These caramel apple baked donuts are extremely moist, soft, and topped with my homemade caramel sauce. If you're looking for a great fall breakfast, this baked donut recipe would be perfect!
These apple donuts have a whole apple that has been shredded and mixed into the donut batter. This helps the apple flavor to really shine!
And when paired with the salted caramel, this dessert tastes just like a caramel apple!
Why You'll Love These Donuts
- They're topped with a luscious caramel.
- Instead of fried, they're baked.
- They're super soft and fluffy on the inside.
- A whole apple is used, making them burst with flavor!
You could even transform this recipe into mini donuts if you wanted to!
Expert Baking Tips
- Donut Pan: You'll need a 6-count donut pan like this one or a non-stick one. I have both of these and use them interchangeably.
- Apple: I used a cheese grater to finely shred the apple. You can use tart green apples or sweet honeycrisps like I did.
- Donut Batter: I find it so much easier to scrape the donut batter into a piping bag or a zipped-up sandwich bag and pipe the batter into the donut cups. This method makes it less messy too.
- Caramel: Make the caramel first so it has enough time to cool completely.
Here are some notes on the ingredients we'll be using. For the full ingredients list, look at the recipe card below.
- Baking Powder: I find that donuts rise better with baking powder instead of baking soda.
- Spices: Both cinnamon and nutmeg are used.
- Brown Sugar: Adds sweetness and chewiness.
- Milk: I used 2% milk but feel free to substitute it with your milk of choice.
- Yogurt: Using yogurt in baked goods help them to be more moist and soft. You can use either plain or vanilla yogurt. If you don't have yogurt, you could even use sour cream.
- Apple: Either a granny smith apple or a honey crisp would be a great apple to choose. You only need one.
- Caramel: I have a separate blog post on how I make my homemade salted caramel sauce. Check it out if you want to see step by step photos.
Here are the step by step instructions on how to make these caramel apple donuts.
Step 1: Make the caramel. Go to my post here to see my tips and tricks for caramel.
Once made, pour into a glass bowl and cool completely.
Step 2: Dry ingredients. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Set aside.
Step 3: Wet ingredients. In a large bowl, whisk together the melted butter, egg, brown sugar, milk, yogurt, and vanilla extract until fully combined.
Step 4: Combine ingredients. Add the dry ingredients into the wet and gently fold together using a silicone spatula until combined.
Then fold in the shredded apple.
Step 5: Pipe the batter. Scoop the batter into a piping bag or a zipped-up sandwich bag and pipe the donut batter into each donut cup, filling it up just barely to the top.
Step 6: Bake. Bake the donuts for 10-12 minutes. Allow them to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before carefully removing them and setting them on a wire rack to finish cooling.
Step 7: Glaze the donuts. Once cooled, dip each donut into the caramel and serve immediately.
Although donuts are best consumed the same day they are made, they will last for a short amount of time.
Keep leftover donuts in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes you can! You will have a total of 12 donuts. Just be sure to bake each pan separately.
If you don't want the caramel glaze, these donuts would also taste great with maple!
It brings me so much joy to see you make my recipes. 🙂
More Donut Recipes
Caramel Apple Baked Donuts
- Donut Pan
- Mixing Bowls
- 1 cup sugar (make sure it's labeled "pure cane")
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed, room temperature
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup milk, room temperature
- 2 tablespoons yogurt (plain or vanilla), room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 medium-sized or large apple, cored, peeled (optional), and shredded
- In a medium saucepan over medium-heat, add the sugar. Once the sugar starts to melt and clump together, continuously whisk it until completely melted.
- Allow the melted sugar to sit until it starts to turn amber in color (about 10-15 seconds). Then remove it from the heat.
- Add the cubed butter and constantly whisk it until melted. Then add the heavy whipping cream, whisking constantly until incorporated. Then whisk in the salt and vanilla extract.
- Pour the hot caramel into a glass bowl and cool completely before using. The caramel will thicken up as it cools down.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray a 6-count donut pan with non-stick spray. Set aside.
- In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the melted butter, egg, brown sugar, milk, yogurt, and vanilla extract until combined. Add the dry ingredients into the wet and gently fold together using a silicone spatula or wooden spoon until combined (be careful not to over mix).
- Then gently fold in the shredded apple. Scoop the batter into a piping bag or a zipped-up sandwich bag. Simply cut a corner off of the bottom of the bag and pipe the donut batter into each donut cup, filling it up just barely to the top.
- Bake the donuts for 10-12 minutes. Use a toothpick to check the center. If it comes out clean, then they're done. Allow the donuts to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before carefully removing them and setting them on a wire rack to finish cooling.
- Once the donuts have cooled, dip them into the salted caramel and place them back onto the wire rack (feel free to dip the donuts twice!). Once set, serve immediately and enjoy!
- Keep leftover donuts in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.