Say hello to the love child of a cinnamon roll and a blondie! Perfectly crunchy cinnamon-sugar goodness swirled throughout a chewy, gooey blondie bar. It doesn’t get much better than this!
I love everything about those sweetly spiced rolls. The fluffy, buttery yeast pastry, the hypnotic dark swirl of cinnamon sugar, and the drippy cream cheese frosting are totally worth the couple of hours it takes to make them. I’m not ashamed to admit that I am guilty of eating an entire pan of fresh cinnamon rolls to myself. It only happened once, but it happened. Can you blame me?! They’re so delicious!
I am a little disappointed in myself, though. For a woman who claims she can’t get enough of cinnamon rolls, there is a serious lack of roll recipes — or even cinnamon roll themed recipes — on my blog. While these pecan pumpkin spice rolls are pretty darn good, they don’t deserve to have the entire category to themselves. But don’t worry, today is the day we begin to rectify this faux pas! Starting with these cinnamon roll blondies!
What’s your favourite part of a cinnamon roll? The frosting? The cinnamon-sugar to roll ratio? Mine is a little specific. You know when you flip over a cinnamon roll and it has that crispy, crunchy bit of sugary cinnamony delight stuck to the bottom? The bit that’s oozed out of the roll and caramelized on the pan? That is my favourite part. I always save the middle of the roll for last because of that crunchy bit. I love it. It’s also probably why I have a thing for crunchy topped muffins and streusel.
When I decided to make these blondies, I knew I had to replicate that cinnamon-sugar crunch. I needed that bit to be present or I just couldn’t call this a cinnamon roll blondie. It wouldn’t have been right.
I’m very pleased with how these blondies turned out! The base is my simple blondie recipe that yields a perfectly moist, buttery, fudgy bar every single time. I really should dedicate an entire post to this base recipe because it’s really that good.
The cinnamon swirl is where it’s at. It elevates the recipe to a whole new level. I used a boatload of cinnamon in that swirl though, so if you’re not as big of a fan of cinnamon as I am, you may want to cut it back to a single tablespoon. I’m probably growing numb to the taste. I’ll have to start using cup measures soon!
The best part is the top of the bar. You remember that crunchy bit I was talking about? It’s all over the top of this blondie! The extra butter helps caramelize the cinnamon-sugar mixture on the top and creates that signature crunch you usually find at the bottom of a cinnamon roll. Pure heaven, I tell ya.
Seriously, I am so excited for you to try these bars. Please tell me you will, and we can all remain the best of friends. Okay? Okay.
- ½ cup (113g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- ¾ cup natural brown sugar
- 1 egg, room temperature
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup (56g) unsalted butter, softened
- 4 tbsp raw cane sugar
- 1½ tbsp ground cinnamon
- 125g cream cheese, room temperature
- 2 tbsp heavy cream
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup confectioner's sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350 F (180 C) and grease and line a 6" cake pan with parchment paper.
- To make the blondie, whisk together the sugar and butter in a medium bowl until combined. Add the egg, vanilla, and salt and whisk to emulsify. Sift in the flour and stir together.
- To make the cinnamon swirl, combine the butter, sugar, and cinnamon in a small bowl and whisk together.
- Pour half of the blondie batter into the prepared cake pan and smooth the top. In small portions, drop half of the cinnamon swirl mixture onto the batter and then swirl it in with a knife in an "S" pattern. Repeat this process with the remaining batter and cinnamon mixture.
- Bake the blondie for 35-40 minutes, or until the edges are golden, the cinnamon-sugar on top is crusty, and a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool for 15 minutes in the pan and then turn out onto a wire rack to finish cooling.
- While the blondie is cooling, make the frosting. Using a hand mixer, blend together the cream cheese, cream, and vanilla extract until smooth. Mix in the confectioner's sugar half a cup at a time, blending until smooth. Frost the blondie once it is completely cool.