As a teenager I had a brief but intense love affair with the blondie sundaes that became super popular at chain restaurants back then. If I had my way I would’ve eaten one every single day and then drifted off to sweet, buttery, blondie-induced dreamland. I had also never heard of a blondie until they became a foodie fad because brownies always got the spotlight. Finding out they had a butterscotch-adjacent flavored cousin that’s just as delicious and easy to make but plays better with fruit was a game changer for me, especially when summer fruit is involved, and extra especially when that fruit is cherries.
The catch, though – as with most desserts – is that I often find myself craving a single serving blondie but almost every recipe is for a dozen a more. Even cutting that in half is way more blondie than I want on a casual weekday night or during my at home self-care spa days during which I take a bath, watch Netflix, drink wine, and have dessert while getting my Korean face mask glow on. I’ve fixed this problem with other desserts before, which is how my mug cake was born, this recipe is my fix for blondies! Admittedly this is solidly on the cake side of the spectrum vs the dense gooey fudgy version of blondies you can also find, and I love that because it allows the cherries to shine. They sink into the batter and slowly steam while baking so the result is a deep, almost plumlike sweet burst of cherry surrounded by luscious wells of silky melted chocolate that swirl into each other when you take a bite — all encased in the buttered vanilla blondie batter with a nice, soft, moist crumb. It’s the kind of dessert that’s best eaten with closed eyes and long slow pulls on the spoon as it leaves your lips, making sure you get every bit of chocolate off before taking your next bite. If you wanna give yourself even more reason to savor and linger, taking an extra minute to brown the butter (and maybe even adding an extra tablespoon cause yes, more butter) and/or adding a splash of brandy to the batter always pays off. Whatever you choose, I’m sure it’ll be delicious.
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
2 tablespoons semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup fresh, pitted cherries (5-6 cherries depending on size)
1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Butter a 6 inch pie plate or ramekin and set aside.
2. Add the melted butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla to a small bowl and whisk to combine, then stir in the flour, baking powder, salt, and one tablespoon of chocolate chips. Once the dry ingredients are fully incorporated, pour the batter into your prepared pie plate, sprinkle the rest of the chocolate chips on top, then press the cherries into the batter. Don’t forget to pit the cherries! Cherry pits can break your teeth! I care too much about all of you and your beautiful teeth to let you break them!
3. Place in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean and the top and edges are golden brown. Allow to cool on a wire rack for at least 5 minutes if you like your blondies hot & gooey, 10-20minutes if you like them soft & warm, or if you’re team cold & hard blondies, pop it in the fridge for an hour or so!
4. Once cooled to your liking, you can eat it straight from the pan! Just be careful cause it’ll still be hot to the touch.
5. Or my personal favorite option is to top the warm blondie with a scoop of ice cream and finish it with an extra cherry on top.