Why You Might Not Want To Make Cake In An Air Fryer

The air fryer is a wonder of our time, and since its invention, it has not ceased to awe. Be this as it may, it has its limits too, and cake may be one of them. Since 2015, the air fryer has done nothing but trend, appealing to home cooks with its wondrous all-purpose capabilities (per Exnovate). There is no doubt that the air fryer is an impressive gadget, and even though it was invented to cook french fries without oil, it plays the role of a magical all-purpose furnace that offers a healthier alternative to most cooking methods. According to WebMD, it reduces fat, calories, and cancer risks because it uses hot air to cook food rather than oil.

The air fryer cooks things in ways that the conventional oven or microwave cannot. For example, it is safe for use with tinfoil and metal objects. It also does not need to preheat before use (like the conventional oven) and crisps things like Brussels sprouts and nuggets without the use of cooking oil. With all of its capabilities, the air fryer has its limitations — albeit only for reasons of practicality, per Insider.

Air fryers have limitations

The air fryer works on a flowing hot air principle created by a heat source and a fan (hence the name). The air circulates the fryer, flowing around the food morsel, achieving the same results a deep fryer or oven would (per Food 52).

According to Reader's Digest, its use of rushing air to cook bars foods of a lightweight or loose and granular make-up — like rice and popcorn, or slices of bread. Air fryers are also not ideal for wet batters: Foods like corn dogs will not get as crispy as they would in oil, and are likely to create a mess before they are cooked, per Food Network.

These cautions extend to cake batter, too. In an interview with Mashed, Executive Chef for the NuWave appliance company David Jarvis stated that using an air fryer to bake a cake can be challenging. He pointed out that the top of the cake tin would need to be covered and may result in the cake not cooking through to the center. He elaborated that the task is possible but only for air fryer veterans. As a testimony to Jarvis' remark, one netizen tweeted: "First attempt baking cake in the air fryer, layer one came out Cajun style."