I am a fan of blondies.
I am also a fan of apple pie.
What if I told you I accidentally stumbled upon a blondie recipe that tastes like apple pie without the herculean effort of peeling, coring, and chopping fresh apples?
These are not your mama’s blondies. Or at least they’re not like my mom’s—my mother would take a box mix of chocolate chip cookies, pour the batter into a square pan, then bake and serve.
These are something else.
These blondies have crispy edges and squidgy, fudgy, chewy insides that fill your mouth with caramel and cinnamon flavors. It’s like biting into a fresh apple pie where the apples have broken down into a sweet, stewed mess.
Luckily, these blondies can be made in one bowl and without the intense labor of preparing fruit.
How to Make Cinnamon Blondies
One of the best things about blondies is how darn easy they are in terms of preparation.
First off, melt your butter. If you can, melt it in a large glass mixing bowl in a microwave; this saves you from cleaning extra dishes later.
Next, whisk in your light brown sugar with a wire whisk until thoroughly combined. This not only mixes the ingredients together, but also cools down the butter so it won’t cook the eggs.
Once you’re done, add in your vanilla extract, egg, and egg yolk. Making sure the egg and egg yolk are at room temperature helps the egg and egg yolk distribute evenly throughout the batter. Nobody wants blondies with dry patches!
Add in all your dry ingredients: the all-purpose flour, the ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, and kosher salt. Fold them into the wet ingredients with a spatula until just combined. If you overmix the batter, you activate too much of the gluten in the flour and get a tough blondie instead of a chewy one.
When adding salt, pay attention to what kind of salt you use: a quarter teaspoon of table salt is much saltier than a quarter teaspoon of kosher salt!
Pour your batter into an 8×8 inch square baking pan and bake at 350° Fahrenheit for 25-35 minutes or until the top is golden and the center springs back when you gently press down on it. Keep an eye on it because it’s easy to overbake your blondies.
Take the finished blondies out of the oven and let them cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Loosen the edge with a knife if you need to, then flip the blondies out onto a cooling rack and peel off the parchment. Let the blondies cool before cutting them into squares and enjoying!
How to Personalize Your Cinnamon Blondies
I don’t want you to see this recipe as the only way to make blondies.
There are so many things you could do to make them your own! Use this recipe as a jumping off point to have fun with it.
Want a darker, chewier, more molasses flavor? Try using dark brown sugar instead of light brown sugar.
Not sure about nutmeg? Ground ginger, allspice, or cloves would also pair very well with cinnamon, or you could go heavier on the vanilla extract or leave out the nutmeg entirely (the nutmeg does add a nice complexity, though). Get fancy and consider throwing in some orange zest too!
What about fillings? The sky’s the limit when it comes to these blondies. Dried fruit, like cranberries, raisins, or apples would suit this blondie recipe handsomely. If you’re more of a chocolate person, white chocolate chips or dark chocolate chunks would add an extra layer of richness. Fans of crunch may enjoy chopped walnuts, pecans, or even peanuts in these blondies.
How to Serve and Save Your Cinnamon Blondies
These blondies practically beg for a tall glass of milk or a cup of apple cider. They take me back to crisp autumn evenings, so that’s when I’d recommend eating them: the cooler months of the year, when the warming effects of cinnamon and molasses make desserts like this perfect.
Sell them at a school bake sale, make them for autumn birthday parties, or serve them to guests for Halloween or Thanksgiving—especially with a giant scoop of vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of caramel or chocolate sauce.
But what if you have leftovers? Not to worry! Keep these blondies soft by keeping them away from the air. Storing them in an airtight container or wrapped in plastic wrap or foil will help them maintain their texture, as will storing them at room temperature. For longer storage, pop them in the refrigerator and let them come to room temperature before eating.
If any blondies ever make it to the refrigerator.
No matter how you like your blondies, this recipe is a customizable winner.
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
- 1 ½ cups light brown sugar
- 1 large egg plus one egg yolk, room temperature
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- Preheat the oven to 350° Fahrenheit. Line an 8×8 inch baking pan with parchment paper and grease it.
- In a large mixing bowl whisk the melted butter and brown sugar together vigorously, about one minute, until well combined.
- Once the butter has cooled down slightly, mix in your egg, egg yolk, and vanilla extract.
- Fold the flour, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, and salt into the butter and egg mixture with a spatula until just blended; don’t overmix!
- Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 25-35 minutes until the center springs back to the touch. Check often to avoid overbaking.
- Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes, loosen around the edges with a knife if necessary, then invert onto a cooling rack and peel off the parchment. Let cool completely and cut into 16 squares. Store in an airtight container or wrapped in plastic wrap in the refrigerator for several days.