5 Tips For Baking Cake in Air Fryer: Temperature & More

Mary and Brenda Maher

By Brenda & Mary

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When I first got my hands on an air fryer, I simply wanted to whip up some crispy, low-oil treats with smoky flavors. The idea of air fryer cakes didn’t even cross my mind until a few friends mentioned it. Turns out they worked like magic, especially for small batches!

Baking Cake in Air Fryer

Fast forward a bit, and now I’m officially the air-fryer baking guru among my pals. If you still struggle with all the ins and outs, I’m happy to spill some tips to help you ace your baking game!

How I Came Up With Baking Cakes In An Air Fryer

The Great War

Even during my beginner years, I’ve always considered myself a decent home cook. But let me tell you about these blueberry muffins, my ongoing kitchen nemesis! No matter what I tried, they’d always turn out lackluster and dense… just not right. I was on the verge of waving the white flag at them! 

Then, one day, in the middle of a baking marathon that went south, I spilled my muffin miseries to a couple of friends. They nodded sympathetically, and then one of them, eyes gleaming, suggested, “Hey, ever thought about using your air fryer?”

I was like, “What?” It was a whole new concept to me back then! But I was convinced it might just be the secret sauce to my troubles. So, with a mix of doubt and hope, I decided to give it a whirl.

And you guessed it right: the air fryer worked wonders! My muffins came out with gorgeous golden tops and a fluffy texture that was spot on. Who knew this baby, mostly used for fries and roasts, could swoop in and save my day just like that?

The Pros and Cons

After playing around with my air fryer and testing various cake recipes (not just blueberry muffins this time), I’ve got the lowdown on some general ups and downs:

The Pros:

  • Speedy Cooking: The air fryer whipped up those muffins in a jiffy. Way faster than my conventional oven!
  • Even Cooking: No more unevenly baked treats! Each one came out perfectly done.
  • Moisture Magic: All my cake strips stayed moist and tender thanks to the magical air circulation and controlled temperature. 

The Cons:

  • Batch Size Blues: The air fryer’s space was limited, so it could only bake small batches at a time. Not so great for huge cravings!
  • Size Hassles: Larger pans? Nope. Fitting smaller-sized tins or bakeware in there is my only option. 
  • Recipe Adjustments: I had to play around with the temperature and timing until I nailed it. Took a bit of trial and error, but I got there in the end!

How to Bake A Cake In An Air Fryer: My Tips for Success

Halfway through baking, cover your warm cake with aluminum foil to save it from over-browning. Swap out your regular baking tools for silicone stuff, and consider reducing the heat and cook time a bit from what your oven recipe says. Most importantly, don’t crowd the fryer; you should leave some space for the dough to breathe.

Cakes in an air fryer

Protect The Top of Your Cake With Aluminum Foil

Air fryers are all about that crispy, chewy cookie game. But baking an entire cake in it? Bit of a tricky ride; the center might end up gooey, and the top becomes a little too toasty. Luckily, I discovered a trick to save your homemade cake from that burnt mess! 

  • When you’re about halfway through the timer, look into the fryer. Does the top of the cake look just right (not too brown or crispy)? Then, grab some aluminum foil. 
  • Cover the cake’s surface with aluminum foil. Make sure to fold it over the lining edges of the baking pan inside your air fryer. 

This way, the foil will act as a shield to keep your cake top from the fryer’s direct heat. Inside the drawer, the heat circulates evenly and keeps baking your cake till it’s just perfect. No burnt tops, just pure cakey heaven!

Use Silicone

Silicone Bakeware

You know those classic baking tools we’ve been using for ages – liners, cake pans, parchment papers? Sure, they’re the champs of the baking world, but let’s face it: these guys can be a pain to clean up. Take parchment paper, for example; I use it once, toss it away, and bam, more waste to the landfills!

Ever thought about swapping them out for some silicone instead? They’re reusable and easy to wash, specially designed to work breezily with your air fryer’s airflow. Plus, it only takes seconds to peel those silicone pans away from your cake; no more cake-stuck-in-the-pan struggle! 

A quick heads-up: Silicone might absorb some smells over time (like plastic or soap), which then sneak into your cakes, so remember to keep an eye on your old silicone kitchenware. We all know our silicone friends are durable, but they will still need replacing eventually, unlike metal trays and pans that can stick around forever.

Use A Bit Of Oil For Washing or Cake Transfers 

The nonstick surfaces of the accessories are probably the coolest part of air-fryer baking. There will be less elbow grease needed to clean up the mess, and washing your nonstick trays and pans will also be a breeze! 

To speed things up, I sometimes turn to a little cooking oil; with just a dab, my cake slips right out of the pan into its dish. No fuss at all! And if you want to jazz up your baked cake while keeping it moist, try spreading a bit of canola oil in the pan or air fryer basket. 

Still, no nonstick cooking sprays for the air fryer! Those sprays might mess up the nonstick coating, ruin your pan, and even make your cake mixture taste funky. I save the sprays for my traditional oven adventures only, not air fryers.

Reduce The Heat

When the kitchen heat becomes unbearable, an air fryer can become your knight in shining armor! This little magic box uses little energy and generates just as little heat. Plus, it’s a speedy roasting champ, spinning around your food way quicker/more evenly than your grandma’s old oven!

Since it is that efficient, your air fryer will need less time and heat than usual to work its baking magic. 

I usually reduce the temperature by around 25 degrees F and shave off about 20% of the baking time compared to my regular oven. When sticking to the old recipe instructions, my cake often ends up a bit too crispy or dry, and that’s a no-go!

And forget about warming your kitchen with an oven during winter days. Why not get yourself comfortable with a delightful baked slice fresh from the fryer instead?

Avoid Overstuffed Drawers

Are you planning to bake a colossal wedding cake in a jiffy using these air fryers? Then hold your horses! Before doubling up your recipe or stuffing dough into the drawer, check the fryer’s instructions first to avoid overloading. 

Sometimes, it might seem the drawer still has some extra wiggle room, but you’ve got to play it safe. With too much squeezing, the air cannot flow properly; your cake might end up unevenly cooked or, even worse, partly doughy and partly burnt!

And let’s not forget that dough naturally rises a lot during baking. So, when it’s packed too tight with no room to expand, your air fryer might end up in a gooey dough disaster and, dare I say, a serious fire hazard. 

Long story short, always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and avoid getting carried away with your baking. 

How to Store Your Air-Fryer Cake

Storing air fryer cakes is pretty much like storing oven-baked ones. Once the cake’s all cooled down, wrap it up in clingfilm. Consider keeping it on your countertop for about 3 days (if it is an unfrosted cake) or popping it in the refrigerator in 3 to 5 days.  

Before munch time, take the cake off the fridge, then give it some time to warm up to room temperature and return to its lovely softness. Easy-peasy!


Baking a cake in an air fryer can be a bit unconventional, but don’t worry; I’ve got your back with 5 tried-and-true tips to avoid any cake catastrophes! 

I’ve already laid out all I know, but if you still need more advice, just contact me anytime. Happy to help

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Mary and Brenda Maher

Mary & Brenda Maher

Mary & Brenda Maher, are the founders of Cake Girls, a Chicago-based online baking shop specializing in cake supplies, party decor, and DIY cake tutorials. They are known for their elaborate and artistic cake creations, which have been featured on the Food Network Challenge and in a reality show, Amazing Wedding Cakes.

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