Apple Fritter Doughnut Holes with Caramel Glaze

My favorite doughnut is without a doubt the apple fritter.  I feel like I should capitalize its name to give it full due respect but that would be silly.  The apple fritters I grew up eating were weirdly crispy, but also gooey on the inside and bursting with heinously artificial apple flavoring, which tasted like canned apple pie filling was just dumped into the batter.  I loved them. 

These basically have the same flavor profile, but are a bit less crispy and I used real apples because duh why the hell would I ever use canned apple pie filling in a doughnut recipe I'm shocked that is even a thing.  

Hey, look at that! Those are the real apples I was just talking about! 


These little guys are also super easy to make.  The one thing I request you do before going any further is to confirm that you have a working oil/candy thermometer.  This is crucial, y'all.  To be honest, the first time I made these I didn't use one and everything was burned - lolz I made fried rocks oops.  So, yes, please go out and get one if you don't already own one. 

Also a few notes on this recipe:

I used coconut oil for frying because it can be heated super hot and not burn and also because it's purportedly healthier than most other vegetable oils.  

Also, yes I know I say caramel "glaze" but its basically just a simple caramel that I pour over the finished doughnut holes when they're fresh out of the fryer.  So, while I technically do glaze the doughnuts with it, it isn't different than any other run of the mill caramel recipe.  Because run of the mill caramel is delicious.  



Doughnut Holes

  • 4 cups vegetable oil 
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 lg egg
  • 2 T brown sugar
  • 1 T cinnamon
  • 1 T nutmeg
  • 1.5 T baking powder
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 stick melted butter
  • 1 cup diced apple (I used fuji) 


  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 t vanilla



  1. Using your handy dandy thermometer, bring the oil to 350 degrees in a deep pot over med-high heat.  The oil should be at least 2-3 inches deep.  You'll want to monitor the heat throughout this process as it varies when the raw dough is added.  
  2. Whisk the egg and buttermilk together and set aside.
  3. Whisk together the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder and salt.  
  4. Add the egg combination to the dry mix, mix thoroughly to combine.
  5. Add in melted butter and again mix to combine, maxing sure there are no pockets of dry mix. 
  6. Fold in diced apples.
  7. Using either a melon-baller or your hands, form the dough into small balls about 3/4 inch in diameter (at this size they'll puff up to about the size of a ping pong ball when fried).
  8. Fry the doughnuts a few at a time, flipping them regularly until evenly golden to light brown.  I would take out one doughnut from each batch I was frying to cut open and check to see if they were done.  Basically, the inside has to just be fully cooked but the outside shouldn't burn.  This takes about 2 minutes.  
  9. Monitor the oil temperature carefully and adjust it as needed.
  10. Place the fried doughnuts on a cookie sheet lined with paper towels to remove the excess oil, and then transfer onto wax paper for glazing.
  11. For the glaze, bring the sugar, butter and heavy cream to a boil in a saucepan over med-high heat and boil for one minute, stirring constantly.
  12. Remove from heat and add in vanilla, continuing to stir for an additional minute.  Use while hot.  
  13. Simply pour the caramel all over those unsuspecting doughnut holes.