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apple brownies

Last weekend, we bought some beautiful honeycrisp apples from the farmer’s market. They have been sitting on the counter, looking all shiny and pretty for the past few days. My dad loves apple pie, and now that it is officially fall, I felt that I should bake him one.
However, the thought of making a pie crust on a Tuesday night didn't excite me -- and the thought of using store bought crust for the first pie of the year made me a bit sad. So, I made these apple brownies -- and everyone was excited and no one was sad.

I clipped this recipe from the back of Living. I often find my recipes on Pinterest and other recipe blogs, so I always feel good when I bake something from a clipping or cookbook. It makes me feel a bit old fashioned, a bit rustic, a bit more self-sufficient. Plus, it helps with the "sticky keyboard" issues I often encounter.

These brownies are a cinch to make -- I whipped these brownies up even faster than the chocolate version (dare I say these brownies are as delicious as my super-fudgy chocolate version?!). They are moist, tasty, and loaded with fall flavor. They have a flaky crust, just like chocolate brownies, but are full of soft crumbs and sweet apple chunks. Plus, these are super easy to slice and ea: no mess, no forks, no hassle - making them perfect for back to school bake sales.

I never understood the whole "bring-your-teacher-an-apple" phenomenon. Why do elementary teachers use the apple motif of everything?! After making these brownies, I finally understood. Bring some of these to class, and you will be the teacher's pet. Guaranteed. 

With love,

  • 1 stick salted butter, melted and cooled, plus more for dish
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 large firm-sweet apples (about 1 pound total), peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (2 3/4 cups)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees with rack in center position. Generously butter an 8-by-11-inch baking dish.
  2. Whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, beat together butter, sugar, and egg with a mixer until pale, about 2 minutes. Add walnuts and apples, and stir by hand until combined. Add flour mixture, and stir until combined, about 30 seconds more.
  3. Spread batter in pan, and bake until golden brown and slightly firm, about 40 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack 30 minutes, then cut into 12 bars.
Bars can be stored in an airtight container up to 5 days.

Adapted from Martha Stewart's Living , October 2012


  1. Finally brownies my mom can enjoy! She's one of those weird people who don't like chocolate so I don't make much chocolate desserts because I don't want it to just be me and my siblings indulging in the sin. What flavour of ice cream do you recommend eating with this? Good old fashion vanilla or something less simple?


    1. That's awesome! Surprisingly enough, I am not too much of a chocolate lover either. I would much rather devour something cinnamony or fruity! These brownies would be delicious with vanilla ice cream (my favorite is haagen daaz). They would also be great with cinnamon ice cream (I had it at a restaurant in San Francisco and it was divine). Or honey ice cream, or even some sort of caramel ice cream (it would be just like caramel apple pie!)

  2. Ooooh I love it! I've never heard of apple brownies before. My mom just brought me a sack of green apples from our backyard tree and I was thinking about all the apple desserts I could make...have you heard of Sweet Tango apples? They're my new sweet-tart fave and I would love using them in these brownies!

    1. Those sound like they would be perfect for these brownies! I have never heard of sweet tango apples, but they sound delicious :) I am a fan of tart apples, so I am sure that I would love them!

  3. Apple brownies?! Craaazy-but in a good way :D

  4. These look incredible!
    It's actually too funny... I purchased the same magazine several days ago and clipped out this recipe! (In fact, I almost made them this morning but decided against it and baked cupcakes instead....)
    They look SO delicious! And the picture of the apple at the top of your post is amazing!
    I'm kind of craving apple brownies now...
    Can't wait to see what you post next!

    1. Thanks so much Abby!
      How did your apple brownies turn out? We finished the entire pan in less than 2 days!
      I find it so funny that we clipped the exact same recipe :) Good minds think alike right? ;)

  5. Ooooh Apple Brownies, what an awesome idea!!! I need some of these in my life..... I guess if you're feeling extra naughty they would be good drizzled in maple syrup :D x x x

    1. Oh my goodness I like the way you think ;) My favorite naughty way to eat these is warmed up in the microwave with a big scoop of cinnamon ice cream.

  6. These look fabulous. I wonder if they would work with a streusel cinnamon topping...just for some extra fall flavour...?

    1. Ohh! What a great idea! If you try that, definitely let me know how it turns out!

  7. Delicious!! Deep toasty cinnamon flavor, which was a nice surprise. Easy to make, love that it's all in one bowl. I cut down sugar to 1,5 cups, I think even less would be ok, and I did half white sugar, half brown sugar to help get a caramelized taste. This is a recipe I will repeat!! thx :-)

  8. oops, sorry I commented on the wrong page. Will have to try your recipe next :)

  9. These look yummy! Just wondering if the butter could be substituted with applesauce or yoghurt? thanks :)

    1. You could try substituting yogurt -- although I would be afraid that these brownies would lose some of their richness. That being said, you could definitely halve the sugar!

  10. Thanks so much for this lovely recipe. I tried it out today with a cinnamon and pecan streusel topping, and the combination was beautiful. Having said that, I think the fact that the cake was covered in streusel may have made the texture of the cake turn out more moist than it would have otherwise. We still loved it though! :)

    1. That sounds lovely! Streusel would definitely make these better, I will try that out next time I whip a batch of these together in the fall!

  11. Thank you for sharing this lovely recipe! I tried it out today with a cinnamon and pecan streusel topping, and the combination was beautiful! Having said that, though, I think covering the cake with topping meant that the texture of the cake turned out a bit more moist than it would have otherwise. We still loved it - thanks!

  12. I made a batch of these yesterday – they are so delicious! They have a really nice cinnamon flavor, and everybody loved the chewy chunks of apple within. (I'm happy to say the entire batch is gone already!) Thank you for sharing!


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