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Air Fryer Apple Fritter

 A healthier alternative to your local donut shop’s deep fried apple fritter with freshly diced apples, cinnamon brown sugar, and a sugar free glaze. You can make these apple fritters in an air fryer or baked them in an oven, and I’ve included a ton of tips for modifying the ingredients to make them even healthier. 

Below you’ll find a visual recipe walkthrough with ingredient notes. If you have a question about the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post, jump back up to the tutorial. I bet I covered it! 

two air fried apple fritters on a wire rack

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Step 1: Mix all purpose flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg together.

all purpose flour, brown sugar, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a mixing bowl

Can I use something other than all purpose flour?

If you need a gluten free option, readers frequently use Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 GF all purpose flour for recipes like my biscuits and Greek yogurt pizza dough. As far as other types of flour go, it’s tricky to substitute in recipes where you need to form a dough. Almond, coconut, and other flours work much differently, and I wouldn’t recommend making substitutions unless you’re ready to experiment. 

Brown Sugar Note

I used zero-calorie Swerve Brown, which is a 1:1 substitute for brown sugar. If you don’t have any on hand, use the real deal or another 1:1 brown sugar substitute. 

Unlike my skillet monkey bread, this apple fritter only calls for two tablespoons. So the calorie differences from using real brown sugar aren’t that drastic. 

Step 2: Cut butter in with a fork until the flour resembles wet sand.

cutting butter into dry ingredients with a fork

I tested both my regular butter alternative, Land O’ Lakes light butter, and real Kerrygold butter. Both options worked perfectly fine. The full fat butter is obviously a bit better. But if you want to save 50 calories, go with light butter. 

Step 3: Add peeled, diced apple. Stir to coat. 

diced apple added to the dry ingredients

The recipe calls for 40 grams of apple. Use a food scale to be precise if possible. If you don’t have a food scale, it’s better to undershoot the apple than overshoot.

Too much moisture could lead to a soggy and/or dense apple fritter, and nobody wants that. 

Step 4: Add fat free Greek yogurt.

fat free Greek yogurt added to the dry ingredients and diced apple

The recipe calls for vanilla, but you can use plain and add some vanilla extract. You can even use plain without the vanilla extract. The apple and cinnamon pack enough of a flavor punch on their own. 

Step 5: Stir until a crumbly begins to form. Don’t over mix. 

crumbly fritter dough after mixing in Greek yogurt

Some dry ingredients left at the bottom of the bowl are perfectly fine. Once you start to see large clumps, you can use those to pick up straggling dry ingredients. 

Like I’ve mentioned in previous dough recipes (air fryer cheese bread, biscuit pizza, etc.), over mixing can overdevelop the gluten in the flour and lead to a flat/dense apple fritter. 

Step 6: Use your hand to form a ball of dough.

ball of apple fritter dough before air frying

You should be able to handle the dough without any sticking to your hand(s). If your dough is sticky, you likely made a measurement error somewhere. No worries. You can add a bit more flour, chill the dough, or spray your hand with a bit of nonstick cooking spray to make it work. The latter is my usual go-to strategy. 

The recipe calls for transferring the dough to a flat surface, but I sometimes form the dough right there in the mixing bowl. Reduced cleanup for the win! 

Step 7: Press the dough into a rough oval and place in an air fryer basket with cooking spray. 

apple fritter dough in the ninja foodi basket

Don’t sweat the perfect size/shape with your apple fritter. In the recipe card’s notes section, you’ll see instructions for doubling the recipe and air frying two apple fritters at once. Those will need to be a bit more narrow, causing them to also be a bit thicker than the solo fritter pictured above. Both work perfectly fine with very slight air fry time modifications. 

As for air fryer notes, I used my 6.5-quart Ninja Foodi. Different models/sizes may require a little cook time tweak. And if you’re using a smaller air fryer, you probably won’t be able to double the recipe. You could, however, cut the base recipe in half to make two smaller apple fritters. 

Step 8: Air fry at 375ºF for 12-14 minutes until golden brown. Glaze the apple fritter with a powdered sugar and water mixture. 

apple fritter after air frying and adding the sugar free glaze

For the glaze, I used another zero-calorie Swerve product in their confectioner’s sugar. Plain ol’ powdered sugar will do the trick. I’ve not had much luck in developing a true apple fritter glaze with things like protein powder and corn starch or anything like that. So just keep it simple. 

And as a bonus tip, if you want a really thick glaze you can double glaze. Just pour on the base glaze then mix another tablespoon of powdered sugar with a little less than a teaspoon of water to pour on top of the first layers once it sets. 

Final Air Fryer Apple Fritter Recipe Notes

How to Bake These Apple Fritters in an Oven

I tested this apple fritter recipe directly on a baking sheet in a 375ºF oven. After 25 minutes, the fritter was baked through but lacked the browning/crispy exterior you get from the air fryer. Using the broil function for an additional 3-5 minutes at the end of baking did the trick, though. 

You could also try adding a layer of glaze and placing that under the broiler. Then add a second layer of glaze once out of the oven. 

Substituting Flour for Protein Powder

After publishing the skillet monkey bread I mentioned above, a few readers successfully experimented with substituting protein powder for some of the all purpose flour in the recipe. I did two protein powder experiments with this apple fritter recipe.

The first used a full scoop (31g) of PEScience Select whey and casein protein powder in place of 1/4 cup (30g) of all purpose flour. And the second used a half scoop (15g) of protein powder in place of 2 tablespoons (15g) of all purpose flour. Both versions worked, though the full scoop of protein powder, as you’d expect, made the fritter a bit tough as it cooled.

If you wanted to try substituting some flour for protein powder, I’d start on the lower end with a half scoop and work your way up. And in case you’re new to my recipes, you can use my affiliate code mason to save 15% on PEScience Select protein powder.

monkey bread skillet with pescience select protein powder in the background

And I think that about covers it. If you have a recipe question I missed, leave a comment at the bottom of this post. Enjoy your apple fritters! 

Air Fryer Apple Fritter

Air Fryer Apple Fritter

Yield: 1 Apple Fritter
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

Crispy on the outside, light and fluffy on the inside—this healthier spin on the classic apple fritter is awfully close to the real deal with a fraction of the fat and calorie content.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 C (60g) All Purpose Flour
  • 2 Tbsp (24g) Brown Sugar*
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Kosher Salt (or 1/8 tsp table salt)
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp Ground Nutmeg
  • 1/2 Honeycrisp or Pink Lady Apple, peeled and finely diced (40g)
  • 1 Tbsp (14g) Butter
  • 3 Tbsp (42g) Fat Free Greek Yogurt**

For the Glaze

  • 2 Tbsp (18g) Powdered Sugar*
  • 1/2 Tbsp (7g) Water

Instructions

  1. Mix the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg together in a large bowl.
  2. Use a fork or pastry blender to cut the butter in until it's crumbly (resembling wet sand) and no longer visible.
  3. Add the diced apple and toss to coat before adding the Greek yogurt. Continue tossing/stirring everything together until a crumbly dough begins to form (a fork works fine for mixing).
  4. Empty the dough onto a flat surface and use your hand to form a ball of dough. Press the dough flat into a rough 6"x4" oval shape about 1/4"-1/2" thick. Don't worry about the perfect size/shape here.
  5. Spray an air fryer basket with nonstick cooking spray before placing the dough in and air frying at 375ºF for 12-14 minutes until golden brown on top.
  6. For the glaze, mix the powdered sugar and water together and pour/brush over the fritter as it comes out of the air fryer.

Notes

* I used zero-calorie Swerve Brown and Swerve Confectioners.

** I used vanilla Chobani. You can use plain and add a dash of vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste.

Doubling the Recipe

Double all the ingredients and divide the final ball of dough into 2 separate pieces (184g each). Press the fritters into longer shapes and air fryer for an extra 2-4 minutes as needed.

For Oven Baked Apple Fritters

Follow the recipe as written but place the apple fritter dough directly on a baking sheet. Bake in a 375ºF oven for 20-25 minutes. You can use your oven's broil function for the last few minutes to develop some browning on the top of the fritter.

Nutrition Information Notes

  • An entire apple fritter has 11 WW SmartPoints (blue plan)
  • Nutrition facts do not include any macros from the zero-calorie Swerve products.
  • The recipe makes a large apple fritter. If you'd like to split the base recipe in half, divide the dough and air fry two separate apple fritters. Cook time may be reduced slightly.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 1 Apple Fritter Serving Size: 1 Apple Friter
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 365Total Fat: 12gCarbohydrates: 51gProtein: 10g

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Sue

Tuesday 13th of April 2021

These are amazing and so simple to make...a must try.

Joanna Miller

Tuesday 13th of April 2021

This recipe alone is reason to get an air fryer. Seriously so good and the perfect sweet treat!

Mary Hudson

Monday 12th of April 2021

I love me some Apple fritters but let’s be honest, the donut shop Apple fritter is a Macro Killer! These are such a great substitute and taste better!

Michelle Patrick

Thursday 18th of March 2021

These we’re delicious. I was bummed when I first saw the fritters when they came out of the air fryer but once they were glazed they looked fantastic. And more importantly they tasted fantastic!

The only thing I’m confused about is the carbs you have listed in the nutrition facts. My boyfriend is type 1 diabetic so I aim for accuracy with these things. You posted that it’s 51 carbs but the flour alone is 48 carbs. I too used the swerve sugar products and that adds another 42 carbs. 2 Tbsps of brown sugar swerve is equivalent to 6 tsps coming in at 24 carbs. And 2 tbsp of swerve confectionery sugar comes in at 18 carbs. The 1/2 apple adds at least another 5 carbs and this is not including the few additional ones from the spices and yogurt. I counted a little over 100 carbs on each. Am I calculating something wrong?

I figured these are pretty big so even if I cut them in half a half portion is still a decent piece.

Anyway, thank you for posting this. It will definitely be a staple in my household.

Mason Woodruff

Thursday 18th of March 2021

Glad you two enjoyed! For the carbs, I think there's a note somewhere around here about the carbs from the Swerve sweeteners. I never count them seeing as erythritol has 0.2 calories/gram, which usually equates to something like 15-20 calories missed throughout an entire recipe. Though I always encourage everyone to log their own ingredients and track what they want/need. Hope that answers your question!

Sonia

Sunday 14th of February 2021

Can I use almond flour

Mason Woodruff

Sunday 14th of February 2021

I wouldn't recommend it. I've seen others use a 1:1 gluten free substitute if that's what you're looking for. As for a lower carb option, this may not be the recipe to try. Sorry!