I made these easy air fryer donuts for Valentine’s Day already this week because 1) we love donuts and 2) most likely we will busy with a little baby on this year’s actual 14 February. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t enjoy freshly made donuts as often as possible.
While I like Valentine’s Day, it is not for the gifts or fancy dinners. More as a reminder to celebrate romance and to forget everyday life every now and then. Also, the decorations are cute when it is mid-February and there have been too many grey and cold winter days. And, of course, I am a big fan of Valentine’s Day candy. So I really enjoyed using some candy to decorate the donuts – a handful of candy for the donuts, another handful straight into my mouth … You could also use gummies or sprinkles as decorations.
Recently, I have also used our air fryer more and gotten the knack of it. To be honest, I have never deep-fried donuts, but you could obviously do that. At this point I find using the air fryer easy – we use the air fryer lid on our Instant Pot – because it works so efficiently and it doesn’t create a mess. I put little non-stick steamer pads on the bottom, which really prevent the worst. Plus they are reusable. Our air fryer fits only two donuts at a time, but that is fine with me.
I decided to keep the donuts as a whole and not cut out the middle because that allowed me to spread more frosting on the top. But you could, of course, cut out the donut holes. Just remember to reduce the frying time in that case.
The frosting is super easy to make. The jello powder gives it all the taste and color. This time I chose strawberry, but I imagine other flavors like raspberry or cherry to be just as good. When you whip the frosting, make sure that the heavy cream is just out of the fridge. To be on the safe side, you could even put the whisk into the freezer for a few minutes. It just works better and faster to whisk up the cream when everything as as cold as possible.
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Easy Air Fryer Donuts for Valentine’s Day
For the donuts:
- 300 g or 1 1/3 cups + 2 tbsp. flour
- 50 g or 1/2 cupsugar
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 egg
- 130 ml or 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp. milk
- 50 g or 4 tbsp. butter
- 1 package 7 g dry yeast
- vegetable oil
For the frosting
- 240 ml or 1 cup heavy cream, cold from the fridge
- 25 g or 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tbsp. strawberry jello powder
For the decoration
- 1 bag M&Ms Cupid Mix
- 1 bag Conversation Hearts
- In a bowl mix the flour, sugar and salt.
- Add the egg and milk.
- Melt the butter and mix it with the other ingredients.
- Add the dry yeast. Knead the dough for several minutes until it is smooth.
- Take it out of the bowl and spread a bit of vegetable oil in the bowl before putting it back inside.
- Cover the bowl and put it in a warm place for the dough to rise. Let rise for about 2 hours.
- Then roll the dough out on a floured surface or a silicone mat, ca. 1 to 1.5 cm thick.
- Cut out 12 heart donuts.
- Put them on a cookie sheet and brush them with vegetable oil. Let them rise in a warm place for another ca. 45 to 60 minutes.
- Heat the air fryer to 180 °C (or 350 °F).
- Fry the donuts in batches for 5 minutes. Allow the donuts to cool.
- For the frosting, put the cold heavy cream, the powdered sugar and the strawberry jello powder in a bowl.
- Whisk for several minutes, slowly increasing the speed of your mixer. Once the cream is stiff, it is done.
- Spread the frosting on top of the donuts with a big knife or a cake knife.
- Then decorate them with the M&Ms and the Conversation Hearts.