Recipe: Ruth Pretty’s Doughnuts with Dulce de Leche

These oven-baked doughnuts with sticky caramel, are surprisingly simple to make — no deep-frying necessary. 

Words & recipes: Ruth Pretty  Styling & photographs: Carolyn Robertson


250ml milk
2 tablespoons sugar
2 ½ teaspoons active dry yeast
60ml warm water
490g high-grade flour
30ml neutral flavour oil, such as canola
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon table salt

To fill and finish:
55g butter, melted
1x 380g can Nestle Highlander Condensed Milk Caramel (called Dulce de Leche in Latin America)
280g cream cheese, chopped and softened at room temperature
150ml cream, whipped to soft peaks
Cinnamon Sugar (mix 200g sugar and 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon)


Bring the milk to simmering point over medium heat, then remove from the heat and stir in the sugar. Cool to lukewarm. While milk is cooling, dissolve yeast in the warm water and let stand for 5 minutes or until foaming.

Pour milk mixture into a large bowl and add 350g of the flour, followed by the oil, eggs, salt, and yeast mixture. Stir to form a soft dough. Spread most of the remaining flour onto a clean work surface and drop dough on top. Knead the dough, incorporating all the flour if necessary to keep the dough from sticking. Knead for 5 to 8 minutes until smooth and elastic.

Transfer dough to a large bowl and sprinkle lightly with flour. Cover with a clean tea towel or plastic wrap and leave in a warm place for 1 to 1½ hours or until it has doubled in volume. Divide the dough equally into 30 balls (weighing each ball at 30g will give you evenly sized doughnuts). Leftover dough can be re-rolled. If dough shrinks after re-rolling, let it rest for 10 minutes before proceeding.

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Lightly grease 2 to 3 baking trays and arrange the balls on top, allowing space for them to grow. Cover the trays with clean tea towels and leave in a warm place to prove for 40 minutes, until almost doubled.

Heat the oven to 190°C. Place a roasting tray on the base of the oven, and half fill with water. Put the doughnuts in the oven and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until risen and dark golden. Remove from oven and while warm brush with melted butter and cinnamon sugar. (At this stage, when doughnuts are cold you can freeze some or all of them.)

Stir together the Highlander caramel filling and cream cheese and scrape into a piping bag. Partially cut each doughnut on an angle through the centre and squeeze in a generous amount of caramel filling (spoon it in if a piping bag isn’t available).

Just before serving, put the whipped cream in a piping bag and squeeze a rosette onto the edge of each doughnut. Don’t be ashamed to serve extra caramel filling and whipped cream on the side.

NZ Life and Leisure This article first appeared in NZ Life & Leisure Magazine.
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