I love this extra easy and adaptable blondies recipe! These fudgy blondies taste like deep, rich buttery caramel, and you won’t believe how easy they are to make.
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Related: We love these fudgy brownies!
What Are Blondies?
I’m sure you are familiar with brownies, but do you know about blondies? If not, it’s time to change that. Blondies are similar to brownies, but instead of mixing in cocoa powder or melted chocolate to the batter, we leave them out for more of a vanilla-based bar. Think of blondies as brownie’s alter-ego.
We’ve fallen in love with blondies. They are so easy to make — we are sure they’re one of the simplest, tastiest baked goods you can make. Not only that, but they are practically no-fail. You only need a few ingredients, a bowl, a whisk, and a spoon.
How to Make Blondies – You Only Need One Bowl
This recipe makes blondies that are rich and dense with a paper-thin crinkly top. They are complex with lots of vanilla and dark brown sugar. They taste like deep, rich buttery caramel. Keep them simple or customize them. We add chocolate chips, but you can also try nuts or dried fruit.
All the magic happens in one bowl. If you’ve been following Inspired Taste for a while, you’re probably tuned in to our love of no fuss, no mess recipes. Unfortunately, we’re terrible at staying ahead of dirty dishes. So anything “one bowl” snags major points in our book.
What You Will Need
Melted butter makes these blondies rich and delicious. Unsalted is best, but if salted butter is all you have, use it and then reduce the salt called for in the recipe by a pinch. In our video, we brown the butter. Browning the butter isn’t necessary, but it does add an extra toasty note to the blondies. You can also see this tutorial on brown butter for some additional guidance.
Brown sugar makes the blondies taste almost like caramel. If you have it in your kitchen, use dark brown sugar. It adds even more flavor. We need about 190 grams of sugar or one lightly packed cup.
Egg provides structure, makes the bars tender, and helps the blondies rise. Room temperature egg (or close to it) mixes into the batter better, giving you the best results. To quickly warm up your egg, place it into a bowl of lukewarm water for 5 minutes before cracking the shell and mixing it into the batter.
Vanilla extract and salt are essential in making the blondies taste amazing. We also add almond extract in our video, which adds a hint of almond flavor to the batter. If you love almonds or the flavor of almond desserts (like an almond croissant), try it!
All-purpose flour provides more structure, although we don’t use much of it. Like I said earlier, these bars are intended to be rich and fudgy in the middle. Adding more flour than listed in the recipe will create a more cake-like, dry texture.
Baking powder is optional, and if you watch our video, you can see that we do not add it. When we first shared this recipe for blondies, some of our readers were disappointed that they baked up to be thin. Adding 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder helps lift the blondies a little, adding about 1/4-inch of thickness.
Making The Batter
To make the blondies stir the brown sugar with warm melted butter or warm browned butter. Next, whisk in an egg, vanilla extract, and salt until well blended. Finally, fold in the flour and chocolate chips (or other add-ins you love). You can see what the batter looks like in our video located below, near the recipe.
The blondies bake for 20 to 30 minutes. Bake the blondies until the edges look dry and the middle looks shiny and slightly underbaked. I typically find myself taking ours out around 23 minutes.
They are ready to come out of the oven when they look almost done. As the pan cools out of the oven, they continue to bake. To make sure you have that moist, gooey middle, take blondies out of the oven when the edges look dry, but the center still seems a little underdone.
It’s essential to allow the blondies to cool in the baking pan before cutting them. I know this isn’t easy, but there is some carryover cooking as the blondies cool, which helps the middle set.
Frequently Asked Questions
Since sharing this recipe in 2013, we’ve had a few recurring questions and felt it was essential to take the time and retest this recipe to answer them.
Why are my blondies thin? What did I do wrong? First, you must understand that these blondies have always been on the thinner side. For example, when using an 8-inch by 8-inch square pan and 1 cup of chocolate chips, ours measures just over 1/2-inch thick. We love them this way.
Why do you not add a leavener like baking soda or baking powder? The original recipe does not call for baking soda or baking powder because the intention is for these to be dense, fudgy, and chewy. If you need a little more lift in your blondies, we’ve discovered that 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder is perfect — it makes 1-inch tall blondies. Baking soda is not ideal in this recipe since it encourages them to rise and fall back onto themselves, leaving tall, chewy edges and thinner fudgy middles (unless that’s what you love — if so, then use 1/4 teaspoon baking soda).
Mine are raw in the middle, what did I do wrong? It’s important to realize that oven temperature and the pan we use significantly impact how well baked goods turn out. We use a metal 8×8-inch square pan from USA Pans. You can use glass and ceramic dishes, but keep in mind that they can affect the bake time and results, so keep an eye on the blondies as they bake (glass pans can add bake time). The other thing to keep in mind when baking blondies or brownies is that they will continue cooking after being removed from the oven. We take advantage of this by allowing them to cool completely in the baking pan before removing them and cutting them into squares. This cooling time helps the middle to set correctly.
Can I double the recipe? Yes, absolutely. Double the recipe and bake in a 9-inch by 13-inch baking pan. They will be slightly thicker when doubled and baked in this pan.
Bake time: We consistently achieve excellent results when baking these blondies in a 350F oven for 23 to 25 minutes. Ovens vary, and bake time can be affected by the pan you have used. We remove the pan when the top looks shiny and light golden brown. The batter might still look slightly wet if there are cracks, but the middle should not wiggle like jello. Remember that the center will not be fully set, but it will continue to cook as the blondies cool.
More Easy Baking Recipes
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Easy No-Fail Blondies
Blondies are one of the simplest, tastiest baked goods you can make. These blondies are perfectly dense, rich, and fudgy with a paper-thin crinkly top. If you have it, use dark brown sugar. Light brown sugar works, but the flavor will not be as rich. In our video, we use browned butter. Brown butter is not essential when making these; however, it adds a lovely toasted note. If you do not want to use brown butter, use melted butter instead.
The recipe and video have been updated to make directions clearer and include an optional 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder for slightly thicker blondies (explained in the tips section and article).
Watch Us Make the Recipe
You Will Need
8 tablespoons (115 grams or 1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup (190 grams) lightly packed dark or light brown sugar
1 large egg at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract, optional
1/4 rounded teaspoon fine sea salt, decrease a little if sensitive to salt
1 cup (130 grams) all-purpose flour
1 cup (170 grams) chocolate chips
1/2 cup optional extras like toasted nuts, dried fruit, or shredded coconut
Optional: 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, see tips below
1Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (176C). Lightly butter and line an 8-inch by 8-inch metal baking pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper. There is just enough batter to cover the bottom of an 8×8 inch pan.
2Melt the butter or, for a toasted flavor, make brown butter (here is our recipe for brown butter).
3Whisk the warm butter into the brown sugar until blended. The mixture will look greasy and gritty.
4When the sugar and butter mixture is warm, not hot, add the egg, vanilla, almond extract (optional), and salt. Stir until smooth and ever so slightly lighter in color.
5Add the flour in two additions, gently folding it into the batter after each addition until you no longer see streaks of flour.
6Stir in the chocolate chips and any additional add-ins like nuts or dried fruit.
7Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan. It just covers the bottom of the pan. The batter is very thick, so gently pressing the batter into the corners helps.
8Bake the blondies until the edges look dry and the middle looks shiny and slightly underbaked; 20 to 30 minutes. We consistently achieve excellent results when baking these blondies in a 350° F oven for 23 minutes. Ovens vary, and bake time can be affected by the pan you have used. We remove the pan when the top looks shiny and light golden brown. The batter might still look slightly wet if there are cracks, but the middle should not wiggle like jello.
9Cool to room temperature before removing from the pan — this step is essential and helps the blondies set.
10Cut into 16 squares. Don’t be surprised if the blondies have not risen much. These are intended to be dense, rich, and a little fudgy.
11Store covered in an airtight container for up to 3 days at room temperature or up to a week in the fridge. Freeze for up to 3 months.
Adam and Joanne's Tips
- Baking powder: The original recipe does not add baking powder and we leave it out. These are intended to be dense and a little fudgy. If you are looking for a slightly risen interior, whisk 1/2 teaspoon baking powder with the flour before adding to the batter, and use at least 1 cup of add-ins (like chocolate chips).
- Can I double the recipe? Yes, double all ingredients in the recipe and bake in a 9-inch by 13-inch baking pan. They will be slightly thicker. Bake time will be similar, but keep an eye on them and use our visual cues in the recipe as a guide.
- The recipe is slightly adapted and inspired by Mark Bittman’s cookbook, “How to Cook Everything” via Smitten Kitchen’s blondies recipe.
- The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA database to calculate approximate values. The calculations include 1 cup of chocolate chips.
Recipe updated, originally posted July 2013. Since posting this in 2013, we have tweaked the recipe to be more clear and added a quick recipe video. – Adam and Joanne