Air Fryer Donuts

5 from 4 votes
4 Comments

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Learn how to make donuts in your air fryer with this simple and delicious recipe. Your family and friends will enjoy this tasty treat!

We love to cook all kinds of recipes, but baking holds a special place in our hearts. Whether you are making a pie, a cake, or any other kind of dessert, we have recipes that will help you make those special memories in the kitchen!

A platter of Air Fryer Donuts topped with chocolate icing and sprinkles

Air Fryer Donuts

The alleged promise of an Air Fryer is to make traditionally fried foods without oil (or at least with much less oil). So, why not donuts? Donuts are one of my favorite treats, but sometimes I just don’t want to deal with a deep fryer. After a lot of trial and error, I am so excited to share my Air Fryer Donut recipe with you! 

Ingredients And Tools for Air Fryer Donuts

Air Fryer

The first tool you need is the Air Fryer. If you don’t already have one, don’t be intimidated by an Air Fryer! Once you get the basics down, it is so simple to use. Here are a few suggestions for this donut recipe and using an Air Fryer in general:

  • Always preheat your Air Fryer before use.  It only takes a minute.  Set it to 400 degrees for 1 minute, cook with it empty, and it will be hot and ready to use.
  • Use a little non-stick cooking spray or air fryer parchment sheets (with holes) to prevent food from sticking to trays.
  • Keep food from touching, this will help the air circulate all around each piece of food for even cooking and crispiness.
  • Shake or turn food half way through the cooking process for more even cooking.
  • Don’t be afraid to check your food for doneness, opening the drawer won’t ruin the cooking process.
  • Get an oil sprayer for making dry breaded foods like our Homemade Mozzarella Sticks. A little spritz of oil can make breading more crispy.
A chocolate sprinkle donut next to a bowl of sprinkles and a bowl of donut holes

Tools for Shaping the Donuts

To make these Air Fryer Donuts, or any homemade donuts recipe, you will need tools to shape the donuts. I would suggest using biscuit cutters. You can find biscuit cutters in all sizes, but I have a set from 4-inch to 1-inch. I use the 4-inch for the main part of the donut, and then the 1-inch for the donut hole. You can also use a regular circular cookie cutter, or any cups or small bowls to get your desired shape. 

Preparation

  1. Start by proofing the yeast. This is a crucial step in making sure your donuts rise well. Add warm water, yeast and sugar to a small bowl. Let it sit on the counter until the yeast is super bubbly and the mixture has doubled in size. 
  2. Next, make the dough. Mix together milk, sugar, salt, egg, and shortening. Then, add yeast to the mixture. Make sure to scrape as much of the yeast mixture as you can out of the bowl. Then, in a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment, add flour in one cup at a time while mixing. Mix until the dough no longer sticks to the sides of the bowl and is smooth to the touch. 
  3. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl. Then, cover tightly with plastic wrap and allow to rise until it has about doubled in size, about one hour. 
  4. Roll the dough out on a floured surface until about ½ inch thick. Cut out the donut shapes and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Then, cover with a thin kitchen towel and let rise for 30 minutes. 
A platter of chocolate sprinkle air fryer donuts with a bite taken out of one

Cooking And Serving Air Fryer Donuts

  1. Preheat Air Fryer to 350 degrees. Generously spray a non-stick cooking spray like Pam or coconut oil spray in the basket. Carefully place donut dough in the Air Fryer basket. Only put as many donuts in as will fit without touching each other. Spray the tops of the donuts with cooking spray. Air fry for 5 minutes. 
  2. While the donuts are baking, place a wire rack on top of a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. This is what the donuts will sit on to cool and after they are glazed or iced, the baking sheet will catch any glaze or icing runoff. 
  3. Then, make the chocolate icing. Combine powdered sugar, cocoa powder, and milk in a bowl wide enough to fit the top of a donut. Then, mix with a fork until a smooth glaze forms. Set aside. 
  4. Take the donuts out of the Air Fryer and place on the wire rack. When cool enough to touch, dip the top of the donuts in the chocolate glaze. Place back on the wire rack and top with sprinkles. Donuts are best served immediately.

Recipe Tip

a bowl of doughnut holes

The donut holes only have to air fry for 3 minutes. Instead of dipping them in chocolate glaze and sprinkles, I like to brush them with melted butter and top with cinnamon-sugar.

FAQ’s

Do these REALLY taste like donuts?

Since the oil plays a large part in the flavor of traditional donuts, this isn’t going to taste exactly the same. Admittedly, it is a little more of a bread-y, cake-y donut. However, it is still delicious! The key to getting a light and airy texture is to let the dough rise enough and only rolling the dough out to ½ inch and no more.

What can I top these with besides chocolate glaze and sprinkles?

My favorites are cinnamon sugar and powdered sugar! Make sure to brush with a little bit of butter or oil before applying either topping.

How long are Air Fryer Donuts good for?

Air Fryer Donuts taste their absolute best right after cooking. If you must wait, you can store them at room temperature in an air tight bag for a few days.

More Air Fryer Recipes

A platter of chocolate sprinkle air fryer donuts with a bite taken out of one

Air Fryer Donuts

5 from 4 votes
Learn how to make donuts in your air fryer with this simple and delicious recipe. Your family and friends will enjoy this tasty treat!
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Rising Time 1 hr 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr 50 mins
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 6

Equipment

  • Air Fryer

Ingredients

For Chocolate Glaze

Optional Toppings

Instructions

  • Start by proofing the yeast. Add warm water, yeast and 1 teaspoon of sugar to a small bowl. Let it sit on the counter until the yeast is super bubbly and the mixture has doubled in size.
    Yeast and water bubbling up in a measuring cup
  • Mix together milk, sugar, salt, egg, and shortening. Add yeast to the mixture. In a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment, add flour in one cup at a time while mixing. Mix until the dough no longer sticks to the sides of the bowl and is smooth to the touch.
    Donut dough in a glass bowl
  • Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and allow to rise until it has about doubled in size, about one hour. You'll know it is ready if you poke the dough and it doesn't bounce back.
    Risen dough in a glass bowl
  • Roll the dough out on a floured surface until about ½ inch thick. Cut out the donut shapes and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover with a thin kitchen towel and let rise for 30 minutes.
    Donut dough cut into donut shapes before frying
  • Preheat Air Fryer to 350 degrees. Generously spray a cooking spray like Pam or coconut oil spray in the basket. Carefully place donut dough in the Air Fryer basket. Only put as many donuts in as will fit without touching each other. Spray the tops of the donuts with cooking spray. Air fry for 5 minutes.
    Two donuts after being cooked in an air fryer
  • To make the chocolate icing, combine powdered sugar, cocoa powder, and milk in a bowl wide enough to fit the top of a donut. Mix with a fork until a smooth glaze forms.
    Chocolate donut icing in a small bowl
  • Take the donuts out of the Air Fryer and place on a wire rack with a parchment paper-lined baking sheet underneath. When cool enough to touch, dip the top of the donuts in the chocolate glaze. Place back on the wire rack and top with sprinkles. Donuts are best served immediately.
    A platter of Air Fryer Donuts topped with chocolate icing and sprinkles

For Donut Holes

  • Place all the donut holes in the air fryer basket and air fry for 3 minutes. *Optional* Toss in melted butter and cinnamon sugar.
    Air Fryer Donuts with cinnamon sugar

Video

Nutrition Information

Calories: 420kcalCarbohydrates: 76gProtein: 10gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 224mgPotassium: 190mgFiber: 3gSugar: 26gVitamin A: 104IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 63mgIron: 4mg

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About the author

Kelsey Crist

Kelsey lives in Washington with her husband, Alex, and two cats, Diana and Nova. Her happy place is in the kitchen listening to an audiobook and trying new recipes. When she's not in the kitchen you can find her hiking, shopping at Trader Joe's, or playing Animal Crossing. Her favorite food is pasta and Alex loves when she makes Homemade Oreos.

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Now that kids are home for a few days, we will be making these for sure!! Donuts are a favorite around here & making them together is always fun!

  2. 5 stars
    Who knew the air fryer could make such delicious donuts!! We are big fans of homemade donuts, but usually they take so much time..not these! My kids will be so happy!

  3. 5 stars
    Thank you so much for sharing this amazing donuts recipe! Will surely have this again! It’s really easy to make and it tasted so delicious! Highly recommended!