Easy-to-Make Air Fryer Donuts

Easy-to-Make Air Fryer Donuts

Years ago, when I thought about making donuts, the process seemed a bit daunting: making and shaping the dough, ensuring the perfect oil temperature for frying, making sure they were perfectly cooked, and all the hot oil (and what do you do with that afterward?).

However, then I found out the genius way of making donuts with…drumroll, please…refrigerated biscuit dough!

Yes, the biscuits that come in a tube that are found at any grocery store! Honestly, I was a bit doubtful because it seemed TOO easy. Plus, how could a biscuit have that same, cake-like texture that a donut has? Buuuuuut, I’m always up for a challenge, and my kids are always willing to taste test.

So, we tried it out, taking each biscuit and punching a hole with our fingers through the middle to make an ‘O’ shape. We heated up some vegetable oil, slowly dropped the dough in, and flipped it when the bottom side became golden brown. We then shook them in a brown bag filled with a mixture of cinnamon and sugar. The verdict? They were wonderful! They were crisp and chewy, looked just like a donut, and vanished within minutes of being made!

Now, fast forward to when I jumped on the air fryer bandwagon.

Yes, everything could be done in this magical little oven that crisped everything without the need for oil. Thanks to Pinterest, you can find a recipe for anything you desire…including Air Fryer Donuts. No oil, just biscuit dough. Could it be true? Was this a hoax? How can a donut be made without frying and still taste good?

It’s true! With those same refrigerated biscuits, the only other ingredients needed are to decorate the donuts! No dangerous hot spatters (especially when doing this with little ones) and no large amounts of oil to cool and discard. Somehow, when you least expected it, someone took the easiest baking recipe and made it even easier! Hard to believe, but it’s true – I’ve never made donuts any differently since then!

What’s great, is that it’s so quick that the kids hardly have to wait long before they can decorate and enjoy.


Instead of taking your finger and creating a hole in the biscuit, use a small shot glass or the larger end of a metal frosting tip – look around the house, and I’m sure you’ll find something to use. The result is cute little donut holes that are perfectly bite-sized and as yummy as the larger donuts themselves.

Try this recipe I found on Pinterest by thriftyniftymommy.com. You will not be disappointed!



  • 1 Can Large Pillsbury Biscuits (I use the generic brand as well)
  • Toppings: a cinnamon and sugar mix, powdered sugar, sprinkles, frosting, mini chocolate morsels, etc.


  1. Preheat the air fryer to 330 degrees; let it run for about 3-5 minutes.
  2. Open the can of biscuits and cut the center out of each one. Try to avoid too much re-shaping as this will impact its fluffiness.
  3. Place the raw donuts in your air fryer. Mine is the kind that looks like a toaster oven, so the basket can fit about 4-6.
  4. Air fry for 4-7 minutes, flipping halfway or when one side is golden brown. You may need to adjust your times depending on your air fryer model. Make sure they are fully cooked in the middle.
  5. Serve the donuts hot and fresh.
  6. Air fry the ‘holes’ for 2-4 minutes, keeping a close eye on them since they will bake a lot quicker.

While your donuts are being air fried, get your toppings ready. I like to put different choices out so the kids can choose. I make frosting with about a half cup of confectioners powdered sugar and about a teaspoon of water. You can add more powder or water to get the consistency you prefer. For the cinnamon and sugar mixture, I mix it into a paper bag. In order for it to stick to the donuts, it’s best to brush first with melted butter. close the paper bag and shake the donut, one at a time, in the mixture. Shake off any excess cinnamon sugar. I do this same process using plain powdered sugar. These donuts were made by my kids. 🙂


Want other ideas for the kiddies? Check out breakfasts kids can make! Whether seasonal recipes or year-round ideas, it’s always fun including the kids in the kitchen!



Alison Catone

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