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Easy Air Fryer Cake Recipe

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Tried and failed to make cake in your air fryer? Wish there was a simple recipe, that worked every time? You’re in the right place! This CRAZY easy all in one air fryer cake is something you need in your life! Complete with tips and video tutorial – this post will give you the knowledge to make perfect air fryer sponge cake!

Close up of a slice of air fryer sponge cake being held up

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Why make air fryer sponge cake?

Maybe it’s Summer, and it’s too hot to put the oven on. Maybe you only want a small cake, and not a large one. Or maybe you just want cake as quick as possible!

Whatever the reason, this reliable air fryer cake recipe works EVERY SINGLE TIME! Making light, delicious air fryer sponge cake, that’s just as good as oven baked.

And this recipe couldn’t be any easier! Like Biscoff cake, it uses the all in one method. So there’s no creaming, no folding and no faffing. Just chuck it in, mix it up and air fry it.

Easy peasy right?!

3 plates of air fryer sponge cake

Are air fryers good for baking cakes?

Air fryers are essentially mini fan ovens. So, providing it fits, virtually anything you can cook in an oven – you can cook in an air fryer! (Check out this round up of 40+ UK air fryer recipes if you don’t believe me!)

With that in mind, air fryers are very good for baking cakes! You just need to make sure you choose the right settings. Temperature and timing is key to cooking well in an air fryer.

You usually lower the temperature compared to an oven, and the cooking time is often reduced too. But don’t worry – I’ve worked all this out, so you don’t have to!

Jam being spread on a cake

Can I use a normal cake tin in an air fryer?

Yes, you can absolutely use a normal cake tin in an air fryer! The trickiest bit is finding ones that fit…

I found these brilliant little 6″ round cake tins (affiliate link), which fit perfectly in my Ninja Foodi Max Dual Zone AF400 air fryer (affiliate link).

Obviously all air fryers are different. Some have 2 drawers (like mine), others have one larger drawer. So use what works best for you and the equipment you have.

Just note, that this particular recipe makes a 6″ air fryer cake. If you use a different sized tin, it will affect the cooking times.

Someone forking a piece of air fryer sponge cake

How long does it take to bake a cake in an air fryer?

This recipe makes a 6″ air fryer sponge cake. To bake this size cake in an air fryer takes about 25 minutes.

If you’re making a larger cake, this will take longer. If you use a smaller tin, but make the same amount of batter – this may also take longer.

The best thing to do is check it around 5 mins before the end of the cooking time. And keep an eye on it thereafter.

Someone having a slice of cake and a cup of tea

How do I know when air fryer cakes are done?

You know when air fryer cakes are done in exactly the same way you know when oven baked cakes are done.

The first thing to look out for is if the cake is coming away from the sides of the tin. The second thing to do is insert a skewer into the middle of the cake. If it comes out clean – it’s done. If there is still batter on it – cook for a little longer.

These things do tend to come with experience. If you’re not feeling overly confident, read through Baking for Beginners first. It’ll give you the knowledge and confidence you need, to bake whatever you fancy. Plus, you can bag some awesome freebies too!

Icing sugar being dusted over an air fryer sponge cake

Ingredients and substitutions

Confused about what ingredients to buy? Not sure about a substitution? Here’s what you need to know…

For the cake

  • Sugar – Caster sugar (superfine in the US) is preferred, although granulated will work. It just means you’ll have to mix for a little longer, until the grains have dissolved into the batter. Do be careful not to over mix though.
  • Butter – Unsalted butter works best in baking, as you can add the salt separately. Which gives you full control. Just make sure it’s at room temperature/soft before you begin baking.
  • Eggs – Any large eggs will do. Ingredients have gotten very expensive recently, so go with what you can afford. Again, bring them to room temperature before using.
  • Flour – I use self raising flour. If you only have plain/all purpose flour, see how to make self raising flour using store cupboard ingredients. Then use as per the recipe. Note, you will still need to add the extra 1/2 tsp of baking powder, as listed in the ingredients.
  • Baking Powder – Not to be confused with bicarbonate of soda. Do check it’s still in date before you use it!
  • Milk – Any milk will work, including plant based alternatives.
  • Vanilla – A highly recommend using a good quality vanilla. (I like Nielsen Massey and Little Pod.) I promise you will taste the difference and never look back!
  • Salt – Please don’t skip this! You season your dinner, why wouldn’t you season your bakes?!
Icing being smoothed over a cake

For the filling

  • Butter – See above. The same applies for the icing!
  • Sugar – You need icing/confectioners sugar to make buttercream frosting. It’s fine enough to dissolve quickly, which is exactly what we need!
  • Vanilla – See above. It will taste just as good here.
  • Jam – Traditionally, strawberry jam is used in a Victoria sponge. But honestly, you can use whatever you have or fancy!
A slice of air fried cake on a plate

Recipe tips and troubleshooting

Here are some tips you’ll find helpful when making this air fryer cake.

  • Remember all air fryers vary from brand to brand, and this can affect the cooking times.
  • Make sure all chilled ingredients are brought to room temperature before you begin. It’s essential for the ‘all in one’ cake method to work!
  • Do not over mix the batter. Beat only until the ingredients have blended together, and there are no more visible streaks of flour. If you overdo it – your air fryer cake may end up dense and chewy.
  • Test with a skewer about 5 mins before the end of the cooking time. Adjust timings as necessary.
  • Crust a little crisp? To avoid this, brush the tops of each layer with a little milk as soon as they are baked.
  • Allow your cake to cool completely before you add the icing and jam. Otherwise things will get VERY messy!
  • Don’t open the drawers in the first half of the cooking time. Instead, open and check around the 20 minute mark. Otherwise your cakes could deflate.
Someone slicing an air fryer cake

Time management

Have limited time? Struggle with recipe timings? Or juggling around other things? Here’s some time managing info to make your life easier.

  • It will only take around 5-10 minutes for you to prepare your tins and make cake batter. Assuming all your ingredients are at room temperature, as recommended in the recipe.
  • Your cake will take approx 25 minutes to bake in the air fryer.
  • Depending on the time of year (seasons play a factor here), it will take around an hour or so for your cakes to cool completely.
  • The buttercream icing will take around 5 minutes to make.
  • Assembling and dusting the cake will only take about 5 minutes.
A slice of cake on a plate set over a book

If you like this recipe…

…you might also like:

Air Fryer Cake – Step by Step Picture Recipe

(For a printer friendly version, see the recipe card at the end of this post)

Ingredients

Here is what you will need to serve 6.

Important! All ingredients must be at room temperature before you begin, for the ‘all in one’ cake method to work.

For the cake

  • 120g (1/2 Cup) Caster Sugar
  • 120g (1/2 Cup) Unsalted Butter, room temp *
  • 2 x Eggs + 1 Yolk, room temp
  • 120g (3/4 Cup + 1/8 Cup) Self Raising Flour
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1.5 tbsp Milk (plus extra for brushing)
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp Salt

*Is yours still fridge cold? Learn how to soften butter quickly.

For the filling

  • 60g (1/4 Cup) Unsalted Butter, room temp
  • 85g (3/4 Cup + 1/8 Cup) Icing/Confectioners Sugar (plus extra for dusting)
  • 1/4 tsp Vanilla
  • 180g (1/2 Cup) Strawberry Jam

Essential equipment

  • 2 x 6″ Round Cake Tins
  • Large Mixing Bowl
  • Electric Hand Whisk
  • Spatula
  • Air Fryer
  • Pastry Brush
  • Cooling Rack
  • Medium Bowl
  • Sieve

Cake instructions

Grease the base and sides of your cake tins, and line the bases with baking paper.

Two lined round cake tins

Then add ALL the cake ingredients into a large mixing bowl. (120g | 1/2 Cup caster sugar, 120g | 1/2 Cup unsalted butter, 2 x eggs + 1 yolk, 120g | 3/4 Cup + 1/8 Cup self raising flour, 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1.5 tbsp milk, 1 tsp vanilla, 1/4 tsp salt.)

Air fryer cake ingredients in a mixing bowl

Beat with an electric hand whisk until smooth and blended. Start on a low speed, and work up to a higher one. You shouldn’t need to use a very fast speed, if you’re ingredients are all at room temperature.

Note – Do NOT over mix! Or your cake could end up dense and chewy.

Air fryer cake batter in a mixing bowl

Then divide the batter between your two prepared tins with a spatula, and smooth out. Preheat your air fryer to 150ºC/302ºF.

Cake batter divided between 2 round tins

Once preheated, carefully place your cake tins in the air fryer and close the drawer(s).

Filled cake tins in an air fryer

Air fry at 150ºC/302ºF for 25 minutes. Check on them at the 20 minutes mark, as all air fryers vary.

Insert a skewer into the centre. If it comes out clean, they’re cooked through. If there is batter on it, they need a little longer.

Just like when baking cake in an oven, try not to open the drawer(s) too much. Especially during the first half of the cooking time.

Baked cake in an air fryer

As soon as they’re done, take them out the air fryer and brush the tops with a little milk. This will help soften the hard crust. Don’t go mad though – you only need a little.

Milk being brushed on the tops of cakes

After about 10 minutes, carefully remove the air fryer cakes from the tin, peel off the baking paper, and allow to cool upside down on a rack.

Two cakes cooling upside down on a rack

Filling instructions

Meanwhile, you can make the frosting! Place the butter (60g | 1/4 Cup), icing sugar (85g | 3/4 Cup + 1/8 Cup) and vanilla (1/4 tsp) into a medium sized bowl.

Butter, icing sugar and vanilla in a small bowl

Start to mix the ingredients with a spatula. It will seem like it won’t come together, but it will. Continue to beat until the frosting is nice and smooth.

Vanilla icing being beaten together
Smooth vanilla buttercream frosting in a bowl with a spatula

Assembly instructions

When your cakes are cool, place one layer on a cake stand or serving plate. Smooth over the buttercream icing, but not quite to the edge.

Buttercream icing spread on a cake

Next, spread over the jam. Again, don’t go right to the edges… You’ll see why in a second!

Jam and buttercream spread over a cake

Now place the other cake layer on top and gently press it down. This will schmush the filling out a little, so be careful. (Yes, that’s a technical term!)

An assembled air fryer cake on a stand

Finally, all that’s left for you to do is dust the top, by sieving over some icing sugar. And that’s it! You now have a beautifully light, airy and delicious air fryer sponge cake!

Icing sugar being dusted over a cake

How to store air fryer cake

I usually recommend storing cake in an airtight metal container at room temperature. However, this is one of the few times I will actually suggest storing it in a plastic tub. Why? Because air fryer cakes can form a harder crust than oven baked ones. And, as sugar sweats in plastic, it will actually help to soften it a little.

The only downside, is that you may have to re-dust with icing sugar. But that’s very easy to do!

Top Tip! Turn your tub upside down and place the cake on the lid. That way you don’t have to lift it out every time you want some. Just take off the tub and it’s ready to go!

Air fryer cake on a stand

Loved this air fryer sponge cake recipe? Pin it!

Close up of a slice of air fryer sponge cake being held up. A text overlay says 'Air Fryer Cake'
Close up of a slice of air fryer sponge cake being held up

Easy Air Fryer Cake - Printable Recipe

Yield: 6
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

This reliable air fryer cake recipe works EVERY time! Making light, delicious air fryer sponge cake, that's just as good as oven baked.

Ingredients

  • 120g (1/2 Cup) Caster Sugar
  • 120g (1/2 Cup) Unsalted Butter, room temp
  • 2 x Eggs + 1 Yolk, room temp
  • 120g (3/4 Cup + 1/8 Cup) Self Raising Flour
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1.5 tbsp Milk (plus extra for brushing)
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp Salt

For the filling

  • 60g (1/4 Cup) Unsalted Butter, room temp
  • 85g (3/4 Cup + 1/8 Cup) Icing/Confectioners Sugar (plus extra for dusting)
  • 1/4 tsp Vanilla
  • 180g (1/2 Cup) Strawberry Jam

Essential equipment

  • 2 x 6″ Round Cake Tins
  • Large Mixing Bowl
  • Electric Hand Whisk
  • Spatula
  • Air Fryer
  • Pastry Brush
  • Cooling Rack
  • Medium Bowl
  • Sieve

Instructions

For the cake

  1. Grease the insides of your cake tins and line the bases with baking paper. Then, add ALL the cake ingredients to a large mixing bowl.
  2. Starting on a slow speed and working up, beat the ingredients until smooth. Do NOT over mix.
  3. Divide the batter between your cake tins and smooth out with a spatula. Preheat your air fryer to 150ºC/302ºF.
  4. Place the cakes into the air fryer drawer(s) and air fry for 25 minutes. Check at 20 mins with a skewer, and adjust the timings as necessary.
  5. As soon as they're done, remove the cakes from the air fryer, and brush the tops with a little milk. (This will help soften the crust.)
  6. Leave in the tins for 10 mins. Then carefully remove, peel off the baking paper, and cool upside down on a rack.

For the filling

  1. Place the butter, icing sugar and vanilla in a medium bowl.
  2. Starting off gently, beat with a spatula. It will seem like it won't come together, but it will. Continue until smooth and grain free.

Assembly

  1. Place a cake layer on a stand or serving plate. Smooth over the buttercream icing, but don't spread it right to the edge.
  2. Top with the jam and gently smooth it out. Again, don't go right to the edge.
  3. Place the other cake layer on the top and gently press down. This will squash the filling out, so take care. Finally, sieve over some icing sugar to dust the top.

Notes

Important! All ingredients must be at room temperature before you begin, for the ‘all in one’ cake method to work.

I used the air fry setting on a Ninja Foodi Max Dual Zone 9.5 litre Air Fryer

See the main post for a more detailed, step by step picture recipe.

Be sure to read the sections Ingredients and Substitutions, Recipe Tips and Troubleshooting and Time Management for lots of helpful information before you begin making this recipe. You can find them in the main body of this post.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 539Total Fat: 27gSaturated Fat: 16gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 158mgSodium: 416mgCarbohydrates: 70gFiber: 1gSugar: 49gProtein: 5g

Nutritional information on kitchenmason.com should only be used as a general guideline, I am not a certified nutritionist. Please always check labels for allergens where applicable.

Did you make this recipe?

I'd love to hear about it! Please leave a comment on the blog or tag me on Instagram.

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Other sweet air fryer recipes

About Emma Mason

Emma is a professional blogger. Utilising over 20 years of cooking experience, she’s passionate about making your life easier, one recipe at a time! Drawing on her 12+ year background in recipe research and development, photography, copy writing and marketing, Emma has turned kitchenmason.com into a successful career. Known as ‘the organisation queen’ among friends, she is passionate about creating easy to follow recipes that anyone can follow and enjoy. She lives in Nottingham (UK) with her husband, daughter and 2 naughty cats. In her spare time she can be found reading a good book, training at the dojo preparing for her black belt grading, or dreaming up the next crazy colour combo for her hair!

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carol Davies

Tuesday 26th of March 2024

Hi i have 2 6" sandwich tins they are not deep like yours would these work

Emma

Tuesday 26th of March 2024

Hi Carol. It depends on how tall your tins are? I’d say if they’re at least 2” tall, you should be ok. Emma x

Tina

Tuesday 1st of August 2023

Have you a recipe for a single drawer air fryer? Would it be ok put all the ingredients into a larger cake tin and cut in half when cooked? Obviously would take longer to cook, so what do you recommend? Thanks

Emma

Tuesday 1st of August 2023

Hi Tina. I don’t currently have a specific recipe for a single drawer air fryer cake at the moment. You could absolutely put the batter in a larger cake tin and then cut in half once cooled. As for timings and temperatures, it’s very difficult to know without having tested it myself. But I would try it at 150C/302F, and increase the time to about 30 mins. Then check it with a skewer, if it comes out clean, it’s ready. If there’s batter on it, continue to bake for a little longer. Hope this helps :) Emma x

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