The first time I had a blondie bar was way back when I was still baking with an Easy Bake Oven. I remember being confused because what even is a blondie? And I’ll be honest, before setting out to bake this recipe, I looked online to figure what exactly a blondie bar really is. Some people say they’re the vanilla version of a brownie, but I don’t find the textures to be very similar.
What I do know for sure is that a butterscotch flavor, brought on by using butter and brown sugar, is a hallmark to a traditional blondie. For me, they’re a bit like chewy cookie bars, but with the delicate, crackly top of a brownie. In fact, for this recipe you’ll whisk the eggs and sugar the same way you would to make brownies. This helps lift the batter as it’s baking to create that flaky top!
I chose to use vegan butter and a mix of 50/50 coconut sugar + brown sugar in this recipe because I really wanted these to taste like a real deal blondie bar. And I find that chopped walnuts or pecans really add to that butterscotch flavor we’re after, so I added lots of walnuts, too.
The add-ins for this recipe are super adaptable, so you should feel free to add your favorite chocolate chips, candy bits, or even white chocolate chips, depending on your diet (most varieties contain milk). As for the rest of the ingredients, I recommend following the recipe exactly as-is. This was my third test, and it’s very easy to end up with results that are less than stellar (trust me!).
Some of the ingredients I love for this recipe:
Spelt flour is an ancient whole grain flour and a good source of carbs, protein, and fiber. The flavor adds a bit of nuttiness to these blondies, which I love. But if you only have all-purpose flour on hand, that will work, too.
Arrowroot starch adds a bit of chewiness to these bars. Corn starch will do the same, so feel free to use that instead.
Vegan butter is a must for this recipe. I can only recommend Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks (not sponsored – just love them!). It adds that necessary “butter” flavor while helping to keep these bars moist.
Coconut sugar is an unrefined, low GI sugar, which means it won’t spike your blood sugar as high as regular sugar, maple syrup, or honey may. And it doesn’t taste like coconut!
Brown sugar is necessary for that true blondie flavor. Since brown sugar has molasses in it, it adds moisture and lends a hand to a delicious butterscotch flavor.
Egg helps give these bars a little lift and (when whisked with the sugar) creates a delicate, crackly top to the blondies.
- 1/2 cup + 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
- 3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup spelt flour
- 3/4 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp arrowroot starch
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 5 Tbsp vegan butter (I recommend Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks)
- 6 Tbsp coconut sugar
- 6 Tbsp light brown sugar
- 1 large egg, room temp
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- Preheat your oven to 325°F and prepare an 8x8 baking dish. Spray your dish with olive oil and then line with parchment paper. I like to cut one long strip to cover the bottom + 2 sides and then fold the excess over the sides (to use as handles later when I pull the blondies out to slice).
- Place 1/2 cup of walnuts on a baking sheet and pop them in your preheating oven to toast. This can take 5-10 minutes, and the moment you smell the walnuts, it's time to take them out of the oven - don't forget about them! You can also bring your egg to room temperature by placing it in a glass of warm water for around 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, arrowroot starch, and salt; set aside.
- Melt your vegan butter in small saucepan over medium-low heat. Bring to a boil before removing from the heat; set aside.
- In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, add the sugars and egg. Set speed to medium-high, adding in the vanilla. Whisk the mixture until is light brown, fluffy, and thick, stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl as necessary. You'll know it's ready when you lift the whisk out the batter and the "ribbons" take 2-3 seconds to disappear.
- Slowly pour the melted vegan butter into the egg and sugar mixture bit by bit, gently folding it in between each pour. Once totally combined, add the dry ingredients and gently fold. Finally, fold in the toasted chopped walnuts.
- Scrape batter (it will be thick) into your prepared baking dish and use a spatula to evenly distribute it. Smooth out the top and then sprinkle with the 1/4 cup of extra walnuts.
- Bake at 325°F for 15-20 minutes or until edges are slightly browned. Allow to cool completely. Run a butter knife around the edges and use the parchment paper overhang to pull the entire blondie up and out of the dish. Slice into 12 bars. Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature.
I don't recommend most substitutes for this recipe as blondies can be a bit finicky. But you can use all-purpose flour in place of the spelt flour and corn starch in place of the arrowroot starch.
Recipe adapted from Cook's Illustrated
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Serving Size:1 bar
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 155Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 28mgSodium: 181mgCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 1gSugar: 12gProtein: 2g