Crème brûlée donuts with salted caramel buttercream


For the Donuts:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Crème Brûlée Filling:

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Salted Caramel Buttercream:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup salted caramel sauce
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons milk or cream


  1. Make the Donuts:
    • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and grease a donut pan.
    • In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
    • In another bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, melted butter, and vanilla extract.
    • Gradually add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined.
    • Spoon the batter into the donut pan, filling each cavity about 2/3 full.
    • Bake in the preheated oven for about 12-15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into a donut comes out clean.
    • Allow the donuts to cool completely.
  2. Prepare the Crème Brûlée Filling:
    • In a saucepan, heat the heavy cream over medium heat until it’s warm but not boiling.
    • In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until well combined.
    • Gradually pour the warm cream into the egg mixture, whisking constantly.
    • Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon.
    • Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Let it cool.
  3. Fill the Donuts:
    • Using a piping bag fitted with a long, narrow tip, gently inject the cooled crème brûlée filling into the center of each donut.
  4. Make the Salted Caramel Buttercream:
    • In a mixing bowl, beat the softened butter until creamy and smooth.
    • Add the salted caramel sauce and mix until well combined.
    • Gradually add the powdered sugar, mixing on low speed until incorporated.
    • Add the milk or cream, one tablespoon at a time, until you reach your desired consistency.
  5. Frost the Donuts:
    • Dip the tops of the filled donuts into the salted caramel buttercream, allowing any excess to drip off.
    • Place the frosted donuts on a wire rack to let the buttercream set slightly.
  6. Optional: Brûlée the Sugar
    • If desired, sprinkle a thin layer of granulated sugar on top of the buttercream and use a kitchen torch to carefully caramelize the sugar until it’s golden and crispy.