Cherry Macadamia Blondies – Gluten Free Small Batch

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The Cherry Macadamia Blondies are gluten free and small batch, and full of fresh cherries, toasted macadamia nuts, and chocolate chips.  This is an easy dessert recipe for soft and chewy bars with notes of caramel and butterscotch!

Cherry, Chocolate, Macadamia Nut Blondies – Gluten Free Small Batch

I am pretty excited to add these Cherry Macadamia Blondies to my collection of cherry, small batch, and gluten free dessert recipes.  Cherry desserts are always a must for summer, and I love having an option for gluten free blondies.  And never fear, if gluten free isn’t your thing, I still have the Nutty Butterscotch Blondies on the blog.

You may be asking – ‘if these blondies are gluten free, do they still taste like blondies?’  And the answer is yes.  I would imagine that everyone loves a blondie for its chewy, soft, and butterscotch flavor.  These blondies don’t deviate from those requirements.  While there aren’t any butterscotch chips in the blondies per se, you still get that buttery sweet flavor from the brown sugar and vanilla.

And it took a few rounds of testing, but I finally achieved the right soft and chewy texture of the bar itself.  Deets on that below.

Almond and Oat Flour Blondies

I have found through all of my recent recipe testing for gluten free desserts, the almond flour blend I like to use yields a pretty moist bake.  My gluten free flour preference includes:  almond flour, arrowroot flour, coconut flour, and tapioca flour.

These Cherry Macadamia Blondies have a slightly different gluten free flour blend.

I wanted a different flour to offset the moist almond flour, while still producing a not-so-dense and soft texture.  The winning flour was gluten free oat flour.  Oat flour is simply rolled oats ground to a flour.  And to maintain the gluten free label, we use gluten free rolled oats.  I find that oat flour resembles regular all-purpose flour in terms of texture and bake.  

The combination of almond flour and oat flour still produces a chewy blondie, but it is not so moist that it seems like you’re just eating batter.  Plus, the fresh cherries in the blondies will release some extra moisture, so we want to account for that with in the base batter.  With that, these blondies are:

  • Soft – I like to think of blondies as a big ol’ soft cookie is bar form.
  • Chewy – Thanks to a few things – the flour blend, egg yolk, and brown sugar.
  • Sweet – These blondies are not cloyingly sweet.  You get a symphony of sweetness from the fresh cherries, macadamia nuts, almond flour, sugar(s) (obvi), and chocolate chips.  Your taste buds will be happy!
  • Butterscotch’y – It’s a word.  Even though there is not a trace of butterscotch chips in the blondies, the brown sugar, sugar, and vanilla combination provides notes of butterscotch.
  • Super Easy – Doesn’t describe the taste, but it does describe the level of effort for this dessert recipe.  I like easy desserts.  I mean, who doesn’t!?  A simple (and standard) method of mixing the dry ingredients into the wet, and then off to bake.
Small batch of blondies cut into squares on a wire rack

What You Need To Make The Gluten Free Blondies

Ingredients

  • Fresh Cherries – Always fresh cherries when in season!  Why?  Because they just taste better!  Though, frozen cherries thawed and drained could work when you want a batch during the off-season.
  • Macadamia Nuts
  • Chocolate Chips
  • Gluten Free Rolled Oats  – I pretty much use Bob’s Red Mill for all of my gluten free flours/blends.  You can find their products on Amazon or your local grocery or specialty store.
  • Blanched Almond Flour
  • Arrowroot Starch/Flour – The arrowroot flour balances the texture of the almond flour, and also provides a little chew to the blondies.
  • Baking Powder
  • Salt
  • Light Brown Sugar – I like using light brown sugar because you still get a molasses flavor without it being too much, or adding too much moisture.
  • Granulated Sugar
  • Unsalted Butter
  • Egg Yolk
  • Vanilla Extract

Baking Equipment

  • 6-Inch Cake Pan – This recipe would also work in a 9 x 5-Inch loaf pan.  Anything larger, and you’ll end up with paper thin blondies.
  • Parchment Paper
  • Mixing Bowl

Tips For Making Small Batch and Gluten Free Blondies

  • Use fresh cherries – Especially when in season.  Frozen cherries that have been thawed and drained will work in the off-season.
  • Cut the cherries into quarters – So you get good distribution of cherries throughout.  
  • Toast the macadamia nuts – Toasting the macadamia nuts (or any nut for that matter) amplifies the flavor.
  • Use blanched almond flour – There is almond flour that is called almond meal.  Which means the skins have not been removed from the almond before grinding to a powder.  We don’t want that.  Blanched almond flour tends to be smoother and ground finer.
  • Use gluten free rolled oats – Seems obvious to state for a gluten free blondie recipe, but worth noting if you want a truly gluten free dessert.  And I do recommend rolled oats – not instant/quick oat.  Rolled oats are larger, thicker, and not as processed.
  • Light brown sugar works great – Light brown sugar provides enough moisture and chew without being overly assertive with the molasses flavor.  
  • Cool the blondies completely – I find gluten free desserts taste best when they are completely cool.  So you’ll just have to practice a little patience before digging in! 🙂
Gluten free blondie squares with chocolate, cherries, and macadamia nuts

Common Questions When Making Small Batch Gluten Free Blondies

Can this recipe be doubled?

I haven’t tested it, so I can’t say. You could try it, or just make two batches. The ratio of flour(s) to sugar(s) to egg yolk to butter to baking powder don’t always work when you just double them.

Do these gluten free blondies taste like regular blondies?

I say yes. I do my best with my gluten free recipes to achieve the same texture and result as my regular recipes.

Do I have to use fresh cherries in the blondies?

You don’t but I recommend it if it is cherry season. Otherwise, frozen cherries that have been thawed and drained will work.

Can I use a different type of nut instead of the macadamia nut?

Of course!

Can I substitute the gluten free flours for regular all-purpose flour?

I say if you want a non-gluten free blondie, try my Nutty Butterscotch Blondie recipe instead.

Will a 1:1 gluten free blend work instead of the almond and oat flour?

I have not tested it, so I can’t say for certain. I will say, I find the 1:1 gluten free flour blends to yield a drier bake.

Is there another baking pan I can use instead of the 6-inch cake pan?

Yes! A 9 x 5-inch loaf pan will also work.

Why can’t I eat the blondies warm?

I personally find gluten free bakes to taste better when they are completely cool. That said, if you can’t wait, go ahead and try it. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

How many blondies will this small batch recipe make?

It all depends on how big or small you cut the blondies. I got 9 smaller blondies (as pictured), but you can do 4 large blondies, or 6 regular size, rectangle blondies.

Close up of the inside of a cherry macadamia blondie

More Gluten Free Small Batch Desserts

Gluten free cherry blondies cut into squares on a wire rack
A stack of macadamia nut and cherry gluten free blondies
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5 from 1 review

Cherry, Macadamia, and Chocolate Blondies – Gluten Free Small Batch

Yield: 6 Blondies (see Notes)
The Cherry Macadamia Blondies are gluten free and small batch, and full of fresh cherries, toasted macadamia nuts, and chocolate chips.  This is an easy dessert recipe for soft and chewy bars with notes of caramel and butterscotch!
Prep15 mins
Cook25 mins
Total40 mins

Equipment

  • 1 – 6-Inch Cake Pan

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup gluten free rolled oats, ground
  • 1/4 cup blanched almond flour
  • 1/4 cup arrowroot starch/flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 5 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup fresh cherries, pitted and quartered
  • 1/4 cup toasted macadamia nuts, roughly chopped
  • 3 tablespoons chocolate chips - I used dark chocolate chips

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350F degrees and adjust the oven rack to the middle position. Line a 6-inch cake pan with a strip of parchment paper – long enough to hang over the sides of the pans. Lightly grease the pan.
  • Optional – Sprinkle the macadamia nuts evenly onto a small baking sheet. Toast the nuts in the oven while it is preheating for 5 – 7 minutes, or until lightly golden. Roughly chopped the nuts once cool enough to handle.
  • In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the oat flour, almond flour, arrowroot starch/flour, baking powder, and salt. Note – To make oat flour, add the gluten free oats to a blender or food processor and blend until ground to a fine powder/flour.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, add the brown sugar, granulated sugar, and melted butter. Stir until creamy and smooth. Add the egg yolk and vanilla extract and continue to stir until the egg yolk is fully incorporated.
  • Sprinkle the dry ingredients over the wet ingredients. Stir until no dry streaks remain. Add the chopped cherries, chopped nuts, and chocolate chips – mix until just incorporated. The dough will be thick like a cookie dough.
  • Pour the dough into the prepared cake pan. Press evenly into the bottom and sides of the pan with your fingertips.
  • Bake for 25 – 28 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown and the sides of the blondies start to pull away from the sides of the pan. Cool the blondies completely in the pan set on a wire cooling rack. To cut and serve the blondies, lift them out of the pan using the parchment overhang. The number of blondies will depend on how big you cut the blondies. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Serving Size – The number of blondies will depend on how big/small you cut your blondies.  You can easily get 4 large blondies, 6 medium size blondies, or 9 smaller blondies.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Erin | Butter and Bliss
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