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Easy Vegan Air Fryer Doughnuts

You’ll love these easy and delicious Vegan Air Fryer Doughnuts that require just a few ingredients to make! No frying needed, and they’re perfectly fluffy with a sugar coating and jam filling.

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Doughnuts in a metal tin

Vegan Air Fryer Doughnuts

Air fryers have become super popular recently, especially in the food blogging world. I treated myself to an air fryer for Christmas as I wanted to see what the hype was about. I’ve only been using it for a month or so, but I’m already in love with it. It’s become a staple in my kitchen!

I have always deep fried doughnuts and was unsure how they would turn out in an air fryer. I was pleasantly surprised and they are crisp on the outside, soft in the middle with a fluffy interior as well as being lower in fat, due to being air fried rather than deep-fat fried. Dipped in a buttery glaze along with a coating of sugar, and filled with jam, they make a great breakfast or treat!

Close up of mini jam filled doughnuts

What is an Air Fryer?

If you are wondering what an air fryer is, it’s basically a countertop convection oven designed to simulate deep frying without frying the food in oil. A fan circulates hot air, producing a crisp layer with browning. It’s seemed to be a healthier way of cooking / baking. They are available from most online stores and in-store. You can also get them on Amazon!

Bite taken out of a jam doughnut

Can you Air Fry doughnuts?

Yes, as the recipe suggests, you can air fry doughnuts- yippee. Air frying doughnuts requires a different recipe from regular fried doughnuts, hence the new adjusted recipe. The doughnuts contain simple ingredients, with yeast to help them rise and puff up which makes for super light and fluffy doughnuts. I love making doughnuts and air frying has really taken the stress out of prepping the boiling pan of oil, and the fear of accidental burns. Using the air fryer is a breeze, and it’s a fun way of making doughnuts!

Side view of jam doughnut

Why you need to make these air fryer doughnuts:

  • They require minimal ingredients which you probably already have in your kitchen cupboards.
  • They only take 8-10 minutes to bake!
  • No frying required, meaning lower in fat and less dangerous to fry!
  • The doughnuts are 100% vegan friendly, with no animal ingredients.
  • The dough is super easy to make and work with, it proves like a dream.
  • The doughnuts are filled with berry jam, and you can choose whatever jam you fancy : strawberry, raspberry or even go down a sweeter route like Biscoff or vegan Nutella.
  • Great snack or breakfast option!
Mini doughnuts filled with jam on a wire rack

Ingredients needed to make Vegan Air Fryer Doughnuts

Dairy-free milk : The heat from the milk is what will help activate the yeast, making the doughnuts fluffy. If you don’t heat the milk before adding in the yeast, the yeast won’t activate resulting in a flat doughnut. Pour the milk into a saucepan, simmer on low until just warm (you don’t want it too hot or it will kill the yeast).

Caster sugar : The sugar will help activate the yeast mixture, as-well as adding sweetness to the doughnut. I like to use a fine white caster sugar, don’t use granulated or coconut sugar.

Active yeast : You want to use dry active yeast for these doughnuts. This is what will allow the doughnuts to rise when proving. This ingredient is essential.

Plain flour : You want to use plain flour / all purpose flour for this recipe.

Sunflower oil : Baked doughnuts can be dry, so adding in the oil along with butter helps to improve that. Also try to use a neutral tasing oil like sunflower oil. This won’t affect the overall flavour of the doughnut.

Dairy-free butter : The butter will help to keep the doughnuts delicious and moist. Once the doughnuts have baked, brush or dip melted vegan butter around the outside of the doughnuts. This will help keep them soft, and also acts like a glue for the sugar to stick too.

Jam : You can’t have a doughnut without a delicious jam filling. Keeping the doughnuts super simple and classic, I transferred the jam into a piping bag, poked a hole in the side of the doughnut and piped it in. The fun is overfilling and watching jam ooze out the sides – so good!

Up close of a bite taken out of a jam doughnut
Close up of jam filled donuts

How to make air fry doughnuts

  1. Make the dough

    Mix all the ingredients together and knead into a smooth, elastic dough. Place into a bowl, cover with a tea towel and set aside in a warm area until doubled in size.
    Once doubled, roll out and use a cookie cutter to chomp/cut out circles. Place the doughnuts onto a tray and allow to rest for a second until until puffed up.

  2. Bake

    Heat air fryer to 180 degrees c and grease the basket with oil. Place in the doughnuts and bake for 8-10 minutes until golden.

  3. Coating

    Brush melted butter over the doughnuts and roll in sugar. Poke a hole in the side of the doughnut and fill with jam. Serve!

Doughnuts in a air fryer
Air fryer doughnuts in butter

Air Fryer doughnuts FAQ

What air fryer to use?

  • There are so many different types and styles of air fryers. The exact one I use is from Scoville. I’ve linked it here.

What setting on the air fryer do I use?

  • You want to turn the air fryer on to 180 degrees c and heat it up. On my air fryer it allowed me to heat on a ‘cake’ setting, so if yours has a baking setting, use that! Otherwise, simply heat to 180 degrees c. Maybe do a test run with one doughnut to see how it goes in your air fryer.

Can I make this recipe gluten-free?

  • Unfortunately I am yet to perfect the gluten-free vegan air fryer doughnut! This recipe does require gluten flour for it to work.

How to keep air fry doughnuts fresh?

  • These air fryer doughnuts are best eaten on the day of making, but they can be stored in a sealed container for up to 24 hours.

How to store air fry doughnuts?

  • The doughnuts are best enjoyed day of making, but if you wanted to make them the day before, simply store them in a sealed container at room temperature.

Why didn’t my dough rise?

  • There are a few reasons why your dough didn’t rise – the milk may have been too hot, you didn’t allow the dough to prove for enough time or the dough was over kneaded.

How hot should the milk be for the yeast?

  • When it comes to activating the yeast, you want a warm milk. You only want it warm, as too hot can kill the yeast resulting in very flat and dense doughnuts, which will not rise when proving. Only heat the milk in low for a minute or so.
Piping jam into mini doughnuts

Tips for making the best Vegan Air Dry doughnuts

Take your time : When it comes to dough, the key is to take your time and not to rush. The magic happens in the proving so make sure it has enough time to do it’s thing!

Don’t rush the proving : It’s important to allow your dough to rise twice, one in the bowl and the second time when the doughnuts have been chomped/cut out. If you skip any of the proving, your doughnuts won’t grow in size and won’t puff up when in the air fryer. If the dough doesn’t rise, place it in a warmer spot in your house.

Don’t over knead : Over kneading the dough can result in a dense and un-fluffy doughnut. It can knock out all of the air created in the proving and result in a really cakey or flat doughnut. Simply knead until the dough is soft, bouncy and stretchy.

Weigh out the ingredients in grams : I can’t stress enough how important it is to weigh the ingredients using grams. It’s a much more precise way of baking.

Looking for more delicious bakes, check these out:

BEST EVER Gluten-free Vegan Brownies

6 Ingredient Vegan Strawberry Danishes

How to make Vegan Caramel Sauce

Easy Vegan Brownie Cookies

No-Bake Biscoff Cheesecake (vegan)

BEST Vegan Lemon Loaf

If you make, and love this recipe, please leave a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ rating below. Thank you & happy baking! Make sure to tag me in your photos on Instagram and Facebook! And if you want to pin this recipe for later, you can use the button on the recipe card, above or below this post, or on any of the photos. Happy baking all!

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Jam filled doughnuts on a wire rack

Easy Vegan Air Fryer Doughnuts


Description

THE BEST VEGAN AIR FRYER DOUGHNUTS! Easy to make, fluffy with a delicious jam filling. They taste just like the real deal!!! 


Ingredients

Units Scale

Ingredients for the doughnuts

  • 130ml of dairy-free milk
  • 7g of active dry yeast
  • 30g + 1 teaspoon of caster sugar
  • 200g of plain flour
  • 20ml of sunflower oil
  • 40g of dairy-free butter

Ingredients for the filling and coating

  • 5 tablespoons of dairy-free butter
  • 80g of caster sugar
  • 1 jar of berry jam (I chose raspberry jam)

Instructions

Method (doughnuts)

  1. Pour the dairy-free in to a saucepan, place on the hob and heat on low until warm. You don’t want the milk to be too hot or it can kill the yeast, it just needs to be warm. Sprinkle in the yeast and a teaspoon of the sugar, stir to combine then cover with a tea towel and set aside in a warm place for 5-10 minutes to activate. You’ll know the yeast is activated when it’s frothy.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, sift in the flour and sugar. Stir to combine. 
  3. Melt the butter in a saucepan on the hob over low until fully melted.
  4. Once the yeast mixture has frothed up, pour into the dry ingredients along with the oil and melted butter.
  5. If you’re using a stand mixer, place the bowl on the mixer and attach a dough hook. Begin to knead the dough on a low speed until it starts to come together. You can also knead by hand on a floured work surface, but this will take longer. The dough should start to become smooth and elastic after 3-5 minutes. Once it looks like it’s coming together, turn out on a clean worktop dusting with flour and knead until smooth and elastic. It should feel soft and pillowy. Do not over knead!
  6. Place the dough into the greased bowl and cover with a tea towel. Place the bowl into a warm area for 1 – 2 hours or until the dough has doubled in size. After 30 minutes, check on the dough. You should start to see the dough rising. If it isn’t, place the bowl into a warmer area. See notes for more proving tips*.
  7. Once risen and doubled in size, turn out the dough onto a floured work surface. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a rectangle, around 1 inch thick. This dough doesn’t make too make doughnuts so try not to roll it too thin. If you roll them too thin, you risk them not puffing up in the oven. Use a cookie cutter (around 1 inch) to cut as many doughnuts out from the dough, and place onto a lined baking tray. Gather up the excess dough and repeat.
  8. Cover the doughnuts with a tea towel and allow to rest in a warm area for 1 – 2 hours or until risen and puffy again. 

Air fry the doughnuts

  1. Once the doughnuts have risen, preheat the air fryer to 180ºC and grease the inside of the air fryer with a little sunflower oil. Place a few doughnuts into the basket at a time, making sure they have room to puff up and bake.
  2. Bake the doughnuts in the air fryer for around 8 – 10 minutes or until they are golden in colour. You can check & flip the doughnuts half way through to make sure they are evenly baked and golden. Repeat until all doughnuts are baked.
  3. Remove from the air fryer and repeat for the rest of the doughnuts. 

Coating the doughnuts

  1. In a saucepan, melt the dairy-free butter. Dip or brush butter all over the warm, freshly baked doughnuts then roll them in caster sugar. Place the doughnuts on some kitchen paper, and repeat until all the doughnuts are covered.
  2. Fill a piping bag with raspberry jam and snip off the tip. Poke a hole in the side of the doughnuts and pipe in a generous amount of jam. 
  3. Serve and enjoy!

Notes

To store: Best enjoyed day of making, or store in an airtight container for up to 24 hours.

What dairy-free butter to use? You can either use a vegan butter or margarine for this recipe. I used Flora Plant Block.

Where should I prove the dough? The dough will want to prove in a warm area, so place it somewhere where it will have some warmth, like next to a radiator, in the conservatory (if warm and sunny), in the airing cupboard or next to a heater. You can even heat the oven to 50 degrees c, once its reached temperature, turn off the oven and leave the door open for 15 minutes. This will create a nice warm atmosphere for the dough to rise. Place the bowl in the oven, leave the door slightly open / wedge it ajar (do not close the door), so it has some air and leave for the proving time. if the oven is too hot, this can actually cook the dough and it wont be right to use! 

What dairy-free milk is best? The best vegan milk to use is soya milk, but almond, oat etc will work great too!

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8-10 minutes
  • Category: Doughnuts
  • Method: Air Fryer
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Air Fryer Doughnuts, AirFryer Doughnuts, Vegan Jam Doughnut, Jam Doughnut, Donut, Doughnut

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9 Comments

  1. Christie
    January 17, 2023 / 8:52 pm

    What can you use instead of sunflower oil? I’m allergic.

    • January 17, 2023 / 9:04 pm

      Hello, simply switch to a neutral tasting oil such as vegetable oil. Hope this helps xx

      • Amie
        January 30, 2023 / 4:42 am

        hello! I’m super excited to try these air fryer donuts and am wondering. Is there a subsitute tor caster sugar? We don’t carry that where I live unfortunately. Thanks🙂

  2. Janette Coleman
    January 17, 2023 / 11:38 pm

    I am so excited to make these with my kids at the weekend. Ive waited for an amazing vegan air-fryer recipe and this looks wonderful Holly. Thank you.

    • January 19, 2023 / 4:08 pm

      Hello, Awww I cant wait to hear what you think!!!! Hope you and your children have so much fun! xxxx

  3. Alison
    January 18, 2023 / 3:39 pm

    Already made and they are so easy and tastes delish. I was pleasantly surprised how they turned out. Hence 5 stars.

    • January 19, 2023 / 4:09 pm

      Helloo, THANK YOU! What amazing feedback, I’m sooo happy you loved them! I am soo impressed by this recipe as they just taste like regular doughnuts haha! Thanks again for your amazing feedback xx

  4. Lydia Wood
    January 21, 2023 / 11:38 am

    Just made them for breakfast and they were really tasty. Thankyou for the recipe🙂

    • January 22, 2023 / 10:00 pm

      Helloo, Aw i am so happy you enjoyed!!! Thank you so so much! xx

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