I tried two different methods to make pancakes in an air fryer - here's which one was best

Can you make pancakes in an air fryer? Our Ideal Home air fryer expert put it to the test

Image of air fryers from Tefal, Lakeland and Dreo during an air fryer testing day at the Future testing facility
(Image credit: Future Photostudio / Philip Sowels)

Can you make pancakes in an air fryer? Well, Pancake Day is upon us, so if you haven't switched your oven on since you picked up your choice of the best air fryers, then it might be time to use it on one of the sweetest days of the year too.

I tried two different methods to see if I could enjoy any success with pancake air fryer hacks I've seen online. Now, full disclosure, it's a fluffy American-style pancake that we're aiming to make with this recipe, so if you're after a classic crepe style (mine's a lemon and sugar), then I'd recommend picking up a dedicated pancake pan and start practising that all-important flip instead.

But if you're still keen to try it out, then alongside all of your pancake day essentials, all you need to do to get started is to get hold of a good American-style pancake recipe, so that your batter holds more shape.

Image of Instant Vortex 6 in 1 on countertop

(Image credit: Future Studios/Phillip Sowels)

Can you make pancakes in an air fryer?

There are two ways I've discovered to make pancakes in an air fryer. The first is to get hold of a circular heat-proof dish that's the right size to slot into your air fryer drawer. This creates the circular shape of a pancake with zero fuss. 

The air fryer I'm currently reviewing, the Haier I-Master Series Multi Air Fryer, comes with lots of genius attachments, including a shallow circular dish that would also be good for pie bases. You could also use a cake tin for this one.

Pancake in an air fryer

Making pancakes in an air fryer using a circular dish.

(Image credit: Future)

I mixed up the batter, greased my circular tin and set my air fryer on to preheat - make sure you let the appliance warm up before you start trying to make your pancakes in there. High heat is essential!

I then poured my batter into the tin and popped it into the drawer to cook for five minutes. This is a more sure-fire method than the more dubious TikTok one I tried later on, and I think the pancake came out pretty well thanks to the efficiency of my air fryer. It was also easy to shimmy out of the tin, and I didn't need to risk any flips with my pan. 

Image of pancakes made in air fryer

The result of the tin pancake method in the air fryer.

(Image credit: Future)

It's not an overly time-saving method, however, as you have to put the batter into the tin one at a time. The second method I tried promised to be more time-efficient. 

So, for the next batch, I tried a hack I've seen doing the rounds on social media. You take a piece of baking paper, dollop a ladle of pancake mix, then layer up another piece of baking paper and add another ladle, until you've got a stack ready to go.

Pancake in air fryer

(Image credit: Future)

This takes a fair amount of concentration, but once the stack was finally assembled, I set it off to cook again for five minutes. 

Panckes in air fryer

(Image credit: Future)

While it was not a total fail, and while I'll admit it's time-efficient, the result is not the most aesthetically pleasing thing I've ever made in the kitchen. The stack did taste delicious once dressed up with some fruit and chocolate, however, if you're in a rush, might be a good way to keep your household happy. 

A savoury crepe in a frying pan with a jug of batter next to it

(Image credit: Future PLC)

Will I be doing it again on Pancake Days to come? I have to say I won't, as it was pretty time-consuming and you lose the fun of trying to master a pancake flip, which is what it's all about for me.

I'd still recommend it for anyone who fancies trying something new or wants to get the whole family involved in pancake making, as it's a bit less hazardous than flipping.

I use my air fryer every day - but I must say I'll be sticking with the traditional method for this particular day of the year.

Molly Cleary
Kitchen Appliances Editor

Molly is Ideal Home’s Kitchen Appliances Editor and an all-around baking and cooking enthusiast. She joined the team in September 2022 as an Ecommerce Editor after working across Real Homes, Homes & Gardens and Livingetc. She's been reviewing products for 4 years and now specialises in weighing up kitchen essentials' pros and cons, from air fryers to bean-to-cup coffee machines. 

She's always been a keen reader, so after graduating from the University of Exeter in 2020 she was thrilled to find a way to write as a full-time job. Nowadays, she spends her days at home or the Ideal Home test facility trying out new kitchen innovations to see if they’re worth a space on your worktop. Her most beloved and hard-working appliance is her Sage coffee machine though she also takes the title of Ideal Home’s in-house air fryer expert after writing about them religiously over the past few years.

When she's not thinking or writing about kitchen appliances, she loves getting around London exploring new places, going for a dip at the Ladies’ Pond and consuming every bit of pop culture she can get her hands on.