Light and Fluffy Air Fryer Donuts Made Easy!

Craving warm, fluffy doughnuts dusted with cinnamon sugar? Dreaming of that sweet, yeasty scent filling your kitchen? But the thought of hot oil and deep frying has you reaching for the store-bought box? Well, fret no more! This air fryer doughnut recipe is about to change your doughnut game.

For years, homemade doughnuts felt like a forbidden treat. The process seemed messy, time-consuming, and frankly, a little intimidating. But with the magic of the air fryer, these delectable pillows of dough are now within your grasp. Imagine biting into a golden-brown doughnut, impossibly light yet bursting with flavor. The hint of cinnamon sugar on your tongue, the melt-in-your-mouth texture – it’s pure doughnut bliss, minus the guilt of deep frying.

This recipe is a descendant of my grandma’s legendary doughnuts, lovingly passed down through generations. Her secret? High-quality ingredients and a whole lot of love. But thanks to the air fryer, we can achieve that same incredible taste and texture with a fraction of the effort.


  • 1 cup warm milk (105°F to 110°F)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 packet active dry yeast (2 ¼ teaspoons)
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoons melted butter
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Vegetable oil spray (for greasing)
  • Cinnamon sugar, for coating (⅓ cup granulated sugar mixed with 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon)
  • Powdered sugar glaze (optional) – recipe below


  1. Activate the Yeast: In a large bowl, whisk together warm milk, sugar, and yeast. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes until nice and foamy – this means your yeast is happy and active!
  2. Mix the Dough: In a separate bowl, whisk together granulated sugar, melted butter, and salt. Add this wet mixture to the yeast mixture and stir to combine. Gradually add the flour, one cup at a time, until a soft dough forms.
  3. Knead and Rise: Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 minutes, until smooth and elastic. Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let it rise in a warm place for about 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
  4. Shape and Cut: Now for the fun part! Punch down the dough and roll it out on a lightly floured surface to a ½-inch thickness. Use a doughnut cutter or a round cookie cutter (and a smaller cutter for the doughnut holes) to cut out your doughnut shapes.
  5. Air Fry Magic: Preheat your air fryer to 350°F (175°C). Spray your air fryer basket with cooking spray. Arrange the doughnuts in a single layer, leaving space between them for air circulation. Cook for 4-6 minutes per side, or until golden brown. Repeat with remaining doughnuts.
  6. Coating and Glazing (Optional): While the doughnuts are still warm, toss them in the cinnamon sugar mixture for a delightful coating. If you prefer a glaze, whisk together powdered sugar, milk, and a touch of vanilla extract until smooth. Dip the warm doughnuts in the glaze and let them cool on a wire rack.

Tips and Tricks:

  • Don’t overcrowd the air fryer basket – this will prevent the doughnuts from cooking evenly.
  • For a richer flavor, add a teaspoon of vanilla extract to the dough.
  • Feeling adventurous? Try dipping your doughnuts in melted chocolate or maple syrup!
  • Leftover doughnuts can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.

These air fryer doughnuts are a revelation. They’re light, fluffy, and bursting with flavor, without any of the mess or guilt of traditional deep-frying. So ditch the store-bought treats and whip up a batch of these homemade gems. With a little love and this handy recipe, you’ll be a doughnut-making pro in no time!

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