Families With Grace

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Air fryer doughnuts recipe

Air fryer doughnuts are quick, easy and tasty!

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About seven years ago, I came across a recipe on Pinterest for doughnuts made from canned biscuits. I decided to give them a try one Saturday morning by frying them in oil in a skillet on my stovetop.

I dipped them in melted butter and cinnamon and sugar. They made a tasty treat, but they had a bit of a grease flavor to them. I didn’t make them again.

Air fry doughnut recipe Pinterest image

Fast forward to quarantine and going for fresh doughnuts was impossible for a long time. (In fact, we are few months into the pandemic, and I still haven’t done so since we are continuing to self-isolate.) When a cousin sent me a recipe for making the same doughnuts in the air fryer, I decided to give them a try again.

I’m in love with my air fryer and trying to come up with new things to make for my family in being at home and cooking even more than usual.

The instructions were a bit vague, so I did some experimenting. I had trouble with the dough sticking to the air fryer basket. Then they were in too long and got burnt. I used the flaky layer biscuits, and they didn’t stay together quite as well.

I ended up going through two cans of biscuits and even made a few on the stovetop to compare what we liked best. My whole family preferred the air fryer doughnuts because there wasn’t an oily taste or any greasiness.

My family was quite happy to be my taste testers as I continued tweaking the preparation to find out the best way to make air fryer doughnuts. I took loads of photos, because I knew I had to share the recipe.

These air fryer doughnuts don’t taste like a doughnut you’d get at your local bakery, per se, but they are delectable breakfast treats that you’ll enjoy. They only need a few ingredients and are super easy to make as well.

Ingredients for the air fryer doughnuts recipe: Air fryer, canned biscuits, ground cinnamon, sugar and butter

The trickiest part is making sure the dough doesn’t stick to your air fryer basket. Air fryer baskets are usually non-stick surfaces. As such, you shouldn’t use non-stick cooking spray. It can mess up the non-stick surface and burn off too quickly to work.

I tried rubbing my basket with vegetable oil the first time and that didn’t work so great. I found that the best way to keep the dough from sticking is by covering the basket with parchment paper. You can buy parchment paper inserts for air fryer baskets, but I didn’t have any. So, I just trimmed a piece of parchment paper and used a fork to poke holes all throughout it. It’s not beautiful, but it works.

Air fry doughnut recipe air fryer basket

Next open your biscuits and prepare the dough. (I suggest NOT using biscuit dough that is flaky layers.) I set mine up on the counter on top of aluminum foil or wax paper. You could also use a plate or a cutting board. It doesn’t matter.

The first step is to get the doughnut shape. The easiest and simplest way to do this is with a clean cap from a bottle of water or soda. Press the cap down in the center of each biscuit, gently, but firmly. Gently push the center of the doughnut out. My kids loved doing this part. Save the centers to make doughnut holes with!

Cutting out the "holes" for the Air fry doughnut recipe
The prepped dough for the air fry doughnut recipe

Now you’re ready to get cooking. Place the doughnuts in your air fryer basket without touching each other. I can fit three full-sized doughnuts in my air fryer at one time.

Air fry doughnuts in the air fryer basket

Put the doughnuts into the air fryer at 400-degrees (F) and set it for eight minutes. Set a timer for four minutes.

While the doughnuts are cooking, make sure your station is set up for managing the doughnuts once they are cooked. I set up two paper plates: one for the hot doughnuts and one for the finished doughnuts. Melt your butter or margarine in a small bowl and mix your cinnamon sugar in another small bowl. I line them up beside the air fryer and hot pad I use to put the air fryer basket on.

Air fry doughnut cooking setup with air fryer, butter dipping station and cinnamon sugar station

After the doughnuts have cooked for four minutes, pull them out. They should be very lightly browned on top and still doughy on the bottom.

Air fry doughnuts halfway finished

Use tongs to gently turn the doughnuts over and put the basket back in the air fryer for the remaining four minutes. The doughnuts should be golden brown when time is up. If they aren’t, you may need to adjust your time and/or temperature.

Air fry doughnuts all finished

Put the hot doughnuts out onto a plate to cool for minute or so. I usually get my next round of dough going in the air fryer while letting them cool enough I can touch them.

Dip the doughnuts on each side in the melted butter or margarine.

Air fry doughnuts in melted butter

Next, dip them in the cinnamon sugar on both sides. I sometimes use a spoon or my fingers to spread more cinnamon sugar on them so that they get well covered.

Dredging the Air fry doughnut in cinnamon and sugar

(SIDE NOTE: I tried using Nutella as icing on a few of the air fryer doughnuts the first time around and we all liked cinnamon sugar much better. And that’s coming from a chocoholic!)

Don’t forget to make your doughnut holes as well. I roll mine so they turn into balls.

Air fry doughnut holes dough

The way it works out with my air fryer, I make two baskets of three large air fryer doughnuts and then one basket with two large doughnuts and all the doughnut holes. I found the doughnut holes did OK at the same time and temperature as the big ones, but you might want to check them adjust and make adjustments as needed.

Cooking air fryer doughnuts and air fryer doughnut holes

These air fryer doughnuts are delicious when they are warm, but they are also good at room temperature.

A finished air fry doughnut

I love mine with a good, cold glass of white milk, though chocolate milk would be good, too!

Air fry doughnuts on a plate with a glass of ice cold milk

Air fryer doughnuts


  • 1 can of 8 jumbo buttermilk biscuits not the flaky kind
  • 1 stick of butter or margarine melted
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon


  • Prepare the air fryer basket by covering it with parchment paper. If you don't have specific air fryer parchment paper liners (I don't!), then cut a piece of parchment paper to fit your air fryer basket and put holes in it. If you don't have parchment paper, grease the air fryer basket with cooking oil, butter or shortening. Do NOT use non-stick cooking spray because it will damage the non-stick coating on your air fryer basket.
  • Prepare your dough by opening and separating the biscuits. Use a clean lid from a water or soda bottle and gently but firmly press it down into the center of each biscuit to cut out a hole. Set aside the dough you cut out to make doughnut holes with.
  • Put the dough into the air fryer basket without any of the edges touching each other or the sides of the air fryer basket. Set the temperature for 400-degrees (F) and time for 8 minutes.
  • Set a timer for 4 minutes.
  • While the dough starts cooking, melt the butter in a small bowl.
  • Mix together the cinnamon and sugar in a second small bowl.
  • At the 4-minute mark, open the air fryer and gently flip the doughnuts over so they cook evenly on both sides.
  • When the time is up, the air fryer doughnuts should be golden brown. Let them cool just enough so that you can touch them. Dip both sides of the doughnut first in the melt butter or margarine and then repeat the same way in the cinnamon sugar. You can use your fingers or a spoon to help put even more cinnamon sugar over the doughnut as well.
  • Serve the doughnuts right away while warm or at room temperature.

3 trendy small appliances worth the cabinet space

These three small appliances make my life easier!

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Nobody wants to take up kitchen counter or cabinet space with small appliances they won't use. But these three small appliances are more than worth it! #AirFryer #InstantPot #StandMixer #GiftIdea #HomeCooking #SmallAppliances

I’m protective of my kitchen cabinet and countertop space. I must be convinced something is worth it and I’ll actually use it to try to find any precious space for it. Some small appliances are trendy and just used for one thing, which makes them hard to justify. But others are totally worth it. 

With that in mind, I’ve put together a list of three trendy small appliances I have in my kitchen that I love and use regularly. They are all worth the space they take. All of them are great Christmas gifts (in fact, two were given to me as Christmas gifts!).

Air Fryer

Last Christmas, my mother-in-law gave me an air fryer. I’d never heard of air fryers before and wasn’t sure what they were all about. Since she literally writes cookbooks and is all the time coming up with her own recipes, I took her word for it that this was something that would work well. And she was right! We use our air fryer on average of once a week.

Our family likes crispy food, but we are also try to be health conscious. Instead of deep-frying foods like french fries, we opted to bake them. Usually oven-baked fries take a good 25 to 30 minutes to get crispy. The air fryer, though, does it in about 10 to 15 minutes. They come out crispy, but not greasy.

We’ve used it for french fries, sweet potato fries, chicken nuggets, mozzarella sticks, taquitos, tater tots, french toast stick bites and pizza rolls.

I keep the cooking chart from the manual handy, because oftentimes the air fryer instructions are different than what’s on the package as far as temperature and times go.

That said, I also have to tell you how easy the air fryer is to clean. The basket has a non-stick finish and everything easily wipes out of it. I was shocked at how easily it cleaned up the first time we made pizza rolls in it and some of the inner gooeyness leaked out. I thought I’d be scrubbing for a while, but one swipe and it came off. Nice!

The only additional tip I follow is to shake the food about every five minutes like it says to do in the instructions. It really does help the food cook evenly. Otherwise, the top pieces almost burn while the bottom ones stay soggy.

Stand Mixer

Six years ago, I was incredibly pregnant with my second baby at Christmas and on modified bedrest when my parents gave me a KitchenAid Artisan stand mixer in empire red. I couldn’t wait to use it, but wait I did because of the whole modified bedrest thing. Since then, however, I have had plenty of time to use it. I’ve fallen in love with it and even named it. Based on its beautiful ruby red color, I refer to my stand mixer as Dorothy. My kids talk to her and I make her talk back. I use Dorothy for so many things!

When I asked for a stand mixer, I didn’t even really know all I could and would do with it. I just knew it would help with my baking. Now, I use it to mix all kinds of things like cookie dough, cake batter, muffin batter, brownie batter, cookie bar batter, bread dough and pizza dough. I also use it to easily shred chicken.

Since getting Dorothy, I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, which makes stirring for a while sometimes painful. Dorothy helps me out! 

I had also never made any yeast bread before Dorothy. I decided to give it a try. Dorothy and I have journeyed together to really learn how yeast doughs work and how to best make them. I can now bake homemade yeast bread, rolls and pizza dough easily. This is saying quite a lot for me since I once  ruined Hamburger Helper so badly in our early days of marriage that we had to go to McDonald’s for dinner.

I love my stand mixer so much that I couldn’t even bare to pack her for the six months we lived at my parents’ house while our home was being built.

The one potential drawback about the stand mixer is that it is heavy. I leave mine in the corner of my countertop so I’m not lifting it up and down in and out of cabinets. The bowl and attachments are dishwasher safe. I’ve washed them in the dishwasher many times.

You can also buy additional attachments and accessories for these mixers to make homemade pasta and other goodies. I haven’t actually tried any of those, but according to friends and cooking shows they work well.

Instant Pot

Last Christmas, Instant Pots were all the rage. A couple of months after Christmas, I found a good price on an Instant Pot Duo Mini. I decided to give it a try. Everyone I had talked with about them had told me the joys of cooking things so quickly in them, but mostly I heard about dishes like pot roast, pork chops and beef. My husband and son won’t eat much meat at all, so I don’t make a lot of meat. I decided that the mini Instant Pot would work well for my family of four since I didn’t plan to cook large meats in it.

The first thing I made was boiled eggs. Seriously, it is awesome for boiled eggs! My Instant Pot takes about 5 minutes to come to pressure for them and then cooks them in 6 minutes. And the shells come off incredibly easy.

Then I decided to try making chicken breasts in it. I hadn’t made them before, because my husband won’t eat them.

I now regularly make chicken in my Instant Pot for my daughter and me. It cooks quickly and if it’s frozen, I don’t even have to thaw it first! I shred it up in my stand mixer and it’s perfect for sandwiches or to add to pasta dishes or whatever. My daughter likes it most with some barbeque sauce or honey mustard (or both!) mixed in and then just eats it with a spoon. The shredded chicken works especially well for her when her teeth are sore from her braces. I send in her hot Thermos for lunch, too.

Pasta is the only thing I’ve tried and not liked in the Instant Pot. The pasta tasted fine, but it seemed like more trouble than it was worth. I ended up with hot pasta water going everywhere and the time it took to come to pressure and cook was pretty comparable to boiling pasta on the stove.

I’m still working on finding additional Instant Pot recipes for  my non-meat eaters, but even just for the boiled eggs and chicken, I am happy to find room in my kitchen cabinets for my Instant Pot mini. They’re that easy — and good!

What small appliances do you love?

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