These Glazed Air Fryer Donuts are moist, fluffy, and covered with a delicious vanilla glaze. You’ll love how easy it is to make these delectable treats from scratch with an air fryer.
Table Of Contents
I love making Air Fryer Donuts because they are healthier than deep-fried donuts, but have the same texture and delicious flavor. They’re also easy to make and such a treat with a morning coffee.
- TASTE: These donuts are sweet and yeasty, with a warm vanilla flavor.
- TEXTURE: These Glazed Donuts are so perfect. Light and fluffy inside with a fried crisp outside, then covered in a glaze that melts in your mouth
- TIME: This recipe takes 1 hour and 20 minutes.
- EASE: Follow the photos and instructions in this recipe and you’ll have no trouble making this simple glazed donut recipe every time.
What You’ll Need
- Yeast- We use dry active yeast in this recipe to give the air fryer donuts lots of light, airy texture. They will go through a double rise, but this ingredient is important for both flavor and texture.
- Warm Water and Milk- Yeast won’t activate unless it’s warm and has sugar. These two must be warm when combined with the yeast and sugar so the yeast froths before adding it to the dough.
- Powdered sugar, Milk, and Vanilla extract- These are the basic ingredients for the glaze. Powdered sugar is preferred as it combined smoothly because it is so fine.
- Corn Syrup- We use this ingredient in the glaze to help it stay smooth and syrupy. This way, it will hold better to the warm donuts.
Add-ins and Substitutions
- Skip the corn syrup- If you prefer to not use the corn syrup, you can make the glaze with just milk, powdered sugar, and vanilla. Just add a little more sugar to thicken it and whisk well.
- Substitute gluten-free flour- Make these without gluten by substituting the flour for all-purpose gluten-free flour, 1:1.
- Make these with fillings- You can make these donuts without a hole in them and pipe in your favorite fillings, such as chocolate, bavarian cream, or Simple Cherry Pie Filling.
- Use other toppings- Top your donuts with sprinkles, Chocolate Ganache, crushed breakfast cereal, cinnamon sugar, caramel, chopped crispy bacon, or anything you like.
How to Make Glazed Air Fryer Donuts
- Froth the yeast. Mix the warm water and milk with the dry active yeast and a tablespoon of granulated sugar in a large measuring cup. Allow it to froth up and rise for about 5 minutes.
Pro Tip: Make sure the water and milk are warm or the yeast won’t activate and froth.
- Add everything into the mixer. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the rest of the sugar, melted butter, egg, egg yolk, vanilla, flour, and salt. Then pour the yeast mixture in and put on the hook attachment.
- Mix. Start by mixing on low until the flour has been incorporated. Then speed it up to high and beat for 5 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl to get all the dough together. It should be slightly sticky, but not too much. If it is, add a tablespoon of flour to dry it a little, mix, and scrape again. Just be careful not to make it too dry.
- Let the dough rise. Now place the dough in a large greased bowl and cover it with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel. Let it rise for about an hour, or until it doubles in size. Then punch it down and transfer it to a floured surface.
- Roll and cut the dough. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough to about 1/2 inch in thickness. Then cut out the shapes with a donut cutter or 2 different-sized biscuit cutters. When you’ve cut as many as you can, roll out the scraps and cut out more, continuing until all the dough is used up.
- Let it rise again. Place the cut-out donuts on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and cover lightly. Then, let them rise again for about 20-30 minutes.
- Preheat the air fryer. Preheat the air fryer to 345 degrees Fahrenheit and spray the air fryer basket with cooking spray.
- Air-fry the donuts. Now place the donuts in the basket and spray them with the cooking spray. Do not allow them to touch. Then air-fry them for about 4 minutes, continuing in batches until all the donuts and donut holes are cooked. Place them on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb any excess oil.
Make the donut glaze
- Make the glaze. In a large bowl, combine the powdered sugar, milk, corn syrup, and vanilla.
- Dip the donuts. While the air fryer donuts are still warm, dip them into the glaze and put them on a cooling rack to set. (The warmth of the donuts gives the glaze that shiny appearance.) Now serve and enjoy!
- Use fresh yeast- If you find that your yeast is not frothing up after 5 minutes, then discard it and start over again with new yeast. It may be too old (or cold) to work.
- Double rise the dough- This takes some time, but it’s well worth it. Allowing the donut dough to rise twice will increase the air inside, resulting in light, airy, and delicious donuts.
- Absorb excess oil- Even though there isn’t much oil used in this air fryer recipe, unlike deep-frying, there is still some oil that can absorb into the donuts, making them soggy. So use a paper towel to absorb any unwanted oil after cooking.
- Glaze the air fryer donuts while warm- Doing this while they are still warm will give the glaze a lovely shiny appearance. Afterward, let them set before serving.
Air fryers use hot air that is rapidly circulated to fry donuts. Deep frying, on the other hand, submerges the donuts in hot oil, allowing them to absorb it and take on a lot of grease and fat. Air fryer donuts are lighter and healthier, but still crisp and moist.
Donut glaze is usually made of powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla whisked together until smooth. This Glazed Air Fryer Donuts recipe also uses corn syrup to keep the glaze syrupy and thick. The donuts are then dipped into the glaze and allowed to set before serving.
These Air Fryer Donuts are so versatile and have the perfect taste and texture. There are so many delicious ways to serve them for breakfast or as a snack.
- Meats: Make a sweet and savory combination with these donuts and Crispy Air Fryer Bacon, Buttermilk Biscuits with Sausage Gravy, or Savory Crepes with Chicken and Mushroom Filling.
- Eggs: Serve these air fryer donuts with Shakshuka, Eggs Benedict, Bacon and Hash Brown Quiche, or Easy Poached Eggs with Caramelized Onions.
- Fruit: These donuts can be served alongside Yogurt Parfait, Mini Fruit Tarts, Fruit Pizza, and Muesli Yogurt Parfait with Berries (VIDEO).
- Drinks: Enjoy this sweet treat with a cup of coffee, cold milk, or a specialty drink, like this Iced Caramel Macchiato or Caramel Frappuccino Recipe (Starbucks Copycat).
Make This Recipe in Advance
Make ahead: Because refrigeration slows down rising dough without stopping it entirely, you can start this recipe and then finish it up to 2 days later. Just follow the recipe for these air fryer donuts, Then once you finish cutting out the shapes, place them on a baking sheet in the fridge. They can stay overnight or for a couple of days. Just allow them to rest at room temperature for an hour before air frying
Storing: To store any leftovers of these air fryer donuts, place them in an airtight container at room temperature (out of direct sunlight) or in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
Freeze: They can also be frozen for up to 3 months in a ziplock freezer bag. Thaw in the fridge and reheat in the air fryer or oven.
More Scrumptious Donuts!
Watch how easy it is to make them!
Full Recipe Instructions
Air Fryer Donuts (from scratch)
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 1/4 cup warm milk
- 2¼ teaspoons dry active yeast
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar + 1 tablespoon
- ¼ cup unsalted butter melted
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (add more as needed)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Cooking spray
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- ¼ cup milk
- 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
- 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
Froth up the yeast
- In a large measuring cup, add 1/2 cup warm water, 1/4 cup warm milk (108 degrees Fahrenheit), 2 1/4 teaspoons dry active yeast, and 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar.
- Let the yeast mixture froth up and rise for about 5 minutes. If it doesn’t froth up, discard it and start again with new yeast.
Add everything into the mixer
- Begin mixing on low speed until the flour is incorporated into liquids. Then take the speed up to high and beat for 5 minutes. Then scrape down the sides of the beater bowl.
- If the dough looks too sticky, add 1 tablespoon of flour at a time. Make sure to mix well and scrape down the sides of the bowl between each addition of flour. You don’t want to add too much flour or the donuts will be too dry. They should have a slightly sticky texture to them.
Let the dough rise
- Now place the dough in a large greased bowl and cover with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap. Let the dough rise for about one hour or until it doubles in size.
- When the dough is ready, punch it down to release air bubbles. Then transfer it to a floured surface
Roll the dough and cut out donuts
- Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out to about 1/2 inch in thickness. Use a donut cutter or 2 different sized biscuit cutters to cut out as many donuts as you can. Then reshape the scraps and cut out some more donuts. Continue doing this until you have no more scraps left. My larger biscuit cutter was 4 inches in diameter and the smaller one was 1 1/4 inches in diamter.
Rise 1 more time, then air-fry
- Now place the cut out donuts on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper then cover them lightly and let them rise again for about 20-30 minutes.
- Preheat your air fryer to 345 degrees Fahrenheit. Then spray the air fryer basket with cooking spray.
- Now place a few donuts into the air fryer basket and spray them with some more cooking spray. Make sure that the donuts are not touching.
- Air fry the donuts for about 4 minutes. Repeat this process with the remaining donuts and donut holes. Then transfer the donuts onto a plate lined with paper towels.
Make the glaze and dip while the donuts are warm
- To make the glaze, in a large bowl combine 2 cups powdered sugar, 1/4 cup milk, 1 tablespoon light corn syrup, and 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract.
- While the donuts are warm dip them in the glaze and let them set on a cooling rack. The glaze sets shinier when the donuts are hot, so you don’t want to let them cool down first.