Maple Frosted Apple Blondies — these are moist dense blondies studded with tart apple chunks and topped with an ultra-sweet maple glaze — hello Fall!
These were mighty hard to resist. I recommend having company around to help out with the eating part (you don’t want to be left alone with a pan of these, trust me.) I’ll be honest, these Maple Frosted Apple Blondies are intensely sweet, sweeter than most of the desserts here at tvfgi. And there’s something about the texture of the blondie paired with the maple sugar frosting (and the bits of tart Granny Smith apple) that makes them addictive. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
When I have an idea for a recipe I often start by going back to something I’ve already had success with to use as a base for my experimentation. In this case I loved the texture of my Banana Blondies, and figured they’d be a good starting point for these. I guessed I could easily replace the mashed banana with apple butter, since they both have a similar consistency, and I was right. I was able to add the chopped apples without any other adjustment, so it was a pretty straightforward adaptation.
Maple is a fabulous flavor but it can be difficult to infuse into baked goods. I like to reduce pure maple syrup by boiling it, which concentrates the flavor. In essence I make a maple caramel base for this frosting — and the result is a fudgy maple layer that is sooooo good.
TIP: You can infuse maple into your baking in several other ways. For instance there is maple extract, (use it just like vanilla extract) maple powder, (dehydrated maple syrup) and maple sugar, (use it in a 1 to 1 ratio for regular sugar.)
The maple/caramel frosting sets up fast, so have everything ready to go and spread it immediately after pouring it onto the (mostly) cooled blondies.
TIP: Be sure to sift your powdered sugar, if you skip this step you can wind up with lumps in your glaze.
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup apple butter
- 1 medium apple, peeled and finely diced (1 cup)
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 3/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
- 2 Tbsp cream, or milk
- 1 1/2 cup powdered (confectioner's) sugar, sifted
- Set oven to 350F
- Lightly spray a 9x9 square baking dish.
- Beat the butter and sugar together until well blended.
- Beat in the egg, vanilla, salt, and cinnamon. Fold in the apple butter and the chopped apples.
- Fold in the flour, mixing just until combined.
- Spread the batter evenly into the baking dish and bake for 30 minutes, or until set in the middle and a toothpick comes out without wet batter clinging to it (there can be moist crumbs.) Cool on a rack.
- To make the maple frosting, put the maple syrup in a medium saucepan and bring it to a boil Boil for about 5 minutes, until reduced to 1/2 cup. Take off the heat and add the butter and cream and stir to combine and melt the butter. Whisk in the sifted powdered sugar and blend until smooth. Pour over the blondies and spread out with a spatula. The frosting will set up quickly so don't dawdle.
- Granny Smith apples (the green ones) are great in this recipe because their tartness contrasts with the overall sweetness of the bars, plus, they hold their shape and don’t turn to mush.
- Line your pan with parchment paper with overhanging ends so you can lift out your blondies for neater cutting, if you like. I did.
don’t forget to pin it!