Instant Pot Chocolate Cake

This Instant Pot Chocolate cake is my weakness and I think I passed it on to my kids as they are capable of making an entire cake disappear in less than 5 minutes.

To make sure we’re no all going to succumb to our cravings and go live in a house made of cake, I decided that we’re only going to eat sweets we cook in the house. This rule allows me to limit the sweets in our diet, but it’s also a bit of a nuisance given that the kids keep asking for this Instant Pot cake again and again.

So feel free to use this pressure cooker chocolate cake recipe for a quick and easy dessert.

My Instant Pot doesn’t have a Bake Function

Don’t be disappointed if you can’t find the Bake function on your Instant Pot – some models don’t have it. As you can see from my instructions, I use the Manual mode for baking, and the result is a soft cake that basically melts in your mouth. 

The steam from the pressure cooking setting helps speed up the process, but it also keeps the cake from drying (which can happen in the oven). So, steam is the main secret behind the softness and luxuriousness of this cake! 

Things you Should Know

If you haven’t used the Instant Pot for baking before, make sure to check these tips out (in fact, I think that the more experienced IP bakers should also give these rules a peak):

  • Don’t forget the liquid – the rule remains the same – your pot needs liquid to build up pressure. Otherwise, you’ll either get an error message or you’ll wait forever to see the pot build pressure
  • Use a 6-inch cake form lined with parchment paper – to get a fluffy and soft cake, it’s important to place the batter in a cake form that you previously lined with parchment paper. The form will be placed on the trivet (one of the IP standard accessories) which will be placed in the inner pot. The trivet is important because it keeps the cake form from touching the liquid and it will allow you to get the pan out once the cooking is done (without burning your fingers).
  • Let the pressure release naturally – I know it’s difficult to wait when you can already feel the smell of chocolate goodness but, believe me, it’s worth it! If you release the steam too quickly (using the Quick Release function), you may end up with a flat cake. This can happen because the pot uses steam to heat up and raise the batter. 
  • Let the cake cool down – I’m sure you already know this, but I want to make sure. The cake needs to cool down before you can add frosting or any other topping. 
  • You can add a dash of espresso powder to make the richness of the chocolate really pop. However, make sure to not overdo it if you’re baking this for kids. 

Quick tip: if you don’t have a 6-inch cake form, you can find one in the nearest supermarket or online store.


Now that the cake is ready for decoration, you can let your imagination run wild. I like to alternate between chocolate frosting and whipped cream with pieces of fruit at the top. But this is the beauty of this cake! Anyone can do it their own way and you can even employe the help of the kids for this step (although be prepared to lose half of the frosting in the process).

For this recipe, I took a different approach. I simply sprinkled powdered sugar over it and served it. It was just as delicious as if it had frosting on top! It’s also a perfect solution for a birthday party or for welcoming your kids’ friends to your house.

Instant Pot Chocolate Cake
4.68 from 261 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: all-purpose flour, Chocolate Cake, cocoa powder
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 8
  • ¾ cup flour
  • ¾ cup cocoa powder
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ¾ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • ½ cup melted butter
  • ½ cup milk
  • 3 whisked eggs
  • Powdered sugar to decorate
  • Carefully line 6 inch cake form with parchment paper (also on its sides).
  • In a large bowl, mix together all dry ingredients: flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, sugar, salt.
  • Add melted butter, eggs, milk and vanilla extract and mix.
  • Pour the batter into your cake tin.
  • Cover with foil.
  • Pour water (1cup) into your Instant Pot and place the trivet correctly.
  • Place your cake tin onto the trivet.
  • Cook at high pressure for 30 minutes.
  • When cooking time ends, wait for a natural pressure release.
  • Remove the foil and let your cake cool for about 20 minutes before slicing it.
  • Sprinkle each slice with powdered sugar and enjoy!

This recipe is part of our 1001 Instant Pot recipes project, a huge collection of free, easy and delicious recipes.

31 thoughts on “Instant Pot Chocolate Cake

  1. I mean – with pressurization time, cook time, and natural release time, this actually takes longer than in the oven, for a relatively small cake – no? Am i missing something? Is the quality of the cake itself better, making it worth it? I might try it just as an experiment, so I’m confident in it, in case the oven is in use (nice to have the option). But is it really faster?

    1. Hi Dave

      You are right it’s not that faster, but it’s a great alternative for someone who doesn’t have an oven or don’t want to use it.

      Thank you

      1. I currently don’t have an oven and with the world wide epidemic stores are closed where I reside. So I’m unable to get it fixed or get a new one. This will work for me, thank you!

  2. I made this cake! Wonderful! It will be so handy to do baked goods like this in my RV instant Pot, which I have yet to buy. Thank you for this recipe!

  3. Sounds delicious! I will make on this weekend. I made a cheesecake for Morher’s Day in my instant pot! Wow! I was impressed if I have to say so myself. lol My family said it was delicious.

  4. I made this twice and turned out great. Did not have the baking soda, so used SR floor and still great.
    Also as a try as could not get any answer’s I have made the throw it all together type sponge ie 8 OZ SR flour, Sugar ( works with granulated) butter/margerine & should be 4 Eggs, but seems to be ok with 3 and a good couple of tablespoons of Coco powder. Mixed up with whisk or by hand put in a greased sandwich pan, cup of water, 22 mins & NPR done it covered in foil & not with foil. Either way seems good. The family munch it up on its own or with custard ice-cream etc. Would not win any prizes, but that is not what it is about is it? I have a severely disabled daughter who needs everything done 24/7 so every min saved is good. And having arthritis I prefer not bending to the oven. In fact I have not used my oven since I got my IP about 3 years ago!!!! Obviously use air fryer & Air fryer oven plus the microwave and that is it plus some things on the job occasionally!

  5. Just got my Instant Pot yesterday and this is the first thing I made in it, it was delicious, and so quick to make. The cake is rich, and moist and because it’s only 6 inches, no guilt about making a cake.

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