Sink your teeth into these warm, fluffy, and tender homemade Air Fryer Doughnuts that are dipped in a sweet vanilla glaze, just ready to be enjoyed with a glass of cold milk or a cup of hot coffee. They’re a delectable sweet treat that’s perfect for breakfast or an indulgent afternoon snack.
Made from scratch, the yeasty dough provides the taste and texture of fried doughnuts but the air fryer eliminates the need for deep frying. The doughnuts ‘fry” in just minutes, thanks to the magic of this small kitchen appliance!
Along with an air fryer, you’ll need a stand mixer with a dough hook. The yeast in the dough will need time to proof, so while there’s some wait time on the front end to let the dough rise, you’ll be rewarded with a melt-in-your-mouth texture that’s light and airy once it’s air fried. It’s totally worth the proofing wait time!
If you have kids, they’ll love these air fryer doughnuts. In fact, they’ll probably love the doughnut holes even more! I air fry the holes once I’m finished with all the doughnuts. Dip the holes in the glaze and you have a bite-sized sweet treat that’s irresistible to little fingers. Don’t be surprised if these disappear quickly!
For the doughnuts
Milk – I use whole milk.
Active Dry Yeast – Make sure it’s fresh and that you’re not using the instant type.
Eggs – To help make the dough.
Butter – I use unsalted. The melted and cooled butter will be added to the dough.
Sugar – Use white granulated to help sweeten the dough.
Salt – For flavoring. It also reacts with the yeast in the dough for optimal rising and proofing.
Flour – Use regular all-purpose flour.
Vanilla Extract -To flavor the dough.
For the glaze
Butter – Use unsalted. The melted butter helps make the glaze.
Powdered Sugar – To sweeten the glaze.
Vanilla Extract – To flavor the glaze.
Evaporated Milk – To help with the consistency and texture of the glaze.
How To Make Air Fryer Doughnuts
Note: This is a summary of the recipe steps. For complete instructions, see the recipe card down below.
STEP 1: Activate the yeast by adding it to warmed milk in the mixing bowl of a stand mixer. Allow it to rest for 5 minutes.
STEP 2: With the paddle attachment, beat in the eggs, butter, sugar, and salt.
STEP 3: Add the dough hook attachment and knead, as you add the flour in increments. Knead until the dough is sticky and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
STEP 4: Transfer the dough to a greased bowl. Cover and let the dough rise for 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in size.
STEP 5: Punch the dough down and place it on a lightly floured surface. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough to ½ inch thickness and, using pastry cutouts, cut it into doughnut shapes. Place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet, at least 1 inch apart.
STEP 6: Cover the doughnuts and let them rise for at least 1 hour or until the doughnuts have doubled in size.
STEP 7: Preheat the air fryer to 350 degrees F. Spray the basket with oil.
STEP 8: Air fry the doughnuts in batches. Place doughnuts in the basket in a single layer. Do not overlap. Spritz them with oil spray before air frying for 3 to 6 minutes or until golden.
How To Make The Glaze
STEP 1: Mix all the glaze ingredients together in a medium bowl until smooth. Add additional evaporated milk if a thinner consistency is desired.
STEP 2: Invert the air-fried doughnut and dip it in the glaze. Place on a wire rack. Allow the glaze to run over the doughnut. Add sprinkles if desired.
- Don’t rush the rise time(s) for the dough. Each rise time (there are two: one for the dough itself and one for the cut-out doughnuts) will help the doughnuts air fry to fluffy perfection. You want light and airy, so factor the wait times in.
- Use a neutral oil such as coconut oil to spray the air fryer basket and the doughnuts themselves before air frying. Avoid using aerosol commercial non-stick cooking sprays. They can damage your air fryer basket, plus they’re not great to add to actual food (such as your perfectly proofed doughnuts!)
- Work in batches when air frying. These doughnuts need their space when cooking, so don’t overcrowd them. The hot air from the appliance needs to be able to circulate all around each doughnut.
How Do I Cut Out The Doughnuts?
I love to use this handy set of pastry cutters that come in lots of sizes, which is perfect for cutting out the doughnut as well as the hole. No cutters? No problem. Just turn a wide glass upside down to cut out the doughnut. For the hole, a shot glass is perfect, or you can just use a knife.
What Do I Do With The Doughnut Holes?
Air fry them! When you’re finished air frying the doughnuts, pop the holes in, spacing them out, give them a spritz of oil on top, and fry until golden. They won’t need as long as the actual doughnuts, so check on them earlier. And don’t forget to dip them in the vanilla glaze, too!
Glaze And Topping Variations
The basic doughnut recipe is perfect for customizing these treats with different flavors of glaze or types of toppings. Here are a few suggestions.
- Change the flavor of the glaze by using a different extract, such as maple, lemon, coconut, or almond.
- Try a chocolate glaze or chocolate frosting for the topping.
- Instead of a glaze, top with any flavor of prepared frosting.
- Add sprinkles to the top of the glaze or frosting.
- Garnish with shredded coconut after the doughnuts have been glazed.
- Instead of a glaze, roll the warm doughnuts in a cinnamon-sugar mixture.
- Instead of a glaze, generously sprinkle with powdered sugar
Keep air fryer doughnuts in an airtight container at room temperature for 1-2 days. If you want them slightly warm, microwave them for just a few seconds.
More Doughnut Recipes
Nettie is a wife and mother who is passionate about cooking and baking. With 5 children, Nettie insists that all meals, snacks, and desserts come together quickly! You will find a wide variety of easy yet scrumptious recipes on her viral website Moore or Less Cooking
Be sure to follow me on Instagram and tag #mooreorlesscooking so I can see all the wonderful recipes that YOU make from this site!
Made from scratch, the yeasty dough provides the taste and texture of fried doughnuts but the air fryer eliminates the need for deep frying. The doughnuts 'fry" in just minutes, thanks to the magic of this small kitchen appliance!
- For the doughnuts:
- 1 ¼ cups milk
- 2 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup (1 stick) butter, melted and cooled
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 ½ to 5 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- For the glaze:
- ½ cup butter melted
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 6 tablespoons evaporated milk
- For the Doughnuts:
- Heat milk in the microwave for about 60 seconds until it is 90 degrees. Transfer to a stand mixer mixing bowl and stir in the yeast until dissolved. Allow yeast to rest for 5 minutes.
- With the paddle attachment, beat in the eggs, butter, sugar, salt, and 4 cups of flour.
- Switch the mixer to the dough hook attachment.
- Knead at medium speed, adding flour ¼ cup at a time until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
- Continue kneading at medium speed for about 3 minutes. The dough will be soft and a little sticky.
- Transfer the dough to a greased bowl, turning once. Cover and place in a draft-free spot for 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in size.
- Punch the dough down and place on a lightly floured surface.
- Using a rolling pin, roll the dough to ½ inch thickness. Using round cookie cutters in two sizes, cut dough into circles and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet at least 1 inch apart.
- Knead any scrap pieces of dough into a mound of dough and continue rolling out and cutting the doughnuts until all of the dough is used.
- Cover the doughnuts and place them in a draft-free spot for 1 hour or until the doughnuts have doubled in size.
- Preheat the air fryer to 350 degrees. Spray the basket with nonstick cooking spray.
- Place doughnuts in the basket in a single layer. Do not overlap. Spritz with oil spray. Air fry on each side for about 3 to 6 minutes (depending on the wattage of your air fryer) or until golden.
- For the glaze:
- Mix all ingredients together until smooth. Add additional evaporated milk if a thinner consistency is desired.
- Invert the doughnut and dip it in the glaze. Place on a wire rack. Allow the glaze to run over the doughnut. Add sprinkles if desired.
- Don't rush the rise time(s) for the dough.
- Each rise time (there are two: one for the dough itself and one for the cut-out doughnuts) will help the doughnuts air fry to fluffy perfection.
- You want light and airy, so factor the wait times in.
- Use a neutral oil such as coconut oil to spray the air fryer basket and the doughnuts themselves before air frying.
- Avoid using aerosol commercial non-stick cooking sprays.
- They can damage your air fryer basket, plus they're not great to add to actual food (such as your perfectly proofed doughnuts!)
- Work in batches when air frying.
- These doughnuts need their space when cooking, so don't overcrowd them.
- The hot air from the appliance needs to be able to circulate all around each doughnut.
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COSORI Air Fryer Oven Combo 5.8QT Max Xl Large Cooker (Cookbook with 100 Recipes), One-Touch Screen with 11 Precise Presets and Shake Reminder, Nonstick and Dishwasher-Safe Square Design Basket, Black
Ifuerte 10-Piece Stainless Steel Measuring Cups and Spoons Set
KitchenAid Artisan Tilt-Head Stand Mixer
365 by Whole Foods Market, Organic Evaporated Milk (Vitamin D Added), 12 Fl Oz
Domino Powdered Sugar, 32 Oz
McCormick Sea Salt Grinder
Amazon Brand - Happy Belly Unsalted Butter Sticks, 16 oz. (4 Four Oz. Sticks)
Domino Sugar, Granulated, 4LB Canister
365 Everyday Value, All-Purpose Flour, 5 lb
Fleischmann's Active Dry Yeast, The original active dry yeast, Equals 16 Envelopes, 4 oz Jar (Pack of 2)
Amount Per Serving Calories 756Total Fat 8gSaturated Fat 4gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 3gCholesterol 37mgSodium 183mgCarbohydrates 148gFiber 5gSugar 17gProtein 20g