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Air Fryer Donuts are pillowy soft and topped with the most delicious homemade glaze. These made-from-scratch donuts will taste just like the fried version, if not better! You’re going to love them!

A stack of air fryer donuts.

Donuts are life. They are addictingly good, and yet someone decided long ago that they were an acceptable breakfast food. Win-win! While we might not exactly have these for breakfast on a daily basis, they do make a regular appearance as an after-school snack in our house. We don’t mind making them, because there is practically no clean up! There is nothing worse than the splattered oil mess all over the stovetop after frying donuts, which is why you will find us using our air fryer nine times out of ten. It’s just as delicious, without the mess. Lucky for us, there always happen to be a couple of leftover donuts that we will still snag for breakfast the next morning. The kids don’t have to know. 

Can I use canned biscuits? 

There are a lot of people who simply use canned biscuits, cut a hole, and call it a donut. Don’t get us wrong, it still tastes good, but it’s not really a donut. This is a from scratch donut recipe meant to give you the best air fryer donuts, rather than biscuits. 

Topping Options for Air Fryer Donuts:

If you don’t love glazed donuts, you could top it with a chocolate frosting, add 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!

Cutting Into Shape:

We always have a biscuit cutter on hand, but you can use just about anything to cut this into a circular shape! In a pinch, the top of a glass works really well. For the inner circle, a bottle cap is just about the perfect size.

Can I make Donut Holes? 

Absolutely! You can either just use the middle you cut out for your regular donuts, or you can intentionally cut small circles so that everything is a donut hole. 

Overhead view of air fryer donuts on a cooling rack.

Storage Instructions: 

Store your donuts in an airtight container on the counter for up to 2 days. The longer they sit the more they will grow stale. 

If you like this recipe, you may be interested in these other delicious sweet dough recipes:

Pillowy Air Fryer Donuts
Servings

12 donuts

A stack of donuts with a bite taken out of one.
Air Fryer Donuts are pillowy soft and topped with the most delicious homemade glaze. These made-from-scratch donuts will taste just like the fried version, if not better! You’re going to love them!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Rising Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 25 minutes
Ingredients

Donut Dough

  • 2 1/2 teaspoons instant dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water about 100 degrees Fahrenheit
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 - 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • Spray cooking oil

Donut Glaze

  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 1/3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 2 teaspoons evaporated milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 - 4 teaspoons water
Instructions
  • Combine the yeast, water, sugar, evaporated milk, salt, shortening, eggs, and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer. Pour in 2 cups of flour and knead on a medium-low speed with a dough hook until well combined. Slowly add in the remaining flour until a smooth dough ball forms. Dough should be wet, but should not stick to your fingers or the sides of the bowl.
  • Transfer the dough to a lightly greased mixing bowl, cover with plastic wrap or clean dish towel and let rise 1 1/2 hours.
  • Roll the dough out onto a lightly floured surface 1/4 to 1/2-inch thick. Use a drinking glass or round cookie cutter to punch out 12 donuts, re-rolling the dough as necessary to get a dozen donuts and use almost all of the dough. Let rise another 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, heat Air Fryer to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Once preheated, place 3-4 donuts in the airfryer, making sure that they do not touch. Spray the donuts with cooking oil and air fry until golden brown, about 4 minutes.
  • Fry the donuts a few at a time until golden brown, flipping halfway through. It is helpful to do a test donut to ensure that it gets cooked through. Transfer fried donuts to a wire rack, covered with a layer of paper towels. Let cool for 1-2 minutes, then dip the top of the donut into glaze and place back on the wire rack.
Notes

Nutrition

Serving: 1donut | Calories: 245kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 34mg | Sodium: 137mg | Potassium: 82mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 113IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 26mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine: American
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