Applesauce Bars with Browned Butter Icing are the perfect quick dessert recipe for fall. Moist and cakey bars are filled with applesauce and cinnamon flavors, and topped with a sweet browned butter icing.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8x8 pan with parchment paper and set aside.
In a bowl, add wet ingredients: melted butter, brown sugar, applesauce, and vanilla. Stir to combine. Add flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Stir to combine.
Pour into 8x8 pan and use a spatula to spread evenly to the edges. Batter will be thick.
Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean (or with crumbs, not batter). Allow to cool completely before frosting.
Browned Butter Icing
In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and stir frequently. Butter will begin to foam and boil. After 3 to 4 minutes you will see brown flecks appear in the bottom of the pan. Continue to stir until butter is golden and flecks are a medium brown color. Watch closely, butter will brown quickly. Process will take about 5 to 7 minutes.
Remove butter from heat and pour into a small bowl. Refrigerate for 10-15 minutes, or allow to set until butter is room temperature.
Whisk confectioner's sugar in a bowl. Add cooled butter, vanilla, and 2 tablespoons of milk. Beat until light and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add more milk if needed, 1 tablespoon at a time until desired texture is reached.
Pour icing onto bars. Use a knife to spread evenly over bars. Allow icing to set before cutting into bars.
Bars can be served alone or with a fork to eat like cake. Depending on the moisture in your applesauce, bars may turn out more cake-like and tender.
Leftover bars will keep for 2-3 days at room temperature in a sealed container.