Apple Cider Doughnut Blondies

published Oct 27, 2021
Apple Cider Doughnut Blondies Recipe

This brilliant recipe combines the magic of apple cider doughnuts with the ease of one-bowl blondies.

Makes24 bars

Prep15 minutes

Cook1 hour 10 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes

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apple cider doughnut blondies stacked
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

This recipe is part of Kitchn 100 — the hundred recipes you need right now. Check out all of the amazing dishes, from Kitchn and beyond, here.

A fresh, warm, cinnamon sugar-coated apple cider doughnut is the ultimate fall treat. And while I’m not opposed to deep-frying at home, I’m far more likely to whip up cookies or blondies from scratch. But why choose?

This brilliant recipe combines the magic of apple cider doughnuts with the ease of chewy blondies. To infuse the treats with bold apple flavor, I boil apple cider down until it’s thick and syrupy and mix it into the batter. Before baking, the blondies are showered in cinnamon sugar for a crunchy, sparkly finish. The result is everything you love about both treats combined into one delicious, easy dessert.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

Making Perfectly Chewy Apple Cider Blondies

The trick to perfectly chewy blondies is making sure your batter isn’t too wet. To do this, you’ll do two things: brown the butter and reduce the apple cider.

Browning the butter gives the blondies a layer of toasty, nutty flavor, and removes some of the water from the butter. This step allows you to add more liquid in the form of apple cider without making the blondies too cakey.

Reducing the cider also keeps the batter thick. To do this, you’ll cook it over high heat until it’s syrupy and reduces from 3 cups to 1/2 cup. Pour it into the same bowl as the browned butter and let it cool for 30 minutes.

Once cooled, you’ll add the rest of the ingredients directly to the bowl and mix it all up to create a flavorful blondie batter. Pour it into the prepared baking pan, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, and bake until chewy in the center and crisp on top.

Apple Cider Doughnut Blondies Recipe

This brilliant recipe combines the magic of apple cider doughnuts with the ease of one-bowl blondies.

Prep time 15 minutes

Cook time 1 hour 10 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes

Makes 24 bars

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 2 sticks

    (8 ounces) unsalted butter

  • 3 cups

    apple cider or unfiltered apple juice

  • Cooking spray

  • 1/4 cup

    plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided

  • 2 teaspoons

    ground cinnamon, divided

  • 3 cups

    all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 3/4 teaspoon

    baking soda

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    ground nutmeg

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    ground allspice

  • 2 cups

    packed light brown sugar

  • 2

    large eggs

  • 1 tablespoon

    vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Cut 2 sticks unsalted butter into 1/2-inch cubes. Melt in a small, tall-sided saucepan over medium-high heat. Continue cooking, stirring constantly while scraping the bottom of the pot with a rubber spatula to release any browned bits, until the butter is light brown, smells nutty, and no longer foamy, about 6 to 12 minutes. Immediately scrape into a large heatproof bowl.

  2. Add 3 cups apple cider or unfiltered apple juice to the now-empty pan. (Be careful; the apple cider will sizzle when added to the hot saucepan.) Cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, until the cider has reduced to 1/2 cup, 30 to 40 minutes. (The easiest way to see if your cider has reduced enough is to carefully pour it into a liquid measuring cup and check if it’s at the 1/2-cup mark. If you accidentally overreduced it, just add enough water to bring it up to 1/2 cup.) Immediately pour the reduced apple cider into the bowl of melted butter and let cool at room temperature for 30 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Coat a 9x13-inch baking pan with cooking spray and line with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on two opposite sides like a sling. Place 2 tablespoons of the granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon of the ground cinnamon in a small bowl and stir to combine.

  4. Place 3 cups all-purpose flour, the remaining 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 3/4 teaspoon baking soda, 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg, and 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice in a medium bowl and whisk to combine.

  5. When the butter and cider are ready, add 2 cups packed light brown sugar and the remaining 1/4 cup granulated sugar to it. Whisk until smooth and the sugar is mostly dissolved. Add 2 large eggs and 1 tablespoon vanilla extract and whisk until no streaks of egg remain. Add the flour mixture and stir with a rubber spatula until no pockets of dry flour remain and a smooth batter forms.

  6. Transfer the batter into the prepared baking pan and smooth into an even layer with an offset spatula or the back of a spoon. Sprinkle evenly with the cinnamon-sugar mixture and press it in slightly so it sticks.

  7. Bake until the top is browned and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached, 35 to 41 minutes. Let cool for at least 1 hour in the pan before slicing.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftover blondies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.