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Breakfast is one of those meals that we enjoy cooking on rare occasions. Could be that our kids are starving immediately upon wakeup, not allowing us ample time for coffee, but breakfasts around here are pretty quick and easy.
I got an air fryer as a Christmas gift this year and have used it many times in the last week. Besides making frozen French fries and fish sticks even better, we discovered the air fryer can be used to make donuts. I’ve made baked donuts before but it just doesn’t compare. While these donuts are also not going to compete with crispy donuts fried in oil, they come pretty darn close — and the kids loved them!
There are a million recipes out there for homemade dough, but we’re going for simple and fast so we’ve used store-bought refrigerated biscuit dough. In fact, you can make these donuts with only 5 ingredients if you buy the pre-made dough.
This is the air fryer I got for Christmas. Just like any kitchen appliance, there are high and lower end and this one is right in the middle. I’ve had a Dash mini waffle maker for a few years now and love it so much – so this air fryer should hold up well too.
What is an Air Fryer?
I actually didn’t know how these worked either. From what I understand, the air fryer works in a similar way to a convection oven where the warm air moves around the food and cooks it while keeping food crisp. The foods used best in an air fryer are normally things you’d deep fry like chicken wings, french fries, fish, and… donuts! We’ve tried all of these things so far and they’ve all came out perfectly cooked and crispy so I’m a believer.
What other equipment do I need?
Not much! If you’ve got an air fryer, then everything else is likely things you’ve already got around the house.
- something to cut a hole in the dough with – biscuit cutters would be ideal but shot glasses or anything in that shape works too
- small bowls, one for melted butter and one for the cinnamon-sugar mixture
- a pastry brush is helpful, but not necessary
- a cooling rack, optional
SHOP THE POST
How do I store the donuts and how long will they last?
Well, the “how long will they last” question is personal… as I could eat the entire plate in one sitting. 🙂
These donuts will be best enjoyed fresh. However, you can store them on the counter in a bag or airtight container for 1-2 days and reheat in the air fryer to keep them crisp. They could be frozen and reheated the same way as well.
HOW TO MAKE DONUTS IN THE AIR FRYER
Gather your ingredients. You’ll need to work quickly when the donuts come out of the air fryer, so make sure you’ve got everything handy.
In a small bowl that is slightly larger than your biscuits, combine white sugar, brown sugar and cinnamon. In separate bowl, melt butter.
Using packaged refrigerated biscuit dough, separate biscuits and slice each one in half lengthwise. You could leave them full thickness, but we didn’t enjoy them as much that way.
(I used Pillsbury Grands ‘Southern Style’ Biscuit Dough. Any would probably work but I did avoid the ‘flaky layers’ since I didn’t think that would be the right texture for a donut.)
Next, use a biscuit cutter or shot glass and cut out hole from the center of each biscuit. Set aside the centers, as you’ll be able to make donut holes with these too.
Preheat the air fryer to 325 degrees. Once warmed up, place 3-4 dough circles inside and cook for 5 minutes. I found that I didn’t need to use any cooking spray – there were no issues with them sticking. If you do, use a coconut or olive oil spray versus a nonstick cooking spray like Pam, as this can supposedly ruin your appliance. Cook in the air fryer for 5 minutes.
Once done cooking, carefully remove each donut and immediately brush all sides and edges with melted butter. Then dip each donut into the bowl of cinnamon-sugar mixture to fully coat. Place on rack to cool.
What about the donut holes?
We actually preferred these little bite-size donut holes to the traditional donut shape and they are made the same way. All the donut holes can be placed together in the air fryer – just shake halfway through, cooking for a total of 5 minutes. We found it easier to dip the donut holes in the melted butter before placing in cinnamon-sugar mixture, rather than use a brush.
You can have a plate of warm donuts ready to go in less than 15 minutes. The most difficult part of this recipe is hearing “are the donuts done yet?!” a million times in 5 minutes.
If you made these donuts, we’d love for you to share it on Instagram and tag us at @gatheringtwigs! Enjoy!
Video for Easy Air Fryer Donuts Recipe
Easy Air Fryer Donut Recipe
- Air Fryer
- Small bowls for melted butter and cinnamon-sugar mixture
- Pastry brush
- Biscuit cutter or shot glass to remove center of donut
- Cooling rack
- 1 package refrigerated biscuit dough sliced in half
- ¼ cup butter melted
- ½ cup white sugar
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- In small bowl that is slightly bigger than size of donut, combine white sugar, brown sugar and cinnamon.
- Melt butter in microwave-safe bowl and set aside.
- Open package of refrigerated biscuit dough and slice each biscuit in half, lengthwise. Using a biscuit cutter or shot glass, remove the center of each donut. Keep the dough centers to use for donut holes.
- In preheated air fryer, place 3-4 dough circles inside. Cook for 5 minutes at 325 degrees.
- Carefully remove donuts when done cooking. While donuts are still warm, brush with melted butter and dip in cinnamon-sugar mixture. Place on rack to cool.
- Donut holes: cook the same way as the above donuts. All donut holes may be placed together in air fryer. Shake and toss halfway through, cooking for a total of 5 minutes. Again, dip in melted butter followed by cinnamon-sugar mixture and allow to cool on rack.