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Caramel Apple Blondies

Caramel apple blondies with an easy caramel frosting and topped with pecans for a delicious autumnal treat. With a gluten-free option.

Caramel apple blondies with an easy caramel frosting and topped with pecans for a delicious fall treat. With a gluten-free option.

Caramel apple treats are my favorite thing about fall. As soon as September strikes, all I want to do is bake apple-based everything, like this caramel apple cheesecake crisp or caramel apple cake.

One thing I hadn’t baked in a while was blondies so tossing in some apples and a whole bunch of cinnamon seemed like the right thing to do. I’m normally all about super gooey and fudgy blondies and brownies, but these caramel apple blondies are a cross between the two. I knew I wanted to top them off with caramel frosting and figured that super fudgy brownies plus frosting might be a little too much.

These caramel apple blondies are great on their own, but I don’t recommend skipping the caramel frosting! It’s so easy to put together and doesn’t require actually making caramel – something I’m terrified of! You just mix all the frosting ingredients together, boil for 1 minute and then add powdered sugar.

Caramel apple blondies are topped with an easy caramel frosting and pecans to create the perfect fall treat. With a gluten-free option.

I’ve looked at some other caramel apple blondie recipes and they use a lot less cinnamon. This recipe uses over a tablespoon of cinnamon and none of my taste testers thought it was overpowering! Definitely feel free to reduce it if you don’t love cinnamon.

I’ve tried a few different types of apples in these blondies and Granny Smith were the best. When I used sweeter apple types, they just blended in and hardly stood out. The tart flavor or Granny Smith makes the apple taste pop a bit more!

Caramel apple blondies are topped with an easy caramel frosting and pecans to create the perfect fall treat. Recipe contains a gluten-free option.

If making the gluten-free version, you’ll probably want to chill the caramel apple blondies before cutting them as they’re a bit more delicate than the all-purpose flour version. And if you make the all-purpose version, you may want to refrigerate them, anyway, as chilling makes them a bit firmer, fudgier and easier to eat.

If you don’t have the gluten-free flours listed, you could try using your favorite 1-to-1 gluten-free baking mix. I’ve had good luck with this one.

For another apple treat that can also be made with gluten-free or all-purpose flour, try this apple tart!

Caramel apple blondies with an easy caramel frosting and topped with pecans for a delicious fall treat. With a gluten-free option.

Apple Blondies

Yield: 9 servings
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

Ingredients

For the blondies:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour or gluten-free flour mix*
  • 1 tablespoon + 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups peeled Granny Smith apple chunks (about 1/4" in size)

For the gluten-free flour mix, use:

  • 1 1/2 cups white rice flour
  • 1/3 cup potato starch
  • 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons tapioca flour / starch
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum

For the topping:

  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 6 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons + 3/4 teaspoons milk
  • pinch of salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2/3-1 cup powdered sugar, sifted if lumpy

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line an 8"x8" pan with a sheet of parchment paper.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the flour, 1 tablespoon cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the melted butter, brown sugar, and vanilla extract.
  4. Beat in the eggs, one by one, and stir just until combined.
  5. Fold in the dry mixture, stirring just until no streaks of flour remain.
  6. Mix the peeled apple chunks with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon and fold the cinnamon apples into the batter, making sure not to overmix.
  7. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 25-32 minutes or until the edges have lightly browned and the middle jiggles just slightly.
  8. Place the pecans on a rimmed cookie sheet and bake them for 4-7 minutes, stirring them halfway through, or until they smell roasted. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.
  9. When the blondies have cooled, prepare the frosting.
  10. In a small saucepan over medium heat, mix together the brown sugar, butter, milk and salt.
  11. Whisking continuously, bring the mixture to a boil and boil for 1 minute, while continuing to whisk continuously. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the salt and vanilla (it will bubble).
  12. Gradually whisk in 2/3 cup powdered sugar and mix until smooth and no lumps of sugar remain. Taste and add up to another 1/3 cup powdered sugar, if desired.
  13. Stir occasionally for about 3 minutes or until the frosting has slightly thickened. Immediately pour over the cooled blondies. If it's thickened too much, place back on the heat for a few moments.
  14. Spread the frosting over the cooled blondies and top with the chopped pecans.
  15. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Can be stored at room temperature for 1 day.

Did you make this recipe?

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Caramel apple blondies topped with an easy caramel frosting are the perfect fall treat. Recipe contains a gluten-free option.

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Didi

Tuesday 4th of September 2018

I made these blondies and they were delicious. I was having family over and everyone raved about them and wanted to know the recipe. Personally, I LOVE caramel and apple flavors. They are the best. It seems like everyone else in my family loves them too. Thanks for a great recipe. This one is a keeper. I'll be making them again, a lot!

Jamie

Sunday 9th of September 2018

So happy to hear you enjoyed the blondies, Didi! Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving your feedback! -Jamie

Cindy

Sunday 20th of August 2017

These look totally delicious. I love all that caramel and the pecans on top. So good. I have to make these, they will be perfect for everyone in my family. They look so good. Can't wait.

Jamie

Thursday 24th of August 2017

I hope you enjoy them as much as we do, Cindy! -Jamie

Lisa

Saturday 5th of November 2016

What is the point of brownies without chocolate? For those of us with severe Cocoa powder allergies (as in one chocolate chip and my throat swells shut in just minutes), Blondies are Heaven Sent! Thank you Erin for this recipe.

Erin

Saturday 5th of November 2016

You're welcome! I hope you'll get the chance to try these out. And I don't see them as brownies without the chocolate - I see them as a denser, gooier, more delicious version of cake! So I'm all for blondies. :)

Alexis

Monday 24th of October 2016

Wow, these look delicious!! I'm going to make these this weekend, yum! I'm sharing a link to your recipe on my blog tomorrow. I think my readers will love them, too. Thanks!

Erin

Tuesday 25th of October 2016

Thank you! I hope you and your readers will enjoy them. :) Thanks for sharing!

Edwina

Thursday 20th of October 2016

Wow, these blondies look scrumptious. Luckily I adore cinnamon so I won't need to change the recipe a bit. I also like caramel so it looks likes these are going to be a favorite.

Erin

Friday 21st of October 2016

Thanks! If you adore cinnamon and caramel, I'm pretty sure you're going to love these. :) I hope you get the chance to try them out! Thanks for your comment.

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