Chocolate Donuts with Salted Caramel Icing


How do you make chocolate donuts even more delicious? Add luscious salted caramel icing.

Whenever Monday is a holiday, it royally screws with my week. I’ve been so confused as to what day it is, and it also messes with my blog posts, which is why you haven’t seen a blog post since Tuesday – my apologies on that! I usually post MWF but this past Sunday, I got home from Seattle super late and I was exhausted so I didn’t have the energy to write a blog entry for Monday so I decided to share one on Tuesday but then I decided to hold off on posting another one until today so we could get back on schedule.

Yeah, maybe I’m just thinking too much into it, but surely you don’t mind because now you get these amazing donuts that Megan and I made while I was in Seattle visiting her. We were inspired by all the donuts and sweets we ate while in Seattle and Portland. I swear we must’ve put each other into a diabetic coma. We had so much sugar this past weekend. It was kind of ridiculous, but ridiculous is always awesome. I was so happy this tripped worked out. Even with the snafu of moving the trip a week later, it was for the best and I had an AMAZING time. Thanks for having me Megan!!! Can’t wait to see you next month!! xoxo

We were inspired to make these donuts because we have the same affinity for the salted caramel mocha and toffee nut latte at Starbucks and because we clearly needed more donuts in our life. We’re pretty dang proud of these as we literally came up with the icing recipe and doughnut recipe by just standing in the kitchen going, ‘oh yeah, throw a little of that in there. 2/3 cup? Ok, that works.” Haha, trust me though, they turned out delicious and her coworkers gobbled them all up.

Chocolate Donuts with Salted Caramel Icing
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
35 mins

Salted caramel icing is the best way to top chocolate donuts!

Servings: 1 dozen
Calories: 301 kcal
For the donuts
  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder, heaping
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup + 2 tbsp. milk
For the caramel icing
  • 2 cups light brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp. cream
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • Kosher salt, for topping
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees and grease two donut pans (if you have one, just bake them in 2 batches). Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together cake flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In another bowl, combine sour cream, eggs, vanilla extract, and milk. Whisk well to incorporate.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients in with the dry ingredients and whisk or mix together with a spoon until well incorporated.
  5. Evenly divide batter amongst the donut wells. Bake for 9 minutes then remove and let cool completely on wire cooling rack.
  6. While donuts are cooling, make your icing.
  7. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and brown sugar together then add cream and vanilla extract. Let mixture gently bubble and caramelize for 5-7 minutes. Whisk in powdered sugar (you might want to sift it in). Stir until mixture is thick, you may need to add more than 1/3 cup. You'll want the mixture to be kind of thick so let it sit on the heat until the consistency thickens on the back of your spatula. Remove from heat and as it cools, it'll thicken up some more. Don't let it get too thick that when you dunk the donuts in, the donut top gets ripped off.
  8. Take a donut and dip the top of it in the icing. Immediately sprinkle kosher salt on top and set aside to cool. You might want to put parchment paper under your wire rack so the extra icing can drip on there.
  9. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Recipe Notes

Nutrition Facts
Chocolate Donuts with Salted Caramel Icing
Amount Per Serving (1 donut)
Calories 301 Calories from Fat 45
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 5g 8%
Total Carbohydrates 63g 21%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Sugars 47g
Protein 4g 8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

*Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.



Posted on October 12, 2012

dinner for two by julie wampler



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  1. 10/12/2012 at 8:46 am

    I have to go there now! I have always wanted to go but your photos are making it hurt!

    At least I can make some donuts until then. Salted Caramel Icing!

  2. 10/12/2012 at 8:59 am

    I am so jealous!! It looks like you guys had a great trip! Donuts make me so happy! I love these!

  3. 10/12/2012 at 9:04 am

    My mouth is watering– each picture of your food trip is better than the next!

  4. 10/12/2012 at 9:10 am

    One more thing- CONGRATS on being named one of Huffpost’s top 10 food bloggers! You rock :)

    • 10/12/2012 at 9:11 am

      You’re so sweet!! Thank you so so much!! It’s because of amazing readers like you :) xoxo

  5. 10/12/2012 at 9:33 am

    How fun! and these doughnuts look AMAZING!

  6. What a FUN TRIP!!! and donuts. yes. for my face.

  7. 10/12/2012 at 10:49 am

    Looks like a great food filled trip! Lauren’s little girl Brooke is too adorable! Mm, cinnamon rolls…

  8. 10/12/2012 at 10:53 am

    Just when I think you can’t do any better, you come up with something like this! I’m so happy that they’re baked as well!

  9. 10/12/2012 at 11:11 am

    Saw you on Huffington Post & thought I’d stop by … Great Blog :-)

    • 10/12/2012 at 11:19 am

      Aw thank you!! :)

  10. 10/12/2012 at 11:21 am

    Looks like you had a great trip Julie and these donuts totally make up for your not blogging on your usual schedule! I cannot wait to make them!

  11. 10/12/2012 at 11:22 am

    These sound great! And so glad you had fun during your trip – it looked like a great time!

  12. 10/12/2012 at 11:26 am

    Looks like a delicious trip! How fun! These donuts need to be at my house right now!

  13. 10/12/2012 at 11:51 am

    I’m so jelly of your trip to Seattle! All the food looks AMAZING. And oh my god, these donuts sound amazing. Look at the salt! I die.

  14. 10/12/2012 at 2:51 pm

    OMG all the food you ate looks sooo good! The ones that stuck out to me were the biscuit place and the pizza. Ohhhhh man.

    • 10/12/2012 at 3:24 pm

      Those were two of my favorite places!

  15. 10/12/2012 at 3:32 pm

    LOVE Top Pot donuts!! Such great stuff there. I’ll need to head back and go to all of these other places you mentioned. yummy donuts you’re sharing!

  16. 10/12/2012 at 3:37 pm

    Oh yum, those donuts sound amazing Julie!! I might need to whip up a batch this weekend :)

    Looks like a super fun trip to Seattle/Portland. I’ve been telling my husband we should go for years, maybe your pics will help me convince him…

  17. Jennifer @ Mother Thyme
    10/12/2012 at 3:46 pm

    I’ll take a dozen please! They look ah-mazing!

  18. 10/12/2012 at 4:22 pm


    I loveee salted caramel! I`m pretty positive I`ll LOVE these donuts!

  19. 10/12/2012 at 4:26 pm

    Girls, these are totally amazing. I’m seriously drooling right now. It’s 3:30 and I need a snack!

  20. What a fun weekend! The food and the company looks amazing. So fun that you guys got to bake together too, what great donuts!

  21. 10/12/2012 at 5:28 pm

    Awesome photos, Julie! And I’m so incredibly jealous that you got to try Lauren’s cinnamon rolls! As for these donuts – AH-MAZING! That icing is to die for. And yes, we definitely need more donuts in life!

  22. 10/12/2012 at 5:34 pm

    I’m having hard time reading this post because they look soooo good and I can’t wait to try it out. Ahhh…no wonder, I was looking for your ‘loving lately’ post. Glad to hear that you’re back on schedule..

  23. 10/12/2012 at 5:45 pm

    Girl, I am so glad to see that you EAT. Love all the food photos. . and right here in my hood. . Seattle. You did us proud.

    And hello? These doughnuts? What?! Girl you beat me to it! I was going to make doughnuts with salted caramel. . will have to try your recipe too! (this is my prep before I take a doughnut class next month!) :) These look amazing!

    love it!

  24. 10/12/2012 at 6:08 pm

    Oh goodness, all that food! It looks like y’all had a great time!

  25. 10/12/2012 at 6:39 pm

    Julie I loved following your trip on IG, and again here. It sounds like you girls had an amazing time! I also adore these donuts. Salted Caramel is my favorite thing…

  26. 10/12/2012 at 9:18 pm

    These donuts are gorgeous. I’m seriously drooling over the food… again! I hope I can get out there some day soon and get my hands on that stuff.

  27. 10/12/2012 at 10:00 pm

    What a wonderful post and congrats on being named Huff Post’s Top Food Bloggers! So happy for you!

  28. 10/13/2012 at 12:21 am

    That was so much fun getting to hang out with you three! Loved it and Brooke really is so adorable :) what a fun donut recipe. Salted caramel is so bomb! Can’t wait to try this!!

  29. Kylee
    10/13/2012 at 7:31 am

    I made this last night and they were amazing!!! My co-workers are gobbling them up!! My only problem was my icing didn’t look anything like yours, mine was very clear and not the tan color like yours. I am thinking it wasn’t cooked long enough but I did cook it 7 minutes but thats okay because it still tasted fantastic!! Thanks for the recipe :)

  30. 10/13/2012 at 12:01 pm

    Mercy! These look amazing! I’d like to order a dozen, please.

  31. 10/13/2012 at 3:07 pm

    I wish I had started reading food blogs before I went to Portland and Seattle. I’m so jealous of all the yummy stuff you got to try. And those donuts look amazing! Beautiful pictures, too.

  32. Maria
    10/13/2012 at 3:23 pm

    Great Picts. Can’t wait to try your donuts. I have made Lauren’s cinnamon rolls..they are awesome and now my go to recipe.

  33. Hala Shamblin
    10/14/2012 at 3:52 am

    Wow those doughnuts look so yummy.

  34. 10/14/2012 at 6:01 am

    I definitely need to get myself to Portland and Seattle. Look at all that amazing food!

  35. 10/14/2012 at 2:14 pm

    Voodoo donuts!! Julie, I’ve been DYING to go there ever since I saw it featured on the food network last year. The donuts are SO creative. i love that m&m one!! Oh, and your donuts too – salted caramel… girl, you KNOW i’m obsessed! Love the little salt “sprinkles” on top hehe.

  36. 10/14/2012 at 11:29 pm

    Seriously, those are some seriously amazing eats you had! And these donuts are perfection! My husband just bought me a doughnut pan and I need to break it in!

  37. 10/15/2012 at 12:18 am

    Looks delicious! I reckon I could eat about 100 of them. What an awesome recipe.

  38. 10/15/2012 at 5:21 am

    I reallllly need to go to Seattle. Not only to see Megan, but holy crap did you guys eat some great food!

  39. 10/17/2012 at 9:07 am

    WHat a fun fun trip! I NEED to get to VooDoo Donuts!

  40. 11/02/2012 at 9:53 pm

    Looks like you had an amazing trip, and all the food looks to die for! And those doughnuts look freaking delicious!

  41. Cathy
    11/09/2012 at 1:06 pm

    Made these doughnuts last weekend and ended up throwing them away. The chocolate doughnut was tasteless (and that is being kind) and while the caramel was delicious when we dipped the doughnuts, the next morning it was as if the salt had melted the caramel. It was reduced to a clear liquid that melted off onto the plate! I’m a fairly experienced cook and my mother took part in this as well. We were so disappointed and cannot imagine what went wrong. Needless to say, this recipe went straight to the recycle bin.

  42. Amy
    02/24/2013 at 4:42 pm

    Do you think I could use almond milk if that’s all I have on hand?

    • 02/24/2013 at 7:14 pm

      Yes! Definitely :)

  43. Jayde
    05/12/2013 at 9:19 pm

    First off WOW these doughnuts look amazing and if my husband and I didn’t eat paleo only I would be making them tonight! I am thinking they will be our next monthly cheat! Thanks for sharing! Second for all those wanting to try Voodoo Doughnuts you will not be disappointed! The bacon maple bars are the best in my opinion! Plus I’m sorta biased that they are the best doughnut shop cuz that’s where my husband and I got married on 11-11-11 @ 11:11am! Most fun silly wedding ever and SO fit our personalities! Keep up the awesome blog, so glad I found it!

  44. 12/12/2014 at 4:33 pm

    Those CINNAMON rolls are unbelievable :D

  45. Amanda
    02/01/2015 at 12:42 pm

    I tried to make these donuts with my young daughter. The donut batter was insipid and incredibly liquidy. The icing recipe ratio was off.. I should have known better 2 cups of brown sugar to 3 tbsp. butter. This almost ruined an expensive pan. Please check the recipe.

  46. Joe
    07/08/2018 at 5:25 am

    Made these lovely light donuts today and filled them with caramel jam. Fantastic. Thank you so much for the recipe.

    • Julie
      07/09/2018 at 9:43 am

      Thanks for the feedback!

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