Preheat the oven to 350°F with the rack positioned in the middle and lightly grease two 6-donut molds.
Mix together the sugar and oil until well combined, then add in the rest of the donut ingredients. Transfer to a piping bag.
Pipe the donut batter into 12 doughnut rings, and bake for 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the doughnut comes out clean. Allow the doughnuts to cool to room temperature.
Meanwhile, add the dates and almond milk to a small saucepan, cover with a lid and heat over medium heat until gently simmering, about 4 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a food processor and puree until the dates are well broken down, then add in the salt and maple syrup and continue to puree until smooth.
Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until it bubbles and thickens slightly, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, and allow the mixture to cool to room temperature.
To assemble, remove the doughnuts from the pan and arrange flat side up (aka. the side that was facing upwards in the oven). Smear a generous amount of the caramel onto each doughnut sprinkle generously with the pecans. Enjoy!