Air Fryer Donuts

These Air Fryer Donuts are a delectable sweet treat that taste like the real deal. No deep frying needed!

Air fryers are one of the most versatile small appliances you can get! Not only can you make veggies and even a whole roast chicken in the air fryer, but you can also make delicious desserts like these Air Fryer Donuts. Who would have thought it could be this easy to have incredible homemade donuts at your fingertips?

This is the best Air Fryer Donuts recipe because they taste like real donuts! While it does take a little more time than some of the recipes that use biscuits as their donut base, we promise the extra effort is worth it! And, just because it takes more time, doesn’t mean it isn’t super easy! If you don’t have an air fryer, you can also make Baked Donuts if you’re looking for a healthier version of fried donuts!

It’s so much fun to decorate them with all the icing and dye-free sprinkles! They would be a great activity for a kid’s birthday. Let everyone decorate their own donut and enjoy. And don’t forget to save the cutouts to make donut holes! Yum!

Air Fryer Donuts are soft on the outside and have a tender fluffy interior. They’re next level especially once they’re covered in the delicious buttery glaze. Or simply dip them in cinnamon sugar and get ready for the “mmm” to follow. They make a great special breakfast or a sweet after school treat. I can guarantee no one will complain when you make these for them!

Air Fryer Donuts

Prep Time 2 hrs
Cook Time 5 mins

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup plus 2-3 tablespoons whole milk, lukewarm (about 100 degrees)
  • 2 1/2 tsp active dry or instant yeast
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp natural food color, if desired
  • 1/4 cup sprinkles

Instructions
 

  • Stir together the lukewarm milk, 1 tsp of sugar, and yeast into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook.  Allow the mixture to sit for about 10 minutes or until foamy. If the mixture doesn't bubble, the yeast is too hot or cold and you will need so start over.
  • Add sugar, salt, egg, melted butter and 2 cups of flour to the milk mixture. Turn the mixer on low speed and  add the remaining cup of flour slowly, until the dough is no longer sticky. Increase the mixer speed to medium and knead for about 5 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic. 
  • Place the dough into a greased bowl (you can use oil or melted butter) and cover with plastic wrap. Place the bowl in a warm place until doubled (about 1 hour). The dough is ready when you press it with your finger and it leaves an indentation. 
  • Place the dough out onto a floured surface, press it down and roll out to about 1/2 inch thickness. Using a 3-inch round donut cookie cutter, stamp out donuts. Alternatively you can use a large glass and a shot glass to cut out 1 inch holes from the middle of the donut. 
  • Transfer donuts and holes to parchment paper and cover loosely with greased plastic wrap. Let donuts rise until doubled in volume, about 20-30 minutes. Spray donuts with cooking oil spray. 
  • Turn air fryer to 350 degrees. Transfer donuts to air fryer basket making sure that donuts are 1 inch apart. Spray donuts with oil spray and cook at 350 degrees until golden, about 4-5 minutes. Repeat with remaining donuts and holes.
  • While the donuts are in the Air Fryer, stir milk 1 tablespoon at a time into powdered sugar until smooth. Add food coloring as desired for desired color. Set aside.
  • Dip hot donuts and donut holes in the glaze using to forks to submerge them. Place on a wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet to allow excess glaze to drip off. Let sit until glaze hardens, about 10 minutes.