These Paleo Caramel Apple Blondies are the perfect celebration of apple season. They’re decadent with a hint of cinnamon and gluten free as well.
The beginning of fall for me always starts with apple season! I know many people are super excited about pumpkin, but for me my go-to fall flavor has always been apple. And what’s more fall inspired than caramel and apple together?
So I thought that combo might be nice put together into a blondie brownie situation. And as it would happen that was a good idea – I mean of course right – what’s not to love?!
There’s just one little secret in these blondies that really sets up all the other flavors. It’s a secret I learned from the way my mother in law makes her apple crisp. She always includes some fresh orange juice and/or orange zest, and it really makes it next level.
I thought I’d try the same principle with these blondies as they’re similar flavor profiles. And I ended up being really glad I did because the orange is so key to brightening up every other flavor going on here.
Step 1 – Roasting the apples: The apple chunks are tossed with cinnamon and a touch of caramel before they’re roasted until golden. This is really key because it concentrates the flavor but it also removes the moisture so there’s no soggy pockets in your blondies.
Step 2 – Mixing up the batter: While the apples are roasting, you mix together the batter with the secret ingredient – orange zest.
Step 3 – Putting it all together: Once you have both the roasted apples and blondie batter, it’s time to prepare the pan to bake them together. I like to cut 2 strips of parchment paper to lay crosswise as you can see in the above photo. That way after the blondies cool, you can lift the blondies out of the pan to serve. This is only necessary if you want to show them off on a platter or cake stand. Otherwise just grease the pan really well and serve them right out of the baking dish.
What Types of Apples To Use for Baking:
- McIntosh are my favorites for baking, and they’re usually available at health food stores or farmer’s markets, unless you’re lucky enough to know someone/have your own apple tree.
- Sweet Sixteen have a remarkable flavor, but they can be more difficult to track down.
- Granny Smith is my universal go-to for a baking apple that pretty much everyone can find in any grocery store.
Baking Tips for these Paleo Caramel Apple Blondies:
- If you’re not up for making the caramel sauce listed in the recipe, use your favorite store bought sauce.
- Use a super fine almond flour for the best possible texture. I recently had a batch from my favorite brand that was quite granular which of course made for a gritty batch of blondies.
- Use a toothpick to determine if these are done. It’s ok with blondies and brownies if moist crumbs or even a touch of batter comes out on the toothpick if you like your blondies/brownies to be on the dense very moist side. My personal opinion is better off on the moister, (sorry if that word bugs you, but it’s really the best adjective to use in regards to baking) side than to be dry.
And finally, if you’re just as excited about apple season as I am, I hope you’ll enjoy a few recipes from the inspiration below!
- Cinnamon Cranberry Apple Crisp
- Apple Pie Skillet Cake
- Slow Cooker Apple Pie Filling
- Honey Mustard Chicken Apple Skillet Dinner
- Crockpot Applesauce
- 3 Quick and Easy Apple Slice Snacks
- Grain Free Caramel Apple Pie Bars
- Grain Free Glazed Cinnamon Apple Streusel Muffins
- Spinach Salad with Honeycrisp Apples, Pomegranates, and Candied Nuts
- Apple Pie Pancakes with Bacon Vanilla Bean Syrup
The classic caramel and apple combination turned into decadent blondie brownies!
2 Granny Smith or other baking apples, 1 pound, peeled and diced into 1/2” pieces
1 Teaspoon ground cinnamon, Vietnamese cinnamon is my favorite
2 Tablespoons caramel sauce, I used this Double Coconut Salted Caramel Sauce
Blondie Brownie Base:
2 cups fine almond flour
1/4 cup tapioca starch
1 Teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 Teaspoons baking powder, see notes
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1/4 Teaspoon sea salt
2 Teaspoons orange zest, grated with a microplane
6 Tablespoons melted ghee or butter
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
Topping: 1/4-1/3 cup additional caramel sauce for drizzling
Preheat the oven to 400ºF and line a cookie sheet with parchment.
Toss the apples, cinnamon, and caramel sauce together on the parchment. Spread the apples out evenly and roast until tender and caramelized, 20-25 minutes.
While the apples cook lightly grease an 8″ baking pan. Cut 2 strips of parchment paper the width of the baking pan, then place them into the pan crosswise.
In a medium sized bowl, mix together the almond flour, tapioca starch, cinnamon, baking powder, coconut sugar, sea salt, and orange zest until completely combined.
When the apples are done, remove them from the oven and lower the heat to 350ºF. Finish mixing together the blondie brownie base by adding the ghee, eggs, and vanilla. Mix until a stiff batter forms. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared baking pan, then top with the caramelized apples and bake until puffed in the middle and a toothpick inserted comes out with moist crumbs, 20-25 minutes.
Let the blondie brownies cool for at least 15 minutes on a cooling rack before carefully lifting them out of the pan. Drizzle with additional caramel sauce and serve warm or at room temperature.
Baking powder can often have additives which means it’s not always gluten free or paleo. To be on the safe side, you can make your own by using 1 part baking soda and 2 parts cream of tartar, and using the mixture right away.
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: Baking, Paleo, Gluten Free, Caramel Apple, Apple, Grain Free