Can You Bake Cookies in an Air Fryer? Yes! Here’s How.

updated Jun 25, 2021
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Credit: Ghazalle Badiozamani; Food Styling: Cyd McDowell

We are in the midst of holiday season, as you may have noticed, and that means it’s also baking season. This is the month when all I crave are warm, freshly baked cookies on repeat.

But it doesn’t always make sense to cook a huge batch at once — especially if your favorite way to eat them is nice and gooey-hot. This is where the air fryer can come in handy. An air fryer can bake up a few cookies in about half the time an oven takes, and it doesn’t need much time for preheating. Plus, you’ll still get the same texture and flavor you’re looking for! 

Why Is the Air Fryer Faster?

What makes the air fryer so speedy? “The circulating air cooks the food fast[er] and at a lower temp, like a convection oven,” says Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, author of Healthy Air Fryer Cookbook

Baking cookies in an air fryer takes around five minutes, whereas a traditional recipe in the oven takes between nine and 11 minutes. The shorter baking time means you’re less likely to walk away — potentially cutting down on burnt cookies. Another advantage? It creates a cookie that’s crisp on the outside and gooey on the inside. In fact, this kind of crispy-outside effect is what the air fryer excels at!

Air Fryer Cookie Tips

Here’s what to do: Prepare your dough (or if you’re using premade dough, get it out of the fridge), divide it into even amounts based on the yield of the recipe, spray the inner basket with nonstick cooking spray, then bake. Gently remove the finished cookies and transfer them to a wire rack to cool, says White. 

A basic chocolate chip cookie will bake at 350°F for five minutes and comes out just right. However, you can make most cookies in the air fryer. When air frying, reduce the heat on the machine by about 25°F (so if a cookie recipe calls for 350°F in a conventional oven, set it to about 325°). It’s super easy to adjust. 

Mistakes to Avoid

While you can air fry any cookies, you might want to ditch those with gooey toppings, which can be harder to get just right. “The heating element for most air fryers is at the top of the machine. Sometimes the tops can burn before the rest of the cookies are done,” says White. For this reason, be especially mindful of cookies with jam or sprinkled sugar on top, which can be problematic. “Chocolate chip, lemon cookies, and others where all the ingredients are incorporated work best,” she explains. 

Also, if you have a baking pan that fits your air fryer, use it to avoid a mess. “The dough can drip through the basket,” says White. You can also buy sheets of parchment with holes in them to allow the air to circulate, but some dough may still fall through, so it’s a second best option. 

If you want to make more than a few cookies at a time, you will have to work in batches, so this process may be preferable if you’re just looking to have a few freshly baked cookies — for yourself or to share with a friend.