The Air Fryer Is A Perfect Appliance For Making Homemade Donuts

Hot, fresh donuts can sometimes be hard to come by unless you're up at the crack of dawn (or live within driving distance of a Krispy Kreme). Still, that doesn't mean the dream of snacking on a batch of those warm, sugary rings of goodness is only attainable if you set your alarm clock for an early hour. Fresh donuts can be yours in just a matter of minutes from the comfort of your own home — and with no deep frying required, so go ahead and put away that massive Dutch oven. Instead, reach for your air fryer, which is the perfect appliance for making homemade donuts.

You're welcome to make your donut dough from scratch. However, for an even easier time making these treats, simply grab a can of biscuit dough — as Mashed recipe developer Jessica Marone did in this easy air fryer donut recipe. Either way, you can use a donut cutter, cookie cutter, or a bottle cap (just be sure to clean it first) to cut a hole in the middle of the dough balls, which will give them that classic donut shape while also creating bite-sized donut holes.

Then, just spray the donuts and donut holes with cooking oil, arrange them in the air fryer basket so they aren't touching, and air fry for 5 to 7 minutes. You can decorate with toppings like icing, sprinkles, or cinnamon sugar, and dig in.

How air-fried donuts compare to the real thing

The donut connoisseurs of the world may be curious about how the air-fried version of this a.m. favorite compares to the real thing. King Arthur Baking contributor PJ Hammel put the question to the test and found that air-fried yeast donuts made with homemade dough came out a bit smaller and lighter in color than traditional fried donuts. However, they were comparable in terms of texture, just slightly chewier.

"I'd describe them as a soft dinner roll dipped in sugar glaze," they explained, but added that they were still "perfectly palatable." One Reddit user came to a similar conclusion after making air fryer donuts, which they said were a "very worthy alternative to the real thing."

Additionally, there has been plenty of praise for the convenience of using canned biscuits to make air fryer donuts. However, even with a coating of cinnamon sugar or glaze, they may still taste like biscuits. While it seems that you can't expect air-fried donuts to be identical to traditional pastries you might get from Dunkin' or Krispy Kreme, if you're looking for a quick and easy way to enjoy a fresh, hot batch without having to leave the house, then using an air fryer is an excellent method.