(Last Updated On: October 5, 2023)
These easy air fryer biscuit donuts are a sweet treat and a big hit with the kids, and us adults too. They are also super quick and fun to make with simple steps to follow. The powdered sugar icing and sprinkles make these donuts taste amazing.
The best part of these easy donuts are the kiddos can help you put the icing and sprinkles on them. What kid doesn’t like to spread icing and shake some sprinkles on donuts? My two granddaughters always have fun when they get to help their mommy or me cook in the kitchen, espcially when it involes desserts such as sugar cookies, cinnamon sugar knots, or cocoa krispie treats and red white and blue rice krispie treats. All of these recipes are perfect to make on a Saturday morning, after they have had their breakfast, of course.
For this recipe, we used store-bought biscuit dough. These biscuits are sold in the refrigerated section of the grocery store.
🍴 Key Ingredients
Powdered Sugar Icing
- 1 cup of powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons 2% milk (or whole, 1%, or fat-free)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 to 2 drops of food coloring (optional)
- Sprinkles (optional)
🍩 How to Make Easy Air Fryer Biscuit Donuts (Step-by-Step Instructions with Detailed Photos)
Step 1. Preheat the Air Fryer
If your air fryer needs to be preheated, set it at 360 degrees Fahrenheit.
Step 2. Prepare the Air Fryer Biscuit Donuts
Take the biscuits out of the can, and then separate them on a flat surface. They are already in a donut shape, so that’s nice. Use a 1-inch round cookie cutter or biscuit cutter to cut donut holes in the center of each biscuit. Save the donut holes, then you can put them in the air fryer and make donut bites the same way we are making these biscuits donuts, but they will require less time in the air fryer because they are smaller.
Note: If you don’t have a small biscuit cutter or small round cookie cutter, you could use anything you have in the kitchen to make a small hole in the biscuits. Try a small sharp knife, a small measuring spoon, a melon scooper, a small bottle cap, or even your trusty little finger, yep, just wiggle your finger down the center of the biscuit dough and form a hole.
We didn’t have that size cookie cutter, so we just pushed a small measuring spoon into the biscuit and carved out a hole. The measuring spoon made a nice hole and worked great.
Step 3. Place the Biscuit Donuts on the Fryer Basket
Spray the fryer basket with cooking spray, then arrange each of the 8 biscuits in a single layer on the air fryer basket without overcrowding them. If you prefer, you can put a sheet of parchment paper made for air fryers on the bottom of your air fryer basket instead of the cooking spray.
Note: We all know there are different types and sizes of air fryers, making them not all the same. With that said, eight biscuits will fit perfectly on a larger air fryer basket, but depending on the size of your air fryer, you may need to do a second batch if the basket of your air fryer is smaller.
Step 4. Bake the Biscuit Donuts in the Air Fryer
Use heat-resistant oven mitts so you don’t burn yourself on the hot air when you place the air fryer basket into the air fryer that is preheated to 360 degrees Fahrenheit. Cook for 8 minutes, turning them over halfway through the cooking process at 4 minutes. After that, when the donuts are golden brown, they are done.
Remove the air fryer basket from the air fryer with the oven mitts, then set the donuts aside to cool while we make the powdered sugar icing. If you need to make a second batch of biscuit donuts, you can do that now.
Note: Cooking times may vary. Keep in mind that most air fryers are not the same. For example, some air fryers are larger than others, and some can heat differently than others, so make sure to adjust the time and temperature if necessary.
Step 5. Prepare the Powdered Sugar Icing
Note: If you want lump-free icing, you will need to sift the powdered sugar using a sifter. For this particular icing, we did not sift the powdered sugar, and the icing turned out great.
In a small bowl, add 1 cup of powdered sugar together with 2 teaspoons of milk (whole milk, 2%, 1%, or fat free), and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.
We have a slightly different powdered sugar icing recipe with melted butter in the ingredients if you would like a buttery-tasting icing to put on the biscuit donuts.
Step 6. Combine the Powdered Sugar Mixture
Step 7. Add the Food Coloring
We chose red food coloring for our first batch of biscuit donuts. Add a tiny drop of food coloring together with the powdered sugar icing. The more food coloring you add, the darker the red will be, and using less food coloring will be a lighter color, more on the pinkish side.
Note: You don’t have to use food coloring if you want the icing to be white.
Step 8. Mix the Food Coloring
Stir the food coloring together with the powdered sugar icing, mixing well. If you want the color to be a bit darker, you can add more food coloring at this time.
Step 9. Put the Icing on the Donuts and Add the Sprinkles
This is the first batch of biscuit donuts we made with the red food coloring. We didn’t add much food coloring to get this pinkish color.
Using a pair of tongs, dip the donuts into the icing, or you can brush the icing on each donut using a pastry brush or piping bag. We then shook the sprinkle container over the biscuit donuts immediately after applying the icing so the sprinkles would stick to the icing. After dipping and sprinkling them, set the donuts on a plate or cooling rack while the icing dries.
Step 10. Make the Second Batch of Powdered Sugar Icing
For our second batch of biscuit donuts, we chose yellow food coloring. We had to make more powdered sugar icing for the second batch, and we added just a couple drops of food coloring together with the powdered sugar icing and mixed it thoroughly to get this color.
Note: If you are going to do a second batch of biscuit donuts, you will have to make more powdered sugar icing if you want to change the color, or if you ran out of icing from the first batch.
Step 11. Shake on Some Sprinkles
The color yellow for the second batch turned out so great. Remember to apply the sprinkles right after putting the icing on the donuts so the sprinkles will stick. We chose a different style of sprinkles for this batch. You can use any type of sprinkles you prefer, the possibilities are endless.
🍩 Recipe Variations
Some Alternative Topping Ideas for Biscuit Donuts
- Use the same powdered sugar icing recipe, but change the color using different food coloring.
- Make different icing or frosting:
- Chocolate glaze or chocolate icing by just adding one or two tablespoons of cocoa powder and a little more liquid to the powdered sugar icing.
- Chocolate frosting by adding cocoa powder and a little less liquid.
- Vanilla buttercream frosting by adding less liquid and no food coloring to the powdered sugar.
- Make cinnamon sugar donuts:
- When the donuts are done cooking in the air fryer, remove the donuts. Then, while the donuts are still warm, brush 4 tablespoons of melted butter on them with a pastry brush. After that, sprinkle or dip donuts, both the tops and sides of the donuts, in a cinnamon sugar mixture instead of spreading on powdered sugar icing. A good cinnamon sugar mixture is cinnamon sugar seasoning or make your own – 1 and 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon. You can add a bit more cinnamon to the sugar if you prefer a more dominant cinnamon taste.
- You can also buy different kinds of sprinkles.
- Spread some raspberry jam over the top of the donuts or a dusting of powdered sugar instead of the icing.
These biscuit donuts don’t taste exactly like homemade donuts or donuts you can buy in the bakery section of the grocery store or at the local donut shop. But, they are still an easy and tasty treat the whole family will love, especially the kids. Plus, these are made at home, so the kids can help. The frosting on top makes them extra yummy!
For this recipe, we are using canned biscuit dough. You can use the original Pillsbury grand flaky layers if you prefer, but we think the flaky biscuits with buttermilk are the best to use for these biscuit donuts. The buttermilk gives the donuts an amazing flavor. The first time we made these we bought the butter flavor biscuits, but we didn’t like them because of the overwheling buttery taste inside the dough of the biscuits.
You can store these donuts in a covered container on the countertop at room temperature for a few days. Or, if you choose to do so, you can put them in an airtight container or a zip lock bag in the refrigerator for about 3 days. After that, they will lose their delicious tasting quality, freshness, and texture.
💡 Final Thoughts
It is so simple to make these easy air fryer donuts within only eight minutes of cook time. Using canned biscuits makes this recipe a breeze!
You and the kiddos can have a fun time together making this air fryer donut recipe. It is such a sweet treat to eat without a long wait! Satisfy your sweet tooth the easy way with this fun, flaky, and fluffy biscuit donut recipe. Enjoy!
✨ More Easy Air Fryer Recipes You Will Love
- Tater Tots in Air Fryer – Crispy and so delicious, seasoned just right with Johnny’s seasoning salt for extra flavor.
- Turkey Bacon in Air Fryer – This crispy turkey bacon is so easy to make and tastes fantastic. Serve alongside scrambled eggs and buttered toast with jam. Yum!
- Air Fryer Potato Wedges – The seasonings make these potato wedges taste so fantastic – olive oil, paprika, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, salt, and ground black pepper!
- Bacon in the Air Fryer (Crispy) – This crispy bacon is so flavorful and easy to make with practically no mess at all.
📋 Recipe Card
Easy Air Fryer Biscuit Donuts
- Preheat the air fryer to 360 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Take the biscuits out of the can and separate them on a flat working surface.
- Cut 1-inch holes in the center of each biscuit with a biscuit or cookie cutter. If you don't have one, use anything round that is 1-inch like a small lid or you can even use your finger.
- Spray the air fryer basket with cooking spray.
- Use oven mitts to place the biscuits in the air fryer basket without touching each other. If you have a smaller air fryer, you will need to do half of the biscuits now, and half in a second batch.
- Put the basket in the air fryer and set the time for 4 minutes, then turn the donuts over and cook the other side for 4 minutes (total – 8 minutes). You may have to adjust the time and temperature.
- Take the basket out of the air fryer using the oven mitts and place each donut on a plate or a working surface to cool.
- For the icing, mix in a medium bowl the powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla extract.
- Add a drop of food coloring (optional).
- Dip each donut in the icing (or spread the icing on each donut), and immediately top with the sprinkles.
- Let the donuts sit while the icing dries (or sets).
A wife, a mother to a son and a daughter, and a grandmother to three granddaughters. Flo loves sharing recipes passed down from her own mother, her mother-in-law, and her grandmother as well as new recipes created with her daughter, Tamara Ray.
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