Secret Recipe Club: Cajeta Swirled Pretzel M&M Blondies

When trying to decide which recipe to make from my Secret Recipe Club assignment this month I had two things in mind: Halloween and candy! Because that's pretty much what the month of October was all about, in addition to celebrating my 20th wedding anniversary, my Hubby's 42nd birthday, and my eldest son's 15th birthday.

My assignment this month was Ilona's Kitchen, written by a wife and mom who loves to travel and cook. Reading Ilona's blog is like reading a letter or email from a trusted friend because she tells you straight up whether a recipe has way too much butter or not enough. The kiddies and I had a hard time narrowing down our choices. I was tempted to get an early start on my holiday baking with her Cranberry Bundt Cake and Cinnamon Apple Pie Cake, but the search was over as soon as my kiddies saw her Caramel Swirled Pretzel M&M Blondies. My kiddies LOVE anything with m&m's and thought this would be the perfect Halloween dessert. And they were SO right!

I did make one small change by substituting Mexican cajeta for the caramel sauce. I also added in more pretzels, that I lucked upon at one of the farmacias here in town, because I love desserts that are the perfect balance between sweet and salty. And the blondies were so soft and tender. Very cake-like, but also kind of fudgy in the middle because of the cajeta. These Cajeta Swirled Pretzel M&M Blondies were a big hit in our house, and I'm sure they'll be a big hit in your's too.

Cajeta Swirled Pretzel M&M Blondies -

Cajeta Swirled Pretzel M&M Blondies 
(Recipe adapted from Ilona's Kitchen and cookies and cups

  • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda 
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar packed
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups pretzel m&m's (I only used 4 bags
  • 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips (optional) 
  • 1 cup roughly chopped pretzels (optional) 
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup Mexican cajeta, dulce de leche, or caramel topping 

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour a 9×13-inch baking dish. Mix together the flour, salt, and baking soda in a medium bowl; set aside. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer on low speed until very light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and the vanilla. Reduce speed to low and mix in the flour mixture until well combined. With a wooden spoon stir in the pretzel m&m's along with the chocolate chips and pretzel pieces, if using. Pour 2/3 of the batter into the prepared baking dish. Bake at 350°F for 8 to 10 minutes just until it begins to set, but hasn't turned golden brown in color. Remove from oven and pour the cajeta over the baked blondie. Spoon remaining one-third of batter on top of the cajeta. Return to oven and bake at 350°F for about 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from heat and let cool completely. Cut into squares. Enjoy! 


  1. These brownies look SCRUMPTIOUS! Wow!! :D Very nice pick for the SRC!! :D

  2. oooh i love those pretzel m&ms! i'll have to try these out!

  3. SOOO good! Love the salty sweet combo

  4. Hi Leslie! I had your blog this month and made your awesome Poblano Mac & Cheese - and now thinking I need to make this recipe as well! Awesome SRC Pick