(Last Updated On: August 30, 2022)
Super quick and fun to make, these easy air fryer biscuit donuts are a hit with the kids, and also us adults too. The fun part is the kiddos can help you put the icing and sprinkles on the donuts. The powdered sugar icing and sprinkles make these donuts amazing.
🍴 Key Ingredients
- 16-ounce canned biscuits 8-count – Pillsbury Grands! flaky layers with buttermilk
- Cooking spray (such as Pam)
Powdered Sugar Icing
- 1 cup of powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons 2% milk (or whole, 1%, or fat-free)
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1 to 2 drops of food coloring (optional)
- Sprinkles (optional)
🍩 How to Make 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
We used 16-ounce Pillsbury Grands!™ flaky layers with buttermilk 8-count biscuits, sold in the refrigerated section of the grocery store. But you can use the original Pillsbury grand flaky layers too if you prefer. Make sure to get the flaky layers with buttermilk though, we think it’s the best to use for these biscuit donuts. We tried the butter flavor biscuits but didn’t like them. There was too much of a buttery taste inside the dough of the donut.
Take the biscuits out of the can, separate them on a flat surface, and then use a 1-inch round biscuit cutter to cut donut holes in the center of each biscuit.
Note: If you don’t have a 1-inch round biscuit cutter or cookie cutter, you could use anything you have in the kitchen such as a knife, a small measuring spoon, a melon scooper, a small lid from a bottle, or your trusty little finger, yep, just wiggle your finger down the middle 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 in 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. The 8 biscuits will fit perfectly on the larger air fryer basket, but a smaller air fryer basket will have to do another batch.
Step 4. Bake the Biscuit Donuts in the Air Fryer
Place the air fryer basket into the air fryer that is preheated to 360 degrees Fahrenheit and air fry for 8 minutes, turning them over halfway through the cooking process, so that’s 4 minutes on each side. After that, the air fried donuts are done. Set the donuts aside to cool while we make the powdered sugar icing.
Note: If you need to make a second batch of biscuits donuts, you can do that now. And keep in mind that all air fryers are not the same, some 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 now using a sifter. For this particular icing, we did not sift the powdered sugar, and the icing turned out great.
In a medium-sized mixing bowl, add 1 cup of powdered sugar together with 2 teaspoons of 2% milk (or whole, 1%, or fat-free) and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.
We have a 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. 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 them in the icing, set them on a plate 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. For the second batch, we had to make more powdered sugar icing, and we added just a couple of drops 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. Sprinkle on the Sprinkles
The color yellow for the second batch turned out great. Remember to apply the sprinkles right after putting the icing on the donuts. We chose a different style of sprinkles for this batch.
Some Alternative Topping Ideas for the Biscuit Donuts Are:
- Using the same powdered sugar icing recipe but changing the colors using different food coloring.
- Make different icing or frosting, such as chocolate glaze by just adding one or two tablespoons of cocoa powder to the powdered sugar icing, or chocolate (by adding cocoa powder) or vanilla buttercream frosting by adding less liquid to the powdered sugar.
- Brush 4 tablespoons of melted butter on the donuts, then make a cinnamon sugar mixture made with 1 cup of granulated sugar and 2 tablespoons of ground cinnamon, then dip the tops and sides of the donuts in it. Note: You can certainly add a bit more cinnamon to the sugar and cinnamon mixture if you like a more dominant cinnamon taste.
- You can also buy different kinds of sprinkles.
- Or spread some raspberry jam over the top or a dusting of powdered sugar.
❓ FAQs for Air Fryer Donuts Using Biscuit Dough
These biscuits donuts don’t taste exactly like regular donuts that you can buy in the bakery section of the grocery store, but they are still an easy and tasty treat the kids will love, plus homemade at home, so the kids can help. The frosting on top makes them extra yummy!
Store these donuts in a covered container on the countertop for a few days, or put them in the refrigerator for about 3 days. Or freeze them in an air-tight container or zip lock bag for a couple of months.
For this recipe, we used the Buttermilk Pillsbury Grand Flaky Layers canned biscuits. But the original flavor flaky layers would be okay too. We tried the buttered flavor biscuits once and found out it wasn’t as good unless you like a buttery taste inside the donuts.
💡 Final Thoughts
Air fryer donuts – made deliciously perfect – by using this air fryer donut recipe! With just 8 minutes cook time, you and the kids can have a fun treat to eat without a long wait! Enjoy!
✨ More 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 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.
Air Fryer Biscuit Donuts
- 1 can Pillsbury Grands Flaky Layers Buttermilk Biscuits (16-ounce 8-count)
- Cooking spray (such as Pam)
- Preheat the air fryer to 360 degrees Fahrenheit if need be.
- Take the 8 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 vegetable spray.
- Place the 8 biscuits in the air fryer basket without touching each other. If you have a smaller air fryer, you will need to do 4 biscuits now, and 4 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) Note: All air fryers are not the same. You may have to adjust the time and temperature.
- Take the basket out of the air fryer and place each donut on a plate or a working surface to cool.
- Mix in a medium bowl the powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla extract. Note: Add more milk for thinner icing, and add less milk if you want thicker icing.
- 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).
- All air fryers are not the same. Time and temperature may need to be adjusted.
- Chocolate icing.
- Donuts dipped in a sugar and cinnamon mixture.
- Sprinkle powdered sugar over the top of the donuts using a sifter.