Maple donuts are everything you look for in a cozy fall pastry: they’re sweet, rich, spongy, warming, and super easy to make. Perfect for crisp September mornings or overcast October evenings, these homemade maple-glazed spice donuts are sure to be a crowd pleaser!
Making these homemade maple air fryer doughnuts is as easy as whipping up a quick dough, forming your donuts, popping your pastries into a preheated air fryer, and finally dipping your warm and crispy donuts into a homemade maple glaze.
All you really need are a few pantry staples, plenty of maple syrup, and an air fryer. In no time you’ll have a batch of warm, chewy, fall-inspired donuts with a delicious maple flavor that is guaranteed to please!
No matter how you choose to serve these sweet, syrupy, and warming donuts I know they’ll be a big hit!
Why You’ll Love These Donuts
You’re going to LOVE these maple donuts because they are:
- Healthier than regular deep-fried donuts because they are made in an air fryer
- Made with ingredients you likely already have in your kitchen
- 100% kid-friendly
- Easily adjusted to be made gluten-free
- All-Purpose Flour—common baking flour that adds chew and stability to these spongy donuts.
- Whole Milk—adds extra chew and richness to these maple donuts, but really any kind of cow’s or plant-based milk will work.
- Active Dry Yeast—can be found in the baking aisle of most grocery stores; will help your donut dough to rise evenly and thoroughly.
- Sugar—adds sweetness and a slight caramel flavor to your finished maple donuts.
- An Egg—acts as a binding agent to bring all of your other dough ingredients together.
- Salted Butter—when melted adds flavor and richness to these air fryer donuts.
- Maple Syrup—I prefer to use 100% pure maple syrup as I find it has the best flavor.
- Warming Spices—cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and vanilla bring out the maple undertones in your donut dough.
🔪 How To Make Air Fryer Maple Donuts
Begin making these sticky sweet air fryer donuts by blooming your yeast. To do this, combine your warm milk, yeast, and 1 teaspoon of sugar in a small bowl. Cover and let the mixture sit until foamy.
In a larger bowl, combine your flour, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and remaining sugar. Whisk briefly before adding your bloomed yeast mixture, egg, vanilla, melted butter, and maple syrup.
Continue whisking this mixture until the dough is uniform and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough until it’s smooth and elastic. Place your kneaded dough back into your bowl, cover it, and allow the dough to rise for 30 minutes. Once risen, shape your donuts, place them onto a baking sheet, and allow to rise for an additional 30 minutes.
While your donuts are rising, make your maple glaze by combining your confectioners’ sugar, maple syrup, and softened butter. The resulting mixture will be somewhere between a thick glaze and a thin frosting.
Three at a time, place your risen maple donuts into the basked of a preheated air fryer. Spray the tops of your donuts with a bit of cooking spray before air frying them at 350°F for 3 minutes.
Allow your donuts to cool slightly before dipping the top of each into your maple glaze. Serve warm and enjoy!
If you really want to go all out, top the glazed doughnuts with bits of crispy bacon.
These versatile donuts can be served in a variety of different settings! Try serving your maple donuts alongside your favorite breakfast staples for a fun fall-themed breakfast. (It would go great with a Cinnamon Roll Casserole, a Cheesy Breakfast Casserole, and some fresh fruit.)
Alternatively, you could pair your air fryer donuts with other individually portioned pastries and desserts such as hand pies, cupcakes, or cookies to create a cute and cozy dessert bar. (I think they would pair nicely with Ooey Gooey Butter Cake, Carrot Cupcakes, and Southern Pound Cake.)
In this recipe, the maple glaze is made using powdered sugar, maple syrup, and butter.
Yes! Even after a few minutes of vigorous kneading, your donut dough will still be a tad sticky. As long as the dough is sticking to itself more than it’s sticking to your hands, it’s fine!
Although I have never tried making these donuts gluten-free, I would imagine that you could do so by subbing out the all-purpose flour for your favorite gluten-free flour.
Absolutely! Start by making your dough as normal and forming your donuts. Instead of placing your donuts into an air fryer, gently dip them into a pot of 375°F oil and allow them to cook for 2-3 minutes per side or until golden brown. Allow your donuts to drip dry before coating them in your glaze.
These sweet, cozy donuts make the perfect fall breakfast, dessert, or after-school snack. I recommend serving them alongside a tall glass of cold milk and other popular breakfast items such as scrambled eggs, hash browns, sausage or bacon, and other fall-inspired pastries!
Air Fryer Maple Donuts
- Air Fryer
- 1 cup milk warm
- 2 ½ teaspoon dry active yeast
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 large egg at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup butter (½ stick) melted
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 2 ½ tablespoon butter softened
- Combine milk, yeast, and 1 teaspoon of sugar in a small bowl. Allow the mixture to sit until it begins to foam, about 5 minutes.
- Combine flour, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and remaining sugar. Add the yeast mixture, egg, vanilla, melted butter, and maple syrup. Whisk together until the components are fully incorporated and no clumps of flour remain.
- Knead the dough by hand on a lightly floured surface until it is only slightly sticky to the touch.
- Place the dough in a bowl that has been sprayed with non-stick spray, cover, and allow it to rise for 30 minutes.
- Roll dough into a ½-inch thick rectangle on a lightly floured surface and use a glass to cut out circles (approximately 4-inches in diameter).
- Cut out a small circle in the center of each doughnut using a butter knife or small glass.
- Let the cut doughnuts rise for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the maple glaze by combining powdered sugar, softened butter, and maple syrup. Whisk vigorously until smooth. Set the glaze aside.
- Preheat air fryer to 350° Fahrenheit.
- Place three doughnuts in the air fryer basket at a time and spritz with non-stick cooking spray. Bake for 3 minutes.
- Remove the doughnuts from the air fryer and repeat with remaining doughnuts.
- Let the doughnuts cool for 5 minnutes before dipping in the maple glaze.
Sandy Kozlowski says
I tried these donuts and they are delicious. I just want to note that in the directions, paragraph 2 there is no mention of the melted butter. I incorporated there. Also 3 min on one side was not enough. In the oil method you flip and cook additional minutes, so is that missing in the air fryer recipe?
Oops! Sorry about the melted butter – I have corrected the directions. The cooking time could vary, depending on the model of your air fryer. This recipe was tested in a Ninja Foodi and 3-4 minutes was all that was needed, no flipping required. Tip: It’s best to preheat the air fryer ahead of time. (This step can impact cook times. Also, it’s important to NOT cover the bottom of the air fryer basket because it can prevent the air from circulating properly.)
I appreciate your feedback and am glad that you liked the donuts.