This no-fuss beignet recipe is a dream! Since there’s no yeast, all you need to do is mix the batter and prepare in your air fryer. You’ll want to try out these air fryer pumpkin beignets ASAP for a taste of New Orleans without ever leaving the house!
My youngest is still finishing the last of these beignets and I’m already at the computer typing away. These beignets, darlings, need to be made. The batter is as easy as “dump and stir” – my 3 year old helped me make this batch. Using an air fryer means there’s no messing with hot oil, thermometers, or complicated clean up. And the resulting beignets? Good enough to satisfy a craving without leaving the house. You in?
Air Fryer Pumpkin Beignets Dough
Let’s talk about the dough first, because it’s what makes a beignet. A classic beignet is made using a brioche dough that’s then deep fried to golden brown and doused in powdered sugar. Delicious, but also on the more indulgent side. These air fryer beignets are a little more reasonable for enjoying more often. That is the case, in part, because of the dough.
The dough for these pumpkin beignets is based of the popular “2-ingredient dough” used by many people on WW and other health programs. It’s popular because you don’t need yeast, you can flavor it pretty much any way you’d like, and the yogurt adds a little extra protein which helps keep you full. The texture is pretty good too, and it’s easy to mix. Honestly, the recipe is almost fool-proof.
We use the 2-ingredient dough a lot in our house for “make your own pizza” nights, and a food blogger friend had recently posted about air frying the dough to make pretzel bites. So I thought… why not? Of course, I did make a few changes.
The first change is that I swapped out half the yogurt for pumpkin puree! Usually, the 2-ingredient dough is made using an equal amount of self-rising flour and Greek yogurt. I didn’t want to remove the yogurt entirely, but these are pumpkin beignets and I wanted pumpkin flavor! Be sure you use the pumpkin puree and not pumpkin pie filling at the store. They’re 2 different products.
If you need to make this recipe dairy-free, you have two options. The first option is to use your favorite non-dairy yogurt in place of the Greek yogurt in the recipe. The second option is just to use ALL pumpkin and no yogurt at all. Guess what? No one will notice. Your beignets will just be slightly more orange. You’ll also want to be sure to use a non-dairy butter to brush the beignets before frying or spray lightly with a neutral-flavored oil like canola oil or avocado oil.
Why use the air fryer?
Honestly, my primary reason for using the air fryer is ease! We don’t deep fry very often, so I don’t usually have that much oil on hand. Cleanup for the air fryer is much easier, and less fat used in the recipe means I can serve it more often to my family. For the most part, the air fryer can replace a deep fryer for a lot of recipes, including this one.
If you really prefer to deep fry, you probably can. Just make sure that your oil always stays at 350 F and understand that your cooking time will be about 4 minutes shorter.
The brand of air fryer you have doesn’t matter. They all work just about the same way. Just keep in mind that if your air fryer isn’t big enough to fit all 8 beignets without touching, you’ll want to cook in batches. For an air fryer to circulate the air properly and provide the best results, you can’t stack food.
Additionally, you’ll notice that beignets made in the air fryer aren’t quite as puffy as the deep-fried ones. The difference happens because you don’t hit the dough with the same shock of heat as you do when you put it in oil. Even though the temperature is the same, the mechanics of cooking are different. That doesn’t mean the beignets are dense, though! They’re not. You just won’t have large air pockets as you do with some beignets. I promise you’ll still love them!
Will this satisfy my beignet craving?
Absolutely! My oldest came bounding up the stairs as I was pulling these treats out of the air fryer and she said “mmmm, doughnuts!” Since the smell is similar, I’ll give her that. As soon as she saw the beignets though, she knew what they were and sat down to enjoy! Darling girl told me just this week it was appropriate to wear her Mardi Gras shirt in August. So I suppose she’s just in that “laissez le bon temps rouler” state of mind!
Time to grab your ingredients from your pantry, pull out your air fryer, and make some beignets! Enjoy, darlings!
Pumpkin Beignet Dough
- 1 cup self-rising flour (see notes)
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice mix (see notes)
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/2 cup Greek yogurt (plain or vanilla)
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted (see notes)
Cinnamon Powdered Sugar
- 2/3 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, pumpkin spice, and sugar.
- Stir in the yogurt, pumpkin puree and vanilla, mixing until all the flour has been incorporated.
- Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and press or roll into a square. Fold in half. Rotate the dough by 90 degrees. Roll into a square again. Fold in half again. Add a little more flour as needed to prevent the dough from sticking.
- Roll the dough into a rectangle about 1/2-inch thick. Use a pizza cutter or bench scraper to cut the dough into 8 equal portions.
- Preheat your air fryer by turning it to 350 F and allowing it to run 3-4 minutes. While the fryer is preheating, melt the butter and brush onto the tops of your beignets.
- Arrange the beignets in a single layer (not touching!) in the basket of your air fryer, butter side down. Work in batches if you need to. Brush the tops of the beignets with butter.
- Place in the air fryer for 6 minutes, then flip and cook an additional 5-6 minutes until lightly browned and puffy.
- While the beignets are cooking, sift together your powdered sugar and cinnamon.
- As soon as the beignets are done, dust with your preferred amount of powdered sugar and serve immediately. Enjoy!
- If you don't have self-rising flour, you can mix your own! Use 1 cup all-purpose flour, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder instead. Stir together in your mixing bowl before adding the other ingredients.
- You can make this recipe using full-fat, low-fat, or fat-free yogurt. It turns out delicious either way!
- If you don't have pumpkin spice mix, use a combination of 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and a pinch of ginger, all-spice, nutmeg, and cloves.
- To make these dairy-free/vegan - replace the yogurt and butter with your favorite non-dairy alternatives. Or, you can replace the yogurt in the recipe with an additional 1/2 cup of pumpkin puree and then lightly spray the beignets with a neutral-flavored oil before frying.
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