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!
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:
- Soft and sweet
- Chewy, not cakey
- Flavored with brown sugar and brown butter
- Bursting with apples
- Totally not diet food. Oh well!
How to Make Brown Butter Apple Blondies
Listen up because there’s a few steps to conquer before we take that first bite.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- Bake until lightly browned on top. The blondies take about 35 minutes.
- 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:
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:
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, pecan sugar cookies, 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.)
More Apple Treats
- Homemade Apple Cider
- Apple Cinnamon Bread
- Apple Pie
- Apple Cinnamon Rolls
- Caramel Apple Scones
- Apple Hand Pies
- Glazed Apple Bundt Cake
- Fresh Apple Cake
Brown Butter Apple Blondies
- Prep Time: 25 minutes
- Cook Time: 35 minutes
- Total Time: 3 hours
- Yield: 24 blondies
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
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.
- 2 cups (240g) peeled chopped apples (about 2 medium apples)
- 2 Tablespoons (30ml) pure maple syrup (or brown sugar)
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup (2 sticks; 228g) 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 (57g) unsalted butter
- 1 and 1/2 cups (180g) confectioners’ sugar
- 2 Tablespoons (30ml) milk
- 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 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, or 60ml) aside for the icing in step 8. The rest (8 liquid ounces, or 240ml) is for the blondie batter, used in step 6.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Make the blondies: Whisk the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg together in a large bowl.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Cover and store leftover iced blondies at room temperature for up to 2 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
- 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.
- Apples: Use your favorite variety of apples. I prefer tart Granny Smith apples because the blondies are pretty sweet. Peel and chop into bite-sized pieces before using.
Keywords: apples, bars
Reader Comments & Reviews
I made these last night for book club abc they were a smash hit! I am wondering if these could be made with peaches instead of apples?
Hi Shelly! We haven’t tested it ourselves, but you could certainly give it a try. Peaches 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!
Hi Sally, I’ve been dying to make this! Could I use a sweeter apple and cut back on the sugar?
Hi Nicole! You may certainly try, but keep in mind that, in addition to taste, sugar plays a role in the texture and structure of a baked good. The end result may be slightly different than intended. Let us know what you try!
Hi! I am a very experienced baker of over 30 years. I found the recipe a little confusing.It says add the maple syrup/brown sugar to the apples. I took this to mean add the 1 2/3 cup of brown sugar. Not realizing I needed that for the batter. I did pre-read the recipe. Somehow I missed that. Also, in regards to browning the butter,I as did another reader, missed the fact that you needed the 1 cup plus an additional 1/4 cup for the icing. In your explanation of browning the butter, I think it would be good to reiterate the 1 cup plus a 1/4 cup. As you read the tip on browning the butter, I read it as you remove the 2oz for the icing using the rest in the batter. In the oven…Hoping they turn out!
Could I use canned apple pie filling in place of fresh apples?
Hi Joy, I haven’t tested it. They may be quite wet for these blondies, but let me know if you try it.
This recipe was fantastic. When I cooked my apples I included the liquid. There was not an overwhelming amount but I think it helped keep the blondies moist, maybe a touch more dense, and less cakey. I did not use all of the glaze, about 1/3rd was left over. I put it in the freezer for something later.
2 questions: For the browned butter, do you incorporate the browned bits or do you clarify and use only the resulting liquid? Also, for the skilleted apples, it produced 1/4 to 1/2 cup of liquid. Do you use this liquid too or discard ?
Hi Wayne, glad to help. Make sure you include the browned bits (the milk solids) in the browned butter; they provide a lot of flavor. Drain any excess liquid from the apples. I wonder if the apples you used were extra juicy!
While good flavor, definitely more cake like than blondie/brownie like. When i compared this recipe to a favorite blondie recipe, there is almost a full cup of flour more in this recipe – that may explain the more cake like texture. Also, recommend start checking for doneness at 20-25 minutes. I checked at 30 minutes: already done & after cooled, on the dry side & had to trim off the dry sides. Again, good flavors, but not traditional blondie texture.
These are so delicious! I halved the recipe and baked in a ceramic dish. Such a wonderful success! 🙂
So excited to try these! The recipe says to cook the apples with brown sugar, but doesn’t say how much. There’s only brown sugar listed in the blinders section. How much should I use for the apples?
Hi Rachel, you can cook the apples with 2 Tbs maple syrup OR brown sugar – either works!
I’m a big fan of browned butter, so when I saw this recipe I had to make it! I bake for Church every weekend and I wasn’t sure if others were as fond of this as myself. I also made your Maple pecan snickerdoodles. By the time I had a chance to have any, only one cookie was left! So I ate it ! Thank you for your always great recipies!
I just made these and needed to brown 1/4 butter more for the icing. The recipe cites 1 cup butter to melt which made 1 cup melted browned butter. That went in the batter. For the icing there was no browned butter without making more.
Did I miss something?
I’m taking these to a potluck this evening and have a feeling they will be a hit!
Hi Janet! The icing called for 1/4 cup additional butter. Glad you enjoyed them!
Hello! Can these blondes be frozen?
You bet! See recipe notes for freezing instructions.
I made this today, and both my guests and my kids raved about it. My five-year-old daughter was still asking for more at bedtime (gee, thanks for thaf!), and our friend said it was one of the best things he had ever tasted. The brown butter and salt really work with the sweetness of the apples and brown sugar. This one’s a keeper! (Although I love the butter icing, I’m also wondering about topping the blondies with your salted caramel sauce sometime…)
Hi! I have a very specific question.. To make sure I add the correct amount of browned butter to the batter and icing, that should be measured with a glass measuring cup and not a scale right?
Hi Carrie! You need 8 liquid ounces of browned butter for the batter – you can measure by weight.
For those wondering about using vegan butter – Miyoko’s has a great vegan butter that actually browns very nicely. I’ve used it many timed for both sweet and savory recipes.
Hello Sally! I haven’t read through all the comments, but was wondering if this recipe can be halved? What size pan might you use, and what might the baking time be?
Hi L, you can definitely halve this recipe for an 8×8 or 9×9 inch baking pan. We’re unsure of the exact bake time.
Can these be made gluten free if using one to one gluten free flour ?
Hi Evelyn, we have’t tested that substitution so we’re unsure of the exact results. Although some readers report using an all-purpose 1:1 gluten-free flour in many of my recipes with success, you should expect slightly different results anytime you substitute ingredients. Let us know if you try it!
I would like to add nuts. Either walnuts or pecans.
Hi Beverly, you could absolutely stir in 3/4 cup – 1 cup (100-130g) of chopped pecans or walnuts when you add the apples to the batter.
In lieu of the icing could you use your slated caramel?
Hi Amanda, you certainly could! Enjoy!
I made these to bring into work and everyone loved them! I added 1/4 teaspoon ginger and 1/8 teaspoon allspice for a little extra spice. Can I double batch this recipe by doubling everything?
Hi Lauren, yes, you can double this recipe. Just make sure your pans and mixing bowls are big enough to hold the doubled ingredients. Enjoy!
I have a question. I’ve made this several times and love it so very much! Could you substitute peaches or blueberries for apples?
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!
Can I grate the apples, fold them into the batter and skip cooking them on the stove? Thank you!
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.)
This is my second time making these this week, that’s how good they are. Thanks, Sally!
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?
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!
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.
We have a milk allergy at our house. Can I make brown Margarine? And if so, how? Thanks so much.
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!
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!
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!
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!
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 ?
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!
Not sure what the ‘brown butter craze Is all about. Except that people describe it as having a nutty flavor. I would prefer not to brown it to that point. So my guess I can just melt the butter then add it to the batter and icing? Correct?,