Baked Caramel Apple Donuts

caramel apple donuts

When you find yourself shopping online at 2AM, mini donut pans sound like a brilliant idea. That’s not something your sharp witted, practical 12PM mind allows you to consider–especially when your husband begged you not to add anymore items to the kitchen. When you wake up the next morning with a confirmation that your donut pans have shipped, you might find yourself wondering what else you’ve ordered online…Japanese steak knives? (a wise purchase!) A leash for your invisible dog? (I’ve always wanted one!)

On the day these donut pans arrived, I immediately made a batch following the recipe included with the pans. BLECK! They tasted awful. Guess who had shopper’s remorse?! After doing some serious searching, this simple recipe obliterated all the guilt associated with my donut pan purchase–Hello!! Baked Caramel Apple Donuts!!

While diving into my first few donuts, I thought they were awesome but the caramel topping was a bit on the thick/chewy side…An overnight stay on my kitchen counter produced the most amazingly moist caramel saturated donut. That’s right! The caramel seeped INTO the donut.  I was also delighted to find that the appley goodness really came out during day two! A cakey donut that gets better on day two?!! Who would have thought? So yes. You should try these and I hope you have enough donuts on day two, so you can see what I mean 😉

p.s.- what if we put some fancy salt on top? OVERLOAD.

Let’s get started!

Eggs mix with sugars in a bowl. Mix mix mix.

eggs & sugar

Peel the apples! I used Galas. Three of them.


Shred the apples with a grater. Watch your fingers.


Add the vanilla & oil into the eggs & sugar. Whisk.

oil vanilla

Stir in the flour, cinnamon & baking powder. Now add the shredded apples.

insert apple shreds here

Spoon the batter into well lubed donut pans! I used regular sized & minis. I’m adventurous!


After they are baked, let them cool on a cooling rack! I suggest you try a naked one.

cooling down

In a microwaveable bowl, add caramels & milk. Zap it in the microwave for a minute.

caramel candies

After a minute, stir! Then heat on 30 sec. intervals until melted!

after 1 min in microwave

Ahhhh heaven! Let’s the fun begin. Watch out hot caramel. I dipped the mini donuts directly in the caramel.


With the regular sized donuts, I used a spoon and spread the caramel evenly on top.

caramel glazing

Come on…they are calling your name!!!


Eat me!

Baked Caramel Apple Donuts

makes about 12 regular sized donuts & 24 small ones

(recipe adapted from Rachael Ray Magazine)

  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 medium apples, peeled & shredded
  • 1 1/2 cup chewy caramel candies
  • 1 tablespoon whole milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray donut pans with cooking spray & set aside. Whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, brown sugar and granulated sugar until smooth. Whisk in oil and vanilla. Stir into the flour mixture until just combined; stir in the apples. Spoon the batter into the prepared donut pans until almost full. Baked until golden and a tooth pick inserted in the center comes out dry. It takes about 15-20 minutes. (Mind ended up taking 18)

In a small, microwaveable bowl, combine the caramel and milk. Microwave for 1 minute at medium power. then stir; repeat in 30 second intervals until melted and smooth. If making small donuts, dip them directly into the caramel. For larger donuts, spoon caramel topping on top!

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