Air Fryer Chocolate Donut Holes are soft, cakey bite-sized treats that take less than 20 minutes to make, and they turn out delectable. These soft and chewy chocolate treats make for a fantastic breakfast or even a dessert after dinner.
My family has always been fans of sweets for breakfast. Donuts are a family favorite in our household. I am always looking for a new twist on a breakfast staple to bring a little excitement to the breakfast table.
These air fryer chocolate donut holes did not disappoint. My husband said he prefers these over store-bought donuts any day of the week.
How to make donut holes in the air fryer
Making donut holes in your air fryer is so simple because of how easy they are to make. Even the kids can help you make this delicious treat. We love to eat these as a dessert, but you could also make them for breakfast.
Making donut holes in the air fryer is simple. Just mix up for your donut hole mix, and get your air fryer ready.
To make sure your air fryer is ready to cook these mouthwatering morsels, make sure that you preheat your air fryer to 370 degrees Fahrenheit.
Don’t forget to pull out your cooking spray and lightly coat your air fryer basket so that your donut holes do not stick.
Now that your air fryer is ready, it’s time to follow the recipe below and mix up a batch of your donut hole batter.
While your first batch of donut holes are toasting away in your air fryer, grab the ingredients and get ready to make a sweet and sticky glaze.
Why make donut holes in the air fryer
I know what you are thinking. Why do I need to make donut holes in the air fryer when I can just go down the street and grab some from the local donut shop? I’ve got a couple reasons why you will want to dig into these sweet bite-sized pastries.
First, by using an air fryer, you reduce the amount of oil that you need. Even though you are no longer frying your food in vats of oil, with an air fryer, you still get that same crispy texture and air-fried taste without all the grease.
I don’t know about you, but I’m always looking for ways to reduce the amount of calorie-laden oil that my family consumes.
Not only do you reduce the oil when you use an air fryer, but by extension, that means that you are reducing the calories in your recipe. I will take any type of calorie savings that I can get.
What you do with that calorie saving is up to you. You could take a calorie reduction to mean that you can eat more. Don’t worry, we won’t judge you if you do.
Lastly, when you use your air fryer, you are not cooking oil which can cause your house to retain that fried grease smell.
I love that by using the air fryer, I still get the crunchy texture that I crave from fried foods without the strong fried smell that can sink into the fabrics in your house.
No matter which one of these three reasons is your favorite, you won’t regret using your air fryer to make these delicious donut holes.
How do I shape donut holes
To shape your donut holes and get uniformed-sized balls, here’s what you need to know. Roll the entire batch of dough into a large ball.
Coat your counter, or cutting board in a light dusting of flour to prevent your dough from sticking to your work surface. Once you have lightly dusted your surface, roll your dough flat until it is about ½ inch thick.
Make sure to roll your dough evenly so that you get a uniform thickness through the entire dough. Next, you will want to use a 2 inch round biscuit or cookie cutter and cut circles into your rolled-out dough.
Once you have your dough cut into two-inch circles, Take each circle, and then gently roll the circle into a ball in the palm of your hand. Smooth out the surface of your donut hole to make the shape and size uniform.
Now you are ready to cook your chewy delectable donuts.
Can I fill the air fryer chocolate donut holes
I have a treat for you! Once you bake these delicious small doughnuts, you can fill them to make them even tastier. I filled mine with caramel sauce. I love the gooey center when you bite into a caramel-filled donut hole.
If you want to fill your donut hole with caramel sauce, look for a high-quality caramel sauce. I personally prefer Torani caramel sauce.
I buy my Torani sauce at my local grocery store, but if you can’t find it in your local store, you can grab a bottle here on Amazon.
You can also make a homemade caramel sauce if you have the energy to do so. I like to take shortcuts when I can, and the Torani sauce has a fantastic texture, so it’s still my go-to when I want a simple caramel sauce.
Now that you have your sauce, it’s time to pipe the center of your donut hole. You will need a piping bag to fill these delicious dessert bites.
We tried cutting up caramels and putting them inside each donut hole before placing them inside the air fryer. We just weren't as happy with the results like when the caramel was piped in the donut, almost right after coming out of the air fryer.
I urge you to try it. Maybe you'll have better results than we did.
Regardless, always fill your donut holes before you dip them in the glaze. The glaze will work to seal your donut hole to prevent any of the filling from slipping out.
Do not forget to come back and tell me what you filled your donut holes with and let me know how they turned out.
Other things I can fill my donut holes with
- Chocolate frosting
- Buttercream frosting
- Boston cream filling or custard
- Chocolate sauce, white or milk chocolate
Do I need yeast to make air fryer donut holes
No, there is no need for yeast for this recipe. I wanted to keep this recipe simple but yet delicious. So, I skipped the yeast for these donut holes as I know that sometimes baking with yeast can be overwhelming.
Even though I left the yeast out of these donut holes, they still taste just like a fresh donut from your local bakery.
Can I freeze air fryer donut holes
Certainly! Air Fryer chocolate donut holes freeze well. You will want to take note, though, that to freeze them, you need to ensure that they are unfilled and unglazed.
To freeze your donut holes, allow them to completely come and come to room temperature. Once they have cooled completely, place them on a baking sheet or freezer-safe plate with at least one inch of space between your donuts. Place your baking sheet or plate inside the freezer and allow your donut holes to harden.
Once your donut holes have hardened, place them in an airtight container that is freezer safe. You could use a freezer bag or a Rubbermaid style freezer-safe container.
In order to keep your donut holes fresh tasting, it is essential that you keep them away from the air. Air will make your donut hole become hard and dry out.
Can I make air fryer donut holes ahead
Air Fryer donut holes will stay fresh for about 24 hours if they are not frozen. So, yes, you can make your air fryer chocolate donut holes ahead.
However, I do not recommend filling your freshly baked donut holes if you do not plan to eat them right away. The caramel sauce can make your donut holes soggy if it is applied too quickly.
What air fryer should I buy
Are you in the market for a new air fryer? I have a few types for you. To make these donut holes, you can use a basket-style air fryer or even the oven-style fryer.
I prefer the basket style as I think it gives me the best results when cooking and baking in my air fryer. Either air fryer will work for this yummy recipe.
If you are looking for a basket-style air fryer, here is the model that I currently own, and let me just say, this model has really stood up to the test of time. I use this air fryer multiple times per week.
Ingredients needed for air fryer chocolate donut holes
Ready to make your chocolate donut holes? Here is what you need to gather to get started on these yummy bite-sized treats.
- all-purpose flour
- cocoa powder
- jello chocolate pudding
- baking powder
- baking soda
- vanilla extract
- vanilla yogurt
- heavy cream
- unsalted butter
- caramel sauce
Directions for air fryer chocolate donut holes
Step 1. In a large mixing bowl, sift to combine flour, cocoa powder, pudding mix, baking powder, and baking soda.
Step 2. In a separate bowl, whisk vanilla extract, yogurt, eggs, cream, and melted butter. Combine the two bowls and stir with a wooden spoon or spatula to form a smooth dough.
Step 3. Knead the dough with your hands and form it into a large ball. Lightly flour a cutting board or smooth work surface. Roll the dough out to ½” thickness. Use a 2” cookie or biscuit cutter to cut rounds into the dough.
Step 4. Repeat this step with the dough scraps.
Step 5. Roll dough rounds into balls using your palms.
Step 6. Preheat the air fryer to 370 degrees for 5 minutes.
Step 7. Lightly spray the air fryer basket with non-stick cooking spray.
Step 8. Arrange the donut holes in a single layer on the basket, leave room between the donuts, so they do not stick, about ½”.
Spray donuts with canola oil and cook for 5 minutes. Stop halfway through and spray donuts again, this helps prevent cracking.
Step 9. Pour caramel sauce into a piping bag, or use a resealable bag Cut a small hole in the corner of the bag.
Step 10. Remove donuts from the air fryer and let cool for 5 minutes. Once cooled, use the handle of a fork or spoon to poke a small hole in the donut.
Insert the tip of the piping bag or resealable into the hole and gently squeeze to fill with caramel sauce.
Step 11. Serve and enjoy!
What should I dip air fryer donut holes in
Ready to take your air fryer donut holes up a notch? That’s where this step of the recipe comes in handy. Take your freshly cooked chocolate donut holes and dip them into the creamy and sweet glaze recipe that I’ve listed below.
Now, you have the perfect soft and sweet donut holes that are ready to eat.
Want to change up what you dip your donut holes in? I have some suggestions for you.
- Powdered sugar
- Maple glaze
- Cinnamon and sugar mixture
- Chocolate glaze
Few things in life are better than a warm, fresh doughnut, but it’s no secret that deep frying at home is a pain. Save yourself a mess (not to mention, some calories/fat) by breaking out the air fryer for these cakey glazed doughnut holes.
More Delicious Air Fryer Recipes
Air Fryer Chocolate Donut Holes with Glaze Video
Air Fryer Chocolate Donut Holes with Glaze
- 2 inch round cookie cutter
- piping bag if filling with caramel
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- ⅔ cup heavy cream
- Get out and measure all of your ingredients.
- In a large mixing bowl, sift to combine flour, cocoa powder, pudding mix, baking powder, and baking soda.
- Make sure mixture is blended.
- In a separate bowl, whisk vanilla extract, yogurt, eggs, cream, and melted butter.
- Whisk until blended.
- Combine the two bowls and stir with a wooden spoon or spatula to form a smooth dough.
- Knead the dough with your hands and form into a large ball.
- Lightly flour a cutting board or smooth work surface. Roll the dough out to ½” thickness.
- Use a 2 inch cookie or biscuit cutter to cut rounds into the dough.
- Roll dough rounds into balls using your palms.Repeat this step with the dough scraps.
- Preheat the air fryer to 370 degrees for 5 minutes.
- Lightly spray the air fryer basket with non-stick cooking spray. Arrange the donut holes in a single layer on the basket, leave room between the donuts so they do not stick, about ½”.
- Spray donuts with canola oil and cook for 5 minutes. Stop halfway through and spray donuts again, this helps prevent cracking.
If piping in caramel sauce
- Pour caramel sauce into a piping bag, or use a resealable bag. Cut a small hole in the corner of the bag.
- Remove donuts from the air fryer and let cool for 5 minutes. Once cooled, use the handle of a fork or spoon to poke a small hole in the donut. Insert the tip of the piping bag or resealable into the hole and gently squeeze to fill with caramel sauce.
If not piping in caramel sauce
- Remove donuts from the air fryer and let cool for 5 minutes.
- In a small bowl combine powdered sugar and heavy cream.
- Stir with a whisk until blended.
- Once donuts are totally cool, dip once.
- Roll donut around until covered in glaze.
- Keep dunking donuts in glaze until done.
- Place on wire rack over a sheet tray to let excess drip off.
- Enjoy every bite! With or without glaze.
- With or without caramel. Delicious!