Introducing the Milk Street Store—bringing you unique, functional items from vendors around the globe.

Order our cookbook today

3d Cookbook

and save 40% off the cover price!

Light, moist chocolate cake—no oven needed
Milk Street Bowtie Stovetop Chocolate Cake

Stovetop Chocolate Cake

35 minutes 10 minutes active

Free

Steaming a traditional chocolate cake batter produced a light, moist cake, and let us avoid using the oven. We used a foil coil set in a Dutch oven to elevate the cake above the water that steams it. Brown sugar and espresso powder gave the cake complexity, while sour cream added richness and a welcome tang. We liked the cake dusted with powdered sugar or topped with whipped cream. If your Dutch oven has a self-basting lid—dimples or spikes on the underside—lay a sheet of parchment or foil over the top of the pot before putting the lid in place to prevent water from dripping onto the surface.

142 grams (1 cup) all-purpose flour
29 grams (⅓ cup) cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
198 grams (1 cup packed) light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1/2 cup sour cream
6 tablespoons (¾ stick) salted butter, melted
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Ingredients
  • 142

    grams (1 cup) all-purpose flour

  • 29

    grams (⅓ cup) cocoa powder

  • 1

    teaspoon baking soda

  • ½

    teaspoon kosher salt

  • 198

    grams (1 cup packed) light brown sugar

  • 2

    large eggs

  • ½

    cup water

  • 1

    teaspoon instant espresso powder

  • ½

    cup sour cream

  • 6

    tablespoons (¾ stick) salted butter, melted

  • teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions
  1. 01
    Cut an 18-inch length of foil and gently scrunch together to form a snake about 1 inch thick. Shape into a circle and set on the bottom of a large Dutch oven. Add enough water to reach three-quarters up the coil. Coat the bottom and sides of a 9-inch round cake pan with cooking spray, line with kitchen parchment, then coat the parchment. Place the prepared pan on top of the coil.
    See Demo
  2. 02
    Sift the flour, cocoa powder and baking soda into a medium bowl, then whisk in the salt. In a large bowl, whisk the sugar and eggs until slightly lightened, about 30 seconds. Whisk in the water, espresso powder, sour cream, butter and vanilla. Add the flour mixture and whisk gently until just combined.
    See Demo
  3. 03
    Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Cover and heat on high until the water boils. Reduce heat to low and steam, covered, until the cake is just firm to the touch at the center, about 23 minutes.
    See Demo
  4. 04
    Turn off the heat and remove the lid. Let the cake sit in the Dutch oven until the pan is cool enough to handle. Transfer the pan to a wire rack, then run a paring knife around the edges. Let the cake cool completely, then invert onto a plate and remove the parchment. Invert again onto another plate.
    See Demo
Tip: Don’t open the Dutch oven too often while steaming, but do ensure that the water is at a very gentle simmer. You should see steam emerging from the pot. If the heat is too high, the water will boil away before the cake is cooked.
More

Desserts

Down arrow

Stovetop Chocolate Cake

Get Ready to Cook

8

Servings

35 minutes

10 minutes active

Tip

Don’t open the Dutch oven too often while steaming, but do ensure that the water is at a very gentle simmer. You should see steam emerging from the pot. If the heat is too high, the water will boil away before the cake is cooked.

Ingredients
  • 142

    grams (1 cup) all-purpose flour

  • 29

    grams (⅓ cup) cocoa powder

  • 1

    teaspoon baking soda

  • ½

    teaspoon kosher salt

  • 198

    grams (1 cup packed) light brown sugar

  • 2

    large eggs

  • ½

    cup water

  • 1

    teaspoon instant espresso powder

  • ½

    cup sour cream

  • 6

    tablespoons (¾ stick) salted butter, melted

  • teaspoons vanilla extract

Step 1 of 4

Prep the Dutch oven and the cake pan

Cut an 18-inch length of foil and gently scrunch together to form a snake about 1 inch thick. Shape into a circle and set on the bottom of a large Dutch oven. Add enough water to reach three-quarters up the coil.


Coat the bottom and sides of a 9-inch round cake pan with cooking spray, line with kitchen parchment, then coat the parchment. Place the prepared pan on top of the coil.

Step 2 of 4

Sift, whisk, and mix

142
grams (1 cup) all-purpose flour
29
grams (⅓ cup) cocoa powder
1
teaspoon baking soda
½
teaspoon kosher salt
198
grams (1 cup packed) light brown sugar
2
large eggs
½
cup water
1
teaspoon instant espresso powder
½
cup sour cream
6
tablespoons (¾ stick) salted butter, melted
teaspoons vanilla extract

Sift the flour, cocoa powder and baking soda into a medium bowl, then whisk in the salt. In a large bowl, whisk the sugar and eggs until slightly lightened, about 30 seconds.


Whisk in the water, espresso powder, sour cream, butter and vanilla. Add the flour mixture and whisk gently until just combined.

Step 3 of 4

Cover and steam

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Cover and heat on high until the water boils. Reduce heat to low and steam, covered, until the cake is just firm to the touch at the center, about 23 minutes.

Step 4 of 4

Cool, cut, and serve

Turn off the heat and remove the lid. Let the cake sit in the Dutch oven until the pan is cool enough to handle. Transfer the pan to a wire rack, then run a paring knife around the edges.


Let the cake cool completely, then invert onto a plate and remove the parchment. Invert again onto another plate.

Milk Street Bowtie Logo

Done!

Did you enjoy this recipe?

Want more?

See More Desserts