I made this baking legend's flapjacks in my air fryer - here's why I'll be sticking to an oven next time

You definitely can make flapjacks in an air fryer, but is it any better than using an oven?

A collage of an air fryer and flapjacks
(Image credit: Getty Images)

I tested one of Mary Berry's recipes in my air fryer, here's what happened...

Queen of Cakes Mary Berry is the author of some of the best baking recipes around, and while we all know they're foolproof in an oven, we decided to test one or two out in an air fryer too, now that these handy kitchen gadgets have become all the rage. And Mary Berry's flapjack recipe seemed an obvious choice - they're quick and easy, a people pleaser, and there's plenty of room for error with these tasty treats.

Mary Berry's recipe rustles up 24 bars that make perfect lunchbox or picnic snacks to take along family trips this summer, or you can use it for bake sales, parties and fetes. Having tried tested some of the best air fryers out there, I like to think I'm well-versed in the foods you can cook in an air fryer, so I felt up to the task of trying this popular recipe with a new kitchen gadget.

The quantities and combination of the ingredients are exactly the same as Mary Berry's original recipe, so it wasn't until it came to using the air fryer that I needed to adapt. I used the 5.2L Ninja Air Fryer MAX and made the flapjacks in a 20cm/8inch cake tin - the main issue with using the air fryer over the oven was getting the tin into the air fryer basket. 

Because the air fryer basket is very deep but not much wider than the tin I used, I had to drop the tin a couple of inches down. Plus, when it came to removing the flapjacks from the air fryer, I had to wait until both the air fryer and tin had cooled completely until I could get my hands in and remove the flapjacks without burning myself, as it was too much of a squeeze with oven gloves on. However, as the flapjacks need to cool before removing them from the tin anyway, this wasn't too much of a problem.

The advantage of trying your favourite baking recipes in an air fryer is that these popular kitchen appliances generally cook food faster than ovens - around 20% faster in fact - because of the small compartment and the circulation of hot air. This meant I was expecting the flapjacks to be ready after about 20 minutes in the air fryer, and this was pretty much spot on. So while you can definitely make flapjacks quicker in the air fryer than the oven, it'll probably only save you about five minutes or so.

A collage of flapjack mix in an air fryer basket and a plate of flapjacks

(Image credit: Future)

How to make flapjacks in your air fryer


  • 125g butter (or you could use margarine)
  • 90g golden syrup
  • 90g light muscovado sugar
  • 250g rolled oats


  1. Preheat your air fryer to 180C and lightly butter a cake tin - make sure you use one that can fit in your air fryer, you might find that a round option is best if your air fryer basket is round.
  2. Heat the butter, sugar and maple syrup in a saucepan until melted and combined, before stirring in the oats.
  3. Spoon the mixture into your tin and cook in your air fryer on the bake setting for 20-25 minutes.
  4. Leave to cool, before cutting into portions and removing from the tin.

You definitely can make Mary Berry's flapjacks in your air fryer, and these oaty squares were just as delicious as when I've made them in the oven, with that perfect crunch on the outside and slight chewiness in the middle.

But I must admit I'm not sure whether it's any better than using an oven. In theory, air fryers should take less time to cook food because of the way they circulate the hot air, but this still meant the flapjacks took almost as long to cook as they would have done in the oven.

In addition, the size and shape of most air fryers don't make baking in them easy, Air fryer baskets are often round, meaning you'll probably need to use a round tin, and they don't have as much space in the basket as an oven - unless you opt for a particularly large model.

If you are keen on baking more in your air fryer - or you just have a large family to feed - then you might want to consider investing in the Proscenic T31 Air Fryer Oven, which has a huge 15L capacity. Our deputy editor Heidi Scrimgeour put this model to the test and gave it 4.5 stars.

Proscenic T31 Air Fryer Oven | £179 - Amazon

Proscenic T31 Air Fryer Oven | £179 - Amazon

Heidi says, "After a long day at work with five hungry stomachs to fill, I can’t face fiddling around with a gadget or - worse - risking a burnt offering. But the preset buttons take all that hassle out of using an air fryer. Press the corresponding button and bingo, dinner is almost ready. And if you prefer to set your own temperature or cooking time, simply ignore the preset buttons and turn the dial to control it manually."

If you're looking for more flapjack recipes (whether you want to try using your air fryer or not!) why not try treacle flapjacks, apple flapjacks, or these millionaire's flapjacks. If you fancy something a bit healthier, you could try this granola bar recipe too.

Ellie Hutchings
Family News Editor

Ellie is GoodtoKnow’s Family News Editor and covers all the latest trends in the parenting world - from relationship advice and baby names to wellbeing and self-care ideas for busy mums. Ellie is also an NCTJ-qualified journalist and has a distinction in MA Magazine Journalism from Nottingham Trent University and a first-class degree in Journalism from Cardiff University. Previously, Ellie has worked with BBC Good Food, The Big Issue, and the Nottingham Post, as well as freelancing as an arts and entertainment writer alongside her studies. When she’s not got her nose in a book, you’ll probably find Ellie jogging around her local park, indulging in an insta-worthy restaurant, or watching Netflix’s newest true crime documentary.