Coffee Toffee Baked Donuts

9 donuts
50 min

These fluffy, baked Coffee Toffee Baked Donuts are sure to be a hit with breakfast lovers! A coffee flavored cake donut is topped with a coffee glaze and sprinkled with homemade toffee pieces.

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These donuts are such a treat! Coffee lover or not, you're going to want to try these. It's really a simple baked vanilla cake donut recipe, with a touch of concentrated coffee added into the batter. This recipe also uses buttermilk, which helps to keep the donuts moist and not too sweet.

They then get dipped in a coffee glaze, and sprinkled with buttery, caramelized homemade toffee pieces. You can't go wrong with one of these in the morning!

I put this recipe together after I saw the Coffee Toffee Donuts being sold at Evanilla, the best donut place in my hometown at the Broad Street Market! This is my attempt to honor their delicious flavor combination with a baked version.

To make this recipe, the baking order goes: toffee, donut, glaze, toffee (again). That's how I'll take you through this post.

Homemade toffee bits

This is just a plain, standard toffee recipe. Simply add unsalted butter, sugar and water to a saucepan over medium heat and stir it every 30 seconds with a rubber spatula.

The mixture will start to bubble and slowly change color from blond to a light caramelized brown. Heat the caramel to 300℉/149℃ on a candy thermometer. You should really have one of these thermometers, as a digital thermometer with any plastic can potentially melt in this scenario (but you should still also have a digital thermometer).

Pour the toffee into a small metal loaf pan or another metal pan. You want the toffee layer to be between ⅛"-¼" thick. Place the pan in the fridge (uncovered) and chill until the toffee is completely firm.

Baked coffee donut recipe

Next, you'll make the coffee batter and bake the donuts. Here's what you'll need:

  • Donut pan. I use the one linked, which was recommended to me by Kayla at Broken Oven Baking and I love it. It's a bit deeper than some metal donut pans and I like the extra depth!
  • All-purpose flour.
  • Kosher salt.
  • Granulated sugar.
  • Baking powder. Used as a leavener to produce a nice rise. This leavening agent is used instead of yeast (as in a brioche donut).
  • Unsalted butter. Melted and slightly cooled.
  • Instant coffee. Just a teaspoon.
  • Large eggs. Two of them. Room temperature!
  • Buttermilk. Also room temperature!
  • Vanilla paste or extract.

Start by whisking together the flour, sugar, baking powder and kosher salt. You want to do this in a large bowl as the liquid will get added to this mixture.

In another bowl, melt the butter and the instant coffee + 1 teaspoon of water and whisk together to dissolve. If there are still small specs, that's ok. They will continue to dissolve.

Allow the butter to cool slightly, then add the eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla and whisk until smooth. Add this mixture to the dry mixture. Use a rubber spatula to fold the mixture together until just combined.

Transfer the mixture to a piping bag (or ziptop bag and snip the corner) and pipe into a greased donut pan. Don't smooth down the batter; I do roughly one and a three quarter times around. If using a silicon donut pan, place it on a baking sheet before baking.

Bake the donuts in a preheated 350℉/177℃ oven for 14-16 minutes or until they spring back when touched. Allow them to cool for a few minutes, then turn them out onto a wire rack to finish cooling completely.

Coffee Glaze

To make this easy coffee glaze, simply mix the instant coffee with hot water and allow it to cool completely. Then, whisk it into the powdered sugar a tablespoon at a time until a thick glaze forms.

If the glaze is still too thick, add a few drops of water and re-whisk. If it's too thin, add a bit more powdered sugar. It should make thick ribbons when falling off of the whisk.

Donut assembly

Once the glaze is made, remove the toffee from the pan (you may need to crack it with the heel of a knife first), then chop into small pieces.

Dip each donut (the nice rounded side that was in the bottom of the pan) into the glaze so it covers about half of the donut, then carefully turn slightly (clockwise), lift, turn the donut so the glaze is facing up. Place the donut on a wire rack.

Sprinkle toffee pieces over each donut once the glaze has stopped moving and has started to set up slightly. Otherwise, the toffee pieces may slide off. You can also use store bought Heath pieces, but note that they are covered in chocolate (which would also be delicious).

Storing the coffee toffee baked donuts

To store the donuts, lightly cover them with foil and store at room temperature for two to three days.

Searching for more coffee related bakes?

  • Chocolate Espresso Tart
  • Chocolate Espresso Babka
  • Pumpkin Coffee Cake
Coffee Toffee Baked Donuts
Recipe details
  • 9  donuts
  • Prep time: 30 Minutes Cook time: 20 Minutes Total time: 50 min
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  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter 57g
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar 50g
  • 1 Tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour 240g
  • 2/3 cups granulated sugar 133g
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter melted (57g)
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee
  • 2 large eggs room temperature
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk room temperature (180g)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla paste or extract
  • 2 cups powdered sugar 240g
  • 2 teaspoon instant coffee
  • 1/4 cup hot water 2oz
Add the butter, sugar and water to a saucepan over medium heat.
Allow the mixture to bubble, stirring occassionally until it reaches 300℉/149℃ on a candy thermometer.
Pour the mixture into a small loaf pan or another small heat resistant pan.
Chill in the fridge for ~30 minutes until the toffee hardens
Once hard, remove and chop into small pieces to sprinkle on top of the donuts and glaze.
Preheat the oven to 350℉/177℃ and grease a donut pan.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and kosher salt.
In another bowl, whisk together the melted butter, instant coffee, eggs, buttermilk and vanilla.
Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon until just combined.
Transfer the mixture to a piping bag (or ziptop bag) and pipe evenly into the mold so it's about ¾ full. You can also use two spoons to do this.
Bake for 15-17 minutes or until the cake springs back when touched.
Allow the donuts to sit for about 5 minutes in the pan, then turn the donuts out of the mold to cool completely on a wire rack.
Add the instant coffee to the hot water and allow to cool completely.
Whisk together the powdered sugar and coffee (one tablespoon at a time) until a thick glaze forms.
If it's too thin, add more powdered sugar. If too thick, add a few drops of water until it reaches the correct consistency.
Dip the rounded side of each donut into the glaze, twist, lift it out, and turn it over to set on a wire rack or plate.
Sprinkle chopped toffee onto the glaze once it stops moving and is slightly set.
  • Lightly cover the donuts and store at room temperature for 2-3 days.
  • Feel free use Heath pieces if you don't want to make your own toffee (though Heath pieces do have chocolate).
The Cozy Plum | Callan
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  • DeannaC DeannaC on Jul 15, 2022

    When making the toffee, the ingredients called for a teaspoon of Vanilla, but I don’t see it in the the instructions. When do you add it?