Discover the perfect blend of indulgence and nutrition with these Air Fryer Protein Donuts! Who said you can’t enjoy a donut while meeting your health goals?
Made with high-quality protein powder and a handful of simple ingredients, these donuts offer a guilt-free way to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Thanks to the magic of the air fryer, they come out irresistibly light, moist, and with a delightful crispness that you’d never expect from a “healthy” donut. Say goodbye to deep-fried regret and hello to a deliciously smart choice that complements your active lifestyle.
What Are Protein Donuts
Protein donuts are a healthier alternative to traditional donuts, designed to provide a more balanced nutritional profile. They are usually made with protein powder as one of the primary ingredients, along with alternative flours like almond or coconut flour, to increase the protein content. These donuts are often sweetened with natural sweeteners like stevia, honey, or maple syrup instead of processed sugar. The idea is to create a treat that satisfies sweet cravings while providing nutritional benefits, such as increased protein intake.
Protein donuts are especially popular among fitness enthusiasts, athletes, or anyone looking to add more protein to their diet without consuming additional, unwanted calories from fats or sugars. They can be part of a balanced meal or a post-workout snack to aid muscle recovery.
Because they are generally lower in sugar and fats and higher in protein, they can be a better option for those watching their weight or blood sugar levels. Making them in an air fryer further reduces the fat content, making them an even healthier choice.
Can You Make Protein Donuts In Air Fryer
Yes, you can definitely make protein donuts in an air fryer! Using an air fryer offers the advantage of a quicker cooking time than an oven, and it also gives the donuts a crispy exterior while keeping the inside moist and tender. Air frying is a healthier option than traditional frying because it uses hot air circulation rather than oil to cook the food, resulting in lower fat content.
Ingredients Needed For Air Fryer Protein Donuts
Creating protein donuts in an air fryer requires ingredients designed to maximize flavor and nutritional value.
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.
- Protein Powder – Choose your favorite flavor, but vanilla or chocolate are good starting points. Adds the primary protein boost to your donuts.
- Almond Flour or Oat Flour -A gluten-free alternative to all-purpose flour that works well with protein powder.
- Baking Powder -Provides the leavening needed for the donuts to rise.
- Salt -Enhances the overall flavor of the donuts.
- Optional Spices – Ground cinnamon or nutmeg adds extra flavor.
- Large Eggs – Adds moisture and helps with the rise.
- Almond Milk or Skim Milk – Provides the liquid component for the batter; almond milk is a dairy-free option.
- Melted Coconut Oil or Unsweetened Applesauce – Adds moisture; coconut oil for richness or applesauce for fewer calories.
- Vanilla Extract – Provides additional flavoring.
- Natural Sweetener – Like Stevia, honey, or maple syrup. Adds sweetness without the empty calories of sugar.
For Glaze or Toppings (Optional)
- Greek Yogurt or Light Cream Cheese – For a protein-packed glaze.
- Optional Flavorings – like vanilla extract or cocoa powder. To enhance the glaze.
- Optional Natural Sweetener – If you prefer a sweeter glaze.
- Optional Toppings – Chopped nuts, unsweetened shredded coconut, or mini chocolate chips. For added texture and flavor.
How To Make Protein Donuts In Air Fryer
Making protein donuts in an air fryer is a convenient, quick, and healthier way to enjoy this delicious treat. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you create scrumptious protein donuts in your kitchen.
Preparation: Preheat your air fryer to 350 degrees F (175°C). Grease a silicone donut mold or an air fryer-safe donut pan.
Mix Dry Ingredients: In a medium-sized bowl, mix the protein powder, almond or oat flour, baking powder, salt, and any optional spices.
Blend Wet Ingredients: In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, almond or skim milk, melted coconut oil or applesauce, vanilla extract, and natural sweetener.
Combine: Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Do not overmix, as it may make the donuts tough.
Fill the Molds: Using a spoon or a piping bag, fill the greased donut molds about 3/4 full with the batter.
Air Fry: Place the filled donut molds in the air fryer basket. Cook at 350°F for 8-12 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Cool: Once cooked, remove the donuts from the air fryer and allow them to cool for a few minutes before demolding.
Prepare Glaze: While the donuts are cooling, mix your choice of Greek yogurt or light cream cheese, optional flavorings, and optional natural sweetener.
Glaze and Top: Once the donuts are cool to the touch, spread or dip them into the glaze and add any additional optional toppings.
Enjoy: Your air fryer protein donuts are now ready to be enjoyed!
Pro Tips For Air Fryer Protein Donuts
A few pro tips can make the perfect batch of Air Fryer Protein Donuts even easier. Here are some expert suggestions to help you craft a donut that’s as delicious as it is nutritious:
- Quality Protein Powder: Choose a high-quality protein powder with good solubility. Whey, plant-based, or casein protein can all work, depending on your dietary needs.
- Flour Choices: Almond flour is popular, but you can experiment with other low-carb, high-protein flour like coconut or oat flour.
- Natural Sweeteners: Opt for natural sweeteners like Stevia, monk fruit, or erythritol for a lower-calorie option.
Mixing and Preparing:
- Don’t Overmix: When combining the wet and dry ingredients, mix until they are incorporated. Overmixing can lead to a tougher texture.
- Piping Bag: Use a piping bag to fill the donut molds for more uniform donuts.
- Greasing the Molds: Use non-stick spray or coconut oil to grease the molds for easier removal. Silicone molds generally work best.
- Preheating: Always preheat your air fryer for a few minutes before cooking. This ensures that the donuts cook evenly.
- Batch Cooking: Don’t overcrowd the air fryer basket; cook the donuts in batches if needed to ensure good air circulation.
- Temperature and Timing: Cooking times and temperatures can vary between air fryer models, so the first batch might be experimental. Use a toothpick to test for doneness.
Glazing and Topping:
- Let Cool: Let the donuts cool down a bit before applying the glaze to prevent it from melting off.
- Glaze Options: Apart from Greek yogurt or light cream cheese, you can use melted sugar-free chocolate or a sugar-free icing sugar mixture for different glaze varieties.
- Nutritional Boost: Add chopped nuts, seeds, or even a sprinkle of additional protein powder on top of the glaze for an extra nutritional punch.
Can I use any type of protein powder?
Yes, you can use various types of protein powder like whey, plant-based, or casein. However, each type may slightly affect the texture and flavor of the donuts.
Is it necessary to preheat the air fryer?
Preheating the air fryer ensures that the donuts cook evenly and achieve the desired texture. Most recipes recommend preheating for optimal results.
Can I substitute almond or oat flour with regular flour?
Yes, you can use regular flour, but it will lower the protein content and may alter the texture and nutritional value of the donuts.
How do I store leftover protein donuts?
Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days or in the refrigerator for up to a week. You can also freeze them for up to 3 months.
Can I use regular milk instead of almond milk?
Yes, you can use any milk you prefer. Note that using whole milk will increase the fat content, while using skim milk will keep it lower.
Can I add fruit or chocolate chips to the batter?
Absolutely! Feel free to add inclusions like blueberries, chopped strawberries, or sugar-free chocolate chips. Just be aware that this will alter the nutritional profile.
My donuts came out dry. What did I do wrong?
There could be several reasons: overmixing the batter, cooking them for too long, or using too much of a certain dry ingredient. Make sure to measure carefully and keep an eye on the cooking time.
Can I make these vegan?
Yes, you can substitute the eggs with a flax egg or other egg replacement and use plant-based protein powder and milk to make vegan protein donuts.
How do I make the glaze sugar-free?
You can use sugar-free powdered sweeteners like erythritol or stevia, mixed with a small amount of milk or water to achieve a glaze-like consistency.
Do I have to use a glaze?
No, the glaze is optional. The donuts will still be tasty without it, or you can simply sprinkle them with a dusting of protein powder or cinnamon.
More Air Fryer Recipes
- Air Fryer Biscuit Donuts
- Air Fryer Homemade Donuts
- Easy Air Fryer Homemade Donut Holes
- Air Fryer Powdered Sugar Donuts
- Air Fryer Apple Cider Donuts
Air Fryer Protein Donuts
- 1 cup Protein Powder, vanilla or chocolate
- 1/2 cup Almond or Oat Flour
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- Optional: 1/2 tsp Cinnamon or Nutmeg
- 2 Large Eggs
- 1/2 cup Almond Milk or Skim Milk
- 1/4 cup Melted Coconut Oil or Unsweetened Applesauce
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 2-3 tbsp Natural Sweetener, like Stevia, honey, or maple syrup
For Glaze or Toppings
- 1/4 cup Greek Yogurt or Light Cream Cheese
- Optional Flavorings like vanilla extract, or cocoa powder
- Optional Natural Sweetener, 1-2 tbsp
- Optional Toppings like chopped nuts, unsweetened shredded coconut, or mini chocolate chips
- Preparation: Preheat your air fryer to 350°F (175°C). Grease a silicone donut mold or an air fryer-safe donut pan.
- Mix Dry Ingredients: In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the protein powder, almond or oat flour, baking powder, salt, and any optional spices.
- Blend Wet Ingredients: In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, almond or skim milk, melted coconut oil or applesauce, vanilla extract, and natural sweetener.
- Combine: Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Do not overmix, as it may make the donuts tough.
- Fill the Molds: Using a spoon or a piping bag, fill the greased donut molds about 3/4 full with the batter.
- Air Fry: Place the filled donut molds in the air fryer basket. Cook at 350°F for 8-12 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Cool: Once cooked, remove the donuts from the air fryer and allow them to cool for a few minutes before demolding.
- Prepare Glaze: While the donuts are cooling, mix together your choice of Greek yogurt or light cream cheese, optional flavorings, and optional natural sweetener.
- Glaze and Top: Once the donuts are cool to the touch, spread or dip them into the glaze and add any additional optional toppings.
- Enjoy: Your air fryer protein donuts are now ready to be enjoyed!
- Air Fryer
- Cooking Spray
- Donut Pan