Home / Blog / Baking with airfryer: Everything you wanted to know (and more…)

Baking with airfryer: Everything you wanted to know (and more…)

Top 5 benefits of baking with airfryer

  1. You’ll save money. Airfryers use much less energy than a conventional oven. (If you’re looking to cut costs, check out our full guide to energy efficient baking.)
  1. You’ll save time. In a rush? It takes around 20% less time to bake in an airfryer than a conventional oven.
  1. You’ll save calories. Airfryers are perfect for treats that you’d usually fry, like doughnuts and churros, but you need much less oil than if you were frying them in a pan.
  1. You could improve your bakes. If you’re after a crispier finish and a soft, fluffy or gooey centre, an airfryer could be your new best friend in the kitchen. 
  1. You can whip up smaller batches. It can seem wasteful to turn the oven on for just a handful of biscuits or a couple of bread rolls. Airfryers are perfect for small batches.

But isn’t an airfryer for, well, frying? 

While it was invented for frying food with less oil, the airfryer is a lot more versatile than you might think. It basically works like a mini oven, but it circulates hot air more efficiently. So while it’s great for chips, it’s also perfect for chocolate chip cookies. 

tahini chocolate cookies

What to bake in an airfryer

You can bake most things in an airfryer, including:

  • Fairy cakes and muffins
  • Biscuits
  • Doughnuts
  • Pastries like cinnamon rolls and apple fritters
  • Churros
  • Cannolis
  • Brownies
  • Small loaves of bread
  • Bread rolls

The surface of whatever you’re cooking could get hotter than in a conventional oven, so you might get a slightly crisper finish than usual. 

Switching from a conventional oven to an airfryer

Most recipes are geared towards baking in an oven. Luckily, it’s pretty easy to tweak them. Here’s how…

  • Reduce the temperature. Airfryers cook food quicker than conventional ovens. So if you’re following a traditional recipe, you’ll need to reduce the temperature by around 25°F/14°C.
  • Reduce the temperature. Airfryers cook food quicker than conventional ovens. So if you’re following a traditional recipe, you’ll need to reduce the temperature by around 25°F/14°C.
  • Cut the cooking time. Even with the reduced temperature, you’ll need to shave around 20% off the cooking time. Some bakes cook even quicker (chocolate chip cookies might need as little as five minutes). So err on the side of caution to start with and check how your bakes are doing more frequently. 
  • Go small. Airfryers are smaller than conventional ovens, so you’ll need to halve ingredients for treats like biscuits, or cook them in batches. Leave plenty of space between each treat to allow for rising and for the air to circulate. Bear in mind that if you’re baking a cake in an airfryer and reducing the size, you’ll need to significantly reduce the baking time. 
  • Grease the basket. You’ll want to use a little spray oil or butter on the basket to stop your creations from sticking, just as you would with a baking tray in an oven. The same goes for a cake pan (which you can place into the basket).

Baking with airfryers – your questions answered…

What can you not bake in an airfryer?

Large cakes are tricky to bake in an airfryer as you’ll either end up with an undercooked middle or an overcooked outer. You’ll also want to avoid having anything on the outside that could melt, like cheese or jam. So if you’re airfrying jam doughnuts, for example, make sure that you seal the jam inside. 

Is an airfryer healthier than an oven?

Airfryers need less oil to fry food than an oven or frying pan. So you can cut fat and calories from doughnuts, churros and other snacks. 

Will parchment paper burn in the airfryer?

You don’t usually need to use parchment (or baking) paper in an airfryer. The basket and pans are designed to be non-stick, so you just need to grease them with a little oil or butter. Plus, normal parchment paper will block the holes, which means your bakes won’t cook evenly. 

If you do want to use baking parchment in your airfryer, it’s best to choose one specifically designed for airfryers, which come cut to size and have holes in. Make sure the paper is fully weighed down by your bakes. Otherwise, the fan could make the paper fly around and get caught on the heating element, where it could catch fire. 

Can I put aluminium foil in an airfryer?

You shouldn’t need to use aluminium foil in your airfryer. It could block the holes so make your bake cook unevenly. That said, it can be useful for cooking meals with fat or juices that can leak everywhere, like sausages. Just make sure you keep it well away from the heating element and that it’s weighed down by the food. Otherwise. the fan could blow it into the heating element, which is a fire risk. 

What temperature do you bake a cake in an airfryer?

The general rule of thumb is to reduce the temperature by around 25°F/14°C. For a cake, that means baking at around 320°F/160°C. It’ll likely take around 25-30 minutes to bake, but you might want to check it around the 20 minute mark. Poke a skewer into the centre of the cake. If it comes out dry, your cake is ready.  

Can I use a regular cake pan in my air fryer?

Most airfryers should come with a pan that you can use for cakes. If yours doesn’t, you should be fine to use a regular aluminium or stoneware pan. Do check the instruction manual first though. 

Do you need to preheat an airfryer?

For recipes where you’d usually preheat the oven (eg for cakes), you still need to preheat the airfryer. Otherwise, you won’t get the same rise. However, your airfryer should heat up much quicker than your oven. 

Ready to get baking? We’d love to see what you make. Please do share your creations with us on our instagram page @foodthoughtsuk.