I love caramel apples. I love dairy-free recipes.
The gooey treat reminds me of the afternoons in the kitchen with my Mom, melting caramel for Halloween apples; and later, the endless hours I spent hanging out at the Calgary Stampede Midway as a teenager.
Those caramel apples were upwards of $8 a pop, but that didn’t stop me!
Suffices to say, I’ve had enough midway treats to last a lifetime.
If I had to choose a favorite, it would have been the mini cinnamon sugar doughnuts. I must have had 2-3 bags a day during the 10 day event for at least 15 years of my life.
There were even a couple of years when I’d asked Santa to bring me a Belshaw Donut Robot so I could prepare them for myself all year round.
Thankfully Santa has some sense in him and never gave me that doughnut fryer.
Plus, where did I think I was going to put that thing, in my room?
Luckily, I’m older and a bit wiser now.
I don’t spend $8 on sugar-loaded caramel doughnuts, and I’d rather get a robot to clean my house than one to make me doughnuts.
But after all these years, I still have a soft spot for any midway treat.
Naturally I saw this as a perfect opportunity to buy a doughnut pan and come up with a recipe that would make any mini doughnut fanatic swoon.
And let me tell you, Imm a swoonin’
Preheat oven to 350F and oil a doughnut pan with a dab of coconut oil. Set aside
Place all dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl and whisk to combine.
In a separate large bowl, combine all wet ingredients.
Add dry to wet and stir to combine. Allow to sit for 2-3 minutes to thicken up.
Place the batter in a piping bag or large ziploc bag with the end cut off the end so there’s about a ½-inch opening.
Fill each cavity ¾ to the top. Be careful not to overfill or the doughnuts will overflow while cooking.
Place in the oven to bake for 20-22 minutes, or until toothpick inserted comes out clean and edges are just beginning to brown.
Remove from oven and allow to cool for 1-2 minutes before grabbing the pan with an oven mitt and tipping over onto a cooling rack. Allow to cool completely (about 30 minutes) before adding caramel topping.
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I have to admit, the caramel was an afterthought.
The original plan was to coat the doughnuts with cinnamon sugar, but one taste of the cake-like doughnut with a strong apple flavor and I just couldn’t pair it with plain ‘ol cinnamon sugar.
This doughnut deserved something better…
Dairy-free Caramel Topping
Gluten free, Dairy free, Refined sugar free, Yeast free, Corn free, Grain freeA 3 ingredient, dairy-free caramel topping that will take you under 10 minutes to make!Because this is a natural caramel, it will not hold up well at room temperature. Once you’ve dipped the doughnuts, serve immediately or place in the fridge or freezer. The caramel will melt on you if you leave it out! But don’t worry, the doughnuts will still be just as tasty regardless. If you don’t want a hard topping (exactly the consistency of caramel on a caramel apple) don’t cook the honey as long.Yield: 1/2 cup
Servings: 12, enough to dip 12 doughnuts
6 tablespoon unpasteurized honey
2 tablespoon roasted cashew butter or other nut butter
2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Place honey in a small frying pan and heat on medium-low heat for 4 minutes, stirring constantly with a fork or spoon. The honey will begin to foam. Don’t worry, this is good!
Add nut butter and vanilla and continue stirring for 1-2 minutes, until big bubbles form and the mixture pulls away from the side slightly. The longer you cook it, the harder it will get.
Remove from heat and use immediately before it hardens up on you to the point where all you can do is sit on the couch and snack on the large mass of natural caramel before you…