Cinnamon Roll Blondies
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Cinnamon roll blondies are so addicting! It’s a chewy blondie base, swirled with cinnamon sugar and topped with a tangy cream cheese icing — just the way a good cinnamon roll should be!
Hold the phone — I think I just made the most addicting blondies of all time.
These are the holiday treats your family and friends are sure to lose their minds over. I mean, sure everyone loves a good pecan or pumpkin pie, I’m the first one in line when it’s dessert time. But you know, someone is always going to bring one of those to the Thanksgiving or Friendsgiving table. But these? Chewy, addicting, crunchy, cream cheese icing topped cinnamon swirled blondies? They’re something new, they’re handheld, and they are addicting.
I mean, I knew I had a winner when I balanced out the sweetness in these bars with a generous pinch of sea salt. But then I went ahead and topped them with a tangy cream cheese frosting that takes these straight from a 10 to a 15 on my dessert scale. The secret to making addicting chewy blondies is melting the butter and allowing it to mix with the sugar, that’s what we do here, and that’s what makes these the chewy cinnamon roll blondies with a surprise little crunch from the cinnamon-sugar. Trust me when I say this when you take a bite, you get it; you understand why I say you can’t stop eating them.
Be still my cinnamon-sugar loving heart.
I’ve embraced all the cinnamon-sugar goodness this year. Have you had a chance to try out my pumpkin snickerdoodle muffins? They’re super tender muffins topped with a crunchy cinnamon-sugar topping, and I’m telling you, they disappear super fast. But then it got me thinking, what other unexpected desserts can I add cinnamon-sugar to? And I kid you not, the idea for these cinnamon roll blondies was born.
Would you be surprised to know that I’ve already run out of my first container of cinnamon, and we aren’t even knee-deep into the season yet? But I’ll tell you what? I’m not mad about that.
My hips? That’s a story for a different day.
What do you need to make cinnamon roll blondies?
- sugar (brown and granulated)
- baking powder
- ground cinnamon
How do you get that cinnamon sugar swirl?
The trick to get the cinnamon-sugar swirl in the middle of the blondies isn’t a trick at all. It’s as simple as spreading out the blondie batter then, topping it with the cinnamon-sugar and using a knife to make swirls in the batter. The more swirls you make, the more intricate your design will be when you cut into the blondies.
What is in the cream cheese icing for these cinnamon roll blondies?
- cream cheese
- lemon juice
Can I leave off the icing if I don’t want to include it?
You can, but please note that the cinnamon roll blondies might be a little too sweet. The amount of sugar in the bars is nicely balanced when you top them with the icing; they aren’t cloyingly sweet that way as the tang from the icing balances it all out.
How to make cinnamon roll blondies:
It’s pretty simple and straightforward to make cinnamon roll blondies; in fact, you can even make them without a mixer!
- First, we prep. So start by preheating the oven and spraying the baking dish with cooking spray. Then you’re going to combine the brown sugar and the cinnamon for the cinnamon-sugar topping; set it aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the melted butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until combined. Then whisk in the eggs, one at a time, and finally add the vanilla and mix. Then, you’ll add all the dry ingredients so the flour, salt, and baking powder. and fold them in until *just combined.* You want to be sure not to overtax because otherwise, you’ll end up with dry, tough blondies — not good. Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish and spread it out into an even layer.
- Sprinkle the prepared cinnamon sugar on top and then using the blade of a butter knife, make as many swirls in the batter as your heart desires. The edge of the knife pushes the cinnamon sugar down into the blondie batter and makes a neat little design that puffs up when it bakes. Bake the blondies until a toothpick comes out mostly clean. Then, allow the blondies to cool completely before you ice them.
- When the blondies are cool, and you want to ice them, combine the cream cheese, powdered sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla extract in a bowl. You could do this in a stand mixer, with a hand mixer, or even using a whisk! Slowly add in the milk one tablespoon at a time until the icing reaches a pourable consistency. Then using a whisk, fork, or you can even pour the icing into a spouted measuring cup, and generously drizzle the icing over the blondies. Cut them into pieces and serve once the icing has had a chance to set a bit; about 20-30 minutes.
How long will these cinnamon roll blondies last?
At room temperature, they’ll last about 3-4 days. We, however, never had a batch that lasted that long!
Can you freeze a batch of these?
Yes, these blondies can be frozen. However, I don’t suggest freezing once you’ve iced them. I find that the icing doesn’t hold up as well as the blondies. But you could, however, make a batch of the cinnamon roll blondies, freeze them, and frost them even a day in advance before serving.
I hope you’ll give these cinnamon roll blondies a try! They were a big hit with my crew, and I’m willing to bet they will be with yours too!
- 14 tablespoons salted butter, melted and cooled
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ⅓ cup light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- 3 tablespoons cream cheese
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoon EACH: lemon juice AND vanilla extract
- 1-3 tablespoons milk
- PREP: Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line a 13x9 baking pan with parchment paper; set aside for later.
- CINNAMON ROLL: In a small bowl, combine the ingredients for the cinnamon roll mix together and stir with a spoon; set aside for later.
- BATTER: In a large bowl, combine the melted butter, brown sugar, white sugar and whisk until evenly mixed. Then, add in the eggs and vanilla extract and whisk to combine. Add the dry ingredients (flour, salt, and baking powder) to the wet ingredients and use a rubber spatula to fold until *just combined* do not over mix. Pour half of the blondie batter into the prepared baking pan. Then drop half the cinnamon roll mix over the blondie batter. Then repeat with the remaining blondie batter followed by the remaining cinnamon roll mix. Using a butter knife, make swirls in the batter to disperse the cinnamon roll mix. Swirl the knife to make a design as desired. Bake the cinnamon roll blondies for 20-27 minutes or until a toothpick comes out mostly clean. Let cool before icing!
- ICING: in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the cream cheese for 30 seconds or until smooth. Add lemon juice along with the vanilla extract and powdered sugar and mix on the low setting until smooth. Pour a tablespoon of milk at a time until the icing reaches the desired consistency. You don’t want it to be too runny. You can slice the blondies into squares first then drizzle or drizzle first, allow it to set a bit and then slice!
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