Brown butter Nutella bars are chewy cookie bars stuffed with a gooey layer of Nutella! The brown butter adds a strong gourmet flavour to the cookie bars. It comes together in one bowl with no electric mixer needed. This recipe is so easy it’s dangerous!
These Nutella bars are the ultimate cookie bar for any Nutella lover!
Cookie bars are my go-to treat to bake when I’m feeling like making cookies but don’t want to individually roll them out. You just stick it in a square pan and bake it all together!
These bars have the best nutty flavour thanks to the brown butter. It pairs perfectly with the Nutella hazelnut goodness.
Why this recipe works
Easy to make – No mixer required, one bowl, and simple ingredients you can find in your pantry.
Giant cookie – It tastes like a giant cookie and is the perfect recipe to make when you don’t want to roll out a dozen individual ones.
Gooey: There is an entire layer of Nutella inside of these bars! Making them ridiculously gooey and chocolatey!
Nutella fans: If you are a fan of Nutella or chocolate hazelnut goodness, you are going to go crazy over these bars!
Substitute: Use peanut butter or Biscoff as a substitute! Or, combine them together with the Nutella!
Scroll to view a few ingredients notes. Full recipe and measurements can be found in the recipe card below.
Butter – I always use unsalted butter. This will be melted and browned.
Dark brown sugar – This sugar carries more molasses than golden brown or light yellow sugar, which deepens the brown butter flavours. You may use any type of brown sugar.
Nutella – You can use actual Nutella or a store brand version.
Step by step instructions
Here is how to make and bake these Nutella bars! This recipe doesn’t require an electric mixer, just a bowl and a whisk!
Step One: Prep the filling. Place a square of parchment paper into the square baking pan into the bottom of the pan to create a crease ouline.
Step Two: Spread the filling. Add the Nutella on the parchment paper making sure not to go outside of the creases. This will make a slab that fits perfectly inside the bars. Place into your freezer to set as you make the dough.
Step Three: Brown the butter. Check out the recipe card for browning butter details. Once browned and slightly cooled, whisk with brown sugar. Whisk in eggs and vanilla.
Step Four: Mix the dry and wet ingredients. Use a rubber spatula to gently fold in the all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt until just combined.
Step Five: Press the batter into the pan. Evenly press half of the dough into the prepared baking pan.
Step Six: Add the Nutella layer. Lay the frozen slab of Nutella on top of the dough. Add the rest of the dough evenly.
Step Seven: Drizzle and Bake. Drizzle extra Nutella on top if desired. Bake for 15 minutes. The bars will look golden brown on the edge but slightly puffy in the middle. Let the bars cool completely on a wire cooling rack before cutting and enjoy!
Expert Baking Tips
Here are a few expert baking tips from my kitchen to yours
- Use a gram scale for the most accurate measurements.
- Freezing the Nutella slab (versus attempting to spread it on the dough at room temp) will save you a lot of time and mess!
- Don’t over bake the bars. Pull the pan out of the oven when the edges are light golden brown but the middle is still soft and slightly puffy.
- Cooling time. The bars must cool completely if you want them to slice well!
- This will get messy, but if you’re okay with that then serve warm with vanilla ice cream! My personal favourite.
Substitute for Nutella?
Peanut butter (creamy) or Biscoff!
Do I have to brown the butter?
No! Although if you’re already melting it you may as well brown it. The nutty aroma and flavour it gives is a game changer for this recipe.
How do I know it’s ready?
The edges will be slightly golden brown, but the middle will still be light in colour and slightly puffy. It will continue to bake in the pan as it sets.
Room temperature: Once baked and cooled down to room temperature, store the cookie bars in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.
Freezer: Store them in an airtight container or freezer bag for up to 1 month.
Check out these recipes
Brown Butter Nutella Bars
- Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C. Line a square 8×8 baking pan with parchment paper and set it aside.
- Brown the butter: Melt the butter in a medium sized pan over medium heat. Once it melts, it will crackle, then become foamy – continue mixing the butter while this happens to prevent burning. The butter will go from melted to golden brown quickly, and you'll know it's almost done when the aroma of browned butter arrives. The whole process should take about 5 minutes! Once golden, remove from heat and transfer to a glass bowl. Let the butter cool for 30 minutes while you prep on the rest of the recipe.1/2 cup butter
- Place a piece of parchment paper inside of the 8×8 pan and crease it well. Remove, and spread the Nutella evenly on top. Make sure to keep it within the creases you made earlier.1/2 cup Nutella
- Place the Nutella in the freezer to set as you make the dough. This will make the layering process much easier.
- Whisk together the slightly cooled browned butter and brown sugar. Add in egg and vanilla and continue whisking.1/2 cup dark brown sugar, 1 egg, 1 tbsp vanilla, 1/2 cup butter
- Using a spatula, fold in the flour, baking powder, and salt. The dough will be soft, don't over-mix!1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour, 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt
- Split the dough in half. Use your hands to press the first half of it into the prepared baking pan.
- Remove the Nutella from the freezer and peel the frozen Nutella from the paper. Add it on top of the dough.
- Place the remaining dough on top. It's okay if there are holes and it's not completely covered.
- Optional: melt the extra Nutella and drizzle it over the top.1 tbsp Nutella
- Bake for 15-17 minutes. You'll know it's ready when the edges are a light brown. The middle may still look underbaked, but it'll continue to bake as it cools.
- Cool the bars completely. This is mandatory!
- Slice and enjoy!