Get all of that yummy caramel apple flavor in a donut! These homemade gluten free caramel apple donuts are full of fall flavors! Everyone will love these donuts with tart apple chunks and a thick caramel glaze!
My kids were so excited for me to make this recipe. It isn’t often that I drench something in caramel! Dipping these gluten-free baked apple donuts in caramel has taken them to a new level of yumminess!
If you have been looking for a dessert that celebrates all the fall flavors, you must try this donut recipe. I baked my donuts in the oven, but you can also use a donut maker!
I also want to note if you omit the If you are a donut fanatic like me, you will want to check out all of my gluten free donut recipes!
Why This Recipe Is Great:
- I think we love these gluten-free caramel apple donuts so much because of the memories they bring. When I was a kid, we used to melt caramel in a pan and dip apples into it. It was almost a tradition the week before Halloween.
- Now, you can have those flavors in a baked donut.
- It only takes about 30 minutes to make these donuts! We are big caramel apple lovers.
If you want more caramel apple flavor, you will want to make my Gluten Free Caramel Apple Cake too!
This recipe is gluten-free, nut-free, and soy-free. See the Substitutions section below for gum-free and dairy-free options.
- Gluten Free Flour Blend – I tested this recipe using Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 Gluten Free Flour Blend and King Arthur’s Measure for Measure Gluten Free Blend. That doesn’t mean others will not work. I just have not tested other flours.
- Xanthan Gum – If your gluten free flour blend doesn’t contain xanthan gum or guar gum, please add one teaspoon. See the Substitutions section below for a gum-free alternative.
- Sugar – Cane sugar.
- Baking Powder – Use aluminum-free baking powder.
- Ground Cinnamon, Nutmeg, and Salt
- Butter – Use unsalted butter.
- Non-Dairy Milk – You can use any plant-based milk or regular milk. I used almond milk to test this recipe. See the Substitutions section below for a dairy-free alternative.
- Applesauce – I recommend using unsweetened.
- Caramel – You can use those round caramel sheets or melt caramels in a microwave-safe dish. Get this gluten free caramel list.
- Apples – Use any flavor. My favorites are the more tart apples like Granny Smith and Pink Lady.
- To make this recipe dairy-free, substitute the butter for vegan butter. See my notes about vegan caramel in the FAQ section below.
- I used almond milk, but other dairy-free kinds of milk will work.
Recipe Step-By-Step Directions:
Wash, peel, and chop your apples into small pieces.
Step 1: Add your dry ingredients to a large
Step 2: In a microwave-safe dish, melt your butter until it is warm but not hot. Add the rest of the wet ingredients and mix them well.
Step 3: Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and add your chopped apple bits. (I peeled my apples, but you can easily leave the peels on.)
Step 4: Mix the apple donut batter.
HINT: Mix the batter until it is just barely mixed. Overmixing will make your donuts turn out denser.
Step 5: Add the batter to a piping or plastic bag. (If using the plastic bag, snip the corner off before piping into the donut pan.)
Step 6: Pipe your batter into a donut pan.(I like this silicone donut pan because the donuts are so easy to get out, and they shape perfectly!
If you love using a donut maker, I can’t say enough good about the Babycakes Donut Maker. I have had mine for years, and it still works great!
Step 7: Bake the donuts at 350º F for 20-22 minutes, depending on how large and deep your donut pan is. Allow the donuts to cool on a rack.
Step 8: Melt your caramel in a microwave-safe dish. Dip each donut into the caramel. You can also drizzle the caramel on if you prefer less caramel. Be careful. The caramel is HOT!
You may also love this easy Gluten Free Vanilla Donuts recipe.
- Sprinkle the caramel with coarse salt to make these salted caramel donuts!
- Add your favorite sprinkles. Make sure you use gluten free sprinkles by checking my gluten free sprinkles list.
- Add mini white chocolate chips to the donut batter.
Tips and Recipe FAQ:
Most donuts are not really that healthy because of the sugar. These donuts have a lot of sugar from the caramel. If you are looking for a healthy apple donut, try these Paleo Apple Donuts made with almond flour. They are made without processed sugar.
Caramel has dairy so that you can make the donuts as apple donuts, but you could try making this vegan caramel. It isn’t as thick as the caramel squares, but it will add that yummy caramel flavor.
You can store these donuts in an air-tight container in your refrigerator. You can also freeze them in a zip-style freezer bag in the freezer.
These donuts will keep fresh for up to 4 days in an air-tight container or up to 4 months in the freezer.
More Gluten Free Donut Recipes:
- Gluten Free Fried Jelly Donuts
- Baked Gluten Free Apple Cider Donuts
- Chunky Monkey Gluten Free Banana Donuts
- Easy Gluten Free Chocolate Donuts
- Gluten Free Lemon Donuts
Gluten Free Caramel Apple Donuts
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- 2 cups gluten free flour blend * see note
- ½ cup sugar (white or brown both work well)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder * see note
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ cup butter melted
- 1 large egg
- ½ cup applesauce unsweetened
- ¾ cup non-dairy milk
- ¾ cup apple * see note
- ⅔ cup caramel * see note
- Add your dry ingredients to a bowl and whisk to blend them together.
- In a microwave-safe dish, melt your butter until it is warm, but not hot. Add the rest of the wet ingredients and mix it well.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and add your chopped apple bits. (I peeled my apples but you can easily leave the peels on.)
- Mix the apple donut batter. Mix the batter until it is just barely mixed. Overmixing will make your donuts turn out denser.
- Add the batter to a piping bag or a plastic bag. (If using the plastic bag, snip the corner off before piping into the donut pan.) Pipe the batter into the donut pan.
- Bake the donuts at 350º F for 20-22 minutes, depending on how large and deep your donut pan is. Allow the donuts to cool on a rack.
- Melt your caramel in a microwave-safe dish. Dip each donut into the caramel. You can also drizzle the caramel on if you prefer less caramel. Be careful, the caramel is HOT!
- I have tested this recipe with King Arthur Measure for Measure GF and Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 GF blend. That doesn’t mean others will not work, I just have not tested other flours.
- Xanthan gum – If your gluten free flour blend doesn’t contain xanthan gum or guar gum, please add 1 teaspoon.
- Baking powder – I use aluminum-free. It leaves less of an aftertaste.
- To make this recipe dairy-free, substitute the butter for vegan butter.
- These donuts will keep up to 4 days in an air-tight container, or up to 4 months in the freezer.
- I used Kraft caramel squares (like the ones used for caramel apples). You can also make your own caramel sauce. I included a recipe in my post.
- It is optional if you want to peel your apples.
Please know that every gluten free flour blend has a different starch to grain ratio. If you use a blend I didn’t test, you may need to adjust your moisture levels in your baked goods.
Nutritional information is an estimate provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the actual nutritional information with the products and brands you are using with your preferred nutritional calculator.
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