Can You Use Air Fryer for Baking?

Do you own an air fryer and wonder if you can use it for baking?  A short answer would be a resounding yes!

Air fryers can be utilized to create a variety of baked goods, from cakes and muffins to cookies and pastries.

Essentially, air fryers are compact convection ovens that work by circulating hot air around the food, resulting in even and rapid cooking.

This efficient method can be ideal for baking, as it allows for quicker cooking times and reduced energy consumption compared to traditional ovens.

But, just like everything else, there are certain things you need to consider.

Let me show you how baking works in the air fryer step by step.

I will also be throwing in finer details you need to consider at each stage. At the end of the article, you will master baking in the air fryer, I promise!

For the purpose of this article, I tried baking a few things in my air fryers and also took images (so you can see for yourself)

Can You Use Air Fryer for Baking? 

Yes, you can use an air fryer for baking. You can bake cakes, bread, muffins, cupcakes, brownies, and more.

An air fryer will also bake your food faster compared to a traditional oven. 

Texture-wise, the inside will be tender and moist, but the outer portion will be slightly crispy. There are many baking recipes online you can try with the air fryer.

For baking oven recipes in the air fryer, you will need to adjust the temperature and time duration. I will tell you all about it further down the article. 

Also read: Convection Oven vs. Air Fryer: What’s the Difference?

Let us look at the pros of baking in an air fryer and why you should choose it instead of an oven for baking. 

Benefits of Baking in an Air Fryer

I prefer the air fryer instead of the oven as it is super easy to bake and gives me equally good results in less time. 

Here I have jotted down a few reasons why you can skip the oven and choose the air fryer for baking.

Baking is Faster in the Air Fryer 

Air fryers preheat in just a few minutes, compared to an oven’s 15-30 minutes.

Most air fryers come with default baking settings in the display panel. You also have the freedom to increase or decrease the temperature and time duration while baking the food.

There are no special instructions you need to follow. All you have to do is prepare the batter and place it in an air fryer-friendly baking accessory. Enter the settings, and you are done. 

Baking is Awesome for Small Portions 

An air fryer is a great option for baking small portions of food. If you are a bachelor or a small family, you can bake comfortably in the air fryer. 

I use the air fryer for quick baking treats. For bulk cooking, I use the oven.

It doesn’t Heat Up the Kitchen as Much as Oven

There were times when I completely skipped baking as I didn’t want my kitchen to heat up. I did this often in the hot weather. 

If you, too, live in a place with hot weather or don’t have AC installed, use an air fryer for baking.

You will get delicious baked goodies without your kitchen heating up. 

In short, baking in the air fryer gives you quick results, you do not need to preheat, perfect for small portions, and it slays the heat of the oven. With these perfect motivations, I rest my case. 

Also read: 10 Reasons Why Air Fryers are So Popular

Limitations and Challenges When Baking in Airfryer

Despite its numerous benefits, there are some limitations and challenges that users may encounter when attempting to bake in an air fryer.

Size Constraints

A primary challenge when baking in an air fryer is the size constraint.

Air fryers are typically smaller than conventional ovens, which impacts the size of the baking pans or dishes you can use.

This means you might need to adjust recipes for smaller portions or bake in batches.

Also read: 7 Best Air Fryer for a Large Family

Texture Differences

Another limitation is the difference in texture when baking.

While air fryers are excellent for creating a fully baked exterior and a soft interior for certain bread and pastries (such as chocolate chip cookies, Basque-style cheesecake, and brownies), they might not produce the same result for all baked goods.

Temperature Adjustments

Temperature adjustments are another challenge when baking in an air fryer.

It is crucial to keep an eye on your baked goods and adjust the cooking time and temperature as needed.

For successful cake baking, you should use low heat and reduce the cooking time to ensure even heating throughout the cake.

What Can You Bake in the Air Fryer? 

An air fryer can be used for baking banana bread, cakes, muffins, brownies, cookies, etc. 

There are hundreds of baked recipes online you can try baking in the air fryer.

Any dessert that looks good with a crispy exterior and soft interior would fit the bill.

How to Use an Air Fryer for Baking 

I went ahead and baked in the air fryer to show you a practical demonstration and give you some inspiration. I will be sharing two mouth-watering recipes here with you. 

Air Fryer Banana Bread 

It took me about 7 mins to prepare the batter.

Within 10 minutes of starting with scratch, my banana bread was getting baked in the air fryer. 

Before we begin, here is a little warning alert: your family or neighbors will whiff the delicious aromas and come asking for some.

Make a little extra so you don’t have to part with your share.

Things You Would Need 

Raw Materials for the Batter 

  • Bananas: Two
  • All-purpose flour: 140gms
  • Egg: One 
  • Baking Powder: 1 teaspoon 
  • Sugar: 50gms
  • Salt: Quarter teaspoon
  • Vanilla extract: 1 teaspoon 
  • Butter: 50gms
  • Olive Oil:  few drops ( line and grease the basket) 

Here is a visual summary of the required ingredients

Ingredients Required to Bake in Air fryer

The Technique 

Peel two bananas and add small pieces to the mixing bowl. Add one whole egg.

Bananas in Mixing Bowl

Add 50 gms sugar (you can increase or decrease the quantity depending on your personal preference) and whisk the mixture well until it is blended well.

A well-blended smooth batter will look like this:

well-blended smooth batter

Add about 140gms of all-purpose flour, 50gms butter, a teaspoon of baking powder, and one teaspoon of vanilla extract. 

Mix everything together

Whisk the batter with the electric mixer until everything is blended well

Whisk the batter with the electric mixer

Keep aside. Next, take the air fryer baking tray and add a few drops of olive oil. Take a basting brush and grease the pan with olive oil. 

grease the tray with olive oil

Once you have greased the pan well, add the batter to the pan.

Add the batter

Place the baking pan inside the basket and then into the air fryer and set the air fryer at 180° C (350° F) for 25 mins.

Voila! Your Banana bread will be ready in 25 minutes. 

Banana bread will be ready

I turned it backside to check if it was done. Yes sir!

Banana Bread after baking

The outside had a thin crust, while the inside was soft.  It tasted delicious. Here is a view of the inside of the bread

Banana Bread from inside

Air Fryer Banana Muffins 

My family loves bananas, so I thought of quickly whipping up banana muffins for tea. It took me 7-8 mins max to load into the air fryer. The muffins were super soft and delicious.  

The things needed, and batter requirements are similar to banana bread. One addition is a silicon muffin cup.

For the batter, I have used cane sugar here instead and less quantity of all-purpose flour. Here is the complete step-by-step procedure with pics.

Things You Would Need 

Raw Material for the Batter

  • Bananas: Two
  • All-purpose flour: 125gms
  • Egg: One 
  • Baking Powder: 1 teaspoon 
  • Cane Sugar: 50gms 
  • Salt: Quarter teaspoon
  • Vanilla extract: 1 teaspoon 

The Technique

Take a mixing bowl. Peel and chop two bananas. Add 50gms cane sugar, one egg, and 50gms butter. 

Mix Banana Sugar Butter and Egg

Whisk with an electric mixer until you get a smooth batter

After blending, add 125 gms of all-purpose flour, one teaspoon of baking powder, a quarter teaspoon of salt, and one teaspoon of vanilla extract. Blend until the batter turns smooth.

add 125 gms of all-purpose flour,

Grease your muffin cups and fill the batter up to ⅔. Do not fill up to the brim, as the muffins need space to rise. 

Grease your muffin cups and fill the batter

Place the cups neatly inside the air fryer basket.

Usually, all air fryers have a preset for baking. I own a Philips air fryer which has a preset of 180° C for 13 minutes of baking.

The default setting was perfect, and I got delicious well-cooked muffins baked in an air fryer.

delicious well-cooked muffins

The backside was also cooked well too. Here is a glimpse into the soft interiors.

Cooked banana muffins from airfryer

What Should You Not Bake in the Air Fryer 

Now that you are geared up for baking, let me tell you about a few things you should not bake in the air fryer. 

  • Do not use the air fryer for desserts having loose or lightweight toppings. These will fly inside the air fryer, get stuck inside the heating element, and burn.
  • Steer clear of cheese or desserts having cheese as the main ingredient. The cheese will melt and eventually burn.
  • Don’t bake beyond your air fryer’s capacity. Always fill ½ or ⅔ of the basket. Leave some gaps for good airflow. Besides, some space is needed for the baked dough to rise. If you fill it to the brim, the top part will be too near the heating element. Your dessert will burn, and eventually, a burnt smell will fill your kitchen. 

Tips for Baking in the Air Fryer

I am sharing a few tips that will be useful for you when you bake goodies in the air fryer:

  • Do not preheat even if it is the demand of a baking recipe. The air fryer works differently. There is an instant flow of high-speed hot air. You don’t need to preheat, or you may end up browning or caramelizing your dessert.
  • When using an oven recipe in the air fryer, lower the baking temperature by 20-30 degrees and cut down the cooking time by 20%. The air fryer heats up and cooks food faster compared to the oven, so you need to make these changes, or your will end up with burnt baked goodies. You can also use this calculator that will convert the temperature and time of an original recipe into an air fryer-friendly recipe.  
  • Use shallow pans that can fit well inside the air fryer. Anything that can be placed in the oven can be used in the air fryer. Just make sure the dimensions fit well. You can also use pyrex bowls or silicons molds. For muffins, silicone muffin cups have got me excellent results.
  • When 80 percent of the cooking time is complete, open the air fryer and check on the baked food. Insert a fork or a toothpick and see if it comes out clean. If it does, your baked dessert is ready to be gorged.

Can You Bake in the Air Fryer Without any Baking Accessories?

I was once caught in the same situation. So I can safely say that you can bake in the air fryer without any baking accessories. 

However, you would need aluminum foil or parchment paper to line the base of your air fryer basket.

Let the foil or paper stand upright at the side walls for support. 

For desserts like rolls or scones, you can place them directly in the basket as they already have a structural shape.

  • For cakes, use pans no more than 3 inches high.
  • Place a perforated tray or basket in the air fryer for proper airflow, ensuring all sides of your food get crispy.
  • Brush fresh foods lightly with cooking oil to help them brown and crisp up.

Final Words

As promised, you now know all about baking in the air fryer. It is fast, convenient, and gives delicious results.

I have mentioned two delicious recipes above. I would urge you to try them out as they are mouth-watering desserts. 

Don’t forget to go through the tips and enjoy freshly baked foods in the comfort of your home. Cheers!

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I’m Jueria and I am a regular contributor on cookeryspace.com. In my articles, I share time-saving techniques, appliance wizardry, and health-friendly recipes to bring taste and wellness to your table. So raise a glass (or a spatula) with me, to good health and good food, made easy!