Updated as of July 19, 2023 by Camille Georgia Uy.
This is what you should know before you “bake” via steaming:
1 There will be no browning + less flavor.
The biggest reason you want to bake a cake rather than steam it is because the dry heat of the oven promotes browning. When you steam a cake, you don’t get the same browned edges as you would if it were baked. While this may not seem like a big deal, it can and does affect the flavor. Steamed cakes like this no-bake chocolate cake will have a more pure flavor of the ingredients that make up the cake. Baked cakes will have a more rounded flavor, and this is because of the browned edges.
2 The cake will be soft and moist but dries out faster, too.
The advantage of steaming is that it’s quite fast. In fact, the speed is halved when you steam instead of bake a cake. However, the danger of steaming is that steaming can result in the loss of moisture faster since it loses it faster too as it cools. You can actually also steam cupcakes, but you need to watch the clock carefully as these they can dry out faster since they’re smaller.
3 You need to add more fat.
Since steamed cakes can dry out, you’ll need to add more fat (butter or oil) to retain the moisture that it loses because of evaporation as the cake cools. Adding yogurt and sour cream can also help in keeping the cake moist as it cools.
Despite these disadvantages, you can still bake using the steam method as desired but armed with this knowledge, you can adjust your recipes or look for recipes that will better translate to being steamed than being baked.