These Air Fryer Churro Bites are made with a few simple pantry items and just a bit of time. Coated in cinnamon-sugar, this Mexican pastry is crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. No oil needed!
Easy Air Fryer Churro Recipe
These bite sized air fryer churros made in the air fryer are a variation on my classic churros recipe. It features the same simple pastry dough and wonderful flavors, without the need to worry about oil temperature.
Using the air fryer to make these churro bites simplifies the process without needing to deep fry them – bonus, that means less calories! And each batch only takes 8 minutes to cook, which means these can become a regular weeknight dessert.
Enjoy with just the cinnamon-sugar or add some chocolate sauce for dipping!
What Are Churros?
Churros are a popular Mexican pastry dessert, with a deep-fried dough tossed with cinnamon-sugar. They’re typically found on street carts and fried right in front of you so you get a warm pastry that’s perfectly crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.
These air fryer churros take that classic treat and skip the oil, plus make them a bit shorter than you’d traditionally make them, so they’re bite-sized. But they still maintain the same great flavor and texture.
Why You’ll Love These Churro Bites
These churro bites have become a favorite in our home. Here’s why.
- The perfect size. If you’re craving a little bit of sweet but find eating several churros to be too much, these churro bites are the perfect solution – each one is perfectly bite-sized so you can enjoy as many or as few as you’d like.
- Made with pantry staples. The great thing about churro dough is that it’s made with pantry staples, like flour, butter, and eggs.
- No oil needed. As much as I love traditional churros, I don’t really love frying foods and worrying about oil temperature and having my kitchen stink. The air fryer completely eliminates the need for that.
This easy churro recipe is made entirely with pantry staples.
(Scroll below to the printable recipe card for details and measurements.)
- Granulated sugar and Cinnamon – A signature combination in churros. Used in both the dough and for the cinnamon-sugar topping.
- Whole milk – Avoid skim milk or non dairy milk for this recipe as it will make the batter too thin.
- Vanilla – Flavors the dough.
- Butter – Unsalted, since we’re adding salt. You will need some chilled & cubed and some melted.
- Salt – Balances out the sweetness.
- Flour – Use the spoon and level technique for accurate measuring, as too much or too little can affect the end result.
- Eggs – Provides structure to the dough.
How to Make Air Fryer Churros
Using the air fryer to make churros makes the process super easy. Just be sure to plan for 30 minutes of chill time for the dough. Here’s a summary:
(Scroll below to the printable recipe card for details and measurements.)
- Make the cinnamon-sugar. Whisk together sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.
- Make the dough. Combine the water, milk, vanilla, butter, salt, sugar and cinnamon in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a rolling boil, stirring frequently, then reduce to low. Add the flour, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the mixture forms a thick, smooth ball that “dries out”, with a thin film on the bottom of the pan.
- Add the eggs. Transfer the dough to a large bowl. Beat with a hand mixer for 2 minutes, to cool the mixture. Add the eggs, one at a time, until the dough is smooth and creamy.
- Chill. Transfer the dough to a piping bag with a large open star tip. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Prepare the air fryer. Preheat the air fryer to 380F and spray the basket with nonstick spray.
- Form the churro bites. Hold the tip of the piping back close to the basket and pipe 2 & 1/2-inch strips of dough, cutting the end with kitchen scissors. Do as many as will fit in the basket in a single layer.
- Air fry. Cook the churros in the air fryer for 8 to 10 minutes.
- Add the cinnamon sugar. Immediately brush the churro bites with melted butter then roll in the cinnamon-sugar texture.
- Repeat. Repeat with the remaining churro dough.
Tips for Success
If this is your first time making churros in the air fryer, here are a few tips to help them turn out perfectly.
- Don’t brown the butter mixture. Bring the mixture to a boil but do not let it brown before you reduce the heat.
- Cool the batter before adding the eggs. Do not skip the step of mixing the batter to cool it down. If you add the eggs immediately, they may scramble instead of incorporating into the dough.
- Don’t crowd the air fryer. Only add as many churro bites as will fit in the air fryer in a single layer. If you overcrowd the basket, they won’t cook evenly or get that golden brown color.
- Add the sugar immediately. As soon as the churros come out of the air fryer, be sure to coat them with the melted butter and toss in the cinnamon-sugar. If you wait until they cool, the sugar won’t stick.
What to Serve with Churro Bites
Air fryer churros are best served immediately, while still warm from the air fryer. You can enjoy them as-is with just the cinnamon-sugar or add some chocolate sauce – either drizzled over the top or on the side for dipping.
Air fryer churro bites are best enjoyed immediately, as noted above. However, if you do have leftovers…
- Counter. Store any leftover churro bites in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. Note that they will not be as soft and tender after they sit but they’ll still taste good!
- Freeze. You can also freeze churros for up to a month. I recommend flash freezing them on a baking sheet until firm and then transferring them to a freezer-safe ziploc bag. Thaw on the counter.
- Reheat. The easiest way to reheat churros is to pop them in the air fryer for a few minutes or in the oven at 400F for about 8 minutes.
More Easy Air Fryer Desserts:
Air Fryer Churro Bites
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar + 2 tablespoons , divided
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon , divided
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter , cut into cubes
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 & 1/4 cups all-purpose flour , spooned and leveled
- 2 large cold eggs
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter , melted
- chocolate sauce , for serving, optional
- In a medium shallow bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Set aside.
- Combine water, milk, vanilla, butter, salt, 2 tablespoons sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Let the mixture melt and come to a rolling boil, stirring frequently. Then, reduce heat all the way down to low.
- Add in flour and stir constantly with a wooden spoon until incorporated and the mixture forms a thick, smooth ball and appears to dry out (a thin film will form on the bottom of the pan), about 2-3 minutes.
- Immediately transfer dough to a large bowl and beat on medium speed with a hand mixer (or stand mixer) for 2 minutes to cool the mixture slightly. Add in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, until fully combined. It should appear smooth and creamy.
- Spoon dough into a piping bag fitted with a large open star tip (I used an Ateco 829.) Place in the fridge and chill for 30 minutes.
- Preheat air fryer to 380F. Spray the basket with nonstick spray.
- Working in batches, hold the tip close to the basket and pipe strips of dough (2 & 1/2 inches long) in a single layer, cutting the end with kitchen scissors. Repeat until churro bites fill the basket without over-crowding.
- Air fry until golden, 8 to 10 minutes.
- Immediately out of the air fryer brush them with the melted butter, then roll in the cinnamon-sugar mixture.
- Repeat with remaining dough.
- Enjoy immediately as is or with some chocolate dipping sauce!