Jen’s Air Fryer Donuts Recipe — Super-Easy and Delicious!

Remember a few weeks ago when I tried to make Krispy Kreme donuts from scratch in my new

I don’t own a deep fat fryer, but I do have this big honking air fryer, so I figured, why not try making the perfect air-fried donut again, this time using canned biscuit dough. I did, and I can honestly say these quick-and-easy donuts are THE BEST THING EVER.

They are light and fluffy on the inside and perfectly golden on the outside. I used flaky layers biscuits (just a generic store brand) and I think that is the secret to how airy and amazing they are.

Then I added another special little twist: instead of just plain old granulated sugar and cinnamon for the outsides, I added in a few tablespoons of dark brown sugar and a pinch of all spice. This made the sugary coating taste almost like a churro. Mmmmmmm… yummy. Because I did still use mostly granulated sugar, they weren’t full-on churro, but you could go that route if you’re a big churro fan.

And the holes! The holes! They turned out perfectly as well. A few of them popped their flaky little lids in the air fryer, but luckily I was on the scene to eat take care of the misfires.

If you don’t own a set of circular biscuit cutters, I would highly recommend investing in one. I got the set you see in the second picture from the left above on sale for around 12 bucks at a Crate and Barrel a few years back and I’ve used it for all sorts of things, including a lot of donuts.

Despite the fact that they’re air fried, I’m not going to go so far as to say they’re way more healthy than deep fat fried donuts (duh, dipped in butter!), but I will stake them taste-wise right up against any deep fat fried biscuit. Any day, any time. They are THAT tasty.

Here’s the recipe:

Jenny’s Air Fryer Donuts Recipe 

easy air fryer donuts recipe

Jen’s Air Fryer Donuts Recipe

The original: a simple, quick air fryer donuts recipe
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Course Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 8 donuts + 8 holes


  • Air fryer


  • 1 can Pillsbury Grands Flaky Layers Biscuits 8 biscuits; generic and other brands of biscuit dough are fine!
  • 3 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp cinnamon adjust to your taste
  • 4 tbsp dark brown sugar remove or break up any clumps
  • 1 pinch allspice


  • Combine sugar, cinnamon, brown sugar, and allspice in a small (cereal or soup sized) bowl and set aside.
  • Remove biscuits from can (do not flatten) and use a 1-inch circle biscuit cutter to cut the holes out of the center of each biscuit.
  • Air fry the DONUTS at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 5 minutes (I fried 4 at a time), and air fry the HOLES at 350 degrees F for just 3 minutes (I fried all 8 holes at once).
  • As each batch of donuts and holes comes out of the fryer, use a pastry brush to paint butter over the entire surface of each donut and hole.
  • After each donut and hole is painted with butter, drop into the bowl with the sugar mixture and coat completely with the mixture. Gently shake off excess.
  • Serve donuts and holes warm.


You may need a 7th step, which is to begin the process all over again because your family will want more of these little goodies!
Keyword air fryer, airfryer, breakfast, budget, donut, donuts, dough, easy, kids, quick, refrigerated, simple, sugar

A few notes:

The only reason at all these take about 15 minutes to make is that you have to cook the donuts and holes in batches in the air fryer. I guess you could make them in the oven, too, but I don’t think you’d get the perfectly golden outsides and soft, airy insides like you do with the air fryer.

Of course you could add your own spin to these as well. I can see trying glaze, powdered sugar, frosting, a spread like Nutella, or even a sweet drizzle of honey. The possibilities are limitless!

I’m still a total newbie at air frying, but I’m starting to see what all of the buzz is about. I actually now keep it on my counter (got rid of an old set of speakers and some decorative stuff that had been there too long anyway). Counter space is prime real estate in any kitchen, and my Go Wise Air Fryer has now earned a spot there alongside the microwave, the toaster, and the Keurig. Welcome to the big show, air fryer.

*UPDATE 09/2018 —

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  1. For the past 30 plus years…days of the fry daddy, I have used my turkey baster with the bulb removed. Works like a charm and most kitchens already have them.

    • What a great idea! I wouldn’t have thought of using the turkey baster for that. I did used to have a Fry Daddy. I kind of miss it when I want to whip up some crispy (okay, greasy) homemade potato chips. 🙂

      • Maybe emptying that shot glas several times before using it to make the donuts would be a good plan – haha! But seriously, that is a great tip, Ginny. I hadn’t thought of that!

  2. canned biscuit donuts are from my childhood – i think we just assumed that was what poor people ate. lol the fun part was shaking them up in a brown paper bag with sugar. my mother never used a biscuit cutter – for regular donuts, just shape a hole through the middle with your thumbs; then she’d take some of those and twist into figure-eights, just for fun i guess; for the “holes”, just pull a whole biscuit apart into three or four pieces and roll into balls. one less little utensil to wash! 😉

    • Danielle, I love the idea of just pulling the biscuits apart with your hands! Next time I make these I’m going to do that and just make all holes and no donuts. That’s what my kids like the best anyway. Anything I can do to avoid making more dishes to wash is golden. 🙂

    • I have an aunt who used to make my cousin and me donuts on a Saturday morning after sleepover. For the donut holes I remember that we would use the lids to plastic soda bottles. And, for sugaring the donuts (after using a regular pan/pot fried donut because this was 35+yrs ago) she would put the sugar and cinnamon in a brown paper bag and drop the freshly fried donuts in. Then, you probably guessed, my cousin and I would grab around the top of the bags and SHAKE AWAY! Fun idea how the kids can join in!

      • What a fun memory, and such a great idea your aunt had to involve you and your cousin. Love the idea of using a paper bag and letting the kiddos shake them up. Thanks so much for sharing! ~Jenny

  3. Thanks Jenny! I just got a new air fryer and can’t wait to try doughnuts in it! I am new at the hot air mo’sheen too so your recipe is going to come in handy! I’ll send you a picture of them when they come out.

    • Hey, Keith. Congrats on the new air fryer! I’m happy to say I’ve been using mine more than I thought I would. Good luck with the donuts – can’t wait to see how they turn out!

  4. Did you spray the donuts with a little oil prior to putting them in the air fryer? I’m new to the air fryer too and every recipe that I’ve tried says to spray a little oil to “crisp” it. I didn’t see it in the recipe steps but I thought I would ask since your donuts look nice and golden.

    • Hi, Jenny. No, I didn’t spray any oil on them before putting them in the air fryer: just cut ’em & tossed ’em in. I did put melted butter on them afterward, though. I’ll have to try spraying them first next time to see what that’s like. Thanks! ~ Jenny

    • Hi, Charis! I just set it for 350 degrees Fahrenheit. My air fryer is pretty basic and the only things you can set are temperature and time. Hope this helps! ~ Jenny

  5. Vickie
    I just tried these for my husband and I….YUM! So nice to have a successful recipe.

    • Hi, Vickie. So glad to hear you and your husband enjoyed them! My family loves them, too, and I like how quick and and easy they are. Thanks, and have a great day! ~ Jenny

  6. I stretch the biscuit long and make a long john or stretch it then twist for a cinnamon twist. I will be trying this out in my new air fryer.

    • Cheryl, I love the idea of doing different shapes! I’m going to try that next time I make these. Thanks for the great idea! ~ Jenny

    • Glad to hear it, Judy! I love how easy they are. I’m definitely not the most capable cook and it’s hard to get these wrong. 😀 ~ Jenny

    • Hmmmmmm, that’s a new one. I have a GoWise fryer and mine will do it. What Brandi’s yours? Anyone else out there experienced anything like this or know why that’s happening?

      • Easily solved by placing a fitting splatter screen over them in the air fryer. We use one with EVERYTHING to keep the machine running cleaner and anything greasy that may cause smoke cut down. It holds light things in place perfectly.

      • I just made them with a small can. I did the holes separate & they came out done. I used melted choc chips with a touch of heavy cream to dip them in.

  7. Try placing the wire rack attachment on top. I have to do that when making grilled cheese. If I don’t the top piece of bread flys off.

  8. Thank you for the great, easy recipe! I have a son with food allergies, so going out for doughnuts is not an option for us, and we were getting bored of baked doughnuts. He said “yummy!” after his first bite, so I call that a win. 🙂

    • Staci, this makes my heart so happy! I’m glad your son liked them and that you have another option to give him some variety. Thanks for letting me know! ~ Jenny

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  10. Just made these and the whole family LOVED them. Thanks for sharing the recipe. Will definitely make again…..and again… and again ?. Will try tearing apart and just making the holes next time.

    • So glad to hear your family loved them! My family enjoys the holes, too, so we use the tear-apart method sometimes as well. Thanks for sharing your experience with them! ~Jenny

  11. Hey Jenny, my son and I got together with his air fryer and we made hot dogs, corn dogs, and your donuts, darn good, will make again. We did some with cinnamon and suger. But then we took it to the next level and did some with chocolate and peanuts. Link is to the picture of my finished product. Thanks will make ofter.

    • Shirl, those look AMAZING! I am definitely going to try those soon. Thanks for sharing this great idea and the photo! ~Jenny

  12. Hi Jenny! My husband made these for me this morning! Yum! So quick and easy, perfect for a lazy Saturday morning. Thanks for the recipe. 🙂

    • Hey, Carmen! So glad to hear you guys liked them! Thanks for letting me know. And wow, kudos to the hubs for doing that. ~ Jenny

  13. Have you tried leaving them whole and after cooking them fill them with jam?

    • Whoa, that sounds delicious! Definitely going to try that next time. Have you made them that way before?

  14. We love these donuts! My daughter says they are better than DD’s ? And the kids love to help make them. I could probably eat all of them in one sitting. Thanks for the great recipe!

    • Hi, Jessica. I’m so glad to hear you guys love these donuts! My boys all love them, too. And I’m right there with you on the whole eating them all in one sitting thing, which is why I usually double the recipe. Then it’s almost like I didn’t eat as many! LOL Thanks for letting me know you enjoyed the recipe. ~Jenny

  15. use a 2 liter soda pop lid for the holes only thing we have used since i was a kid

    • What a great idea, Lori! Definitely going to try that next time. My boys like the holes best! Thanks for sharing! ~ Jenny

  16. Thanks for the recipe Jen
    I made these in my PowerAirFryer Oven. 350 7 minutes for 4 donuts. Did in two batches then the donut holes for 3 minutes. Did the butter/ powdered sugar/cinnamon sugar and Pillsbury Filled Pastry Bag Chocolate Fudge. Everything turned out GREAT!

  17. Hi Jenny, I bought the Power Air fryer Oven, after buying the Nuwave. I love it, you can fry multiple things at the same time. It would let you do both donut and holes at the same time. I use it all the time. My hubby has had three Strokes, first one paralyzed him on his left side, He was only 51 years old. Ten years later (May 3rd 2017), he had a third stroke, that one took his mind. He now has Vascular Dementia. It is a cruel disease. So, I’m always trying to fine things I can do with him. He likes food, That’s really the only thing I know he still enjoys. So I think this is going to be a fun and doable activity we can do together. Thank you for sharing. Judy

    • Hi, Judy. The ability to fry multiple things at the same time would be game-changing! Sorry to hear about your husband’s strokes, but I love that you two can still enjoy cooking together. That must be a very special and enjoyable time for the two of you. Thanks for sharing your experience! ~Jenny

  18. My mom used to make these donuts, but of course back then (1970s) she used hot oil in her cast iron skillet. I remember them being so stinkin yummy! Hubby just bought an air fryer and I just happen to have biscuit dough in the fridge, so guess what one of the first things I’m going to make is? LOL THANKS for sharing this!

    • Maggie, I know just what you’re talking about except my old memory is my best friend from high school making these with biscuit dough in her Fry-Daddy. So good! Enjoy your air fryer! I’ve found I use mine more than I thought I would (although I do make donuts pretty frequently….LOL). ~ Jenny

    • There should be an unsubscribe link in the the comment emails if they’re coming from WordPress — scroll down to the bottom to find it and click the link. If it’s a setting on your side, you may need to log into your account and change your settings. Hope this helps! ~Jenny

  19. Just made these…oh so yummy! Try melting chocolate chips in micro and dipping warm donuts in that!! (That was my son’s idea!)

    • Carol, that sounds SO good! I’m definitely going to try that next time. Thanks for sharing, and I’m glad you liked them! ~ Jenny

  20. Just wondering…do you still need to brush with butter if using powdered sugar, glaze, or icing? I can’t wait to try these!

    • Hey, Betsy! I don’t think you’d need to brush them with butter if you’re doing glaze or icing. Maybe just a little with powdered sugar to help it stick — or not, it might dust on there just fine. Or you could also add just a hint of oil to the dough before air frying and that would help, too. These are pretty modification-friendly, so it should be fine. Let me know how it turns out! ~ Jenny

  21. You have a couple of dead links – namely the recipe for air fryer french fries and air fryer dough nuggets.

  22. Air Fryer cooking is excellent but trying to make donuts out of biscuits doesn’t taste like a donut just adding sugar doesn’t help the cause. it’s easy but doesn’t work for me.

    • Hi, Deb. Sorry you didn’t like the recipe. It is more of a quick, convenience type recipe so I’m sure it’s not for everyone. Thanks for stopping by. ~ Jenny

  23. My grandaughter’s suggestion…..”Can we make those the old way tomorrow grandma?” To dry to her liking…and really to firm! Grandkids??

    • Hi, Susan. From-scratch is probably going to win every time. 🙂 The biscuit dough is a little more dense than true donut dough. Thanks for stopping by and have a Happy New Year! ~Jenny

    • Hi, Sara. I don’t preheat the air fryer before using it. I just drop in whatever I’m frying and start it up. ~ Jenny

  24. I have a Philip’s air fryer. I bought the biscuits you mentioned in the recipe. I put the holes in and put them in the air fryer on 350 degrees for 5 minutes. Stuck to the basket and fell apart. Where not done in the middle. Tried again, sprayed the basket and put the temperature up a little for less time. Did not stick but came apart and still not done on the inside. They sounded so good. Tried to figure out what went wrong. HELP.

    • Hi, Edie. I’m not sure what’s going on there. You may have to experiment with times and temperatures that work for your model of air fryer? I’ve never had that happen before when I make them. Let us know if you figure out what’s going on there. ~ Jenny

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