Introduction: Air Fryer Donuts

About: Community Manager for Instructables and Tinkercad.

Air fryer donuts are a quick and easy way to make a fun breakfast for the family. These donuts aren't really donuts as they are made from premade biscuit dough, but they can be customized with any topping. It's great for kids and the whole family since you can air fry them up quickly and everyone can decorate their own.

I don't want to deceive you, these will taste like biscuits so it is all about the toppings you put on them. I like to think of them as an easy and healthier alternative to donuts :)

Step 1: Supplies

Depending on the package of biscuits you get, you'll probably be able to make about 8. I found I could not eat 8 at once (surprise surprise) and unfortunately, these don't keep well. If you let them sit overnight, they get sweaty. I haven't made these again since, but my recommendation is that you either: only air fry the donuts you want and store the extra uncooked biscuits in the fridge until you want them, and then air fry them fresh (don't take long anyway) or air fry them all up but don't put frosting or anything on them until you are ready to eat them.

Either way, I wouldn't keep these too long. They are meant to be made and eaten, not stored.


  • Air Fryer - mine is 3Q and can hold 4 donuts at a time
  • Pastry Brush - optional, helpful to spread melted butter on donuts to add cinnamon sugar mix
  • Measuring Utensils
  • Circle cookie cutters - you can also just use anything round to cut them out, I have also just freehand cut out the center with a knife, but that got dangerous


  • Package of biscuits - I have tried both Southern Homestyle (shown) and Flaky, I think I liked the flaky better but they did tend to fall apart easily
  • Toppings of choice
    • Sprinkles - any should work, I used colorful confetti ones
    • Cinnamon + sugar and melted butter
    • Chocolate icing (the following will frost exactly 4 donuts and donut holes, double it for a batch of 8
      • 1/3c sugar
      • 1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
      • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
      • 1 Tbsp milk or water - add last and add more or less depending on the consistency you want, thicker is better for this

Step 2: Cut Donuts

Preheat your air fryer to 350 degrees F.

Get all of your biscuits out and make sure they are as round as they are going to be after having been smashed in a can.

Use your cookie cutters (or a round object) to cut a hole in the center of your biscuit. Try to center it the best you can so you can get even air frying.

Once your air fryer is ready, put them in so they aren't touching (I could do 4 at once) and let them air fry for 4-5 minutes. It won't take long at all. I actually preferred them at 4 minutes.

Step 3: Prepare Topping

While your donuts are air frying, you can quickly prepare your topping.

Mix together your ingredients for your icing right before you need them as it will harden if it sits too long. If you want to be extra sure, just wait until they come out of the fryer before mixing up the icing; it won't take long. Remember to do the milk last and add more or less until the consistency is the way you want it. Thicker is better for this so it sits on top of the donut and doesn't drip all over the place.

If you are going to cinnamon sugar your donuts, mix that up. I never measure this out, I just wing it until it looks good to me. You will need much more sugar than cinnamon so I usually pour out how much I want with sugar and then sprinkle in cinnamon, stir, and repeat until it looks good.

Also, melt your butter so it's ready to go.

Step 4: Cinnamon Sugar Donut

Look at those lovely donuts!

Once they are done, take them out without burning yourself and put them on a plate.

Gently brush your melted sugar on your donut and coat it in cinnamon sugar (you are using butter because they weren't fried in oil so they come out dry and cinnamon sugar won't stick to them well without something on the outside). I found it best to put the sugar in a bowl that is just big enough to hold the donut, then stick the donut in there and use a spoon to make sure the donut gets covered.

Repeat for all the donuts you want this way.

Step 5: Frosted Donuts

If you are frosting your donuts and having made it yet, make it now.

I actually found it helpful to just carefully dunk the donut in the icing. Don't yank it straight up out of the frosting. Twist it and tilt it to get it out if you want a nice covering. Use a knife to cover any spots that got missed.

If you want to put on sprinkles, do it right away. The frosting hardened pretty quickly on me and if you don't get the sprinkles on while it is still soft, they won't stick.

Step 6: Donut Holes

Don't forget those donut holes!

Once all of your donuts are air fried, throw them in the fryer for just 2 to 3 minutes. They'll bake up even quicker so don't let them get away from you.


Remember, don't wait to eat these, they won't really keep long (in my experience).