These Apple Puff Pastry “Doughnuts” Require Zero Pastry Skills

These Apple Puff Pastry “Doughnuts” Require Zero Pastry Skills

Ever since the weather turned chillier, I’ve been hunting for a warm, toasty hug in the form of a pastry. These caramel apple puff pastry “doughnuts” are just that—a toasty embrace in every bite. While I acknowledge there are a lot of apple recipes out there, here’s why you should pick this one. 

Straight out of the oven, these delicious “doughnuts” are golden puffs of joy, with the delightful crisp and flakiness of the puff pastry contrasting beautifully with the ooey-gooey-ness of the baked apple slices. Digging in is like diving into the heart of a perfectly baked apple pie, with the convenience of each piece being a single serving.

How To Make These Apple Cuties (It’s Ridiculously Easy)

What sets this dessert apart is its beautiful blend of simplicity and flavor. There’s no need to bring out your digital scale or mixer. All you need is a parchment-lined sheet pan, a sheet of puff pastry, a couple of apples, and some kitchen staples, and these treats will come alive. 

Making them is like doing a baking arts and crafts project, one that’s fun for solo home bakers or the whole family. While these “doughnuts” feel perfect for those chilly fall evenings, they resonate as an 'any time of the year' treat when you need some comfort paired with some sweetness.

After crafting these golden gems, I shared them with my family. My ten-year-old, a budding writer himself, declared in between bites that eating these “doughnuts” was like “being wrapped in a cozy blanket.” You bet I was proud!

The Best Apples To Use

For the best results, I recommend using crispy, sweet Honeycrisp apples. They're robust enough to withstand the oven's heat, emerging tender, gooey, and syrupy post baking. When wrapping the apples, don't be discouraged if a pastry strip breaks. Snugly enveloping the apple slices is the goal. 

Brush the pastry with your favorite wash, be it heavy cream or a beaten egg yolk. I ran out of both and squirted whipped cream on top before baking them. As for what spices to use, start with cinnamon, but don’t shy away from experimenting with flavors like nutmeg, cardamom, or even five-spice.

Let’s Talk About Garnishes

To top it all off, warm up some store-bought caramel and mix in a touch of miso, which will balance the sweetness with an umami twist. If caramel doesn’t tickle your fancy, a drizzle of chocolate sauce or a scoop of ice cream (any flavor is OK really, but start with classic vanilla) offers a delightful alternative. 

Finally, to encapsulate the autumn vibe, finish the “doughnuts” with a sprinkle of toasted pepitas and enjoy them this fall, or any day you’re seeking a warm, comforting hug in the form of a pastry.

Recipe Tips

  • Stretch the puff pastry strips—To get the most out of each strip of puff pastry, stretch the strip with your hands to elongate it. That will ensure each strip can cover more of each apple. 
  • Don’t cut the apple slices too thin—You want to have “doughnuts” that appear puffier, so cut them about 1/4-inch-thick. That should be perfect. 
  • Thawing puff pastry quickly—I usually store packs of puff pastry in the freezer. To thaw them quickly, lay a frozen, folded sheet out on a baking sheet at room temperature. It will usually soften and thaw within 10 minutes.
  • To peel or not to peel—If you don’t like eating skin-on apples, feel free to peel them first. I like the extra texture you get with the apple skins intact.

Ingredients

  • 1 large Honeycrisp apple

  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar

  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

  • 1 sheet puff pastry, thawed

  • Heavy cream or a beaten egg

  • 1/4 cup store-bought caramel sauce

  • 1/2 teaspoon red or white miso, adjust to taste, optional

  • Optional toppings: Pepitas, crushed pretzels, chocolate chips, mochi bites, or ice cream of your choice

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 375 F. Line a baking sheet with lightly greased parchment paper.

    Ingredients to make caramel apple puff pastry doughnuts

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  2. Cut 1 large Honeycrisp apple crosswise into rounds about 1/4-inch thick. You should end up with 9 to 10 rings.

    A cutting board with large, thin round slices of apples

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  3. Using a small round cookie cutter or the large side of a piping tip, puncture the center of each apple slice to remove the core. This will give you an apple “doughnut” shape.

    A cutting board with large, thin slices of apples with the core removed with a pipping tip

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  4. Combine 3 tablespoons granulated sugar and 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon in a shallow dish or bowl. Dip the apple slices in the sugar mixture to coat lightly all over. You will have some sugar mixture left over.

    A small bowl of cinnamon sugar with an apple ring being dipped, next to a cutting board with apple rings coated in cinnamon sugar

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  5. Place 1 sheet puff pastry, thawed, on a sheet of parchment paper or a lightly floured work surface. Gently roll the puff pastry to flatten it slightly. Use a knife or a pizza wheel cutter to cut the puff pastry into thin and even strips, about 1/4 inch wide.

    A sheet of puff pastry cut into thin slices

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  6. Wrap each apple ring with the puff pastry strips, threading each strip through the hole as you wrap around the apple slice. You’ll need to use at least 2 strips of puff pastry per apple slice. Transfer the completed “doughnuts” to the prepared baking sheet. Leave about an inch of space between them.

    A parchment paper lined baking sheet with apple rings wrapped in strips of puff pastry

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  7. Brush each “doughnut” lightly with heavy cream or a beaten egg and sprinkle with a pinch of the remaining spiced sugar mixture.

    A parchment paper lined baking sheet with apple rings wrapped in puff pastry strips, brushed with egg wash and topped with cinnamon sugar

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  8. Bake until the puff pastry turns beautifully golden brown and puffy, 15 to 20 minutes. Begin checking the pastries at the 15-minute mark, letting them cook a bit longer if needed. Your whole kitchen should smell like delicious apple pie.

    A parchment paper lined baking sheet with baked apple puff pastry doughnuts

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  9. While the pastries are baking, warm 1/4 cup store-bought caramel sauce slightly and mix in 1/2 teaspoon optional red or white miso.

    A small pot of caramel-miso sauce

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  10. Once the pastries are out and slightly cooled, sprinkle on some more spiced sugar mixture, then drizzle with the miso caramel sauce. Garnish with the optional toppings like, my personal favorite, toasted pepitas, and enjoy a warm hug with each bite!

    A parchment paper lined baking sheet with apple puff pastry doughnuts topped with miso caramel sauce and garnished with crushed pretzels, pepitas, and chocolate chips

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

How To Store

Store leftovers in airtight containers at room temperature for up to 2 days, or refrigerated for up a week. Reheat as needed in the toaster or oven. 

After step 6, you can freeze these pastries for up to six months and bake them another day. Just increase the baking time slightly.

Feeling Adventurous? Try This:

  • Make mini apple doughnut pies instead—Cut rounds out of the puff pastry that are slightly larger than the apple slices and place an apple slice between two of these rounds. Before assembling, cut a hole in the center of the puff pastry rounds to resemble a doughnut. Once baked, you'll have a treat that's akin to an apple "doughnut pie." The taste won’t differ, but the aesthetic will!
  • Use other fruits—Try making puff pastry “doughnuts” with other fruits, like sliced pineapples from a can, instead of apples. 
  • Swap spices—Substitute other spices for the cinnamon, such as cardamom, pumpkin pie spice, or five spice powder.

Comments

No comments yet. Why don’t you start the discussion?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *