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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!
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!
I made this recipe using the 5.8 QT Cosori Air Fryer. Its square basket makes it the perfect size for our family of 4.
How to Make Air Fryer Cake
A full printable version of this recipe with ingredient measurements is available at the bottom of this post.
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.
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.
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.
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!
- Add 2 teaspoons of white vinegar into a liquid measuring cup and then using milk, fill it up to the 1/2 cup line.
- 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!
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.
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.
Other Air Fryer Dessert Recipes You’ll Love:
- Air Fryer Cookie
- Air Fryer Lava Cakes
- Air Fried Oreos with Crescent Rolls
- The Best Air Fryer Desserts
- Air Fryer Apple Fritters
- Air Fryer Apple Slices
- 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
- Preheat your air fryer to 350 degrees F.
- 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.
- 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.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and place it in the air fryer basket.
- 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.
- Decorate with frosting and sprinkles, if desired.
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.