Apple Brownies With Easy Caramel Frosting (gluten-free, whole grain, all-purpose options)

These apple brownies are super thick, flavorful and have an easy caramel frosting that puts them over the top! Can be made with gluten-free, whole wheat or all-purpose flours.

I feel kind of guilty about all the super sugary and less-healthy-than-usual treats around here lately. Hopefully y’all don’t mind too much. :) If you want something a little healthier, try my gluten-free apple crisp or gluten-free Swedish apple pie (which are also 100% whole grain!).

I’m taking a break from the pumpkin today to bring you these caramel apple brownies (or really… they’re apple blondies but nobody searches for apple blondies so I’m calling them apple brownies :))

Apple Brownies with a delicious and easy caramel frosting! (gluten-free, whole grain and all-purpose flour options)

If you’re having a bad day, just make these brownies. They’ll make you feel better. I know you’re not supposed to stress eat but…

These apple brownies are thick. Much thicker than most other blondie recipes I’ve tried. And they’re way more cinnamon-y than the other apple brownies I’ve had. I think this has double or even quadruple what some other recipes call for.

They’re not exactly fudgy but not cakey, either. They’re a nice compromise and make the perfect base for the caramel frosting. I’ve used this same frosting in a few recipes, like this apple cake, and love how easy it is.

Apple brownies with an amazing caramel frosting! (gluten-free, whole grain and all-purpose flour options)

You just mix all the frosting ingredients together, boil for 1 minute and then add powdered sugar. So simple! You get all the delicious caramel taste without any of the scary (at least to me!) caramel making.

I’ve tried a few different types of apples in these brownies and Granny Smith were the best. When I used sweeter apple types, they just blended in and hardly stood out. All you could taste was cinnamon. The Granny Smith’s tart flavor makes the apple taste pop a bit more, just like in these paleo apple muffins.

Apple brownies with an amazingly easy caramel frosting! (gluten-free, whole grain and all-purpose flour options)

If making the gluten-free version, you’ll probably want to chill the brownies before cutting them as they’re a bit more delicate than the all-purpose flour and whole wheat versions.

And if you make the all-purpose version, you may want to refrigerate them, anyway, as chilling makes them a bit firmer, fudgier and easier to eat. So. Just refrigerate them. :)

For another caramel treat, try this amazing looking Caramel Macchiato! Enjoy. :)

Apple Blondies with Caramel Frosting (gluten-free, whole grain, all-purpose options)

Rated 5.0 by 6 readers
Apple Brownies With Easy Caramel Frosting (gluten-free, whole grain, all-purpose options)
  • Prep Time:
  • Cook Time:
  • Ready in:
  • Yield: 12-16 blondies


    For the blondies:

  • 1 1/2 cups (188 grams) whole wheat flour, white whole wheat flour, whole spelt flour, or all-purpose flour or the below gluten-free flour mix for a gluten-free version1
  • 1 tablespoon + 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups (300 grams) light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs (50 grams each, out of shell), room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups (180 grams) peeled Granny Smith apple chunks (about 1/4" in size)
  • For the topping:

  • 1 cup (110 grams) chopped pecans
  • 6 tablespoons (75 grams) light brown sugar, packed
  • 3 tablespoons (42 grams) unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons + 3/4 teaspoons milk
  • pinch of salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2/3 - 1 cup (80-120 grams) powdered sugar, sifted if lumpy


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 °F (176 °C) and line an 8"x8" pan with a sheet of parchment paper.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the flour, 1 tablespoon cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the melted butter, brown sugar, and vanilla extract.
  4. Beat in the eggs, one by one, and stir just until combined.
  5. Fold in the dry mixture, stirring just until no streaks of flour remain.
  6. Mix the peeled apple chunks with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon and fold the cinnamon apples into the batter, making sure not to overmix.
  7. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 25-32 minutes or until the edges have lightly browned and the middle jiggles just slightly.
  8. Place the pecans on a rimmed cookie sheet and bake them for 4-7 minutes, stirring them halfway through, or until they smell roasted. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.
  9. When the blondies have cooled, prepare the frosting.
  10. In a small saucepan over medium heat, mix together the brown sugar, butter, milk and salt.
  11. Whisking continuously, bring the mixture to a boil and boil for 1 minute, while continuing to whisk continuously. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the salt and vanilla (it will bubble).
  12. Gradually whisk in 2/3 cup powdered sugar and mix until smooth and no lumps of sugar remain. Taste and add up to another 1/3 cup powdered sugar, if desired.
  13. Stir occasionally for about 3 minutes or until the frosting has slightly thickened. Immediately pour over the cooled blondies. If it's thickened too much, place back on the heat for a few moments.
  14. Spread the frosting over the cooled blondies and top with the chopped pecans.
  15. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Can be stored at room temperature for 1 day.


  1. For the gluten-free version, use:
    • 1 1/2 cups white rice flour
    • 1/3 cup potato starch
    • 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons tapioca flour / starch
    • 1⁄2 teaspoon xanthan gum

Source: My post on My Baking Addiction – Caramel Apple Blondies

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37 comments on “Apple Brownies With Easy Caramel Frosting (gluten-free, whole grain, all-purpose options)” — Add one!

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  • Kelly Barcroft
    November 2, 2016 @ 5:37 pm

    I guess I would say they just tasted like apple coffee cake but I don’t think from looking at your pictures that I got the same texture as yours. They were definitely more cake-like than anything. They just reminded em of a apple coffee cake my dad used to make me when I was little. I think in the future I would probably add less powdered sugar to the frosting to try to keep it gooier…mine hardened. It was still good but I love gooey!

    • Erin replies to Kelly Barcroft
      November 2, 2016 @ 6:36 pm

      That is so strange! I bet it has to do with apples. Maybe the varying water content plays a bigger role than I thought. I have several apple recipes that I make and have made so many times and every now and then, they’ll come out much cakier than they usually do. I don’t think I’ve had that issue with non-apple recipes!

  • Isabelle @ Crumb says
    October 19, 2016 @ 5:41 am

    Hellooooooo blondies! I’m usually a bit of a purist when it comes to my blondies, but this apple variation sounds divine… love the extra dose of caramel in the frosting!

  • Aly ~ Cooking In Stilettos says
    October 19, 2016 @ 5:17 am

    Two perfect flavors that are scrumptious together – love this recipe!

  • Jessica @Savory Experiments says
    October 18, 2016 @ 9:37 pm

    This is heaven in a bar! I can’t wait to try them!

  • Sharon @ What The Fork Food Blog says
    October 18, 2016 @ 8:48 pm

    This is such a great fall dessert!

  • Miranda
    October 18, 2016 @ 8:47 pm

    Everything about these blondies is so delicious! Perfect for fall!

  • Angie | Big Bear's Wife says
    October 18, 2016 @ 5:28 pm

    I love any type of dessert that combines apples and caramel. it’s one of my weaknesses! I bet the tartness of the granny smiths is awesome.

  • kellie @ the suburban soapbox says
    October 18, 2016 @ 2:41 pm

    OMG…they look amazing! I won’t mind having a bad day if it means I get to eat a stack of these!

  • Jessica | Novice Chef says
    October 18, 2016 @ 2:20 pm

    Seriously, my husband will LOVE these! He’ll be obsessed with the pecans!

  • Sabrina says
    October 18, 2016 @ 9:31 am

    Blondies are a favorite in our house! This is a great recipe to make for them!

  • Maris (In Good Taste) says
    October 18, 2016 @ 4:38 am

    Those look seriously indulgent!

  • carrie @ frugal foodie mama says
    October 18, 2016 @ 3:58 am

    These blondies are fall dessert perfection! And I just love that caramel frosting. :)

  • Amanda | The Chunky Chef
    October 18, 2016 @ 2:45 am

    Whoa… those are some seriously delicious blondies!!

  • Heather | All Roads Lead to the Kitchen says
    October 18, 2016 @ 2:31 am

    I’d take a break from pumpkin any day if it meant apples! These look so gooey and scrumptious.

  • Charlotte Moore
    October 18, 2016 @ 1:56 am

    Oh my how delicious this looks. I love to use apples and cinnamon. YUM!!

    • Erin replies to Charlotte Moore
      October 18, 2016 @ 5:45 pm

      Thanks, Charlotte! I hope you get the chance to try them. I bet your family would love them. :)

  • Kelly Barcroft
    October 18, 2016 @ 1:13 am

    These look insanely delicious. I have several fall parties coming up and these are calling my name to be baked and hopefully make it to the party with only a few missing from the tray. I’m drooling just looking at the picture!

    • Erin replies to Kelly Barcroft
      October 18, 2016 @ 5:46 pm

      Thank you! I hope they’ll be the hit of the party and that you’ll be able to not eat them all beforehand. Or is that just me? ;)

      • Kelly Barcroft
        replies to Erin
        November 2, 2016 @ 5:30 pm

        I made these for a Halloween party. To me they tasted like apple coffee cake. So good. Definitely have to make again!

        • Erin replies to Kelly Barcroft
          November 2, 2016 @ 5:33 pm

          Apple coffee cake?! That’s interesting. Did they just taste like apple coffee cake, or was the texture like that, too? Because coffee cake is definitely not the texture I got. ;) But either way, I’m happy you enjoyed them! Thanks for your comment.

  • Stephanie says
    October 17, 2016 @ 10:20 pm

    Wowza! These look amazing! Such a great flavor for a fall blondie!

  • Lora @savoringitaly says
    October 17, 2016 @ 8:16 pm

    This is the kind of dessert I would love to have any day of the week when it’s apple season. I like that they aren’t fudgy or cakey. The GF option is great for when I have my GF friends over for a visit!!


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