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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110 Comments

  1. I made these today….mostly 🙂 I didn’t have apples, so I used Asian Pears instead and, taking the suggestion of an earlier commenter, I used Boiled Apple Cider instead of milk. They are delicious! Thanks so much!!

  2. Hi Sally. I made these yesterday. They were DELICIOUS. The brown butter icing almost didn’t make it on the blondies. I thought about keeping it for myself. The entire family loved them. I did have one issue….they didn’t rise. My kitchen was humid and hot from my using the oven prior to baking. I also whisked the dry ingredients ahead of time and set them aside. I know my baking powder was good. Could it have been the temp in my kitchen?

    1. Hi Ann! It wouldn’t be the temperature in your kitchen. These blondies don’t rise much with all the moisture inside. They’re supposed to be dense– not light and airy like cake. 🙂

  3. Sally, I’ve enjoyed your recipes and each one is awesome. I’m not a fan of apples, but something about this jumped out at me. Holy cow…this has to be my new favorite recipe! I had 3 kids home last night for dinner, and luckily they each took some back to school with them, so I didn’t have to finish them off. Thank you so much for your recipes and tips.

  4. I reduced this recipe by 2/3 since it’s just me and my husband, but went ahead and included almost 1 1/2 cups of diced apple (fresh from our own tree!). It was just enough to fit nicely into a standard size loaf pan. Absolutely DELICIOUS! VERY rich. I didn’t make the frosting since I was out of powdered sugar, and I thought that it was plenty sweet enough as is. 🙂 We loved it and I’m making it again later this week!

  5. Warning- make these and you may wind up eating half the pan in one sitting!!! DELICIOUS!! The brown butter frosting on these apple cinnamon moist blondies is a pure treat!! Thank you Sally for yet another great recipe

  6. Made these yesterday and they are delectably delightful! Most of them went into the freezer. I like to have goodies at the ready in my freezer for unexpected events at church, work and home. I always appreciate the tips given for freezing for later in Sally’s recipes. I keep sharing sallysbakingaddiction.com with my coworkers and friends at church, I should probably just have it printed on my business cards. 😉

  7. Hi Sally,
    i tried this recipe today but the blondies came out dry. While mixing the wet ingredients into the dry there wasn’t enough liquid to combine all the flour and I added around half a cup of milk. It was still not a moist blondie. Could it have something to do with substituting all purpose flour for whole wheat baking flour?

    1. Hi Nadz, I don’t recommend using whole wheat flour. Whole wheat flour soaks up more moisture than all-purpose does. I recommend sticking with all-purpose here.

  8. These are absolutely delicious! They have jumped up to the #1 spot on my favorite SBA recipe. They are fall heaven in a pan. I halved the recipe and baked for 25 min. in an 8×8 pan and they were gone the same day.

  9. Sally,

    This morning, I had to bring my boyfriend to the airport. He’s Canadian, I’m Belgian and we’ve been in a long distance for over 4 year. You get it, I needed to bake to distract myself and needed some food for emo-eating throughout the day.
    This recipe was everything I needed, fall comfort food at its very best. Thank you for another wonderful recipe. Your blog means more than you know.

  10. Made this recipe for my husband who loves apple desserts , turned out delicious!! Taking the time to make the brown butter was worth it, so yummy!

  11. Loved these! However, I would use less frosting as others mentioned. I ended up scraping most of it off. Even so, they were delicious! Maybe drizzle with a powdered sugar glaze – one that hardens

  12. These are great. I made them a couple days ago and the flavor get even better after sitting. Thanks for sharing another perfect recipe.

  13. I followed the recipe to a T (except I halved the icing recipe) and took them out of the oven after 35 mins of baking. The top was browned, even starting to crack a bit, and a toothpick came out clean. I waited almost two hours for them to cool before icing and cutting them, but unfortunately they came out very gooey and had a raw taste and texture. Such a bummer!!

  14. The recipe calls for one cup butter. It says take out one quarter cup for the icing. Then mix one cup with eggs. That’s one and a quarter cups.

  15. These are so, so delicious! It’s a good thing I’m bringing them to a party because it would be dangerous to keep them all in my house. The icing is amazing and should be put on everything. Another winner Sally – thanks!

  16. These were delicious! For any gluten free readers I used King Arthur gluten free measure for measure and worked great in this recipe

  17. These were fantastic Sally! I love how all of your recipes are so well written. These were a hit with my Moms group and my family. Will definitely make them again!

  18. I added a tablespoon of boiled cider to the apples as they were cooking to amp up the apple flavor. Absolutely delicious!
    I noticed afterwards that the ingredient list for the icing doesn’t include the pinch of salt that is mentioned in the post. As the blondies and the icing are quite sweet, I think the salt would have taken the icing up a notch. Still fantastic anyway!!

  19. Great recipe! I tired making the icing but it curdled. I did have to microwave the butter since it did solidify after the blondies cooled. Could it be because the butter was too hot or that I used lowfat milk?

  20. Loved this recipe! They’re moist and flavorful! Can’t wait to share these with my coworkers tomorrow (not sure I really want to though!)
    My only recommendation is to make sure the batter is spread evenly in the pan because it is thick and not a runny batter. I didn’t spread it perfectly evenly and one section didn’t cook as well as the rest. Definitely making this again!

  21. Just made these and they’re sooo delicious! The brown butter flavor is special <3 They have come out very light and cakey though, not dense and chewy as expected. I’m not complaining because they’re incredible anyway! Just curious as to why. My apples were very sweet to begin with so I cut the sugar by 1/3 and they were ready to come out of the oven after 20 mins.

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