SRC: Baked Caramel Apple Mini Doughnuts

These mini apple doughnuts are dipped in an easy sweet caramel sauce for the ultimate easy fall treat!

Baked Caramel Apple Mini Doughnuts | thepajamachef.com #secretrecipeclub #src

For this month’s Secret Recipe Club, I was assigned to Cookaholic Wife, a blog written by Nichole. Nichole has SO many delicious recipes on her site. I had such a hard time deciding what to make! In the end, I chose these cute lil mini caramel apple doughnuts because they seemed so seasonally appropriate. I do love pumpkin but wanted to show apple some love. :) Recipe runner ups included this Apple-Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Pork that Nichole just posted last week, Hawaiian Burgers, Caramel Grapes, and Coconut Lime Cookie Bars. If it was summer, those cookie bars would’ve definitely won! Aside from being into pretty much every one of Nichole’s recipes, I think the two of us could be BFFs. We’re the same age, both have two cats, and ideally would either be baking or reading on the beach. Yup, sounds about right. :) While I have a 30 before 30 challenge, Nichole had a 28 before 28 challenge. How fun! [And speaking of fun, read this post about Nichole’s mom and her burning water habit. Hilarious!]

Baked Caramel Apple Mini Doughnuts | thepajamachef.com #secretrecipeclub #src

Anyways, I was psyched to see this recipe because I a) love caramel apples but hate biting into one, b) have a mini doughnut pan that I never use, and c) they just sounded AMAZING! And that they were. These mini doughnuts were a little bite of fall, perfect for dessert or breakfast. One word of caution though–the caramel sauce is super hot, so don’t take a bite until it’s cooled down a bit. The roof of your mouth will thank you! :) [I learned that from Nichole's first hand experience.]

Baked Caramel Apple Mini Doughnuts | thepajamachef.com #secretrecipeclub #src

Since I only have one doughnut pan, and wasn’t about to mess with letting the pan cool down in between batches, I used half the batter in my mini muffin pan for some adorable doughnut holes. So if you don’t have a doughnut pan, try that out! You may just need some additional caramel sauce for dipping since they’re a tiny bit bigger. Hope you enjoy! Thanks, Nichole for the great recipe! :)

Baked Caramel Apple Mini Doughnuts | thepajamachef.com #secretrecipeclub #src

one year ago: Baked Strawberry French Toast with Strawberry Maple Syrup
three years ago: Pumpkin Spread
four years ago: Pumpkin Pie Baked Oatmeal

Baked Caramel Apple Mini Doughnuts

  • Servings: 24 doughnuts
  • Time: 60 minutes
  • Print

from Cookaholic Wife
Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 egg, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup apple, minced
  • 1 cup chewy caramel candies – I used Kraft caramels, the ones they advertise for making caramel apples
  • 1 tablespoon milk

Directions:

Grease mini doughnut pan(s) or mini muffin pan(s) with cooking spray. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and cinnamon. In a measuring cup, whisk together egg, sugars, oil, applesauce, and vanilla. Pour wet ingredients into the dry and stir until combined. Fold in apples.

Spoon batter into prepared pans, filling about halfway.

Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Remove to a wire rack to cool for 5-10 minutes.

Meanwhile, place caramels and milk in a microwave safe small bowl. Microwave for 30 second increments on 50% power, stirring after each burst. Repeat until a caramel sauce comes together.

Dip doughnuts into caramel sauce then return to wire rack to set. Serve warm! Enjoy within a couple days, but they are definitely best the first day.

Be sure to check out other recipes from the Secret Recipe Club today!

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Bread Machine Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Icing

So, I don’t use my breadmaker nearly enough. Maybe because it’s a bit clunky, maybe because I’m a little too lazy to pull everything out of the cabinet to get it out. But I really should use it more. Especially when it makes delicious treats like these, at a fraction of the effort as regular from-scratch cinnamon rolls take!

Well, I suppose to be perfectly honest, these babies don’t come out of the breadmaker perfectly formed or anything, so there is still some work to be done… but really not much at all. These cinnamon rolls are perfectly sweet, perfectly gooey, and have just the right ratio of filling to icing to satisfy even the toughest critic. An unexpected burst of Maple syrup in the icing takes these cinnamon rolls one step further from amazing to incredible. Or is it incredible to extraordinary? Or wonderful to fantastic? No matter how you put it… these are worth pulling out the ‘ole breadmaker for. If you don’t think two people can polish these off… think again. You can do it! :)

Can ‘o cinnamon rolls, you don’t got nothing on these!

Bread Machine Cinnamon Rolls [from Faithful Provisions, icing from Taste of Home]
click to print

Ingredients:

for the dough

  • 1 1/8 cup warm milk [microwave for 30 seconds]
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 egg, plus 2 egg whites, beaten
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 cups bread flour
  • 2 1/2 cups white flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoons bread machine yeast

for the filling

  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 cup brown sugar, not packed
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon

for the icing

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1-2 teaspoons milk

Directions:

Put dough ingredients in breadmaker according to the manufacturer’s directions [for mine this is liquids and salt, dry, yeast], and run on dough cycle.

Remove dough from breadmaker when cycle is complete, then preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease two round cake pans or pie dishes and set aside.

Roll dough out into a large rectangle, approximately 12×24 inches.

Brush with melted butter, then cover evenly with brown sugar and cinnamon. Be sure to leave about a 1-inch gap around the edges; otherwise filling will spill out when you roll.

Roll up dough lengthwise, then cut in half. Continue cutting each piece in half until you have 16 pieces total. Place in prepared pans.

At this point, you have three options:

  1. Refrigerate overnight and bake in the morning, following steps below [bring to room temperature 30 minutes or so before baking].
  2. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes [I find this is necessary in colder temperatures].
  3. Bake and enjoy now!

Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

While baking, mix together icing. Whisk together powdered sugar with maple syrup and butter, then add enough milk to reach spreading consistency. Ice cinnamon rolls immediately after coming out of the oven, serve, and enjoy!

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

Welcome to Day Two of Pumpkin Week on The Pajama Chef! It’s a good week, huh?

fall scene

Beautiful trees and water... I wish this was the view from my balcony!

Are you enjoying your fall? I am. I love how the leaves are changing. I love the chill in the air. I love the need for a warm breakfast. Yesterday we saw the savory side of pumpkin. The opposite of savory is sweet. And that is just what is being served today… in breakfast format!

Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll

The goods, folks.

To me, cinnamon rolls are one of the most indulgent treats available to man. Warm, rich, gooey, utterly delightful pastry dough coupled with a filling of sweet and spicy cinnamon and topped with out of this world frosting. Altogether, cinnamon rolls are almost too sweet to be enjoyable. Almost, but not quite. I still enjoy them, don’t you fret.

I developed my love of cinnamon rolls by going to Cinnabon with my Grandpa as a child. We’d go to the mall for a treat when he babysat me after preschool or as a break during back to school shopping along with Grandma. Nowadays, I live in a town devoid of Cinnabon, so  I must remedy my cravings by making my own cinnamon rolls. And let me tell you.. they are almost as good as my childhood memories. But no recipe can top good memories, right?

This time, instead of using my traditional cinnamon roll recipe, I used a recipe found at Good Life Eats for a Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll. Best. Decision. Ever.

Good Life Eats placed pumpkin in the dough. I like my pumpkin intense, so I wasn’t about to stop there. I added it to the filling as well, switching out the butter for the pumpkin. Yum. Great choice. I took the easy way out with the kneading and rising parts of dough-making this time by using my breadmaker, but these rolls can be prepared by hand instead. Initially, I considered using my own frosting recipe, but in the end, went with the suggested cream cheese frosting. Another great choice, as it is practically a Cinnabon knock-off. Bliss!

If you haven’t figured it out by now, these are not your average cinnamon rolls. They are better than average. They are delicious and mouthwatering and will satisfy any sweet tooth. They are pumpkin-y and cinnamon-y and sweet to an extreme. I can’t wait to make them again.

pumpkin cinnamon rolls in pan

Waterfalls of frosting... oh how I love thee!

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting [from Good Life Eats]

Ingredients:

Dough

  • 1/4 cup warm water [not hot, about 110 degrees]
  • 1 package active dry yeast [about 2 1/4 teaspoons]
  • 1/3 cup warm milk
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Filling:

  • 1/4 cup pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 4 ounces butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2 cups powdered sugar

Directions:

To make the dough, add all ingredients to the pan of your breadmaker according to the manufacturer’s directions. My breadmaker calls for liquids and salt, then dry ingredients, then yeast, but yours may be different. [Liquids=water, milk, egg, pumpkin, butter.] Turn on the breadmaker using the “dough” setting. When dough is prepared, remove from the pan and turn out the dough on a floured work surface or countertop. **if you do not have a breadmaker, you can make the dough by hand using these instructions.

Meanwhile, while dough is rising in the breadmaker or in a bowl, make the filling. Whisk together all ingredients except pumpkin and set aside. Grease a 9 inch round springform or cake pan with cooking spray and set aside.

After dough has been turned out onto the countertop, use a rolling pin or your hands to shape the dough into a 12 by 16 inch rectangle. Spread the 1/4 cup pumpkin over dough, leaving about an inch margin on all sides and then top with the sugar/spice mixture.

Roll the dough into a log the long way; it may stretch out some. Use a sharp, serrated knife and cut the log into 10 slices. Place in prepared pan.

The recipe can be prepared up to this point the night before, then covered with foil and refrigerated. In the morning, remove the pan from the refrigerator and take off the foil. Continue with below recipe, noting that the initial rising time may be longer because the dough is chilled.

Cover pan with a towel, and let rise until doubled, about 40-50 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and bake for about 25-35 minutes, or until rolls are golden brown and pull away from the edge of the pan slightly.

During the baking process, make the frosting. In a food processor, combine cream cheese, vanilla, butter, and lemon juice and pulse until smooth. Mix in the powdered sugar in 1/3 cup increments, beating in between additions, until all sugar is full incorporated. [If you need to use more than 2 cups to reach desired consistency, then feel free to do so!]

Frost warm rolls and enjoy immediately! Leftovers can be frozen… if there are any!

Click here for the printable version: pumpkin cinnamon rolls with cream cheese frosting

Question of the Day: What’s your favorite special food memory?