Baking, Desserts, Outdoor Cooking

Air Fry Smoked Caramel Doughnuts

Cooking method:

Ninja Woodfire Electric BBQ Grill & Smoker
  • Prep Time: 2h 15 mins
  • Pre-Heat Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 21 mins
  • Total time: 2h 46 mins
  • Skill Advanced
  • Serves 8 people

Air Fry Smoked Caramel Doughnuts


Tip: Allergy Advice

This dish contains the following allergens: Wheat, Dairy, Milk, Eggs

Recipe tags


  • 200g plain flour, plus extra for kneading
  • 120g caster sugar, divided
  • Large pinch flaky sea salt
  • ½ tsp easy bake yeast
  • 100ml whole milk, warmed
  • 50g unsalted butter, softened at room temp
  • 1 medium egg
  • 250g premade caramel sauce

Cooking mode

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  • Step 1

    To make the dough, add the flour, 20g sugar, and salt to a medium bowl. Make a well in the centre and add the yeast. Pour the warmed milk into the well and let sit for a few minutes. 

  • Step 2

    Add the butter and egg and beat with a fork to break up. Continue mixing until a cohesive slightly sticky dough forms. Turn the dough out on a lightly floured surface for about 5 minutes, letting rest occasionally to relax and allow the flour to hydrate. Form the dough into a ball and return to the bowl, cover, and let rise until doubled in size (about 1 hour).

  • Step 3

    When the dough is doubled in size, divide into 8 even portions (about 60g each). Working one at a time on a lightly floured surface, roll each portion into a smooth ball. Line the Air Crisp basket with a sheet of parchment paper, then place the dough balls in the basket leave 2 to 3cm in between. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let prove for another 30 to 45 minutes, until doubled in size.  

  • Step 4

    To install the grill plate, position it flat on top of the heating element and gently press down until it sits into place. Add the caramel to a small saucepan, then place it on the grill plate and close the lid.

  • Step 5

    While holding the smoke box lid open, use the pellet scope to pour pellets into the smoker box until filled to the top. Then close the smoke box lid.

  • Step 6

    Turn dial to select SMOKER, set temperature to 120°C, and set time to 15 minutes. Select START/STOP to begin cooking (preheating is not needed). When finished cooking, carefully remove the pan with a dry oven mitt. Transfer the sauce to a bowl, add the flaky salt and cover the surface. Let cool completely and then place in the refrigerator to chill. 

  • Step 7

    Close the lid and turn dial to AIR CRISP, set temperature to 180°C, set time to 6 minutes. Select START/STOP to begin preheating (preheating will take approx. 5 minutes). When unit beeps to signify it is preheated and ADD FOOD is displayed, open lid and place the Air Fry Basket with the proved doughnuts onto the grill plate. Close lid to being cooking. 

  • Step 8

    When unit beeps and displays FLIP, open the hood and use silicone-tipped tongs to carefully flip the doughnuts. Close lid to continue cooking for the remaining time. 

  • Step 9

    When cooking is complete, transfer doughnuts to a large bowl with 100g sugar, tossing to coat, before moving to a plate. Let cool for 10 minutes and then use a cutlery knife to make a slit in the side of each, wiggling it around to open a hole in the middle. Put the cooled caramel sauce into a piping bag and fill each doughnut till it swells a little.