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Biting into warm, soft donut holes filled with gooey caramel and fresh, tangy apples sounds amazing, right? You bet, I’m right!

donut holes up close with powdered sugar

Today, I’m super excited to share with you a recipe that’s a big hit in my house – Caramel Apple Donut Holes.

These little bites of heaven are perfect for any occasion, whether it’s a cozy morning breakfast, a fun afternoon snack, or a sweet treat after dinner.

Making these doughnut holes is a lot easier than you might think, and the best part is that you can enjoy them without even leaving your home.

There is no need to head to the donut shop when you can whip up these yummy treats in your own kitchen. Homemade donuts save money, and they taste better, too!!

Maybe that’s just me. I tend to think that everything is better when you make it at home. These simple donut holes are a great example.

I’ll give you a fair warning. You’re going to need more of these bite-sized donuts than you think. Make a big batch. They get devoured faster than you can say, Dunkin Donuts, haha!

So, let’s get into why this recipe for Donut Holes is so awesome and how you can make these delicious donut holes yourself!

Some of our other favorite yummy sweet recipes we have on our site include: Baked Peanut Butter Doughnuts with Glaze, Baked Chocolate Chip Donut Holes, and Thick and Chewy Animal Crackers Cookies Recipe.

donut holes on a square plate

WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS:

  1. Simple Ingredients: You only need a few basic ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry.
  2. Kid-Friendly: Get the whole family involved! Kids love helping make (and eat) these.
  3. Absolutely Delicious: The combination of caramel and apple wrapped in a soft, warm dough is unbeatable.

INGREDIENTS NEEDED (SCROLL TO THE BOTTOM OF THIS POST FOR THE FULL RECIPE CARD):

  • Canola oil
  • Green apples (Granny Smith)
  • Brown sugar
  • Cinnamon
  • Caramel sauce
  • Crescent dough sheet
  • Maple extract
  • Powdered sugar
ingredients needed to make donut holes

HOW TO MAKE DONUT HOLES:

  1. Preheat the oil in a heavy bottom skillet with deep sides (or a Dutch oven) about 2 inches up the side of the pan or a deep fryer to 375°F.
  2. Peel and small dice the apples. Add them to a medium-sized bowl and stir in the caramel sauce, brown sugar, cinnamon, and maple extract.
  3. Unroll the crescent dough sheet on a lightly floured, clean work surface. Cut it into 16 sections.
  4. Scoop about 1 tablespoon of the apple mixture into the center of each dough square.
  5. Pinch the seams of the dough to seal and roll it into a ball in the palms of your hands. Repeat with the remaining dough and apples.
  6. Carefully place the donuts in the hot oil; you must work in batches to not overcrowd the pan. Turn over after 1 minute to cook the other side, they are ready when they are golden brown all over.
  7. Remove from the oil onto a paper towel-lined plate to remove excess oil.
  8. Top with powdered sugar and serve with more caramel sauce for dipping.
collage of images showing how to make donut holes

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT THIS RECIPE:

Easy peasy! For creating the perfect bite-sized goodies, tart green apples such as Granny Smith are the top choice.

Their tangy flavor wonderfully balances the sweetness of the caramel, creating a delightful contrast that does great things with the overall taste of these fresh donuts.

The tartness of these apples cuts through the richness, making each mini donut hole a perfect, harmonious bite.

To enjoy warm donut holes with that just-made freshness, you can gently reheat them in the microwave for about 10-15 seconds.

If you prefer a more evenly warmed treat, placing them on a serving plate and heating them in the oven at 350°F for a few minutes is a great way to restore their cozy warmth.

The air fryer works too!

Remember to check the temperature of the oil if you’re making another batch of fried donut holes; a cooking thermometer is handy for making sure it’s just right to keep those donut holes deliciously golden and with the perfect doughy center.

upclose image of donut holes with powdered sugar on top

Homemade donut holes are great for variety. Try a few of these ideas on for size!

  • Drizzle with chocolate ganache for extra sweetness
  • Sprinkle cinnamon sugar mixture on top instead of powdered sugar
  • Mix in vanilla extract with the apple filling for more flavor
  • Top with a sweet glaze or maple syrup
  • Add a pinch of pumpkin pie spice to the dough for a fall twist
  • Serve with a side of warm caramel sauce for dipping
  • Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar for a snowy effect
  • Mix in chopped nuts with the apple filling for a crunchy texture
  • Use coconut oil for frying for a slight coconut flavor

These little round donut holes can certainly stand a few swaps. The texture and flavor might be different, but they’ll be tasty!

  • Use vegetable oil, peanut oil, or coconut oil instead of canola oil
  • Substitute apple pie filling for the fresh apples and caramel mix if short on time
  • Use homemade dough or pizza dough if crescent dough sheet is not available
  • Agave syrup or honey can replace the caramel sauce for a different sweetness
donut holes stacked with a bite taken out

HOW TO STORE:

Refrigerator: Place cake donuts in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Freezer: Freeze on a cookie sheet before transferring to a freezer bag. Reheat in the oven when ready to enjoy.

DANA’S TIPS AND TRICKS:

  • Make sure the oil is at the right temperature (375°F) for the perfect golden brown finish.
  • Don’t overcrowd the pan; fry the donut holes in small batches to ensure even cooking.
  • Use a slotted spoon for easy removal from the hot oil and to drain excess oil.
  • Let them cool on a cooling rack or paper towel to keep them crispy.
  • Serve them warm for the best taste and texture experience.
  • Experiment with different fillings and toppings to find your favorite combination.
up close image donut holes with a bite taken out

These Donut Holes are a delightful treat that’s sure to bring smiles to everyone’s faces.

They’re the perfect blend of sweet caramel, tangy apple, and soft, fluffy dough that you can enjoy any time of the day.

So, why wait? Grab your ingredients, and let’s make some donut holes! Trust me, your taste buds will thank you.

If you’ve tried these DONUT HOLES, let me know how they turned out in the comments! You can follow me over on PINTEREST, INSTAGRAM OR FACEBOOK to find some more of our mouthwatering recipes! 

This Silly Girls Kitchen Logo
3.67 from 3 votes

Caramel Apple Stuffed Donut Holes (Crescent Dough)

Author Dana at ThisSillyGirlsKitchen.com
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Biting into warm, soft donut holes filled with gooey caramel and fresh, tangy apples sounds amazing, right? You bet, I’m right!
Servings 16 donuts

Equipment

Ingredients
  

Instructions

  • Preheat the oil in a heavy bottom skillet with deep sides (or a Dutch oven) about 2 inches up the side of the pan or a deep fryer to 375°F.
    oil for frying
  • Peel and small dice the apples. Add them to a medium-sized bowl and stir in the caramel sauce, brown sugar, cinnamon, and maple extract.
    2 Granny apples, ½ cup caramel sauce, 1 tablespoon light brown sugar, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon maple extract
  • Unroll the crescent dough sheet on a lightly floured, clean work surface. Cut it into 16 sections.
    2 cans crescent dough sheet
  • Scoop about 1 tablespoon of the apple mixture into the center of each dough square.
  • Pinch the seams of the dough to seal and roll it into a ball in the palms of your hands. Repeat with the remaining dough and apples. You may have some filling left over.
  • Carefully place the donuts in the hot oil; you must work in batches to not overcrowd the pan. Turn over after 1 minute to cook the other side, they are ready when they are golden brown all over.
  • Remove from the oil onto a paper towel-lined plate to remove excess oil.
  • Top with powdered sugar and serve with more caramel sauce for dipping.
    ½ cup powdered sugar

Notes

  • Make sure the oil is at the right temperature (375°F) for the perfect golden brown finish.
  • Don’t overcrowd the pan; fry the donut holes in small batches to ensure even cooking.
  • Use a slotted spoon for easy removal from the hot oil and to drain excess oil.
  • Let them cool on a cooling rack or paper towel to keep them crispy.
  • Serve them warm for the best taste and texture experience.
  • Experiment with different fillings and toppings to find your favorite combination.

Nutrition

Calories: 57kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 0.3g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0.3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Sodium: 52mg | Potassium: 31mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 19IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 7mg | Iron: 0.1mg
Nutrition Disclaimer
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American

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3.67 from 3 votes (3 ratings without comment)

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2 Comments

  1. Can this be made in the air fryer prior to trying to reheat? If so, which temp and for how long?

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