When it comes to food, TikTok knows all, including which desserts can easily be made using an air fryer.
But I had to know for myself if desserts like cinnamon-sugar doughnuts and warm, gooey brownies really could be made in the air fryer, so I dove deep into the app, watching dessert demo after dessert demo, noticing which sweet treats seemed to star in the most videos.
Once I'd chosen my desserts — cinnamon roll apple pies, brownies, cinnamon sugar doughnuts and s'mores, I went to work, air-frying, tasting and ranking the four most popular desserts I've come across on TikTok.
The results were sweet, and the baking process was way faster than using a conventional oven. Here are my favorite air-fryer desserts, ranked:
1. Cinnamon Roll Apple Pies
To make these cinnamon-scented apple pies in the air fryer, all you need is a store-bought package of canned cinnamon rolls and an apple.
After coring and slicing the apple, sprinkle cinnamon and sugar over the slices. Roll canned cinnamon roll dough flat with a rolling pin and, after placing a few apple slices on top of one roll, add another one to the top.
After pinching the dough closed to form a pocket around the apples, cook for about 10 minutes in a 350 F air fryer.
These pies were my favorite of the four desserts because, when topped with the icing from the cinnamon roll can, they were the sweetest combination of apple pie and a warm cinnamon roll. And the apples cooked to the perfect velvety consistency in the air fryer.
TikTok is filled with videos of people making air-fryer brownies using a small baking pan and boxed brownie mix, but I wondered: Could it really be that easy?
It was, indeed. Using a small 5-inch round baking pan, I poured about 1/3 of the boxed mix brownie batter into the pan and cooked for about 20 minutes on 350 F.
The result? A warm, chocolaty brownie that was molten hot and gooey in the center. The only thing that could have made it better would have been a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.
Simple, yet completely satisfying, s'mores in the air fryer were a sweet treat that made me reminisce about winter bonfires.
My air fryer, a Ninja model, has an "air broil" setting, so after heating a graham cracker topped with a giant marshmallow for about 5 minutes on 400 F, I turned the air fryer to air broil and browned the tops of the marshmallows perfectly.
Then, I topped each marshmallow with a square of chocolate and a second cracker and enjoyed every warm, melty bite.
4. Cinnamon-Sugar Doughnuts
Arguably the most popular air-fryer dessert on TikTok right now, doughnuts made with a can of refrigerated biscuit dough are all the rage.
They're simple to make: Lay each canned biscuit on a cutting board and using a cookie cutter, soda bottle cap or other circular tool, cut a doughnut hole in the middle of each.
After baking the hole-y biscuits for 8 minutes on 350 F, I brushed melted butter on each and coated them in cinnamon sugar.
To me, they just tasted like a biscuit with cinnamon and sugar on them, but my kids liked the novelty of making a doughnut at home in the air fryer. Perhaps next time, I'll try them with sprinkles and powdered sugar glaze like some other TikTokers.