Food & Drink

Why you should start baking sweet treats in the air fryer

This simple recipe for marble cake in the air fryer will start you on a new baking journey.

Marble cake from Easy Air Fryer Bakes
Marble cake from Easy Air Fryer Bakes Marble cake from Easy Air Fryer Bakes

The air fryer revolution is well and truly upon us.

Chances are you have one of the nifty gadgets in your kitchen, and are well used to whipping up frozen meals and snacks in there.

But have you ever considered air frying a sweet treat?

“A lot of people just use their air fryer to heat up some frozen chips or fish fingers, but they’re really missing out on its potential when it comes to baking,” says food blogger and photographer Lucy Parissi, author of Easy Air Fryer Bakes.

“Air fryers offer a contained, controlled space that preheats much faster than an oven, and lets you really take hold of the baking reins. Start with something small and easy and go from there. You’ll be glad you did!”

Parissi’s new book contains recipes for all the classics, like chocolate chip cookies, Victoria sponge and sticky toffee pudding – all cooked in the air fryer.

Lucy Parissi’s new cookbook is dedicated to air fryer bakes
Lucy Parissi’s new cookbook is dedicated to air fryer bakes

One particularly tasty dish is Parissi’s marble cake, which she refers to as her mum’s “everyday cake” that she often made growing up.

Parissi adds: “This is my slightly tweaked version of her recipe and it’s just as delicious as I remember. You can play around to create different flavour combinations if you like.”

Marble cake


(Makes 1 x 900g loaf)

For the cake:

230g self-raising flour

250g caster sugar

1tsp baking powder

80ml buttermilk

4 eggs

115g margarine

For the chocolate batter:

2tbsp cocoa powder, sifted

Zest of an orange

2 drops orange extract

For the vanilla batter:

1tbsp self-raising flour, sifted

2tsp vanilla bean paste

For the chocolate glaze (optional):

175g dark chocolate chips

125ml double cream

1tbsp golden syrup

For the topping:

Orange zest strips (optional)

Marble cake from Easy Air Fryer Bakes
Marble cake from Easy Air Fryer Bakes (Ant Duncan/PA)


1. Mist a 900g loaf tin with cake release and line the bottom and sides with baking paper, letting the paper hang over the sides. Clip the paper down.

2. Combine the flour, sugar and baking powder in a bowl.

3. Add the buttermilk, eggs and margarine. Beat using a hand or stand mixer until you have a smooth batter, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl as needed.

4. Place half the batter in a separate bowl. Add the cocoa powder, orange zest and extract and stir vigorously to combine. Add the flour and vanilla to the original bowl and mix in.

5. Transfer the chocolate batter to a piping bag and the vanilla batter to another. Pipe straight lines of the batter into the prepared tin, alternating between chocolate and vanilla.

6. Draw a chopstick through the batter to create a marbled effect.

7. Preheat the air fryer to 160°C for three minutes, then place the tin in the basket. Bake for 60–70 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean and the cake feels firm to the touch. If the cake is not quite done, add five minutes to the cooking time or as needed.

8. Lift the cake out of the tin using the overhanging paper and allow to cool on a wire rack. Place the chocolate chips in a bowl.

9. Heat the cream and golden syrup in a saucepan until little bubbles appear around the edge. Pour over the chocolate and leave for two minutes.

10. Stir until the chocolate has melted and you have a smooth glossy glaze. Drizzle over the cake, smoothing with an offset spatula if needed. Decorate with orange zest strips, if using. Allow the glaze to set before slicing.

Easy Air Fryer Bakes by Lucy Parissi is published by Penguin Michael Joseph, priced £22. Photography by Ant Duncan. Available now.