When the pandemic first hit in March of 2020 and Disney parks closed “for two weeks” Disney fans we’re making copycat recipes of their favorite theme park treats left and right to try to keep some of the magic alive. And despite my longing to get back to the Disney parks, I did not try any of these copycat recipes – mostly because they were usually too involved for my laziness. But then last week I saw a Pinterest post about using Pillsbury biscuit dough to make “shortcut” beignets in the air fryer. And then I knew immediately that I HAD to make air fryer Mickey Beignets and share the results with you all.
These air fryer Mickey beignets can be made quickly and easily with only two ingredients. Using refrigerated Pillsbury biscuit dough, they are cut into Mickey shapes and then baked in the air fryer at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 7-8 minutes. Then they are dusted with powdered sugar.
And there’s nothing that goes better with Mickey beignets than a refreshing mint julep – just like you can get at Disneyland’s Mint Julep Bar (the location that first made Mickey beignets famous). So I also searched around for the best mint julep recipe that would most closely match what you can get in Disneyland in post-2017 when the mint julep recipe changed to something more closely resembling lemonade with a hint of mint.
Both recipes, the air fryer Mickey beignets and the copycat mint juleps, are listed in full below. If you try them, let me know your thoughts in the comments! And keep reading to hear my tips on baking the beignets, and how closely I think they match up to those in the parks.
Tips for Making the Mickey Beignets in the Air Fryer
I will be the first to admit that I am not a food blogger. And when I’m looking for recipes online, I always scroll past the novels most food bloggers write and go straight to the recipe. So I will take no offense if that is what you do too. But for the rest of you still here, I thought it may be helpful to some to hear some of my thoughts that came up during the cooking process. And the tips I learned from making them myself, so here they are:
- These shortcut style air fryer beignets are best when eaten warm. I had a few leftovers that I ate later in the day, and into the following day, but they were not really good anymore. Once they aren’t hot any longer, it’s easy to tell that they’re just biscuits and not real beignets. But when they’re hot and fresh they are pretty close to spot on to the Mickey beignets in the parks.
- Flipping the beignets halfway through cooking time is important. There was a batch of beignets that got away from me and I forgot to flip them halfway through. They did still taste good overall. But they were unevenly cooked and only one side was browned, which is, of course, not optimal.
- Make sure to stretch or roll the biscuit dough out a bit before cutting your Mickey shape. I found that when I made the beignets a bit thinner, they puffed up and tasted better overall. The thicker they were after they were cut, the more dense they tasted. So don’t go too thin, but I’d say to take each biscuit round and make sure they are about half as tall as they were coming out of the can, before you put them in the air fryer.
How Do These Homemade Air Fryer Mickey Beignets Compare to the Theme Parks?
Compared to the Mickey beignets from Disneyland or Walt Disney World, I will say that these homemade versions are definitely not EXACTLY the same. The ones in the park are much more airy and light, while my version is a bit more dense overall (unless you eat them hot and fresh!). Really, I don’t think that you could get too close to the delicious beignet version that you can find in the parks by taking the Pillsbury biscuit dough shortcut method. BUT, that doesn’t mean that this recipe is a waste of time.
In fact, I would say that it’s the total opposite. If anything, the fact that this recipe, for the Mickey beignets themselves, takes less than 15 minutes to complete makes it a total winner. I would never attempt to make Mickey beignets at home the hard way involving yeast and flour and actually measuring ingredients and mixing things up. It’s just too much work for a novelty treat when I could way more easily grab a Mickey shaped ice cream sandwich from Walmart instead.
But now that I have unlocked the key to Mickey beignets at home in less than 15 minutes, I foresee buying a lot of Pillsbury biscuit dough in my future. And you can definitely forget about the official beignet recipe that Disney posted in April of 2020 that takes over two hours to make!! That is for sure not happening in my house!
There’s just something about eating a Mickey beignet that transports me to my favorite magical places. So how can I possibly stay away now that I know how to make them myself so easily and quickly?! Sure, these air fryer Mickey beignet copycats don’t taste exactly like those in the parks, but they definitely give me enough magical feelings to tide me over until my next visit to the Disney theme parks.
Air Fryer Mickey Beignets and Copycat Mint Juleps
Air Fryer Mickey Beignets
- 1 pkg Pillsbury Grands! Original Biscuits, 8 ct, 16.3 oz
- 1 cup Powdered Sugar
- 5 cups Water
- 1 cup Granulated Sugar
- ¼ cup Creme de Menthe Syrup See Recipe Notes for a homemade version
- ¼ cup Frozen Lime Juice Concentrate, Thawed
- 1 cup Frozen Lemonade Concentrate, Thawed
- Maraschino Cherries, Lemon Wedges, & Mint Leaves for Garnish
Air Fryer Mickey Beignets
- Preheat air fryer to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Open Pillsbury biscuits package and separate each biscuit.
- Roll or stretch each circle of biscuit dough so that your Mickey cookie cutter will fit.
- Cut out 1 Mickey shape from each biscuit round using your Mickey cookie cutter. For a total of 8 Mickey beignets.
- Spray or brush the inside of your air fryer with oil.
- Working in batches, add the Mickey beignets to the air fryer to be baked. Making sure not to overcrowd the air fryer.
- Bake Mickey beignets for 7-8 minutes, flipping each beignet halfway through the cooking time.
- Remove finished Mickey beignets to a plate or serving dish and dust with powdered sugar to your liking.
- Enjoy immediately!
Copycat Mint Juleps
- Combine water and granulated sugar in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer.
- When the sugar is completely melted, turn off the heat and add the Creme de Menthe syrup.
- Let this mixture cool for about 10 minutes.
- Transfer to a pitcher and add in lime juice, and lemonade concentrates, and stir to combine.
- Chill until serving time.
- Serve over ice and garnish with lemon wedges, maraschino cherries, and mint leaves; if desired.