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Juliet’s awesome air-fried doughnuts!

What’s the secret to healthier doughnuts? An air fryer! Juliet Sear is changing the doughnut-making game today as she shows you how an air fryer can make cheaper and healthier versions of this classic sticky treat.

Airfryer Doughnuts

Makes 8 doughnuts


250g white bread flour

30g caster sugar

7g or sachet of dried yeast

60g unsalted butter, softened

110g whole milk, slightly warmed,

1 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract

1 medium egg

¼ tsp salt

Some low calorie or regular cooking spray (or melted butter if you prefer)

For the cinnamon sugar:

Cinnamon or Vanilla sugar

150g caster sugar (or use vanilla sugar if you like this made by leaving a vanilla pod in your sugar jar)

2 tbsp. ground cinnamon

2 tbsp. melted butter

For the chocolate glaze:

50g butter

150g plain chocolate chips or chopped chocolate

25g golden syrup, or honey

Sprinkles, chocolate curls or nuts - to decorate

For the classic glaze:

250g sifted icing sugar

90g unsalted butter

1 tsp vanilla extract

1-2 tablespoons hot water to loosen

Sprinkles (optional)


1. In a stand mixer with dough hook attachment combine the flour, sugar, salt then add the dried yeast and whisk through to distribute. 

2. Add the softened butter, egg, vanilla, and warm milk and with the mixer on a slow speed, bring the mix together, then once it’s combined into a shaggy dough, then allow mixer knead the dough on medium speed for about for 4-5 mins until it looks smooth and has formed a smooth and springy ball. (Add extra flour if it’s a bit sticky. You do want it to be a little sticky but come together well once kneaded.)

3. Alternatively if you do not have a stand mixer, do by hand in a large bowl, bring the ingredients together with your hand in a claw until it’s all shaggy then tip onto the surface and knead well for 10-15 minutes until you have a smooth and springy ball.

4. Leave the dough in a lightly buttered or oiled bowl covered with oiled cling or a damp tea towel in a warm place until almost doubled in size, (this can take between 45 minutes and 2 hours depending on the type of yeast you use and the room temperature.)

5. Meanwhile line a couple of baking trays with baking paper and lightly oil these and place to one side. 

6. Tip out the dough and knead a little by hand to knock back and then use a little flour and roll the dough out to about 1.5cms thickness using a rolling pin and cut out your circles and then a smaller circle to give you the hole. You can re-roll these scraps and use them all up.

7. Place on the baking trays making sure to leave plenty of room in between each doughnut as they will puff up a bit when rising and also during the bake. 

8. Cover the donuts loosely with lightly oiled cling film and leave for 30-40 mins until they have almost doubled in size, or you can put them in the fridge overnight to proof slowly, bring to room temp and allow to puff up and air fry them the next day.

9. When ready to cook, preheat your air fryer as per the instructions, I baked mine on a bake setting on 180c for 5 minutes, you might find the first couple you put in will give you an indication of how long you need to do them for.

For the toppings: It’s best to use your fingers or a couple of forks and completely immerse the donuts and holes in the glaze then set on a wire rack with something under to catch the drips. Set aside and leave for as long as you can before devouring! 

Cinnamon Sugar:

1. Once they come out of the air fryer, whilst still warm, brush each doughnut in the melted butter and then roll into the sugar.

2. Set on a rack and eat when fresh.

Chocolate Glaze:

1. Heat all the glaze ingredients in a small pan on a very gentle low heat, stirring well until everything is shiny and smooth. 

2. Place in a shallow bowl wide enough to accommodate your largest donut and tip each one in, holding flat to glaze the top of each donut. 

3. Add sprinkles, chocolate curls, nuts or whatever you like while the glaze is wet and set on a rack and leave until serving (or eat immediately).

Classic Glaze:

1. While the donuts are frying, melt the butter gently in a medium saucepan, then add in the sugar and beat until smooth with a whisk. 

2. Add the vanilla and a little water to loosen. You want it to be firly runny so most of it will run off and just leave a glistening glaze to completely coat.

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