Cornflake brownies are one of my favourite brownies.
The chocolaty-ness and the caramely-ness plus the softness and the crunchiness….it all works so well together.
I feel like cornflake brownies are underrated though, I don’t see them that often, But they’re amazing, I think they deserve a little more recognition.
What are cornflake brownies?
The name of them does make it a little obvious….it’s cornflakes and brownies together. But it’s so much more than just this.
Cornflake brownies start with a layer of a basic simple brownie. Then on top you have a cornflake layer which is salted caramel that has been mixed with some cornflakes.
After this has set, you get a crunchy, chewy layer, that has a soft, fudgy brownie underneath. The texture is my favourite thing about these!
Side note, these are sweet. If you don’t have a huge sweet tooth, these might not be for you.
I tried my best to not make them overly sweet, but ultimately once caramel is added to something, you’re gonna get a very sweet dessert. However personally, I don’t think this is an issue, just cut smaller slices you know!!
Ingredients for the brownie layer
The first thing you need to make for these is the brownie layer!
The ingredients are pretty much the same you see in every brownie recipe but here is what you’re going to need:
- Unsalted butter – I like to use unsalted butter, so that I can control the amount of salt in the brownies.
- Dark chocolate – make sure to use dark chocolate. Milk chocolate will add sweetness but not enough chocolate flavour so dark chocolate works best.
- Sugar – I’m using a mixture of both brown and white sugar. The white sugar gives the brownies some chewiness and a crisp top. The brown sugar keeps the brownies soft and fudgy.
- Plain flour – also known as all purpose flour.
- Cocoa powder – make sure to use unsweetened cocoa powder.
- Salt – just a little bit to help enhance the flavours.
Making the caramel
When making the cornflake layer, the first thing you are going to do is make a salted caramel. Then you just mix the cornflakes into this.
Making the caramel is pretty simple and it also only needs 4 ingredients: sugar, unsalted butter, double cream and salt.
However, there are a few things you need to remember when making caramel.
Keep the heat on medium
The first step in making this caramel is too melt the sugar in a pot.
When melting sugar, it can burn easily, which will give your caramel a bitter taste. So it’s important to not try speeding up the process by increasing the heat.
Keeping the heat on medium will cook the sugar slowly and prevent it from burning.
Don’t stop stirring
Again, sugar burns easily. So when you are cooking it, make sure not to walk away. You need to be stirring the sugar constantly as it melts.
Use room temperature butter and warm cream
This is important. After the sugar has melted, we are going to mix the butter into it, then the cream.
If the butter and cream are too cold, as soon as you add them into the melted sugar, the sugar will set up. You’ll just end up with a big lump of hard caramel.
So to avoid this, use room temperature butter and warm cream.
I just heat the butter in my microwave at 10 second intervals until it has become soft, but don’t let it melt.
For the cream, I heat it for 1 minute. It doesn’t necessarily need to come to a boil, it just needs to be warm!
The first time I made these brownies was around a year ago. I didn’t have this blog at that point, but I posted a video and the recipe on TikTok and Instagram.
Here are some of the common questions I got asked about the recipe:
Do we have to use cornflakes?
These are cornflake brownies but cornflakes don’t have to be used. Any cereal will work.
Like I mentioned though, these are already sweet enough. So I recommend using a cereal that isn’t too sweet. A simple, neutral cereal works best.
Does it need to be left to set in the fridge?
YES…please don’t skip this.
In my personal opinion, all brownies should be left to set in the fridge before cutting into them.
Sometimes when you cut into brownies they can fall apart and seem raw on the inside. I see videos of this happening to a lot of people and it use to happen to me too. I was convinced I just didn’t know how to make brownies.
If you’ve ever tired making a fudgy brownie and it seemed raw afterwards, chances are you just didn’t let them cool for long enough. They will set up in the fridge.
But also for these specific brownies, the caramel needs time to set too. It will be way too runny at first. So to get the best taste and texture, it needs to chill.
2 hours in the fridge will be good, but I do prefer to just let it chill overnight.
Can I just buy a caramel sauce and mix it with the cornflakes?
If you want to save time, or if you just don’t want to make the caramel because honestly caramel making does seem a little scary sometimes….yes technically you could just buy a caramel sauce.
With that being said, there are reasons why I wouldn’t recommend doing this.
One reason is because I don’t know exactly how much caramel you will need to use, I don’t have a measurement for this. But as long as you use enough to fully coat the cornflakes, you should be good.
The 2nd reason is, different caramel sauces set up differently. Some set up a lot firmer, some don’t set up at all.
The caramel that is being used in the recipe is one that sets up enough to give you a soft, chewy texture.
If you use store bought caramel sauce, you might get a different result. But if you really wanted too, you could. It will still taste good, but it just might be different!
The last thing I wanted to talk about was the salt in the salted caramel.
I add a teaspoon of salt to the caramel. I don’t like when salted caramel is too salty, so for me, 1 teaspoon is good.
However you can add more or less. Make the caramel to taste. But also remember, the caramel is hot. So if you are going to taste it, put some onto a spoon, let it cool down, then taste it.
There are some scary people out there who don’t like salt in their caramel at all. If you are one of those people you could leave it out. But I do recommend adding a little just to cut the sweetness!
Here are a few more brownie recipes I think you might like!
- For the brownie layer:
225g unsalted butter
140g dark chocolate
180g brown sugar
180g granulated sugar
100g plain flour
50g cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
- For the cornflake layer:
480g granulated sugar
150g unsalted butter, at room temperature
300ml double cream, warm
Salt (I use 1 teaspoon, you can add more or less)
- Start by pre-heating your oven to 180c/350f. Also grease and line a 9x12 inch cake tin.
- Making the brownie layer:
- In a pot, add the butter and dark chocolate. Place this over medium heat and heat until melted and smooth. You could also just do this in your microwave. Leave this aside to cool.
- In a large bowl, add in your eggs and both sugars. Whip these together using an electric mixer, or a whisk, until the mixture has lightened in colour and almost doubled in volume.
- Pour the cooled melted butter and chocolate into this and whisk.
- Now add in the flour, cocoa powder and salt. Whisk just until you get a smooth batter.
- Pour this into your prepared cake tin and bake for around 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out with a few moist crumbs on it.
- Making the cornflake layer:
- In a non stick pot that has high sides, add about a 1/4 of the sugar. Place this pot over medium heat.
- Keep heating this, whiles constantly stirring, until the sugar starts to melt slightly. Add another 1/4 of the sugar and heat again, until this sugar starts to melt too. Keep repeating this until all the sugar has been added to the pot. Make sure to be constantly stirring during this process.
- Once all the sugar has been added, keep stirring until all of the sugar has completely melted and turned into a deep amber colour.
- Immediately take this off the heat, then add in half of the butter. Mix this in, then add the rest of the butter. Mix until smooth. Now slowly pour in the cream, whiles mixing.
- Place this caramel back onto medium heat and let it cook, for about 2 minutes. This is just to thicken it slightly.
- Take if off the heat, mix in the salt and then the cornflakes.
- Putting the layers together:
- Once your brownie has baked and cooled down for about 10 minutes, add the cornflake layer on top and smooth it out.
- Leave this in the fridge for at least 2 hours to set, I prefer to just leave it overnight but 2 hours will be fine.
- Once set, take it out of the tin, cut it into slices and then enjoy!