Try homemade air fryer apple fritters with apple cider glaze. Deliciously crispy, filled with sweet apples, and dripping with glaze, you’ll love this healthier alternative to deep-fried bakery fare.
Why you’ll love it: Warm apple fritters that aren’t deep fried? I’d say that’s a good reason to love this recipe.
How long it takes: 25 minutes
Equipment you’ll need: air fryer, cooling rack, mixing bowl
Servings: makes 12 small fritters
The perfect accompaniment to hot mulled cider, a salted caramel mocha, or just plain ice cold milk, air fryer apple fritters are an addictive finger-licking fall treat. Apple muffins, apple crisp, applesauce, apple dumplings … move on over, apple recipes, and make room for apple fritters.
I’ll be honest, I’m not a huge doughnut fan. I know, I know, I’m weird. Who doesn’t like donuts?! I just don’t care for the oily taste of deep fried bakery doughnuts. Plus, deep frying is such a big messy project.
Air fryer fritters, on the other hand, are right up my alley. Crisp, but not greasy, filled with nice sized chunks of real apple, spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg, and covered with sweet cider glaze — what’s not to like?
About This Recipe
I don’t want to mislead you. Air fryer apple fritters aren’t an exact copycat of their bakery cousins. They’re really more like a muffin than a doughnut. You know how everyone likes the crisp top of a muffin? When you make these fritters, it’s like a crisp muffin top in every bite with the bonus of delicious apple cider glaze.
I’ll run through the recipe here and give you some extra helpful tips. As always, look for the printable recipe card near the end of the post with complete instructions and nutrition information.
What You’ll Need
- Apples: These fritters have lots of real apple in them – 2 cups of chopped apple! Any firm apple will work. I like Gala or Honeycrisp apples.
- Apple Cider: For even more apple flavor! Use a non-fermented cider; apple juice works too. Apple cider is also added to the glaze.
- All-Purpose Flour, Sugar, Baking Powder, Salt, Vanilla: Basic ingredients often used in baking – most likely you have them in your pantry.
- Cinnamon and Nutmeg: Warm spices that really go well with apples. Apple pie spice blend works great, too, or just cinnamon if you happen to be out of nutmeg.
- Milk and Eggs: Use non-dairy milk if you prefer.
- Powdered Sugar: For a smooth glaze which is flavored with apple cider, vanilla, and cinnamon.
How To Make Fritters
Get your air fryer out and ready to use. Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit into the air fryer. Why do you need parchment paper? Because the fritter batter is pretty soft, it would drip through the rack, so the paper keeps the batter from falling through. Lightly spray the parchment with nonstick spray.
The batter is so easy. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, apple cider, and vanilla. Add flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg, and gently blend the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Fold in the chopped apple. That’s it!
Drop the batter by spoonfuls onto the parchment paper. You may have to fry the fritters in batches, depending on the size of your air fryer. A light spritz of nonstick spray helps the fritters crisp up.
Air fry the fritters for 6 minutes, flip, and fry for 4 more minutes. While the fritters are baking, make a simple glaze using powdered sugar, apple cider, cinnamon, and vanilla. Dip the fritters into the glaze and let them dry on a wire rack until the glaze hardens a bit.
So that’s it! My family totally loves these apple fritters and I’m sure yours will, too. Apple fritters are a snack to look forward to, or a welcome addition to breakfast or brunch.
Deep-fried apple fritters are not really a healthy choice. Don’t be fooled by the fact that they contain healthy fruit. They are fried in fat and a medium sized fritter may have up to 17 grams of fat and 450 calories.
Air fryer apple fritters are a much healthier choice with only 205 calories and hardly any fat.
While they are usually both deep-fried, a donut is shaped before frying while a fritter is more free-form. A fritter isn’t filled after frying like donuts may be; the filling is folded right into the batter. There are savory fritters (vegetable, bean, or meat) and sweet fritters.
The word fritter is taken from a Latin word “frictura” which means “to fry.” I wonder if there’s a word in Latin for “air fry”?!
Make It Your Own
- Don’t have an air fryer? No problem, you can bake these in the oven, too. The recipe card has baking instructions.
- Try substituting cut-up peaches, apricots, or plums for the apples, or stir in blueberries or raspberries.
- Rather have a savory fritter? Try these zucchini corn fritters by Diethood. They look fabulous!
- More into donuts? These baked banana donuts with brown sugar glaze are great!
Like any bakery treat, apple fritters are best eaten the same day you make them. If you have leftovers, store them in a tightly covered container for up to a couple of days.
Make an apple fritter sundae. Crumble apple fritters into a bowl, top with vanilla ice cream, and caramel sauce for an over-the-top dessert.
More Air Fryer Recipes
Air fry vs. deep fry? Well, there’s no question as to which one I prefer! Try:
- Air Fryer Sweet Potato Hash with candied bacon!
- Air Fryer French Toast Sticks
- Air Fryer Mushrooms with Garlic and Shallots
- Air Fryer Zucchini Chips
- Air Fryer Potatoes — crispy with hardly any oil
- Air Fryer French Fries — try them with homemade Fry Dipping Sauce
- Air Fryer Salmon
- Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets — breaded, or not breaded
- Air Fryer Mozzarella Sticks
- 1/3 cup milk
- 1/3 cup apple cider
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 large apple, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 2 cups)
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup apple cider
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- Line the bottom of the air fryer basket with parchment paper and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, combine milk, apple cider, eggs, and vanilla. Add flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Toss dry ingredients together a little before stirring into wet ingredients. Do not overmix. Fold in apples.
- Use an ice cream scoop or two tablespoons, drop batter, making 3 or 4 fritters at a time, into air fryer. Spritz with more nonstick cooking spray.
- Cook at 400ºF for 6 minutes, flip, and cook for additional 4 minutes or until golden brown.
- While the fritters cook, make the glaze. In a medium sized bowl, combine glaze ingredients, stirring until smooth.
- Remove fritters to cooling rack placed on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Dip the fritters individually in the glaze, using two forks to hold them. Place glazed fritters back on cooling rack to finish cooling and for glaze to set.
- Yield depends on size of fritters.
- Baking instructions: Preheat oven to 400°F. Scoop batter onto greased baking sheet (or line with parchment paper) and bake for 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Glaze as directed.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.