Air fryers have become increasingly popular in recent years as a healthy alternative to deep frying. Their ability to make crispy foods using little to no oil is appealing to many home cooks.
One question that often comes up is whether you can use an air fryer to bake cookie dough.
How An Air Fryer Works
Before looking at baking cookie dough in an air fryer, it helps to understand what makes an air fryer different from a traditional oven.
Air fryers work by rapidly circulating hot air around the food. This allows foods to get crispy and browned with little to no oil. The combination of high heat and air circulation mimics deep-frying results.
An air fryer cooks food much faster than a conventional oven. It can also cook food at a lower temperature thanks to the circulating air. This rapid-air technology makes air fryers great for quick weeknight meals.
Can You Bake Cookie Dough In An Air Fryer?
The short answer is yes; you can bake cookie dough in an air fryer. The hot circulating air will bake the cookies, giving them a nice, lightly browned exterior.
However, there are a few things to keep in mind when baking cookies in an air fryer versus a traditional oven:
- Air fryers cook faster, so reduce baking time. Cookie dough will bake much quicker in an air fryer. Reduce the baking time from what a recipe states for oven baking.
- Make smaller cookies. Most air fryers have a compact basket size. Make tablespoon-sized cookie dough balls rather than large cookies to fit them in the basket.
- Spray or oil the basket. Cookie dough can stick to an air fryer basket without oil. Lightly coat the basket with cooking spray or brush it with oil before adding cookie dough.
- Flip halfway. Rotate or flip the cookies halfway through cooking for even browning.
- Watch carefully. Air fryers can overcook quickly. Keep an eye on the cookies and remove them once they are browned.
Air Fryer Cookie Dough Tips
Following some basic tips will ensure your cookie dough bakes up just right in an air fryer:
- Use a simple sugar cookie or chocolate chip cookie dough recipe without special ingredients like oats or citrus zest, which may burn.
- Scoop cookie dough into tablespoon-sized balls and place them spaced apart in the oiled air fryer basket.
- Bake at 300°F for 6–8 minutes. Start checking at 6 minutes and remove any cookies that are browned. The small size means they bake fast.
- Let the cookies cool for 5 minutes in the basket, then transfer them to a cooling rack. The retained heat will continue to bake them.
- If making chocolate chip cookies, press chips into the dough balls before baking so they don’t sink. Melted chips will burn quickly in an air fryer.
- Dust powdered sugar or cinnamon sugar on the warm cookies right after air-frying, if desired.
Frequently Asked Questions About Air Frying Cookie Dough
Baking cookie dough in an air fryer may be new territory for many home bakers. Here are answers to some common questions:
No, only baked cookie dough is safe. Air-frying does not cook raw cookie dough long enough to kill bacteria from uncooked flour and eggs. Stick to baking the dough completely until firm.
Cookies baked in an air fryer will be crisp on the outside yet slightly soft in the center. They may have a texture closer to bake sale cookies than oven baked. The rapid heat creates a different texture.
Store-bought, refrigerated cookie dough can also be baked in an air fryer. Follow package instructions for cookie size and baking time, but reduce time by 2–3 minutes since it cooks faster.
Fresh out of the air fryer, cookies will be soft and chewy, especially in the center. To maintain softness, store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature. Like oven-baked cookies, they will gradually lose their softness over a few days.
Can I make cake or brownies in an air fryer?
While cookies work well, air fryers are not ideal for baking soft cakes or brownies. Batter needs more sustained heat from an oven to fully bake through while staying tender and moist. Stick to traditional oven methods for cakes.
Air Fryer Cookie Dough Recipes To Try
Here are some delicious cookie recipes to try making with cookie dough in your air fryer:
Simple Chocolate Chip Cookies
The classic! Use a standard chocolate chip cookie dough and scoop into tablespoon-sized balls. Air fry at 300°F for 6–8 minutes.
Roll balls of sugar cookie dough in cinnamon-sugar before air frying. These will be crackly on the outside and soft inside.
Peanut Butter Blossoms
Press a Hershey’s Kiss into peanut butter cookie dough before air-frying. The heat will cause the chocolate to get melty and gooey.
Mexican Wedding Cookies
Shape the almond shortbread dough into balls, air fry, then roll the warm cookies in powdered sugar. An easy take on this classic
Make an eggless cookie dough with butter, sugar, cocoa, oats, and milk. Scoop and air fry for an easy, no-bake cookie.
Get Creative with Air Fried Cookie Dough
The possibilities are endless when it comes to baking cookie dough in an air fryer. Let your imagination run wild and get creative with flavors and add-ins. Here are a few fun ideas to try:
- Mix in citrus zest, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, or pumpkin pie spice.
- Add nuts like pecans, walnuts, or peanuts.
- Swirl in peanut butter or Nutella.
- Top with sprinkles, chocolate chips, crumbled candy bars, etc. before air-frying.
- Make fruit-filled thumbprint cookies by air-frying them with jam in the center.
- Shape cookie dough into fun shapes before air-frying.
- Sandwich air-fried cookies together with frosting for whoopie pies.
The Bottom Line
Air fryers open up a whole new way to enjoy warm homemade cookies in minutes. The circulating hot air creates bakery-style cookies with a delightfully crispy edge and soft center.
Follow the tips above to successfully bake yummy cookie dough into perfect air-fried cookies. Get creative and enjoy this easy, mess-free way to satisfy those cookie cravings anytime.
Hi, I’m Julie, the passionate foodie and founder of Juliesfamilykitchen.com. I created this blog out of a drive to prove someone wrong, and then I realized how much I truly enjoy cooking and trying new recipes. In my free time, when I’m not running around after my kids or spending quality time with my partner, you can usually find me in the kitchen experimenting with new dishes.