Paleo Caramel-Apple Mini Donuts


For healthy eaters like you, the decadent desserts of fall don’t have to be off limits. Free of refined sugar, grains and gluten, this autumn-inspired recipe is one that both you and your loved ones can all enjoy. These sweet, paleo-friendly donuts are made with real apples and can easily be made vegan by opting for coconut oil instead of ghee and swapping in flax eggs for eggs. When ready, garnish with toasted pecans or crushed apple chips and arrange on a tiered dessert stand to serve!

Homemade Baked Paleo Caramel-Apple Donuts Recipe |

Yields approximately 24 mini donuts


Donut batter
 2-1/2 cups Bob’s Red Mill Super-Fine Almond Flour
1 cup Big Tree Farms Organic Coconut Sugar
4 organic eggs
1 Tbsp. 4th & Heart Ghee Butter or Vitacost Organic Coconut Oil, melted
2 tsp. organic ground cinnamon
1 tsp. Frontier Co-Op Organic Vanilla Extract 
1/2 tsp. Bob’s Red Mill Baking Soda
1/8 tsp. Redmond Real Sea Salt

Apple mixture
1 medium organic apple, diced
1 Tbsp. Big Tree Farms Organic Coconut Sugar
2 tsp. 4th & Heart Ghee or Vitacost Organic Coconut Oil
1 tsp. organic ground cinnamon
Pinch Redmond Real Sea Salt

Caramel icing
16 Shiloh Farms Organic Deglet Noor Dates, soaked 
3 Tbsp. Native Forest Organic Coconut Cream
1 Tbsp. Vitacost Organic Maple Syrup
1/2 tsp. Frontier Co-Op Organic Vanilla Extract 
A few pinches Redmond Real Sea Salt


1. In frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon oil. Add apple, coconut sugar, cinnamon and salt. Cook 5 minutes or until soft and fragrant. Set aside to cool.
2. Soak dates in bowl of hot water for 15 minutes.
3. In the meantime, combine dry donut batter ingredients in large bowl and mix well.
4. In medium bowl, whisk wet donut batter ingredients together (eggs, ghee or coconut oil & vanilla extract).
5. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix well. Fold in apple mixture. 
6. Spoon dough into large reclosable bag with one corner snipped off.
7. Using greased mini donut pan or mini electric donut maker, pipe in dough about 2/3 full, and cook according to donut maker or pan directions. Note: Mine took about 2 minutes in electric donut maker (flip if needed, cooking for 1 more minute) and 10-12 minutes in mini donut pan or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean). 
8. Set donuts on wire rack to cool while you make the caramel. You may have to cook a few batches depending on the size of your donut maker or pan.

Caramel icing
9. Drain soaked dates. In food processor or high-speed blender, pulse dates, coconut cream, maple syrup, vanilla and salt until creamy and dates are fully incorporated.
10. Transfer to bowl. Dip donuts into mixture to coat one at a time.
11. Arrange on tray and place frosted donuts into refrigerator for 10-15 minutes with remaining caramel icing.
12. Remove both from fridge and dip donuts a second time.
13. Sprinkle with toasted pecans or crushed apple chips and serve. 

Chef’s tips:

  • Use a wooden skewer to easily flip and remove donuts. Poke into the donut and gently flip to keep hands safe from burns.
  • If you refrigerate these tasty treats overnight, be aware that the frosting will soak into the donut the longer it sits.