Sticky Date Doughnuts with Salted Caramel Sauce

sticky date doughnuts
Last year, on the first Friday of June, my Instagram feed was suddenly flooded with doughnuts. Deep fried dough of all shapes and sizes. Glazed and sprinkled. Filled and sugar-coated, in every colour of the rainbow. I wondered what the heck was going on – intrigued of course – before I saw that it was National Doughnut Day. I immediately added the date to my calendar for this year, and recurring every year thereafter. You know, these kinds of things are very important to remember. You don’t want to come empty handed to the doughnut party.

sticky date doughnuts
And oh boy, do I have a treat for you today. If you’ve been reading for a while, you probably know that Sticky Date Pudding is one of my very favourite desserts. It’s an absolute staple in winter – probably why I have experimented and published so many recipes over the years. This time I wanted to combine it with one of my other favourite things – the doughnut. Sticky Date Doughnuts! It’s definitely one of my better ideas… what a fantastic combination!

sticky date doughnuts
This time around I tried a new doughnut dough recipe from one of my favourite food blogs, The Sugar Hit. This recipe is technically for a Portuguese doughnut called a Malasada, but when I read that it was a luxurious dough enriched with eggs, I knew it would be perfect for what I wanted. The recipe was super easy, even though I don’t have a stand mixer these days, I easily made these with the dough attachments on my hand mixer. The dough was beautiful to handle and produced a wonderfully textured doughnut. It might just be my go to recipe from now on.

sticky date doughnuts
The filling was also easy and delicious – basically a caramel made from dates, which are already naturally sweet and have a beautiful flavour. You could use it as a delicious jam. Of course, I had to add some bourbon 🙂

You can’t have sticky date pudding without caramel sauce, so I made my usual recipe a little bit thicker and poured it over the top and it set slightly as it cooled. I don’t make sweets nearly as often as I used to, and it was so nice to get back into the swing of things, making my favourite kind of treat – a twist on a classic that I love. I hope you too are celebrating National Doughnut Day today! I’m having one of these babies for breakfast.

Related Post: Sticky Date Bourbon & Cola Pudding

sticky date doughnuts

Sticky Date Doughnuts with Salted Caramel Sauce

Doughnuts (Adapted from The Sugar Hit)

  • 250g plain flour
  • 30g caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon dried yeast
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 75ml warm water
  • 60g butter, softened
  • Vegetable oil, for frying

Caramel Date Filling

  • 150g dates
  • 150ml water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon or whisky
  • Salt, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons icing sugar
  • Cream

Salted Caramel Sauce

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 30g salted butter
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt

To make the doughnuts, place all the ingredients except the butter into a large bowl. Using a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, work on a low speed for about 4 minutes, or until combined and elastic. With the mixer still running, add the butter one piece at a time until it is fully incorporated. There should be no visible pieces. This will take about 5-8 minutes.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl, cover with plastic wrap or a clean tea towel, and set aside in a warm place to rise until doubled in size.

In the meantime, make the date filling. Place the dates, water and vanilla into a small saucepan and simmer over a low heat for 10-15 minutes or until softened. Using a stick blender, blend until smooth. Add bourbon, cinnamon, salt and icing sugar and blend again. You might need to thin out the consistency to make it easily pipe-able so add cream 1 tablespoon at a time and blend until smooth. Place into a piping bag and set aside.

To make the salted caramel sauce, place the brown sugar, butter and cream into another small saucepan and stir until combined and the butter has melted. Cook over a medium heat for 5-10 minutes until slightly thickened. Stir through salt and allow to cool to room temperature.

When the dough has risen, punch it down, and scrape it out onto a well-floured surface, pat the dough into a rectangle, about ½ inch (just over 1cm) thick, and cut out 9 donuts using a 2.5inch (5cm) round cutter. Place onto a lined baking sheet, cover with plastic or tea towel again, and set aside to rise for another 45 minutes, or until puffy.

Place about 5cm of oil into a saucepan or use a deep fryer and heat over a low flame, until it reaches 170°C ( °F). To test, place a small piece of dough in the oil, and when it bubbles and rises to the surface, the oil should be the right temperature.

Fry the donuts a few at a time (don’t crowd the pan) for about 1 minute each side or until they are golden brown and cooked through. Drain the donuts on paper towels and allow to cool slightly.

Use a chopstick to make a hole in each doughnut. Pipe the date filling inside until each doughnut feels heavy. Drizzle salted caramel on top of each doughnut (best done over a cooling rack with a tray or plate underneath) and serve immediately or allow caramel to set slightly. Doughnuts taste best on the day they are made but can be stored in an airtight container and heated in the microwave.

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