If you have a rice cooker, you already know that you can cook rice in it. There are inserts included in even the most basic rice cookers that allow you to steam food in it, too. This steamer insert is important when steaming vegetables, dumplings like siomai, or even a simple chicken or fish dish at the same time as your rice is cooking.
In fact, you can cook an entire meal in the rice cooker, saving you not only time and effort, but the cleaning up is much easier, too! We think the rice cooker is the most underutilized kitchen appliance in your kitchen. That’s because it’s easy to forget that a rice cooker is actually a cooking tool that can do more than just steam rice and vegetables.
That’s why this kitchen trick is super useful to know: did you know you can also “bake” in the rice cooker, too? You can!
We know this because we tried it.
We tested a rice cooker to see if it can “bake” a simple cake. Guess what? It did it pretty wonderfully, in fact. The biggest difference between baking a cake in a rice cooker and in an oven is that you will have to be more vigilant when “baking” in a rice cooker. The reason behind this is because the “cook” button will pop up around five times before your cake is completely baked. Whenever this happens before your cake is done, you will have to press that button down again.
It sounds like a hassle but the resulting cake is well worth it, especially if you don’t have an oven!
Curious how it’s done? Here’s the step-by-step process:
1 Make the cake batter.
There is no tweak or tip to the cake recipe used in this rice cooker. In fact, this cake batter is made using a simple yellow cake mix you can find at any supermarket. All you have to do is make the batter according to the package directions. That might mean you will need, at the least, one or two eggs, vegetable oil, and water along with the prepared cake mix.
The only thing we did do differently was we whisked the cake mix to break up the larger lumps that had formed while the cake mix was in storage. Do this step as well so you can mix a smoother cake batter before adding the wet ingredients. When mixed, lightly grease the rice cooker bowl with butter or oil and pour in the batter.
2 “Bake” it.
Once the batter is in the rice cooker bowl, close the lid, and press the button to cook. You may have to press the button several times before the cake is done. How can you tell? Use the tried and tested method: use a toothpick to check the doneness of the cake. If it emerges clean from the center of the cake, it’s done!
3 Let it cool.
You will have to remove the cake from the rice cooker bowl and to do this, you may have to wait a few minutes until it has cooled just enough so that it’s firm enough to not fall apart once out of the bowl and for your hand to not burn. You’ll have to place your hand on the cake, flip the bowl over your hand, and catch it as it slips out. Place it immediately on a cooling rack to cool completely. Once cooled, you can frost it as desired.
What’s fantastic about this method we discovered is that you can even make brownies using this method, too! Just make the brownie batter, top it with chocolate chips as desired (We did!), and spoon in the batter into the rice cooker insert.
Isn’t this a fantastic kitchen trick? There’s no reason at all now to not bake something delicious in your kitchen. You have everything you need to bake a cake, even without a stove or an oven.