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Baking in an Air Fryer: Ultimate Guide

Baking in an air fryer is very simple and quick, with the right know-how and the right tools. It is easy to adjust regular recipes to bake in an air fryer with our easy guide.

Cookies baked in an air fryer, with an air fryer in the background.
Baking in an air fryer

How to Bake in an Air Fryer

I have been using my air fryer to bake cakes and desserts for many years now, so I thought it was finally time to share some tips and techniques with you guys.

Air fryers are basically small convection ovens, and so can be used to bake just about anything that you would normally bake in a regular oven. All you need is the right size of pan, and a few adjustments to the recipe.

First I will outline some differences between baking in an air fryer compared to baking in a regular oven, and then describe my method for converting a regular baking recipe to bake in an air fryer.

I also have tips and tricks for different types of baked goods in an air fryer, and a round-up of all my baking recipes. I am always adding more, as I slowly work through my family’s collection of baking recipes, so remember to bookmark this page and check back often for new recipes!

Baking in an air fryer vs. a regular oven

There are a few differences between baking in an air fryer that you should be aware of before you start. This will help you convert recipes and trouble shoot them to get the best possible results.

Because of the cooking action of air fryers (hot air blown onto the surfaces of foods), the outside of your baking will often cook quicker than the inside, and causing the outer surface to be crisper and drier than you might usually get with regular baking.

This can lead to a beautiful crust on breads, and crisp light cookies. It can also lead to less spreading when baking a butter based recipe (e.g. butter cookies), so your air fryer baking may look a slightly different shape from what you are used to.

I have also found that this tends to make the center of cakes and cupcakes rise up, but this is nothing that a good application of icing can’t hide!

Air fryer baked cupcakes with a peak in the middle
Air fryer baked cupcakes with a central peak

Bakeware for air fryers

One of the keys to successful baking in an air fryer is having the right bakeware. Standard bakeware for oven baking will usually be far too large to use in an air fryer.

One solution to this is to buy a special set of air fryer baking dishes. Most air fryer manufacturers sell a brand-specific set of pans for baking (in fact some air fryers come with such a set). Check your air fryer manufacturers website to see what is available.

Alternatively, you can buy individual small pans for baking in – just be sure to check the internal dimensions of your air fryer basket and get one that will fit correctly. You will need to be able to get it in and out easily without tipping it, and it must allow for air to circulate around the sides and on top (within the basket), so nothing too tight fitting.

Any regular oven-safe dish will also be safe to use in an air fryer. The key thing it finding one that is just the right size for your air fryer.

I would recommend getting a high sided cake pan and a shallow slice tin that you can also use for pies, quiches and cookies. Regular and silicon cupcake cases are also fine to use in an air fryer.

Converting a baking recipe for the air fryer

The key to converting baking recipes for the air fryer is to get the quantities right for the smaller air fryer baking pans.

For cookies and brownies this is less of an issue, because you can either cook the full recipe in batches, or freeze the leftover dough. Cookie dough will freeze extremely well, and if you have a stash of frozen cookie dough balls in your freezer, then you can air fry individual cookies on demand.

However, for if you are baking a cake in an air fryer you will want to get the quantities right for your cake pan, so you could try using this handy recipe conversion calculator: CakeOmeter.

Converting temperatures

Generally I have found that recipe for regular ovens need to have the temperature reduced by approximately 20°F (10°C). You can use the table below to convert temperatures.

Note: these values should be used as a guide only. When you successfully convert a recipe for your air fryer, make a note of what temperature you air fried it at, for next time.

Regular oven bake temp. Approximate air fryer bake temp.
300°F (150°C)280°F (140°C)
325°F (160°C)305°F (150°C)
350°F (175°C)330°F (165°C)
375°F (190°C)355°F (180°C)
400°F (205°C)380°F (195°C)
425°F (220°C)405°F (210°C)
450°F (230°C)430°F (220°C)

Converting baking times

Baking times for air fryers are usually approximately 80% of the baking times in a regular oven.

However, the exact length of time will depend on many factors including how much you have altered the quantities in the original recipe and how efficient your air fryer is. Use the values in the table below as a guide only, and when you successfully convert a recipe for your air fryer, make a note of how long you air fried it for, for next time.

Estimated Air Fryer Bake Times

Regular oven bake time (minutes)Air fryer bake time (minutes)
Estimated bake times for air fryers

Air Fryer Baking: FAQ & Tips

Can you bake in an air fryer?

Yes you can. An air fryer is basically a small convection oven, so anything you can bake in a regular oven can be baked in an air fryer. You will need to adjust regular baking recipes to bake in an air fryer.

How do you bake in an air fryer?

The action of hot air in an air fryer means that food will bake at a different rate vs. in a regular oven, so recipes need to be adjusted. You may also need to rotate the food depending on how evenly the air fryer circulates air

How do you convert baking time to air fryer?

A good rule of thumb to reduce the cooking time by around 20%.

Can you put baking sheet in air fryer?

Any oven safe baking dish can be used in an air fryer as long as it will fit and leave enough room around it (including above) for the hot air to circulate effectively.

Can you put aluminum foil in an air fryer

You can use aluminum foil in some air fryer brands, but for others the manufacturers do not recommend it. Check you manual to see if it is okay for your air fryer model.

What pans are air fryer safe?

Any oven-safe pan will be fine to use in an air fryer.

How long do you bake a cake in an air fryer?

If baking a cake in an air fryer following a non-air fryer recipe, reduce the baking time by approximately 20%.

What temperature do you bake in an air fryer?

If you are following a non-air fryer recipe, reduce the recipe temperature by around 20°F (10°C). The temperature needed depends on how powerful your air fryer model is.

Scroll down for some air fryer baking recipes!

Pin image for air fryer baking, photos of cupcakes and cookies with air fryer
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Air Fryer Baking Recipes

Here are some baking recipes converted for the air fryer.


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