Apple Fritters are a delicious combination of fresh apples, cinnamon, and spices in a light batter and usually fried. With this air fryer recipe, you get all the great flavors of an apple fritter without deep frying!
These air fryer apple fritters have a crispy exterior and are full of perfectly cooked apples on the inside. They are every bit as delicious as the ones my mom used to make, and very easy to make.
You can serve them with a cup of coffee for breakfast, with an afternoon tea, or serve them with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for a delicious air fryer dessert! These delicious apple fritters will definitely satisfy your sweet tooth!
Ingredients & Substitutions
The apples are the star of the show, but you can use any type of apple that you like. The air frying time is just long enough to soften granny smith apples, but not long enough to turn softer apples, like McIntosh, into mush. Personally, my favorite apple for this recipe is Gala. I think it gives the right balance of texture and sweetness and you don't have to wait for apple season to find them. They are pretty much available year-round in the US and in other countries. Another good choice would be honeycrisp apples.
Often the purpose of whipping up a batch of apple fritters is to use up apples that you have on hand, so use what you have and enjoy eating, and it will be fine in this recipe. The best news of all is you don't even have to peel the apple! Just wash it, core it, and dice it up.
You can also use different types of fruit to make different flavored fritters. Pear or peach fritters sound amazing. Blueberry fritters would also be delicious! I would make sure the pears or peaches weren't too ripe or soft (canned would be fine) and the blueberries should be fresh, I don't think frozen would work as well.
The batter is a combination of all purpose flour, sugar, egg, spices, cream, and baking powder. The only substitutions that wouldn't affect the recipe would be to replace the sugar with a sugar substitute or you could use brown sugar instead of the white sugar, and you can switch up the spices according to your preference. Even if you love cinnamon, don't be tempted to add much more than the recipe calls for because too much cinnamon is not a good thing and can be very overpowering.
If you wanted to use whole wheat flour in place of the all purpose, I recommend only substituting up to half the total flour with whole wheat and you will need to add a little more liquid in the form of water or cream. Base the amount of liquid you add on the consistency of the batter.
Sometimes I add a little lemon juice or zest to the batter, but I didn't have a lemon when I filmed the recipe. If you have an orange, a little orange zest would also be a nice addition.
You can also substitute whole milk for the cream, but you will want to add about 1 Tablespoon less because it is thinner than cream, and adding the whole amount may make your batter too thin. Another idea if you want these dairy free is to use apple cider instead of the cream and omit the butter in the glaze.
Apple Fritter Glaze
The glaze I use is powdered sugar (icing sugar), honey, vanilla extract, and butter. It is absolutely delicious, but it won't harden like a donut glaze.
You can omit the honey and increase the powdered sugar if you want a glaze that hardens. If you decide to skip the sweet glaze, you may want to increase the sugar in the apple fritter batter to about ¼ cup because the fritter batter is not very sweet on its own.
How to Make Air Fryer Apple Fritters
Traditional apple fritters are either deep fried or pan fried. My mom always made hers in a cast iron pan with some hot oil and pan fried over medium-high heat. You can use this same recipe to cook them in a deep fryer or a pan, but I think you will be amazed at how good the air fryer version is.
Mise En Place
Besides gathering the ingredients and measuring out the spices, flour, and sugar, there is very little prep to this recipe. All you need are 2 medium size bowls, a hand mixer, and some parchment paper.
The parchment paper should be cut to fit your air fryer basket or whatever surface you are using to cook the apple fritters on. You don't want it too large and it shouldn't extend up the sides of the basket or the fan from the air fryer may cause it to fly up and change the shape of the apple fritters. You also don't want the parchment paper to have any chance of getting near the heating element or it can catch on fire. The parchment should be under the apple fritters only.
If you want to dice up the apple before hand, make sure to toss it in some lemon juice to prevent browning, but I usually dice it up when I'm mixing the batter.
Preheat your air fryer on the hottest setting for a full 10 minutes with the air fryer basket or cooking surface in the appliance. I used the Ninja Foodi Pressure Cooker & Air Crisper and use the broil/grill function which reaches 450℉/230℃. If your air fryer doesn't go that high, just use the hottest setting to preheat.
Whipping the egg white
Although this is an extra step and not absolutely necessary, I did find the texture to be more like fried apple fritters when I took the time to separate the egg white from the egg yolk and whip it until soft peaks formed.
To do this separate the egg and place the white in one medium size bowl and the yolk into another medium size bowl.
Add 2 Tablespoons of water to the egg white and using a hand mixer, beat the egg white and water on medium speed until frothy, then increase the speed to high and continue to beat until the egg whites until soft peaks form.
Mixing the Apple Fritter Batter
In the medium bowl with the egg yolk, add the sugar, and spices. Dice the apple into ½" dice. I don't peel the apple, but you certainly can. Add the diced apples and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract to the bowl. Stir to combine. Add the flour and the baking powder to the wet ingredients.
Stir to combine. The mixture will be thick and crumbly at this point.
Add in the cream and stir.
Next, fold half of the whipped egg whites into the batter. Gently fold everything together until most of the egg whites disappear. Repeat with the second half of the whipped egg whites.
I used the Ninja Foodi Pressure Cooker & Air Crisper to air fry (air crisp) the apple fritters, but the instructions are the same no matter which air fryer you are using.
When preheating your air fryer, make sure the basket or cooking surface is inside the appliance, but don't put the parchment paper into the air fryer until after the preheat time or it can blow around and even reach the heating element which can lead to the parchment catching on fire.
Once the air fryer is preheated, carefully place the parchment paper onto the bottom of the basket of your air fryer or onto the surface you are cooking on. Scoop out about ¼ cup of batter per apple fritter and place on the parchment paper. Drag the apple fritter batter so it is kind of an irregular oblong shape. If you have room, add another ¼ cup of batter beside the first apple fritter. Try to keep the batter separated so you have 2 distinct fritters and drag the batter as close to the edge of the parchment paper as possible. Otherwise the parchment paper folds up onto the side of the apple fritter and makes it a weird shape. If it happens though, please don't worry about it. After about 6 minutes of air frying, gently separate the two if they have cooked together.
Sprinkle about ½ teaspoon of sugar on top of the fritters.
Air fry on 375℉/190℃ for 8-10 minutes or until the tops of the apple fritters are golden brown. Remove from the air fryer with a small spatula and place on a cooling rack. You can eat them hot, but if you want to put the glaze on, let them cool to room temperature first or the glaze will simply slide off.
Repeat with the remaining batter to make another batch. This recipe will make about 4 air fryer apple fritters, but they are pretty large in size. If you want to make them smaller, you can certainly get 8 apple fritters out of one batch.
Once you have finished making the apple fritters, let them cool before glazing. If you glaze them and they are still too warm, the glaze will slide right off. If they are slightly warm when you glaze them, most of the glaze will stay on, but some will melt where the fritter is still warm. I really like that look. Or, wait for them to cool completely before glazing and you will have a thicker and darker icing on top.
If you choose not to glaze them, and the apple cinnamon flavor is just as good with or without glaze, then once they are completely cool, store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 48 hours. For longer storage, I would freeze them.
Glazing the Apple Fritters
The glaze in this recipe doesn't harden, but the flavors pair so well with the apple fritters, I'm sure you will love it. All you need are some basic ingredients; melted butter, honey, powdered sugar (icing sugar), a pinch of salt and vanilla extract.
If you want to make a glaze that hardens, I would follow a glaze recipe for deep-fried donuts. Another option is to make a brown butter glaze, but I really like the honey flavor with the apples.
Melt the butter in the microwave, add the remaining ingredients and whisk together until smooth.
The glaze should be thin enough to spread on top of the apple fritters, but not so thin that it slides right off. If your glaze is too thick, add a little milk or water and if it's too thin, add a little more powdered sugar.
Spread about 1 Tablespoon of glaze over each apple fritter. You can serve immediately or store them for serving later.
These air fryer apple fritters are perfect for a special occassion or anytime you want a delicious apple filled treat! Enjoy!
Frequently Asked Questions
Absolutely! Double all of the ingredients and air fry in batches according to the size of your air fryer.
Yes, you can freeze them for up to 3 months. Any longer than that and the quality may not be the same.
Make sure they are completely cool before freezing so steam doesn't form and lead to ice crystals forming.
Place the glazed apple fritters on a parchment-lined tray and freeze overnight. Once the glaze and fritters are frozen, you can put them into a freezer container or a freezer bag. If they aren't glazed, you can put them directly into a freezer container or freezer bag to freeze.
Yes, absolutely. If you want fruit filled fritters, try pears or peaches instead of the apples. Or blueberries would also be great.
If you wanted a savory type of fritter, try using corn or even a combination of corn and shredded zucchini. Zucchini fritters are another popular option.
More Apple Recipes
If you love apples, you will love these recipes!
Air Fryer Apple Fritter Recipe
- Air Fryer
Apple Fritter Batter
- 1 large egg separated
- 3 Tablespoons sugar plus 2 teaspoons for sprinkling over apple fritters
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1½ teaspoons cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon fine grind sea salt
- 1 medium apple about 1 cup diced apples
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅔ cup all purpose flour
- ¼ cup heavy cream
Mise En Place
- Measure and cut a piece of parchment paper that fits the bottom of your air fryer basket or the cooking surface you are using.
- Separate the egg yolk from the egg white and place the egg white in a medium size bowl and the egg yolk in a separate medium size bowl.
- Add 2 Tablespoons of water to the egg white. Using a hand mixer, beat the egg white on high speed until it forms soft peaks. This means that when you remove the beaters, the egg whites are stiff enough to stay in a soft peak. Set the bowl with the whipped egg white aside.
- Measure out the spices and remaining ingredients.
- Preheat the air fryer on the hottest setting for a full 10 minutes with the cooking surface inside the appliance. Do not put in the parchment paper during the preheating time. Allow the air fryer to preheat while you make up the batter.
Apple Fritter Batter
- Add 3 Tablespoons of sugar to the medium bowl with the egg yolk. Add in the spices and mix together.
- Dice a medium apple into about ½" dice and add to bowl. No need to peel the apple. Add in the vanilla extract and stir to combine.
- Add in ⅔ cup of flour and mix together. The mixture will look very crumbly and dry. This is normal.
- Add in the heavy cream and stir.
- Fold in ½ of the beaten egg whites into the dry batter. The idea is to combine the egg whites with the rest of the batter without completely collapsing the egg whites. This will loosen up the batter and also provide for more rise and a lighter texture.
- Repeat with the remaining egg whites. The consistency of the batter should be thick, but not dry.
Air Frying Apple Fritters
- Place the parchment paper onto the bottom of the cooking surface. Place a heaping scoop (about ¼ cup or so) of the apple fritter batter onto the parchment paper towards the edge of the paper. Spread into an oblong shape. Try to get the batter as close to the edges as possible so the parchment paper doesn't fold over the fritter.
- Place a second apple fritter about 1" away from the first one. The number of fritters you can air fry at once will depend on the size of your air fryer. Sprinkle about ½ teaspoon of sugar over the top of each apple fritter.
- Close the air fryer lid and air fry on 375°F/ for 8 minutes. Check on the apple fritters at about 6 minutes and if they are touching each other, you can separate them with a spatula now. Continue cooking for the 8 minutes or until they are golden brown on the outside and fully cooked on the inside.
- Remove the apple fritters and allow to cool on a cooling rack.
- Combine the melted butter with the powdered sugar, vanilla extract, honey, and pinch of salt in a small bowl. Whisk until well combined and smooth.
- Spread the glaze over the top of the cooled apple fritters. Serve & Enjoy
- The honey glaze will not harden as it sits. If you want a glaze that hardens, I would use a donut glaze instead.
- Each apple fritter is 2 servings OR you can make them smaller and be single serving size. The cook time may need to be decreased to 6 minutes.
ABOUT THE RECIPE AUTHOR, LOUISE LONG
Louise is a full-time recipe creator and food blogger @ The Salted Pepper. She has over 30 years of experience with cooking and recipe development. She owned a restaurant for several years and was a full-time RN until retiring to blog full-time.
She published her first cookbook in the Fall of 2018 and is very interested in writing several more.
Louise is also the creator of an online Ninja Foodi Pressure Cooking Course with over 100 instructional step-by-step videos. People absolutely rave about the course and all the value they have received from it.
Louise has several very active Facebook groups that help people with the basics of cooking and getting the most out of the Ninja Foodi.
Louise is also a YouTube creator and you can find most of her recipes in video format on The Salted Pepper YouTube channel.
She is very responsive to messages and eager to help in any way she can. Get more Information about Louise & contact information
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