caramel donuts on a sheet pan

Caramel Donuts-Easy Make at Home

caramel donuts on a baking rack

Donuts, I must admit they are such a weakness of mine. There is nothing I don’t love about these guys. One morning I got up and was totally craving a Caramel Donut! So, I decided to make my own version to conquer the craving.

Donuts-Sugar Shack

This donut brings back a certain memory of a fabulous Donut shop in Northern Virginia located in Alexandria called Sugar Shack. They have other locations around town but this one is my favorite spot. So good in fact, I always take visitors and friends there to indulge in their incredible Caramel Donuts.

My goodness, this donut at Sugar Shack is amazing, just lathered with caramel on top that is just melts in your mouth. Definitely one of my favorites ever and up there on the Donut Lover List. Of course there are many incredible flavors to choose from.

Donut Recipe

Recipe is super simple and comes together super easy, similar to making bread. It is a yeast dough but I lighten it just a bit by adding a little cake flour, makes it super light and fluffy.

Patience, I tell myself as I start the journey of satisfying my crazy craving. Since it is just my husband and myself, I make a small batch and it makes plenty for us to enjoy. As well as, giving some to neighbors and a few for safe keeping in the freezer. My friends always chuckle because I freeze everything, telling them the freezer is your friend!

These Caramel Donuts freeze wonderfully so you can enjoy them again and again.

Glazed caramel donuts on a pan

Baked Vs Fried

Shout out to baked donuts, I have some favorite recipes for the baked variety that I love. However, there is something about a fried yeast dough that makes your mouth so happy and taste so good!


Of course we must talk about the creamy and delicious caramel that goes on top. Five ingredients is all you need to whip this up in about 10 minutes. Traditionally, it is a caramel but I put just a touch of corn syrup to give that shinny appearance. What is not to love about a creamy caramel smothered over a donut? Mercy!

caramel donuts lined up on a plate

Tips For Success

Some tips of donut making that will help you be successful at home.

  • Properly risen dough
  • Proper oil temperature- 375 degrees
  • Frying time in the oil

One thing I have learned about making donuts at home is frying and getting that right (wasn’t too successful initially at first). 375 is a good temperature to shoot for. Additionally, I use a thermometer to keep my oil temperature in check.

Frying Donuts

Frying Oil

Too Hot? Donuts will cook faster and give you that dark brown color and leave a raw interior

Too Cold? Donuts will soak up the oil and you will be left with that oily taste at the end (blah).

Good rule of thumb is also watch the temperature when adding donuts, it can drop fast if you put too many in the oil at the same time.

My favorite color is a light brown on both sides, not too golden.

Hope you give this recipe a try and enjoy these Caramel Donuts as much as I do.

More favorite Donut recipes


Caramel Donuts-Easy Make at Home

caramel donuts on a sheet pan

Easy make at home yeast Caramel Donuts covered with a quick caramel glaze that will leave your mouth sensationally happy.

  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 27 minutes
  • Yield: 12 Donuts 1x
  • Category: Breads, Breakfast


Units Scale


  • 1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water (105 degrees)
  • 1/4 tsp sugar
  • 1 egg (whisked and divided in half (1/2 egg))
  • 3 TBS sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup milk (lukewarm, not cold)
  • 1 Tbs butter (melted and cooled)
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cake flour
  • vegetable oil

Caramel Glaze

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup cream
  • 2 Tbs butter (sliced and softened)
  • 1 tsp corn syrup



  1. In a small bowl or cup, combine the yeast, 1/4 tsp sugar, and water and mix well. Set aside and allow to activate about 5 minutes.
  2. In a stand mixer with a paddle, combine the egg, 3 TBS sugar, and salt and mix till its light and fluffy. Add in the flours, milk, butter, and the yeast mixture. Switch to the dough hook. Knead on medium low till a soft dough is formed. Elastic and smooth.

    Add more flour if necessary or little water till the dough comes together smooth and not sticky.

  3. Place the dough in a greased bowl and cover with plastic rest. Allow to rise and double in size. About an 1- 1 1/2 hours. Donut Dough
  4. Punch the dough down and rest 5 minutes. Roll the dough out about 1/2″ thick or slightly thinner. Using two round cutters (one for donut 2 1/2 to 3″ in diameter, one to cut out the centers for donuts holes) You can also use a donut cutter that both of these are combined into one Reroll dough and cut more rounds. Should have about 12-13. Cut donuts on a sheet pan ready to rise
  5. Place the cut donuts and donut holes on a lightly floured sheet pan to rise. Cover with a clean, dry dish towel to rise. Usually 30 minutes to an hour till almost doubled.
  6. Heat a saucepan with sides with vegetable oil to 375. Use a thermometer to keep temperature observed. Drop in a few donuts at a time and fry till each side is lightly browned. Frying Donuts
  7. Remove and place on a sheet pan with paper towels to drain. Finish with the remaining donuts and donut holes. Fried donuts on a sheet pan ready to glaze

Caramel Glaze

  1. In a saucepan pour in the sugar, then pour the water on top. On medium high heat, bring the mixture to a roiling bowl and boil till you see an amber color start to form. Watch closely and allow the browning to occur and just till a very lightly browned color (you can also go a little darker if you like darker caramel).
  2. Turn off the heat and whisk constantly in the cream little by little. Be careful, the steam can burn you. Once cream is all whisked in, add the butter and whisk to melt. Add in the corn syrup and mix till a smooth and creamy mixture is formed. Pour into a bowl and cool.
  3. Dip the donuts into the glaze and place on a cooling rack or sheet pan to dry. caramel donuts on a sheet pan

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