Easy Air Fryer Donut Recipe

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Today, I am sharing how I modified my Mom’s French Donut recipe into an Easy Air-Fryer Donut recipe.

This no-yeast recipe is made from scratch, gluten-free, and cooked in my Ninja Foodi air fryer. These sugar-cinnamon donuts (and donut holes) are delicious. Today, I have joined some of my favorite bloggers, and we are sharing some treasured family recipes. So I pulled out my Ninja Food fryer, made minor changes, and created a gluten-free, easy sugar-cinnamon air fryer donut recipe.

Easy Air Fryer Donut Recipe
I cherish this recipe card, written in my mom’s handwriting many years ago.
What's Cooking?

My Easy Gluten-Free Air Fryer Donut Recipe

Air Fryer Donuts Recipe Cinnamon Sugar

Can I say yum?

My mom used to make her recipe for French Donuts all the time. All four of my siblings and I used to fight over them, and somehow, my brothers always managed to eat the most.

Mom’s donut recipe is a family favorite and I knew I wanted to make them gluten-free. I also converted them to an air fryer donut recipe instead of baking them in the oven. Of course, you can cook these sugar-cinnamon muffins however you would like.

I loved using my donut cutter. It is the best way to get the same-sized donut every time. And that means they can be stacked for an excellent presentation.

Of course, donuts are always best with milk, so I added a bottle of milk when I served these air fryer donuts to my boys.

Air Fryer Gluten Free Donuts Recipe

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How to Make My Air Fryer Donut Recipe

To make these gluten-free and vegan, I substituted Better Batter for regular flour (you can use either one). Better Batter is a cup-for-cup alternative to ordinary flour. Any 1 1 gluten-free flour would work, too.

I also used Country Crock Plant Butter. It tastes just like butter but is so much healthier. You can use regular butter, but you should try it. We use Country Croc Plant Butter every day.

My mom’s recipe calls for margarine, which should give you an idea of how old the recipe is. Can you still buy margarine? I hope not.

Air Fryer Donuts Recipe Ingredients

As you can see below, the batter is pretty thick.

Air Fryer Donuts Dough Recipe

Roll the batter to about 5/8″ thickness and cut with the donut cutter.

Air Fryer Donut Recipe Gluten Free

See how great these look? They are so uniform.

And, of course, you get donut holes, too.

Air Fryer Donuts Recipe Easy

I used my Ninja Foodi Air Fryer to “fry” these donuts. I love that they taste fried, but they are healthy. They take about ten minutes per batch to cook, so I can make four air-fried donuts, as my machine has double drawers.

Ninja Foodi Air Fryer Donut Recipe

This is what the air-fried donuts look like when they are cooked.

You can make these in a cupcake pan if you don’t have an air fryer. That’s how my mom used to do it.

Easy Gluten Free Air Fryer Donuts

When they come out of the oven or air fryer, dip the donuts (on both sides) in melted butter (or plant butter).

Air Fryer Donuts Recipe

Dip them again in a mixture of sugar and cinnamon.

Air Fryer Donuts Recipe with Cinnamon Sugar

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Yield: 9 donuts and 9 donut holes

Easy Air Fryer Donut Recipe

Easy Air Fryer Donut Recipe
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes


  • For Donuts:
  • 1 cup butter (or plant butter) softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 cups flour (or gluten free flour)
  • 4 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • For Glaze:
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup cinnamon


  1. Cream 1 cup softened butter and sugar in a mixer or in a bowl until smooth. Add milk and dry ingredients alternately. Mix in vanilla.
  2. Once mixed, roll out the dough until it is about 5/8" thick. Cut with a donut cutter to make donuts and donut holes
  3. Preheat the air fryer to 360 degrees. Bake two donuts in each compartment for 8 - 10 minutes. Cook the donut holes together but separately from the donuts as they will cook for approximately 5 minutes.
  4. If you don't have an air fryer, add the batter to greased muffin tins. Bake 20 minutes at 350 degrees. (Dip the tops of the muffins in the butter and sugar/cinnamon mixture.)
  5. Melt the 1/2 cup butter. In separate dish, mix the sugar and cinnamon together. Place the butter and the sugar/cinnamon mixture onto separate flat plates.
  6. Once fried, dip each side of the donut into the melted butter. Next, dip the donut in the sugar mixture, on each side.
  7. Serve warm.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I make donuts from scratch in my air fryer?

There are many options. You can use biscuit dough from a can or make your own from scratch. My recipe is a French version of a cake-style donut. It is delicious.

Is it better to bake or fry donuts?

Your preference is up to you, but the air-fried donuts are really delicious. They are light and air-fried but healthy.

Can you do batter in an air fryer?

Yes. I made a batter for my air-fried donuts and cut the dough with a donut cutter. I cooked them in the air fryer, and they came out perfectly.

It’s probably true to assume I am obsessed with how cute these donuts look on my favorite cake stands. And if you are wondering, the milk is almond milk!

Easy Air Fryer Donuts and Donut Holes

Gorgeous Summer Decor for the Dining Room


Four Other Family Recipes

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Chocolatiest Chocolate Banana Bread

Using both cocoa powder and chocolate chips really takes this banana bread over the top!

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Martha’s Mom’s Blue Berry Buckle

This streusel-topped fruit-filled dessert is a crowd-pleaser, perfect for a family celebration.

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  1. We’re you reading my mind? We love doughnuts on saturday morning and was on the fence about an air fryer. Not any more! Ordered.

    1. Oh my gosh Mary, my air fryer is my new most favorite appliance. The Ninja one I use is key, it has 2 baskets so that you can make 2 different things at the same time or 2 batches at the same time! Happy donut mornings to you!

  2. Hi! Can I substitute the butter with margarine instead, since we don’t have any butter left? Also, I’m actually surprised at how you mentioned that margarine is hard to find. Here, we have tons of margarine products whereas butter is mainly imported (and expensive).

  3. This recipe does not work. So disappointed. Woke up craving donuts found this and it cokes out like cake batter. Not rollable in anyway!

  4. Disaster! Dripped through air fryer basket, didn’t rise at all, dough was very hard to handle. A complete mess! What was salvaged tasted like pancakes, not doughnuts.

  5. Did not work. I had to add at least an extra cup of flour to work make the dough workable and then because if the extra flour they came out more like biscuits. Would make for a good drip biscuit recipe but not donut unfortunately.

  6. Pretty confused here…margarine and plant-based butter are the same, except no dairy in the latter.
    I googled thus question. Try it
    Seems we’re repeating past delusions of what is healthful.

  7. Thank you for sharing your Mother’s recipe (I love old family recipes especially in the original handwriting) as well as the way you modified it. Can’t wait to try it. Thanks again!

    1. It is just so special and I was so happy to share it 🥰 Please let me know how they turn out for you if you do- enjoy!

  8. Thank you for sharing your Mother’s recipe (I love old family recipes especially in the original handwriting) as well as the way you modified it. Can’t wait to try it.

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