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

Stovetop Chocolate Cake

35 minutes 10 minutes active

Stovetop Chocolate Cake

Free

Steaming produces a light, moist chocolate cake, and is a great way to avoid having to fire up the oven. To elevate the cake above the water that steams the batter, we fashion a ring from an 18-inch length of foil. Brown sugar and espresso powder gave the cake complexity while sour cream added richness and a welcome tang. We like serving this cake dusted with powdered sugar or topped with whipped cream. If your Dutch oven has a self-basting lid—that is, if there are bumps or spikes on the underside—lay a sheet of foil across the top of the pot before putting the lid in place to prevent water from dripping onto the surface of the batter.

130 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 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1/2 cup sour cream
6 tablespoons (¾ stick) salted butter, melted
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Ingredients
  • 130

    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

  • 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. Add enough water to reach three-quarters up the coil. Mist the bottom and sides of a 9-inch round cake pan with cooking spray, line the bottom with a round of kitchen parchment, then coat the parchment. Place the prepared pan in the pot on top of the foil 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 ½ cup water, the 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 to low and steam, covered, until the center of the cake is just firm to the touch, about 23 minutes.
    See Demo
  4. 04
    Turn off the heat and remove the lid. Let stand until the cake pan is cool enough to handle. Transfer the pan to a wire rack, then run a paring knife around the edge of the cake to loosen. Let cool completely. Invert the cake directly onto the rack, lift off the pan and remove and discard the parchment. Re-invert onto a serving 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.
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Stovetop Chocolate Cake

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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
  • 130

    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

  • 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.


Add enough water to reach three-quarters up the coil. Mist the bottom and sides of a 9-inch round cake pan with cooking spray, line the bottom with a round of kitchen parchment, then coat the parchment. Place the prepared pan in the pot on top of the foil coil.

Step 2 of 4

Sift, whisk, and mix

130
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
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 ½ cup water, the 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 to low and steam, covered, until the center of the cake is just firm to the touch, about 23 minutes.

Step 4 of 4

Cool, cut, and serve

Turn off the heat and remove the lid. Let stand until the cake pan is cool enough to handle. Transfer the pan to a wire rack, then run a paring knife around the edge of the cake to loosen. Let cool completely.


Invert the cake directly onto the rack, lift off the pan and remove and discard the parchment. Re-invert onto a serving plate.

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