mini caramel apple doughnuts


Let’s talk doughnuts today. When I was brainstorming fall recipe ideas a few months ago, I dreamed up the idea of caramel apple doughnuts. While the flavor combination is certainly not original, I decided to take things further and make mini doughnuts that look like caramel apples. The process is so simple – insert a pretzel stick into each doughnut and garnish with a small mint leaf before dipping into a salted caramel glaze.

Mini Caramel Apple Doughnuts | Tutti Dolci

The cake doughnuts are incredibly tender, filled with autumn spices and grated apple. Topped off with a glossy caramel glaze, these two-bite treats are the ultimate fall delight. Best of all, I’m giving away a mini doughnut pan to one lucky reader – enter below the recipe.

Mini Caramel Apple Doughnuts | Tutti Dolci

Mini Caramel Apple Doughnuts | Tutti Dolci

Mini Caramel Apple Doughnuts
1 1/2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups cake flour*
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp allspice
1/8 tsp ginger
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 cup grated apple
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Caramel Glaze
6 Tbsp light brown sugar
3 Tbsp unsalted butter, cubed
3 Tbsp heavy cream
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of sea salt
3/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1 Tbsp milk

Preheat oven to 425°F and spray mini doughnut pan with nonstick spray. Cook butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly until it foams, turns clear, and then turns a deep brown, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat to cool slightly.

Whisk together cake flour, sugar, baking power, salt, and spices in a large bowl. Combine buttermilk, egg, apple, vanilla, and brown butter in a medium bowl; add to flour mixture and stir just until combined. Spoon batter into a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip and fill each doughnut cup just over half full. Bake about 5 minutes, until the tops spring back when touched. Let cool in pan 2 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining batter, spraying pan with nonstick spray in between batches.

For the caramel glaze, combine brown sugar, butter, and cream in a heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly until butter has melted completely. Reduce heat to low and simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and sea salt until smooth; let cool 5 minutes. Whisk in powdered sugar and milk until smooth.

Set rack with doughnuts over a piece of wax paper. Dip doughnut tops into glaze and let set on rack. Doughnuts taste best the first day; if desired, store unglazed overnight in an airtight container at room temperature and glaze before serving.

*Make your own cake flour: place 2 tablespoons cornstarch in an empty 1-cup measure, then top up with flour. Sift the mixture several times to evenly distribute the cornstarch.

Yield – 36 doughnuts
Calories – 200 (for 3 mini doughnuts)
Carbs – 33

Giveaway Details:
One winner will receive a Mini Doughnut Pan. Enter the giveaway through the Rafflecopter below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway ends on Sunday, October 27, 2013 at 4 pm PST. The winner will be selected by and contacted by email. If there is no response after 48 hours, another winner will be selected. Open to US Residents.

Disclosure: Wilton did not sponsor this giveaway. I received no compensation and all opinions expressed in this post are my own.

  1. So, so cute – these mini doughnuts, Laura! I have been playing with mini doughnuts too, but haven’t been happy w/the couple of recipes I’ve tried for baked ones. I will have to try these! So adorable with the pretzel stem and like all the spices in the recipe. 🙂

  2. Laura the Mini Caramel Apple doughnuts are just adorable! I need to break out my mini doughnut pan and give this inspired recipe a try!

  3. I can’t get over how cute these are!! Favorite donut flavor is probably maple… maybe something chocolatey, or something with a gooey filling. aaagh, all of them are good! ooo, especially the ones that have apple pie crumbles on top!

  4. So cute!!! These are the most perfect fall treat! So creative! 🙂 Oh and I simply cannot pick a favorite doughnut flavor!! Probably a chocolate glazed one though!

  5. Wow! These look really good. I have always wanted to make homemade doughnuts, I just am not really into the frying thing. But if you bake them, you can have doughnut goodness minus the hot oil.
    These are going to enter my tummy at some point this weekend. 🙂

  6. These are really so adorable. I need me one of those pans and some of those doughnuts. I’m bookmarking these so I can make them soon.
    Hope you are having a great week.

  7. Chocolate covered fried cinnamon or raspberry filled bismarck would be my favorite flavors.As of today. Would love to try making new treats with the donut pan.

  8. Cute as a button! Laura, these are truly stinkin’ cuuuute! I’m with Maria…perfect for a Fall party. And, I love that you use grated apple in your batter for added flavor and moisture. This food styling idea of yours is pure GENIUS. Pat yourself on the back, girl! Love, love, love this idea. Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful autumn weekend. Pinning!

  9. I love doughnuts….there I admitted it LOL! Especially cake doughnuts…..YUM! Your pictures are too fun, and so creative! Love this flavor of doughnut:-) Yum, Hugs, Terra

  10. I just made these today and even the batter tasted amazing while I was baking. The glaze makes the donut, so I think next time I will dip in the glaze, let it dry, and then dip again! Very yummy!

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