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Chocolate Caramel Doughnut Holes

There’s not much better than a regular old doughnut, but I think these chocolate doughnut holes filled with caramel might just take the title for best dessert (breakfast??) ever!

Chocolate doughnut holes stacked in a basket with the top one cut open with caramel oozing out and "Chocolate Caramel Doughnut Holes" text at top


Happy last day of 2012! I’m really not quite sure how this year flew so quickly, but I can truly say I made the most of it and had my best year yet. Of course, I married my best friend, which automatically makes it the best year ever. But I also got to spend lots of quality time with my favorite people, including family and friends, and had the opportunity to spend plenty of time in the kitchen. I worked harder than I ever have in my life, both at my day job and on this blog and with freelance work, too, and have nothing but positive results to show. I took time out to read a good book even when I should have been doing 12,000 other things. I grew a lot in the kitchen and feel like I’m a much better cook than I was one year ago. I was just plain happy. Which is the most important thing in life.

I have a really, really good feeling about 2013. If I thought 2012 was amazing, I really think 2013 is going to be even better and I can’t wait to see all the joy and love it brings. I always make resolutions if only because I think we should always be making goals for ourselves and the new year is the perfect time to make some new ones. I don’t beat myself up if I don’t keep them (um, I don’t think I completed any of my resolutions for 2012… except for fitting into my wedding dress. Score!) because some goals take longer than a year to accomplish and things and priorities change and life can get crazy. And that’s OK. But really, I will be making pain au chocolate this year. Getting more sleep is also on my list as I haven’t quite mastered how to turn out the light before midnight (I think this has been a resolution of mine for the past 6 years. Can 2013 be the year I make it happen?).

I want to cook, bake, cocktail, and entertain even more in 2013 than I ever have before.

But for now, I’m ending the year with doughnuts. Because they’re the perfect way to end and the perfect way to start new. Unless one of your resolutions is to eat healthier and lose weight and then… Sorry. But they’re doughnut holes at least, which can help you practice moderation. Chocolate doughnut holes filled with caramel, to be exact.

Another one of my goals should be to make more of the things I put on Pinterest. And to follow recipes as well as to innovate on my own. Sometimes I get so sucked into trying to create my own recipes that I forget how important it is to practice technique and learn from the experts. Now that I’ve made these Chocolate Caramel Doughnut Holes from Martha Stewart, I feel that I can make doughnut holes of all varieties. Oh and don’t worry; I will. Happy 2013 to everyone!

Though these doughnuts are fried, they’re super simple to make. And obviously pretty fun to eat! They start with a simple chocolate batter.

Collage showing the process of making the chocolate doughnut dough, including combining eggs and sugar, flour and cocoa powder, and combining them together

Then you’ll need to roll the dough out. Just an FYI that I am not great at rolling out dough (it’s never easy for me!) and I was totally fine with this dough, so you should be, too. Don’t let a little dough rolling intimidate you!

You may need a little offset spatula to lift the rounds as the dough is quite sticky (at least mine was!). I used my adorable Kuhn Rikon polka dot spatula that my parents got me for Christmas! In love with it.

Collage showing process of rolling out chocolate doughnut dough and cutting dough rounds

For some crazy reason, I couldn’t find caramels at any grocery store I went to and at my last stop I found one lone bag of Caramel Bits. I decided they’d probably end up working better anyway because they’re smaller and would melt easier.

I put three in the center of my dough, but if you’re using these caramel bits, I recommend using four.

Chocolate dough round being held in palm of hand with caramel bits in the middle of it

Now, you’ll need to turn all those little dough rounds into caramel-filled balls.  And then you’re ready to fry away! Again, don’t be intimidated by frying. It’s super easy!

When you remove the doughnut holes from the oil and let cool for a few, you will then proceed to dunk them in the remaining granulated sugar. Not too shabby, huh?

Collage showing chocolate doughnut hole frying process, including doughnuts being fried in hot oil, doughnut holes cooling on paper towel, and cooleddoughnut holes coated in sugar

Cut one of these chocolate doughnut holes open and see all that luscious caramel.

These are like Munchkins taken to a whole new level.

Close-up of basket of chocolate doughnut holes with top doughnut cut open to show caramel oozing out


Of course, these were absolutely amazing eaten hot and fresh, but they also weren’t too shabby for breakfast the next morning cold. I think you could warm them up a little bit even in the microwave, too.


Tomorrow starts a new year and there’s no better way to begin your day than with a plate full of chocolate doughnut holes. And I feel like there was no better way for me to end my year than with a few doughnuts.

Arial view of basket full of chocolate doughnut holes with top doughnut cut open to show caramel oozing out

As part of a balanced breakfast, I recommend you enjoy these with a cup of coffee. Er, I mean I guess some protein wouldn’t be a bad idea. Or at least something that doesn’t involve sugar. But it’s technically still the holiday season and sugar doesn’t count. Are doughnuts technically breakfast or dessert anyway? I never could figure that one out.

And with these doughnuts, I bid adieu to 2012. Let’s hope 2013 brings lots more doughnuts and chocolate and caramel and sugar. And maybe a vegetable or two here and there, as well. If you insist.

Chocolate doughnut holes stacked in a basket with the top one cut open with caramel oozing out


Happy New Year, friends! I hope your 2013 starts off in a magical way and that you have your best year yet. I can’t wait for another year of good food, new recipes, and blog loving!

What meal will you start your 2013 off with?

Chocolate Caramel Doughnut Holes
Prep Time
45 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
1 hr 5 mins

There's not much better than a regular old doughnut, but I think these chocolate doughnut holes filled with caramel might just take the title for best dessert (breakfast??) ever!

Course: Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chocolate, donuts, doughnuts
Author: Sues
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling dough
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar, plus 1/3 cup for coating
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 4 Tbsp (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs
  • 30 caramels or 1/2 cup caramel bits
  • 5 cups canola oil, for frying
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

  2. In a separate bowl, combine 1 cup sugar, buttermilk, melted butter, and eggs and whisk until smooth.

  3. Slowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined, taking care not to over-mix.

  4. Lightly flour a surface and roll dough out into 1/3 thickness. Sprinkle some flour over the dough, too.

  5. Using a 2 1/2 inch cookie or biscuit cutter, cut rounds into dough. Re-roll dough scraps to get as many rounds as possible (should have about 30)

  6. Put a caramel or 4 caramel bits in the center of a dough round. Pinch dough closed around the caramel and roll into a smooth ball. Continue with all of the dough rounds.

  7. Cover a baking sheet with paper towels and fill a wide, shallow bowl with remaining 1/3 C sugar.

  8. Heat canola oil in a large pot to 350 degrees. Once oil comes to temperature, place 5 dough balls in it. Let fry for 4 minutes total, turning halfway through. Remove doughnuts from oil with slotted spoon and place on paper towel-lined baking sheet.

  9. Let doughnuts sit for 5 minutes before rolling in bowl of sugar. These doughnut holes can be eaten warm or at room temperature.

Recipe Notes

Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart

Chocolate Caramel Doughnut Holes -- There's not much better than a regular old doughnut, but I think these chocolate doughnut holes filled with caramel might just take the title for best dessert (breakfast??) ever | wearenotmartha.com #doughnuts #donuts #chocolate #caramel

14 Responses to "Chocolate Caramel Doughnut Holes"

  1. Simply Life says:

    what a perfect recipe to start the new year off with! looks great! Happy 2013!

  2. Shannon says:

    oh man, these look phenomenal 🙂 looking forward to all that’s to come this year!

  3. Happy New Year! I’m not usuall;y a big doughnut fan (I know, I know) but I won’t be able to resists anything chocolate-caramel. Cheers to an even more amazing 2013!

  4. Maggie @ A Bitchin' Kitchen says:

    These look delicious! I love anything combining chocolate and caramel. Happy New Year!

  5. Megan says:

    A great way to end the year! And I love your outlook for 2013. Wishing you all the best!

  6. Jeannie says:

    Happy New Year to you too Sues…May you have an even better year ahead:D Love the look of those doughnuts holes…great flavors!

  7. Chris says:

    So good! Makes a great breakfast, brunch, snack, lunch, dinner, and dessert!

  8. I’ve been wanting to try making doughnuts at home, but I don’t think I would be able to stop eating them! I’m impressed you had some leftover the next day 🙂

  9. I bet these were incredible warm! Now I wish I wasn’t too lazy to deep fry at home. Happy New Year!

  10. Rachel @ The Avid Appetite says:

    Wow! These look incredible! Does anything beat chocolate and caramel? I’ve actually eaten so many indulgent things over the last week (actually month!), that I am sort of ready to get back on track with eating some healthy things. That will probably last for 24-48 hours 🙂

  11. Gia Grossman says:

    These photos are incredible! And these donuts would make my workday so much better right now. If only!

  12. Katie says:

    these doughnut holes sound so yummy! congrats on another year of the blog girls, you did great in 2012 and i can’t wait to see what 2013 brings!!

  13. Ashley says:

    I love your statement and totally agree with it: I want to cook, bake, cocktail, and entertain even more in 2013 than I ever have before.
    Happy New Year!

  14. Odetta says:

    Weekend breakfast? Methinks yes!!

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