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Air Fryer Cake

With this air fryer cake recipe, you’ll have a moist, delicious cake in less time than it takes to bake in the oven. Just add your favorite frosting, slice, and enjoy!

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Rich and decadent chocolate cake made in air fryer

Is there anything the air fryer can’t do? From reheating pizza to cooking the perfect steak, I think it’s safe to say this appliance is downright magical. But would you believe that you can also use it for baking instead of the oven?

This rich and decadent chocolate air fryer cake is a prime example! Best of all, it takes less time than traditional baking, and you don’t have to turn on the oven and heat up your entire kitchen. It’s especially great in the hot summer months!

Here’s what I’m going to teach you in this post:

  • How easy it is to make a chocolate cake in the air fryer
  • What kind of cake pan to use in the air fryer
  • What to do if you have a boxed cake mix
  • How to store leftover air fryer chocolate cake

Whether you’re celebrating a birthday, marking a special occasion, or simply craving something decadent, there’s never a bad time to make a cake from scratch. And when it’s this easy, you might find yourself discovering a new reason to eat cake every week!

Air Fryer I recommend: Large, easy to clean, square basket, burner on top and bottom. Click to see it.
ingredients for air fryer chocolate cake

How to Make Air Fryer Cake

A full printable version of this recipe with ingredient measurements is available at the bottom of this post.

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STEP ONE: Preheat your air fryer to 350 degrees F. 

STEP TWO: Spray the inside of a 7-inch air fryer-safe cake pan with baking spray. Line with a 9-inch round piece of parchment paper, making sure it drapes up the sides a bit. Spray with more cooking spray and set aside.

STEP THREE: In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the egg, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla, then mix for 2 minutes until well combined. 

mix ingredients for air fryer cake

STEP FOUR: Stir in the boiling water until you have a thin batter.

STEP FIVE: Pour the batter into the prepared pan and place it in the air fryer basket.

STEP SIX: Cook for 25 minutes at 350 degrees F, or until the cake is baked through and you can insert a toothpick in the center without any crumbs sticking to it. 

cook chocolate cake in air fryer

STEP SEVEN: Cool the cake in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

STEP EIGHT: Decorate with frosting and sprinkles, if desired.

air fryer chocolate cake

Tips to Bake Cake in the Air Fryer

  • By using a lower temperature, the cake will bake evenly so that the texture is light and fluffy.
  • To check if your cake is baked thoroughly, insert a toothpick into the center. When your cake is fully baked, the toothpick will come out clean or with very few crumbs attached. 
  • Make sure the pan you use fits in your air fryer so the batter can lay flat and rise evenly.

I Don’t Have Buttermilk! What Else Can I Use?

I love the taste buttermilk brings to this air fryer chocolate cake than just using regular milk.

The good news is you can make buttermilk right at home if you don’t have any in the fridge!

  1. Add 2 teaspoons of white vinegar into a liquid measuring cup and then using milk, fill it up to the 1/2 cup line.
  2. Stir it to combine and then let the buttermilk sit for 5 minutes.

It should thicken up and curdle the milk slightly creating your own buttermilk!  

Can You Use a Regular Cake Pan in the Air Fryer?

Yes, you can! Any oven-safe pan or dish can also be used in the air fryer — as long as it fits your air fryer. Alternatively, you can purchase an air fryer cake pan if you prefer.

I like to have one specifically for my air fryer on hand so I know it fits well and cooks the same every time. You can even use the same pan in the Instant Pot!

slice of air fryer chocolate cake

Baking Cake in the Air Fryer vs. Oven

The biggest difference between baking in the air fryer and the oven is that the air fryer will take less time. Air fryers work like a smaller convection oven that can circulate hot air more quickly than your oven, which cuts down on the cooking time.

Also, because air fryer cooking is so consistent, you don’t have to watch your cake like you would in the oven.

Just set a timer for 25 minutes and let the air fryer handle the rest!

Can You Make a Boxed Cake Mix in the Air Fryer?

Absolutely! Prepare the batter according to the box instructions in place of steps 2 and 3, then follow the rest of the recipe like usual.

However, I will say that I prefer to make a homemade cake so that I can control the size. Depending on the size of your air fryer, a boxed cake will probably need to be cooked in batches.

When I make a cake from scratch, I can make just enough batter for the pan that fits in my air fryer.

air fryer cake with chocolate frosting and rainbow sprinkles

Can You Freeze Cake That Was Baked in the Air Fryer?

You bet! The next time you’re hit with a chocolate craving, what could be better than having a slice of cake waiting for you in the freezer?

For an unfrosted cake, simply wrap it in plastic wrap and store it in the freezer. If the cake is frosted, place it uncovered on a sheet pan and freeze for 5 hours. After that, wrap in plastic wrap and store in the freezer. In either case, the cake will stay fresh for several months.

The Best Way to Store Air Fryer Cake

Unfrosted cake can be wrapped in plastic wrap or placed in an airtight container. Store at room temperature for a few days or in the refrigerator for up to a week.

If the cake is frosted, cover it loosely with plastic wrap or foil so you don’t smear the frosting. You may want to stick toothpicks in the top of the cake to help tent the plastic wrap or foil. Make sure to store in the refrigerator and enjoy within a week.

serving a slice of chocolate cake made in air fryer

Other Air Fryer Dessert Recipes You’ll Love:

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Yield: 6-8 servings

Air Fryer Cake

Rich and decadent chocolate cake made in air fryer

Use simple, everyday ingredients to whip up a rich and decadent chocolate air fryer cake in less time than it takes to bake in the oven!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Cool Time 10 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ cup boiling water

Instructions

  1. Preheat your air fryer to 350 degrees F. 
  2. Spray the inside of a 7-inch air fryer-safe cake pan with baking spray, then line with a 9-inch round piece of parchment paper, making sure it drapes up the sides a bit. Spray with more cooking spray and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the egg, buttermilk, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract. Mix for 2 minutes, until well combined. Stir in the boiling water to create a thin batter.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and place it in the air fryer basket.
  5. Cook for 25 minutes, or until the cake is baked through, leaving no crumbs on an inserted toothpick. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. Decorate with frosting and sprinkles, if desired.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 269Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 32mgSodium: 343mgCarbohydrates: 41gFiber: 1gSugar: 34gProtein: 3g

This nutrition information is based on the exact products I used in this recipe. Brands and sizes of products could alter exact nutrition and should always be calculated independently.

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samantha

About Samantha

I’ve always had a love of cooking and creating new recipes, so it only made sense to create a food blog so I could share those recipes with you. This site is designed to provide easy and flavorful recipes with as little ingredients as possible. That means you still get great flavor combinations without all that extra time and effort. Read more...

23 thoughts on “Air Fryer Cake”

    • I don’t recommend changing this cake away from chocolate using the same recipe. Sorry!

  1. wow! i just made this and the result was outstanding! the texture, the flavor! very moist and sooo fluffy!
    i just put less sugar because we like it less sweet.
    i was skeptical because the batter was so thin with the boiling water, but it turned out amazing.
    thanks fot this recipe, I definitely will be trying some more!

    Reply
  2. Is you have a small air frier, make the recipe but only poor half the badder in at a time. I didnt think about it and poured the whole batch in. Lol so it onlybaked the top half. Pulled that off and baked the lower half.
    Took the lower half and nuked it for a minute to finish cooking it. So I fixed it.

    Other than that- this cake was delicious and rich. The small amount of sugar made for a deeper richness and nice all by itself. I did have some chocolate icing from a previous bake that went splendidly with it. I definitely make this again, baring my previous mistake above of course lol. But thank you for this recipe.

    Reply
  3. Excellent site. Really useful. Nonetheless, most Air Fryers now have Smart programs: Air Fry, Roast, Broil, Bake, Reheat, Dehydrate. Samantha never tells which program to use. That leaves me a little confused.

    Reply
    • Hi Josh, not every air fryer has that functionality, so I keep the recipes simple on the site! All recipes labeled air fryer will use the air fryer or air crisp function. Enjoy!

    • I used gluten free cake flour 1/2 cup xilitol or sweetner
      1/2 cup maizina (buttermilk replacement was 1tsp cremora and a desert spoon vinigar
      And I gave is a ganach topping. Baked it in Philips xl airfryer at 160 for 22 min.

    • Hi Alice, oh no! It sounds like it’s possible the top of the cake is too close to the fan and getting burnt or the air fryer is getting too hot. If you have shelves, is it on middle/bottom shelf?

  4. I have the ninja foodi 6.5. Would I bake this at 350 rather than air fry it? Not sure how to convert your air fryer recipes to my ninja foodi 6.5. Any suggestions you have will be much appreciated.

    Reply
  5. I never leave reviews on recipes as mostly I don’t succeed, but this cake is THE BOMB!!! 😍 I didn’t have buttermilk so I used 1/2 tbsp vinegar and milk to make up the rest, didn’t have oil so used melted butter instead, and yet it still came out glorious! It’s so moist, so rich, almost like a brownie- I didn’t cook it fully so I can enjoy that slight liquidy goodness in the middle. Seriously amazing cake, don’t hesitate people, just go and cook and dive in!
    Also can try adding some soy sauce instead of salt , apparently should taste even more amazing 😊 no need for any icing or decorating as its delicious on its own, so save them calories 😊

    Reply
  6. Hi and thanks for this excellent recipe ! I was short on cocoa powder, so I used carob powder in addition, about half the given amount, and for the same reason I used about 50% olive oil. It went really well, but next time I’ll try with the recipe as it’s given I promise :))

    Reply
  7. Samantha, can I use buttered ramekins instead of a regular cake pan? How long to cook? I literally just got my air fryer 2 hours ago and found your site. Thanks a bunch !!
    Susan

    Reply
    • Hi Susan,
      Usually, ramekins are safe to use in the air fryer. I would cut the cooking time down a little and check it with a toothpick for it to be done. Hope this helps.
      Thanks 🙂

  8. I don’t know how you all made the cake. I’ve tried twice and both times were a flop! The first time, the top burnt and the rest stayed a liquid. I decided to leave out the boiling water for the second try, as the batter seems pretty thin already before adding the water. However, the top cooked and the rest didn’t again, though better than the first try. So I flipped it around and put it in a bit longer. The bottom cooked. The whole outside cooked and was crispy, but the center was still uncooked! Not sure what I’m doing wrong! Following the recipe to a T!

    Reply
    • Hi Angela,
      It sounds like your pan may be too close to the top and the fan is heating the top faster than the bottom. We have had suggestions that only using half the batter allows it to cook evenly in smaller air fryers. Are you using the tray in the air fryer? If you have shelves, is it on the middle/bottom shelf?

  9. The air fryer cake sounds great. I have 5.8 qt Cosori can I use the pot that I use for the Mac and cheese and also I have a button for bake or just use the air fryer button

    Reply
    • Hi Sharon, I have that same air fryer! The bake and air fry functions are actually just presets that change the time and temperature. I also recommend pressing in the time and temperature manually, so selecting either function is fine to start.

  10. Hello. I have a Ninja Multizone with one large drawer, think it’s quite a new model. Are all the instructions the same please. I’ve only just got it and am nervous about cooking cakes. Many thanks

    Reply
    • Hi Jacqueline, each air fryer can vary slightly with how close the cake pan sits to the heating coil. I recommend air frying the cake for about 10-15 minutes, then opening the basket to make sure it’s not browning too fast on top. If it is, cover the cake with foil and let it cook until it’s done with a toothpick.

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