Salted Caramel Donuts

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A delicious homemade donut recipe for fall, these Salted Caramel Donuts have finely diced apples in the batter for a delicious twist on a caramel apple dessert!

Super Simple Salted Caramel Apple Donuts are the must-bake dessert of the season! These tender vanilla donuts have real chunks of apple and a thick and chewy caramel topping

Salted Caramel Donut Recipe

Donuts are one of the few desserts Ella and I both agree on, so you’ll notice that I have plenty of donut recipes on the blog. (I still don’t know how I gave birth to a non-dessert person, but here we are.)

Whether you enjoy them for an indulgent breakfast or a fun dessert, these Salted Caramel Apple Donuts are a sticky-sweet treat perfect for parties or fall bake sales.

To make these, I added finely diced apples into the batter of my caramel cupcake recipe, but if you want a strictly Salted Caramel Donut, you can feel free to leave the apples out. Or, you can alternatively use a small hint of apple extract to add the flavor in without the texture of the diced apples.

Now, there are two ways to prepare caramel – soft and hard. While hard caramel is nice for some things, I personally think soft caramel is a better choice for these donuts – chewy, not hard to bite into, and not as messy as a caramel sauce would be. I love the texture contrast between the chewy caramel and the dense, crumbly caramel cake donuts.

You can also make caramel from scratch (which I’ve done for my caramel fruit dip and my caramel popcorn), but for this recipe, I took it easy on myself and used caramel squares. I honestly do not notice a flavor difference, and the addition of flakey sea salt will make up for any perceived flavor loss, anyways.

I only got to eat one of these salted caramel donuts as Ella brought them to her classroom’s fall bake sale, so writing up this blog post is making me want to make them again, ASAP! Soooo good!

Ingredients for Apple Donuts

For the Caramel Topping:

Scroll down to the printable recipe card for full measurements.

Tip: feel free to used a boxed vanilla cake mix and doctor it with some chopped apples or flavor extracts.

Kitchen Tools You May Find Helpful

  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Mixing bowl
  • Electric mixer <– this is a great hand mixer if you don’t want to make the investment into a stand mixer
  • Donut pan <– this two-pack will make the process of baking these donuts fast and easy
  • Cooling racks <– I have and love these tiered cooling racks, they save so much counter space and are also oven-safe
  • Microwave-safe bowl

How to Make Salted Caramel Donuts

Preheat oven to 375ºF

In a medium-sized bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to cream together the butter, brown sugar, white sugar and molasses until light and fluffy, approximately 2 minutes.

Add in the eggs and vanilla, then half of the flour mixture; then the buttermilk; then the rest of the flour, followed by the heavy cream. (Beating well with every addition.)

Divide the batter amongst your donut tray, filling each cavity to just under the top (or the fill line, if your tray has one).

Bake for 18-22 minutes, until golden and an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Let the donuts cool in the tray for 2 minutes before popping out and placing on a cooling rack.

While you allow the donuts to cool, place the caramels and cream in a microwave-safe dish and microwave for 30 seconds, stir well, and reheat as needed.

Spoon the melted caramel over the donuts, sprinkle on the salt, and let set. (You can also stir the salt into the caramel, but I like the aesthetic of sprinkling it on top.)

Store in an airtight container until ready to enjoy.

 

Pin this Super Simple Salted Caramel Donut recipe:

A delicious homemade donut recipe for fall, these Salted Caramel Donuts have finely diced apples in the batter for a delicious twist on a caramel apple dessert!

Grab your free printable for our easy caramel apple donut recipe:

Yield: 16 donuts

Salted Caramel Donuts

Salted Caramel Donuts

A delicious homemade donut recipe for fall, these Salted Caramel Donuts have finely diced apples in the batter for a delicious twist on a caramel apple dessert!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Additional Time 10 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar (packed)
  • 1 Tablespoon molasses
  • 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 Tablespoon heavy cream
  • 2 apples, diced finely, optional

For the Caramel Topping:

  • 40 Caramel squares
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup whipping cream
  • Large flaked sea salt (like Maldon)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375ºF
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to cream together the butter, brown sugar, white sugar and molasses until light and fluffy, approximately 2 minutes.
  4. Add in the eggs and vanilla, then half of the flour mixture; then the buttermilk; then the rest of the flour, followed by the heavy cream. (Beating well with every addition.)
  5. Divide the batter amongst your donut tray, filling each cavity to just under the top (or the fill line, if your tray has one).
  6. Bake for 18-22 minutes, until golden and an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  7. Let the donuts cool in the tray for 2 minutes before popping out and placing on a cooling rack.
  8. While you allow the donuts to cool, place the caramels and cream in a microwave-safe dish and microwave for 30 seconds, stir well, and reheat as needed.
  9. Spoon the melted caramel over the donuts, sprinkle on the salt, and let set. (You can also stir the salt into the caramel, but I like the aesthetic of sprinkling it on top.)
  10. Store in an airtight container until ready to enjoy.

Notes

Feel free to used a boxed vanilla cake mix and doctor it with some chopped apples or flavor extracts.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

16

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 731Total Fat: 41gSaturated Fat: 25gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 114mgSodium: 487mgCarbohydrates: 90gFiber: 3gSugar: 62gProtein: 7g

Sugar, Spice and Glitter uses an auto-generate nutrition calculator. Nutrition information isn’t always accurate unless analyzed in a scientific lab, so these should be considered more of a guideline than medical information.

Pin this Recipe for Later

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These salted caramel donuts are an indulgent fall donut recipe perfect for a family brunch or serving at a fall party.

For more delicious caramel recipes, check out our Homemade Caramel Fruit Dip or our Homemade Caramel Popcorn recipe.

Check out our other Breakfast Recipes here:

Breakfast Recipes

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