To bake a cake without an oven…

I know of so many people who do not make cakes, simply because they do not have an oven. I feel that is really sad. Even though home made cakes may appear inferior to store bought cakes, the taste and the love with which it is made cannot match the commercial cakes whatsoever. I truly believe in that. Even if it is a simple chocolate cake or vanilla sponge cake, the effect on the person who is eating it is unimaginable  It must be because the maker knows what all goes into it and the interest with which it is made sets everything apart.This is a very humble attempt to demonstrate how you can make cake without an oven. All you need is a pressure cooker or steamer and an aluminium pan which will fit into your cooker/ steamer. It is that easy. My mom has been making cakes this way since the time I remember and I have followed suit until recently when I got my microwave convention oven. Even though my bakes in the oven have come out good, I still love to steam the cake as I feel the texture comes out much better than that in the oven. I think I need to get over my bias over a period of time. 🙂

Some basic requirements – before that, a disclaimer. I am no major cook. My intention is only to share what I know so that others also get the enjoyment that I get while making a cake! 🙂 Immense, isn’t it…1. Have a basic set of measuring cups and spoons. The cheapest I have found here is in Ansar Mall – a set of four cups and four spoons cost Dhs. 8/- and it is might handy.

2. Get a good whisk and a spatula – these are not very expensive, would cost maximum upto Dhs. 15/- for both. I got the whisk from Daiso for Dhs. 7/- and two spatulas, one big and one small from Ansar Mall for Dhs. 4/-. You can also find spatulas at Ikea for Dhs. 4/- a peice, I guess.

3. Select a  recipe and follow it to the T. This is very important for a novice chef, just like me. Do not alter the recipe at any cost. It will spell disaster, for sure!!!

OK, so that’s some basic I can remember. Let’s go the steps now.

Step 1
Once the recipe is selected, prepare the batter as per instructions and keep ready.

Step 2
Wash your pressure cooker and keep it on your stove on meduim-low flame. This is basically the procedure of “preheating”.

Step 3
Wash your aluminuim tin and wipe it clean.

Step 4
Brush it with oil. Ensure that all the portion is covered, as your cake will rise and you wouldn’t want it to stick to the pan!

Step 5
Dust it with flour. Here, I have used breadcrumbs. Got this tip from Nestle website and it seems to work better than flour. So just rub bit of flour here and there over the oil.

Step 6
Pour the batter into the prepared tin and keep ready.

Step 7
Keep the stand that you get with your steamer into the cooker.

Step 8
Put the prepared tin on top of the stand. Some people I’ve seen use aluminium foil to cover, which is not necessary. It will make checking the cake later difficult.

Step 9
If using a pressure cooker, the take off the weight. If using a steamer, skip this step.

Step 10
Close the cooker and keep your flame at meduim low. Ignore your cooker for the next 30 minutes.


Step 11
After 30 minutes, open the lid and check if the cake is done by inserting a toothpick or a knife into the center of the cake. This is very important – check on the center, because the center gets cooked last. The toothpick or the knife will come out clean. The cooking time depends on the cake’s density. Some cakes are done in 30 minutes while some take upto 1 hour. Just be patient!!! I know the smell that comes will be tempting but you have to wait, otherwise you will partly cooked batter… hehe…

Step 12
Once the cake is done, take out the pan from the cooker/ steamer and allow it to cool for 5 minutes. You will start seeing the cake detaching from the sides.

Step 13
Now slowly flip the pan onto a cooling rack or an elevated surface and slowly release the pan.

Step 14
Now allow the cake to cool completely before you slice and enjoy!!! You can see that I flipped the cake in a hurry and one portion didn’t release properly. 🙁 However, who cares, I cleaned it up from the pan!!! 😉

You can see how soft the cake is… Yum…

The cake I have made here is called “Steamed Moist Chocolate Cake” and it is moist, yes and so chocolaty!!! A pepped up pic of the cake… You can see it’s really dark… Hmmm….

Very easy, isn’t it??? One more tip, if you want to make the cake in the cooker itself, then heat up your chapathi tawa, do the oil and flour coating inside the cooker, pour the batter directly into it and keep it on the top of the tawa for cooking. This is for a bigger cake.

I feel nice having typed this as I really hope many of them will then start making cakes for breakfast, lunch and dinner!!! 😀 I really wish I could… hmmm…

Join the Conversation

  1. wow…very useful n perfectly done cake..Til today i never tried in P.Cooker..urs just inspiring me..BTW Iam ur new follwer.Hope u vl be dear

    1. thank u Maha… i'm already ur follower!!! 🙂 u shud try steaming a cake, it tastes awesome, trust me!! 🙂

  2. very useful post to bake in cooker.

    1. thank u dear… 🙂

  3. good one Rafeeda. i am following you. thanks for following me and giving the comments.

    1. thank u for coming around sebeena…

  4. Nice cake, I also made cake without oven. I used an electric stove and decorate it to look nice.

  5. Hey one doubt, though u have named it steamed cake, however i didnt find you pouring water in steamer. please let me know abt it. 🙂

    1. In a pressure cooker, it wilk get cooked in the vapor dat forms, water is normally not needed… hope this answers ur query… 🙂

  6. ohhh… ok.
    Surely will try this weekend 🙂
    thanks a lot Rafeeda.

  7. Hai rafeeda
    Yummy recipe. I tried out the recipe.
    Cake is very tasty
    Thanks for the recipe

    1. Thank you so much Shaji for your feedback… really appreciate… 🙂

  8. Hugs Rafee! This sounds wonderful. I am gonna try this once I settle and get better.

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      I don’t want you to lose the joy of enjoying a good home baked cake! 🙂 Hugs…

  9. Hello, been thinking of how to bake any cake in a steamer ever since our oven broke down. I have questions:
    1. Do I need to alter recipes or just use the same recipes as how it is in baking in the oven?
    2. The baking/steaming time would be the sames with baking in the oven?

    Thank you in advance

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Hi Marj Go, for steaming, use the exact same recipe as you would use for your oven. Once the steam passes, keep on low flame and let it cook for around 25 minutes. Then you can start checking whether it is done by doing the skewer test. Happy baking!

  10. Can this be done in electric pressure cooker like the instant pot

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      I am sorry I am not able to help you on this query, since I have never tried an electric cooker… 🙁

  11. Hi Rafeeda

    i hope you remember me. 🙂 aftr i gave the chicken in white sauce a try, i gave this simple cake(with a little frosting invented in my own head) a go for my husbands bday on sunday the 23rd and i nailed it… im so so happy the way it came out way above my expectations.. thank you so very much, my husband has now promised an oven quickly and he has given me the green signal to try many more things… i for sure am so thankful i bumped into your site… 🙂 🙂 🙂 thank you for this simple but wonderful recipe..lots of best wishes to you all the way from Bangalore,India 🙂

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      I am so glad I am helping you learn and improve in your cooking and baking… I am really happy for you… Please keep pouring in your suggestions and even failures if anything goes wrong… Would love to hear from you always… 🙂 🙂 🙂

  12. do we need to pour water or add salt in the cooker? and I haven’t ever tried this . so as I read diz I’m about to do it. and without adding water or salt in the cooker will it cause any danger???

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Hi Shamna… you don’t need to add anything. Keep a small stand inside, then your cake batter in the pan, and put it down into the pressure cooker. Take off the weight, this is very important, and then close the lid. This way you can open and check the readiness of the cake… I have always been making it like this and Alhamdulillah, no issues so far. If you feel very uncertain, just pour a little layer of water… 🙂

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