pumpkin air fryer doughnuts

Okay serious question. Is it “doughnut” or “donut”?


In my opinion “donut” looks like a fake, lazy version of a real word. Like when people say “ur” instead of “you’re” in a text. This is very high on my admittedly very long list of pet peeves.

So I’m sticking with “doughnut”. Plus these are a little high maintenance so I feel the extra letters have been earned.

I’ve been making this pumpkin bread on the regular, baking two loaves at a time because it somehow gets even better as it ages. And when I failed at the pumpkin whoopie pies I ended up with a batch of the frosting, which is incredible and could not be wasted. So for a while I was slathering frosting on slices of pumpkin bread, but decided it could serve a higher purpose.

I’m not even a doughnut person but this idea came to me and I had to make it happen. Plus I hadn’t pulled out my air fryer in a hot second so I figured I could put it to good use!

Pumpkin Air Fryer Doughnuts

for the dough

1 1/4 tsp dry active yeast

3 tbs warm water

pinch of sugar

2 cups flour (I used half all purpose and half whole wheat)

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

pinch of salt

1/4 cup whole milk

2 tbs butter

1 egg

1/4 cup pumpkin puree

for the filling

1 stick softened butter

8 oz brick softened cream cheese

1/2 of a 7 oz container of marshmallow fluff

2 cups powdered sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

Combine the yeast, warm water, and pinch of sugar. Let it sit until it starts to get foamy. In a separate bowl, combine the flour with the cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.

Warm the milk and the butter either on the stove or in the microwave. If you do it in the microwave, just let it go for 8-10 seconds at a time until the butter is melted so the milk doesn’t curdle. It doesn’t need to be hot. Add the egg and the pumpkin puree and combine, then add that to the yeast. Using a dough hook, incorporate your dry ingredients until the dough is formed and pulls away from the side of the bowl. Let it rise for an hour.


The filling can be made any time and refrigerated! Just combine the butter, cream cheese and fluff with a hand mixer or whisk attachment. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg and combine until smooth.

Spritz the basket with a little cooking spray. Depending on how big you want your doughnuts and how big your air fryer is, you can tear off small pieces, roll them into balls, and fry for 8-10 minutes at 400. I rolled mine in cinnamon sugar before I stuck them in the air fryer, too. You may want to turn them once halfway through.


Poke a hole in each doughnut and fill using a pastry bag or, in my case, a ziplock with the corner cut off.

These are definitely best when eaten right away, but any dough you don’t use can be refrigerated. Just pull it out an hour or so before you want to make some more so that it can come to room temperature.


After a semi-traumatic weigh-in, I tried to fill a couple of these with Chobani’s pumpkin flavored Greek yogurt instead of the frosting. Shockingly, they weren’t nearly as good.


But Louise got to lick the inside of that yogurt container (her #1 favorite yummy treat), and I got to lick the frosting spatula. The GS said “You should make these for other people.” Everybody wins.


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