Brownies & Bars

3-Layer Apple Pie Blondies Recipe

4.50 from 18 votes
Indulge in these luscious 3-Layer Apple Pie Blondies, which give you buttery streusel topping, tender, caramelized apples, and lush blondies.
A square of 3-Layer Apple Pie Blondies are served on a glass dessert plate. The bottom is golden chewy blondies, then the middle is butterscotch-flavored apple pie filling with soft apple cubes, crowned with buttery and crispy streusel topping. It's topped with a big scoop of white silky vanilla ice cream and drizzled with velvety caramel sauce. Two more plates and caramel sauce are served on the side.

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Hi Bold Bakers!

WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS RECIPE: These heavenly Apple Pie Blondies scream fall with three impressive layers! You get all of the cozy flavors of your favorite harvest-season desserts together in one bite! Without a doubt, it’s the perfect autumn treat, and I’m sure you’ll  find yourself wanting to enjoy it all year long!

I’ve shared this before in my Best-Ever Blondies, but it bears repeating—I actually prefer blondies to brownies! What I love more about this is that the streusel topping is very similar to Apple Crumble, which is the first thing I baked with my mom at the age of seven. It gave me unforgettable fond food memories and I’ve loved the scrumptious caramelized, deep, rich flavor of baked apples ever since.

Table of Contents

What are 3-Layer Apple Pie Blondies?

  • 3-Layer Apple Pie Blondies are a mash-up of blondies, everyone’s favorite butterscotch-flavored apple pie filling, crowned with buttery streusel topping.
  • Blondies first appeared as molasses-flavored bar cookies in the Fannie Farmer Cookbook 1896. They exploded in popularity in the 1980s, and now there’s even a National Blondie Day on January 22.
  • You can enjoy 3-Layer Apple Pie Blondies as is, like a bar cookie, or in a bowl with Vanilla Ice Cream, whipped cream, and Apple Cider Caramel Sauce.

A square of 3-Layer Apple Pie Blondies are served on a glass dessert plate. The bottom is golden chewy blondies, then the middle is butterscotch-flavored apple pie filling with soft apple cubes, crowned with buttery and crispy streusel topping. It's topped with a big scoop of white silky vanilla ice cream and drizzled with velvety caramel sauce.

Tools You Need to Make 3-Layer Apple Pie Blondies

Key Ingredients and Why

Key ingredients for Apple Pie Blondies include blondie batter in a metal baking tray, streusel topping in a glass bowl on the upper right side of the image, apple pie filling with chunks of apple and cinnamon sugar near the bottom right side of the image.

  • All-Purpose Flour

All-purpose flour is the base of these blondies with a protein content of around 11%, so the blondies will be tender, not tough.

  • Brown Sugar

    • Brown sugar sweetens the blondies and gives them a lovely hint of caramel.
    • It has more moisture than white sugar to create a gooey center for the blondies.
    • Not only does it cook with the apple juices to make a rich sauce, but brown sugar also creates a pleasant crunch in the topping once baked with the butter, oats, and nuts.
    • Make your own or enrich it using my recipe How to Make Brown Sugar.
  • Quick-Cooking Oats

    • Oats give the 3-Layer Apple Pie Brownies an irresistible crispy, crumbly layer of texture.
    • Quick oats are old-fashioned oats that have been rolled even thinner and broken into smaller pieces.  Since the pieces are smaller, they cook much faster than old-fashioned oats.
    • Learn about the different types of oats in Baking with Oats: A Complete Guide
  • Cinnamon

Cozy, spicy, and sweet cinnamon gives the apple pie and streusel layers their distinctive, comforting flavor.

  • Butter

    • Butter enriches the flavor of the blondie base.
    • It cooks with brown sugar and apple juices to make a luscious thick syrup. And it’s kneaded into the brown sugar to form the crispy oatmeal top.
  • Pecans

Chopped nuts add crunch, and they offset the recipe’s sweetness perfectly.

  • Granny Smith Apples

    • Use Granny Smith apples for the best flavor and texture.
    • Bramley apples will be your go-to cooking apples in Ireland or UK, which are very sour to eat but work beautifully in baking, such as Apple Crumble.
  • Eggs

    • Eggs give the blondies moisture and rich flavor without a mushy texture.
    • Beaten eggs retain air to help blondies rise and make them lighter.
  • Baking Powder

    • Once mixed with liquid, baking powder causes a quick chemical reaction that creates carbon dioxide, creating bubbles in the batter and forming an airier crumb and an overall light, fluffy texture.
    • Make your own with Learn How to Make Baking Powder and Baking Soda Explained and you’ll never run out.

How to Make 3-Layer Apple Pie Blondies

  • Prep

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Butter pan and line with parchment paper.

  • Make the Topping

    • Whisk together the flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt.
    • Mix the cold butter in with your fingers, or use a pastry blender.
  • Make the Apple Layer

Combine the chopped apples with the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, melted butter, and lemon juice.

  • Make the Blondie Base

    • Whisk the brown sugar with melted butter, and then whisk in the egg and vanilla.
    • In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add in the brown sugar and butter mixture. Take care not to over-mix.
    • Check out Why Do You Mix Dry Ingredients and Wet Ingredients Separately? to understand the science behind mixing separately, and why it gives you a better result!
  • Assemble and Bake

    • Spread the blondie batter into the prepared pan.
    • Follow with the apple mixture, and then sprinkle on the streusel topping.
    • Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, until the apples are soft and the topping is crisp.
    • Let cool completely before cutting.

Can I Make 3-Layer Apple Pie Blondies in Advance?

  • Yes, you can make them partly in advance.
  • Prepare the apple filling and the streusel a day ahead, and refrigerate until ready to use.
  • Let the apple filling come to room temperature before baking.

How to Store 3-Layer Apple Pie Blondies

  • The 3-Layer Apple Blondies are best enjoyed the day they’re made.
  • If there are any leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

FAQs

  • Can I make 3-Layer Apple Pie Blondies egg-free?

Yes, you can make this recipe egg-free. Use my guide to 12 Best Egg Substitutes for Baking and How to Use Them to see specific egg substitutes for brownies, which will also work well well in blondies.

  • Can I make 3-Layer Apple Pie Blondies gluten-free?

I’d suggest using my Gluten-Free Blondie Recipe as a base in this recipe. It uses almond flour and coconut oil and has a crisp outside and a moist, rich center.

  • I made blondies once before and they came out greasy. How do I avoid this?

    • Be sure not to over-mix, which will separate fat from oil or butter to yield a greasy result. Also, make sure all ingredients are at room temperature.
    • Overheating butter would separate fat from it or adding eggs to the HOT butter and sugar mixture would cook eggs to cause lumps which led to overmixing. Both would lead to an oily result.
    • DO NOT REMOVE the blondies too early from the pan. Let them cool completely to room temperature in the tin. The remaining heat will yield a perfect fudgy center without overcooking it. Removing it too early will also lead to a raw result.
  • How do I keep my blondies from getting too dry?

    • Do not over-cook! This is important to remember when making blondies
    • Bake the 3-Layer Apple Pie Blondies just until the apples are tender and the streusel is browned.

aA bite was taken from s square of 3-Layer Apple Pie Blondies served on a glass dessert plate. The bottom is golden chewy blondies, then the middle is butterscotch-flavored apple pie filling with soft apple cubes, crowned with buttery and crispy streusel topping. It's topped with a big scoop of white silky vanilla ice cream and drizzled with velvety caramel sauce.

Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips

  • For the streusel, if you don’t have quick-cooking oats, just lightly chop regular old-fashioned oats.
  • You can replace the pecans in the streusel with walnuts or hazelnuts. Toast the nuts for extra flavor.
  • We like tart Granny Smith apples that retain their shape for baking but you can replace them with any variety of apples that you like. Keep in mind that some apple varieties will break down more than others when baked and that may affect the final texture.
  • For an extra sweet treat, make Gemma’s Signature Salted Caramel Sauce and drizzle some on top of the cooled blondies just before serving.
  • You can serve these blondies warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, just like you would for a pie!
  • Serve with Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream and Apple Cider Caramel Sauce on top.

 

More Apple Recipes

Watch The Recipe Video!

3-Layer Apple Pie Blondies Recipe

4.50 from 18 votes
Indulge in these luscious 3-Layer Apple Pie Blondies, which give you buttery streusel topping, tender, caramelized apples, and lush blondies.
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 16 servings
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Indulge in these luscious 3-Layer Apple Pie Blondies, which give you buttery streusel topping, tender, caramelized apples, and lush blondies.
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 16 servings

Ingredients

For the Streusel Topping

  • ¾ cup (3¾ oz/105 g) all-purpose flour
  • cup (2 oz/57 g) dark brown sugar
  • ½ cup (1½ oz/43 g) quick-cooking oats
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ cup (4 oz/115 g) butter, cold and diced
  • ½ cup (2½ oz/71 g) pecans, chopped

For the Apple Layer

  • 3 large (16 oz/450 g) Granny Smith apples, peel and chopped into a 1-inch (3 cm) dice
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon (½ oz/14 g) butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

For the Blondie Base

  • 1⅔ cup (10 oz/285 g) dark brown sugar
  • ¾ cup (6 oz/170 g) butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • cups (7½ oz/213 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Butter and line a 9x13-inch (23x33 cm) baking dish with parchment paper. Set aside.

Make the Streusel Topping

  • In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, oats, salt, and cinnamon.
  • Rub in the cold butter with your fingers (or use a pastry blender) until the mixture is crumbly, then toss in the pecans. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Make the Apple Layer

  • In a medium bowl, combine the chopped apples with the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, melted butter, and lemon juice. Set aside.

Make the Blondie Base

  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the brown sugar and melted butter, then whisk in the eggs and vanilla extract.
  • In a small bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, and salt, then stir into the brown sugar mixture until just combined.
  • Spread the blondie base evenly into your prepared pan, then top with the apples and finally the streusel topping.
  • Bake for 45 - 55 minutes, until the apples are tender and the topping is nicely browned. Let cool completely in the pan before slicing and serving.
  • This is best the day it is made but store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Serve with Vanilla Ice Cream and Apple Cider Caramel Sauce on top.
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Lara
Lara
6 months ago

Soggy blondie. Very disappointed. I think the moisture inherent in the apples seeped into the blondie layer. I used golden delicious apples and baked 55 mins. Topping was brown. Apples cooked. Blondies soggy – not under-cooked – just soggy. Ugg.

Gay
Gay
8 months ago

Can this be frozen?

Leela Saraswat
Leela Saraswat
8 months ago

This is a must make dessert! We’re here in India where apples varieties are lacking. I may cook the apples first before adding the other ingredients.

Carolyn O'Rourke
Carolyn O'Rourke
8 months ago

Made these for my bunco group and it got rave reviews!

About Us

Meet Gemma

About Us

Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, a cookbook author, and the creator of Bigger Bolder Baking. I want to help you bake with confidence anytime, anywhere with my trusted and tested recipes and baking tips. You may have seen one of my 500+ videos on YouTube & TikTok or as a guest judge on Nailed It! on Netflix or the Best Baker in America on Food Network. No matter your skills, my Bold Baking Team & I want to be your #1 go-to baking authority.

 

Weeknight Family Favorites Chapter from the Bigger Bolder Baking Every Day Cookbook