Instant Pot Vegan Chocolate Cake

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Chocolate cake but make it vegan and in the Instant Pot! Perfect for when you don't have access to an oven or it's too hot to bake!
Prep Time: 25 mins
Cook Time: 40 mins
Total Time: 1 hr 5 mins
5 from 1 vote

And if you want more than 90 incredible vegan Instant Pot recipes, be sure to order my cookbook, The Vegan Instant Pot Cookbook!

How to bake a cake in the Instant Pot

That birdie was me. That’s because I love dessert, and I am always trying out new ways to incorporate it into my life. I decided to start with something classic and simple like a chocolate cake. I also thought about making “Instant Pot brownies,” but a quick Google search for that revealed that my search market would primarily be stoners with the munchies. Not that I discriminate against my viewers – all are welcome here, pot smokers, cigarette smokers, clove smokers, cigar smokers, non-smokers…did I get them all?

[If you’re tired of reading, just check out the video recipe here].

Hence, I settled on a chocolate cake made in the Instant Pot.

Why I love this Instant Pot Vegan Chocolate Cake:

  1. Baking a cake in a pressure cooker is pretty unique and cool.

  2. The water in the bottom of the inner cooking pot creates a steaming effect that cooks the cake perfectly.

  3. Hence, you don’t have to constantly check the oven to make sure it’s hot enough or that the cake hasn’t over baked and is a dry, inedible disaster.

  4. You can bake a cake even if you don’t have an oven, or if it’s blazing hot outside in the summer and you don’t want to turn on your oven.

  5. You can bake this cake for 25 minutes instead of 30 minutes if you want a fudgier, slightly under-baked cake (hello, gooeyness).

  6. This has nothing to do with the Instant Pot, but the chocolate ganache I made to go on top, couldn’t be easier. All you need are two ingredients and five minutes.

  7. If you don’t have an Instant Pot, you can still apply the same basic method and bake a cake in a traditional pressure cooker.

Instant Pot chocolate cake
Instant Pot vegan chocolate cake

And now for tips on baking this adorable cake! If some of these terms confuse you, check out the video for a visual display.

  • You’ll need a Steamer basket to put in the bottom of the inner cooking pot. The Instant Pot comes with one, but you can also buy it separately if needed. The video shows you how to do this.

  • You’ll also need a 7 inch Springform Pan – a traditional 9 inch springform pan is too big to fit inside the Instant Pot. Alternatively, you could use a 7 inch cake pan.

  • To make removal of the cake easy, I trace the outline of the bottom of the pan on a piece of parchment paper and cut out a circle. I use that to line the bottom of the pan.

  • When the cake is done baking, you’ll want to let the pressure release naturally. Natural pressure release on the Instant Pot means you just hit the “Cancel” button after the time runs out and allow the pressure cooker to de-pressurize naturally. After 10 minutes, check to see if the Floating Valve or tiny metal pin next to the Venting Knob has gone down all the way. If so, it is safe to open the Instant Pot. Change the Venting Knob to the Venting position and then open the Instant Pot lid.

Do you have an Instant Pot? Let me know below if you’d like to see other vegan recipes made in the Instant Pot! I hope you give this easy recipe a try.

Hugs,

Nisha

how to bake a cake in the instant pot

Instant Pot Vegan Chocolate Cake

5 from 1 vote
Chocolate cake but make it vegan and in the Instant Pot! Perfect for when you don't have access to an oven or it's too hot to bake!
Prep Time: 25 mins
Cook Time: 40 mins
Total Time: 1 hr 5 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Baking
Keyword: chocolate, chocolate cake, instant pot, soy-free, vegan cake
Serving size: 8 to 10

Ingredients

Cake Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup organic granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons coconut yogurt
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons almond milk
  • 1/4 cup sunflower oil (or vegetable oil or melted coconut oil)
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons boiling water (measure after the water boils)
  • 2/3 cup chopped dark chocolate (or vegan chocolate chips)
  • Vegan Chocolate Ganache (recipe below)

Vegan Chocolate Ganache Ingredients

  • 6 ounces dark chocolate (chopped or dark chocolate chips)
  • 1 cup coconut milk (from a can of full-fat coconut milk)

Instructions

Chocolate Cake Directions

  • Use the bottom of a 7 inch springform pan to trace a circle on a piece of parchment paper. Cut the parchment paper into the circle shape and use as a liner for the springform pan. Spray the sides of the springform pan with cooking spray or lightly grease with oil.
  • Prepare the vegan chocolate ganache (recipe below).
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the granulated sugar, brown sugar, coconut yogurt, almond milk, oil and apple cider vinegar until smooth. It should take about a minute. Then mix in the vanilla and whisk to combine.
  • In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Gradually add half of the flour mixture to the wet mixture and use a wooden spoon to mix until almost smooth. Repeat with remaining flour and add the boiling water. Mix again until the batter is smooth and thick. Fold in the chopped chocolate or chocolate chips with a rubber spatula.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared springform pan.
  • Pour 1 cup of water in the inner pot of the Instant Pot and add the steamer basket or trivet with the legs facing up.
  • Carefully place the springform pan on top of the steamer basket/trivet. Seal the Instant Pot lid and hit the Manual button. Set to High Pressure and cook for 30 minutes. Make sure the Venting Knob is set to the Sealing position (as opposed to the Venting position).
  • When the 30 minutes is over, select the Cancel setting on the Instant Pot for a natural pressure release. After 10 minutes, switch the Pressure Release knob from Sealing to Venting to release any remaining steam.
  • Using oven mitts, carefully remove the springform pan by grabbing onto the steamer basket legs. Let the cake cool slightly for 10 minutes.
  • Carefully unclasp the springform pan and use a spatula to transfer the cake from the parchment paper onto a cutting board or cake pan. Spread with the vegan chocolate ganache.

Vegan Chocolate Ganache Directions

  • In a saucepan or skillet, heat the coconut milk over medium heat until just simmering.
  • Meanwhile, place the chopped chocolate or chocolate chips in a medium heat-proof bowl. Pour the steamed coconut milk over the chocolate and let sit for 2 minutes. Then whisk until completely smooth and chocolate has melted.
  • You can use the ganache now if you prefer a more traditional liquid ganache texture. Alternatively, if you want a thicker texture more like a frosting, let the ganache sit for 1-2 hours and whisk occasionally, until it thickens and slightly hardens.

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22 comments on Instant Pot Vegan Chocolate Cake

  1. Wolfgang

    Hi Nisha,

    I recently bought an Instant Pot and am about to try this cake.
    One question though, when you say to put 1 cup of water into the IP, do you mean an actual cup, or the tinier one that comes with the IP?

    Thanks, and Cheers from Austria

  2. Frances

    Hi . I cant wait to try this receipe on my 8 quarts IP. Do i need to add moere water to the IP?. Also, can i use cocunut sugar only.?Thanks.

  3. cindy

    Would this work with almond flour instead of all purpose flour?

    1. Nisha Vora

      H Cindy, unfortunately not! Almond flour is never a 1:1 sub for all-purpose flour because it’s basically just ground almonds and works very differently than all-purpose flour. Plus, baking in the Instant Pot is quite specific – I have tried making this cake even with gluten-free all-purpose flour and it came out gummy.
      If you want something chocolatey with almond flour that is gluten-free, I recommend these fudgy tahini brownies! https://www.rainbowplantlife.com/blog/vegan-tahini-brownies-fudgy-and-gluten-free

  4. Shirley Laing

    I just made this cake it was easy and cake looks great but could this cake recipe be doubled by any chance as I really don’t want to make another one but if it was a little higher think it would feed more.?

    1. Nisha Vora

      Hi Shirley! I’m glad you made it! It is a somewhat smaller cake than a traditional 9 inch cake. I haven’t tried doubling the cake but if you did double it, it would need to be cooker for longer. I would try cooking it for 40 or 45 minutes instead of the 30 minutes called for, do the toothpick test, and if it’s still not fully cooked, add it for 5 more minutes. Does that make sense?

  5. Laura

    Hi! I juts bought the springform you recommended, but it doesn’t fit in my Instant Pot Duo Mini 3 Qt :( Which one would fit? Or is there any other alternative? Thank you!!

    1. Nisha Vora

      Hi Laura! I’m sorry to hear that! But yeah, I listed in the equipment section, a 6 quart or 8 quart Instant Pot – those are the only models large enough to hold that pan.
      Here’s a link to all the different cake pans that will fit in your 3 quart mini Instant Pot: http://fatdaddios.com/help/instant-pot-bakeware-list

  6. Bea

    Oh this cake is the one of the most beautiful and delicious I’ve ever seen. I would love to try it, but unluckily I do not have an Instant Pot. Is it possible to make this in an regular oven? What temperature and time would you suggest then? Thank you so much for the recipe <3

    1. Nisha Vora

      Hi Bea! You are too kind! Thank you so much for the love! I haven’t tried it in the oven yet but based on my research and knowledge of baking cakes, I would say 350F/175 C for 35 minutes should work!

  7. Bridget Rourk

    Can I use coconut flour to make it gluten free?

    1. Nisha Vora

      Hi Bridget! Coconut flour is very dense and can’t be substitute 1:1 for flour. Here is what I suggest if you want to make this cake gluten-free.
      (1) Use an all-purpose gluten-free flour blend like this http://amzn.to/2FJDEk9. (2) Use quinoa flour; (3) Use a combo of the previously mentioned gluten-free flour blend, rolled oats, and almond meal, or (4) Use a combo of oat flour, almond meal, and rolled oats. I’ve made a very similar cake with quinoa flour and it came out great.
      It won’t be as fluffy or light, as gluten-free baked goods tend to be denser but it will still be good!

  8. Dawn

    How much vanilla did you add? I’m making this with my kids soon!

    1. Nisha Vora

      Hey Dawn, it’s Nisha! I’m having trouble logging into my account, but wanted to respond to you as quickly as possible. Sorry didn’t include the measurements. It’s 1 teaspoon!

  9. Dee | Green Smoothie Gourmet

    Wow, I never thought of using an instant pot for cake! Such a creative idea and this cake looks amazing! Dee xx

    1. Nisha Vora

      Thanks, Dee! It was such a fun and easy recipe to make and I was blown away by how perfectly it cooked!

  10. Amy Lyons

    Awesome! I never thought of doing this. I got an Instant Pot for Christmas, and am looking for new ways to use it :)!

    1. Nisha Vora

      Hi Amy! That’s awesome, what a great Christmas gift. I hope you give it a try, it’s super easy :)

  11. marian

    hi, will try Gruß recipe :) just Wanderung if I could substitute the coconut yoghurt with soy yoghurt and the almond milk with other plant milk due to allergies of my kids to nuts? my little ones birthday is coming up and that would be so great :)

    1. Nisha Vora

      Hi Mariam! Yes, you can use any plant based milk and yogurt that you like! Should work just the same. Happy birthday to your little one!

  12. Noelle ~ Too Precious For Processed

    Instant Pot to make a cake- brilliant! I just got an Instant Pot for Christmas and I’ve been thinking of all the ways I can use it. We have a birthday coming up in the family, so it’s the perfect opportunity to try this recipe out. Thanks :)

    1. Nisha Vora

      Oh yay! That’s awesome, what a great Christmas gift! I hope you give it a go – I was surprised how perfectly it turned out :)

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