramel and peanuts were a great topping for the cake. I was just hoping for the cake to be more brownie and less “cakey.”

My favorite part, you ask?

Um, it may have been the pool of caramel and peanuts that oozed to the cake plate after we cut our individual slices. It slowly disappeared through out the afternoon. I think that it helped to have left a fork on the cake plate for a quick bite every time one of us passed through the kitchen.

Caramel Peanut-Topped Brownie Cake

from Baking: From My Home To Yours by Dorie Greenspan


For brownie cake:

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
3 large eggs
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For Caramel Topping:

2 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
1 ½ tablespoons light corn syrup
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup salted peanuts


For brownie cake:

Butter and flour a 8-inch springform pan. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper. Put the pan on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda and salt together. Set aside.

Melt chocolate and butter together using a double boiler.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and sugars together until well blended. Whisk in the corn syrup, followed by the vanilla. Whisk in the melted butter and chocolate. Gently stir in the dry ingredients, mixing only until they are incorporated.

Pour the batter into the pan and jiggle the pan a bit to even out the batter. Bake the cake at 350 degrees F for 40-45 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out almost clean. Transfer the pan to a rack, and cool the cake for 15 minutes, then run a knife between the cake and the pan and remove the sides of the pan.

When the cake is completely cool, invert it, remove the base of the pan, and peel off the paper. Wash and dry the springform pan, and return the cake to it right side up. Refasten the sides around the cake.

For the Topping:

Put the sugar, water and corn syrup in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, stir just to combine the ingredients and then put the pan over medium-high heat. Heat, without stirring , until the caramel turns deep amber, 5-10 minutes.

Lower the heat a bit and, standing back from the saucepan add the cream and butter. When the spatters are less vehement, stir to calm down the caramel and dissolve any lumps.

Stir in the peanuts, and pour the caramel and peanuts into a 1-quart Pyrex measuring cup or heat-proof bowl.

Spoon the peanuts on top of the cake. Then spoon the caramel on top of those. Let the topping set to room temperature, about 20 minutes before serving.

To serve:

Run a blunt knife between the caramel and the pan and simply remove the sides of the springform. If this isn’t the case, hit the sides with some hot air from a hairdryer or wrap the sides in a towel moistened with hot water.

You may also like


  1. I did a white chocolate version and loved it. Perhaps it wasn’t quite as rich as the brownie version. I loved the caramel too, and am drooling at the thoughts of it spooned over apple slices! Just love your little guy!

  2. Eating the leftover caramel with granny smithes! Thats just genius. I know what I am doing with any future caramel leftovers now. Bummer you weren’t fond of the cake but the caramel makes up for that right? :)
    Clara @ ihearfood4thought

  3. It’s only 7 am here, so once the kids are off to school I am going to be making this. It’s my first week with TWD and after reading so many posts on the results of this cake, I think I have an idea. :) We’ll see how it works!

  4. i made this cake a few months ago and had reeeeealy been looking forward to it, and agree completely with you – the cake isn’t great, but the caramel and peanuts could make pretty much anything taste good. i was thinking next time i’d do a flourless/semi-flourless chocolate cake…

  5. Your cake looks gorgeous and so do those apples with the caramel drizzled over them! I think I burned my caramel but you make me want to try again soon!

  6. I agree with you about the cake- dry, and slightly underwhelming, especially because I was really hoping for chewy dense brownies. The caramel was great though, glad it turned out for you- your pictures are beautiful.
    As for the story about your son, I’m sure he’ll remember that for a long time! I remember being like 6 and my mom letting my sister and I have left-over birthday cake for breakfast…

  7. Your cake looks beautiful, but I agree with the stomachache part. Wow, that was a lot of sugar. I guess that is why I liked it, because it was more cake-like than brownie.
    We could use a dentist in our family!

  8. You know, I never really loved biscotti but Jeri (from our cooking club) made this anise/chocolate one and it was divine with hot cocoa!

  9. looks like he found himself a great lunch! i thought it was more like a cake than a brownie (in fact, i don’t think she should have called it a “brownie” cake–misleading), but mine was quite moist.

  10. i agree with your take on the cake part… too dry. but yours looks delicious! great pics! your son looks so excited, hehe :)

  11. You are amazing. How do you do it all? Life with three is busy – I’m right there with ya! BTW, Fritz looks so much older to me! Must be the hair. He is adorable as ever. Miss you guys. sniff sniff

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.