Our air-fryer doughnuts are tender, cinnamon-sugary treats that bake in the air fryer in no time. No proofing or messy frying required!
Air-Fryer Doughnuts Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Crispy and golden on the outside and incredibly tender in the center, our air-fryer doughnuts are totally dunk-worthy. These doughnuts are baked in the air fryer instead of fried in messy, smelly oil. After air-frying, each doughnut is brushed with a melted butter-vanilla mixture and coated in cinnamon-sugar. Yum!

If you know how to make doughnuts, you know how time-consuming and messy the process can be. We’ve simplified the doughnut-making technique by using store-bought biscuits and cooking them in the air fryer. This saves time and uses less oil than frying—and cleanup is much easier!

Ingredients for Air-Fryer Doughnuts

  • Tube of biscuits: We’ve found that premade biscuit dough offers a close resemblance in taste and texture to fried doughnuts.
  • Cinnamon-sugar: Warm cinnamon mixed with sugar makes a cinnamon-sugar coating that’s oh-so cozy.
  • Butter: Melted butter is brushed onto the cooked doughnuts so the cinnamon-sugar can adhere better. Also, any excuse to add more butter, right?
  • Vanilla: A little vanilla in the melted butter adds a sweet, floral note.


Step 1: Separate the biscuits

Preheat the air fryer to 375°F. Separate the biscuits.

Editor’s Tip: If your kitchen is fairly warm, place the separated biscuits on a parchment-lined baking sheet to prevent the biscuits from sticking to the counter.

Step 2: Cut out the holes

Doughnuts Ready To Bake / Air FryTMB Studio

Cut out the biscuit centers using a 1-inch cutter. Save the centers.

Step 3: Bake the doughnut circles

Doughnuts In An Air FryerTMB Studio

In batches, place the doughnuts in a single layer on a greased tray in the air-fryer basket. Cook the doughnuts until golden brown and puffed, about five minutes, turning once. Remove from air fryer.

Air Fried Doughnuts In An Air FryerTMB Studio

Test Kitchen Tip: In our testing, we found that air-fryer cooking times vary dramatically, even among the best air-fryer brands. Keep an eye on your doughnuts, and check them after the initial turn.

Step 4: Bake the doughnut holes

In batches, cook the doughnut holes in air fryer until golden brown, three to four minutes.

Editor’s Tip: The doughnuts rise and expand as they cook, so it’s important to not overcrowd the basket so the doughnuts don’t bake together. This will also allow even air circulation for perfectly browned doughnuts.

Step 5: Prepare the sugar coating

Meanwhile, in a shallow dish, stir together the sugar and cinnamon. In a separate bowl, stir together the melted butter and vanilla.

Step 6: Toss the doughnuts in the sugar

Applying Melted Butter on Air Fryer Doughnuts with Brush and Coating Them With SugarTMB Studio

Brush the cooked doughnuts and doughnut holes with the melted butter. Toss them in the cinnamon-sugar. Serve warm.

Air-Fryer Doughnut Variations

  • Add a glaze: Omit the cinnamon-sugar coating from this recipe, and instead drizzle on a classic confectioners’ sugar glaze, rich chocolate glaze or autumnal maple glaze for doughnuts.
  • Decorate the doughnuts: You can’t go wrong with fun sprinkles (this is just a general rule for life). Shaved almonds and mini chocolate chips work well, too.
  • Add a crumb topping: Who can refuse the sugary streusel on an Entenmann’s doughnut? Make your own crumb topping with our Entenmann’s-like crumb doughnuts.

How to Store Air-Fryer Doughnuts

To store, place the doughnuts in an airtight container, and keep them at room temperature for up to two days. However, they will get more tough as time goes on, so we recommend eating the doughnuts the same day they’re made.

Can you freeze air-fryer doughnuts?

Yes, you can freeze air-fryer doughnuts. In fact, you can freeze almost any doughnut! Place them in an airtight container, and store in the freezer for up to three months. To thaw, place in the fridge overnight, then reheat in the air fryer or microwave until they’re warmed through.

Air-Fryer Doughnuts Tips

What kind of biscuits should you use to make air-fryer doughnuts?

You should use biscuits with a tender inside and crisp outside when baked. Here are our Test Kitchen’s picks for the best store-bought biscuits. If you want nicely oversized doughnuts with some flaky, biscuity layers, go for Pillsbury Grands! Flaky Layers Buttermilk Biscuits.

The convenience of a biscuit dough doesn’t stop other home cooks from making a from-scratch dough, though! We love Joanna Gaines’s biscuit recipe and our homemade buttermilk biscuits recipe, but nothing beats classic old-fashioned doughnuts.

What can you use if you don’t have a doughnut cutter?

No doughnut cutter? No problem! Cut out the centers with a shot glass or the bottom of a pastry tip.

How should you grease the air fryer to make air-fryer doughnuts?

Use just a teeny, tiny amount of olive oil spray to grease the air fryer to make air-fryer doughnuts. Avoid baking sprays like Pam. They’re usually filled with flour, which damages the air fryer’s nonstick coating.

How do you serve air-fryer doughnuts?

Serve your air-fryer doughnuts with any brunch spread, or keep it simple with a satisfying cup of coffee (or one of these indulgent copycat homemade coffee shop drinks).

Watch how to Make Air-Fryer Doughnuts

Air-Fryer Doughnuts

My sons and I love doughnuts, but in the Florida heat I rarely want to deep-fry them. I tried making this easy air-fryer doughnut recipe, and it turned out so well—with no mess! —Christine Hair, Odessa, Florida
Air-Fryer Doughnuts Recipe photo by Taste of Home
Total Time

Prep/Total Time: 25 min.


8 doughnuts and 8 doughnut holes


  • 1 tube (16.3 ounces) large refrigerated buttermilk biscuits (8 count)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat air fryer to 375°. Separate biscuits. Cut out centers using a 1-inch cutter; save centers. In batches, place doughnuts in a single layer on greased tray air-fryer basket. Cook until golden brown and puffed, about 5 minutes, turning once. In batches, cook doughnut holes until golden brown, 3-4 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a shallow dish, combine sugar and cinnamon. In a separate bowl, mix melted butter and vanilla. Brush doughnuts and doughnut holes with butter; toss in sugar mixture. Serve warm.

Nutrition Facts

1 doughnut and 1 doughnut hole: 280 calories, 15g fat (8g saturated fat), 23mg cholesterol, 684mg sodium, 33g carbohydrate (11g sugars, 1g fiber), 4g protein.