Chocolate Swirl Blondies


Brownies are hands down my favorite dessert to make for an easy, crazy delicious sugar fix. They please crowds, dry tears, and aid in creating that necessary layer of winter blubber. Normally I make my tried and true recipe I got from the Black Apple, with the edition of sea salt on top. Ever since this recipe entered my life years ago, it’s been bliss. But recently I’ve been craving blondies – brownies pale, caramel-y tasting cousin. If you’ve never had them they are essentially brownies without the chocolate and lots of brown sugar. As a kid my mom would make me bake them for her when I was in trouble. This is something I can laugh at in hindsight and store in my back pocket for future tweens and teenagers that may be in my life, but for a long time I couldn’t look at them due to overly dramatic teenage negative connotations. But I decided 15 years was enough space and gave them a go. But most of the recipes didn’t do it for me and involved a blender, which I think is pointless with brownies. So I thought, what if I used my classic brownie recipe but just turned it into blondies? What if blondies are kind of boring and need chocolate chips? What if you guys, what if?

Answer: delicious. I’ve tried them a few different ways and my favorite is using semi sweet chips as they melt into the batter and create a chocolate swirl, but you can also chop up hunks of a chocolate bar and get more chunk than swirl. Your choice. They are caramel-y, with bits of chocolate, and you will need to hide them from yourself.

Chocolate Swirl Blondies (Or chocolate chunk, if you want)
recipe base thanks to The Black Apple

You need: 1 medium sized pot, parchment (optional), and an 8″ sq. baking pan/dish

1 stick butter (8 tbsp)
1 1/2 C brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/4 C flour
Pinch salt + more for dusting
Tbsp vanilla
1 C semi sweet chocolate chips or chunks of chopped chocolate bar.

Preheat oven to 390 F (yes, that’s right). Melt butter in a medium pot over medium heat. I like to brown the butter, but it’s not entirely necessary. Remove from heat and let it cool slightly. Add brown sugar to the pot and mix well. Add eggs, flour, salt, and vanilla. Once well mixed, fold in your chocolate chips. Mix until the chocolate melts a bit and swirls in, but don’t overmix to entirely melt it.  Pour into a buttered baking pan or a parchment-lined baking pan. Sprinkle the top evenly with sea salt or kosher salt. Bake for 20-25 minutes. They will be gooey and should rest, if you can help it, for at least an hour before you dive in. They will be even more delicious the next day. Store them covered at room temperature, preferably in an airtight container.


  1. says

    Yum! I happen to have all the ingredients on hand, I’m going to attempt a gluten free variation of these right now :) I’ve been needing a good blondie…..

  2. vanessa says

    Thanks for sharing this delicious recipe! I made them as a snack on sunday night. Just curious, how did you get the chocolate chips to “swirl” in? By the time I added them my mixture was room temperature (brown butter had cooled down slightly) so the chips weren’t able to melt. Maybe it’s that lack of LA warmth that we’re missing in New England?? ;-)

    either way, chocolate was involved, so these were gooood!

    • says

      interesting, maybe it was the weather, ha! I only let it slightly cool down and maybe I just know the recipe now so well that I can put the other ingredients in quickly? I they didn’t completely melt and not all melted, and I felt like the pieces that had the less melted chocolate were even more delicious, I will admit.

  3. Lily says

    Melissa Clark posted a recipe for blondies a while ago on Saveur. I’ve made them a few times and they’ve been very, very well-received! Might be a good experiment if you wanted to try a “true” blondie recipe?

    • says

      I just looked it up and it’s pretty much the same recipe but with white chocolate instead of semi-sweet chips, and she uses a lot more flour, so I think it results in a cake-y-er blondie? But everything else is very similar!

  4. Maham says

    Hi Kate!

    I’m a total fan of your chocolate chip cookies recipe!!! I was going to make these blondies too but since I’m a Brit, I’m slightly unsure about a few things – would be eternally grateful for your help!!!

    – A cup of brown sugar; would that be packed cup of brown sugar or just a lightly filled cup? Is soft brown sugar okay for this too?
    – Salted or unsalted butter? If using salted, then omitting the extra sprinkle of salt would be better right?
    – Is Himalayan salt an okay substitute?


    Maham xx

    • says

      Hi Maham!

      – yes, a packed cup, I just googled it and it looks like in the UK brown sugar is what we refer to here in the states as sugar in the raw/turbinado sugar. And the brown sugar I’m familiar with and use in this recipe is soft. I hope that helps, ha!
      – I always use unsalted butter when baking, because I think the sprinkled salt on top is really special and different from more salt in the actual batter – it adds a little crunch of salt.
      – I think it’s a great and probably even better salt to use!

      good luck!!

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