You only need five ingredients to make crunchy-on-the-outside, soft-on-the-inside vegan air fryer apple fritters. It's so easy and fun!
I'm all for making things from scratch when you're feeling it, but sometimes you're just not feeling it. That shouldn't mean depriving yourself of decadent, no-fry, air fryer apple fritters.
The secret to easy air fryer apple fritters
The great thing about this recipe is that it's easy. No mixing, no multiple bowls, no proofing of dough. The secret to making these apple fritters in a flash is tinned crescent roll dough.
Stay with me, friends!
Did you know that a lot of the tinned crescent roll doughs in your grocery store's refrigerator section are accidentally vegan? It's true!
Some do contain milk, so just read the ingredients before buying, but I can almost guarantee that you will be able to find vegan crescent roll dough at the store. If the allergy indication doesn't say "milk" or "eggs", you're good to go.
This dough is the perfect consistency for apple fritters, and it's ready to add your apples and top with a crunchy cinnamon-sugar coating, a la my air fryer churro-style donut holes.
Are you getting hungry yet?
Preparing the apple
Use any sweet, crisp apple you like for this recipe. Choose your favorite apple for snacking on!
You can peel the apple for this recipe but, I prefer to leave the peels on. First of all, not peeling means less work, which is kind of the theme of this recipe. But also, I like the texture of the cooked peels.
Whether you peel or not, dice up your apple into pieces that are slightly larger than pea-sized, then it's fritter-making time!
Making the apple fritters
To get started with apple fritter assembly, cut a piece of parchment paper, so it covers most of the bottom of your air fryer basket (not the sides). Place it into the basket.
Now, open up that crescent roll dough, and slice it into four rounds, but don't unroll them! Instead, flatten each round slightly, and pile some apple pieces on top.
Gently knead the apple pieces into the dough until it becomes a cohesive ball. Flatten it with your hands, then dredge it in the cinnamon-sugar mix, coating it well, and transfer it to your lined air fryer basket.
Repeat that process with the remaining three dough rounds, then air fry those apple fritters to perfection!
The cinnamon-sugar coating is not only delicious, but it adds that extra crispy texture that you'd get from apple fritters fried in oil.
Instead of icing, you top these fritters with pure maple syrup. It brings the same sweet, stickiness to the table, but with less effort.
If you'd prefer proper icing, though, my maple glaze is a perfect topping for these! Just let the fritters cool for a bit before glazing. Pouring glaze onto hot baked goods will cause it to mostly melt off.
If you have leftovers, allow them to cool completely, and store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. They'll keep better without the maple syrup on top.
You can air fry them for a few minutes at 350° F, if you want to serve your leftovers warm. No need to line the basket to reheat, since the bottoms of the cooked fritters aren't sticky anymore.
Whether you warm them or not, definitely drizzle on some maple syrup before serving. If you're planning to store them, don't drizzle with syrup until you're ready to serve.
These also freeze well for up to three months. Thaw them overnight in the refrigerator, then air fry at 300° F for 4-5 minutes, until heated through. Then, drizzle with maple syrup or maple glaze and serve warm.
Air Fryer Apple Fritters Recipe
- 1 small apple - diced - You won't need the whole apple.
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon organic granulated sugar
- 1 4 ounce package tinned crescent rolls - usually, this is a 4-count package instead of an 8-count
- 4 teaspoons maple syrup - or maple glaze
- Cut a piece of parchment paper so that it almost covers the bottom of your air fryer basket. You do not want it to go up the sides, as this can impeded air flow.
- In a shallow bowl, mix together the cinnamon and sugar.
- Slice your dough into 4 equal rounds. Scoop 1 rounded tablespoon of apple slices onto your round.
- Use your hands to work the apple pieces into the first piece of dough until you have a small, cohesive ball. Flatten it out, and then roll it in the cinnamon-sugar mixture, coating well. Transfer it to the lined air fryer basket, then repeat the process with the remaining 3 crescent dough rounds.
- Air fry at 370° F for 6 minutes. Flip, then air fry for 4 more minutes.
- Drizzle each apple fritter with 1 tablespoon maple syrup or glaze before serving. You can also sprinkle on any leftover cinnamon-sugar, if that's your jam. If you're using the glaze, let the fritters cool to room temperature before pouring, so it will be able to harden on top of them.
Frequently asked questions
Any apple that has a good sweet-tart flavor and non-mealy texture will work well! Try gala, Fiji, pink lady, honey crisp, or Granny Smith apples.
You really don't. The air fryer is such a small space that it heats up super quickly.
Yes. They will stick to the basket without a lining, and parchment paper is the best lining to use in your air fryer. Foil can scratch the nonstick coating, and wax paper can melt.
This is a tricky recipe to make gluten-free, but if you can find gluten-free, vegan crescent roll dough, you're in business.
I was surprised to learn that they are! A doughnut is basically fried cake, and fritters fall under this umbrella.
These were absolutely delicious and easy enough to make I trusted my 10 year old to make them. As the sole vegan in the family, I was stoked I could enjoy them with everyone. Thanks for this excellent recipe!
Oh, I love that your kid got to make them! Thank you for coming back to rate and comment, Erin!