Once a little-known specialty of Brittany, France, where salted caramel candies are a traditional treat, salted caramel is now found everyone, swirled into ice cream, drizzled on tarts and used in pies and cakes. Now you can get your sweet-salty fix with these doughnuts, which will disappear in a flash when you make them. Use a top-quality flaky salt for garnishing these: we like Jacobsen finishing salt and Maldon sea salt.
Salted Caramel Doughnuts
For the doughnuts:
- 3 cups (15 oz./475 g) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
- 2 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1 Tbs. vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) buttermilk
- 1/2 cup (4 oz./125 g) granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup (2 oz./60 g) firmly packed light brown sugar
- Canola oil for frying
For the topping:
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 1 1/2 tsp. flaky sea salt, plus more for garnish
- Canola oil, for frying
1. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and nutmeg. In a measuring cup, stir together the butter and vanilla. Set aside.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the eggs, buttermilk and sugars on medium until well combined. Add the flour mixture and beat until just combined, then beat in the butter mixture until just combined.
3. Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface and knead until the dough comes together. (The dough will be very sticky.) Roll out 1/2 inch (12 mm) thick. Using a doughnut cutter or 2 round cutters, one 3 inches (7.5 cm) in diameter and one 1 inch (2.5 cm) in diameter, cut out doughnuts and holes. Transfer to a well-floured baking sheet and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours.
Meanwhile, in a saucepan, stir together the sugar, lemon juice and 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) water. Place over medium heat and cook, stirring continuously, until the mixture bubbles vigorously and turns a golden amber color, 7 to 9 minutes. Remove from the heat and immediately and very carefully add the cream; the mixture will bubble and splatter. Stir until the sauce is smooth, then stir in the sea salt. Let cool until warm.
4. To fry the doughnuts, heat the oil over medium-high until it registers 360°F (180°C) on a deep-frying thermometer. When the doughnuts are cooked through (cut one open to test), 1 to 2 minutes per side (holes take less time), use a slotted spoon to transfer to a cooling rack or prepared baking sheet. Let cool for 5 minutes. Dip the doughnuts, top side down, into the caramel sauce. Garnish with sea salt and serve. Makes about 10 to 12 doughnuts.
Learn how easy and satisfying it is to make doughnuts at home with our
inspiring guide The Doughnut Cookbook by Amanda Haas, Amanda Frederickson, and Emily McFarren.