Best air fryer cake recipe ideas

Air fryer cakes are an absolute revelation. Fuss free, quick to make and, for some recipes, far healthier than their counterparts (think Krispy Kreme-style doughnuts without any deep-fat frying). Fred van der Weij, the Dutch inventor, spent years working on the air fryer we know today, launching it with Phillips in 2010. And there were very early iterations of an air fryer developed by William L Maxson in the 1940s. However, in recent years, there’s been an explosion in popularity for air fryers.

A massive plus, and one of the biggest reasons for the air fryer’s unwavering success, is the fact that they cook things in up to half the time for a fraction of the price. Given the recent stratospheric rise in energy prices, people are looking for alternative ways to cook and save money. Check Appliance has a handy conversion chart to convert your recipes.

The air fryer works by circulating hot air around the food and its internal fan creates a convection effect. Essentially, it gets very hot and is very efficient. One of the air fryer’s original selling points was to make “fried food with up to 80% less fat”, but they’ve taken off with cooks all over the world to create a veritable buffet of cakes and desserts, and there are plenty of best selling air fryer cook books to boot.

Lemon drizzle cake

Starting with an easy air fryer cake and a simple lemon drizzle cake is a fail-safe crowd pleaser. Best of all it only requires six ingredients: unsalted butter, caster sugar, self-raising flour, two lemons, two eggs and icing sugar, and takes under 30 minutes. A lemon drizzle cake works just as well as a traditional round shape, as it does in a loaf tin.

For the topping you can either do a lemon buttercream topping, or a zesty lemon glaze drizzled over the top. Or make two cakes and sandwich the buttercream in the middle and drizzle the glaze. If a lemon cake has too much zing for you, try and subtler orange drizzle cake, a punchy lime drizzle cake. One thing to note, is that while you can put cake tins in the air fryer, they typically will only fit a five to eight inch tin.

A lemon drizzle cake is an air fryer tik tok favourite
Image credit: Pexels/Los Mertas Crew

Victoria sponge cake

The trend for nostalgia has been permeating the baking world for some time and the popularity of the classic Victoria sponge shows no signs of abating. Former Royal Chef Darren McGrady gives some interesting history on the Victoria sponge, which pre-dates Queen Victoria and was first seen in Mrs. Beeton’s renowned 1906 cookbook, the Book of Household Management, and called a Victoria sandwich. Then baking powder was invented and added to the recipe giving it its rise.

Darren gives a step-by-step guide of how to make a super-easy Victoria sponge in a Kyvol air fryer on his YouTube channel. A good tip is to add parchment paper into your cake tin before baking to keep your air fryer cake from sticking.

Air fryer Bundt cake

Bundt cakes are another cake that have been seeing a bit of a comeback in recent years. Originating in Germany, and known commonly as a gugelhupf or kugelhopf cake, the Bundt cake was brought to the masses with Minneapolis company Nordic Ware’s 1946 introduction of their famous and still much-loved Bundt pan (pictured). They are a total show-stopper of a cake for a party or a coffee morning and are easy to make in an air fryer.

The Air Frying Foodie uses salted butter, cream cheese, granulated white sugar, eggs, flour, cocoa and baking powder, flour and vanilla extract for the Air Fryer Chocolate Bundt recipe. Before drizzling it with chocolate ganache.

Bundt is an easy show stopper air fryer cake to make
Image credit: Nordic Ware

New York baked style cheesecake

Delicious cheesecakes are a doddle to make in an air fryer, and eliminate the faff and need for a bain-marie, cutting down a lot of the baking time. For a New York-style cheesecake with a browned top and a satisfying amount of jiggle in the middle, the air fryer is ideal as it bakes at a lower temperature than a traditional oven, therefore delivering a pretty even cook.

The base is simple and uses crushed digestives or Biscoff (for an extra-sweet caramel taste) pressed together with melted butter. The topping uses similarly few ingredients, counting lots of cream cheese, sour cream, eggs and condensed milk. The key to creating the perfect New York style cheesecake texture is turning the temperature down on your air fryer after the first 30-minutes of baking, then off completely to let it rest. Try blueberries, raspberries and strawberries for the perfect topping. For alternative riff on a cheesecake, the air fryer blueberry cheesecake toast is a decadent breakfast treat.

Make a selection of cakes in your air fryer
Image credit: Cusinart

Air fryer molten chocolate cake

There are hundreds of variations of the classic melt in the middle chocolate puddings, molten lava chocolate cakes or whatever you like to call them. And they’re easy to make and ones that will please pretty much everyone.

Again the joy of air fryer cakes is that you don’t need a lot of ingredients (chocolate, butter, eggs, flour, sugar and vanilla) and they’re speedy to make (cooking in around eight to ten minutes). It’s great to make individual ones in the air fryer in ramekins and serve them as they are, with added whipped cream on top, fresh out of the air fryer.

Mini individual melt in the middle desserts are great to make in the air fryer
Image credit: Peugeot

Hot cross buns for Easter

As Easter approaches, the shops are jam-packed with ready-made hot cross buns. But have you ever made your own? They sound fiddly, but you can actually make a dough relatively easily with warm water, butter, sugar and milk and dry ingredients of flour, instant yeast, and the spices cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg. Once you’ve kneaded your dough, fold in your raisins and knead once more.

You’ll need to give your dough time to rise before forming the buns. The crosses are created by making a thick paste out of flour and water and piping them on top. For an extra touch of sweetness, you can brush them with hot golden syrup as soon as they’re out of the air fryer.

Easter is the perfect time to try out some air fryer baking
Image credit: Table Top x Kew Gardens


Another delicious and easy Easter dessert idea to celebrate spring coming is an air fryer pavlova. Light and marshmallow-like on the inside and chewy on the outside, the delicate pavlova looks great and uses few ingredients. Namely egg whites, sugar and a little cornflour are whipped into stiff peaks for the base and it’s topped with whipped cream and fresh fruits, like berries.

The beauty of making a pavlova in an air fryer is that it cooks quickly, so you’ll have an impressive looking pudding ready in around 20 minutes. To get the pavlova consistency just right, it helps to make sure your egg whites are at room temperature before you start and you’ll need to add in your sugar very slowly. Alternative pavlova topping ideas include poached cherries and chocolate and even an espresso martini pavlova.

Give an air fryer pavlova a try for the perfect Easter dessert
Image credit: Wayfair

Air fryer doughnuts

Creating doughnuts in the air fryer is an absolute game changer. Forget the calories of Krispy Kreme, Emma Fontanella’s glazed doughnut recipe is a winner.

After combining flour, nutmeg, sugar and salt together and adding milk, egg, melted butter and yeast, she makes a dough and leaves it for two hours. She then rolls them into rings, leaves them for 45 minutes and pops them in the air fryer for three minutes. Her glaze is melted butter, warm milk, sugar and vanilla extract, and it’s genius.

Creating doughnuts in your air fryer will be a game changer
Image credit: Pexels/ Airam Datoon