Air Fryer Donuts are simply amazing! If you are looking for a foolproof method for how to make yeast donuts, then this is the recipe for you!
There is nothing better than a batch of homemade donuts, especially when they are made with yeast. They puff up beautifully and are so incredibly tender on the inside.
Being from Boston, we literally had a donut store on every corner. I loved picking out my favorite flavors as a weekend treat, but nothing beats a classic glazed round donut. While I love making all kinds of donuts at home, I don’t always love wasting a whole pot of oil for frying.
Enter the trusty air fryer! You can achieve tender, delicious donuts in the air fryer in just a few minutes, plus clean-up is a breeze. Whip up a simple glaze while they are cooking and say hello to your very own homemade treats, no matter the occasion.
If you are looking for even more Air Fryer Donut Recipes, some of my favorites are:
Air Fryer Donuts
These are truly some of the best donuts that you will make with your air fryer. They are light and fluffy and absolutely delicious!
If you have never made homemade donuts, don’t be intimidated. They are actually quite simple to put together.
Today, I made my air fryer donuts with a simple glazed coating, but you can add anything you want for a truly amazing treat!
Why You’ll Love This Air Fryer Donut Recipe
- Uses simple pantry ingredients
- Makes a full dozen
- Once the dough has risen, it cooks in 5 minutes
- Easily change the flavor or color of the glaze
Ingredients Needed For Homemade Yeast Donuts
- Milk – Whole milk tends to work best, but you can use skim milk if that’s what you have on hand.
- Yeast – You will need Active Dry Yeast (not the instant kind) for this air fryer donut recipe. Always check the label to make sure it’s not expired, and consider testing a small amount first to ensure that it’s still fresh.
- Granulated Sugar – This feeds the yeast and assists in proofing. Without a chemical reaction, your dough won’t rise!
- Salt – While sugar feeds the yeast, salt keeps it from growing out of control. Don’t skip this ingredient!
- Egg – This also helps the dough rise and makes it extra tender when cooked.
- Melted Butter – Unsalted butter is preferred since there is already salt in the dough. Allow it to cool slightly after melting before adding it to the yeast mixture.
- Pure Vanilla Extract – You’ll need this to flavor the dough as well as the glaze topping.
- All-Purpose Flour – I find that this creates a better texture than bread or pastry flour, and I always have it on hand.
- Powdered Sugar – Combine this with additional butter, salt, and vanilla to make a delicious homemade glaze!
How To Make Donuts In Air Fryer
Step 1: Proof the yeast
Start by warming your milk — this yeast donut recipe won’t work if it’s cold. Add the milk to a glass measuring cup and microwave it until the temperature reaches about 110-120 degrees. Then, stir in the sugar and yeast, mixing well for about a minute.
Let the yeast mixture sit for about 5 minutes. If it doesn’t bubble, you’ll need to throw it out and start over with a fresh packet. Remember, the chemical reaction is what makes your yeast donuts rise.
Step 2: Make the dough
Pour the yeast mixture into a large mixing bowl, then add the egg, melted butter, vanilla extract, and salt. Mix in the flour until the dough starts to come together.
Spray a separate large bowl with olive oil spray. Transfer the dough to the greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel. Place the bowl in a warm, dark place to rise for about an hour.
Step 3: Cut out the donuts
Once the dough has risen, turn it out onto a floured surface and roll out to about 1/4-inch thick.
Use a large biscuit cutter to cut out each donut, then a smaller sized one to create the hole in the middle. Continue until you have cut out all of your dough.
Step 4: Second rise
Add the donuts to a greased air fryer tray or basket (sprayed with olive oil). Let them rise for another 30 minutes until doubled in size. Meanwhile, whisk together the glaze ingredients and set them aside.
Step 5: Cook
Next, cook the donuts in the air fryer for 5 minutes at 340 degrees F. Work in batches if they won’t all fit in the tray or basket.
Step 6: Glaze
Transfer the air fryer donuts, one at a time, to the bowl of glaze while they are still warm. Coat the entire surface, then place them on a plate or wire rack to cool while the glaze hardens.
- Warm ingredients are a must! Obviously, you will need to heat the milk and melt the butter for this yeast donut recipe. I also recommend bringing your egg to room temperature so it blends smoothly into the dough. Let it rest on the counter for 30-45 minutes before getting started.
- Use a thermometer. The milk needs to be at the right temperature for the air fryer donuts to rise. If it’s too hot, it will kill the yeast. Too cold, and the yeast won’t even activate.
- Cooking times may vary. Since each model of air fryer is different, keep a close eye on your first batch and note the exact cooking time. Air fryer donuts should be golden brown but not burnt.
- How to make donut holes: There’s a bonus to this yeast donut recipe — you get donut holes too! After you’ve cooked your air fryer donuts, add all of the tiny cutouts to the basket. Cook at the same temperature (but only for 2-3 minutes), then glaze.
- Want a flavored glaze? Add a little cocoa powder or lemon zest until it tastes just right. For a fruity option, grind up some freeze-dried strawberries and use the powder to flavor the glaze.
Storage and Reheating
This air fryer donut recipe makes a full dozen, so there’s a good chance you’ll have some leftovers! Keep air fryer donuts in an airtight container at room temperature for 1-2 days.
I don’t recommend reheating glazed donuts in the air fryer, but you can microwave them for about 5 seconds to get them soft and warm again.
What can I use to cut donuts?
I used biscuit cutters in two different sizes — one for the donut itself and one for the hole in the center.
If you do not have a set of biscuit cutters, use a drinking glass or anything with a circle. I have used a soda pop cap in a pinch to cut the middle out. It’s a perfect size!
Why are my yeast donuts tough?
Several things could have happened. Usually, the dough didn’t have enough time to proof (rise). Be sure not to rush the process!
It’s also important to not overmix the dough. Use a wooden spoon or spatula, not an electric mixer, and stop as soon as there are no more streaks of flour.
Finally, you need to cook air fryer donuts at the correct temperature. You want the centers to cook through before the outer layer becomes too brown and crispy.
How long do you cook donuts in the air fryer?
Homemade yeast donuts should be cooked for about 5 minutes at 340 degrees F in the air fryer. You may want to check them a minute early to be sure they aren’t overcooked.
More Air Fryer Donut Recipes:
- AIR FRYER GLAZED BISCUIT DONUTS
- EASY AIR FRYER EASY FUNFETTI CAKE MIX DONUTS
- AIR FRYER RASPBERRY LEMON DONUTS
- EASY AIR FRYER CINNAMON SUGAR DONUT MUFFINS
Don’t Forget To Pin:
Air Fryer Homemade Yeast Donuts
- 1 cup milk, (warm, 110 to 120 degrees F)
- 2 teaspoons yeast
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Start by warming your milk. I add the milk to a glass measuring cup and then microwave it until the temperature reaches about 110-120 degrees, then mix in the sugar and yeast. Mix well for about a minute.
- Leave the yeast mixture for about 5 minutes. Now, if you don't get bubbles, you need to throw them out. The donuts will not rise. (Remember it's a chemical reaction)
- Then add your yeast mixture to a large mixing bowl, then add in the egg, melted butter, vanilla extract, and salt.
- Then mix in the flour. Mix until the dough starts to come together.
- Spray your bowl with olive oil spray.
- Then add your dough to the sprayed bowl. Cover the dough with either a piece of saran wrap or a kitchen towel, and let rise for about an hour.
- Then place your dough on a floured surface.
- Roll the dough out, about 1/4 inch thick.
- Use your biscuit cutter and then cut a larger circle and then a smaller circle in the middle. Continue until you have cut your dough.
- Add the donuts to a grease air fryer tray or in the greased air fryer basket (sprayed with olive oil). Then let them rise for another 30 minutes.
- Notice how they doubled.
- After 30 minutes, add them to your air fryer, set the temperature to 340 degrees F for 5 minutes. (air fryer setting)
- Dip into the glaze, and then let harden.
- Plate, serve, and enjoy!
- Air Fryer
- Cooking Spray, or Parchment Paper