For a family friendly treat, make these deliciously easy air fryer donuts with no oil in minutes. Decorating the donuts with kids is a great hands on activity, and eating them together is even more fun!
Donuts are always a hit with the family, but most people don’t want to deal with making them at home. Frying them in oil with all of that grease can be messy and unhealthy. But when using an air fryer, you can make easy air fryer donuts with zero oil! That’s right – no oil needed for this recipe. In addition to making a healthier treat, it’s also an easier activity with kids because you don’t have to worry about the hot oil splatter from traditional stove top frying.
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Air fryer cooking allows you to cook so many delicious recipes and foods quickly and with less oil than other methods. And because of the circulating air, it cooks food perfectly and evenly, taking some of the guesswork out of cooking.
If you don’t have an air fryer, it’s a great investment. There are many affordable choices, like this 5.8 quart version, available on Amazon. Check out this multi-level air fryer that helps you cook a large quantity at one time – so helpful when feeding the whole family. If you already have an Instant Pot, no need to get a whole new air frying appliance! Here is an Instant Pot Air Fryer lid that will help fry with less oil, and all you need is an additional lid.
TIPS for making this easy air fryer donuts recipe:
- Do make your glazes first, so they are ready when the donuts are cooked. You will want to glaze the donuts while they are hot.
- Same for the sugar, sprinkles, chocolate chips or other toppings – you will want to add those right after you glaze so they stick to the easy air fryer donuts.
- To create an easy, non-stick surface, cut a piece of parchment paper to fit your air fryer, then place the dough on it to cook. This saves you having to use any oil!
- Make sure you leave enough room around each donut so that they won’t touch each other while baking. Depending on your air fryer size, you may have to cook one or two at a time.
- Keep the uncooked donuts refrigerated on a non-stick baking sheet until they are ready to go into the air fryer.
Ingredients for Easy Air Fryer Donuts:
- 1 can of Pillsbury Grands Flaky Layers Biscuit Dough
- 4 tablespoons melted butter
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar, divided into ½ and ¼ cup
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup whole milk, divided
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- Chocolate chips
Recipe Steps for Easy Air Fryer Donuts:
First, preheat your air fryer to 350 degrees for 5 minutes. Cut out a piece of parchment paper that will fit in your air fryer basket.
Then, line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove the biscuits from the can and space them out on the baking sheet. Using a small round cookie cutter or a knife, cut a hole in the middle of each of the biscuits and save the holes (you can air fry the holes too!).
Once your air fryer is preheated, place the parchment paper in the basket, and place the dough in a single layer with at least an inch between each piece of dough. Depending on the size of your air fryer, you may have to cook donuts one or two at a time. Keep the rest of the dough in the refrigerator on the baking sheet until you are ready to place it in the air fryer.
Cook on the air fryer setting at 350 degrees for 5-6 minutes. No need to flip the dough, since they cook quickly and the air circulates around the air fryer for even cooking.
Once they are done, place them in the glaze or butter and cover in toppings of your choice. Then place on a lined baking sheet while you cook the rest of the dough. You can cook the donut holes, too! Just place them in your air fryer for 3 minutes at 350 degrees. You can roll them in the glaze or sugar too for a bite sized treat! Serve immediately to enjoy the easy air fryer donuts hot or warm if you can.
Steps for Topping the Easy Air Fryer Donuts:
You can have fun with the family decorating these donuts. Set up a station for different glazes and toppings, or just stick to one flavor you know the whole family will enjoy. The best part about these donuts is you can customize them to your tastes and have fun with the process! To make multiple options, prep four bowls: one for the glaze, one for chocolate glaze, one for butter and one for the sugar so you are ready to dip.
To make the glazes: For a standard donut glaze, mix ¼ cup of the milk and vanilla together in a bowl, then slowly stir in half of the powdered sugar (½ cup) until you have a smooth, translucent glaze. Dip air fried donuts in the clear glaze on both sides. Immediately top with chocolate glaze (if using) and sprinkles to your liking.
To make the chocolate glaze, mix ¼ cup milk and vanilla together in a bowl, then slowly stir in ¼ cup powdered sugar and ¼ cup of cocoa powder until you have a smooth, chocolate glaze. If using, drizzle the chocolate glaze on top of the clear glaze. Immediately top with decorations such as sprinkles or chocolate chips so they stick.
To make the cinnamon sugar donuts, melt 4 tablespoons of butter in a bowl for dipping. In another bowl, mix together the granulated sugar and cinnamon. Dip air fried donuts in the butter on both sides, then roll in the sugar mix and place on a baking sheet. Enjoy!
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