Air Fryer Donuts

Craving a homemade donut without the guilt? Look no further than your air fryer! This innovative technique allows you to create fluffy, golden donuts with significantly less oil compared to traditional deep frying.

Perfect for a sweet treat or a unique breakfast option, air fryer donuts deliver all the flavor you love in a lighter, healthier package.


  • For the Donuts:
    • 1 cup warm whole milk (105 to 110°F)
    • 1 packet (0.25-ounce/7g) active dry yeast
    • ¼ cup plus 1 teaspoon granulated sugar, divided
    • 6 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
    • 1 large egg, at room temperature
    • 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for dusting
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • Coconut or olive oil cooking spray
  • For the Glaze (Optional):
    • Powdered sugar
    • Milk
    • Vanilla extract (optional)


1. Activate the Yeast: In a large bowl, combine the warm milk and yeast. Stir in 1 teaspoon of sugar and let sit for 5 minutes, until the yeast is foamy. This indicates that the yeast is alive and active.

2. Combine Wet Ingredients: If the yeast is foamy, add the remaining sugar, melted butter, and egg to the milk mixture. Whisk everything together until well combined.

3. Add Dry Ingredients: Gradually add the flour and salt to the wet ingredients, mixing until a soft dough forms. The dough will be slightly sticky, but try to avoid adding too much flour as it can make the donuts tough.

4. Knead the Dough: Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5-10 minutes, until smooth and elastic. You can also use a stand mixer with a dough hook for this step.

5. First Rise: Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover it with plastic wrap, and let it rise in a warm, draft-free place for 1-2 hours, or until doubled in size.

6. Shape the Donuts: Lightly flour your work surface and rolling pin. Roll out the dough to about ½ inch thickness. Use a donut cutter or a round cookie cutter and a smaller cutter in the center to cut out donut shapes. Gently transfer the donuts to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, leaving space between them for rising. Re-roll the dough scraps as needed to cut out more donuts.

7. Second Rise: Cover the donuts loosely with plastic wrap or a damp cloth and let them rise for another 30 minutes, or until slightly puffed.

8. Preheat Air Fryer: Preheat your air fryer to 350°F (175°C) for at least 10 minutes.

9. Cook the Donuts: Lightly spray the air fryer basket with cooking spray. Working in batches, carefully place the donuts in the basket, leaving space between them. Spray the tops of the donuts with cooking spray as well. Cook for 5-8 minutes, or until golden brown. The cooking time may vary depending on your air fryer model.

10. Glaze the Donuts (Optional): While the donuts are cooling slightly, prepare your glaze (if using). In a bowl, whisk together powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla extract (optional) until you reach a desired consistency. Dip the cooled donuts into the glaze, letting any excess drip off before placing them on a wire rack to set.


  • Make sure your milk is warm but not hot, as it can kill the yeast.
  • Don’t overcrowd the air fryer basket while cooking the donuts.
  • You can adjust the cooking time depending on the size and thickness of your donuts.
  • Get creative with glazes! You can use different flavored extracts, melted chocolate, or even cinnamon sugar for a topping.
  • Enjoy your delicious air-fried donuts!

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