Instant Pot Chocolate Cake! This one-bowl chocolate cake is made completely in the Instant Pot. It’s moist, fluffy, decadent, egg-free/vegan, and an easy Instant Pot recipe for beginners. Top with your favorite frosting and dig in!
Today I’m bringing a unique recipe to the table… instant pot chocolate cake! You might be surprised to read that you can actually make some delicious desserts in your IP (Instant Pot) or pressure cooker, but it’s 100% possible! At first, I was very skeptical too, but this has to be one of my favorite chocolate cakes I’ve ever made. I actually love it even more than a traditional oven-baked chocolate cake!
And since we’re making this in the instant pot, the cake is extra fudgy. The water on the bottom of the pot allows for constant steam circulation which is the key component in making this cake so moist and soft (but not mushy!). The steam also allows for this sort of chocolate ganache-like film to form on the cake’s top layer. It’s really delicious and adds a gourmet touch in my opinion. 🙂
This cake is also naturally vegan. I was originally trying to construct an egg-free version of my favorite instant pot chocolate cake recipe, but since I used almond milk for the liquid, it turned out to be vegan, yay! You can, of course, use regular cow’s milk if you aren’t concerned about making it vegan though.
- Cocoa Powder: The color of the cake will depend on the type of cocoa powder you use. In my case, I used extra dark cocoa powder which gives the cake a rich black color. I’ve tested it with regular sweetened cocoa powder and the cake turns out to be a deep mocha color.
- All-Purpose Flour: I would not recommend substituting for other types of flours since I have not personally tested them.
- Vegetable Oil: Can substitute for coconut oil or avocado oil.
- Non-dairy milk: Any non-dairy milk such as almond or oat milk. You can also use regular cow’s milk.
- Sugar: Cane sugar is my preferred option, but coconut sugar will also work.
- Baking soda, Baking Powder, Vanilla Extract, Salt
How to Make Vegan Chocolate Cake in the Instant Pot
I know the instant pot can be a little intimidating if you’re new or not used to working with pressure cookers, but this recipe is really simple and perfect for IP beginners!
First things first, we will need to make the batter. Add all of the ingredients to a large bowl and whisk until smooth.
Pour the batter into a parchment paper-lined cake pan and tap it out a few times to remove any air pockets. Cover the pan with foil.
Now, prepare the Instant Pot by pouring in water and placing down the trivet that comes with your IP. (Never use your Instant Pot without adding water!) Make sure the vent knob is set to “Sealed” and press the “Pressure Cook” or “Manual” button to “High” for 40 minutes.
Once the Instant Pot has finished its 40-minute cooking cycle, it will beep and automatically move to what is called a “natural release”. You might be tempted to manually vent the pot, but DON’T! The steam must slowly release by itself in order to prevent the cake from collapsing upon removal. This step is very important… don’t manually vent!
After you’ve let the Instant Pot naturally release and the metal valve has dropped, you can go ahead and open the lid and remove the cake by lifting the trivet out. Make sure to use oven mitts since the trivet will be hot!
Let the cake completely cool in the pan before removing or adding frosting.
Just look at that beautiful dome-shaped top *heart eyes*. Don’t worry if cracks form on the surface. That’s what you want for this recipe (similar to quick-breads and banana bread). I normally leave my cake unfrosted or with a dusting of powdered sugar, but you can absolutely top it with your favorite frosting.
How to store this cake:
This cake can be stored the same way as a typical oven-baked cake. If leaving unfrosted, wrap the cake in foil and store at room temperature for 3 days. If frosting the cake, the easiest way to keep it fresh is by using a cake keeper or cover with a large bowl.
Do I need an instant pot for this recipe?
While this recipe was created specifically to use in your instant pot, you can also make this in a typical pressure cooker by following the same instructions.
Can I make this recipe in the oven?
Although I have not personally tested this method, the cake *should* work when baked the old-fashioned way, in the oven at 350°F for 40-50 minutes. However, keep in mind that it may not be as moist as if it were made in an Instant Pot or Pressure Cooker. If you’re looking for an oven-specific recipe, try out my Mini Chocolate Lava Cakes which are moist and fluffy!
Instant Pot Chocolate Cake
- 1 1/4 Cup All-Purpose Flour
- 3/4 Cup Granulated Sugar (or coconut sugar)
- 1/2 Cup Dark Cocoa Powder
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
- 1/4 tsp Baking Soda
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1/4 Cup Vegetable Oil
- 1 Cup Almond Milk (or any milk of your choice)
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- Add all of the ingredients to a large bowl and whisk until smooth.
- Line a 6-inch cake pan with parchment paper and pour in the batter. Gently tap out the pan a few times to remove any air pockets. Lightly cover the pan with foil.
- Prepare the Instant Pot by pouring in 2 cups of water and placing down the trivet. Place the prepared cake pan on top of the trivet and close the lid to the Instant Pot. Make sure the knob on top of the lid is set to "SEALING". Press the "PRESSURE COOK" or "MANUAL" button and set to "High" for 40 minutes. The instant pot will take approximately 10 minutes to build pressure before cooking.
- Once the 40 minutes have finished, allow the Instant Pot to naturally release its pressure, which should take 30 minutes. Do not open the lid until the metal valve drops, which means the IP is no longer pressurized. Use oven mitts to lift the trivet and cake pan out. Allow the cake to cool completely before adding frosting.
- This recipe was made using an Instant Pot, but a regular pressure cooker may work as well.
- This cake can be made in the oven at 350 degrees F for 40-50 minutes. However, keep in mind it will not be as moist as if made in the Instant Pot.
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