Have you ever wondered what it would taste like if you took flaky biscuit dough, rolled it into a ball and deep-fried it? No? Well, at least now you know exactly what Bonuts are.
I went on a trip to Nashville last year and found myself at a little restaurant called Biscuit Love. Which, as you could probably guess, sells a lot of biscuits. But they are best known for their Bonuts. As you can imagine, eating deep-fried biscuit dough coated in sugar is out of this world. Problem is, it’s not exactly healthy.
That’s why I wanted to recreate these wonderful little pillows of happiness. And honestly, I love these almost as much as the real thing. I promise you can feed these to anyone, and they would never guess they’re low calorie.
Now, I want to be very clear up front. These aren’t packed with protein. A lot of times, a “healthy” or “macro friendly” recipe means a recipe that has been loaded up with protein. Look, I love protein as much as the next guy. But infusing food with protein just for the sake of it doesn’t always make sense. I wanted flaky biscuit dough and I was not willing to sacrifice on texture.
And while these may not be loaded with protein, they are super low calorie. 45 calories to be exact. I can’t find the nutritional info of the Nashville Bonuts, but I’m willing to bet they’re much more unhealthy.
What’s the secret to these bad boys? A few things…
For this recipe, you just need to buy biscuit dough of your choice, and we’ll be cutting it up and forming donut holes from that. Easy enough, huh? We’ll actually get close to 4 donuts from each biscuit, and don’t worry, they poof up nicely so they are not too small at all!
You might think that biscuits are unhealthy, but you’d be surprised. Go to the grocery store and browse the refrigerated section for some biscuit dough. The Kroger brand that I bought contained 8 biscuits, each 160 calories. While they are not necessarily “healthy”, there’s also not much to them and won’t kill you on macros.
The Cooking Method
You’re going to need an air fryer for this one. I just recently got into the world of air frying, and it lives up to the hype. Putting these in the air fryer allows you to get the crispy exterior and the soft, flaky interior, without the use of oil. I got my air fryer as a gift, but Amazon has a ton you can buy and have really quickly. Ninja makes a great one!
The key here is that we’re frying them up twice. We’re gonna toss them in the air fryer to cook them, give them a coating, and then throw them back in to get a nice crisp to them.
Can you bake these in the oven? You definitely can, but you’re not going to get that same crunchy exterior + soft interior that the air fryer provides. My thinking is that you’ll end up with much more of a sweet tasting biscuit than a crispy donut texture. But, worth a shot!
The big calorie-saver here is utilizing a zero-calorie sweetener. By removing the sugar from this recipe, it saves you a ton of calories. Problem is, a lot of sugar substitutes taste kind of gross. I always turn to Stevia, but I hate the aftertaste. I recently decided to try Swerve, and it’s SO much better than anything else I’ve tried. They sell granulated, confectioners, and brown sugar, and they’re all incredible! I can’t find it in stores near me, so I buy them on Amazon. Kind of pricey for sugar, but in my opinion they are one million percent worth it.
Without further ado, let’s get to the recipe…
Per Donut Hole: 45 Calories | 1g Fat | 7g Carbs | 1g Protein
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 8 mins
Total Time: 13 mins
Skill Level: Beginner
Servings: 30 Donuts
- Refrigerated biscuit dough of your choice (I used Kroger brand)
- Swerve Granulated Sugar (can use other sugar substitute if you prefer)
- Butter Spray (or melted butter, but will add calories)
For Optional Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 4 Tbsp Greek Cream Cheese
- 8g Swerve Granulated Sugar
- 1/2 Tsp Vanilla Extract
- Open up your biscuit dough and lay them out on a cutting board or parchment paper
2. Cut circles out of your dough, about the size of a silver dollar. You should get 2 circles out of each biscuit, for reference. With the scraps that are left over from cutting the circles, you’ll be able to create a few more. (I don’t own a pastry cutter, so I just used the cap from my container of sprinkles)
3. Once you have all your circles, gently roll them in your hands to form a ball. Place them in your air fryer with enough space to allow them to expand (you should plan on making 2 batches)
4. Set your air fryer to 360°F for 5 minutes. You don’t want them to be completely brown yet, because they’re going to go back in.
5. Spray your Bonuts with butter spray, or a comparable spray (coconut oil, for example). If you don’t have a spray, you can use some melted butter, but that will add unnecessary calories. We just want some light butter to act as a binder, plus it adds that delicious buttery flavor! Then, in a large bowl, toss your Bonuts in your sugar to lightly coat them. Note: don’t worry about them being completely coated. This is just to add a bit of a crunch.
6. Place your Bonuts back in the air fryer and bake at 360°F for another 3 minutes. A lot of the sugar is going to melt, so these will be hot when they’re done. But because the butter and sugar all melts and cooks together, it gives you a beautiful coating on these guys. Once you take them out, toss them in some more sugar for your coating, and you’re done!
Optional step for cream cheese frosting:
7. In a bowl, whip together 4 Tbsp Greek Cream Cheese (regular cream cheese works too, but the Greek version has better macros), 8g sugar substitute, and 1/2 Tsp of vanilla extract. When it’s all combined, put it in a small plastic bag and cut the tip off to create a piping tool, and lightly top your Bonuts with the frosting.
I wanted to enjoy mine the same way as the first Bonuts I ate in Nashville, and those were served over a compote. I used Trader Joe’s Super Fruit Spread here, and it paired SO well. The spread is essentially a compote made from cherry, pomegranate, blueberry, & grape. When you combine that with the buttery Bonut and the sweet cream, you have one giant flavor bomb.
These are best served right out of the air fryer when they’re hot. You can definitely save the leftovers, but they’ll get dense overnight and lose a bit of their crisp. Re-heating them in the air fryer works surprisingly well with the leftovers, though!
Need to impress a date? Give these a try. You might just win over someone’s heart. At least you’ll win over their stomach. Some might say that’s even better.