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How do you make a cake without an oven?? Check out my Stove Top Chocolate Cake recipe. It's probably the best cake you will ever eat!

Stovetop Chocolate Cake

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Easily bake a deliciously rich, moist chocolate cake without an oven using my Stovetop Chocolate Cake Recipe.

Hi Bold Bakers!

Bold Baking is about giving you the confidence to bake anytime, anywhere while taking the sweets we all know and love and turning up the volume. From the flavor to the method, I proudly take baking to new places and my Stovetop Chocolate Cake recipe is a great example. This rich sponge cake is deeply chocolatey and incredibly moist. Instead of dry baking this cake in the oven it’s steamed on the stovetop which allows it to rise up into the perfect sponge cake while retaining all of its moist texture. If you’ve never made a cake on the stovetop be prepared to be amazed!

How to Bake a Cake Without an Oven

Whether you’re a college student rocking a dorm room kitchenette or you’re on a camping trip with just a hot plate, you can bake a mouthwatering chocolate cake. You heard me right, there is no oven needed to bake a homemade chocolate cake, this recipe is all about the stove. There is no special equipment needed to make this chocolate cake wonder when all you need is a large deep pan with a lid. My GoodCook Classic 11 Inch Deep Saute Pan With Lid is perfect for this job as it’s big enough to hold my GoodCook 9-inch Round Cake Pan.   as the lid closes nice and tight, creating the perfect steamy environment for stovetop baking. There really is no secret to why this stovetop steaming method yields incredible results. The chocolate cake batter is heated from the inside out in a wet environment which means the cake is delicate, rich and never dry. While I love baking in an oven, this is a great alternative for anyone that doesn’t have an oven or microwave. That said, even if you do usually bake in an oven you will love this method. Steaming the cake instead of dry baking buys all you bold bakers a lot of insurance since there is simply no way the chocolatey sponge will dry out, crack or lack in flavor.

How to Make a Chocolate Cake

Now that you know how to make a cake on the stovetop instead of the oven I bet you want to know what makes up the cake itself. This cake is a classic chocolate sponge cake made by whipping up butter, sugar and eggs until light and fluffy. This gives the cake loads of body and lightness. From there I fold in flour and good quality dark cocoa powder giving this cake its chocolate hit. This rich cake batter in combination with the stovetop steaming method of cooking makes this one of the best chocolate cake recipes you’ll ever have from taste to texture.

How to Decorate a Cake with Lace

Since my Stovetop Chocolate Cake is so rich and impressive after a 25-30 steam it almost needs no topping at all. To keep this cake elegant and simple I decorated mine with a piece of lace fabric and powdered sugar. After removing it from the pan and allowing to cool, I simply drape a piece of lace over the top of  the chocolate cake and dust with powdered sugar. After removing the lace what’s left is the print of lace pattern made out of sugar. This is such an impressive yet easy way to decorate. I cannot wait for all of you to impress your friends with this super unique and decadent Stovetop Chocolate Cake!

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4.58 from 59 votes
How do you make a cake without an oven?? Check out my Stove Top Chocolate Cake recipe. It's probably the best cake you will ever eat!
Stovetop Chocolate Cake
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
50 mins

Easily bake a deliciously rich, moist chocolate cake without an oven using my Stovetop Chocolate Cake Recipe.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 10 Slices
Author: Gemma Stafford
  • 1 cup (8oz/225g) butter, softened
  • 1 cup (8oz/225g) sugar
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup (5oz/142g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (2oz/57g) cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  1. In a large bowl cream together softened butter and sugar until light and fluffy. 

  2. Whisk in the eggs one at a time and mix until fully incorporated 

  3. Lastly, sift the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder into the batter and mix until combined. 

  4. Pour the cake batter into a greased and lined Goodcook 9-inch round cake pan.

  5. Lay an upside down plate in the bottom of a a wide and deep saucepan and fill with water until it almost reaches the top of the plate. I used a Goodcook Classic 11-Inch Deep saute with lid. Important notes: You need the saucepan to be wider than the cake pan, and deep enough for the cake to rise with the lid on. 

  6. Bring the water to a simmer over medium low heat. Once simmering, careful place in the cake to sit on top of the plate. You don't want the cake pan to be sitting in water, it is to be just over it. 

  7. Steam for about 25–30 minutes. It’s important to top up with hot water if you see it running low during the cooking process.

  8. Once risen and firm in the middle, wearing oven mitts carefully remove from pan. Leave to cool in the cake pan for 20 minutes and the turn it out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

  9. Place on a serving platter, lay a piece of lace or a doily over the top generously dust with powdered sugar. 

  10. Store at room temperate for up to 3 days. Enjoy with whipped cream.   

Watch the Recipe Video!

Recipe Notes

* I strongly recommend watching the video so you can see the steaming method exactly. 

* Bake this cake in a traditional oven at 350°F/180°C for around 35-40 minutes.




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Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, and I’m passionate about sharing my years of experience to show you how to make game-changing baking recipes with over-the-top results! Join more than 1 Million other Bold Bakers in the community for new video recipes every week!

Have you made a recipe? Share photos on my website or across social media with the hashtag #boldbaker.

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Write a Comment and Review

  1. Kangwa Pikiti on November 24, 2018 at 10:46 pm

    Hi Gemma, i follow your page on facebook and try to make some of the recipes when im able to find the ingridients here in Zambia.
    Im kindly asking for a chocolate cake that uses the creaming method and comes out dark and moist

    • Gemma Stafford on November 25, 2018 at 4:29 am

      Hi there,
      this is not too difficult to achieve. I have a sponge recipe here ( which is endlessly variable, and which will work well for all of your cakes.
      This is a proportional recipe. I suspect you use imperial measurements in Zambia so this is how it works:
      4ozs butter
      4ozs caster sugar
      4ozs flour
      2 eggs
      a little milk.
      This is the basic recipe, easy to increase as it is proportional, a creamed method and very good.
      You can add cocoa, for 4oz batter about one tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa. If you get Dutch processed/black cocoa it is alkalized, and will be very dark.
      You can increase the cocoa too if you wish, but I say made a little batch, a 2oz batter and experiment with the cocoa. It is a light thing, you will not need to adjust the flour. A tablespoon of ground almonds adds to the richness and moisture of this sponge.
      I hope this gets you thinking!
      Gemma 🙂

  2. Hamna Mariam on November 2, 2018 at 6:31 am

    Hi Gemma! I’m an avid fan of your recipes. Your simplistic approach and key-note points makes your channel stand out from the rest! I’d love to see a fool proof recipe for a perfect light and airy cake. Your help is much appreciated.

    With lots of love and peace.

    • Gemma Stafford on November 3, 2018 at 6:03 am

      Hi there,
      Take a look at this recipe ( the cake here will give you a light airy sponge.
      Easy to remember this proportional recipe too, you can keep it in your head!
      I hope this helps,
      Gemma 🙂

  3. Misbah on October 16, 2018 at 12:55 pm

    Hi Gemma, hope u r fine, this technique is awesome, since I just have an OTG, so it works really well, my question is can we make genoise cake using this method?
    Also give recipes for stove top like for pizzas, and profiteroles, if it is possible

    • Gemma Stafford on October 17, 2018 at 3:37 am

      Hi Mishab,
      I am not so sure about the Genoise, but a fat free sponge may be too delicate for this method. You can of course try it!
      Do let us know if you do it, and the result to get,
      Gemma 🙂

  4. Srilaxmi on October 16, 2018 at 4:55 am

    hi gemma
    what other flavours can I try on this cake? can I try a red velvet or something? if so, how will the recipes look like?
    and what kind of frosting can I use for this cake?

  5. Bhavana. Chitalia on October 14, 2018 at 11:02 pm

    Hi Gemma,
    What options can we use instead of eggs .Cake looks delicious n nice.Thanks for recipe.

    • Gemma Stafford on October 16, 2018 at 8:04 am

      Hi there,
      Here is my chart (
      for this recipe I think you can use a fruit puree/apple/banana. Alternatively use flax egg. You can also combine these things, yogurt can be a great addition!
      I hope this is of help to you,
      Gemma 🙂

  6. Abc on October 14, 2018 at 1:01 pm

    Can we use any cake recipe using this stovetop method?

    • Gemma Stafford on October 16, 2018 at 6:42 am

      Hi there,
      With a few exceptions! Read through this recipe, take a mental note of the ingredients, and check that against other recipes.
      Many sponge cakes are baked successfully on the stove top. When I was growing up we had them as ‘puddings’ steamed in a pudding shaped bowl, with lots of different additions, simple and delicious!
      The exception to this rule will be very delicate things, flourless cakes/no fat sponges etc.
      Let us know how you get on with this. Look out too for a pudding basin, really useful for this type of baking. ( this is the bowl type you are looking for.
      I hope this is of help, I will put this idea on my list,
      Gemma 🙂

  7. Louise on October 7, 2018 at 1:04 pm

    Thanks for the recipe. Can’t wait to try this – we’ve been travelling in our camper van for 4 month and really miss fresh cakes as we don’t have an oven!

    One question, I’ll need to use a 7″ cake tin as my Dutch oven is 9″ diameter – do you know what the cooking time should be reduced to?

    • Gemma Stafford on October 7, 2018 at 3:30 pm

      Then this recipe is perfect for you :).

      So if you are using a 7 inch tin just cooks for maybe 5 plus minutes longer. It will be deeper than mine was so it will need a little extra time.

      Share a pic when it’s done,

  8. Natalie on October 6, 2018 at 11:56 pm

    Hi Gemma,
    I just want to test first so just in case, instead of the caking pan you use, can I just use a bowl – a normal rice bowl?

    • Gemma Stafford on October 7, 2018 at 3:15 pm

      For sure, Natalie. You can totally do that. Just keep an eye on it because it will probably cook faster because it’s smaller.


  9. Argine Toylo on September 29, 2018 at 11:56 pm

    Hi Gemma!
    Thanks for this recipe. I have been wanting to bake a cake but I don’t have an oven. I tried once before in the microwave but it was too dry! Now I am planning to make this and follow your recipe. My idea is to make 2 layers with your cream cheese frosting. What do you think about? Do you think the taste don’t fit? I don’t really have many ideas about baking since I am just learning and don’t have any real experience. Please do tell me your recommendations. I love your recipes and I’m hoping to make them soon! Keep up sharing your wisdom. Thank you!

    • Gemma Stafford on October 1, 2018 at 6:24 am

      Hi there,
      Good, I am happy to have you baking with us. Do try the various ideas I have here on the website, buttercream/Swiss Meringue buttercream/chocolate fudge frosting, and for this cake that would be a great choice. Keep it simple is my advice until you have a little experience.
      I hope this helps (,

      Gemma 🙂

  10. Amanda Burman on September 20, 2018 at 12:42 pm

    can you use gluten free flour instead?

    • Gemma Stafford on September 22, 2018 at 8:47 am

      Hi Amanda,
      I think you could for this recipe as it has no particular reliance on gluten.
      Choose a good all purpose GF flour, not a single source one for best results.
      I hope you like this recipe, let us know how it worked for you,
      Gemma 🙂

  11. Jennifer Evangelista on September 11, 2018 at 12:08 am

    Hi Gemma,
    Does steamed cake doesn’t dry out when it cools? Like evaporating the moisture out of the cake? What is the difference between stovetop and baked cakes?
    Thank you too for sharing this recipe. More power to your show.


    • Gemma Stafford on September 11, 2018 at 4:54 am

      Hi Jennifer,
      Really a stove top cake is designed for people who do not have access to an oven. It cooks like a pudding more or less, so it gives a different texture to a cake. You will need to try it to compare, but it should not be dry when it is cooked.
      Thank you for your good wishes, I appreciate your kind support,
      Gemma 🙂

  12. Lightfeather on September 8, 2018 at 4:17 pm

    Hi Gemma,
    Thank you for all you do in sharing your easy to follow recipes. I so dislike having to cook on our electric stove this cake took 1.5 hours! I don’t really like chocolate cake but my husband does, so its a win!

    • Gemma Stafford on September 10, 2018 at 5:36 am

      Hi there,
      This is a long time! May be that you had the setting a little low for this one, but well done in any case. The way to a man’s heart is through his tummy, so you are definitely winning all the way!
      You can also bake this recipe, 340F/170C should do this nicely, for about 40 minutes.
      I hope this is of help to you,
      Gemma 🙂

  13. Ron on September 5, 2018 at 5:49 am

    Hi Gemma,

    I tried this wonderful recipe of yours but it came out a little dry, regardless, the taste was great! Also, I used a steamer that is a little bit bigger than the pot you used here. Do i really need to use a pot to make it moist? Haha not sure if it has something to do with it. Or do you have any additional tips that I can apply? I really want to try it again. I’m not passionate about baking but when I watch your videos it makes me want to try it. You’re great at teaching these things Gemma, keep it up! More power and God bless 😊

    • Gemma Stafford on September 5, 2018 at 9:54 am

      I’m delighted to hear you like my videos! Perhaps cut the cook time down by 5 minutes for a more moist cake. Enjoy and keep on baking 🙂

  14. Abir Sultana on August 28, 2018 at 9:23 am

    Hi Gemma,
    I am really in love with your easy explained recipes. I tried this one for three times. Second time I kept it for 10 min. I turned out fabulous. Today kept for 15 min. It was dry little bit. I know may be I am doing some kind of mistake with temperature and timing. What to do?? Should I lower my temperature and continue for 30 min?

    Thanks again. Please introduce some more stovetop recipes.

    • Gemma Stafford on August 31, 2018 at 4:31 am

      Hi there,
      this is a matter of trial for you. Really the water should be ‘simmering’ that is really gently bubbling, but if you worked it quicker, and it was good for you, then that is ok too. It sounds like your water was boiling a little faster than mine. Keep at it, we will add more recipes like these as time goes on,
      Gemma 🙂

  15. Sophia on August 26, 2018 at 11:21 am

    Hi Gemma ..I was wondering please….could I use a regular pot lid if I dont have a glass one ??

    • Gemma Stafford on August 27, 2018 at 3:31 am

      Hi Sophia,
      Sure! the idea of the glass lid is that you can keep an eye on the bake without losing the heat. Now you need to get the water simmering, then cover the pot and do not disturb it for about 15 minutes. Then check the water level, and the bake quickly, cover and continue. All will be well,
      Gemma 🙂

  16. Tara on August 21, 2018 at 7:23 pm

    Hi Gemma

    How many calories does this have?

    Thanks 🙂

    • Gemma Stafford on August 22, 2018 at 2:17 am

      Hi tara,
      Any chocolate cake with frosting will be about 350 calories per 100g serving.
      I have not worked it out for this recipe, but without the frosting it will be less.
      A cupcake, with buttercream frosting will be about 300 calories.
      This is a guide, I have not worked it out for this recipe,
      Gemma 🙂

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