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These soft and chewy brown butter apple blondies combine cinnamon-spiced apples, brown sugar, and flavorful brown butter. We’ll top them with brown butter icing, a reader favorite icing that I also use for peach Bundt cake and pistachio cookies. If you love apple desserts like I do, these are a must-make!

stack of 2 apple blondies

Alternate title for this recipe: Butter

Let’s celebrate apples with immensely buttery blondies. We’re using 2 sticks of butter in these brown butter apple blondies and we definitely shouldn’t think twice about it!! The good news is that this recipe makes a large 9×13 inch pan, so there’s plenty to share.

But the bad news is… you have to share them.

These Brown Butter Apple Blondies Are:

  • Cinnamon-spiced
  • Soft and sweet
  • Chewy, not cakey
  • Flavored with brown sugar and brown butter
  • Bursting with apples
  • Totally not diet food. Oh well!
apple blondies on a white plate

How to Make Brown Butter Apple Blondies

Listen up because there’s a few steps to conquer before we take that first bite.

  1. Brown the butter first. We’ll use brown butter in the blondies and in the icing. Pour the browned butter into a heat-proof bowl, then return the pan to the stove. No need to clean the pan because we’re using it in the next step.
  2. Peel, chop, and gently cook the apples. You *could* stir the apples right into the blondie batter, but the apples taste much better if they’re slightly softened first. Cook the chopped apples on the stove for only 3-5 minutes. We’ll cook them with a little maple syrup (or brown sugar) and cinnamon. IT’S ALL SO GOOD!
  3. Make the blondie batter. There’s no electric mixer required for this recipe! Whisk some of the brown butter with brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Add flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and the apples, then spread into a 9×13 inch pan.
  4. Bake until lightly browned on top. The blondies take about 35 minutes.
  5. As the blondies cool, prepare the icing. Mix the remaining brown butter with confectioners’ sugar, milk, vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt.

Here are the gently cooked apples and the blondie batter:

sautéed cinnamon apples in a skillet
2 images of apple blondies batter in a glass bowl and spread in a baking pan

The Magic of Brown Butter

Let’s talk about brown butter. I actually created a landing page for all things brown butter including the quick process, success tips, and a video tutorial. Brown butter is a one ingredient wonder and vasty improves the flavor in any dish where it’s used, including these blondies. (By the way, I highly recommend browning butter for butterscotch blondies too!) Brown butter by gently cooking and stirring it on the stove until its milk solids toast and it has a nutty aroma. This takes anywhere between 5-8 minutes, so it’s a pretty quick step.

And well worth every single second. In less than 10 minutes, you’ll have liquid gold:

brown butter in a glass bowl

How to Brown Butter Video Tutorial

Brown Butter Icing

The blondies don’t *need* icing, just like we don’t *need* to binge watch Netflix on a Sunday night. But we want it, so we’ll do it.

This is the same brown butter icing we use for pistachio cookies, skillet cornmeal cake, and brown butter pumpkin oatmeal cookies. It’s remarkable and readers have been raving about it on my peach Bundt cake. Try it on scones and cinnamon rolls too. (You won’t regret this icing, unlike the 4 hours of Netflix binge watching.)

apple blondies with brown butter icing removed from baking pan
squares of brown butter apple blondies

More Apple Treats

Print
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stack of apple blondies

Brown Butter Apple Blondies

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours
  • Yield: 24 blondies 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

These soft and chewy brown butter apple blondies combine cinnamon-spiced apples, brown sugar, and flavorful brown butter. For extra flavor, top with brown butter icing. Read recipe notes prior to beginning.


Ingredients

Scale

Apples

  • 2 cups peeled chopped apples (about 2 medium apples)
  • 2 Tablespoons (30ml) pure maple syrup (or brown sugar)
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Blondies

  • 1 cup (2 sticks; 230g) unsalted butter, cut into pieces*
  • 2 and 1/3 cups (291g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 and 2/3 cups (330g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Brown Butter Icing

  • 1/4 cup (60gunsalted butter
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (180gconfectioners’ sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons (30ml) milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Important before you begin! I recommend browning the butter for the blondies and icing first. You can brown the butter for both the blondies AND the icing together. Once it’s all browned, set 4 Tablespoons (2 liquid ounces) aside for the icing in step 8. The rest (8 liquid ounces) is for the blondie batter, used in step 6.
  2. Brown the butter: Slice the butter into pieces and place in a light-colored skillet. (Light colored helps you determine when the butter begins browning.) Melt the butter over medium heat, stirring constantly. Once melted, the butter will begin to foam. Keep stirring. After 5-8 minutes, the butter will begin browning and you’ll notice lightly browned specks begin to form at the bottom of the pan. You will smell a nutty aroma. See photo and video above for a visual. Once browned, immediately remove from heat, pour into a heat-proof bowl, and set aside until ready to use.
  3. Prepare the apples: Meanwhile, return the pan to the stove. (No need to rinse out!) Add the apples, maple syrup/brown sugar, and cinnamon. Stir and cook over medium heat until apples have slightly softened, about 3-5 minutes. Set apples aside.
  4. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line the bottom and sides of a 9×13 inch baking pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on the sides to lift the finished blondies out (makes cutting easier!). Set aside.
  5. Make the blondies: Whisk the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg together in a large bowl.
  6. In a medium bowl, whisk 1 cup browned butter, brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract together. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until combined. Fold in the apples. Batter will be thick.
  7. Evenly spread batter into prepared pan. Bake for about 35 minutes or until the top is lightly browned and a toothpick comes out *mostly* clean. Remove from the oven and allow the blondies to cool completely in the pan set on a wire rack.
  8. Brown butter icing: Heat the remaining 1/4 cup (4 Tablespoons) of brown butter in the microwave for a few seconds since it has likely solidified by now. Whisk in confectioners’ sugar, milk, and vanilla extract. If needed, add more confectioners’ sugar to thicken or more milk to thin out. Drizzle over cooled blondies, then cut into squares.
  9. Cover and store leftover iced blondies at room temperature for up to 2 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead Instructions: Iced or plain blondies freeze well up to 3 months. Arrange in even layers in a large freezer container between sheets of parchment. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then allow to come to room temperature before icing and/or serving.
  2. Apples: Use your favorite variety of apples. I prefer tart Granny Smith apples since the blondies are pretty sweet. Peel and chop into bite-sized pieces before using.

Keywords: apples, bars

apple blondies with brown butter icing

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Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. I couldn’t get the butter to brown…I gave it a lot of time, kept stirring but it but it just wouldn’t brown. Any suggestions ?

    1. Hi Margie, perhaps your burner could be turned up just a bit? As long as you’re using real butter (not an alternative like vegan butter) it should brown eventually!

  2. This recipe is so simple and so delicious. Everyone raved about how amazing they were are really taste like they are more complex. Sally does it again with this incredible recipe!

  3. You’ve been my go-to site lately for recipes and you never fail me. First time I browned butter and it’s SO worth it! This is such a nice alternative to my usual go to apple recipes. A total keeper!

  4. Delicious! They were a perfect and simple dessert for my Thanksgiving Eve rustic and simple dinner of soup, salad and bread. And we will enjoy the rest with our coffee for Thanksgiving breakfast!

  5. We have a milk allergy at our house. Can I make brown Margarine? And if so, how? Thanks so much.

    1. Hi Alison, we don’t recommend using margarine, as it has a very different chemical makeup than butter and interacts differently with ingredients. You could try a plant-based butter instead, but we’re unsure of the results. Let us know if you give anything a try!

  6. This is my favorite recipe on this website, which is saying a lot because (1) I’ve made a ton of Sally’s recipes, (2) they’re all delicious!! Just be patient with the butter browning, it has taken me 8-10 minutes on medium burner the handful of times I’ve made these.

  7. I love brown butter desserts but I’m not much for apple desserts. Would this still turn out okay if you don’t use apples?

    1. Hi Jessica, You can leave the apples out without making other changes. We do have a few other flavors you may also enjoy. Just type “blondies” into the search bar at the top of this page for more options!

  8. This is my second time making these this week, that’s how good they are. Thanks, Sally!

  9. Can I grate the apples, fold them into the batter and skip cooking them on the stove? Thank you!

    1. That would be fine, but the blondies will taste more like cake. (Not an issue at all, just a different result when using fresh grated apples.)

  10. I have a question. I’ve made this several times and love it so very much! Could you substitute peaches or blueberries for apples?

    1. Hi Karen, we haven’t tested it ourselves, but you could certainly give it a try. Peaches and blueberries tend to give off quite a bit of moisture, so it may be beneficial to drain them a bit after cooking them in step 3. Let us know what you try!

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