Spiced Apple Brûlée Baked Donuts

Crème Brulee, doughnut or cake? Tough decision? HAVE THEM ALL. This recipe is pure autumn comfort in a few mouthfuls. A Fluffy light spiced cake, made with pureed apples topped with that sweet burnt sugar crust, paired with all the insane joy that only the negative space of a donut hole can bring.

Eat with a mug of hot apple cider and woolly mittens that adhere to the sugar in the best possible mess you can make…


270g Plain Flour

150g Caster Sugar

30g Light Brown Muscovado Sugar

2 tsp Baking Powder

1 tsp Salt

1 tsp Cinnamon, ground

Pinch ground Cloves

110g Whole Milk

10g lemon Juice

60g Apple Puree

2 Large Eggs

30g Melted Butter

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

Brulee Topping

50g Butter

250g Caster Sugar

Pinch Salt

Chopped Roasted Pecans to sprinkle (Optional)


1. Brush a 12-hole doughnut pan with butter (or use a 6-hole tin twice, this can also be made into cupcakes) and lightly dust with flour. Set in the fridge to chill and preheat the oven 190C.

2. Mix the flour, sugars, baking powder, spices, and salt in a large bowl with a whisk until homogenous.

3. In a jug, add the lemon juice to the milk and stand for 5 minutes to curdle. Add the eggs, apple puree and vanilla and beat together.

4. Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the milk mixture. Whisk until smooth then pour in the melted butter and whisk again.

5. Divide between your prepared moulds in your pan, filling 2/3 full.

6. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean and repeat with the remaining cake batter.

7. Allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes before turning out to cool completely.

8. Once cool, add the sugar for the topping to the base of a heavy pan. Heat on medium until all the granules have dissolved, it’s important not to stir at all.

9. Once dissolved, increase the heat and bubble until you get a caramel the colour of a rusty penny.

10. Remove from the heat and quickly whisk in the butter and salt, it will splutter and split but keep whisking and it will come back.

11. Dip the doughnuts into the caramel and set on a wire rack to cool. Whilst still warm, sprinkle with the chopped pecans if using. The caramel will harden to a crust when cold.

12. Bite, feel the crack and let your teeth sink into the fluffy delight that awaits…