Apple pie goes with any occasion. But what about apple pie donut cakes? When served with ice cream and caramel sauce, they taste just like an apple pie. However, they are significantly easier to make. I would even go as far as to call them fool-proof.
Apple pie donuts don’t call for you to make any kind pastry, which requires a lot of time and some level of experience. You can just mix all ingredients together and bake them in a donut pan. They bake very quickly, in about 10 minutes. You can make them in advance and eat them both cold or hot. Simply pop them in the oven or microwave for a minute to warm up before eating. Serve with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce.
What I like the most about these apple pie donuts is that they become crispy on the outside but remain soft and fluffy on the inside. And if you eat them hot, with melting vanilla ice cream and delicious caramel sauce, they taste delectable; too delicious for how easy they are to make.
I like to use a donut pan for baking these tiny cakes. That’s because the hole in the middle is perfect for filling with ice cream and caramel. However, you can also use a muffin or a mini loaf pan. Since the surface area of the donut cakes is lower when using alternative pans, yours may take longer to bake. Make sure to keep an eye on them and poke the cakes in the middle with a toothpick to make sure they are fully baked before taking them out of the oven.
If you’re making them for a party, you can prepare the caramel sauce and batter one day in advance and refrigerate them overnight. I recommend placing the batter in a piping bag before refrigerating it. As it sits in the fridge overnight, it develop more gluten and becomes more challenging to scoop with a spoon.
See more donut recipes here.
Lastly, here’s how to make these scrumptious apple pie donut cakes:
Apple Pie Donut Cakes
For the caramel:
- one large apple, peeled and diced
- 50 g (1 ¾ oz.) pecans, finely chopped
- ¼ cup (50 g/ 1 ¾ oz.) brown sugar, packed
- 2 tbsp. (20 g/ ¾ oz.) unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 tbsp. cream
For the batter:
- 2 large eggs at room temperature
- 1 cup (150 g/ 5 ¼ oz.) all-purpose flour
- ½ cup (100 g/ 3 ½ oz.) granulated sugar
- ½ stick (60 g/ 2 oz.) unsalted butter at room temperature
- ½ cup (120 ml/ 4 ¼ oz.) cream (35% fat content)
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 tbsp. unsalted butter at room temperature for greasing the pan
- vanilla ice cream
For the caramel:
- In a pot over low heat, place the butter and sugar until the sugar dissolves. Add the cream and mix. Add the diced apple and chopped pecans, and mix. Keep on the heat until the caramel becomes more viscous (approx. 5-10 minutes). Transfer to a bowl and let it cool at room temperature (approx. 20 minutes).
For the batter:
- Pre-heat oven to 180 °C (350 °F).
- In a bowl sift the flour and cinnamon, then add the baking powder. Mix them with a whisk and set aside.
- Gently melt the butter over low temperature. Make sure the butter does not bubble. Once melted, set it aside and allow it to cool a little.
- Crack the eggs into another bowl, add the sugar and beat at high speed with an electric mixer. The mixture is ready when almost triple in volume and light in color. Add the vanilla extract, salt, cream, and whisk until incorporated.
- Using a spatula, add the flour mix to the egg mix in 2-3 steps, mixing gently after each step. Make sure the flour is well incorporated, but do not over mix. Once the flour has been incorporated, fold in the melted cooled butter. Allow the batter to sit for 5 minutes.
- Grease the donut pan with room temperature butter. Add a thin layer of the caramel apple and pecan to the bottom of each mould in the donut pan. On top of it, pipe the batter, filling ¾ of the cavity. Bake for 10 minutes, or until donuts spring back when gently pressed.
- Once baked, take the pan out of the oven and allow the donuts to cool in the donut pan 2-3 minutes at room temperature. Transfer them to a rack by placing the rack on top of the donut pan and quickly flip them. Let them sit until completely cooled.
- Serve with vanilla ice cream and more of the caramel sauce you made perviously.