Although air fryers are best known for cooking crisp, lower-fat versions of fried foods, they really are excellent with desserts. Cakes, cookies, and even pies bake wonderfully within the hot circulating air of these appliances. Baking treats with the kids or indulging in a single-serving cake when you need some sugar therapy can all be accomplished with an air fryer.
How to Bake with an Air Fryer
Most recipes for cookies and cakes translate directly to air frying. You’ll use the temperatures and baking times specified in regular oven recipes, including those on baking mix boxes. Be sure to preheat your machine.
You won’t need to make any complicated adjustments, but, because you might be using small pans in an air fryer, you might need to shorten baking times by a few minutes. Check early to see if your goodies are done to avoid the unhappiness of over baking.
Because air fryer drawers are obviously smaller than an oven, you’ll need to find pans that fit it. Baking pan accessories from the manufacturer of your particular air fryer might even be available. You’ll also find plenty of small pans on the market that will satisfy your purposes, like these:
Square Aluminum Baking Pan – At 7 x 7 x 2 inches, this pan from Fat Daddio is free of any coatings or welds. The aluminum heats up and cools down rapidly, so the cake batter will start baking right away and the pan will cool quickly after removal from the air fryer.
Square Stoneware Baking Dish – This small pan from Le Creuset only measures 5 x 5 x 3 inches and represents a great choice for baking in an air fryer. The high-fired stoneware with enamel glaze handles the oven, freezer, and microwave. Stoneware is durable and offers superior results with pastries if you want to bake a pie in an air fryer.
Aluminum Foil Pans – This 50-pack will keep you baking for months, and each pan only measures 5.6 x 4.5 x 1.7 inches. They’re affordable and the right choice if you want to give away baked goods.
Baking Cakes in Air Fryers
Follow the cake recipe directions for mixing ingredients, grease your pans, and pour in the batter. Large cake recipes will need to be divided into two baking sessions as you fill one pan, bake, and then fill and bake the second pan. Most cakes bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit or approximately 180 Celsius.
Test for doneness with a toothpick. If the toothpick comes out clean, then the cake is done. Let it cool a few minutes in the pan before removing it to a cooling rack.
An air fryer might just be the perfect choice for baking small single-serving cakes. These mini recipes produce a small amount of batter for creating a personal sweet treat.
If your air fryer is tall enough, it might hold a coffee mug or mason jar, which single-serving cakes are usually baked in. Otherwise, find some small baking dishes called ramekins. They’re shorter and able to fit many air fryers.
Baking Cookies in an Air Fryer
When your inner Cookie Monster needs cookies, your air fryer will bake up a small batch in minutes. Like cakes, any cookie recipe adapts to air frying with the same temperature settings. Remember to preheat.
After preparing your favorite cookie dough recipe, you’ll place spoonfuls or shaped balls of dough into your baking pan. You also have the option of simply setting the dough pieces on the air fryer basket lined with foil.
At first, you might have to experiment a bit to find the right baking time that makes the cookies as crisp or soft as you like them. For example, one chocolate chip cookie air fryer recipe recommends that the temperature be reduced during the last two minutes. This approach ensures a soft cookie that is baked all of the way through.
Advantage of Air Frying Cookies
You’ll have a small batch of warm and fresh cookies almost on demand. Most cookie doughs keep in the refrigerator for a few days, which means you can air fry two to four cookies whenever you want some.
Disadvantage of Air Frying Cookies
If you need to prepare dozens of cookies for an event, baking many small batches in an air fryer will take a long time. However, if you don’t have an oven, it’s at least possible to bake cookies.
Baking with an Air Fryer
With a baking pan that fits your air fryer, you’re ready to bake many kinds of cakes and cookies. No special modifications to recipes are necessary.
Depending on what model of air fryer that you own, you’ll likely have to deal with size limitations. Multiple small batches will need to be prepared when you’re working with larger recipes.
If we haven’t addressed something specific about air fryer baking that you need to know, ask your question in the comments. Overall, you’ll discover that baking with your air fryer is easy. Just find a baking pan that fits your machine and get started.