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:
Success Tip: Lining the pan with parchment paper makes it much easier to remove the apple blondies before slicing and serving. I use the same tip when making rice krispie treats and M&M cookie bars, too.
Best Apples for Brown Butter Apple Blondies
You can use your favorite variety of apples. I prefer tart Granny Smith apples because the blondies are pretty sweet. For a complete list of my favorite apple varieties, with a description of each, you can visit my post The Best Apples for Baking.
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
- Apple Bundt Cake
- Fresh Apple Cake
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 (16 Tbsp; 226g) unsalted butter, cut into pieces*
- 2 and 1/3 cups (291g) all-purpose flour (spooned & 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 (4 Tbsp; 56g) 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.
- Special Tools (affiliate links): Light-Colored Skillet or Stainless Steel Skillet (for browning butter) | 9×13-inch Baking Pan | Glass Mixing Bowls | Whisk | Rubber Spatula
- 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