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Do you want to make cupcakes in the air fryer? Well, let me introduce you to the best ever air fryer cupcakes and our ultimate cupcake guide.

Easy to mix and match for different seasonings and featuring amazing homemade buttercream, piping tips and so much more.

This air fryer cupcakes recipe was originally shared with you back in 2016. We have since updated air fryers, gone to cupcake classes and created an even better recipe for you.

air fryer cupcakes recipe
Air Fryer Cupcakes Recipe
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My Cupcake Class

A few months back I went to a fantastic 1:1 cupcake class. Married to a chef, Dominic had always done any piping for me, and I had never really learnt it on my own.

I was always confused over what supplies to buy, if my buttercream would be good enough and how to do the pretty colours and the different cupcake designs that you see.

Well, through a local meet up for ladies in business I met the wonderful Saskia who runs her own bakery classes, with mainly kids and a few adults that she teaches at various classes.

I asked her for a 1:1 and became her first 1:1 cupcake decorating student.

She gave me a crash course in cupcake decorating, bought me the correct nozzles and piping bags and made me see that making buttercream and then piping it onto cupcakes was easy peasy.

Here is what i made at the cupcake class:

Mix And Match Cupcakes

My kids now go to her kids group sessions on a Tuesday night, and I sit in between them and love every moment of Saskia’s amazing baking knowledge.

Cupcakes In Air Fryer

Today, I am going to go into great detail about making cupcakes in the air fryer. What went wrong, so that you don’t make the same mistakes, along with top cupcake making tips that Saskia taught me.

Note Saskia is the best person I know at making cupcakes and even sells them in the local community.

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Can You Cook Cupcakes In Air Fryer?

Yes, you sure can. The air fryer is fantastic for cupcakes.

You can make some vanilla cupcake mix, then use the air fryer to cook the cupcakes.

The only disadvantage is that the air fryer can’t hold a lot of cupcakes at once (unlike the oven) so you will be doing them in several batches.

Though there is also a lot of variations you can do. Therefore, if you have a favourite chocolate cupcake mix then you can use that and then just use our time and temps.

Can You Make Cupcakes In Ninja Foodi?

Yes, you can and we also made a batch in the Ninja Foodi. Like I mentioned above, there is only so much space in the Philips Air Fryer so we did a batch in the Philips, one batch in the Ninja and a third batch in the Cosori.

Can I Use Silicone Muffin Cups In Air Fryer?

Yes, you can, and this is what I use in my air fryer egg cups and also in many other air fryer recipes. It’s a favourite of mine and I always have a drawer full of them.

But I find for air fryer cupcakes that I would much rather use paper liners.

Can You Use Paper Cupcake Liners In An Air Fryer?

Yes, you can and that is what I recommend in this air fryer cupcakes recipe. BUT you will need something for those paper cases to sit on.

I bought these cute containers for small desserts and for Yorkshire puddings in the air fryer and they are perfect for sitting the cupcake liners on:

Can You Use Paper Cupcake Liners In An Air Fryer

And then the cupcake liners will not fall over and get the air sucked out of them as they air fry.

Can You Use A Cake Recipe To Make Cupcakes?

Yes, you can and it’s a great way to use up leftover cake mix after you have been baking some cakes.

I would recommend the most our air fryer chocolate cake or round lemon drizzle cake for this.

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Air Fryer Cupcakes Recipe Ingredients

Butterfly Cake Recipe Ingredients

Buttercream – You will want a batch of buttercream that you can load into your piping bag for the top of the cupcakes. What we did was make a batch of our Thermomix buttercream and then left it in the fridge until just before we needed to pipe it. For making buttercream the main ingredients are double icing sugar to butter quantity. Plus, a little milk and vanilla essence.

Mix – Before adding the buttercream we need to make vanilla cupcake mix that we can then air fry. What’s easy about the vanilla cupcakes is that its equal quantities of butter, sugar, and flour and then a little vanilla and some eggs.

Colouring – You may also want some food colouring to make your cupcakes more special. Such as green for St Paddy’s Day, or red and pink for Valentine’s Day.

Accessories – Then for accessories you will need your nozzles, a piping bag, a drinking glass, a pair of scissors and a peg. Don’t worry I will explain this in more detail further down.

Then for the kitchen gadgets that we have used in this cupcake air fryer recipe it has just been our Cosori air fryer. We have this one and its wonderful for many types of air fryer recipes.

We also used our Thermomix for quickly and easily making the cupcake mix and for making the buttercream.

Plus, we recommend you head over to our air fryer recipes category as we have more than 500 tried and tested air fryer recipes and have been air frying for 10 years.

How To Make Cupcakes In Air Fryer?

air fryer cupcakes step by step
  • Mix. Start by making your air fryer vanilla cupcakes with your stand mixer (we used our Thermomix). Mix butter and sugar until light and creamy. Then gradually add vanilla paste and eggs. Finally add in flour and mix well.  
  • Cook. Load the batter into paper liners and then place paper liners into suitable containers. Air fry for 12 minutes at 160c/320f and then allow to completely cool.
  • Prep. Next make your buttercream by adding butter, then double the quantity in icing sugar and then a little milk and vanilla.
  • Colour. If you want coloured buttercream i.e. we did red roses then add the colour now, or separate the buttercream into bowls for multiple colours.
  • Pipe. Next pipe the buttercream over the cupcakes before serving.

And I am sure you can see now how easy it is cooking cupcakes in air fryer and how you can be doing the same.

How Long Do You Cook Cupcakes?

The air fryer cupcakes time is JUST 12 minutes. I love how fast you can make cupcakes in the air fryer and recommend you make them in the morning, then once cool you can do the piping in the afternoon.

The air fryer cupcakes temperature is 160c/320f. This is because you don’t want your cupcakes to burn on top and its very easy for that to happen with the way food cooks in an air fryer.

How To Pipe Your Cupcakes?

how to pipe your cupcakes

Then once you have followed our buttercream recipe, you will want to prepare the buttercream and pipe it on your cold cupcakes.

This is a really easy process and once you have done this once you can rinse and repeat.

Start by loading a piping bag over a glass with the nozzle already in the bottom. Then feed in all your buttercream.

Then remove from the glass and tightly twist around and use a peg to hold in place. Then use the scissors to chop about 1.5 cm off the bottom so that the buttercream can get out.

Then hold your piping bag in place as you pipe the buttercream over the cupcakes.

Then for the essential accessories you need for making cupcakes in the air fryer I have highlighted them below:

And I have bolded them above so you can imagine when you need each of them.

What About Rainbow Cupcakes?

what about rainbow cupcakes step by step

You just have an extra step if you want to do multiple colour cupcakes.

Simply mix your colours in different small containers to create different colour pots.

Then lay out a strip of cling film.

Then roll it up like a fat sausage as tight as you can.

Then cut the end off and lower into your piping bag.

You then pipe as normal, and those beautiful colours will come through to your cupcake.

Air Fryer Cupcake Mistakes

As you can imagine there is a few mistakes you can make when baking cupcakes in the air fryer and wanted to run through with you the BIGGEST ones.

Mistake #1 over filling the paper cases

In the first batch we made, we added too much cupcake batter and it resulted in some of them spilling out and not looking like classic cupcakes at all.

How To Make Cupcakes In Air Fryer?

Instead, you need to fill them to ¼ full only.

Mistake #2 leaving out your buttercream for too long

It was a very hot day when we made our cupcakes and the buttercream ended up melting too much. We simply loaded it in the fridge to get the temperature back down and it was fine.

Mistake #3 not freezing your leftovers

You can freeze leftover cupcakes in their liners and you can also freeze spare buttercream.

What we did was use up loads of old buttercream we had previously made in the freezer and used this. It meant we only needed to make a small batch of buttercream in testing these recipes.

freeze buttercream

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More Air Fryer Baking

air fryer cupcakes

Your cupcake air fryer recipe is below, note you can print it out with or without photos, adjust servings, or click between metric and imperial depending on where you are in the world.

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5 from 4 votes

Air Fryer Cupcakes

Do you want to make cupcakes in the air fryer? Well, let me introduce you to the best ever air fryer cupcakes and our ultimate cupcake guide.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 32 minutes
Servings: 10
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Kitchen Gadgets


  • Load into the Thermomix or stand mixer, your butter and sugar and mix on speed 3 for 3 minutes.
    How To Make Cupcakes In Air Fryer?
  • Scrape the sides and add the vanilla and the eggs mix on speed 3 for a further 3 minutes.
    How To Make Cupcakes In Air Fryer?
  • Then add the flour and mix on speed 4 for 1 minutes. Then scrape the edges.
    How To Make Cupcakes In Air Fryer?
  • Load the cupcake batter into paper cases to ¼ full and then inside your small pudding dishes.
    How To Make Cupcakes In Air Fryer?
  • Load into the air fryer and cook for 12 minutes at 160c/320f. Allow to fully cool on a cooling tray.
    How To Make Cupcakes In Air Fryer?
  • Clean the Thermomix and then make your buttercream. Load into separate dishes with food colouring if you want rainbow cupcakes.
    How To Make Cupcakes In Air Fryer?
  • Then once the cupcakes are cool, load the nozzle into the piping bag and the piping bag over the drinking glass. Add the buttercream and use your hands to tightly twist the piping bag and add a peg to the top. Cut the bottom off the piping bag so that the nozzle comes through.
    How To Make Cupcakes In Air Fryer?
  • Pipe your cupcakes and then serve.
    How To Make Cupcakes In Air Fryer?


Make Ahead. You can also make ahead your easy air fryer cupcakes. Which is perfect if you have a party that you want to use them for the next day.
Colours. Use your imagination and have whichever colour combos that you want. At cupcake class I loved making red and yellow.
Thanks for reading our air fryer cupcakes from scratch recipe on Recipe This. We have many more air fryer recipes for you to check out next. Though if you would like to try more delicious baking recipes in the air fryer, then do check out our air fryer doughnut cake recipe next.


Calories: 262kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 81mg | Sodium: 20mg | Potassium: 46mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 642IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 0.3mg
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About Sam & Dom

Hi! I am Sam and along with my chef hubby Dom we love sharing with you easy everyday recipes using kitchen gadgets. We are also the authors of The Complete Air Fryer Cookbook, an amazing air fryer cookbook filled with 140+ everyday air fryer recipes.

Beyond the air fryer we also love the instant pot, slow cooker, soup maker, ninja foodi, pie maker and several other kitchen gadgets.

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Recipe Rating


  1. I used a packet cake mix before I saw this. My air fryer has a cake setting on it. 160f for 20-30 mins. Instead of trying a whole cake I did individual silicone cake cases and cooker for 20 mins. Cakes were cooked fine but came out lopsided. Air frying makes the batter move slightly. Should I have only cooked them for the time you stated. How do I overcome lopsided ones? Thanks

    1. Hi Vanessa,

      Assuming the air fryer is on a level surface then shaking the batter in the silicone cups will help level it out, just make sure they are level before cooking, i cannot think why they would be lopsided just because they have been cooked in the air fryer 🙂

    1. Hi Shirley,

      Under the ingredients if you press imperial or metric it will move between US and UK measurements. Depending on how heavy the ingredients are it changes between oz’s and cups 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    I love the print recipe page where you can decide how many cupcakes you want to make and it adjusts the amount of ingredients automatically.

  3. 5 stars
    Thank you for the wonderful cupcake recipe. Made it today and I doubt there will be any left tonight. Can’t wait to try more of your recipes!

  4. 5 stars
    It truly is the best chocolate cupcakes and was told that all three times I’ve made it (in the last 2 weeks – obsessive I know. Promise they were celebrations that needed cupcakes)