Skip the spattering hot oil and make air fryer donuts instead! That’s right — your new favorite kitchen appliance is a star at baking these sweet treats. Not only does the air fryer avoid excess oil, but it also takes just about 6 minutes to cook the donuts, so a warm, buttery dessert (or irresistible brunch recipe) is not far away. What’s more, these air fryer donuts without yeast are made with store-bought puff pastry, so you don’t even have to worry about whipping up homemade dough. You just need three ingredients to make these crisp, fluffy, and tasty treats, plus your amazing air fryer. Need some buying tips? Check out the top-performing air fryers picked by our Kitchen Appliances Lab pros.
How to Make Donuts in the Air Fryer
The air fryer’s high-powered fan and top-down heat source work together to circulate hot air to quickly and evenly cook all your favorites with little to no oil (try wings, fries or even veggies!). In the air fryer, donuts made with puff pastry rise to impressive heights and turn deliciously golden brown.
First, prepare your preferred sugar topping. We love classic cinnamon sugar, fruity strawberry sugar, or spicy orange-cardamom sugar. Next, unfold your puff pastry and cut it into your desired shapes. Cutting strips of puff pastry on a bias to make parallelograms creates bite-sized pieces with the ideal amount of crispy edges. Then, set the air fryer to 350°F and air-fry the donuts for about 3 minutes per side (yep, that’s it!), then immediately toss with your sugar combo. If the coating doesn’t stick, lightly brush with melted butter, then toss again. More of a glazed donut person? That’s great! You can toss the air-fried donuts in whatever you like, even adding sprinkles or other toppings like your own personal donut shop.
1 batch sugar mixture (see below)
1 sheet puff pastry (from 17.3-oz pkg.), thawed
Melted butter as needed
Classic Cinnamon Sugar: In bowl, combine 2 Tbsp sugar with 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon.Strawberry Sugar: In mini food processor or spice grinder, pulse ½ cup freeze-dried strawberries with ¼ cup sugar until finely ground.Orange-Cardamom Sugar: In bowl, using fingers, combine ¼ cup sugar, 1 tsp finely grated orange zest and ¼ tsp ground cardamom until mixture reaches consistency of brown sugar.