This one bowl Chocolate Cake is perfect for small celebrations or anytime you don’t feel like turning on the oven! An Instant Pot dessert that is chocolatey, fudgy and moist.
Mmmmmm, fudgy and decadent chocolate cake! The only thing making this cake better is that you don’t even need to turn on the oven.
Our house heats up like crazy in the summer and this Instant Pot Chocolate Cake definitely makes baking SO much more enjoyable since I’m not sweating bullets thanks to the oven spiking temperatures even more. A quick mix in a single bowl and plop the batter into the pressure cooker for a crazy good cake recipe.
I ended up doing a quick comparison of this set it and forget it instant pot dessert with the exact same ingredients and pan, just in the oven. You can see in the photo below that the Instant Pot cake is denser, has a (natural) flat top, and looks even more chocolatey.
Both chocolate cakes tasted delicious, however the Instant Pot Cake was way more loved out of the two for its fudgy-like texture and dense chocolatey flavour.
This cake can be topped with a frosting of your choice, whipping cream (my go to for its ease of prep), or simply left plain.
For a simple whipping cream, whip 1 cup 33% liquid cream with 2-4 tsp of granulated sugar until stiff peaks form. Plop on top of cake and you’re all set!
This Instant Pot Cake is a one bowl wonder as well, making prep so easy with a true set it and forget it recipe. And it has all the good things a dense, chocolatey cake needs: butter, chocolate, and sugar.
Some tips for success with this Instant Pot Cake:
- Be sure to use the IP trivet or create a foil ring and lift so the cake pan can be removed from the IP easily (and without burning you).
- The 1/2 cup of water at the bottom of the Instant Pot is required to prevent the “BURN” signal all us IPers dread.
- Natural release is the way to go! Don’t try to hurry this along with a quick release as the cake is basically steamed and releasing the pressure too quickly could cause the cake to fall.
More Instant Pot Dessert ideas:
I was inspired by a Chocolate Steamed Cake recipe in Milk Street by Christopher Kimball and adapted the recipe to suite the Instant Pot. If you wanted to take this cake up a notch and turn it into a layer cake, I highly recommend a Rosette cake (so pretty!).
Fudgy and moist Chocolate Cake! A one bowl Instant Pot dessert!
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, plus more for dusting pan
- 1/2 tsp baking soda*
- 2/3 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
- 1 large egg
- 1/3 cup warm water
- 1/2 tsp instant espresso powder
- 1/3 cup sour cream
- 4 tbsp salted butter, melted
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
In a large bowl whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and brown sugar. Add egg, espresso powder, water, sour cream, melted butter, and vanilla extract. Mix with a spatula or wooden spoon until combined.
Pour batter into prepared cake pan and place in Instant Pot on top of trivet or foil ring. Seal lid and cook on HIGH Pressure for 25 minutes and allow the pressure cooker to Naturally Release.
Carefully remove pan (using the trivet with oven mitts on) and allow pan to cool for 10 minutes before removing cake from pan and allowing to fully cool on a rack.
Top cake with whipped cream or frosting as desired and serve. Cake will last in an airtight container in the fridge for 5-7 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
* Baking soda is used in this recipe as it is an active leavening agent with the sour cream ... baking soda needs the acid to becomes active. If you switch out the sour cream to Greek yogurt or something else, I'd suggest switching the baking soda to baking powder.