It's time to understand what sets these two rather similar sweet treats apart.
fudgy turtle brownies stacked on cutting board
Credit: Ren Fuller

Two of our favorite bar cookies—brownies and blondies—are easy to prepare, crowd-pleasing, and always delicious. So, what's the difference between these similar sweets? There are the obvious differences—like the fact that brownies are made with chocolate and blondies are not—but a few other ingredients help to set these classic treats apart. Below, we're explaining the key differences between brownies and blondies and sharing our favorite recipes for each.

What Are Brownies?

Fudgy or cakey, plain or packed with add-ins like chocolate chips or nuts, brownies offer so many possibilities. Brownies are made with five basic ingredients—chocolate, butter, flour granulated sugar, and eggs (more eggs produce a fudgier, more decadent brownie). Of course, there are hundreds of variations on that basic formula. For example, our Chewy Brownies are made with a combination of butter, which adds flavor, and vegetable oil, which is what gives them their signature chewiness. Wondering how to get that perfect shiny, crackly crust on top? Editorial Director of Food Sarah Carey attributes that to whisking the batter for at least 45 seconds before adding the dry ingredients; this helps the egg whites to rise to the top, which creates that crackled effect.

butter pecan blondies
Credit: Ren Fuller

What Are Blondies?

Instead of an intense chocolatey flavor, blondies have notes of caramel and butterscotch, thanks to brown butter, a key ingredient in many blondie recipes. Brown butter is made by slowing heating butter in a saucepan until it becomes a deep amber color and smells nutty; the flavor and color of brown butter help distinguish blondies from brownies. The other ingredient that puts blondies in a league of their own is brown sugar. Whereas most brownie recipes call for refined granulated sugar, brown sugar adds moistness, chewiness, and a rich molasses flavor to blondies.

Add nuts, dried fruit, toffee bits, or flaked coconut and chocolate chips to a basic blondie batter for bonus flavor and texture.


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