Managing Expectations Will Lead To Better Baking Experiences With Your Air Fryer

With the convenience of a microwave, power to rival an oven, and results akin to a deep fryer, air fryers continue to grow in popularity. Air fryer recipes are typically simple and uncomplicated. Thanks to their ease, you can whip up an appetizer, entree, and side with one tool. They can even be used in place of the oven to bake desserts — however, the air fryer won't always guarantee the same results.

Baking is an exact science, requiring more specificity than cooking. While a few mistakes and rerouting can result in a dish that's perfectly fine, baking desserts requires a definitive amount of ingredients, accurate temperatures, and proper timing. Air fryers tend to heat up quickly, making it easy to burn food if you're not watching carefully.

For desserts like cake that need to be baked at lower temperatures to prevent the outside from being charred while the inside is raw, air fryers aren't the best choice. Plus, the extreme heat emitted from the air fryer can be overkill for delicate desserts like soufflé and meringue. In general, putting extremely wet batter into an air fryer runs the risk of that batter being flung around inside the appliance, which can harm both the dessert and the machine.

What are the best things to bake in the air fryer?

If you do choose to bake something in the air fryer, opt for simple, single-serve desserts. With its powerful heat, air fryers are best for when you're looking for crispy, browned edges rather than something soft and fluffy. For example, if you're the type to pass over delicate, melt-in-your-mouth cookies in favor of those that have a crusty, caramelized coating, you should make cookies in your air fryer.

When baking them, do it only in small batches. The dough needs room to expand, and the small basket will make the cookies stick together as they heat up. The same goes for cakes — opt for something that's single-serve instead of going grand. Keeping the dessert small is one of our key tips for baking a cake in your air fryer. While it may seem burdensome, the extreme heat of the air fryer is beneficial when making traditionally fried desserts. While soft desserts can be tricky, the appliance delivers wonderful churros, doughnuts, and cannolis without the mess of frying in oil.