How To Make Easy Moist Cupcakes In The Air Fryer

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Air fryer cupcakes from scratch will save you more time than oven-baked cupcakes, a major benefit, and produce perfectly moist fluffy cupcakes every time.

Whether baking for a special occasion or simply craving a sweet treat, this recipe will become an easy peasy sweet favourite. 

In this blog post, I will guide you through these simple steps to make moist delicious cupcakes using your air fryer.

Recipes include vanilla, chocolate, orange chocolate, salted caramel, cappuccino, blueberry and lemon also gluten-free vanilla cupcakes

Display Of Cupcakes On A Glass Stand

Equipment You’ll Need

  • Individual silicone cupcake cases or sturdy paper cupcake cases are important for keeping your homemade batter in shape. Silicone cups are reusable and eco-friendly.
  • I use these cupcake silicone trays set of 3 suitable for Ninja Dual or Flexidrawer.
  • Large bowl: I use this bowl for cake making and it’s easy to clean.
  • Buttercream: Choose any buttercream, shop-bought or homemade. Recipes below.
  • Piping set Bring out the cake decorator in you with this quality set.
  • Weighing Scales and Measuring Spoons to ensure accuracy. I use these magnetic measuring spoons and stick them to the side of my fridge for easy access.

Air Fryer Vanilla Cupcakes

air fryer vanilla cupcakes undecorated

This is the basic cupcake mix that forms the basis for all cupcakes.

Whether you’re opting for a convenient box mix or using my fluffy vanilla cupcake recipe from scratch, both will work well.


Makes 12 cupcakes.

  • 175g unsalted butter softened
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 3 large eggs beaten
  • 175g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tbsp milk

How To Make Cupcakes In The Air Fryer

Preheat your air fryer to 160C / 320F for 5 minutes.

Line the air fryer basket with paper/silicone liners to catch any spills.

Cream the butter and caster sugar in a large bowl.

Once fully combined add the eggs and beat the mixture.

Add the vanilla extract and milk and mix again.

Gradually add the flour and blend thoroughly.

Evenly distribute the batter into the individual silicone moulds or paper cases filling each about half full. This will allow room for the cupcakes to rise as they bake.

If you have a suitable traditional cupcake tin that will fit your basket, use it.

Carefully place the filled cupcake liners in the preheated air fryer basket, ensuring they do not touch each other to allow the hot air to circulate. 

How Long Do You Cook Cupcakes In The Air Fryer?

Cook on the air fryer setting 160C/ 320F for 12-15 minutes. Timings may differ depending on your air fryer’s make and model.

Insert a toothpick into the middle of a cupcake if it comes out clean they are ready.

Let the cupcakes cool completely on a wire rack before decorating.

Storing Air Fryer Cupcakes

Store any leftover cupcakes in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days.

Freeze undecorated cupcakes for up to 3 months.

You can find more delicious cake recipes here.

Air Fryer Cupcake Recipes

Feel free to get creative with your cupcakes!

Experiment with different cake flavours and decorative toppings. The possibilities are endless!

Air Fryer Chocolate Cupcakes

Air fryer decorated chocolate cupcakes


Makes 12 cupcakes

  • 150g self-raising flour
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 175g unsalted butter softened
  • 25g cocoa powder
  • 3 large eggs beaten
  • small pinch of baking powder
  • 1-2 tbsp milk

Follow the instructions for vanilla cupcakes.

Add the milk after the beaten egg. The baking powder and cocoa are added to the flour. Mix well.

Decorate with chocolate buttercream (recipe below) and sprinkle with crushed chocolate flake.

Air Fryer Chocolate Orange Cupcakes

air fryer chocolate orange cupcakes


Makes 12 cupcakes

  • 150g self-raising flour
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 175g unsalted butter softened
  • 25g cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp orange extract (not essence)
  • 3 large eggs beaten
  • small pinch of baking powder
  • 1-2 tbsp milk

Follow the vanilla cupcake instructions. Add the orange extract and milk after you have added the beaten egg. Mix the baking powder with the flour.

Top with chocolate buttercream and chocolate chips or Terry Chocolate Orange segments.

Air Fryer Cappuccino Cupcakes

air fryer cappuccino cupcakes


Makes 12 cupcakes

  • 175g unsalted butter softened
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 175g self-raising flour
  • 3 large eggs beaten
  • 2 tsp instant coffee
  • 1-2 tbsp milk

Follow the vanilla cupcake instructions. Mix the coffee with 1 tbsp of boiling water and leave to cool. Add the coffee and milk after adding the beaten egg and before the flour. Decorate with coffee buttercream. (recipe below)

Air Fryer Salted Caramel Cupcakes With Gooey Centre

air fryer salted caramel cupcakes


Makes 12 cupcakes


  • 175g unsalted butter softened
  • 175g light brown sugar
  • 175g self-raising flour
  • 3 large eggs beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tbsp milk

Cake Filling

Follow the vanilla cupcake instructions. Add the milk and vanilla extract with the beaten eggs.

To fill the cupcakes: Cool completely. Make a hole with a cupcake corer or an apple corer. Only go halfway through the cupcake or the filling will leak out. Fill with the salted caramel sauce.

Top with salted caramel buttercream and dress with fudge pieces.Recipe below.

Air Fryer Blueberry And Lemon Cupcakes

air fryer lemon and blueberry cupcakes


Makes 12 cupcakes

  • 175g unsalted butter softened
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 175g self-raising flour
  • 3 large eggs beaten
  • 150g fresh blueberries
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1-2 tbsp milk

Add the lemon zest to the butter and sugar when mixing. Add the milk after adding the eggs. Beat again. Fill your cases with the mixture and press 4 blueberries into the mixture.

Decorate with lemon buttercream and top with a few blueberries.

Air Fryer Gluten-Free Vanilla Cupcakes

air fryer gluten free vanilla cupcakes


Makes 12 cupcakes

Follow the instructions for vanilla cupcakes. Add the milk and extract after the beaten eggs.

Decorate with gluten-free buttercream. Recipe below.

Cooking display with herbs


34 FREE delicious recipes with step by step instructions and illustrations. Instant access.

Buttercream Ideas For Cupcakes

Start by beating the butter until smooth and creamy. Add the flavouring and milk.

Gradually add the icing sugar until you get the right consistency.

If the buttercream is too stiff, add a little milk. Too thin add more icing sugar.

vanilla and vanilla extract


  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 175g unsalted butter softened
  • 350g icing sugar
  • 1-2 tbsp milk


  • 50g cocoa powder
  • 1-2 tbsp milk
  • 250g icing sugar
  • 175g unsalted butter softened
cocoa powder and chocolate
coffee in a white cup


  • 2 tsp instant coffee
  • 1 tbsp boiling water (mix coffee & water, let cool)
  • 175g unsalted butter softened
  • 350g icing sugar
  • 1-2 tbsp milk

Salted Caramel

  • 150g unsalted butter softened
  • 350g icing sugar
  • 100g caramel sauce
  • Pinch of sea salt
salted caramel sauce
lemons with a bowl of lemon juice


  • juice of half a lemon
  • 175g unsalted butter softened
  • 350g icing sugar
  • 1-2 tbsp milk

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free & Vegan Vanilla

  • 175g unsalted butter, softened, if dairy-free/vegan use an alternative
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (naturally gluten-free but check for additives)
  • 350g icing sugar (gluten-free in the UK )
  • 1 tbsp milk, Dairy-free/vegan (or use unsweetened almond milk)
gluten free vanilla buttercream

Useful Tips

  • Only fill the cases half full, this leaves room for the cakes to rise.
  • Always use weighing scales and measuring spoons for accuracy.
  • Butter and eggs work better at room temperature.
  • If you own a food processor this will make the process easier.
  • Place a paper case inside the silicone cases for easy cleaning.
  • Always use cocoa powder, not hot chocolate as this has added sugar.
  • To cut costs you can use baking margarine such as Stork. I would advise using butter for the buttercream.
  • You will need to support paper cases by placing them in ramekins or doubling them up. You could try the super sturdy paper cases mentioned above.
  • Always use good quality ingredients, it does make a difference.
  • Only have plain flour? Add 1 tsp of baking powder for every 100g of flour.

Air Fryer Box Cupcakes

Easy to make as most of the ingredients are pre-measured for you.

Choose a box mix and select your ingredients as per box instructions.

Make up the mixture as directed.

Place mixture into cupcake cases, filling them 1/2 full and cook at 160C/ 320F for approximately 12-15 minutes or until a toothpick when inserted into the middle of the cupcake comes out clean.

Why Settle For Mediocre Meals When You Can Achieve Excellence Effortlessly?

The Beginner’s Cheat Sheet is your secret weapon for mastering air frying,ensuring correct timings and temperatures from the very start.

Take the guesswork out of air frying!


Can I use any brand of cake mix for this recipe?

Yes, you can use any brand of cake mix. Just make sure to follow the instructions on the box.

How long do the cupcakes stay fresh?

When stored in an airtight container, cupcakes can stay fresh for up to three days.

Can you use paper cupcake liners in an air fryer?

Yes, you can use paper cupcake liners. Just be sure to double them up or place them in ramekins for support.

Can I double the recipe to make more cupcakes at once?

Yes, you can double or even triple the recipe, depending on the size of your air fryer basket. Just be sure not to overcrowd it. Cook in batches if necessary.

Can I freeze the cupcakes for later?

Freeze the cupcakes undecorated in an airtight container for up to three months. Thaw at room temperature before serving

More Recipes


Hi, I’m Annemarie

Having recently retired, I found myself yearning for a new project to channel my energy.

That’s when the idea struck to create a dedicated UK air frying website.

Combining my passion for cooking and the desire to promote healthy eating in busy households, I began developing a collection of recipes tailored for those looking for quick and nutritious meals.

Join me on my journey and discover delicious ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle without compromising on taste.

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