How to Make Donuts in an Air Fryer

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  • Air-fried donuts are lower in fat than deep fried donuts, and take less time than baked donuts.
  • All that’s needed is flour, sugar, salt, milk, butter, dried yeast, one egg, and cooking spray.
  • Air-fried donuts last for one or two days if stored in an airtight container out of sunlight.
  • Visit Insider’s Home & Kitchen Reference library for more stories.

When you’re craving warm donuts in a pinch, an air fryer offers a no-fuss, no-muss solution. While air-fried donuts have a remarkably similar texture to their deep-fried counterparts, but they’re healthier and easier to make. Petranka Atanasova, the baker, food blogger, and recipe developer behind Sunglow Kitchen, finds a few different advantages to air-frying her donuts.

  • Quicker than the oven. Air frying donuts is at least three times faster than baking them. Air frying only takes three to four minutes, while baking in the oven takes 10 to 20 minutes.
  • Will yield comparable results to deep frying. Although they may be slightly less crispy on the outside than deep-fried donuts, air fryer donuts are super soft and fluffy with just enough chewiness.
  • Lower in fat. You don’t need to submerge air-fried donuts in hot oil to cook them, making them healthier.
  • Less messy. Since there’s no hot oil involved and the “frying” happens in the air fryer, you won’t have to deal with any messy splatters with this method.

Glaze ideas

Different flavored donuts on a cooling rack.

 

All that’s needed to make frosting is confectioners’ sugar, milk, vanilla extract, and whatever other add-ins necessary to get the desired flavor.

GMVozd/Getty Images

Want to give your donuts a sweet, glossy finish? For a basic vanilla frosting, all you need is confectioners’ sugar, milk, and vanilla extract. Then you can get creative with other ingredients, like fruit, nuts, herbs, and spices. These are some of Atanasova favorite glaze flavors:

Storing the donuts

Atanasova recommends storing the air-fried donuts in an airtight container. They’ll last one to two days at room temperature if kept out of sunlight. You can also store them in the refrigerator for about three to four days, as long as they’re not glazed yet.

Reheat the donuts either in the microwave for 20 to 30 seconds, or in the air fryer for one to two minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Insider’s takeaway

Air-fried donuts are not only healthier, but also faster and less messy to make than their deep-fried relatives — and just as drool-worthy.

Patience is crucial. The key to achieving light, airy donuts is allowing the dough to rise for plenty of time both before rolling it out and after cutting it into donut shapes.

The possibilities are endless when it comes to flavored glazes — but remember that once you glaze the donuts, you don’t want to store them in the refrigerator or the dough will absorb the sugar, compromising the texture. Instead, store the donuts in an airtight container on the counter or in the pantry.

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