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Salted Caramel Apple Blondies

Vegetarian

These made from scratch salted caramel apple blondies cooked up in a cast-iron skillet celebrate fall flavors and are surprisingly simple to prepare. I know you are going to love them just as much as I do!

Apple blondies in a cast-iron skillet with an apple, caramels, and caramel sauce.

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After nearly a year, Tao of Spice is long overdue for another recipe inspired by a fall favorite, caramel apples.

Last year I shared with you my recipe for caramel apple funnel cake and this year I’m blessing you with this recipe for salted caramel apple blondies. It’s just as good (if not better) but quite a bit easier since it doesn’t require deep frying. It has quickly become a family favorite.


What’s to love about this recipe?


  • It’s made from scratch but super simple! One of my goals as a food blogger is to persuade others that cooking from scratch doesn’t have to be difficult and often times, isn’t all that time consuming either. This recipe is the perfect example. It’s quite easy to prep in just five minutes (10 max!) and requires no fancy ingredients. In fact, most of the ingredients are pantry staples. The caramel sauce can be a tad bit tricky but if you follow my directions and keep a close eye on it, it should be no problem
  • The fall flavors! Folded into the blondie batter are tart Granny Smith apples and to finish things off is delicious homemade caramel sauce; two classic fall flavors. The batter also calls for cinnamon as well as brown sugar rather than just granulated sugar which results in a richer molasses-y taste. These blondies give off mad fall vibes. Yesssssss!
  • It’s cooked in cast-iron! I absolutely adore cooking in cast-iron. I would go into all the reasons but I’ll spare you this time around, other than to say that cast-iron holds and distributes heat better than other options. Also, I just love the the rustic feel of cast-iron. That being said, if you don’t have a cast-iron skillet you can defintiely prepare them in a 9×9″ baking dish.

What are blondies?


These dessert bars are the sibling of brownies. Unlike brownies, however, they contain no cocoa powder. Other differences include the addition of vanilla and the use of brown sugar rather than granulated sugar. Although some brownie recipes do include both of these ingredients, it’s not the standard.

Skillet blondies with a side of caramel sauce.

Ingredients + notes & substitutions


Ingredients for caramel apple blondies (see recipe card).
  • Eggs: The eggs should be room temperature. To quickly warm them place them in a bowl of hot, but not boiling, tap water for ten minutes.
  • Granulated sugar: For structure.
  • Light brown sugar: Brown sugar is higher in molasses content. It adds flavor as well as moisture. You could sub for dark brown sugar.
  • Vanilla extract
  • Unsalted butter: The butter will need to be melted.
  • All-purpose flour
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Kosher salt: For the blondies and the salted caramel sauce.
  • Granny Smith apple: One medium to large apple will do the trick; approximately one to one and one half cups of diced apples.
  • Water: For the caramel sauce.
  • Heavy whipping cream: Also for the caramel sauce.

How to store


Blondies stored at room temperature in an airtight container will keep for up to four days. If refrigerated, they will keep for up to one week.


How do you make salted caramel apple blondies? (+ tips)


  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Liberally grease a 10-inch cast-iron skillet and set it aside.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs then add the granulated sugar, light, brown sugar, and vanilla and mix until fully combined.

3. Add the butter and whisk until well combined.

Wet ingredients in two stages.

4. Add the all-purpose flour, baking powder, ground cinnamon, and salt and mix until just combined then stir in the apples.

Batter before and after apples.

5. Pour the batter into the skillet and bake for 20-25 minutes until the top begins to brown and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.

6. Remove the blondies from the oven and rest while you prepare the caramel sauce.

Apple blondies in skillet without sauce.

7. Add the sugar and water to a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk constantly until the sugar has dissolved. Raise to medium-high heat and cook until it reaches a medium to dark amber color, shaking and/or swirling the pan every 60 seconds or so. The entire process will take about ten minutes. Remove from heat, add the salt, and slowly pour in the cream. Stir until combined. If there are any clumps, return to medium heat and stir until they have dissolved, then remove from heat. Check out the FAQ section below for caramel sauce tips and troubleshooting.

Small saucepan with caramel sauce.

8. Slice and serve warm drizzled with caramel sauce.

FAQ

Can I make this in a baking dish instead of cast iron?

You absolutely can! You may prepare the blondies in a 9×9″ baking dish instead. You will need to liberally grease it or line it with parchment paper. Since it will not conduct heat as well, the temperature of your oven should be set to 375 degrees rather than 350 degrees. Additionally, they may need to bake for an additional five minutes or so.

The caramel sauce didn’t turn out. What went wrong?

Caramel sauce is not difficult to make, however, it does need to be monitored closely. One of the most common mistakes is to over stir it. Once the sugar has dissolved into the water, I do not recommend stirring at all. Over-stirring can lead to the caramel seizing up. Instead, gently swirl or shake the pot every 60 seconds or so. The second most common mistake is overcooking it. When the mixture begins to change color and emit a pleasant aroma, you should keep a close eye on it. It will go from tan to dark amber to burnt rather quickly. When you pour in the heavy whipping cream, you may notice it seizes up a bit and that’s ok. Simply place the saucepan on the stove over medium heat and stir it until the clumps dissipate, then promptly remove from heat.

Cast-iron skillet caramel apple blondies with green apples and caramel sauce in background.
Close-up for apple caramel blondies with salted caramel sauce.

More autumn inspired dessert recipes you may like:

  • Caramel Apple Funnel Cake: Continue eating funnel cake throughout fall with this caramel apple funnel cake. It’s fried to perfection, then topped off with spiced Granny Smith apple bits, vanilla ice cream, and delicious homemade caramel sauce.
  • Pumpkin Cream Cheese Coffee Cake: Sandwiched between two layers of moist pumpkin-infused cake sits a luscious cheesecake-like cream cheese filling. To top that off is a crunchy pumpkin spice streusel. This perfect for fall pumpkin cream cheese coffee cake is ideal for breakfast, brunch, or dessert (or all three!!!).
  • Pumpkin Sticky Buns: These autumn-inspired pumpkin sticky buns made from scratch are sure to warm your heart. The pillowy soft pumpkin rolls are rolled up with a sugary pumpkin spice mixture and finished off with a maple pecan topping. Mmmmmm.

If you make these salted caramel apple blondies I’d love your feedback. Please leave a comment and/or a rating below as I greatly value your opinion. Or snap a pic and tag me on Instagram @taoofspiceblog. Love, light, and happy cooking ya’ll ♥

Cast-iron skillet caramel apple blondies with green apples and caramel sauce in background.

Salted Caramel Apple Blondies

Yield: 8
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

These made from scratch salted caramel apple blondies cooked up in a cast-iron skillet celebrate fall flavors and are surprisingly simple to prepare. I know you are going to love them just as much as I do!

Ingredients

For the blondies

  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or paste
  • 1/2 cup (one stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 medium granny Smith apple, cored and cut into 1/4" pieces

For the salted caramel sauce

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream 
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste 

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Liberally grease a 10-inch cast-iron skillet and set it aside. (See notes for directions to cook in a baking dish.)
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs then add the granulated sugar, light, brown sugar, and vanilla and mix until fully combined.
  3. Add the butter and whisk until well combined.
  4. Add the all-purpose flour, ground cinnamon, and salt and mix until just combined then stir in the apples.
  5. Pour the batter into the skillet or baking dish and bake for approximately 25-minutes until the edges are browned and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  6. Remove the blondies from the oven and rest while you prepare the caramel sauce.
  7. Add the sugar and water to a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk constantly until the sugar has dissolved. Raise to medium-high heat and cook until it reaches a medium to dark amber color, shaking and/or swirling the pan every 60 seconds or so. The entire process will take about ten minutes. Remove from heat, add the salt, and slowly pour in the cream. Stir until combined. If there are any clumps, return to medium heat and stir until they have dissolved, then remove from heat. (See notes for tips and troubleshooting).
  8. Slice and serve warm drizzled with caramel sauce.

Storage:

Notes

  • If you do not have a cast-iron skillet or simply prefer not to use one, you may prepare the blondies in a 9x9" baking dish instead. You will need to liberally grease it or line it with parchment paper. Since it will not conduct heat as well, the temperature of your oven should be set to 375 degrees rather than 350 degrees. Additionally, they may need to bake for an additional five minutes or so.
  • Caramel sauce is not difficult to make, however, it does need to be monitored closely. One of the most common mistakes is to over stir it. Once the sugar has dissolved into the water, I do not recommend stirring at all. Over-stirring can lead to caramel seizing up. Instead, gently swirl or shake the pot every 60 seconds or so. The second most common mistake is overcooking it. When the mixture begins to change color and emit a pleasant aroma, you should keep a close eye on it. It will go from tan to dark amber to burnt rather quickly. When you pour in the heavy whipping cream, you may notice it seizes up a bit and that's ok. Simply place the saucepan on the stove over medium heat and stir it until the clumps dissipate, then promptly remove from heat
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 261Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 57mgSodium: 175mgCarbohydrates: 51gFiber: 1gSugar: 38gProtein: 4g

The nutritional information provided is computer generated. It is only an estimate and intended for informational purposes only. Nutrition details may vary depending on various factors such as origin, freshness of ingredients, etc

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