Hey there! If you’re craving something sweet, fluffy, and absolutely delightful, you’ve got to try making these air fryer glazed donuts. They’re a game-changer – easy to whip up, a hit with both kids and adults, and oh-so-good with a cup of coffee. Plus, they’re way less messy than traditional deep-fried donuts, which means more fun and less cleanup. Whether you’re looking to impress your brunch guests or just treat yourself to a sweet snack, these donuts are sure to bring smiles all around. Let’s get baking and make some delicious memories!

If you love your sweets with breakfast, make sure to add cinnamon rolls and scones to the menu!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • The air fryer means less oil splatter and easier cleanup.
  • Uses less oil than traditional frying, making it a lighter option.
  • Achieves a delightful crisp on the outside while remaining soft and fluffy inside.
Overhead view of glazed donuts on a cooling rack.

Air Fryer Glazed Donut Recipe Ingredients & Substitutions

Overhead view of a clean countertop with measured out flour, sugar, eggs, butter, vanilla, and other ingredients.
  • Instant dry yeast: Helps the dough rise, creating light and airy donuts. Substitution: Active dry yeast. Pour into the warm water to activate before mixing into the rest of the ingredients.
  • Warm water: Activates the yeast. Ensure it’s around 100-105 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Granulated sugar: Adds sweetness to the dough.
  • Evaporated milk: Gives the dough a tender texture. Substitution: Half-and-half (equal parts whole milk and cream).
  • Vegetable shortening: Contributes to the donut’s moist crumb. Substitution: Unsalted butter.
  • Eggs: Bind the ingredients together and add richness.
  • Vanilla extract: Enhances flavor. Quality matters.
  • All-purpose flour: The base of the dough. Substitution: Bread flour for a chewier texture.
  • Cooking spray: Prevents sticking in the air fryer. A must-have for easy removal.

This recipe is our little secret for whipping up the yummiest air fryer donuts around. We’ve sprinkled in a few substitution suggestions, but just a heads-up: changing ingredients might alter the taste and texture. So, we’re crossing our fingers you’ll follow the recipe to a T. And if you’re dancing around gluten, dairy, or eggs, it’s a great idea to gather tips and tricks from chefs who are experts in those dietary realms. Happy cooking and even happier eating!

A collage of four images showing the process of how to make glazed donuts in an air fryer.

Shaping Donuts

Cutting Out Donuts

For the donuts, you’ll need a donut cutter or two differently sized round cutters (one larger for the outer edge and a smaller one for the hole). If you don’t have donut cutters, you can use a drinking glass. Here’s how to get a clean cut:

  • Press Down Firmly: Place the cutter on the rolled-out dough and press down firmly to cut through the dough cleanly. If using two cutters, start with the larger one to cut the donut’s outer shape, then use the smaller cutter for the hole.
  • Minimize Waste: Arrange your cuts as close to each other as possible to minimize waste. You can re-roll the scraps to cut out more donuts, but do so sparingly as overworked dough can become tough.

Forming Donut Holes

Donut holes can be made from the dough punched out from the center of each donut or rolled separately if you prefer a more uniform shape:

  • Using Punched-Out Dough: Collect the small circles of dough removed from the donuts. These are ready to be cooked as is and will puff up into perfect little bites.
  • Rolling Separate Holes: If you’d like more or didn’t use a hole cutter, take small pieces of dough, roll them into balls about 1 inch in diameter. Ensure they’re smooth and even for consistent cooking.

Decorating Air Fryer Donuts

If you don’t love glazed donuts, you could top it with a chocolate ganache, sprinkles, or even just brush some melted butter on top and dunk in a cinnamon and sugar mixture. No matter how you top them, they’re going to be delicious!


  • If the dough is too sticky, add flour a tablespoon at a time until manageable.
  • If your donuts aren’t rising, the issue could stem from inactive yeast or a too-cold environment. Yeast-based doughs rise best around 75 degrees Fahrenheit. To check your yeast’s activity, dissolve it in warm water and let it sit for about 10 minutes. If it foams and emits a bread-like aroma, your yeast is active.

Tips From the Chef

  • Space donuts about 1″ apart in the air fryer and work in batches as needed.
  • Ensure your air fryer is preheated for the best texture.
  • Let donuts cool slightly before glazing to prevent the glaze from melting off.
A large stack of glazed donuts.

When are air fryer glazed donuts ready?

  • Color: A golden brown exterior indicates doneness.
  • Texture: The outside should be slightly crisp, while the inside remains soft and fluffy.
  • Firmness: Donuts should spring back when lightly pressed.

Storage Instructions

  • Room Temperature: Store in an airtight container for up to 2 days.
  • Freezer: Freeze glazed donuts on a baking sheet, then transfer to a freezer bag. Store for up to 1 month.
  • Reheating: If you did not add any toppings or glaze to your donuts, you can reheat in an air fryer or oven until heated through. For your glazed or donuts topped with cinnamon sugar, microwave for about 5-10 seconds to achieve that perfectly warmed donut. Be careful not to microwave for much longer, as this could dry it out.

More sweet breakfast recipes

Watch the video below where Caytlin will walk you through every step of this recipe. Sometimes it helps to have a visual, and we’ve always got you covered with our cooking show. You can find the complete collection of recipes on YouTube, Facebook Watch, or our Facebook Page, or right here on our website with their corresponding recipes.