Air Fryer Cinnamon Sugar Donuts

I am currently embroiled in a love affair with my new air fryer (yes, I’m such a kitchen geek)! I’d wanted one of these for a couple of years now, but had always talked myself out of buying one. I thought it would be just another kitchen gadget that I’d quickly loose interest in, that would remain on my kitchen counter taking up precious space. However, I could not have been more wrong. These things are amazing! I honestly wish I had bought one sooner. Somehow they add crispness and flavour to foods even without prior marinating (and I’m the marinating queen) and all with minimal oil.

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After lots of research I decided on the Ninja AF100UK as it seemed perfect for a family of four, and I have not been disappointed. It’s really easy to use (I used it without looking at the manual) and cleaning up is easy as the pan and grilling tray are non-stick and can be popped into the dishwasher. Honestly, I’ve found a way to use it every day since it arrived and the great thing is that I can make healthier meals for my family without compromising on the taste.

One of my kids’ favourite treats are freshly fried cinnamon sugar donuts (the kind I remember getting at the fair when I was little), so I decided to have a go at making a slightly healthier air fryer version. I kept the recipe pretty much the same as when I make them for the frying pan, but reduced the cooking time and brushed the surfaces of the donuts with melted butter after they were cooked to give the cinnamon sugar something to cling on to. The result is a tasty, sugary, soft donut that the kids could easily polish off in one sitting. And unlike the frying pan version there was no excess oil to have to somehow discard afterwards.


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Air Fryer Cinnamon Sugar Donuts Recipe

Makes: 12 ring donuts and 12 donut holes
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Leavening Time: 2 hours
Cooking Time: 3-5 minutes

INGREDIENTS

For the donuts:

  • 205 g strong white bread flour
  • 30 g caster sugar
  • 7 g dried fast action yeast
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 50 g salted butter melted, slightly cooled plus extra for greasing the bowl
  • 100 ml whole milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract        
  • 1 medium egg beaten

For greasing the donuts before and after air frying:

  • 6 tbsp melted butter

For the cinnamon sugar coating:

  • 50 g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

METHOD

  1. In a large bowl mix together the dry ingredients for the donuts (flour, sugar, yeast, nutmeg).
  2. Add the milk, vanilla extract and egg to the butter and mix well.
  3. Gradually add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients whilst mixing with a spoon until a slightly tacky dough is formed.
  4. Knead by hand or using dough hooks on a hand mixer for around 5-10 minutes until the dough is less tacky.
  5. Remove the dough from the bowl. Grease the inside of the bowl with some additional melted butter, it doesn’t matter if the bowl has some dough residue. Then place the dough back into the bowl and turn it over so that the top and bottom is greased.
  6. Cover the bowl with cling film and place a clean tea towel on top. Leave to rise for 90 minutes.
  7. Divide the dough into 12 even balls and spread them out on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Cover with cling film and a tea towel and leave to rise for a further 30 minutes.
  8. Remove the tea towel and cling film. Use a rolling pin to flattten the dough balls into rounds approximately 6 cm in diameter and 8 mm thick.
  9. Use a 3 cm diameter round cookie cutter to cut out donut holes. Set the donut holes aside.
  10. Brush tops of donuts and donut holes with a quarter of the remaining butter. Turn them over and brush the other side of the donuts and donut holes with another quarter of the butter.
  11. Heat the air fryer at 190 °C for 3 minutes.
  12. Cook the donuts in batches (I cooked 4 at a time) on the crisper tray in the air fryer for one minute per batch until the donuts just start to go a tiny bit brown. Cook the donut hole batch for around 45 seconds.
  13. Mix the cinnamon and sugar in a bowl.
  14. Brush the tops and bottoms of the donuts and donut holes with the remaining butter, then toss them one by one in the cinnamon sugar.

NOTES

  • These are best devoured while they are warm.
  • Don’t over cook as they will get hard.

Peaches and Cream Cake

This is the cake that I made for my birthday this year and it was a winner with my family. It has a light and fluffy sponge with a hint of cinnamon. It is filled with whipped cream and chopped peaches. And it is topped with a little more cream and sliced peaches.

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I’ve always loved cream cakes and savoury dishes with creamy sauces, but over the years I’ve found that I’ve become less tolerant to dairy products. So I tried to avoid these creamy foods as much as I could (though I would suffer for ice cream and cheesecake on occasion). However, I recently discovered Elmlea Plant Double Cream, and it’s been a game changer – I can now enjoy the dishes I’d once been avoiding without risk of feeling uncomfortable afterwards. Elmlea Plant Double cream works well in cream teas and coffees, in creamy pasta alfredo sauce and it’s a dream in this peaches and cream cake. It’s definitely worth a try whether you’re dairy intolerant or not.


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Peaches and Cream Cake Recipe

Serves: 6 – 8

Preparation Time: 12 – 15 minutes

Baking Time: 25 – 30 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 160 g butter melted and cooled
  • 160 g self raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 0.25 tsp salt
  • 0.5 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 160 g caster sugar
  • 100 ml double cream or Elmlea Plant Double Cream
  • 200 g peach slices drained (around half a tin)

METHOD

  1. Pre heat oven to 170 °C fan (190 °C conventional oven).
  2. Grease and line two 18 cm round loose bottomed cake tin with baking paper. Brush the baking paper lightly with some additional melted butter. I used my favourite MasterClass Non-Stick Loose Base Cake Tin for this. These high quality tins are deep with a thick heavy base. The non-stick coating means they wash really well and still look like new after over a dozen baking projects. Click here for more details on the tin.
  3. Mix the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon together and set aside.
  4. Whisk the eggs and sugar together with a hand mixer for around 7-10 minutes, until the mixture has doubled in size and it is stiff.
  5. Fold in the butter with a spatula.
  6. Sift in the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon mixture a quarter at a time and lightly fold into the batter after each addition.
  7. Divide the batter between the two baking tins and bake for 25-30 minutes until the cakes start to come away from the sides and a skewer poked into the centre of each cake comes out clean.
  8. Remove the cakes from the oven and allow them to cool in the tins for around 10 minutes before removing from the tin and removing the baking paper. Leave to cool completely on a wire rack.
  9. In the meantime prepare the filling and topping. Reserve around 6 of the peach slices for the top of the cake. Chop the remaining slices into small chunks for the filling.
  10. Whip the cream using an electric whisk. Reserve a quarter of the cream for the top of the cake.
  11. When the cakes have cooled completely, spread or pipe the cream onto the top of one of the cakes. Sprinkle with the peach chunks. Add the remaining cream to the top of the cake and arrange the whole slices neatly on top.

Beef Meatball Curry

I used to associate meatballs with Italian food or IKEA 😉, but they are a lot more versatile than I initially thought. They work really well in this Indian inspired curry. The meatballs themselves are seasoned with onion and chilli, and the tomato-based sauce contains an aromatic blend of spices and creamy coconut milk which ensures full-on flavours with every bite.


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Beef Meatball Curry Recipe

Serves: 4

Preparation Time: 20 minutes

Cooking Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

INGREDIENTS

For the meatballs:

  • 1 tbsp light olive oil
  • 700 g lean beef mince
  • 0.5 large onion finely diced
  • 1 green chilli finely diced
  • 3 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1.5 tbsp dried coriander leaf
  • 1 tsp salt

For the curry sauce:

  • 1 tbsp light olive oil
  • 1.5 large onions finely diced
  • 4 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1 thumb sized piece ginger finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 0.5 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp chilli powder
  • 0.5 tsp mustard powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 400 g tin chopped tomato
  • 400 ml tin coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 180 g spinach

METHOD

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C fan (or 200°C conventional oven), line a baking tray with grease proof paper and brush with the oil. In a large bowl combine the mince, onion, chilli, garam masala, garlic powder and coriander leaf.
  2. Shape into 24 meatballs and spread them out on the prepared baking tray. Bake in the oven for around 30 minutes until the balls have browned turning halfway.
  3. In the meantime make the curry sauce. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan on a medium heat and fry the onion, garlic and ginger until softened for around 7 to 10 minutes.
  4. Pour in the spices (coriander, cumin, turmeric, chilli powder, mustard powder and cinnamon) and cook for a further 3 minutes.
  5. Add the chopped tomatoes and stir in the coconut milk.
  6. Add the cooked meatballs to the pan.
  7. Cook on a low heat with the lid on for 40 minutes. Be sure to stir the curry every 20 minutes.
  8. Add the spinach to the pan and cook for a further 10 minutes with the lid on until wilted.
  9. Season with salt and pepper.

NOTES

  • For an even more flavoursome meatball, prepare the meatballs the day before and leave overnight in the fridge to marinade.
  • This also works well with lamb mince.
  • I use mild chilli powder in this dish to make it toddler friendly, but if you like spice then you may want to use the hot (or extra hot) version.
  • Serve with steamed basmati rice and a side salad.