air fryer cake frosted with white frosting on a white cake pedestal
Cakes

Air Fryer Cake

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Did you know you can use an air fryer for a number of different dishes? One, in particular, I am fond of is this air fryer cake recipe. Wait, what? You can make a cake in an air fryer? Yes! Absolutely! The best part is the cooking time is also faster than in a traditional or conventional oven.

Maybe you live in a small flat or have a motor home, or a tiny house and don’t have a traditional oven, pick one of these up. Or maybe it is summertime and you don’t want to turn that oven on. Using this tool to make a cake is a genius idea and a perfect way to put that cool kitchen gadget to good use.

What is an air fryer?

Secura Air Fryer sitting on a wooden table next to a box of air fryer accessories.

First, let me explain exactly what an air fryer is. Air fryers are medium-sized kitchen appliances that are essentially mini convection ovens. They have a coil heating element at the top inside the unit which heats up.

There is a mini fan above the heating coil which blows air passed the coil causing the air to heat up. The hot air then circulates all around on the inside cooking the food which is different than a regular oven. And the result is healthier food since you don’t have to use much oil at all.

It does however kind of mimic the deep frying process producing a result that is similar to that of a deep fryer. And that is where the term air fryer came from.

How to make a cake in an air fryer

Air fryer and a variety of bowls with cake ingredients on a wooden table.

Now it is time to bake a cake using this neat little contraption. First, you will need a few ingredients and tools.

  • Cake batter – Use your favorite homemade cake batter or get a store-bought boxed cake mix.
  • Air Fryer – The star of this recipe is, of course, the air fryer. There are different brands out there to choose from. Some of the most popular ones are the Ninja Foodi, Cosori, Gourmia, Emeril Lagasse, and Instant made by the same people that make the Instant Pot.
  • Cake panΒ – that fits the air fryer. You don’t have to use the one in a kit, just measure the inside of your air fryer basket and use a round pan smaller than that. I do happen to have a special air fryer cake pan which works really well. It is already the perfect size and has a handle.
  • Cake StripsΒ – are nice but they are optional. They help to keep the cake level when baking instead of doming in the middle.

Step 1: Make the cake batter

Large glass bowl of yellow cake batter sitting on a wooden table.

First, make the cake batter whether you are following your favorite cake recipe or you have a cake mix. Just follow the instructions on the back of the box. You pretty much just add all the dry ingredients and any extra ingredients in a large mixing bowl and then whisk or use a hand mixer. The cake batter pictured above comes from a vanilla cake.

Most likely you will need some oil, olive oil, canola oil, vegetable oil, etc., eggs, and water for it. It may call for milk as well, you can use whole milk, skim milk, or even almond milk for cakes.

You may want to add a splash of vanilla extract as well. If you like chocolate cake check out this recipe and then make an air fryer chocolate cake.

Step 2: Prepare the cake pan

Next, prepare your cake pan. I use a special cake pan that came in my air fryer accessory kit which works perfectly. You don’t have to use that particular cake pan. But the size of your air fryer does matter.

Any cake pan or cake tin that will fit inside the basket will work just fine. Prep the pan by adding shortening all around on the inside. Then add in some flour and tap the pan around allowing the flour to coat the shortening.

Also as an extra precaution, you can put a round piece of parchment paper on the bottom of your pan. We don’t want the cake to stick to the bottom!

Step 3: Fill up the pan

Yellow cake batter inside a black cake pan surrounded by a cake strip.

Now just fill up the pan with your cake batter until it is a little over halfway full. If you have a cake strip, soak it in water, wring it out, then place it around your pan.

Cake strips help to ensure even baking, so the outsides of the cake don’t get more done than the middle. They also help to prevent the cake from doming and cracking in the middle.

If you have any cake batter leftover you have a few options, you can just fill up the cake pan only half full and then once it is cooked, remove it and fill up the pan again with the remaining batter, or what I usually do is just make some cupcakes with the leftovers.

Step 4: Air Frying time!

Set the air fryer to 350 F (176 C). There will also be a timer on it. Set the timer to 20 minutes. Allow the air fryer to heat up for 1 to 2 minutes, then pull out the basket. Place the cake pan full of batter inside the basket and then slide the basket into the air fryer.

Step 5: Checking the easy air fryer cake for doneness

After 17 to 18 minutes slide the basket out of the air fryer. Now do the toothpick test. Poke the top in the middle of the cake with a toothpick. If it comes out clean the cake is ready to go.

Most likely it will not be done with this short of baking time and you will need to cook it longer even though it is a small cake, it will be fatter than a traditional 8 or 9-inch round cake. Around 25 minutes tends to do the trick. But it all depends on the type of cake you are cooking.

If not, slide the basket with the cake back into the air fryer and turn it on for another 5 minutes or so. Be very careful handling the basket and cake pan, they will be extremely hot!

If the cake is not done and it is getting too brown on top, place aluminum foil over it before cooking it a bit longer.

hand with toothpick poking the middle of a cake sitting in an air fryer basket.

Step 6: Allow the air fryer cake to cool

After the cake has finished baking, remove it from the air fryer and place the pan on a hot pad. Allow the warm cake to cool for about 10 minutes.

Next, flip the cake over and remove the cake, it should come right out. Remove the parchment paper, then place the cake on a wire cooling rack, and let it cool completely.

Step 7: Cake decorating time

Once the cake has cooled you can decorate it however you like. Add some yummy homemade buttercream frosting or use your favorite frosting from the store.

Place some chocolate sprinkles, chocolate chips, or other types of sprinkles on top, whatever you would like to do, it is your cake. Enjoy!

Common Questions when using an Air Fryer to bake a cake

How long will this cake last?

If you take the unfrosted cake and wrap it with plastic wrap or place it in an airtight container it will last a few days at room temperature or about a week in the fridge. If it is frosted, it is best to cover it loosely with plastic wrap or foil and keep it in the fridge for about a week.

Can I freeze this air fryer cake?

Yes! Wrap the unfrosted cake in plastic wrap and freeze it for several months. If it is frosted, place it in the freezer on a freezer-safe sheet pan uncovered and allow it to freeze for 4 to 5 hours. Then wrap it with plastic wrap or foil and freeze for several months.

air fryer cake frosted with white frosting on a white cake pedestal
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4.67 from 15 votes

Air Fryer Cake

Did you know you can bake your cake in an air fryer? It is super simple to do, and perfect if you don't have a traditional oven, or if you just don't want to turn that oven on.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
Cooling Time20 minutes
Total Time50 minutes
Course: Cakes, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: air fryer, easy, fast, moist
Servings: 12 slices
Calories: 269kcal
Author: In the Kitchen with Matt

Equipment

  • Cake pan that fits the air fryer
  • Cake Strips (optional)
  • Wire rack
  • cake spatula

Ingredients

  • Cake batter of some sorts I have plenty here on my show
  • Frosting
  • Other toppings
  • Shortening for pan
  • Ingredients for the cake batter

Instructions

  • Prepare your cake batter by following a homemade recipe or the back of the cake mix box.
  • Take a cake pan that is small enough to fit in your air fryer basket and grease up the sides and bottom with shortening. Flour the sides and bottom as well, tapping the pan to remove the excess flour. Optionally add a round piece of parchment paper on the bottom of the pan.
  • Fill up the pan a little bit over halfway full. If you have any cake batter remaining you can make cupcakes with it. If using cake strips, soak them in water, wring them out, and then encircle the cake pan. This will help to evenly bake the cake and prevent doming.
  • Turn the air fryer temp to 350 F (176 C). Set the timer for 20 minutes. Allow it to heat up for a minute or two. Remove the basket and put it in your cake pan. Put the basket back inside the air fryer and let it do its thing. The cake will cook for 18 to 19 minutes but could take as much as 30 minutes.
  • After the timer goes off check it with a toothpick. Poke the cake in the middle; if the toothpick comes out clean it is ready to go. If there is still a bit of cake batter on it, cook the cake for 5 to 8 more minutes. If it is getting too brown but still not done, place foil on the top and continue cooking it. BE CAREFUL when handling the cake pan it will be hot. If the pan has a handle do not grab it without wearing an oven mitt or silicone mitt.
  • Once baked, allow the cake to cool down in the pan for 10 to 12 minutes. Then remove it from the pan and place it on a wire rack to cool completely. Frost and decorate the cake however you like. Enjoy!

Video

How to Make a Cake in Air Fryer | Easy Air Fryer Cake

Notes

*Note – Nutritional facts will vary depending on the cake and frosting that you use. The below information is for a common yellow cake mix and white frosting.Β 
air fry cake list of nutritional facts
Tried this recipe?Mention @WPRecipeMaker or tag #wprecipemaker!

Nutrition

Calories: 269kcal

Do you like the recipe? Please give it a rating and comment down below, I really appreciate it. If you make it tag me on Instagram @inthekitchenwithmatt. Also, sign up for the newsletter so you won’t miss out on any of my new posts and recipes.

Here are a few more recipes you may like:

Chocolate Banana Muffins

Overnight Oats

Homemade Tortilla Chips

Air fryer cake pin for Pinterest
(Pin it)

80 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Never knew how to bake a cake in Air fryer

  2. 5 stars
    Thanks for this, I just bought an air fryer and was wondering if I’d be able to do this!

  3. Richard Stephens

    I tried your method for baking a cake and had a really bad result. The cake only cooked on the top and the bottom was still raw and runny.
    I have a 2,5 liter air fryer that does most things well (french fries, etc.)
    I am obviously doing something wrong. Any thoughts on this?
    Thank you.

  4. 2 stars
    I followed the recipe directions. I did use a box cake. At 19 minutes the top of cake was burning, front side was done, and back side was not done. I rotated the cake in the tray and added 5 minutes. My tested came out clear but I must not have inserted it far enough. I let the cake cool for 12 minutes and then turned it upside down to remove from the cake pan. Cake top was burnt, bottom and sides were done, and the center was not done at all, still as runny as it was when I put it in the fryer. I used a cake pan from the Cosori accessory kit that goes with my Air Fryer. What adjustment needs to be made to get the cake done? Should the temperature be lower and cooking time longer? How do I prevent top from burning? Should cake be turned half way through cooking? I am open for suggestions.

    • Hi Denise! Every air fryer is different, you will just have to experiment. It sounds like you have the heat up too high for your air fryer. Try reducing the heat by 25F and yes you will need to cook it a little longer. You can cover the top of the cake with foil to prevent it from burning. turning the cake really won’t matter since the heat from the air fryer circulates all around.

    • Set your unit to 350 and choose the “bake” option.

  5. Ware can I get cake strips

  6. Linda Madison

    Do you have to use a cake pan? I HAVE A NINJA FOODI DUAL drawer and they don’t make a cake pan for it. Can I still bake a cake in it?

    • Hi Linda, yes you need some sort of a cake pan, it doesn’t have to come with the air fryer. Any small regular cake pan will work, as long as it fits in the air fryer. You can also use a bread pan.

  7. Rita Grimshaw

    I have a 2 Qt air fryer. Can I put a stainless bowl with cake mix in it in oven part without the part on the bottom with the holes?

  8. Hi Matt. I am eager to try a cake in my air fryer. Did you use the bake or air fry setting? Thanks.

    • Hi Tammy! I guess it depends on your Air Fryer. There are so many out there. Mine doesn’t have a bake setting. Mine only has a temp and time setting. If you have different settings, I encourage you to experiment with both settings. Try half of the cake batter on the air fry setting and the other half on the bake setting.

      • I looked up Secura and the models I found all have a bake setting. Air frying does not work as well for a cake as the bake setting does.

  9. Carol Walker

    5 stars
    Brilliant must try this.

  10. I love all of your recipe

    • Thank you! πŸ™‚

    • 3 stars
      Hello, i have tried making pizza in air fryer but had a bad experience.
      Cheese is not melted instead it got dried out and bottom of the pizza base remained uncooked. And all vegetable topping on pizza also got dried and some burnt. What is the solution then, i thought cheese will melt. I don’t have oven. Should i buy oven now? Previously i have made pizza on pan and it was good. But air fryer pizza didn’t. What solution do u recommend me?

      • I personally haven’t done pizza in the air fryer yet. But you can maybe try lower heat for a little longer. If you make pizza all the time, a real oven will produce better results than an air fryer, in my opinion.

  11. Can u use a normal cake tin that u use in normal oven in a airfryer my temp on airfryer only goes up to 200c

  12. I have a different kind of fryer, mine has the three trays with a grease catcher on bottom. So how do I bake a cake in it? Should I only use the one layer on the bottom? I have not tried anything else but meat.

    • Hello Cathy, I am not familiar with every kind of air fryer, but I would think the one layer on the bottom will work great. πŸ™‚ However, it may take a little experimenting with your particular air fryer to get it down. πŸ™‚ Let me know how it goes!

  13. I never got around to making a cake in an air fryer. I think it was more to do with a mental block than anything else. Your recipe and video gives me the push to try it out.

  14. I love my air fryer. This looks like a great brand!

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