Butterscotch Brownies aka Blondies

Butterscotch Brownies

My middle / high school in St. Louis served lunch “family-style”, which basically meant you either ate what they were serving or you ate salad bar. Let me tell you – that salad bar got old fast. Before you start to feel too badly for me I should tell you that dessert was usually damn good (and my Mom would pack me a healthy bag lunch to eat in my free period, but that’s another story for another time)!

My all time favorite dessert that they served, the one dessert that still makes me more giddy than chocolate flourless cake, was Butterscotch Brownies.

You heard me right: more than chocolate. I’ll give you a moment to process that.

Butterscotch Brownies

I got so excited about these brownies, and thus endeared myself to the kitchen staff, that they would pack up a plate for me to bring home. No joke. I would stop by the kitchen on the way to swim practice and they would hand me a foil wrapped plate.

Maybe I would share, maybe I wouldn’t. I loved those Butterscotch Brownies.

Butterscotch Brownies

And then one tragic day my junior year, my school switched cooking companies and not only was my favorite brownie smuggler gone but so were the butterscotch brownies! Tear.

Since then I have searched every cookbook I owned and lots I didn’t (shhh don’t tell Barnes & Noble!) for a butterscotch brownie recipe only to come up with nada. Rien. None. Until one day my wonderful fiancé brought home two 1950’s cookbooks that he bought at an estate sale for $1 each. I could barely contain my excitement when I saw that Betty Crocker’s Cookbook (1984 Edition) included a recipe for my beloved butterscotch brownies!

Butterscotch Brownies

These butterscotch brownies are dangerously delicious. And they are remarkably fast and easy to pull together. One bowl. One pan. One magical dessert. Chewy and sweet. Addicting. They would be an amazing base for some mix ins, but today, today I am a purist.

Butterscotch Brownies

I know that everyone else in the Free World calls these Blondies. If I had figured that out 15 years earlier, my search for a recipe would have been a whole lot quicker. But I didn’t, okay? My Butterscotch Brownie clouded brain was a little slow on the uptake.

And in case you are wondering, which I know you are, this is not a Wedding Fairy Approved recipe. I ate almost an entire pan of these sweet treats with a smile on my face while the Wedding Fairy sat by FUMING. I don’t even care. They are that good!

Butterscotch Brownies aka Blondies

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 16

Butterscotch Brownies aka Blondies


  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup chopped nuts [Majorly optional. Loath nuts in most baked goods. Bleh]


  1. Preheat oven to 350° and grease an 8x8 baking dish.
  2. Melt butter over stovetop or at 50% power in the microwave. Remove from heat and stir in sugar, egg and vanilla; mix until completely incorporated.
  3. Stir in remaining ingredients. The mixture will be thick. Spread in greased baking dish. Bake 20-25 minutes in preheated oven. The bake time will depend on the dish you choose!
  4. Betty Crocker suggests cutting these while still warm. I think they actually cut cleaner when completely cooled. Not that I waited until they were cooled to eat one. No patience! Makes 16 bars.


Recipe from Betty Crocker's Cookbook 1984 Edition Note: The only thing I modified in this recipe was the butter. Betty Crocker calls for shortening, but, in my humble opinion, it’s not butterscotch without butter.



  1. Grace says

    I actually have everything to make these at home! Definitely going to try them 🙂 it’s lime the perfect recipe to make when you want something sweet but don’t want to find yourself stuck in the kitchen for hours. 🙂

    • AmericanCooking22 says

      It is definitely an excellent, no-fail, easy blondie recipe! My only advice is to double the recipe! Let me know how it goes!

      When you have more time, you should try the blondie recipe from this post. It will blow you away!

  2. Kerrie says

    I remember these as a kid and called them Butterscotch Brownies. My mom still has her 1950s edition of her Betty Crocker cookbook where we got the recipe. She sent me the recipe but I couldn’t find it (hadn’t made them in awhile). I looked on the internet and found your recipe but then subsequently found mine. They are very similar but the Betty Crocker version calls for a cup of light brown sugar (packed) and only 1/2 tsp of vanilla. They sure are good!! I made a blondie recipe recently a friend gave me and they were not nearly as tasty.

    • AmericanCooking22 says

      Hi Kerrie! These are from the Betty Crocker Cookbook, 1984 edition. She must have revised the vanilla since the 1950’s version! I’ll have to try the older one out. I don’t remember but I probably just used dark brown sugar because that is what I had on hand! 🙂 I’ve tried a couple more modern blondie recipes that I like…some I’ve posted about.

  3. Deraysa says

    Same recipe as in The Joy of Cooking (1971) entitled “butterscotch brownies” save for 1/2 cup of sifted flour resifted with the baking powder and baked in a 9×9 inch pan. This is my go-to cookbook for the classics!

    • AmericanCooking22 says

      I don’t have that edition! I have a facsimile of the 1st edition but it has yet to become my favorite probably because of this incident. I got this recipe from the Betty Crocker cookbook (1984) – but I substituted butter for shortening. I’ll have to search out the 1971 Joy cookbook!

  4. Jason says

    I also have been searching for about 15 years for this recipe, at one time it was listed on the usda recipe site, who’d DID have several of my favorite from school lunches, alas I failed to print the recipes before the new standards went into effect, but now I am pretty sure these Re the same ones, thanks for posting them!

  5. teal says

    YES! These were delicious!…I am especially happy to say so, since I was told to make a double batch using someone else’s recipe…and they were dry and icky. Luckily, I found your recipe and despite being strictly instructed to use the other recipe, I boldly used yours with beautiful results! AND, I was happy to substitute the shortening for butter..and I wasn’t ashamed to drop them off! Thanks a million!

    • AmericanCooking22 says

      LOL! You are so very welcome!!! I am overjoyed that you loved them! I am picky about my butterscotch brownies and these are one of my favorites! They are also incredibly easy! If you have a little bit more time you should try these brown butter blondies…omg so goooooood! If you want them plain you can leave out the chocolate chips and caramel…the base recipe is delicious by itself too!

  6. Grateful says

    Thank you for posting this recipe. My husband has been talking about his love for Bernice’s Butterscotch Brownies for the last 20 years that I have known him. He would tell me how he would devour them for lunch at his STL middle/high school cafeteria. Sound familiar? So today after google-ing it and reading your recipe, I suspected I found it which was later confirmed after he ate half of the pan. Thank you for making his day awesome. And btw, he is flummoxed on how you were able to get an extra plate on the side….:)

    • Lindsey says

      No way!!!!! I am so happy you found the recipe! I got extra because I made friends with the kitchen staff and they would save me some for after school 🙂 I was crazy about them and so grateful for extra! lol

  7. Diane Decker says

    I too have spent many many years searching for the Butterscotch Brownies my mom made in the fifties and sixties. Thank you so much for sharing it. Of course, now I’ve been diagnosed with very advanced celiac disease, so will need to find a way to convert it to gluten free. Just looking at the pictures satisfied a longing for home.


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