Instant Pot Chocolate Cake

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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.

Definitely use this Instant Pot chocolate cake recipe for a quick and easy dessert. I know I sure do!

This recipe is also perfect for when you don’t want to use your oven, like in the summer, you can still have cake!

 

What if 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 cooker setting helps keeps the cake from drying out (which can happen in the oven). So, steam is the main secret behind the softness and luxuriousness of this cake!

More Tricks and Tips

If you haven’t used the Instant Pot for baking before, check out these tips:

  • Don’t forget the liquid – for ALL instant pot recipes, including baking, your pot needs enough 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 – if you don’t have a 6-inch pan, you can easily find one online. The cake pan is 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 pan from touching the liquid directly 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 the cake needs to cool down before you can add frosting or any other topping. Otherwise it will melt and slide right off! 

Adjustments

If you don’t have a 6-inch cake pan, a 7-inch cake pan can be used as long as it fits in your pressure cooker. A bundt pan can also be used. You should not need to adjust the time for any of these options.

If you have a smaller Instant Pot, you should still be able to make this recipe, as long as you find a cake pan that fits your model. You may need to adjust the amount of water.

If you’d like to make this recipe gluten-free, you can substitute a gluten free all-purpose cup-for-cup flour blend. You could also use almond flour, though it may change the texture a bit.

To take this cake up a notch, I like to add a dash of espresso powder to the batter. It brings out the richness of the chocolate. However, make sure to not overdo it if you’re baking this for kids!

Serving

Personally, I like to alternate between chocolate frosting and whipped cream with pieces of fruit at the top. But that’s the beauty of this cake! Anyone can do it their own way and you can even employ the help of the kids for this step (although be prepared to lose half of the frosting in the process).

This time I simply sprinkled powdered sugar over it and served it. It was just as delicious as if it had frosting on top!

Instant Pot Chocolate Cake
4.64 from 279 votes
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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
Ingredients
  • 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
Instructions
  • 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!

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

61 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. Yes, the quality is worth the extra time (in my opinion). Your cake will always rise nicely and will always be moist and springy. If that’s the texture of cake you enjoy then you’ll find yourself using the pressure cooker instead of the oven to make your cakes and you may find yourself adapting other cake recipes to pressure cooking (as I do).

    3. Doubt it’s faster as 30 min cooking plus 10-15 min. natural release (up to 45 minutes!). It is supposed to be wonderfully moist though. As I have a tendency to forget when I’m baking this might work for me 😉

    4. I’m trying this recipe now, so I can’t vouch for it — but as with all things pressure cooked, the steam must make a difference in the moistness of the cake. Additionally, I put it in and don’t have to worry about it again… It’s more time, but also more hands off while you do other things around the house…

    5. Using the IP allows you to bake a cake without heating up your whole kitchen or house by using your large oven. Also, it is dump and go with the IP = no need to stay nearby while it bakes.

  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.

      1. my curriculum for school is a bit different so we will be doing the hard stuff like the procedure hypotheses etc. this semester but the experiment next semester therefor, i have not done it yet:)

  6. Wonderful! First time doing an instant pot cake. I had read other recipes which indicated that the cake did not cook and was goopy. I finally decided to try a recipe and I am glad I choose this one. This dense, rich, and beautiful cake cooked well and my family loves it! I live at high altitude and appreciate that no high altitude adjustments are needed when “baking” with the instant pot.
    Thank you!

    1. That’s such a great point about the high altitude, that’s wonderful! I’m glad you and your family loved the recipe 🙂

  7. My husband said this was really good. Dense and on the dry side but not crumbly. I added a little expression powder which added to it. I like it more moist but he likes it on the dry side. My question is how long should I natural release. It went past 25 minutes and the pin still didn’t go down so I quick released the little pressure that was left. I thought maybe that was why it was dryer.

    1. For a true natural release, you should wait the full amount of time until the pressure is released. This can take a while, but it does help the end result. Glad you and your husband liked the recipe!

    1. As long as the pan you have fits in your Instant Pot, you shouldn’t need to adjust the cook time. An 8-inch pan should still work for this recipe.

  8. Made it today….FABULOUS! Except one thing. I am never one to moan…BUT…I have to make it again tomorrow! My pack of people ate the LOT. Thank you!

  9. so I made this last night. My question is I made it in a 7.5 spring form pan in an 8qt crockpot express (crockpots brand of IP). It came out very dense is that how it was suppose to be? Was 1 cup of water enough or should i have added more? Can this be made in a regular cake pan? My daughter loved it though and had fun mixing the ingredients together.

    1. It is fairly dense, but to lighten up the texture next time, make sure you are not over-mixing the ingredients. That should help. Glad you and your daughter had fun making it though! 🙂

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