Easy Air Fryer Donuts

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This recipe for Air Fryer Donuts uses a fraction of the oil as the traditional method. Now you have a healthier way to indulge your sweet tooth that is easy, fun and guilt-free. Post includes Weight Watchers points.

A variety of Air Fryer Donuts next to small bowls filled with sprinkles and dried edible flowers

Donuts may be one of the hardest temptations to resist and yet they seem to be everywhere. At your local coffee shop, favorite donut shop, school functions, the office. Seriously peeps, I cannot remember the last time I attended a morning business meeting that did not include donuts.

And sadly traditionally made sugar donuts come loaded with fat and calories. Making them a guilty pleasure that is not to be indulged in on a regular basis.

Easy Air Fryer Donuts

But folks if you love donuts, the air fryer has changed all that. You can make donuts in the air fryer using the smallest amount of oil. Or using just a very light coating of no-calorie cooking spray. How is this possible, you ask?

Besides being a healthier version of our favourite sweet treat, Air Fryer Donuts are also really quick and easy treat to make. This post includes two ways to make Air Fryer Donuts: the super easy biscuit method using pre-made biscuit dough, or making your own dough from scratch.

And if you like desserts then check out these Air Fryer Apple Fritters, delicious Air Fryer Fried Oreos, these best ever Air Fryer Beignets and of course Air Fryer Apple Chips.

Whichever option you choose, cooking your Air Fryer Donuts only takes 4-5 minutes, which means you can whip up a batch anytime, without the hassle or the guilt.

a selection of air fryer donuts decorated with icing and sprinkls

Air fryers work by circulating heat around all sides of the donuts. This allows you to ‘fry’ your delicious donuts without all that grease. And when donuts aren’t bobbing around in an oil bath, they contain much less fat and calories overall.

Why Make This Recipe

  • Quick and easy – if you use canned biscuit dough you can make this in less than 15 minutes.
  • Healthier – since these are air fried and not deep fried in hot oil.
  • Lots of toppings – you can make glazed donuts, or coat them in powdered sugar or cinnamon sugar etc.

Ingredient Notes

Using the easy method

  • Oil spray – use olive oil spray or coconut oil spray or which ever flavor your prefer.
  • Canned Biscuits – use your favorite refrigerated biscuits like Pillsbury Grands! Flaky Biscuits.
  • Toppings – like a maple glaze or cinnamon sugar.

Made From Scratch

  • Flour – this recipe calls for regular all purpose flour.
  • Sugar – use granulated sugar. Of course this adds sweetness to your treats.
  • Yeast – makes it nice and fluffy. Buy in an envelop or jar.
  • Nutmeg (or vanilla extract) – or use your favorite flavoring.
  • Salt – `Lifts up the flavor.
  • Milk – For the best result use whole milk, but other milks work here too.
  • Melted butter – Adds richness to the dough. Unsalted melted butter works best. If using salted butter you will probably want to skip the salt.
  • Egg – this works as the binder. Use a large egg.


So, are you ready to learn how easy it is to make delicious Air Fryer Donuts? Then gather up your ingredients and let’s get started……

How to Make Air Fryer Donuts Step By Step (The Easy Biscuit Way)

Get the complete ingredients list and instructions from the recipe card below.

Making air fryer donuts from biscuits is really easy.

  1. Separate the biscuits and lay them on a flat surface.
  2. Use a small (1-inch) round biscuit cutters (or a donut cutter) to remove the donut holes center from one biscuit. Then repeat with the remaining biscuits.
  3. Preheat air fryer to 350°F / 180°C and spray the basket with cooking spray.
  4. Place half of the donuts in a single layer inside air fryer basket, and air fry for 4-5 minutes until golden brown.
  5. Repeat with remaining donuts and holes air frying till done.
  6. If using a cinnamon sugar topping, then brush the warm donuts with melted butter and dip in the coating.

A few simple steps and minutes to your Air Fryer Biscuit Donuts……

air fryer donuts being cut out using biscuit dough

How to Make AirFryer Donuts From Scratch

Make homemade donuts from scratch is not difficult –

  1. Combine flour, sugar, yeast, nutmeg (or vanilla extract), salt in a large bowl using a wooden spoon.
  2. Add in the warm milk, butter, and egg into the flour yeast mixture and stir into a soft dough.
  3. Transfer yeast dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for a couple of mins until elastic, smooth and pulls away form the sides. You can use a stand mixer if you prefer.
  4. Transfer it to a lightly greased bowl, cover it loosely with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for the dough rise until doubled in size.
  5. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and roll into 1/2-inch thickness.
  6. Cut out 7-8 doughnuts using a 3-inch round cutter. Then use a 1-inch round cutter to cut holes in the center.
  7. Place both the donuts and donuts holes on a lightly floured surface, cover loosely with a cloth and let stand in a warm place until doubled in size (approximately 30 minutes).
  8. Pre-heat air fryer to 350 degrees F / 180 degrees C and spray the basket with cooking spray.
  9. Place half the yeasted donuts in single layer in the air fryer basket, and cook for 4-5 minutes until golden. Remove the Air Fryer Donuts. Repeat with remaining donuts and doughnut holes.
  10. If using a cinnamon sugar coating, then brush the warm donuts with melted butter and dip in the coating.
image collage showing the steps for making AirFryer Donuts

Make Donut Glaze

  1. Whisk together powdered sugar and water in a bowl until smooth.
  2. Dip the donuts and donut holes in the sugar glaze, then place them on a wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet to allow excess glaze to drip off.
  3. Top donuts with sprinkles and edible flowers.
  4. Let donuts stand until glaze hardens (about 10 mins) before serving

Recipe Tips

  • Do not stack your donuts in the air fryer. Allow enough room for the hot air to circulate around the donuts so they cook evenly. Also the space allows the donuts to expand, which they will.
  • For best cooking results, make sure your Air Fryer doughnuts are the same size. But you can have fun any vary the size of your donuts from batch to batch.
  • Clean out the air fryer basket between batches to make sure there are no pieces of dough remaining and to avoid and burning.
  • Let cool on a cooling rack and drizzle or sprinkle on your preferred topping.
  • Don’t roll the dough too thin, you want to to be about 1/2-1 inch in thickness.
  • Dough scrapes are your friend. Gather them all together, re-roll and cut into dougnuts or holes. You are welcome.
  • Ps if you want please do check out out Air Fryer Tips and How To Oil An Air Fryer.
Air Fryer Doughnuts with various toppings set next to small bowls filled with sprinkles and dried edible flowers

Customising Your Air Fryer Donuts

Since it is so quick and easy to cook donuts in the air fryer, you can focus on fun ways to customise this air fryer doughnut recipe. Some ideas:

Create a DIY donut decorating station. My mini chefs looooove to set out tons of bowls filled with every imaginable color of sprinkles, different candies, edible flowers, grated chocolate etc.They have so much fun creatively mixing and matching all sorts of unique topping combinations. A great activity for a kids’ birthday party.

I love the fact that you can make so many different flavour variations. Here are just a few of my favourites:

  • Cinnamon Sugar: skip the glaze and combine equal parts sugar and cinnamon to cover your air fryer cinnamon sugar donuts.
  • Gingerbread: add ginger to your glaze mixture and then top the iced donuts with pieces of candied ginger. Perfect for Christmas breakfast!
  • Chocolate Almond: drizzle chocolate sauce on your donuts and sprinkle with sliced almonds.
  • Donut Glaze – make air fryer glazed donuts by using a simple sugar glaze, see recipe in the recipe card. The glaze helps keep these nice and soft. You can make a chocolate glaze, strawberry glaze etc.
hands reaching for air fryer donuts with sprinkles

Storage

  • Store – These are best served fresh, but store cool treats (made from scratch) in an airtight container on the counter for up to 1 day.
  • Freeze – freeze them unglazed. Spread then out on a tray lined with parchment paper and freeze singly till frozen (about 3+ hrs). Then carefully remove them and place in a freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months.
  • Reheat – Some people recommend microwaving these for 30-45 seconds to reheat but I have never tried this myself. Do let me know how you get on if you try it.

FAQs

Are Air Fryer Donuts Healthy?

Yeap, using the air fryer to cook donuts is much healthier than the traditional frying method. The made from scratch version of this Air Fried Donuts recipe has only 4g of fat per serving.

What is the Correct Temperature to Cook Donuts in the Air Fryer?

I found that cooking the donuts at 350F / 180C gave me the perfectly golden results I was looking for.

As air fryer temperatures can vary depending on the make and model, this recipe includes a range of suggested cook times.

Cut Donuts Without A Cutter?

Dont have a cutter, then use a glass or bowl with thin edges for cutting eg a wine glass or water glass. And use a smaller glass like a shot glass for the holes.

How to Make Maple Bacon Donuts in the Air Fryer

One of my American friends introduced me to this amaaaaaazing combination and let me tell you, if you haven’t had it yet then you are seriously missing out.

OH recently had some friends over to watch the big game so I decided to really put the air fryer to the test and made a big batch of Maple Bacon Air Fryer Donuts.

Cooking bacon in the air fryer gives you perfectly crispy bacon strips (check out my Air Fryer Bacon post for complete instructions and a video tutorial). And by using the super easy biscuit way to make my donuts in the air fryer meant they were ready in no time.

To finish them off, I made a simple maple-flavoured glaze and then topped each donut with lots of crumbled bacon. The only problem? They were gone so fast I wasn’t able to get any photos! 

Air Fried Donuts with various toppings set next to small bowls filled with sprinkles and dried edible flowers

More Air Fryer Desert Recipes

More Air Fryer Recipes

Weight Watchers Points

There are 10 Blue Plan SmartPoints in one serving.

Thank you for reading my Air Fry Donuts recipe post. And please come visit again as I continue dreaming up recipes, traditional African recipes, African fusion recipes, Sierra Leone recipes, travel plans and much more for you. Thanks for supporting Recipes from a Pantry, UK food blog.

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A variety of Air Fryer Donuts next to small bowls filled with sprinkles and dried edible flowers
Print Recipe
5 from 8 votes

Air Fryer Donuts 2 Ways

Air Fryer Donuts are a healthier version of your favourite sweet treat that is fun and easy to make!
Prep Time40 minutes
Cook Time5 minutes
Total Time45 minutes
Course: Breakfast, Brunch, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American, Western
Servings: 8
Calories: 241kcal
Author: Bintu Hardy

Ingredients

From Scratch Way:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1.5 tsp fast action yeast
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • salt
  • 1/2 cup whole milk at room temperature
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter melted
  • 1 large egg beaten

Easy Biscuit Way:

  • 1 can of biscuits 8 biscuits, flaky kind

Glaze:

  • 1 cup (about 4 oz) powdered sugar
  • 4 tsp tap water
  • various sprinkles and edible dried flowers

Instructions

To Make The From Scratch Way:

  • Combine flour, sugar, yeast, nutmeg, and salt in a bowl.
  • Add in the milk, butter, and egg and stir into a soft dough.
  • Place donut dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for a couple of mins until smooth.
  • Transfer it to a lightly oiled bowl, cover it and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size.
  • Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll out to 1/4-inch thickness.
  • Cut out 7-8 doughnuts using a 3-inch round cutter. Then use a 1-inch round cutter to remove center.
  • Place the both the donuts and donuts holes on a lightly floured surface, cover loosely with a cloth and let stand in a warm place until doubled in size (approximately 30 mins).
  • Pre-heat air fryer to 350F / 180C and spray the basket with cooking spray.
  • Place half of the donuts in single layer inside the air fryer basket and cook for 4-5 mins until golden. Repeat with remaining doughnuts and holes.

To Make the Super Easy Biscuit Way:

  • Lay the biscuits on a flat surface. Use a small (1-inch) round cookie cutter to remove center.
  • Pre-heat air fryer to 350F / 180C and spray the air fryer basket with cooking spray.
  • Place the donuts in a single layer inside the air fryer basket (do not stack) and lightly spray the donuts with oil.
  • Cook for 4-5 mins until golden. Repeat with remaining donuts and holes.

To Make The Glaze:

  • Whisk together powdered sugar and water in a bowl until smooth.
  • Dip the donuts and donut holes in the sugar glaze, then place them on a wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet to allow excess glaze to drip off.
  • Top donuts with sprinkles and edible flowers.
  • Let donuts stand until glaze hardens (about 10 mins) before serving.
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Video

Notes

 Air Fryer Donuts Tips
  • Do not stack your donuts in the air fryer. Allow enough room for the air to circulate around your donuts so they cook evenly.
  • For best cooking results, make sure your donuts are the same size. But you can have fun any vary the size of your donuts from batch to batch.
  • Clean out the air fryer basket between batches to make sure there are no pieces of dough remaining and to avoid and burning. 
Weight Watchers Points
There are 10 Freestyle Points in one serving of Air Fryer Donuts.

Nutrition

Calories: 241kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 29mg | Sodium: 16mg | Potassium: 68mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 21g | Vitamin A: 145IU | Calcium: 25mg | Iron: 1.5mg

 

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Recipe Rating




12 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This is such a great recipe. I made doughnuts and dinner rolls using the same recipe and it turned out so great. Thank u! I am so glad i chose your blog!

    Namitha
    Bangalore
    India

  2. 5 stars
    What a fun and easy dessert! I made these tonight. Hard to keep my hands off them before dinner. We are making homemade pizza and chicken wings. Chicken wings in the Air Fryer of course!
    I made a few with glaze and a few with cinnamon & sugar. And how cute are the holes! Yummy! Thank you!

  3. The recipe doesn’t say how much salt to use! I’m guessing about half a tablespoon but I don’t know for sure.

    1. I’m trying to figure out how much salt to use as it’s not indicated in the recipe!

  4. 5 stars
    Please let me try these incredible donuts! I want to eat it every day! I’m sure this is very tasty. This is a great recipe for me. Thank you!

  5. 5 stars
    What a great way to start the day!! Morning now his it’s donut companion back with a healthier twist. Looks fantastic!