This Air Fryer Donut Recipe is a happy medium of quick-fix and scrumptious homemade goodness. We're ditching both the time-consuming yeast dough and the greasy, canned biscuits for a superior option -- an easy homemade dough that comes together in just one bowl and in 10 minutes or less!
These donuts cook up warm and flaky out of the air fryer and can be finished off with either a cinnamon-sugar coating or delicious vanilla glaze. It's a quick and easy breakfast treat the grown-ups will love just as much as the kids!
Looking for more carby goodness to add to your breakfast lineup? Be sure to bookmark these Cinnamon Sugar Cake Donut Muffins for next time!
THE BEST AIR FRYER DONUTS
When it comes to Air Fryer Donuts, there are options. There's the time-consuming yeast dough rendition, the greasy canned biscuit version, and then there's this...
The goal was an Air Fryer Donut that wouldn't take all morning to make, yet didn't taste like it came directly out of can. And, sure, a yeast donut would be great...if you want to wait around for hours. That's why we opted for using a quick and easy homemade biscuit dough instead. It's ions faster than a yeast dough, and lightyears better than using canned biscuits!
A happy medium that results in an Air Fryer Donut (and donut holes) that are both easy to make and delightfully homemade! You'll find this recipe the supreme choice when it comes to time and flavor in the world of Air Fryer Donuts.
HOW TO MAKE AIR FRYER DONUTS
Air Fryer Donuts come together in a very similar manner to these Buttermilk Biscuits. If you've never made homemade biscuits before, you'll be shocked at just how easy it is to do!
Want to make it even easier? Check out my tips for making this donut dough in the food processor (see below)!
- Preheat Your Air Fryer
- Make the Dough
- Cut Out the Donuts
- Make the Donut Holes
- Air Fry In Batches
1. PREHEAT YOUR AIR FRYER
Preheat the air fryer while you are whipping up your dough. Just set it to 375° and let it heat up for about 10 minutes before using!
2. MAKE THE DOUGH
Mix Dry Ingredients | In a large mixing bowl, combine, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Add Butter and Buttermilk | Next, you'll add tiny cubes of cold, unsalted butter to the bowl and cut them in using either a pastry blender or a fork.
Once the cubes are small (about the size of a pea) and evenly distributed throughout the dry mix, you'll add in your ice-cold water.
Form the Dough | Stir until the dough comes together and then lay it out onto a floured work surface. Pat the dough out into a rectangle and fold it over on top of itself, just as you would an envelope. This will help to create those delicious, buttery, flaky layers!!!
3. CUT OUT THE DONUTS
Roll out the dough with a rolling pin until it is about ¼-inch thick. Then, use a round cookie cutter to cut the dough into circles. You can piece back the scraps of dough up to two more times to make more donuts!
4. MAKE THE DONUT HOLES
Use a smaller cookie cutter to cut out the donut holes. And, be sure to roll those donut holes into little rounds so they look like the real deal!
5. AIR FRY (IN BATCHES)
Place the donuts in the air fryer in single layers. You'll probably be able to fit about 4 donuts in the air fryer per batch, and you can count on making about 4 batches.
Each batch should take about 4 to 5 minutes to cook through. Once the donuts are finished cooking, add the donut holes to the air fryer and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes, shaking the basket about halfway through the cooking process.
WANT TO MAKE THE DOUGH...EVEN FASTER?
If you want to speed along the dough-making process, grab your food processor and fit it with the blade attachment. This process will be very similar to making pie crust in the food processor!
HOW TO MAKE AIR FRYER DONUT DOUGH IN THE FOOD PROCESSOR
- Add dry ingredients to the bowl of a food processor fitted with a blade attachment and pulse to combine.
- Add butter and pulse until it is small and broken up throughout the dry mix.
- Add the buttermilk slowly through the feed tube until it has all been incorporated and the dough comes together.
This process should take you right around 5 minutes. Once the dough is ready, proceed with the recipe by rolling out and cutting the dough, and it's on to the air fryer from there!
5 AIR FRYER RECIPES YOU'LL LOVE!
- Air Fryer Pickles
- Air Fryer Shrimp
- Air Fryer Onion Rings
- Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets
- Air Fryer Mozzarella Sticks
AIR FRYER DONUT TOPPINGS
There's certainly more than one way to top off an Air Fryer Donut. Choose between a sweet vanilla glaze or a delicious cinnamon sugar topping!
FOR A VANILLA GLAZE
If you're making donuts with a glaze, you'll want to have a rack and a work surface lined with wax or parchment paper ready to catch any glaze drippings.
It's actually best if you glaze the donuts while they are still warm, but if you don't get to it in time, it's ok. You can still add the glaze while they cool! The glaze might just be a bit thicker this way.
- Combine powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla in a shallow bowl and stir until smooth,
- Dip both sides of your donuts in the glaze and transfer to the rack until completely set.
FOR A CINNAMON SUGAR COATING
- Have ready two shallow bowls. One will house the unsalted, melted butter, while the other will hold a delicious mix of granulated sugar, cinnamon, and a pinch of salt.
- Submerge your donuts in the butter, shake off the excess, and then thoroughly coat them in the cinnamon sugar.
HOW TO STORE AIR FRYER DONUTS
You can store Air Fryer Donuts at room temperature for up to three to four days, however, they tend to get a little stale after day number two. It's really best to store what you don't eat in the freezer.
FREEZE LEFTOVER DONUTS TO KEEP THEM TASTING FRESH!
To freeze your donuts, make sure they have completely cooled and the glaze is totally set. Then, transfer them to either a freezer-safe, gallon-sized ziptop bag or an airtight, freezer-safe container. Seal and store for up to three months.
If you're storing glazed donuts, wrapping them individually in wax paper before storing will prevent them from sticking to one another.
Frozen donuts will reheat quickly in the microwave -- all you need is about 30 to 45 seconds per donut.
MORE SWEET BREAKFAST RECIPES TO TRY
Air Fryer Donuts -- TWO WAYS! Perfectly tender, buttery Air Fryer Donuts made from scratch. Choose between a delicious vanilla glaze or an irresistible cinnamon-sugar coating. Makes 14-16 donuts.
- 2 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- ¾ cup very cold, unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
- ¾ cup buttermilk
- 1 ½ cup powdered sugar
- 3 tablespoons milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Generous pinch of salt
Preheat your air fryer to 375°F.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Add the cubed butter and stir. Using a pastry blender, cut the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles small broken-up peas. Add the buttermilk and stir until evenly distributed throughout the batter. Very gently, knead the dough, just until it comes together in a ball.
Transfer to a lightly floured work surface and pat into a rectangle. Fold the sides of the dough over and onto itself, just as if you were folding a piece of paper to place in an envelope. Dust with flour if needed and roll out until the dough is about a ¼" thick.
Use a 2 ½-3" round cookie or biscuit cutter, cut out as many circles as you can, and set aside. Bring the dough scraps back together once more and repeat. For donut holes, use a ¾-1" round cutter to cut holes from the center of the dough rounds. Roll the holes into little balls and set aside.
Place the donuts in the air fryer in a single in your air fryer and cook for 4-5 minutes. You will likely need to cook the donuts in 4 separate batches. Add the donut holes to the air fryer and cook for 3-4 minutes, shaking the basket about halfway through the cook time.
Set a rack on top of a work surface lined with wax or parchment paper.
Combine the powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla in a shallow bowl and stir until smooth.
Dip both sides of the donut in the glaze and transfer to the rack and allow to set, about 10-15 minutes.
Add the melted butter to one shallow bowl and in another, combine the granulated sugar, cinnamon, and salt.
Submerge the donut in the butter, allowing any excess to drip off, then coat thoroughly in the cinnamon-sugar mixture.
Do NOT substitute salted butter for the unsalted butter called for in this recipe.