While pre-made mixes can be a tempting time-saver, they don’t always yield the best results. These words have never rung truer than in the case of Strawberry Brownies.
Strawberry Brownies are better made from scratch, and it’s best if you leave the cake mix behind. Instead, welcome in a thick, chewy bar cookie, positively bursting with strawberry flavor thanks to one very special secret ingredient! Rest assured, these beautiful dessert bars are still easy to make and totally worth the extra 5 minutes.
Top them off with a sweet and tangy cream cheese glaze and sliced strawberries for a delicious dessert perfect for wooing your Valentine or serving at any springtime event! If you love berry-flavored desserts, you’ll also love our quick and easy Strawberry Cookies and these show-stopping Chocolate Brownies topped with a colorful medley of fresh berries!
- Baking Powder
- Freeze-Dried Strawberries
The base of your Strawberry Blondies will consist of a dry ingredient mix of all-purpose flour, baking powder, and fine sea salt. It is very important that you use only all-purpose flour and do not make the mistake of confusing baking powder with baking soda. Contrary to what many might believe, they are not one and the same.
As far as the salt goes, you can sub in other types, but fine sea salt will deliver the best flavor when it comes to baked goods.
Taste testers were absolutely floored by the flavor of these brownies, and freeze-dried strawberries are largely responsible for that. There’s absolutely nothing artificial about them, meaning they’ll equip your brownies with genuine strawberry flavor.
If you’ve ever eaten Special K cereal, you’ve eaten freeze-dried strawberries. You can find them along with other dried fruits in the grocery store, and (strangely enough) sometimes near the baby food aisle. So there you have it — they’re great for both healthy snacking and baking.
The wet ingredients for your Strawberry Brownies consist of butter, granulated sugar, eggs, milk, and vanilla. Whole milk is preferable (though not necessary — you can use whatever you have on hand). On the other hand, when it comes to the butter, you should use unsalted butter and only unsalted butter.
If you’d like to add a pop of vibrant red color to your brownies, a few drops of red food coloring will do the trick!
WHY USE FREEZE-DRIED STRAWBERRIES?
Freeze-dried strawberries are strawberries that have had the water content completely removed from them, which means one little berry packs a punch. We’re talking pure, unadulterated strawberry flavor here, people. In fact, half an ounce of freeze-dried strawberries is all you need to take your Strawberry Brownies to the next level!
HOW TO MAKE STRAWBERRY BROWNIES
- Ready the Pan – You can bake your brownies in either a brownie pan or a 9×13″ casserole dish. For easy removal, you can grease the pan and line the bottom with parchment paper, although this is not necessary.
- Pulverize Strawberries – To make sure you get lots of strawberry flavor in every single bite, you’ll need to turn your freeze-dried strawberries into a powder that can be evenly distributed throughout the dry ingredients. Add the strawberries to a food processor fitted with a blade attachment (or a blender) and mix until completely pulverized into a powder.
- Mix Dry Ingredients – In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, freeze-dried strawberry powder, baking powder, and sea salt.
- Mix Wet Ingredients – In a large mixing bowl, mix together the melted butter, granulated sugar, egg, egg yolk, and vanilla extract. You can use either a whisk, a handheld mixer, or a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment for this job. Then, add the milk and the food coloring (if using), and mix once more. Add the dry ingredients and mix slowly, just until the dough comes together.
- Bake – Transfer the batter to the baking dish and spread evenly from edge to edge. Bake for 20-24 minutes at 350°F, just until the center is set. It’s best to check them at the 20-minute mark. Cool in the pan at least 30 minutes before cutting.
MAKE THEM EXTRA SPECIAL WITH A CREAM CHEESE GLAZE
Strawberries and cream cheese are a match made in heaven, and if you’d like to take your Strawberry Brownies to the next level, you’re going to want to make this glaze.
Simply add cream cheese and sugar to a bowl. A handheld mixer makes easy work of this task, but a whisk will also get the job done. Mix until the two are well combined, then pour over the brownies and spread across the top using an offset spatula or the back of a spoon.
Once your icing is applied, feel free to top off your bars with sliced strawberries or (if you want to get really decadent) these Chocolate-Covered Strawberries!
Take note: it is very important that you allow your Strawberry Brownies to cool completely before adding the glaze.
STORING AND FREEZING YOUR BROWNIES
You can store Strawberry Brownies without the cream cheese glaze at room temperature in an airtight container and they will stay fresh for 3-4 days. Store brownies with the cream cheese glaze in the refrigerator in an airtight container. You can pull from your refrigerated stash for 4-5 days.
To freeze them, cut the brownies (un-iced) into bars or squares as desired, and place them in a snug, freezer-safe, airtight container, separated by sheets of wax paper for up to 2 months. Be sure to allow them to come back to room temperature before applying the cream cheese glaze (if using).
5 MORE DESSERT BARS YOU’LL LOVE
Delicious and easy-to-make Strawberry Brownies are a thick, chewy treat loaded with strawberry flavor!
- 1 (.5-ounce) package freeze-dried strawberries
- 1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup milk
- 3-4 drops red food coloring (optional)
- 4 ounces room temperature cream cheese
- 2/3 cup powdered sugar (for a thicker glaze, use only a 1/2 cup of sugar)
Preheat the oven to 350° and have ready a greased brownie pan or a 9x13" baking dish.
Add the strawberries to a food processor fitted with a blade attachment (or a blender) and mix until completely pulverized into a powder. Measure out 1/3 cup, and discard of the rest or save for another use.
In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, 1/3 cup freeze-dried strawberry powder, baking powder, and sea salt. Set aside until ready to use.
In a large mixing bowl, mix together melted butter, granulated sugar, egg, egg yolk, and extract until well combined. Add the milk and food coloring, and mix once more. Add the dry ingredients and mix with a sturdy spoon until the dough comes together. Do not overmix.
Transfer the batter to the baking dish and spread evenly from edge to edge. Bake for 20-24 minutes, just until the center is set. Cool in the pan at least 30 minutes before cutting.
If you are making the glaze, allow the Strawberry Brownies to cool completely. Then, add the cream cheese and sugar to a bowl. Using a handheld mixer (or a whisk), mix until well combined and homogenous. Pour over the brownies and spread across the top using an offset spatula or the back of a spoon. Cut, serve, and enjoy!