Fresh, hot, sugary donuts made right in your own kitchen in under 20 minutes! I'm using canned biscuit dough to make these easy air fryer donuts, and you won't believe how tasty they are. You'll just need to cut the holes out of your biscuits, air fry them for about 8 minutes, then smother them with your melted butter of choice (dairy free options below) and cinnamon sugar. So simple and absolutely delicious.
And if you don't have an air fryer, try my cinnamon sugar mini donut muffins.
What do I need to make these air fryer donuts?
To make these donuts you'll need:
- 1 can of biscuit dough (see below for dairy free suggestions)
- butter of your choice
- air fryer
- donut cutter (a shot glass or small cookie cutter work too)
- nonstick spray
- donut pan
If you don't have a donut pan, you can place your cut dough onto a small baking sheet that will fit into your air fryer. If your air fryer has a small slotted basket like this one, you can place the dough directly on the rack but be sure to spray it with nonstick spray first. The donuts fried up just as good for me on a baking sheet in comparison to the donuts that I fried in the donut pan. The donuts that were fried in the donut pan did retain their shape slightly better.
My donut pan only has 6 wells, so I bake my first batch in the donut pan then bake the remaining two donuts and the donut holes on a small baking sheet.
How can I make these dairy free?
While most canned biscuit dough does contain butter and milk, there are a few dairy free options that are available. Here are some brands that make dairy free biscuit dough as of 5/16/22:
- Annie's Organic Flaky Biscuits
- Immaculate Baking Company Organic Flaky Biscuits (may contain milk)
- Great Value Buttermilk Biscuits (may contain trace amounts of milk)
- Hy-vee buttermilk biscuits
- Value Corner Homestyle Biscuits
- Pillsbury Grands Homestyle Original Biscuits (may contain milk)
- Pillsbury Grands Homestyle Buttermilk Biscuits (may contain milk ingredients)
- Pillsbury Flaky Layers Buttermilk Biscuits (may contain milk ingredients)
I am including brands with the "may contain milk" allergen statement in this list because some readers can tolerate trace amounts of dairy. Note: Always read the food labels of these products before purchasing because manufacturers often change ingredients. Please be sure to choose the right brand for you based on your individual health status and any potential food allergies.
Dairy free butter options:
- Earth Balance
- Califia Farms plant butter
- Country Crock Plant Butter
- It's Vegan by I Can't Believe It's Not Butter
- Kite Hill plant based butter
- Melt Organic
- Milkadamia buttery spread
- Miyoko's Creamery vegan butter
- Nutiva Vegan Ghee
- Trader Joe's Vegan Buttery Spread
These donuts are healthier than most store bought or drive thru options, however I would not classify these as "healthy". Typical donuts are fried in oils, which make them higher in calories and fat when compared to these air fried donuts. However, we're still using processed biscuit dough and smothering them in melted butter and sugar. They are high in calories and carbohydrates. But, I believe part of being healthy includes enjoying life and the occasional naughty food in moderation.
Tips for making these easy air fryer donuts:
- you'll want to cut holes out of the center of your biscuits using a donut cutter. If you don't have a donut cutter, you can use a small shot glass or cookie cutter.
- if you don't have an air fryer that can fit your donut pan, you can set the biscuit dough right on the rack of your air fryer. A small greased cookie sheet will work too.
- the donut holes cook much quicker than the donuts. Keep an eye on them so they don't get too brown. You can cook these directly on your air fryer rack.
- don't let your donuts brown too much or they'll be crunchy on the outside.
- these are best when enjoyed hot out of the fyer. If you do have leftovers, you can pop them in the air fryer for a minute or microwave for 20 seconds to warm and soften them up.
Looking for more dairy free recipes? Try these:
Easy Dairy Free Air Fryer Donuts
- 1 can large biscuits dairy free (suggestions above in the post)
- ¼ cup nondairy butter melted
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ tablespoon ground cinnamon
- Preheat your air fryer to 375°F and grease or spray a donut pan. See notes above if you don't have one.
- Open up your biscuit can and lay each biscuit out on a cutting board.
- Use a small round cookie cutter or a donut cutter to cut a hole out of the middle of each biscuit. Place each donut-shaped biscuit into your pan. Use your fingers to shape the biscuits in the pan if needed. You can put your donut holes on your air fryer rack or a small greased cookie sheet that fits in your fryer.
- Air fry your donuts for about 4 minutes. Watch them closely so the tops don't get too brown. Flip over each donut and fry them for about another 4 minutes, until they're lightly golden and cooked through. The donut holes take about 2-3 minutes per side, so be sure to pull those out sooner.
- While your donuts are cooking, add your melted butter into a bowl large enough to fit one donut. In a separate bowl, mix together your cinnamon and sugar.
- Remove the donuts from the fryer and immediately dip them in the melted butter then in to the cinnamon sugar.
- Donuts are best served hot from the fryer. See above for tips for any leftovers.