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I Went Full Carny and Tried Every Recipe for Air-Fried Oreos I Could Find

For good measure, I even came up with my own deep-fried Oreo monstrosity, complete with Cinnamon Toast Crunch ‘bread crumbs’

After six months of anxiety-eating my way through a “Family Size” pack of Double Stuf Oreos every week, I finally turned a corner. For the last few months, I’ve been living completely Oreo-free. Until, that is, I found a recipe that combined my obsession with the perfect chocolate cookie with my love for air frying. Needless to say, I immediately fell off the wagon. 

As I loaded up my shopping cart with yet another pack of Double Stuf Oreos in my quest to make air-fried Oreos, I told myself this wasn’t a step backward. No, I was embracing change, embarking on a new culinary journey. What I didn’t expect was how much of a challenge this journey would be.

There are two schools of thought when it comes to deep-frying Oreos in the air fryer. Some recommend you wrap the Oreos in crescent roll dough beforehand, while others smother their Oreos in pancake batter. Because I’m a completionist, I did what no other deep-fried Oreo air fryer recipe blog apparently could and attempted both. Actually, I tried two versions with pancake batter plus the crescent roll option, and then did some culinary freestyling of my own to see if I could bring further perfection to what is already a perfect fried treat. 

‘Easy’ Air-Fried Oreo Recipe #1: Pancake Mix

For the air-fried Oreo method using pancake batter, you simply make pancake batter per the box’s instructions (mine used just ⅓ cup water to 1 cup mix), dip the Oreos into the batter and lay them on a small sheet of parchment paper inside the air fryer. I didn’t have parchment paper, so I used some leftover cupcake baking cups to middling success. 

Next, I air-fried those little bastards at 450 degrees for 3 to 4 minutes. Other, more polished recipe blogs will say that’s all you need to do, but because I’m not a polished baking blogger, I’ll admit that the reality of what this produces is far from what’s presented on most blogs. Worse yet, once my pancake batter air-fried Oreos were done, I attempted to flip them to toast the other side. 

This didn’t go so well, even though I sprayed my “parchment paper” with non-stick spray. Nevertheless, I improvised and gooped a bit more pancake batter on the underside of each Oreo, which actually worked pretty well. 

Overall, I give this method of air frying Oreos an A-. The pancake batter crisped up pretty nicely, so there was a good, satisfying crunch, and the whole endeavor was pretty easy. Not the easiest method to deep fry Oreos in the air fryer mind you, but generally low maintenance. 

Deep Fried Oreo GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Air-Fried Oreo Recipe #2: Juiced-Up Pancake Mix

There is an alternate way to air-fry Oreos using pancake batter. The steps are essentially the same, only you spruce up the batter to better simulate deep-fried carnival dough. To that end, instead of just water and pancake mix, you whisk together an egg, ⅓ cup milk, ½ teaspoon vanilla extract, 2 tablespoons sugar and 2 tablespoons vegetable oil. Next, you slowly mix in 1 cup of pancake mix until it’s nice and thicc. 

Follow the same steps as above (give or take), and you’ll get the same results as the first recipe, only, theoretically at least, sweeter and tastier. If you’re not super adept at measuring and generally impatient with baking, you might find this method to be messy and dumb, with a similar or worse payoff. In my case, the dough didn’t crisp up as well, so there was less crunch, and it tasted like a soggy Oreo inside a pancake. 

Deep Fried Oreo GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Thus, this version gets a C+ from me. I suggest only attempting it if you’re trying to show off, or applying for a job at the carnival and have months to get it right. 

Fried Oreo Air Fryer Recipe GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Air-Fried Oreo Recipe #3: Crescent Rolls

Now, we’re talking easy. You just buy a can of crescent rolls, put the Oreos inside the little triangle things and wrap them up. No need for finicky parchment paper either — you merely spray some non-stick oil into the basket, plop the rolls in and air fry at 350 degrees for 5 to 6 minutes until golden brown. 

The thing is, these don’t really taste like “deep-fried” Oreos. They’re more along the line of “Oreos inside crescent rolls.” Still, given how simple they are, I give them a solid B+. 

Deep Fried Oreo GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Air-Fried Oreo Recipe #4: Bonus

As most air-fryer aficionados may know, many air-frying recipes for “fried” or “deep-fried” things will just use breadcrumbs instead of mixing together a flour-based batter. 

So I applied that same logic to deep-frying Oreos. For breadcrumbs, I used finely ground Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal, and in order to stick those breadcrumbs to the Oreo, I tried three different options: 1) whisked egg white and milk; 2) pancake batter (leftover from before; and 3) just milk. 

With that, I dipped separate Oreos into one of each, “breaded” them in the cereal, placed them in the air fryer and fried them for four minutes at 350 degrees. After the four minutes were up, I flipped each and fried them for another two minutes at the same temperature. 

Crunchy Fried Oreo GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

I have to say, these tasted pretty damn good. The pancake batter was by far the best adhesive for the Cinnamon Toast Crunch crumbs, while the breading prevented the texture from becoming the soft-Oreo-in-a-doughy-pancake disappointment. 

Taste-wise, I wouldn’t categorize these as “deep-fried Oreos,” but they had a great crunch along with a sweet and cinnamon-y combination reminiscent of hot candied nuts sold from street carts — so in a way, that’s pretty close to carnival food. 

So if you find yourself making deep-fried Oreos in your air fryer and have some Cinnamon Toast Crunch to spare, definitely try this “breaded” method. I may not be a food blogger or a carny, but I promise you that no food blogger or carny loves Double Stufs the way I do.