Brown Butter Apple Blondies

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!

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

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

apple blondies batter

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

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

brown butter apple blondies

I brought these for the vet techs to enjoy when we went in for Jude’s post-surgery appointment. They raved about them! (Jude’s taking it easy and recovering wonderfully!) ♥

More Apple Treats

It’s totally time to celebrate the season!

Print
apple blondies

Brown Butter Apple Blondies

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours
  • Yield: 24 blondies
  • 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

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 (290g) all-purpose flour
  • 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 (60g) unsalted butter
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (180g) confectioners’ 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

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113 Comments

  1. Hi! This looks amazing and I will definitely be making it as is very soon!!
    I wanted to ask a question though…my husband is pre diabetic but apples he LOVES and they do great for his numbers….so I’m wondering if I could make this with almond flour and use the erythritol to make it better for him. Do you think that might work? I’m still trying to figure all this out and it’s all so much more expensive then regular flour so I get nervous about how to use it as I can’t afford to waste it 😉 ya know 🙂 so, just thought I’d ask…but I totally understand if you’ve not made it that way. Maybe I’ll get up the guts to try it 🙂
    Either way this looks so delicious! Thanks as always for the wonderful inspiration 🙂

    1. Hi Jade! I wish I could help, but I have little experience subbing almond flour for all-purpose and I’ve never baked with erythritol before.

      1. Hi Jade! I don’t know about using erythritol either, but you could try using recipes that originally use all almond flour! Like Sally’s Blueberry Almond Power Muffins or her GF Chocolate Coconut Almond Tart. Also, the King Arthur Flour website has a lot of recipes that use almond flour and no all-purpose or anything! There are also these low-carb, gluten free mini cheesecakes from Life, Love, and Sugar that look good!

        Hope you find something that works out for you and your husband! 🙂

    2. You could probably pull up Keto recipes and they might have something similar. I read that almond flour could be used in some recipes 1:1 in place of regular flour. I really think the erythritol would work also. You might also search for almond flour recipes.

      1. Thanks so much Charlotte! 🙂 I’ve used the other sugar a lot and in most cases it works great….I’m less used to almond flour but I’ll definitely do more research because this sounds so yummy I’ll probably have to give it a try 🙂 thanks again!!

  2. Hey Sally! As always, looks very yummmmmmy recipe. I’ll be doing this next weekend i have plenty of pure Maple syrup! Great news about Jude, be praying for his speedy recovery. Thank you once again for another exciting recipe!

  3. These look great! I’m loving all the apple recipes bloggers are posting recently; since I’m not a big pumpkin fan, I’m welcoming all the apple with open arms (and lots of maple syrup and cinnamon)! These blondies look delicious! I’m sure the addition of brown butter must take them from terrific to phenomenal! And I’m so glad to hear that Jude is doing well ❤ I’ll continue to pray for his full recovery! Sending him virtual hugs and pats right now 🙂

  4. Thanks for posting Sally, oh you’re really doing well with your autumnal/fall recipes, love the creativity and variety – these look phenomenal – I’m hopefully going to bake these later this month or soon. I wish to half the recipe – I think using my 8×8 pan will be ok, what’s your advice and do I keep the baking time the same? Thanks!!

    1. Thanks, as always, Vi Kate! You can definitely halve the recipe for a 8×8 baking pan. Same baking temperature. Bake time will be only slightly reduced. The butter may brown quicker since you’ll be working with less volume.

      1. Thank you Sally for your prompt and helpful reply. Just in case any of your readers wish to know – yes it’s possible to half this recipe successfully! I made half in a 8×8 inch pan for 25 mins (texture was nice and chewy – check after 22 mins just in case) and yes I browned my butter for less time – I just don’t time it just watch and smell it. These tasted amazing – really good plain too and I subbed in your chai spices mix blend (from your chai cinnamon swirl bundt cake) in place of the nutmeg and added chai spices to the apples. And reduced the brown sugar due to personal preference. Thanks again!

  5. Hi! I’d love to make these. Won’t you have less than 10 liquid oz of browned butter since some of the water will have evaporated in the browning process? Thanks!

    1. *Some* liquid does evaporate, yes, so that’s why I list that you’ll have *about* 8 ounces for the blondies and the rest for the icing. 🙂

  6. Can’t wait to try these!! I love blondies, apples, and brown butte icing. The combination of all three will be awesome I’m sure! I made your peach bundt cake with the brown butter icing. One of the best things to come out of my kitchen!! I’m sure these will be amazing too!! Yum!

  7. Can this be made with vegan butter? Does vegan butter brown? I usually replace all your recipes with vegan butter but I’ve never had to brown it before.

    1. This is a great questions and unfortunately I don’t have much experience with vegan butters. The wonderful nutty flavor comes directly from the milk solids in real butter so I’m not sure you would be able to achieve the same flavor profile with vegan butter. A quick google search showed me that many people attempt it but add ingredients to the butter (hazelnuts in one – yum!) to try to get the same flavor. Let me know if you try it!

  8. Hi! I bake for college students on a weekly basis and I KNOW they will love this!! I was wondering if I could double this and use a sheet pan or should I just make the recipe twice? Thanks for all your recipes—they are all winners.

  9. Sally, do you mix your wet ingredients with melted butter? Or do you let it resolidify and then mix? I just made my first cookie recipe with brown butter and it is so very good! But it is hard to describe exactly how to use it. So I wanted to ask! Mom bought apples and I need to use them, and this looks perfect. Thank you!

  10. I had planned to make an apple cake today, but I saw these bars and decided to make them instead. They came out great! The batter itself was awesome (not that I licked the spoon….) and everyone in my family loved the bars. Personally, I think they would be better without the glaze, but I was definitely in the minority on that in my house.

  11. Hey Sally,
    This is so well timed, I’m baking your dark chocolate coconut blondies today! I’m now thinking I will bake half the recipe instead so I can try this out. I’m sure it will be delicious.

      1. It was incredibly tasty! I didn’t burn the brown butter . I really loved that the apple was not too intense at all. I also didn’t skip the frosting…My sister demolished half the batch within 3 hours! We are definitely adding this to our fav list

  12. For those who want to cut the recipe in half it totally works. I made them in a 9×9 pan and had just halved every ingredient listed. (They are a little bit thinner)
    It came out really nice! Would definitely make it again.

  13. Sally, these are one of the best things I’ve ever baked. I always mess up brown butter! Thank you for that video and explanation, I think I’ve got it down

  14. I cannot wait to try these! I’m currently out of a functioning kitchen (moving next week!) But these last 3 recipes posted are giving me the biggest baking itch. I so look forward to the rest of your upcoming fall recipes!

  15. Sally, can you please tell me which brand of butter you typically use in your baked goods? I’ve noticed I get different results depending on which brand of butter I use. Thanks!

    1. Hi Sarah! I actually don’t have a preference and find that there’s very little difference in taste and texture between most known brands. I usually buy whatever is on sale– and it’s usually my grocery’s stores brand!

  16. This is an amazing recipe!! The blondie turned out moist and crisp at the same time. I was worried the apples might make the blondie gummy, but no! Next time I might use apple cider on the icing instead of milk, a realization I made afterwards. I also added a heavy pinch of cinnamon to the icing. Love this outside the box blondie recipe! Thanks!

  17. Sally, you are on a roll with your fall recipes this year! I couldn’t resist making these tonight – they just cooled enough to frost and eat and they are amazing! I cut the brown sugar down to 1 cup and was worried it might affect the way the blondies set up but they turned out perfectly. They were ever so slightly dry, assuming because the loss of moisture that the extra brown sugar would have provided – but the brown butter icing made up for it! I would definitely make these again. I honestly love them!

  18. Made these tonight – delicious! They are for a tailgate tomorrow and I’m worried they won’t make it to the tailgate with my entire family fighting for them! Definitely do the granny smith – the tart bites inside are SO good!

  19. I just made these, and OH MY GOODNESS are they good. I’ve never worked with brown butter before and I was nervous about it, but that nutty, rich flavor is so worth it. Thank you, Sally, for another amazing recipe!

  20. I don’t want to sound like a negative Nancy, I really don’t, I’m sorry. I made these day before yesterday, late, made the icing yesterday morning. We didn’t have one until last night. I’m not sure we’ll eat the whole pan, or if I’ll eat anymore. These are way too rich for my liking. The taste is nice with the brown butter, I love brown butter. However, 2 sticks and 330 g of brown sugar, puts them over the top for me. I’m really sorry Sally, I always love your recipes. Sadly, I won’t make this one again.

  21. Hi Sally, would this be a recipe that could be doubled? I do the birthdays for my husband’s employees and I know they would love this!!

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