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The search for the best blondie recipe first stalled a few years ago when all the recipes on the first few pages of Google looked very similar. What ARE blondies, you ask? You can think of them as the cocoa-less cousin of brownies. Blondies characteristically include melted butter for chewiness (vs. creamed butter used in most traditional American cookies), which is the principal feature that sets them apart from say, a cookie cake. More on what exactly a blondie is below!
Anyway, after many requests for a blondie bake off, I finally committed to some deeper research. And after many unique recommendations from you on Instagram, I’m delighted to share 9 distinctive blondie recipes and how 25 tasters rated them! Let’s dive in.
- 25 total tasters
- All blondies were baked in a glass or metal 9×13 pan lined with parchment paper (if the recipe specified an 8×8 or 9×9 pan, I doubled the recipe)
- Tasters tasted the blondies the same day they were baked
- Each taster ranked each blondie on a scale from 0-10 for flavor, texture and overall as a whole
- I tried to limit testing to chocolate chip blondies or plain blondie recipes for consistency. If a recipe called for chocolate AND nuts, I omitted the nuts. If a recipe called for a mix in other than chocolate chips (for example: Mozz at Home), I swapped in a standard amount of chocolate chips (1 cup per 8×8 pan).
- Gold Medal Flour
- Trader Joe’s premium extra-virgin olive oil
- Kirkland butter
- Muscovado sugar
- Bob’s Red Mill oat flour
- Malted milk powder
- Trader Joe’s semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Imperial granulated and brown sugar
PARTNER NOTE: I’m delighted to be partnering with Imperial Sugar on this bake off as I’ve consistently used their consistent, high-quality pure cane sugar products throughout my bake offs. Imperial Sugar is non-GMO verified, allergen free and gluten-free!
For more sweet inspiration, you can visit Imperial Sugar to find more than 4,000 expert-tested recipes, free downloadable vintage cookbooks, sugar scrubs and bath products at the Sugar Spa, and lots of helpful guides on their blog. You can also check out their Pinterest, You Tube, Instagram for even more recipe inspiration!
A blondie is a type of bar cookie that resembles a brownie but doesn’t contain any cocoa. They most frequently use melted butter and brown sugar for a moist, chewy texture and molasses-y flavor. They may also have crackly tops similar to a brownie. Blondies often include some sort of mix in (like chocolate chips, nuts, candy, etc.), though some recipes consist of a plain cookie bar. The ingredients are typically whisked by hand, making these an easy baking item.
Most blondie recipes include just a few simple ingredients: butter, brown sugar, eggs, flour and salt. Other popular ingredients include baking powder, vanilla, granulated sugar or an add-in like chocolate chips.
While many blondie recipes are designed for an 8×8 or 9×9 pan, 9×13 is also a typical size for blondies. You can easily double blondie recipes written for an 8×8 or 9×9 pan (though you may need to add an extra 5-10 minutes of bake time). You can also easily halve a recipe written for a 9×13 for an 8×8 or 9×9 pan (check the pan around 5 minutes early to make sure they don’t overbake).
This depends on the desired texture. For a chewy, gooey-centered blondie, look for golden edges and a just-set center. It shouldn’t jiggle but it may look a bit underdone and feel soft when you press it. That’s perfect as the blondie will continue to cook in the pan after you take them out of the oven. For more cakey blondies, bake them until the center is set and feels relatively firm when you press it with a finger.
Stored in an airtight container, blondies will stay good at room temperature for 3-4 days. I like to store mine in the fridge to keep them fresh for up to a week. They will also freeze well for several weeks if wrapped in foil or plastic wrap and placed in a plastic bag.
Chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, nuts, cranberries, Nutella, cinnamon sugar, salted caramel, sprinkles, pretzels, potato chips, or coconut. You can add pretty much anything you like!
As always, I always recommend reading through the entire blog post to understand the profile of each recipe and decide which sounds best to you. Although my favorites did match the top-rated recipes, I also really liked a few that didn’t match the crowd favorites. And please always take the results with a grain of salt as any results could be my own baker error rather than the fault of the recipe.
It’s definitely worth noting that Molly Yeh was the only blondie made with olive oil, and I think the different flavor profile was a huge factor in the lower ratings. Also: when deciding when to take these out of the oven, I always erred on a more underdone, gooey blondie than more cooked/cakey-textured.
I do truly believe most of these recipes are delicious and worth making, so go forth and bake!
Factors in blondies
When I first did a sweep for recipes, I couldn’t find many that differed dramatically from the classic melted butter/brown sugar/egg/flour situation. However, many of you brought a lot of interesting recipes to my attention on Instagram. (I still regret not having room to try Ovenly’s honey blondies!!) Below are the biggest factors among all nine recipes:
- Creamed vs. melted butter: Many of you reported that Ina Garten’s blondies, with its creamed butter, are simply chocolate chip bar cookies rather than true blondies. 99% of all blondie recipes I collected are made with melted butter, and this is presumably for the chewy texture that melted butter lends to baked goods. Creaming tends to incorporate a lot of air, leading to a more airy, crumbly texture. Mozz at Home (adapted from Dorie Greenspan) was the only recipe to use creamed butter. While they were relatively crumbly compared to others, I think the high ratio of sugar helped keep these quite chewy. (The crumbliness could have also been due to baker error.) Ultimately, melted butter is probably the easier and superior route in blondies–but a high ratio of sugar can also contribute to grew chew.
- Eggs: A classic blondie recipe typically uses 1 egg to 1 cup flour/1 cup sugar. I found the recipes that used more like 1.5-2 eggs per 1 cup of flour or sugar (Bravetart, Molly Yeh) tended to be more cakey due to all the extra moisture. However, recipes that used extra yolks (Broma Bakery, Sarah Kieffer, Buttermilk by Sam) tended to be more rich and chewy. Coincidence or no that all recipes with extra egg yolks ended up in the top three spots? It’s clear that the extra fat lent from an egg yolk is a bonus if you want more chew.
- Leavener: Three recipes omitted a chemical leavener: Smitten Kitchen, Buttermilk by Sam and Bravetart. Fascinatingly, these recipes all turned out very differently! Bravetart, with a lengthy 8-minute whipping of the batter, results in a fluffy, almost cakey texture thanks to egg aeration. Smitten Kitchen, our “benchmark” blondie with melted butter, resulted in a dense and fudgy bar. Buttermilk by Sam, which is an almost spot-on 1.5x version of Smitten Kitchen but with all oat flour, retained a slightly more airy, classically chewy texture. This could be due in part to the specific whisking times, which likely incorporated a little more air into the egg than SK. But I think it’s also due in part to the different properties of oat flour. My takeaway: I generally prefer using melted butter + chemical leavener to get some lift for a chewy but not overly fudgy blondie. I think incorporating air via eggs runs the risk of a cakier-than-desired texture. No leavener runs the risk of a too-fudgy blondie (unless there’s no such thing in your world).
- Corn syrup: America’s Test Kitchen was the only recipe to use corn syrup in an attempt to reduce sweetness. Corn syrup is an invert sugar which essentially means that it can make desserts chewier and softer as it retains moisture more readily than other sugars (like granulated). Per King Arthur: “Invert sugars also interfere with recrystallization upon cooling, which helps make cookies crisp.” By using corn syrup in their recipe, ATK created a blondie that is relatively soft and cakey. Personally, I loved this texture but I know it’s quite far from the classic blondie texture. In general, I would shy away from using corn syrup (or any other invert sugars like honey) unless you know you want blondie that will lean cakey and chewy.
- Metal vs. glass pans: America’s Test Kitchen was the only one to specifically call for a metal pan. I was rotating between 3 pans during this bake off (2 glass, 1 metal), and I did notice that the blondies baked in the metal pan baked more quickly/accurately. While I think you can still get a good result in a glass pan, your blondies may tend to bake more quickly around the edges and remain soft in the middle. Baking in a metal pan is preferable for a more even bake!
Analysis of the Best Blondie Recipes
Molly Yeh: puffy, cakey blondies with a strong olive oil flavor
Although I knew including an olive oil-based blondie in with more conventional butter-based recipes might be tricky, I was curious! Molly’s recipe uses a 1:1 (volume) ratio of flour to dark brown sugar. You whisk a cup of olive oil and 3 eggs into the dry ingredients and pour everything into a pan for a very easy recipe! The original recipe calls for a chocolate frosting, but I omitted it for consistency.
Unfortunately, the olive oil flavor stood out dramatically against the rest of the blondies, and not generally in a good way. I was drawn back to the cakey texture of these, but the flavor was a little too overpowering to eat many. After the blondies sat for a few days, I did find the leftovers had a much milder olive oil flavor. On the plus side–these are SO easy to make. I’d be curious to try these with vegetable oil with a mix in (like chocolate chips, caramel, pretzels) for a more neutral cakey base.
- OLIVE OIL – love the change of pace on the flavor, texture is slightly grainy
- Lighter, fluffier, more cake than brownie
- Love the texture that I assumed was achieved via olive oil, but it tastes oily
- It’s reminiscent of [Bravetart] but less buttery or full of flavor. It’s also denser than [Bravetart] so even on a scale of cakes , it runs a little more unfavorable than others.
- This one looked promising but I didn’t like it. Looks like it would be chewy but it’s very cakey, bit dry.
Smitten Kitchen: a dense, fudgy blondie packed with chocolate
Deb’s recipe stood out for its lack of leavener, though she does say you can add baking powder if you wish. Per Deb, blondies have no place for baking powder or soda because that would lead to cakiness instead of her desired chewy texture. This recipe also represents a very popular ratio of ingredients (1 stick of butter, 1 cup each of flour and sugar, 1 egg), so I considered this the benchmark recipe. Note: I omitted the nuts and only added chocolate as the mix in for consistency.
The Kitchn’s blondie bake off noted that leavener might have improved upon the brittle texture and flat appearance. These were indeed among the densest, flattest of the blondies–cutting a piece felt like serving up a decadent slice of fudge. These are perfect if you want a rich, dense bite of a chocolate chip bar. They were lacking a bit of chew and felt quite chocolate-heavy, but I’d love to try these with Deb’s salted caramel pretzel variation!
- Fudgy, denser feeling. Again packed with chocolate but feels like it needs a bit more salt or something to pop.
- Honestly blindfolded I would say this is a brownie. very chocolate heavy but I love chocolate! More dense than the others but still chewy and nice
- A LOOOOT of chocolate here. So much so that I might not even distinguish the batter from the chocolate. A chocolate lovers delight, a blondie batter lovers thorn.
- Texture was more like fudge instead of brownie
- This one tastes like a thick chocolate chip cookie rather than a blondie. There’s too much chocolate in this one for my taste.
America’s Test Kitchen: a thick, highly chewy blondie that leans just slightly cakey with perfect pops of salt
This recipe uses brown butter for “nutty complexity” and replaces some of the sugar with corn syrup to keep these less sweet. A generous 2 tablespoons of vanilla goes into these blondies along with salt both in the batter and on top of the bars. Note: for consistency, I omitted the pecans and used the same semi-sweet chips in all bars instead of milk chocolate chips. This was also the only recipe to call specifically for a metal baking pan as they say a glass baking dish may lead to overbaking.
When fresh, I thought the texture of these were quite similar to Sarah Kieffer–moist, chewy and delightfully flavorful with pops of salt on top. As they dried out slightly overnight, I found the chewy texture also took on a slight cakiness (but retains the chew, thanks to the corn syrup). These almost tear apart in a laffy taffy-esque way in a way I find highly appealing, though it’s quite far from the more traditional chewy/fudgy texture. I really like the idea of these as a flavorful yet not-too-rich backdrop to an indulgent mix in like salted caramel or dark chocolate feves.
- I think this is controversial answer but I loved these. I loved that it was so soft and moist texture and the purity of the vanilla. Also the salt on top was chef’s kiss. More blondies should put a sprinkle of sea salt on the top. It helped balance the sweetness so well
- Love this texture! Very chewy in a good way
- Love the salt! I like the caramel flavor coming through and that there’s a good ratio of blondie to chocolate
- This one tastes more like a cake than a blondie. It’s too dry for me, and it’s sweet without having much depth of flavor.
- Love how salty this is, really balanced flavor. unfortunately texture isn’t great, a little cakey.
- The chocolate felt broken and chalky — and that feels the most contributory to a low score. While it has the other components of a blondie, it’s lacking that classic crust on top. So again, the stodginess feels a little less more cookie dough-y than blondie.
King Arthur: a rich, dense blondie with a crisp glossy top and strong sweetness
King Arthur uses a specific technique to help achieve a consistently shiny blondie top. The recipe starts by melting the sugar and butter together (dissolved sugar is key to a shiny top). To help further dissolve the sugar, eggs are mixed in one by one specifically agitate the batter. Interestingly, this recipe uses the same amount of sugar and a similar amount of eggs/flour to Broma Bakery, but half the amount of butter.
Sure enough, this blondie emerged from the oven with a crisp, shiny top. These were thin and gooey-centered with a good chew. However, if you’re someone who tends to complain that things are “too sweet,” I’d be careful with this recipe. The higher amount of sugar (almost 50%!) relative to the fat/flour makes this blondie quite sweet. I think the rich chewiness of this would pair well with a more neutral or salty mix in like pretzels or chips or a sprinkling of flaky salt on top.
- This one has the crispiest top and classic chewy brownie/blondie texture, I got an edge piece and it wasn’t too hard. Very very chocolatey. they’re all so good but this one is probably my favorite!
- This one reminds me of a Mrs. Field’s chocolate chip cookie. It’s very sweet and has a lot of chocolate in it. I like the crackly top! It’s very chewy and dense.
- Sugar, sugar, sugar, it’s basically cookie cake
- Crazy gooey texture! Flavor was a touch one-note for my liking
- I thought the flavor on these was a little one-note. I loved the texture, which reminded me of a slightly underbaked cookie
- Netural, cookie-like, too sweet, too soft for me
Bravetart: a white chocolate-studded thick and lusciously chewy blondie
Stella’s recipe was by far one of the most unique recipes I stumbled upon. The brown butter batter includes both melted Valrhona Blond Dulcey chocolate and malted milk powder for extra flavor. Stella uses a generous amount of butter, eggs, flour and sugar for thick blondies that looked similar to the cakey texture of Molly’s blondies. However, Stella doesn’t call for any leavener in her recipe, calling for whipping the egg-heavy batter for 8 minutes instead.
This aeration (and generous amount of eggs in general) led to a tall, evenly-crumbed blondie. While it looked quite similar to Molly’s tall and cakey blondie, it was quite a bit chewier. I think this is actually more similar in texture to America’s Test Kitchen, though it does a better job of striking the perfect, elusive balance between slightly cakey and satisfyingly chewy. Even though I’m not a huge white chocolate fan, I thought this flavor, with its perfect salt level, was DELICIOUS. The white chocolate flavor won’t hit you over the head if you’re not looking for it, but it reminds me of birthday cake. Overall, a stunner–one of my favs! I’d struggle to think of the right mix in to use here because the flavor shines so beautifully on its own. (Maybe white chocolate chips and a toasted nut?)
- I love the soft texture of these and just simple but delicious vanilla taste. This is also the one I kept coming back to at the end of the tasting
- It’s tall and chewy and buttery with a good salt balance. Nice crust on top!
- This one might have the most “blondie” flavor because there’s no chocolate. Nice gooey butter cake texture. Tastes like a birthday vanilla cupcake if that makes sense!
- No chocolate, which I love! It’s what I look for in a blondie, well balanced flavor but I wish it had a tad more saltiness. The texture is the perfect balance between fudgy with a slight cakey-ness
- The salt balance in this one is perfect, great texture not too dense
- The aeration and density is perfect for cake but it’s the further from what I expect a blondie to be. A little too eggy
Mozz at Home: a dark brown sugar-y blondie with crumbly edges and a chewy, gooey center
This recipe, adorably dubbed “Amy’s Brunettes” came via a recommendation on Instagram. It’s an adaptation of Dorie Greenspan’s recipe with slightly more butter, flour and sugar along with muscovado sugar, toasted pine nuts and thyme leaves sprinkled on top. This was the only recipe to use creamed butter instead of melted butter. (For consistency, I omitted the pine nuts and thyme and added a cup of chocolate chips instead.)
This was the only recipe to bake at 325 and I accidentally baked it at 350 for 20 minutes before catching my error–leading to more crispy-topped/edged blondies than intended. Looking at these compared to the others, it’s easy to see why they were dubbed Brunettes–the darker color almost makes it feel like chocolate was melted into the batter. While the author notes you can use additional dark brown sugar in place of the muscovado sugar, I think the muscovado does lends these a uniquely caramelized, almost smoky flavor. With one of the lowest ratios of egg and highest fat/higher sugar ratio, these were extremely chewy with crunchy edges. I do think baker’s error contributed somewhat to the more crackly edges. However, I also think the aeration from the creamed butter made these a bit more crumbly and airy (rather than fudgy) compared to those made with melted butter. These were very flavorful and unique, but it’s quite a commitment of ingredients and I’m not sure I’d regularly turn to these over a more classic recipe.
- Loved this!!! Browned butter or something?? Love the crackle and crispness
- Maybe my favorite?! Some burnt bits, differentiation in texture, and it’s honestly just a refreshing departure from the previous 8 blondies
- It tastes burnt in a good way! Yummy brown def butter vibes, like a cookie left in the oven too long, love the crust on this!
- Very rich and flavorful, would recommend this to chocolate lovers. slightly burnt flavor, very dense and crunchy
- It’s a little darker in flavor than my “ideal” blondie, but everything else is there. Crust, chocolate chips, soft center (without being too underbaked and gooey), developed and full nutty browned flavors (without actually resorting to nuts). Easily my favorite of the night
- Seems like there’s chocolate in the batter? It tastes a little more like a brownie than a blondie
- I think some people might like this one, but to me, it tastes a bit burnt and it’s very chewy.
Sarah Kieffer: a glossy-topped, flavorful and chewy blondie
Sarah’s recipe was intriguing with brown butter, 4 extra egg yolks and a mix of white and brown sugar. (This was the only recipe to use a 1:1 ratio of brown to granulated sugar.) She also uses a generous 1.5 tablespoons of vanilla and a mix of bittersweet chopped chocolate and semisweet chocolate chips. It’s also interesting to note that Sarah uses similar volumes to Broma Bakery but bakes her blondies in a 9×13 vs. Broma’s similar recipe calls for a 9×9 (I.e. Sarah’s are thinner).
This blondie was so delightfully chewy! As I mentioned, the texture actually felt quite similar to America’s Test Kitchen on day one, though Sarah had more of a fudgy edge. I really loved the pillowy chew of this blondie. Aesthetically, it looks like a quintessential blondie with a glossy top and slim, uniformly chewy/slightly gooey interior. I loved the strong vanilla flavor, good salt balance, and restrained amount of chocolate. A pretty perfect blondie! I feel most mix ins would work well in this recipe.
- It’s CHEWY, like almost tears away with a puffy, cakey texture (but not dry at all). Still slightly fudgy in the center and a strong vanilla flavor, not too much chocolate. One of my favs so far.
- A little less sweet than the others which I prefer. So buttery and chewy, and better chocolate ratio than some others
- Classic blondie, light in texture
- Buttery, slightly doughier but love the buttery flavor (like pound cake)
- It has a pretty strong butterscotch/brown sugar flavor and it’s very soft. If you like a softer, less chewy blondie, this one is great.
- I really liked the texture on these, but felt like it just tasted like chocolate chips. I prefer blondies with more balanced or even minimal chocolate flavoring
Buttermilk by Sam: a thick and chewy, slightly gooey oat-based blondie with a tiny bit of graininess
In a sea of very similar blondie recipes, I was intent on finding a recipe with an interesting alternative flour and Sam’s recipe delivered! She uses 100% oat flour–store-bought is recommended for a finer texture and more thickening power. (This recipe is great for gluten-free folks as long as you buy certified gluten-free flour.) The recipe ratios are almost an exact 150% version of the Smitten Kitchen recipe–Sam also doesn’t use any leavener–for slightly thicker blondies.
I absolutely loved the tender chewiness of these satisfyingly tall blondies. They have all the characteristics of a classic blondie–a shiny top, a gooey, underbaked middle with a delightfully sweet chew. But I think the oat flour gives these extra depth both in terms of a nuttier, earthier flavor and just the slightest graininess. If you’re looking for a blondie that will deliver more than a classic cookie cake sweetness, this feels like the perfect recipe for a slightly more complex, interesting flavor. A sophisticated yet still humble and appealing blondie!
- My favorite baked goods are gooey and undercooked, this one definitely gave me that. So buttery and soft and super super sweet
- I liked the texture more in [Broma Bakery] but I prefer this flavor; it feels more caramelized.
- I liked how this one had a slightly more caramelized taste! Slightly nutty, medium chew
- Texture was okay, maybe a little fudge-like. The chocolate flavor here I felt overpowered the blondie which isn’t my preference and it tasted a little too sugary for me.
- Grainy and underbaked texture
Broma Bakery: our quintessentially buttery, perfectly underbaked gooey blondie
Sarah’s popular recipe is similar to Smitten Kitchen but adds an extra egg yolk and a tiny bit of leavener. If you’re a fan of Sally’s Baking Addiction, it’s also somewhat similar but Sarah uses an additional egg. This recipe uses melted butter and is extremely straightforward to whip up!
These were what I would describe as the most “juicy” of the bunch–the butter and sugar come together in a perfectly underbaked center with just enough structure. The thin, glossy lid adds a slight textural contrast without being distractingly crispy. Flavor-wise, these are delightfully buttery with a good level of vanilla and salt. They feel similar to Sarah Kieffer but texturally more gooey and chewy and somehow slightly more buttery. This would be a versatile workhorse for any mix-in. Overall, a fantastic classic and our quintessential blondie!
- It’s the most “classic” of the blondies. Good crust, chewy center, chocolate chips — everything that I want from a blondie is here. The crust is softer than expected, but it’s there and lends well to the gooey center.
- So delicious, really good balance of the vanilla and chocolate flavors. and the texture was excellent – moist and buttery and lovely
- The flavor is sweet and balanced, not too complex. I like how the texture is chewy and soft. There isn’t a distinct crust on the top though.
- Loved the texture, it was moist with a crispy top. Was slightly sweeter for me.
- I liked the gooeyness but it was a tad sweet for my liking
Recommendations for the Best Blondie
Erika’s picks: Broma Bakery, Bravetart, Buttermilk by Sam, America’s Test Kitchen
For a classic blondie: Broma Bakery, Sarah Kieffer
For a chewy, fudgy style: Buttermilk by Sam, King Arthur, Mozz at Home
For a thicker, cakier style: Bravetart, Molly Yeh
Dense and fudgy: Smitten Kitchen
Easiest to make: Smitten Kitchen