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Air-Fried Donuts (Healthy Low-Fat Recipe)

Who doesn’t love donuts? They taste extremely delicious but, sadly, are not quite healthy. Not only are donuts high in sugar, but they are also fried in oil, which makes them double unhealthy.

What if I tell you that you can make a slightly healthier version of donuts by air frying instead of deep frying them? Air-fried donuts taste better and are lower in fat than deep-fried ones. When you air fry them, they come out fluffy inside and soft and glazed on the outside.

The key to preparing a perfect donut is to make a perfect dough and air-fried it at the right temperature.

In this blog, I’ll share some delightful recipes for air-fried donuts. We’ll also look at the queries regarding making dough and ingredients.

Let’s get to it right away!

Air-Fried Donuts: Ingredients

You’ll need the following ingredients to make soft and fluffy air-fried donuts:

For the Dough

  • 1/2 cup warm milk
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 7g dried yeast
  • 60g caster sugar
  • 4 cups plain flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 egg

For Glazing

  • 125g of sugar
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 1/4 tsp flavorless vanilla extract

After gathering all these ingredients, let’s proceed with the directions for carrying out the recipe.

donuts with frosting
Homemade donuts with colorful frosting

How To Prepare Dough for Air-Fried Donuts?

To make perfect air-fried donuts start with making the yeast dough.

  • First, add the yeast to the lukewarm milk. Stir it with the help of the fork until mixed thoroughly. Mix it for 5 minutes or until it becomes foamy. Let the yeast rest for 15 minutes. Make sure not to use too old yeast, or it will not activate.
  • Combine the other dough ingredients in a stand mixer, including half the flour, sugar, eggs, butter, and salt. Then, knead the dough for about 5 minutes. Then add the other half of the flour to it. Continue to knead until it becomes smooth and elastic or if it starts to pull away from the bowl’s sides.
  • Apply oil spray on a plastic wrap, and then place it over the bowl. Place the dough in a warm area and let it rise until it doubles in size. Next, press firmly with your finger. Once the dough becomes fluffy, that’s a sign that it is fully proofed and ready to cut into donut shapes.

How To Make Perfectly Glazed Air-Fried Donuts?

Once you prepare the dough, let it rest for a few minutes, and in the meantime, prepare the glaze for the donuts. Combine warm milk, sugar, vanilla essence, and melted butter in a bowl and leave it aside.

  • Now cut out the doughnut shapes. First, spread the dough to a thickness of about 1 inch. Cut small holes from the center with the help of a bottle cap.
  • Put the dough on parchment paper, brush them with butter and give them another 45 minutes at room temperature to rise.
  • Then pre-heat your air fryer to 180 °C (350 °F). Place the donut dough gently into the greased basket of the air fryer and let it cook for 3 minutes.

Take the donuts from the air fryer and let them rest for a few minutes until they are cool enough to handle. Finally, dip the soft donuts into the glaze you prepare and serve while they are hot.

Alternatively, if you don’t want to glaze these, brush the donuts with melted butter as soon as you take them out of the air fryer. Immediately sprinkle them with cinnamon sugar, and enjoy!

Here’s a video on “How To Make Best Air Fryer Donuts.”

Perfect Air Fried Donut Recipe

Stuffed Nutella Donuts: A Recipe

For making stuffed donuts repeat the same process as we learned above to make the dough. Just don’t cut out the donut holes and bake them as usual.

Once they cool down, take a piping bag and fill it with Nutella. Then, use a small knife to make a hole in the donut’s base.

Fill your donuts with Nutella. Make a little swirl on top of the donut for a better presentation.

Calories in Different Types of Donuts

Types Of DonutsAmount of Calories
Plain Glazed Donut190-480 calories
Iced Donut with Cream Filling350 calories
Specialty Donuts with Toppings (i.e., Cookies and Cream)390 calories
Types of Donuts With Calories Intake

Air Fried Donuts: Tips For A Perfect Texture

Making donuts is not as easy as it seems to us. There are some tips to keep in mind to achieve the perfect texture. Some of them I’ve discussed here;

  • Yeast Temperature

Yeast can be killed off at 140°F or higher temperature because it is a living organism. Before adding the milk to the yeast, check the temperature using a probe thermometer for safety. Temperatures anywhere between 100 and 110 degrees are optimal for perfect dry yeast.

  • Process of Kneading Dough

It is essential to knead the dough properly to develop the gluten structure. You can use a stand mixer or knead it with your hand; both works fine. While choosing the kneading method, use the window pane test to ensure that your dough has sufficiently formed gluten.

The dough is fully prepared to use when you stretch it, and light can flow through it without ripping any holes. If the dough balls spring back after a light press, the gluten in them is sufficient. However, keep kneading if the fingertip depression is still present on the dough.

  • Rising Time of Dough

A proper rising time ensures a smooth and fluffy texture of the dough. The dough will rise more easily if the bowl is lightly greased with oil.

The dough should be double its original size after the first rise. To check the size, mark the dough length on the bowl before you leave it to rise. Then check the length after the dough rise.

Even if it takes more than an hour to rise, it’s perfectly fine. The optimal temperature for rising should be between 75 and 80 degrees.

Chocolate and cream donuts
Donuts with a variety of frosting, glazing, and toppings


Are Baked Donuts Healthier Than Fried Donuts?

Indeed, the air-fried and baked donuts are healthier than the deep-fried ones. A glazed doughnut that is fried will contain about 269 calories, but a donut that is baked will have fewer amount of calories.

While air frying or baking the donuts, you won’t have to deal with the extra fat of oil from conventional frying.

The fried donut is made with a yeast mixture with a light texture and a medium brown color. On the other hand, the baked donuts are small in size. They’re less drippy and greasy than the deep-fried ones.

When Do We Fill The Donuts?

Once the fried donuts cool down to room temperature, you can easily fill them with your favorite filling. If donuts are too hot, they can melt the filling.

What Kind of Oil is Used for Frying Donuts?

The oils you use for cooking should be flavorless to preserve the distinctive flavor of the donuts. Because of their high smoke points, canola oil, peanut, and sunflower oil are the most popular forms of oil for fried foods.

Why Aren’t My Donuts Fluffy?

Underproofing results in stiffer and less puffed-up donuts. The yeast used in the dough should be alive. Ensure not to overcook your donuts in the air fryer; overcooking can also ruin your shape.

Chocolate and blueberry cream donuts
Chocolate and blueberry cream donuts

What Are Some Different Ways To Make These Air-Fryer Doughnuts?

Make a simple confectioners’ sugar glaze to sprinkle or spread over your cooled doughnuts.

Sprinkles are never a bad idea. Make the doughnuts even more interesting by sprinkling sweets (gummy bears are popular) or nuts on top.

How Do You Keep Air-Fryer Doughnuts Fresh?

The doughnuts can be stored in airtight containers at room temperature for 1-2 days, but not longer. These, like many other air-fryer treats, are best eaten fresh.

These air fryer doughnuts are best eaten immediately, but they can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 1-2 days and can be enjoyed.

Final Thoughts

To conclude, I’d say that;

  • Air-fried donuts are a must-try recipe. You can prepare your ingredients, then start with the recipe by following the instructions discussed above.
  • Glaze the donuts and top them with any favorite topping you like.
  • I’ve shared the recipe in detail along with the FAQs that might help you eradicate the ambiguities.
  • I hope this blog was informative, with recipes and tips regarding air-fried donuts.

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