5 Christmas desserts to make in your air fryer: mince pies, cinnamon rolls and more

How to cook your favourite Christmas puddings and desserts in an air fryer

How to make Christmas desserts in an air fryer
(Image credit: Kisoulou / Unsplash)

With Christmas only a few days away, it’s time to get cooking, and having the best air fryer at your disposal will be your secret weapon for the festive season.

This time of year is an expensive one, particularly if you’re the one cooking for the whole family. But using an air fryer to cook your Christmas meal is a handy way to save money on your energy bills and to speed up the cooking process so hungry guests aren’t left waiting.

In the lead-up to Christmas, I’ve been searching for air fryer recipes that can take the stress out of your festive cooking. Alongside these three methods for air fryer turkey and the best air fryer recipes for Christmas sides, you can also use your air fryer to make delicious desserts.

From mince pies and cinnamon rolls to traditional fruit cake and bread and butter pudding, here are five Christmas dessert recipes you need to try in your air fryer.

1. Mince pies

Christmas desserts in an air fryer: mince pies

(Image credit: Marina Hannah / Unsplash)

Mince pies are a must-have for Christmas and this quick and easy recipe from BBC Good Food uses only four ingredients.

How to make mince pies in an air fryer:

1. Roll out premade shortcrust pastry and use a round cutter to make the mince pie cases. Continue to roll out the pastry and cut until you’ve run out of pastry. Remember to also make the mince pie lids which you can cut into star shapes or decorate them however you want to.

2. Spoon a tablespoon of mincemeat into your pastry cases. For extra flavour, you can add lemon zest, orange juice and additional seasoning like cinnamon and nutmeg to your mincemeat mixture.

3. Once they’re filled, put the lids on top of the mince pies and brush the pastry with a beaten egg for a golden top. Pierce a hole in the top of the lid to allow air to escape. Chill your mince pies in the fridge for 30 minutes.

4. Lay parchment paper in your air fryer and add your mince pies. Let them cook for 8-10 minutes at 180°C, turn your mince pies and cook them for a further 3 minutes.

2. Fruit cake

Christmas desserts in an air fryer: Fruit cake

(Image credit: Brett Jordan / Pexels)

Traditional Christmas cake is typically made months in advance of Christmas Day, as you need to ‘feed’ it with brandy (yum). But if you’ve left it too late, you can make a quick fruit cake using your air fryer! For this recipe, I’ve tweaked BBC Good Food’s Christmas cake recipe so it works in an air fryer.

How to make fruit cake in an air fryer:

1. Start by mixing butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla extract and flour to make a standard cake mix.

2. Soak your dried fruit, lemon and orange zests in brandy. Add these fruits to the cake mixture with black treacle or molasses, then finish off with the spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves and ginger. The mixture should be quite thick.

3. Separate the mixture into two air fryer-safe tins and put them both in your air fryer. If they don’t fit in together, cook them one at a time. Cook the cakes at 160°C for 20 minutes. Cook for a further 10 minutes or until the cake is golden brown and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

4. Once the cakes have cooled, you can decorate them however you like, with marzipan, icing and Christmas decorations.

3. Bread and butter pudding

Christmas desserts in an air fryer: bread and butter pudding

(Image credit: Amanda Lim / Pexels)

Bread and butter pudding is a British staple and this air fryer recipe from @tiffycooks on TikTok only takes 20 minutes and a few ingredients. I’ve added extra fruit to this recipe to make it more traditional.

How to make bread and butter pudding in an air fryer:

1. In an air fryer-safe tin or tray, mix together two eggs, milk, vanilla extract and sugar.

2. Tear up your bread and add directly to the tin, making sure the bed is fully covered and soaked by the eggy mixture. You can keep it like this or you can add raisins and currants. Cover it with sugar.

3. Cook your bread and butter pudding at 170°C for 15 minutes until golden brown. Dust with icing sugar and serve with ice cream.


♬ original sound - TIFFY COOKS 🥟

4. Cinnamon rolls

Christmas desserts in an air fryer: cinnamon rolls

(Image credit: Animesh Bhargava / Unsplash)

Air fryer cinnamon rolls have been trending on TikTok and this recipe from the @the.sassy.foodie looks delicious. It uses premade pizza dough as a quick hack which makes the entire cooking process smoother and speedier.

How to make cinnamon rolls in an air fryer:

1. Mix together brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl.

2. Roll out your premade dough on a floured surface. Spread the dough evenly with butter, followed by the sugar mixture.

3. Roll the dough into a log before cutting into circles. Line your air fryer with a silicone mat or parchment paper before arranging your cinnamon rolls in a circle. Cover with a tea towel and leave it to rise for 10-15 minutes.

4. Cook your cinnamon rolls at 170°C for 12 minutes uncovered. Cover the cinnamon rolls with tin foil before cooking for a further 20 minutes. Once they’re done cooking, remove from the air fryer and leave to cool.

5. Mix together butter, cream cheese, icing sugar and vanilla extract together for your frosting. Spread this over your cinnamon rolls.


♬ Bad Habit - Steve Lacy

5. Gingerbread men

Christmas desserts in an air fryer: gingerbread men

(Image credit: Jill Wellington / Pexels)

Gingerbread men and cookies are incredibly easy to make in an air fryer. You can stick to your normal gingerbread men recipe you’d use if you were putting your cookies in the best oven, but you just need to tweak the heat and time on your air fryer for a quicker and easier recipe.

How to make gingerbread men in an air fryer:

1. Mix your dry ingredients of flour, bicarbonate of soda, ginger, cinnamon and salt.

2. Add butter, sugar and golden syrup to a pan and heat until the sugar is dissolved and everything is melted. Leave to cool slightly and then add to the dry ingredients.

3. Form a dough and leave it in the fridge for 30 minutes. Roll out your dough and cut out your gingerbread men.

4. Line your air fryer with parchment paper and add your gingerbread men. Cook your cookies in the air fryer at 170°C for 8-10 minutes. Leave them to cook for longer if they’re not quite ready yet.

5. Take your gingerbread men out of the air fryer and decorate them with icing and sprinkles.

Bethan Girdler-Maslen
Home Editor

Beth is Home Editor for T3, looking after style, living and wellness. From the comfiest mattresses to what strange things you can cook in an air fryer, Beth covers sleep, yoga, smart home, coffee machines, grooming tools, fragrances, gardening and much more. If it's something that goes in your house, chances are Beth knows about it and has the latest reviews and recommendations! She's also in the know about the latest deals and discount codes from top brands and retailers.

Having always been passionate about writing, she’s written for websites, newspapers and magazines on a variety of topics, from jewellery and culture, to food and telecoms. You can find her work across numerous sites, including Wedding Ideas Magazine, Health & Wellbeing, The Bristol Post, Fashion & Style Directory, TechRadar, CreativeBloq and more. In her spare time, Beth enjoys running, reading, baking and attempting craft projects that will probably end in disaster!