This Easy Instant Pot Chocolate Cake is ultra moist and chocolatey, with the perfect tender crumb, and easy to make in the Instant Pot with basic ingredients.
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If you’ve been a reader of The Busy Baker for any length of time you’ll already know how much we love to bake around here. And in the interest of trying new things I’ve developed this amazing chocolate cake recipe that you can bake in the Instant Pot. Intrigued? I though so!
This Easy Instant Pot Chocolate Cake is my classic Best Ever Easy Chocolate Cake recipe (that I’ve been making my entire adult life) but baked in the Instant Pot. I’ve been testing this recipe for months and I’ve FINALLY arrived at the BEST result. Trust me, you’re going to LOVE it!
Because we love chocolate cake so much we baked two identical chocolate cakes (it’s for science, right!?) – one in the Instant Pot and one in the oven – to compare them for you. The results were astounding!
The oven-baked cake was pretty typical: light and moist in the centre with slightly dense and chewy edges, thanks to the caramelization that happens in the oven.
The Instant Pot cake was a little more dense throughout, but it was also a lot more fudgy, SO moist, and had the best velvety texture. It also baked far more evenly than the oven-baked version, with a flat top, while the oven-baked version was a little higher around the edges than in the middle (because the edges baked faster in the oven).
If we’re honest, the Instant Pot version was a bigger hit with our testers (my husband, kids, and friends) thanks to its moistness and fudgy texture!! What a surprise!
You can see the differences between the cakes in the photo below (the two cakes photographed side-by side).
No Fail Tips for the PERFECT Easy Chocolate Cake (Oven or Instant Pot)
Follow these tips for the perfect chocolate cake every single time!
- Add hot water or coffee. Adding coffee intensifies the chocolate flavour, and the hot liquid adds SO much moisture.
- Mix wet and dry ingredients separately. Mixing the wet ingredients together and the dry ingredients together and then combining them will give your cake the perfect texture since all the ingredients will be evenly distributed throughout the batter.
- Grease your pan well, and line it with parchment paper. Grease your pan generously for easy removal. A circle of parchment paper on the bottom of the pan will make removing the cake SO easy!
- Bake or Pressure Cook immediately after mixing. The leavening agents are activated as soon as the wet and dry ingredients are mixed together so for a fluffy and tender cake, bake it as soon as you can!
- Let it cool before slicing or frosting. Cakes continue to bake on the inside after you remove them from the oven or Instant Pot, so be sure to let the cake cool in its pan for about 15 minutes before removing it from the pan to cool completely before frosting or slicing.
How to Make Chocolate Cake in the Instant Pot
Making chocolate cake in the Instant Pot is so easy! Follow these tips for best results!
- Use a cake pan. I can’t stress this enough – don’t try making this cake directly on the bottom of the Instant Pot (without a cake pan). You’ll get that dreaded burn notice and the cake will burn to the bottom of the pot.
- Cover the pan well. Use two layers of aluminum foil and create a firm seal around the edges of the pan with the foil. This will keep the cake moist, but prevent excess moisture from entering the pan and making the cake wet and soggy.
- Keep the pan off the bottom of the Instant Pot. If you don’t have a trivet, make a sling out of aluminum foil and place it under the pan for easy removal. When you add the pan to the pot, place a heat-safe bowl upside down on the bottom of the pot and place the pan with the sling on top of the bowl to elevate it off the bottom of the pot. OR you can use a metal trivet, or this OXO Pressure Cooker Sling (affiliate link) – an inexpensive little kitchen gadget that works perfectly for recipes like this. If your Instant Pot didn’t come with a metal trivet I’d HIGHLY recommend it!
- Add water to the bottom of the Instant Pot. This will prevent that dreaded burn notice and keep the cake nice and moist as it bakes.
- Remove the foil immediately after baking. Since this cake is very moist, removing the foil immediately will prevent any liquid from dripping off the foil and onto the cake as it cools.
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I hope you love this recipe as much as we do! Let me know in the comments below, what’s your favourite dessert to make in the Instant Pot? I’d love to know!
KITCHEN PRODUCTS I RECOMMEND:
Looking for even more deliciously decadent desserts? Before you grab this recipe check out these recipes!!
- Best Ever Vegan Peppermint Chocolate Tart
- Best Ever No Bake Chocolate Cheesecake
- Easy No Bake Triple Chocolate Cheesecake
- Easy No Bake After Eight Cheesecake
- Classic No Bake Cheesecake
- Easy No Bake Oreo Cheesecake
- Easy No Bake Bailey’s Irish Cream Cheesecake
- Easy No Bake Snickers Cheesecake
- No Bake Mint Chocolate Chip Cheesecake
Easy Instant Pot Chocolate Cake
- 7 or 8-inch spring form pan OR 7 or 8-inch round cake pan with high sides
- Instant Pot (8 quart or 6 quart)
For the cake:
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup hot coffee (or use boiling water)
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup milk (or use almond milk, soy milk, etc.)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
For the frosting:
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 3 1/2 ounces semi-sweet chocolate (approximately 100 grams)
- 1 tablespoon milk
- a pinch of salt
For the cake:
- Grease an 7 or 8-inch spring form pan with butter, and line the bottom with a circle of parchment paper. Set it aside.
- In a large bowl add the cocoa powder and butter, and pour the hot coffee over them, whisking as the butter melts and the cocoa dissolves in the liquid.
- Whisk in the brown sugar, milk and vanilla until the mixture is smooth and well combined.
- In a smaller bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and combine them until the mixture is smooth and no streaks of flour remain.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and cover with a double layer of aluminum foil, folding the sides of the foil tightly around the edge of the pan to form a seal.
- Pour 3/4 cup of water into the bottom of the Instant Pot, place the cake pan on a trivet and lower it into the Instant Pot. Close the lid and turn the valve to sealing, setting the Instant Pot to cook on high pressure for 50 minutes.
- Once the 50 minutes is up, let the Instant Pot release pressure naturally for 10 minutes, then release the remaining pressure manually and remove the pan from the Instant Pot. Remove the foil lid and let the cake cool in its pan on a wire cooling rack for about 10-15 minutes, and then remove it from the pan and place on the wire cooling rack until cooled completely.
For the frosting:
- While the cake cools, add the butter and powdered sugar to a mixing bowl and mix them together until smooth with a hand mixer.
- Melt the chocolate in the microwave in a microwave-safe bowl, on 50% powder for 30-second increments just until the chocolate is melted.
- Let the chocolate cool for a few minutes before drizzling it into the butter and powdered sugar mixture while the mixer is running.
- Continue mixing on medium-high speed as the frosting becomes fluffy, adding the milk as you mix.
- When the cake has cooled completely (remove it from the pan after about 10-15 minutes to a wire rack to cool completely), place it on a plate and spread the frosting over the top of the cake.
- Slice and serve.