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Magic Gluten Free Blondies

January 13, 2021
At a Glance

Summary

Magic gluten free blondie bars are the ultimate chewy blond brownie with plenty of caramelized brown sugar and butterscotch chips.

Categories

Prep / Cook Time

10 minutes / 35 minutes

Rating

 4/5 (1 votes)
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Magic Gluten Free Blondies

Magic gluten free blondies are rich brown sugar bars with the extra chewy texture of corn flake cereal added to the batter. My favorite chips here are butterscotch, but the choice is yours.

Overhead image of magic blondie bars in pile on round white serving plate

Magic gluten free blondies aren’t actual magic. I don’t want to mislead you. You might know them as magic bars, or you might not know them at all.

They’re really just blonde brownies with flaky cereal baked in. The cereal acts almost like oats do in baking, since they hold their shape and create a chewy texture.

Other than the cornflakes, brown sugar is the star ingredient in this recipe. Since there’s so much brown sugar, it caramelizes beautifully and almost invisibly in the oven.

The baked edges of the bars taste almost like they’re kissed with caramel. Listen, if you don’t like sugar, or have to avoid it, this is not the recipe for you.

Overhead image of raw magic blondie batter in square pan with white paper liner

Cereal in these blondies makes them magical đź’«

When I was a kid, we had “dream bars.” To this day, I can’t figure out if that’s a real thing, or if it was just a peculiarity of my childhood.

But everyone loved them, with their chewy texture and sweet brown sugar taste. Only many years later did I figure out that they were essentially blondies with Post brand Grape Nuts Flakes cereal in the batter.

But Grape Nuts flakes, if they still exist, are most certainly not gluten free. But we don’t need them.

The cereal flakes in this gluten free blondies batter layer together, surrounded by that delightful mixture of brown sugar and vanilla. If you look closely at the recipe, you’ll see that it has more brown sugar than it even does flour. That isn’t an accident.

Magic blondies baked in square metal pan with white paper liner

Selecting the right cereal

There are a number of available gluten free cereals that come in flake form, but most of the flakes are strangely very thick. Nature’s Path gluten free corn flakes are relatively thin—although not as thin as Kellogg’s.

There aren’t many available brands of gluten free corn flake cereal. I used Nature’s Path brand “Honey’d Corn Flake Cereal,” which is gluten free.

You can probably even use Corn Chex cereal, too, but they’re more likely to splinter when you crush them. You want to crush larger flakes into smaller ones, not Chex into dust.

White serving plate with pile of magic blondie bars against gray background

Ingredients and substitutions

Dairy

There is dairy in this recipe in the forms of butter and the chips. In place of butter, you should be able to use vegan butter. My favorite brands are Miyoko’s Kitchen and Melt.

Butterscotch chips and white chocolate chips have dairy in them. I’ve never been able to find a version of either type of chips that’s dairy-free and tastes good.

Instead, I’d recommend using dairy-free chocolate chips. My favorite brand is Enjoy Life.

Eggs

There are 3 eggs in this recipe. I’m afraid I don’t recommend making this recipe with any sort of egg replacement.

If you’re determined to try using an egg replacer, you’d do best with a legitimate “flax egg.” I’m referring to cooking flax seeds with water until a viscous liquid is created, from which the seeds are strained and discarded.

Corn flakes

See discussion above about the cereal in the batter.

Group of magic blondie bars overlapping on white paper liner

Words gluten-free magic blondies with overhead image of magic blondies on a round white serving plate

 

Like this recipe?

Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 9 to 12 bars, depending on size

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups (210 g) all purpose gluten free flour (I used Better Batter)

3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar

1 1/4 cups (270 g) packed light brown sugar

1 1/2 cups (120 g) crushed gluten free corn flake cereal (See Recipe Notes)

6 ounces butterscotch chips (See Recipe Notes)

10 tablespoons (140 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature

3 eggs (150 g, weighed out of shell), lightly beaten at room temperature

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Directions

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease and line a 9-inch square baking pan and set it aside.
  • In a large bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, salt, and granulated sugar, and whisk to combine well. Add the brown sugar and mix, breaking up any lumps. Add the crushed cereal and all but about 2 tablespoons of the chips, and mix to combine. Add the butter, eggs, and vanilla, and mix, pressing the back of the spoon into the mixture until all the dry ingredients have been absorbed into the butter and beaten eggs. Continue to mix until the batter is smooth, but it will be quite thick.
  • Transfer the batter to the prepared pan, and spread into an even layer using an offset spatula. Scatter the reserved chips evenly over the top of the batter and press gently to help them adhere.
  • Place the pan in the center of the preheated oven and bake for about 35 minutes, or until the edges are brown and the bars are set in the middle. Allow them to cool completely in the pan. To make them easier to cut, you can chill the cooled bars in the refrigerator until they’re firm.
  • Remove the bars from the pan and place on a cutting surface. Using a large, sharp knife, slice into squares or rectangles and serve.

  • Originally published on the blog in 2011. Recipe scaled up for thicker bars, text, video, and photos all new.

Love,
Nicole

Comments are closed.

  • DW
    March 16, 2021 at 5:17 PM

    I’m a few days late but I just wanted to mention to commenter Andrew that Nature’s Path cornflakes do not have the traditional cornflake texture. They are quite grainy. That might be part of the reason that the texture is off.

  • Andrew
    March 11, 2021 at 12:11 PM

    When I try to reply to your reply, the website takes me back to the top of the page. Sorry for creating a second thread. I tried on both Chrome and Internet Explorer.
    Yes, I crushed the corn flakes. Are we looking for a powder like consistency? Sand? Pea-sized? Could you please amend the ingredients list to reflect that? I think that was the biggest variable. I did somewhere between sand and pea-sized, but I can easily put them in a food processor and go to powder-like easily!

    • Nicole Hunn
      March 11, 2021 at 12:43 PM

      They aren’t powder-like, no, Andrew. The recipe says “crushed,” which is as specific as I really can meaningfully be, and if you watch the video it should illustrate what I mean by it. I think perhaps you don’t like the chewiness of this blondie, though, and shouldn’t make it again.

  • Andrew
    March 11, 2021 at 11:36 AM

    I made these last night and they were delicious but the texture wasn’t quite rite. The corn flakes somehow toughened during baking so you chew for a bit and the corn flake pieces give more resistance than the surrounding baked good. I weighed all the ingredients except the vanilla, have calibrated my oven with a thermometer, and used Nature’s Path Fruit Sweetened Corn Flake Cereal (which was $5/box in the Denver area!) I guess I’ll try again since I have enough corn flakes left over, make sure it wasn’t user error.

    • Nicole Hunn
      March 11, 2021 at 11:50 AM

      Did you crush the corn flakes? It sounds like perhaps you didn’t crush them, which helps them blend into the batter. But overall, they’re chewy blondies, Andrew. In fact, this is the first line of the post: “Magic gluten free blondies are rich brown sugar bars with the extra chewy texture of corn flake cereal added to the batter.”

  • Ljinpa
    January 18, 2021 at 3:57 PM

    I’m making these today, and when I was at the store I noticed that unlike the other Nestlé chips the butterscotch did not have gluten free anywhere on the bag. The heath bar chips do say gluten-free so I’m going to use those instead. I did a quick search online and haven’t yet found something that verifies that the Nestlé butter scotch chips are gluten-free, sadly.

    • Nicole Hunn
      January 18, 2021 at 5:35 PM

      They used to contain malt, which is a barley-derived product, but no longer do. If you’re not comfortable with them, Ljinpa, then by all means use what you like!

  • Cathy Thelen
    January 17, 2021 at 8:08 PM

    When you say grease & line. Are you greasing the parchment paper?

    • Nicole Hunn
      January 18, 2021 at 7:10 AM

      Grease and line the pan means to grease the pan and then line the pan. No need to grease the paper. It’s already nonstick!

  • Tammie
    September 19, 2011 at 11:57 AM

    I made these for our trip up to the cabin over the weekend and they’re awesome!!! A huge hit with everyone :) I used coconut instead of cereal and dark chocolate chips instead of white – so amazing! Thanks for the recipe Nicole!!

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