These grain free Cinnamon Salted Caramel Donuts are inspired by Italian Bomboloni Donuts. They’re AIP, paleo and dairy free, rolled in maple sugar and stuffed with a decadent salted caramel filling. Did I mention they’re delicious?
This post was created in partnership with Lovebird Foods as part of the Lovebird make/bake off challenge to fight childhood cancer. The winner of this challenge will receive a $1,000 donation to the childhood cancer charity of their choice. Thanks to Lovebird Foods for providing the cereal used in this recipe and for inviting me to be part of this mission to raise awareness about childhood cancer through the challenge.
For the challenge, we were asked to create a “Holiday” themed paleo or AIP compliant recipe. I came up with these Cinnamon Salted Caramel Donuts because nothing says holiday to me like warm Fall spices and decadence!
Here are the main ingredients in these Cinnamon Salted Caramel Donuts
- salted caramel – made with full fat coconut cream and coconut sugar, this homemade salted caramel sauce really makes these donuts *pop*
- coconut sugar or maple sugar – this is to add to the donuts and create a powdered sugar to dust the donuts in once they’re ready. Both work, coconut sugar just has a darker color so if you go that route your “powdered sugar” will be darker than in these photos!
- coconut flour and cassava flour – together these flours create the optimal texture for these donuts. I don’t recommend substitutions to this combo!
- cinnamon – this is key to the distinctive cinnamon flavor in these donuts
- palm shortening – this creates that soft, fluffy, cake-like texture in these donuts.
- full fat coconut milk – to ensure the recipe remains AIP compliant I recommend additive free coconut milk.
- Lovebird Cereal Honey – you can potentially substitute with the Lovebird Cinnamon Cereal here as well, but the unsweetened version won’t be sweet enough for the donuts as there isn’t much added coconut sugar in this recipe.
How to make these AIP/paleo Donuts
- Add Lovebird Honey Cereal to a food processor or high powered blender and pulse until a fine powder is created.
- To the food processor add sea salt, coconut flour, cassava flour, cinnamon, maple or coconut sugar, palm shortening, vanilla extract, baking soda, apple cider vinegar and full fat coconut milk.
- Pulse until all ingredients have combined into a soft, smooth, pliable dough.
- Roll the dough into 6-7 round donut balls of even size.
- Preheat air fryer to 375F. Place donuts into air fryer basket and fry for 3 1/2 mins per side. (See FAQs for oven method).
- Toss the donuts with “powdered sugar” and allow to cool before filling.
- To fill donuts, insert a butter knife into the side of each donut and wiggle it to make a small incision through the donut.
- Fill a piping bag with the salted caramel and pipe it into the donuts.
FAQs for Cinnamon Salted Caramel Donuts
How do I store these?
These are 100% best fresh. Like with many AIP baked goods, the texture changes and things get a lot more dense once they sit out. That said, if you must store them, I would recommend storing the donuts and caramel separately. Store the donuts in a sealed container at room temperature for about 2 days. Before serving, reheat the donuts to recreate the soft texture and then fill them with the salted caramel filling. The caramel will last about a week, stored in the fridge.
Can these be made without an air fryer?
I tested this recipe using an oven as well. The result is a denser donut that is much darker in color and flatter in shape but in absence of an air fryer, it will do. To make them in the oven, preheat to 400F and bake on a parchment-lined baking sheet for 5-6 minutes. Flip halfway through and bake another 5-6 minutes.
Can I use a different filling?
These would be great with a number of different fillings – from a “chocolate” or carob for an AIP compliant version, to coconut whipped cream. Check out this post for a number of different fillings/frostings that would work really well with these donuts.
Looking for more paleo and AIP Donut recipes? You might enjoy:
- Pumpkin Spice Cake Donuts
- Mini Pastel-Glazed Donuts
- Lemon Blueberry Donuts
- Baked Chocolate Donuts with Raspberries
If you try these Cinnamon Salted Caramel Donuts I would appreciate it if you would give the recipe a star rating and short review. Also, be sure to snap a picture of the finished product and share it with me on Instagram by tagging @healmedelicious.Print