I tried cooking pancakes in the air fryer, and the quick process made a delicious breakfast

A stack of pancakes on a plate
Pancakes are surprisingly easy to make in the air fryer. Frank Olito/Insider
  • I tried cooking instant pancake mix in the air fryer for the first time.
  • At first I struggled to find a dish for the pancake batter.
  • But after less than five minutes in the air fryer, the pancakes were fluffy, thick, and delicious.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

When I first saw someone cooking pancakes in an air fryer on TikTok, I was extremely skeptical.
Pancakes. Masahisa Iketani/Getty Images
I grew up eating pancakes most weekend mornings, but these days, I rarely cook the delicious breakfast. On the weekends now, mixing the batter and trying to get the perfect pancake on the stovetop can seem too daunting.

So that’s why I was shocked to see a viral TikTok where a user called Air Fryer Guy quickly and easily made pancakes in an air fryer. When I saw the video, I had a lot of questions, mainly, will this actually work? I doubted that you can get a perfect, fluffy pancake in an air fryer, so I decided to try it out myself. 

At first, I wanted to make the pancakes from scratch, but I decided to make the process as simple as possible.
Two shelves at the grocery store filled with pancake mix
Pancake mix at the store. Frank Olito/Insider
When I Googled “pancakes in an air fryer,” hundreds of pancake recipes popped up. I thought about following one and buying all the necessary ingredients, but eventually I thought better of it. I wanted to see how simple I could make this process, so I decided to buy instant pancake mix instead. 

While at the grocery store, I spotted Bisquick’s Shake ‘n Pour, which allows you to mix the pancake batter in the small yellow bottle. That means there are no dishes to be washed. I thought it couldn’t get any easier than this.

While in the store, I realized I needed something to hold the pancake batter while it was in the air fryer – I found a creative solution.
Graham cracker crust tins held in front of a window
Graham cracker crust tins. Frank Olito/Insider
As I was reading the instructions for air-fryer pancakes on various blogs, I learned I needed a container for the pancake batter to go in. The containers needed to be small, round, and oven-safe. Some recipes recommended buying crème brûlée dishes, but the grocery store I was at didn’t have any.

I frantically searched the aisles for something similar and came across Keebler’s mini graham cracker crust tin cups. 

I only needed the tins, so when I got home, I attempted to remove the crusts.
Broken graham cracker crust in mini tin cups
The broken crust. Frank Olito/Insider
Luckily, the crust came apart from the tins easily with the help of a fork. I saved the crumbled crust to use as a topping for a future dessert, so there was no waste. 
Next, I added water and oat milk to the Bisquick pancake mix.
The Shake 'n Pour yellow bottle next to read crust tin cups
The Shake ‘n Pour batter was easy. Frank Olito/Insider
Although the directions say to only add water, I decided to add some oat milk in hopes it would make the pancakes thicker and fluffier.

After shaking the container for 30 seconds, I had a thick pancake mix ready to go. I was shocked at how easy the prep was, and I was especially happy there were no dishes to clean.

After greasing the small tin containers, I poured in the pancake mixture.
The pancake batter in the tin cups filled with chocolate chips
The pancake batter in the tin cups. Frank Olito/Insider
Sometimes when an item isn’t heavy, it will move around in the air fryer because of the built-in fans. I’ve seen it happen when I tried to make grilled cheese in the air fryer and the bread flew around.

This time, my fear was that the tin cups would fly around, throwing pancake batter all over. I decided to add a few chocolate chips so that the cups would be heavier and stay put.

Finally, I put the first two pancakes in the air fryer at 375 degrees, and after five minutes, they were done.
A air fryer oven next to a blender
The pancakes in the air fryer. Frank Olito/Insider
After waiting five minutes, I was relieved to see the tin cups didn’t move in the air fryer. I was also surprised to see the pancakes had puffed up and were a dark golden brown.

Even though they were only in there for five minutes, I realized I had overbaked them.

I decided to make a second batch of pancakes and left them in for a shorter amount of time.
Two baked pancakes in tin cups on a table
The finished pancakes. Frank Olito/Insider
After just 3 minutes, I took the second batch out of the air fryer, and they were perfectly cooked and crispy on the edges. 
The pancakes were surprisingly thick and fluffy.
A thick and fluffly pancake filled with melted chocolate chips
The pancakes were thick and fluffy. Frank Olito/Insider
The pancakes were fluffy on the inside and crispy around the edges, creating the perfect bite. 
Although I was skeptical at first, I found that cooking pancakes in the air fryer is an efficient way to make a great breakfast.
Frank holding up the pancake he made in the air fryer
I would make these pancakes again. Frank Olito/Insider
Although cooking pancakes in an air fryer might seem counterintuitive, it all worked out. I found cooking dishes that worked and figured out how to weigh them down so they wouldn’t blow around in the air fryer.

Luckily, the result was delicious, fluffy pancakes. But next time, I might invest in a larger cooking tray so that I could make bigger pancakes. 

Otherwise, this is a great and simple way to make breakfast, and I can definitely see myself doing this again on a Saturday morning.