Molasses Salted Caramel Doughnuts by Lily Vanilli

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    • Vegetarian
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Our friend Lily Vanilli has shared this recipe with us that she's made especially using Billington's Unrefined Sugars. Since starting out in 2008 Lily has been renowned for her pioneering cake designs, quality baking and market leading innovation. Lily is the author of three best selling recipe books including; Sweet Tooth, A Zombie ate my Cupcake and 2018’s #BakeForSyria 

These salted caramel doughnuts are made with Billington's molasses which bring an unrivaled depth of flavour. Lily has dressed these with a sprig of rosemary which not only looks beatiful, but it brings a delicate flavour to the bake. 


  1. Combine the sugar, yeast and warm water in the bowl of your mixer and just leave it to sit for around 10 mins, or until its starting to bubble very slightly.

  2. Now add your flour and eggs and transfer to the mixer with the dough hook attached and mix (or, if doing by hand, knead) well for 5 minutes.


  3. Now add the salt and start to slowly add your soft butter, mixing (or kneading) to incorporate after each addition, until your dough is glossy and smooth.

  4. Now cover  the lid of the bowl with cling film and 'prove' (let the dough rise) in a warm place until it has doubled in size (approx 2 hours).

    Top Tip: Temperature Tip
  5. Heat a saucepan of oil up to 170ºc

  6. Once doubled in size, portion out your dough into 60-65 g pieces, and shape these into even balls and place, with plenty of space between each one on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Cover the tray with cling film and you now want to 'prove' these again. In my kitchen I put them tray in my cold oven or a cupboard, with a bowl of steaming water on the bottom shelf.

  7. Leave for 30 mins or until doubled in size. 


  8. Now cut a 2cm hole in the centre with a cookie cutter (you can dip this in oil for a smoother cut)

  9. fry your donuts for 2 mins on each side (set a timer!)

    Then pat down with kitchen paper and roll in more Billington's caster sugar.

  10. Set aside to cool.

    The caramel keeps really well so I suggest making it ahead if you can, as you will need to let it cool completely before you fill your doughnuts.

  11. To make your caramel, put your Sugar and molasses in a big, heavy bottomed saucepan, over a medium high heat until all the sugar has dissolved and turned a beautiful caramel colour. (this will take a while, keep an eye on it)

  12. Now remove from the heat and slowly add the cream, very gradually, stirring to mix everything evenly as you go.

  13. Remove from the heat and allow to cool, when its cool add the salt - you can do this gradually and to taste, I like mine really salty.

    Store in the fridge for a week, airtight.

  14. This caramel is really versatile - you can use to fill these donuts or drizzle onto a cake, the top of a brownie before or after baking it, sandwiched in a cookie or even just over ice cream. Feel free to experiment and use it with any of your own bakes. It would be delicious with banana bread!

    Top Tip: Clumping?
  15. Once your sugar-rolled donuts have cooled, use the back of a teaspoon to make a little hole in either side and use a piping bag fitted with a round nozzle to pipe in some of the molasses caramel and enjoy!


    Alternatively, if piping is too much fuss, you can tear up your donuts and dip them in caramel as you go.

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