After years of using my air fryer almost exclusively for savory dishes, I've recently started experimenting with desserts and sweet treats.
While testing the best air fryers, I've tried various recipes for cakes, muffins, donuts, turnovers, and more, and below I've started listing my favorites. What's more, many of these can be considered healthier versions because they don't rely on vats of oil or heaps of butter.
Like with my air fryer sides roundup, these recipes range in difficulty and prep time, but none of them require any specific skills or baking talent. If I can cook them (and I'm a notoriously bad baker) then anyone can.
As we discover and test more recipes, we'll add them to this list but for now, here are the best air fryer desserts.
Expand your air fryer repertoire with these air fryer desserts
1. Air fryer donuts
You don't need a large vat of boiling oil to make deep-fried treats. This air fryer donuts recipe proves that an air fryer can perform just as well, with fewer calories and fat.
It's not a quick recipe – you need to make, knead, and then proof the dough for around two hours – but when I tell you the effort is more than worth the reward, I mean it.
These donuts taste (and look) just like Krispy Kreme's original glazed donuts and once you've made a batch of dough, you can keep it in the freezer for the next time you're craving a sweet treat.
2. Air fryer turnover
In stark contrast to the time-consuming air fryer donuts recipe, these air fryer turnovers are one of the easiest desserts I've ever made.
All you need is ready-made puff pastry, a tin of apple pie filling, and an egg (or egg alternative).
The recipe is super versatile too. I've made it with cherries and peaches and they always go down well with friends and family.
If you want to make your own pastry or create your own filling, you can add even more versatility - but if you'd rather take the cheat route like me, I won't tell anyone!
3. Air fryer filo pastry baklava
I've tried various air fryer filo pastry recipes but my favorite that I come back to, time and again, are these baklava bites.
Inspired by the iconic Turkish dessert, these bite-sized treats are filled with walnuts, honey, orange zest, and cinnamon and are then finished off with chopped pistachios.
Like with the turnover recipe, you can make your own pastry if you have the time, but I always just buy it from the store and I've not made a bad batch yet.
4. Air fryer s'mores
This air fryer s'mores recipe is the easiest dessert I've made, even easier than the turnover recipe above.
All you need to do is place a marshmallow and a square of chocolate inside two sweetmeal biscuits and bake for five minutes. That's it!
It's so quick and easy that my children love making this recipe with me for movie nights or as a quick after-school treat.
5. Air fryer muffins
Air fryers are great for making baked goods like muffins and cakes because of the uniform way in which they circulate the hot air. I get a much higher success rate when baking in my air fryer compared to my oven, and the cleaning is easier!
One dessert I keep returning to is this lemon and blueberry air fryer muffin recipe. In my experience, in order to get an even bake, you need to use large muffin cases and this means the muffins are shallower than they would normally be.
However, they taste just as good and you can replace the lemon and blueberry flavors with any filling of your choice.
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Victoria Woollaston is a freelance science and technology journalist with more than a decade’s experience writing for Wired UK, Alphr, Expert Reviews, TechRadar, Shortlist and the Sunday Times. She has a keen interest in next-generation technology and its potential to revolutionise how we live and work.