Brownie Pecan Pie

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Is there anything better than pie? Wherever you fall in the dessert debate, one thing is certain: pie is versatile and decadent, a welcome hug at the end of a delicious meal. While there’s a place at every table for a great fruit or cream pie, this Brownie Pecan Pie makes itself right at home amongst other Thanksgiving icons. With a nutty pie crust, rich fudge brownie filling, and pecan pie-inspired caramel, it’s a can’t-miss recipe.

This Brownie Pecan Pie includes three major steps: making the crust, baking the brownie, and cooking the caramel. To keep things easy and approachable, the brownies only use a single bowl, and the caramel is a no-fail recipe that comes together in less than 10 minutes. 

Guarantee Success 

If there were a secret ingredient to guarantee this recipe’s success, it would come down to two main things– espresso powder and time.  

First, please don’t skip the espresso powder. This pie’s makeup is inherently sweet, from the brownies to the caramel. There is only a small amount of espresso powder in the brownies, included to cut the overall sweetness and offer balance. It gives the Brownie Pecan Pie negligible caffeine content but completely transforms the flavor. Rather than tasting like coffee, it enhances the rich bitterness of the cocoa. If you don’t have any in your pantry, it’s worth investing in a small bottle and can be used in chocolate desserts including brownies (like this one), cakes, and even cookies.  

As for this pie’s time commitment, consider this an exercise in perfecting patience. The aroma of a blind-baking pie crust is followed by the indulgent scent of brownies, antagonizing the senses until it finally arrives on the table ready to eat. With just a little dedication to the process, this pie comes out good as gold; a dessert worth every second’s wait.  

What is Blind Baking?  

Blind baking is the process of pre-baking the crust, allowing it to develop integrity in the absence of a filling. To do it, roll out the pie dough, drape it into a pie plate, and crimp the edges. Line the crust with foil, then fill it with dried beans, pie weights, or even sugar. This weight acts as a faux pie filling, allowing it to cook through without becoming overdone or shrinking too much. To finish the blind bake, remove the weight and continue baking until it develops a small amount of color.  

This extra step in the process cannot be skipped. To reduce cook time, make the pie crust and crimp it into the tin ahead of time. Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight, then proceed with blind baking when ready to assemble the pie. This is the best part of the process to complete ahead of time.

The assembly is easy as pie, pun very much intended. Simply pour the brownie batter into the par-baked crust, bake, then pour the pecan caramel over the top.  

Let it Cool 

Though big proponents of eating baked goods warm out of the oven, the final step to perfecting this Brownie Pecan Pie is allowing it to cool before slicing into it. This gives the brownie time to set, giving the pie its necessary structure. If on a time crunch, make the pie 24 hours in advance. Just cover it in plastic and keep it in the fridge, pulling it out an hour or two before serving and it will still taste amazing. 

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Brownie Pecan Pie

Bringing the best of fudgy brownies and pecan pie into one place, this Brownie Pecan Pie recipe is an indulgent addition to the dessert table.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword brownie pecan pie
Prep Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 15 minutes
Servings 12 servings

Equipment

  • 1 9-inch pie pan

Ingredients

Pie Crust

  • 1/3 cup pecan halves
  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Diamond kosher salt
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, very cold or frozen
  • 1/2 cup water, cold
  • 1 tablespoon white distilled vinegar

Brownie

  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder*
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder**
  • 1/2 teaspoon Diamond kosher salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Pecan Pie Caramel

  • 1 large egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/3 cup corn syrup
  • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Diamond kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold
  • 1 1/2 cups pecan halves
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

Instructions

Pie Crust

  • In a food processor, pulse the pecan halves until they resemble coarse sand. To the same food processor, add the flour, sugar, and salt, and pulse to combine. Cut the butter into ½-inch cubes, then add directly to the food processor with the flour mixture. Pulse again until the butter is no smaller than pea-sized. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl and add the water and vinegar. Using a spatula, toss the mixture together until it forms a loose dough. It will be slightly tacky and wet but should still hold together and be workable.
  • Dust a workspace with flour and turn the dough out onto it. Without overworking the dough, pat it into a round disc, sprinkling more flour onto the surface of the dough if it gets too sticky. Cover the disc tightly in plastic wrap, then refrigerate for at least an hour or up to overnight.  
  • Preheat the oven to 425° Fahrenheit. Dust the workspace with flour again and roll out the pie dough approximately 12-inches in diameter. Drape the dough into an 8-inch pie plate, trimming the dough as needed to leave 1-inch of excess over the edges. Fold the dough on top of itself, crimping it around the edges. Using a fork, poke several holes into the base of the crust.
  • Take a sheet of tin foil and gently press it into the pie crust, softly folding the tin foil over the edges to cover the pie dough. Fill the pie crust with dried beans, pie weights, or sugar. Blind bake the pie crust for 25 minutes. Gently remove the tin foil with the pie weights, return the pie crust to the oven, reduce the heat to 325° Fahrenheit, and continue baking for an additional 20-25 minutes until the crust is just beginning to brown.  

Brownie

  • While the pie crust bakes, make the brownies. In a medium bowl, combine sugars, cocoa powder, flour, espresso powder, and salt. Beat the eggs, then add to the dry ingredients along with the melted butter and oil. Whisk until there are no dry spots, being sure not to overmix. Once the pie crust is finished blind baking, pour the brownie batter into the crust. Return to the oven and bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with only a few moist crumbs.  

Pecan Pie Caramel

  • As the brownies bake, make the pecan caramel. In a saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the egg and egg yolk, corn syrup, brown sugar, and salt. Whisk continuously until the caramel begins to thicken and bubble, approximately 8-10 minutes. At this point, the caramel should coat the back of a spoon. Add the vanilla and butter, one tablespoon at a time, until melted. Remove from heat, then add the pecan halves and coconut flakes.  
  • When the pie comes out of the oven, top it with the pecan caramel. Allow the pie to cool for at least an hour, chilling in the refrigerator for up to 8 hours prior to serving. Enjoy with dollops of fresh whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.  

Notes

* For an extra decadent brownie pecan pie, use dutch process cocoa powder in place of standard unsweetened cocoa powder. 
**Although the espresso powder offers balance and greatly enhances the cocoa flavor of the pie, if you don’t have this ingredient on hand you may omit it. 

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