Cinnamon caramel Amish doughnuts, AKA the best donuts I’ve ever had in my LIFE.
This is probably the fastest I’ve gone from having something delicious at a restaurant and coming home to re-create it.
Last weekend, we took our kid to Amish Country in super far north in Indiana/ southern Michigan. I’ve always had a soft spot for their lifestyle, and I wanted to teach my kid that it’s okay to live however you want to live in our free country. Plus, Amish food is some of my favorite food (chicken and noodles for LIFE, I tell ya).
After a ride in a horse and buggy from a sweet little old man, a tour of the gardens (and approximately one million questions from Camille about whyyy the pumpkins are still green and when will they be orange already?!), we sat down for lunch. Camille had her first bite of fried chicken, and kept going back for more. Then, she was finally convinced that mashed potatoes are worth eating. (Normally, she avoids white and brown foods for whatever reason, I cannot tell you).
Just when I thought I had done my job as a parent to teach my kid about the world, we walked past the homemade candy.
Suffice it to say: all she knows and remembers about Amish Country is sugar. Sugarrrrrr.
But all I can remember is these Cinnamon Caramel Amish Doughnuts. We stopped at Rise N Roll in Nappanee for a dozen of what the locals call ‘Amish crack.’ I’m not entirely sure how offensive that phrase is, so I’ll only repeat it once. ‘Amish crack’ is a yeast-raised donut, fried, dipped in caramel, and sprinkled (heavily) with cinnamon-powdered sugar.
It is the single best donut I’ve ever eaten in my life. And I wasn’t even hungry. I had a Perfect Bar for breakfast and had stolen many sips of my husband’s coconut milk macchiato a few minutes prior. I cut a donut in half, just to try it. I quickly ate it, the other half, and another one after that. Dang.
I assumed the donuts had sour cream in them, because they have a cooling effect when you bite into them. I heard from a trusted source that they do not contain sour cream, so I’m assuming it’s the cornstarch in the powdered sugar that makes them cool and melty in your mouth.
Regardless, I grabbed the best recipe on the internet for baked donuts (it’s Joy the Baker’s browned butter baked donuts, you knew that!), made a caramel glaze, and a little cinnamon powdered sugar bath. And again, I ate two right after making them.
Yields 6 donuts
Small batch Amish donuts: cinnamon caramel donuts.
25 minPrep Time
10 minCook Time
35 minTotal Time
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- For the toppings:
- 1/2 cup caramel bits
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- First, in a small saucepan, add the butter and turn the heat to medium. It will begin to crackle and pop as it melts. Keep an eye on it. When the popping noises start to slow down, tilt the pan to gently swirl the butter. Keep an eye on it very closely, but keep cooking it until it smells nutty and brown bits appear in the butter.
- We only need 2 tablespoons of butter for the recipe, so measure out 2 tablespoons and use the small remaining amount for something else.
- Next, preheat the oven to 350, and grease a donut pan with 6 spaces very well with oil.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and sugar.
- In a small dish, stir together the egg, buttermilk, vanilla, and 2 tablespoons of the browned butter.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry, and stir until well-blended, but do not over-mix.
- Divide the batter between the spaces on the donut pan, and bake for 8-10 minutes. The donuts will feel springy and a toothpick inserted will come out clean.
- Let the donuts cool in the pan for a few minutes before removing them.
- Meanwhile, melt the caramel bits with 1 tablespoon of water in the microwave for about 25 seconds. Stop, stir and heat for 15 seconds, or until totally smooth and melted. Stir in the cream to thin out the caramel (oh, the irony!).
- Using a wooden utensil, run it around the edge of each donut in the pan, and pop each doughnut out onto a wire cooling rack.
- Whisk together the cinnamon and powdered sugar into a shallow bowl, and set aside.
- Dunk each doughnut in the caramel glaze, followed by the cinnamon-powdered sugar.
- Sprinkle more cinnamon-powdered sugar on top before serving.