These Air fryer Apple Fritters are made without yeast. Skip deep frying and make these light and ultra-tender fritters in just 20 minutes. Makes a small batch of 6 fritters - Perfect for a craving!
During the fall season, apple fritters reign as a beloved favorite, setting the stage for all things apple-related before the exciting arrival of Halloween If you are looking for more apple recipes, then you might love our Baked Apples made in the air fryer or air fryer apple crisp recipe.
What makes a fritter a fritter? Fritters are deep-fried pull-apart dough made by mixing chopped fruits, vegetables, meat, or seafood with a yeast dough or a chemically leavened batter. They are deep-fried until crispy and come in sweet or savory varieties like the zucchini fritters.
What is an apple fritter? They are the most common variety of fritters. Usually made with leftover doughnut dough, they are similar to deep-fried donuts, but filled with chunks of fresh apples and drizzled with sugar glaze. They are technically apple donuts.
However, some homemade versions include sliced apples dipped in a simple batter and then cooked. Another fun variation involves coring apples, slicing them into rings, dipping them in batter, and deep-frying them to achieve a charming homemade donut appearance. They are called "apple fritter rings".
Why this recipe works?
Like my air fryer chocolate chip cookies recipe, I use egg yolk for these fritters, which makes them super tender and adds richness, when combined with sour cream.
The fritters are placed in a preheated air fryer at a higher temperature initially and then cooked at a slightly lower temperature. This method ensures that the leavening process begins promptly, resulting in a fluffy texture.
Scroll down to the recipe card below for full information on ingredients and amounts.
- Apples - Like in my apple mug cake, I like to use varieties like Honey crisp, Gala, Fuji, or Golden Delicious. You want to choose a fruit that is crisp, sweet, and tart.
- All purpose flour - Provides the necessary gluten framework to hold the apple chunks.
- Sugar - Brown sugar is best suited for any apple recipe, like the apple waffles.
- Leavening - I use a combination of baking powder and baking soda, to help develop an airy texture like in apple muffins recipe.
- Egg - Egg yolk adds richness, flavor and tenderness.
- Milk and sour cream - Makes it richer and tastier.
- Use maple syrup instead of water.
- Add a tablespoon of melted butter or brown butter to the air fryer apple fritters glaze.
- Use ground cinnamon and a pinch of nutmeg instead of vanilla extract.
- Try ground cardamom instead of cinnamon.
How to make?
You can find full printable recipe below, but here is a quick overview of the procedure along with step-by-step photos.
1.Whisk flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a bowl.
2. Whisk egg yolk, milk, sour cream and melted butter together.
3 & 4. Mix wet ingredients along with flour mixture.
5. Peel, core, and chop an apple into ¼-inch cubes. Stir into the batter.
6. Grease the air fryer basket and then preheat for 4 to 5 minutes at 350 degrees, while you prepare the batter. Drop about ¼ cup measure fritters, and then flatten them slightly, using the back of a spoon. Cook for about 10 minutes at 340 degrees.
Pro tip: The air fryer apple fritters undergo a two-step "frying" process, starting with preheating the appliance at 350° for 5 minutes and then cooking them at 340°. This preheating step functions much like an oven, ensuring the appliance reaches the ideal temperature to kick start the "frying process" as soon as the fritters are placed inside.
Glaze - Mix confectioners sugar, water, vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt. Drizzle the glaze on top of the fritters or dip the top of the fritters into the glaze. Let glaze set for a couple of minutes before serving.
Pro tip: Not a fan of glaze? Toss hot cooked air fryer apple fritters in a mixture of sugar and cinnamon.
Storage and reheating
These air fryer apple fritters are best warm! Their taste and texture are best when fresh. My favorite part of this recipe is that it just makes a small batch of 6 fritters, so you will not end up with any leftovers.
However, if you are doubling the batch for later use then check out these instructions for freezing and reheating.
To freeze - The air fryer apple fritters need to be frozen without any glaze. If you are planning to freeze, then cool the cooked fritters, skip the glaze, and then place them in a zip lock bag and freeze for up to a month. Reheat in the air fryer at 350 degrees, until heated through. Glaze and serve.
To reheat glazed fritters - Place 1 to 3 glazed air fryer apple fritters, in a preheated 350°F air fryer and cook for 1 to 2 minutes.
- Don’t over-mix – As with all baking recipes, over-mixing the batter tends to make a tougher baked product.
- Use yogurt – Use plain yogurt instead of sour cream.
- Air Fryer used – This recipe was tested in Instant Pot 6qt Vortex Air Fryer; cooking time may vary for other brands.
- Fritter size - About ¼ cup measure was perfect for making six medium size fritters in the air fryer basket.
- Grease the air fryer basket well with non-stick cooking spray. This ensures that fritters do not stick.
- Be gentle when removing hot fritters from the air fryer basket.
The preheating works similar to oven, by making sure that it is hot enough, to kick start the baking, as soon as the Air fryer apple fritter is placed in it. And, the lower temperature ensures that it is cooked all the way through, without browning too much. If you forget to preheat, then the fritters might not have the fluffy, airy texture.
Fritters differ from donuts in their addition of chopped fruits or other ingredients into the batter before frying. Donuts, on the other hand, are made from a plain dough and have a lighter and uniform appearance
More dessert recipes
Air Fryer Apple Fritters
- ½ cup all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 1 egg yolk
- 3 tablespoons milk
- 2 tablespoons sour cream or use thick plain yogurt
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
- 1 heaped cup chopped peeled and cored apple (about 1 large), chop into ¼-inch cubes
- ½ cup confectioners sugar
- 1 tablespoon water
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pre heat air fryer to 350°F for 5 minutes Prepare fritter batter in the mean time.Tip: The air fryer will run empty during this time, this helps to kick start the baking process.
- Whisk all dry ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
- Whisk all wet ingredients in a medium bowl, until well combined. Add the dry ingredients, (switch to a spoon) mix until just combined. Stir in chopped apples, until thoroughly combined.
- (The air fryer would have done pre heating by now)
- Grease the air fryer basket really well with non-stick cooking spray. Using two spoons, drop about ¼ cup batter in the basket (spacing evenly).
- Using a wet spoon, flatten the top lightly to shape into a fritter (Spray the tops with a coating of non-stick spray for a more crispier fritter).
- Cook in air fryer at 340°F for 10 to 11 minutes. Let fritters cool for at least a minute before removing gently from the basket.
- Make glaze - Whisk all glaze ingredients together in a small bowl. Using a spoon drizzle glaze on the fritters. Let set for couple of minutes and enjoy hot!
Nutritional information, based on third-party calculations, should be seen as estimates, not guarantees, as various factors like product types, brands, processing methods, and more can alter the nutritional content in recipes.
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