Home » Kitchen » Baking Recipes + Tips » Brownie Sundae Recipe

Brownie Sundae Recipe

A Brownie Sundae is a delightful dessert to cap off any meal. This Brownie Sundae Recipe takes it further by adding toffee chips to the brownie and ice cream, and then a hefty drizzle of caramel syrup over the whole kit and kaboodle!

I think we can all agree that the combination of warm brownie + real vanilla ice cream + homemade caramel sauce + hard toffee = One Delicious Dessert!

And not for nothing, all of the components of these ice cream sundaes can be made ahead of time, making this dessert super easy to put together at the last minute. Further, you can use this recipe as a jumping-off point to make these brownies your own or to create a sundae bar where each person makes their own sundae.

Ingredients for Brownie Sundaes

This Brownie Sundae has three components: brownies, ice cream, and caramel sauce.

Brownies

Ingredients for brownies.

The brownies are a simple one-bowl brownie with crushed toffee bits mixed in before baking. I typically use Heath Bars for my toffee, but you could make your own or other brands (I’ve used Werther’s before).  My grocery store doesn’t carry the Bits o’ Brickle Heath Bar bits (like chocolate chips, but toffee instead), but I wish they did.  It would make this recipe just that much easier.  Instead, I put the toffee candy in a pan, cover it with a cloth, and played whack-a-mole with my meat pounder. Ice Cream

Brownies cut in squares with toffee bits and caramel sauce.

Ice Cream

Good-quality vanilla ice cream works great with all the flavors in this Brownie Sundae. But if you feel like taking it up a notch (and why not!?), either buy vanilla ice cream with toffee bits (Breyer’s makes a Heath Bar Ice Cream) or add some of your own.

If you make it yourself, just double the toffee bits you purchase or make and add them to a gallon of slightly softened vanilla ice cream. Once the toffee bits are fully incorporated, refreeze the ice cream.

Homemade Caramel Sauce

And can we take just a minute and talk about caramel sauce?  There’s caramel sauce, and then there’s CARAMEL SAUCE!  

Caramel Sauce over ice cream.

Like most things, store-bought caramel sauce can’t compare to homemade caramel sauce. And it’s fun to make! It is a little science experiment-y with the burning sugar and the bubbling cream.  

How to Make Caramel Sauce

Making homemade caramel sauce might initially seem intimidating, but it’s not necessarily hard. It does require attention to detail and careful monitoring, especially when the sugar is caramelizing. Still, with this recipe and patience, you can achieve delicious homemade caramel sauce, which will surely elevate your brownie sundaes!

Here are some factors to consider:

  • Patience: Caramel sauce requires patience because you need to let the sugar caramelize slowly without stirring too much. Rushing the process can lead to burnt caramel.
  • Temperature Control: It’s crucial to monitor the temperature of the sugar as it caramelizes. You want it to reach a rich amber color without burning.
  • Safety Precautions: Be cautious when working with hot sugar syrup, as it can cause severe burns if it splatters or spills. Use long-handled utensils and stand back when adding cream to the caramelized sugar to avoid burns.
  • Practice: Like any culinary skill, making caramel sauce improves with practice. Don’t be discouraged if your first attempt isn’t perfect. Learn from each experience and adjust your technique accordingly.
  • Use a Clean Saucepan: Ensure your saucepan is clean and free from residual substances to prevent crystallization.

What is Crystallization, How To Prevent It and What To Do If It Happens Anyway?

Crystallization refers to the formation of sugar crystals, which can give the sauce a grainy texture instead of the desired smooth consistency. Crystallization occurs when sugar molecules re-form into crystals during cooking, often due to factors like undissolved sugar particles or agitation.

How to Prevent Crystallization

  • Clean Equipment: Ensure that all utensils and equipment used in making caramel sauce are clean.
  • Lemon Juice: Adding a small amount of lemon juice to the sugar-water mixture before boiling can help inhibit the formation of sugar crystals.
  • Avoid Stirring: Once the sugar syrup starts boiling, avoid stirring it. Stirring can introduce agitation and encourage sugar crystals to form. Instead, gently swirl the pan occasionally to ensure even caramelization.
  • Brush Down the Sides: When boiling the sugar-water mixture, brush down the sides of the saucepan with a wet pastry brush to dissolve any sugar crystals that may have adhered to the sides. This helps prevent crystallization by reducing the likelihood of stray sugar crystals falling back into the mixture.

How to Fix Crystallization in Your Caramel Sauce

If, despite your best efforts, your caramel sauce is a little grainy, don’t panic. It is possible that that we can fix it!

  • Add Water: If crystallization is minimal, add a small amount of water to the saucepan and gently reheat the caramel sauce. The water helps dissolve the sugar crystals and redistribute the sugar molecules, resulting in a smoother texture.
  • Reheat with Cream: Another option is to gently reheat the caramel sauce with an additional one to two tablespoons of cream. The cream can help dissolve any sugar crystals and smooth out the sauce’s texture. Be sure to stir continuously and avoid overheating to prevent burning.
  • Strain the Sauce: For more severe cases of crystallization, strain the caramel sauce through a fine-mesh sieve or cheesecloth to remove any sugar crystals. This method can help salvage the sauce and remove any undesirable graininess.
  • Blend: Another option for severe crystallization is to run the grainy sauce through a blender to break down the crystals.

Storing and Reheating the Caramel Sauce

Refrigerate the Caramel Sauce

Once the caramel sauce has cooled to room temperature, transfer it to an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator. It will keep well for about 1 to 2 weeks. Before using it, let it come to room temperature or gently reheat it.

Place the desired amount in a microwave-safe bowl or saucepan to re-warm the caramel sauce. Microwave it briefly, stirring in between until it reaches your desired temperature. Alternatively, gently warm it on the stovetop over low heat, stirring continuously until warmed. Be careful not to overheat it to avoid burning.

Freeze the Caramel Sauce

Allow the caramel sauce to cool completely at room temperature before freezing. This is essential to avoid condensation forming inside the container, which can lead to freezer burn. Transfer the cooled caramel sauce to an airtight container or freezer-safe bag. Make sure to leave some space at the top of the container or bag to allow for expansion as the sauce freezes. Ensure the container is sealed tightly.

Caramel sauce can typically be stored in the freezer for 3 to 6 months. When you are ready to use it, transfer it from the freezer to the refrigerator and allow it to thaw overnight. Once thawed, gently reheat the caramel sauce in a saucepan over low heat, stirring continuously until it reaches your desired consistency and temperature.

Brownie Sundae with Toffee Bits and Caramel Sauce

Here Are Some Fun Ideas For This Brownie Sundae Recipe:

Bake the Brownies in Individual Skillets

Make skillet brownie sundaes by baking them in individual 5-inch cast-iron skillets.  I can’t quite put my finger on why, but baking them in the individual skillets really takes them up a notch.  I think it’s because the brownies stay warmer longer, and you get a wee bit of crunchier crust all the way around each brownie.  

Some of these are affiliate links, and I will earn a small commission on the sale of these products, but the price you are charged is not affected. You can see my full disclosure policy here.

Having a very moist brownie bump against that crunchy crust in just about every bite…um…yeah. I used 5-inch cast iron skillets like these. The recipe also includes directions for baking the homemade brownies in individual skillets if you decide to go that route.

Brownie Sundae in a cast iron skillet.

Set up a Sundae Bar

Bake the brownies, but leave out the toffee bits. Then, set up a variety of sundae toppings so that everyone can make their sundae to suit their tastes. Here are some ideas to include in your Sundae Bar:

  • Fudge Sauce
  • Chocolate Sauce
  • Caramel Sauce
  • Strawberry Puree
  • Whipped Cream
  • Chopped Nuts (walnuts, pecans, peanuts)
  • Chopped-up Reese’s cups (or other chocolate peanut butter candy) or crushed candy bars like Snickers, Twix, or Kit Kat.
  • Sprinkles or rainbow jimmies.
  • Sliced bananas, strawberries, blueberries, or raspberries
  • Maraschino Cherries
  • Toasted coconut flakes
  • Semi-Sweet Chocolate Shavings

Brownie Sundae Recipe

lynn
Recipe for decadent Toffee Brownie Sundaes with Ice Cream and Caramel Sauce
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 6 servings
Calories 1132 kcal

Ingredients
  

For Brownie

  • 4 oz. unsweetened chocolate
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup toffee bits

For Caramel Sauce

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 TB unsalted butter

Ice Cream

  • 1 gallon Vanilla or Ice Cream with Toffee See Note 1

Instructions
 

For Brownie

  • Heat oven to 350°F (177℃)
  • Line 13" x 9" pan with buttered aluminum foil or butter individual 5" skillets.
  • Microwave chocolate and butter in a large microwaveable bowl on HIGH 2 minutes or until butter is melted.
  • Remove the bowl from the microwave and stir the mixture until the chocolate is completely melted.
  • Stir in sugar.
  • Blend in eggs and vanilla.
  • Add flour and toffee bits; mix well.
  • Pour brownie batter into prepared skillets or baking pans.
  • Bake the 13" x 9" pan for 35-40 minutes (individual skillets for 25-30 minutes) or until toothpick inserted in center comes out with fudgy crumbs. (Do not over bake.)
  • Let the brownies cool for 15 minutes and then top with ice cream, caramel sauce and more toffee bits.

For Caramel Sauce

  • Add 1/4 cup of water to a saucepan and then add the sugar and lemon juice. Stir to combine.
  • Place the saucepan on a burner over medium-high heat. Bring the mixture to a boil, brushing down the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush. This will help prevent crystalization.
  • Don't stir and don't go too far from the stove!
  • Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the mixture is a rich amber color, approximately 10 minutes. Swirl the pot to encourage the caramelization. Watch carefully, as you don't want it to get darker than the amber color. Look for bubbles that pop slowly and browning around the edge of the pan to let you know you are close!
  • Add cream to another pot and warm it up over low heat.
  • Once the sugar/water mixture is the color of a copper penny, remove the pot from the stove and gradually add the cream, stirring with a wooden spoon. It will splutter and splatter, be cautious.
  • Add the butter and stir to combine. Then stir in the vanilla and stir to combine.
  • Serve warm
  • This caramel sauce will keep for a week or two in the fridge. See Note 2 for storing and reheating the caramel sauce

Notes

Note 1:

Good-quality vanilla ice cream works great with all the flavors in this Brownie Sundae. But if you feel like taking it up a notch, buy vanilla ice cream with toffee bits or add some of your own. Breyer’s makes a Heath Bar Ice Cream with bits of toffee in it.
If you do decide to make your own, just double the toffee bits you purchase or make and add them to a gallon of slightly softened vanilla ice cream. Once the toffee bits are fully incorporated, refreeze the ice cream.

Note 2:

Refrigerate the Caramel Sauce

Once the caramel sauce has cooled to room temperature, transfer it to an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator. It will keep well for about 1 to 2 weeks. Before using it, let it come to room temperature or gently reheat it.
Place the desired amount in a microwave-safe bowl or saucepan to re-warm the caramel sauce. Microwave it briefly, stirring in between until it reaches your desired temperature. Alternatively, gently warm it on the stovetop over low heat, stirring continuously until warmed. Be careful not to overheat it to avoid burning.

Freeze the Caramel Sauce

Allow the caramel sauce to cool completely at room temperature before freezing. This is essential to avoid condensation forming inside the container, which can lead to freezer burn. Transfer the cooled caramel sauce to an airtight container or freezer-safe bag. Make sure to leave some space at the top of the container or bag to allow for expansion as the sauce freezes. Ensure the container is sealed tightly.
Caramel sauce can typically be stored in the freezer for 3 to 6 months.
When ready to use the caramel sauce, transfer it from the freezer to the refrigerator and allow it to thaw overnight. Once thawed, gently reheat the caramel sauce in a saucepan over low heat, stirring continuously until it reaches your desired consistency and temperature.

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 1132kcalCarbohydrates: 148gProtein: 9gFat: 61gSaturated Fat: 38gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 17gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 222mgSodium: 281mgPotassium: 269mgFiber: 4gSugar: 126gVitamin A: 1778IUVitamin C: 0.4mgCalcium: 76mgIron: 5mg
Keyword brownie, caramel sauce, sundaes
Well, what did you think?Please rate this recipe here! It helps other readers and also helps to support our site.

Other Brownie Recipes

If you love brownies in general, you might be interested in these other brownie recipes.

This crispy & crunchy brownie brittle recipe satisfies those of us who prefer the crunchy edges and corner pieces of a traditional brownie… you know who you are! And not for nothing; it’s quick and easy to make.

A Brownie Cake offers the best of both worlds: the rich, fudgy decadence and the classic, slightly crisp top of traditional brownies and the moist, tender crumb of a cake.

While apple pie has earned the title of ‘the All-American’ dessert and a place at everyone’s 4th of July picnic, I think a brownie sundae with toffee bits, topped with ice cream and smothered with caramel sauce, is equally patriotic.

Bookmark this page or pin the following image to refer back to this post in the future.

Brownie Sundae with Toffee Bits and Caramel Sauce.
Thanks so much for spending a few minutes of your busy day with me!

To ensure you don’t miss future content, pop your email in the pale green box on the right or click here. I usually send one email weekly, so I won’t inundate your inbox. I’m sensitive to an overflowing email inbox!  

We will only use your email address to send you emails, no more than 1-2 weekly. In addition, you will have access to my growing library of knit & crochet patterns and other printables. Check back often as this library will continue to grow.   You can unsubscribe anytime by emailing me or clicking on the “unsubscribe” link at the bottom of all emails.

And you can access many of the products I refer to on my Nourish and Nestle Amazon Page. You can access it here.

So, if you’d like to participate in the ‘subscriber benefit’ action, simply subscribe to Nourish and Nestle here or use the form on the right sidebar. It’s slightly towards the top.

I have sent all my subscribers the link to the Subscriber Benefits Library. If you missed it or misplaced it, let me know.

Until next time…

Signature of Lynn

Thanks for making my day by SHARING!!

Similar Posts

18 Comments

    1. Bye Bye diet! Or you could do what I’ve done…I just haven’t started my diet yet so I can’t ruin it!

      Thanks for visiting Danita.

      Hugs, Lynn

  1. Oh brownies have always been one of my biggest addictions! I can eat them just about any way possible. I definitely pinned this for later. Stopping by from Small Victories Sunday and have a great week!

    1. Good Morning Stacey, thanks for coming by today. These brownies really are quite special, a regular brownie all blinged up! Wishing you a very happy week.

      Hugs, Lynn

  2. Ummm…. no words, I’m in love. 🙂 This seems like a good reason to go out and buy some individual size cast iron skillets. Thanks for sharing at From the Archives Friday!

    1. Hi Chellie…I have enjoyed those little skillets. Not only are they fun, but practical too. Great for individually frying eggs and then topping with condiments.
      Thanks for stopping by today,

      Hugs, Lynn

    1. Hi Linda…thanks for swinging by today. And yes, it is rather rich. The brownie by itself is almost perfect, but adding the ice cream, caramel sauce and heath bar bits…it goes a little over the top. They are perfect for a special occasion.
      Hoping you treat yourself soon…maybe on your next “Me” day!

      hugs, Lynn

  3. Lynn, I have been a bit envious of those skillets, they are so cool! I’d be eating these desserts often, much too often. This is one of my favorite desserts, warm brownie, fudge, caramel, melted vanilla ice cream! YUM! I’ve made them for dinner before. When you have a craving, you have a craving, right? Anyway, I’m going to have to try your recipe for caramel and for the toffee bits, I may have to make them for dinner tonight! LOL Thanks!

    1. You will SO enjoy it. Made the brownies again last night and you just reminded me that I still have some upstairs. Just send hubby to round us up some…with a glass of cold milk of course.
      Thanks for swinging by.
      Many Hugs, Lyn

    1. Hi Sam…it’s a tasty treat for sure. I baked a batch on friday to take to a picnic and they were a hit. Hope you enjoy!
      Thanks for swinging by.
      Hugs, lynn

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating