Air Fryer Elephant Ears are truly amazing as a treat or a dessert. They are a family favorite in my house and couldn’t be any easier to make.

Air Fryer Elephant Ears
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The first thing I want to say, as this has been discussed in my air fryer group Elephant Ears go by lots of different names, and since everyone calls them different things, here is a list I have heard:

  • Fried Dough
  • Elephant Ears
  • Fry Dough
  • Fry Bread
  • Doughboys
  • Scones
  • Flying Saucers
  • Bunelo
  • Pizza Fritte
  • Beaver Tails

Everyone likes different toppings. My personal favorites are powdered sugar and ground cinnamon. But the other popular toppings are melted butter, unsweetened cocoa powder, frosting, caramel syrup, chocolate sauce, and strawberry sauce.

What Are Elephant Ears

Elephant Ears, or fried dough or doughboys, is a popular carnival and fair food in the United States. They consist of a deep-fried dough until it puffs up and becomes golden brown. Once fried, Elephant Ears are typically generously dusted with powdered sugar and sometimes cinnamon, creating a sweet and crispy treat.

The name “Elephant Ears” likely comes from the large, round, and flattened shape of the fried dough, which can resemble the size and shape of an elephant’s ear. These treats are enjoyed for their crispy exterior and soft, doughy interior, making them a favorite indulgence at fairs, carnivals, and outdoor events. They are often served as a handheld snack and are meant to be shared with family and friends.

Elephant Ears In Air Fryer

Can You Make Elephant Ears In Air Fryer?

Yes, you can make an air fryer version of Elephant Ears. While traditional Elephant Ears are deep-fried, you can achieve a similar crispy and delicious result in the air fryer with less oil.

Ingredients Needed For Air Fryer Elephant Ears

These ingredients combine to create a delightful, crispy and sweet treat, making Air Fryer Elephant Ears a favorite dessert for many.

Ingredients Needed For Air Fryer Elephant Ears

Remember the step-by-step directions and detailed ingredient list are below, in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post, as well as the nutritional information.

  • Buttermilk Biscuits: Buttermilk biscuits serve as the base for these Elephant Ears. They provide a flaky and tender texture to the dessert.
  • Melted Butter: Melted butter is brushed onto the biscuit dough to add richness and help the sugar and cinnamon mixture stick, creating a sweet and flavorful coating.
  • Powdered Sugar: Powdered sugar, also known as confectioners’ sugar, is sprinkled generously over the Elephant Ears once cooked. It adds a sweet and snowy finish to the dessert.
  • Ground Cinnamon: Ground cinnamon is often mixed with powdered sugar for added flavor. It gives the Elephant Ears a warm and comforting aroma.
  • Assorted Toppings: Assorted toppings include additional powdered sugar, flavored syrups, chocolate drizzle, or fruit preserves. These toppings can be added to enhance the sweetness and flavor of the Elephant Ears to your liking.

How To Make Elephant Ears In Air Fryer

To make Elephant Ears in an Air Fryer, follow these simple steps:

How To Make Elephant Ears In Air Fryer

Prepare the Biscuit Dough:

  • Separate the buttermilk biscuit dough into individual biscuits according to the package instructions.

To make Elephant Ears in an Air Fryer, follow these simple steps:

Roll Out the Biscuits:

  • Roll out each biscuit into a thin, flat circle on a clean surface or cutting board. You can use a rolling pin for this.
Air Fryer Elephant Ears

Brush with Butter:

  • Brush one side of each flattened biscuit with melted butter. Make sure to coat it evenly.
Air Fryer Elephant Ears

Air Fry the Elephant Ears:

  • Preheat your Air Fryer to 350 degrees F (175°C), depending on your air fryer model. Some air fryers will not require preheating.
  • Place the biscuits into the Air Fryer basket. You may need to do this in batches, depending on the size of your Air Fryer.
  • Cook the Elephant Ears for about 5-6 minutes or until golden brown and puffed up. Keep an eye on them, as cooking times may vary between different Air Fryer models.
Air Fryer Elephant Ears


  • Once done, carefully remove the Elephant Ears from the Air Fryer and let them cool for a minute or two.
  • Brush with melted butter. You can add more powdered sugar and cinnamon on top if desired.
Air Fryer Elephant Ears

Optional Toppings:

  • For extra flavor, you can drizzle chocolate sauce, caramel, or fruit preserves on top of your Elephant Ears.


Serve your freshly cooked Elephant Ears while still warm, and enjoy this delightful treat.

Air Fryer Elephant Ears are a quick and delicious dessert perfect for satisfying your sweet cravings.

Air Fryer Elephant Ears

Recipe Variations

You can get creative with your Air Fryer Elephant Ears by trying different variations and toppings. Here are a few ideas:

  • Fruit Fillings: Add a spoonful of fruit preserves or pie filling in the center before folding the biscuits. Fold the biscuit over the filling, then stack and air fry as usual.
  • Nutty Delight: Sprinkle finely chopped nuts (such as pecans or almonds) on top of the sugared side of the biscuit before folding and air frying.
  • Chocolate Lovers: Add a few chocolate chips or chocolate chunks to the center of each biscuit before folding. You’ll end up with a gooey, chocolate-filled treat.
  • Savory Version: Skip the sugar and cinnamon, and instead, sprinkle the biscuit dough with grated cheese and herbs for a savory twist. Serve with marinara sauce for dipping.
  • Glazed Elephant Ears: After air frying, drizzle your Elephant Ears with a simple glaze made from powdered sugar and a little milk or water. It will add sweetness and an extra layer of flavor.
  • Ice Cream Topping: Serve your Elephant Ears with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. The warm, crispy pastry pairs wonderfully with the cold, creamy ice cream.

Feel free to experiment with different flavor combinations and toppings to create your own unique version of Air Fryer Elephant Ears. Enjoy your culinary adventures!

Air Fryer Elephant Ears

Pro Tips

Here are some pro tips for making delicious Air Fryer dessert.

  • Use Parchment Paper: To prevent the Elephant Ears from sticking to the air fryer basket, use parchment paper or liners. Just cut them into circles and place the pastry on top.
  • Don’t Overcrowd: Avoid overcrowding the air fryer basket. Leave enough space between the Elephant Ears to circulate hot air properly. You may need to cook them in batches.
  • Check the Timing: Keep an eye on the cooking time, which can vary depending on your specific air fryer model. Start with the recommended time and check for doneness. Adjust if needed.
  • Spray with Cooking Spray: Lightly spray the Elephant Ears with cooking spray before air frying. This will help them achieve a golden-brown, crispy texture.
  • Serve Fresh: Elephant Ears are best enjoyed fresh and warm. Serve them immediately after air frying for the crispiest results.
  • Customize Toppings: Experiment with various toppings, such as powdered sugar, cinnamon sugar, or flavored glazes, to add extra flavor and sweetness to your Elephant Ears.
  • Get Creative: Feel free to get creative with the shape and size of your Elephant Ears. You can make them smaller or larger to suit your preferences.
  • Variation Ideas: Explore different fillings and toppings to create unique flavors. Fruit preserves, nuts, chocolate chips, and savory options can all be incorporated for variety.

By following these pro tips, you’ll be well-equipped to make scrumptious Air Fryer Elephant Ears that are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Enjoy your homemade treats!

Air Fryer Elephant Ears


Can I make Elephant Ears with puff pastry in the air fryer? Yes, you can make Elephant Ears using puff pastry in the air fryer. Simply follow the same instructions as the biscuit dough version, but use puff pastry sheets instead.

Do I need to preheat the air fryer for Elephant Ears? Preheating the air fryer is not necessary for making Elephant Ears, but it can help reduce the initial cooking time slightly. If you choose not to preheat, add a minute or two to the cooking time.

How long do Elephant Ears stay fresh? Elephant Ears are best enjoyed fresh and warm. They can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days, but they may lose some of their crispiness.

Can I reheat leftover Elephant Ears in the air fryer? Yes, you can reheat leftover Elephant Ears in the air fryer. Preheat the air fryer to 350°F (175°C) and warm them for 1-2 minutes until they are heated through and regain their crispiness.

Can I freeze uncooked Elephant Ears for later use? Yes, you can freeze uncooked Elephant Ears for later. Place them on a baking sheet, freeze until solid, and then transfer them to an airtight container or freezer bag. When ready to use, air fry from frozen, adding a couple of extra minutes to the cooking time.

Can I use homemade biscuit dough instead of canned biscuits? Absolutely! Homemade biscuit dough can be used. Roll out the dough, follow the same instructions for toppings and cooking, and enjoy your homemade version.

What are some creative toppings for Elephant Ears? You can get creative with toppings for Elephant Ears. Besides traditional cinnamon-sugar, consider toppings like fruit preserves, chocolate chips, chopped nuts, or even savory options like garlic and herbs.

Can I make mini Elephant Ears in the air fryer? Yes, you can make mini Elephant Ears in the air fryer by cutting the dough into smaller portions before air frying. Adjust the cooking time accordingly, as smaller pieces will cook faster.

Air Fryer Elephant Ears

More Air Fryer Recipes

Equipment Used:

COSORI Air Fryer Max XL(100 Recipes) 5.8 QT Electric Hot Oven Oilless Cooker LED Touch Digital Screen with 11 Presets, Preheat& Shake Reminder,

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Air Fryer Elephant Ears

Air Fryer Elephant Ears 

5 from 6 votes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 8 Servings


Air Fryer Elephant Ears are truly amazing, either as a treat or a dessert. They are a family favorite in my house and truly couldn’t be any easier to make.
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  • 8 Buttermilk Biscuits,, I love the ones with butter
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup Powdered Sugar, optional
  • 2 teaspoons Ground Cinnamon, optional


  • Start by laying out your biscuits on a large cutting board.
  • Start by using a rolling pin and flatting the biscuits into large circles.
  • Place them into your air fryer basket, sprayed with olive oil, so they don’t stick.
  • I was able to put two in at a time. Do not overcrowd. They greatly expand.
  • Set your temperature to 350 degrees F, air fryer setting.
  • Set your time for 5 minutes.
  • Continue to cook them 2 by 2 until they are all done. Lay them on a plate
  • When they are all done cooking, spread the melted butter on the dough and generously sprinkle with confectioners sugar and or ground cinnamon.
  • Plate, serve, and enjoy!


  • Air Fryer
  • Cooking Spray
  • Parchment Paper, optional


Serving: 1ServingCalories: 165kcalCarbohydrates: 17gProtein: 2gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 16mgSodium: 300mgPotassium: 64mgFiber: 1gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 179IUVitamin C: 0.02mgCalcium: 20mgIron: 1mg

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