How to Make Cake Without an Oven

I recently wrote an article about the brilliant ways to bake cookies without an oven. That got me thinking – what if someone wants to bake a cake, but they don’t have an oven? Can they still be successful? Of course, they can! And I’m here to share the four ways to do it.

Hey, there! My name is Michelle, and I’ve been baking cakes for the past ten years. Although I have always had a functioning oven (thank goodness!)I don’t always want to use it. After all, I live in sunny Southern California, where temperatures can get very high.

If you’re thinking about baking a cake but don’t want to use your oven (or can’t use it for whatever reason), you don’t have to give up on your cake craving. You’ll just need to get a little crafty and use one of these fantastic ways to make a cake without an oven.

Unconventional cake baking? You bet. Let’s dive in!

How to Make a Cake Without an Oven (4 Ways)

It’s true – the oven will be the ideal place to bake a cake. But that doesn’t mean you have to use it. In fact, it’s much more fun to step outside the box and use something a little quirkier and unique to bake a cake. By the end, you’ll have a yummy cake and a fun story to tell!

Here are my top four suggestions for baking a cake without an oven:

1. Microwave

Some people might see microwave on my top four list and scratch their heads. “Really, Michelle? A cake in the microwave?” Um, yes! 

If you’ve been paying attention at all the past couple of years, you’d know that “mug cakes” have soared in popularity. They’re super quick, incredibly easy, and great for serving one or two people.

All you need to do is mix the ingredients according to your preferred mug cake recipe. Then, microwave for the recommended amount of time, typically one to three minutes (or until the center is done).

That’s it! You have a stellar and scrumptious cake that you can eat out of the mug with a spoon – no fuss with trying to cut a round cake, no messes and crumbs in every direction, and best of all, no sharing!

2. Crockpot

I use my crockpot for everything. From warm apple cinnamon oatmeal on a cold winter morning to chicken fettuccine alfredo for date night, there’s nothing my crockpot can’t do. Naturally, it can also be the go-to for some of the moistest and most delicious crockpot cakes you’ve ever tasted.

Making cake in the crockpot is a cinch. Just mix your ingredients, add them to your crockpot, and viola! A few hours later, your home smells like a cake bakery, and you’ll be feasting on the decadent cake in no time.

Yes, it’s a bit tricky to try and get a cake out of a crockpot. So, if you want to make something you can slice and serve at a party, this might not be the best choice. But if you’re solely looking to satisfy your sweet tooth, this is an excellent option.

3. Air Fryer

Another appliance I am literally obsessed with? The air fryer, of course! (Seriously – try reheating pizza in the air fryer; it’ll change your life expectancy!) 

As long as you have pans that can fit inside your air fryer, you can successfully make an air fryer cake.

First and foremost, find a good recipe to follow along with. Mix all of the ingredients. Pour into the pan. Turn the air fryer on to 350F and wait about 20 minutes before performing the “toothpick check” – i.e., inserting a toothpick into the center of the cake. If it comes out clean, your cake is done!

4. Pressure Cooker/Instant Pot

Like the air fryer, pressure cookers have recently become the latest craze and staple in every kitchen. But if you’re like many who are absolutely terrified of using it, it may be sitting in the back of your cabinet collecting dust.

Well, I’m here to break you out of your comfort zone by teaching you how to bake a cake in your pressure cooker/Instant Pot! (It won’t hurt you, I promise!

Start by mixing the ingredients according to your recipe. Add the trivet to the Instant Pot and a few cups of water to cover the trivet barely. Add your batter to a small, six or seven-inch cake pan

Select the “cake” button or pressure cook on “high” for 35 minutes. Allow the Instant Pot to naturally release for ten minutes before removing the cake.


You don’t need an oven to bake a cake. In fact, you can use one of your trendy appliances (we’re looking at you, air fryer and Instant Pot!) to make a cake. Before you go, I recommend checking out these frequently asked questions!

Can I bake a cake in a microwave instead of the oven?

You can make very small cakes, otherwise known as “mug cakes,” in your microwave. However, you won’t be able to make large cakes to feed a crowd. So, if you need to feed more than a few people, I don’t suggest using the microwave method.

How long does it take to bake a cake on a stove?

If you try your luck at baking a cake on the stove, it should be done baking in about 30 minutes.

Can you bake on a stovetop?

You can bake a cake on a stovetop! You’ll need to pour the batter into a large pot and allow it to bake over low heat on a back burner.

You Don’t Need an Oven to Bake a Cake!

Although I recommend using an oven, it’s not essential for baking a cake. My favorite alternative is the crockpot, although it can be hard to serve. Try the air fryer or Instant Pot if you want to use a pan that allows for easier serving and decorating. Or, use a mug in the microwave for single-serving cakes!

Have you ever made a cake without an oven?

About Michelle
I have been a lover of sweets since day one. This led me on a self-taught baking journey starting at the age of 13. It's been over 10 years since the start of my baking adventures, and I’ve learned a lot along the way. Now, people rave about my delectable treats, whether it’s a chocolate cake or a strawberry crepe.

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