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baking without an oven

i only possess a pot, stove and a microwave oven which i'm not sure is safe to use. is it possible to bake anything at all - in terms of cake, baked goods that sort of thing. my housemates love sweet things.

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  1. I would make bread pudding. There are recipes for pot bread, if you google, so I'm sure you could make a sweet rather than savoury bread.

    1. Ya know - I think baked goods are not really possible with a pot and a stove top. But you could do some desserts that incorporate already baked items. Like trifle - buy a poundcake and then make the custard sauce yourself on the stove, add your onw fruit and whipped cream. Similarly you could make tiramisu with bought ladyfingers (and who doesn't?).

      1. I've never made them, but I have seen recipes for microwave brownies. You can google and you will find some.

        1. Sweet things that don't require an oven:
          Chocolate Mousse/Pudding
          No bake Cheesecake
          Rice Krispie Treats (and a million variations)
          Rice Pudding

          I know they're not all cake-like but they at least fit the description of sweet things :)

          1. Do you have a grill? I put clay tiles on my grill and make pizza, bread, cheesecake, creme brullee...

              1. I've never made these, but I always thought they might be fun on a camping trip to do over the fire.

                Cherry-Date Skillet Cookies

                1 cup sweet butter (2 sticks)
                1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar (or dark if you like more molasses taste)
                8 oz chopped dates
                1 egg
                1 Tblsp vanilla
                3 cups toasted rice cereal (I'm reading Rice Crispies or generic)
                1 cup flaked coconut
                1/2 cup chopped maraschino cherries

                Additional 2-1/2 cups flaked coconut

                In heavy 10" skillet, melt butter over medium heat (4-5 minutes). Stir in sugar and dates. Remove from heat. Add egg; return to heat. Continue cooking over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture boils all over the top (4-6 minutes). Boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add remaining ingredients EXCEPT
                2-1/2 cups coconut. Stir until all ingredients are moistened (1-2 minutes).
                Let stand 1-2 minutes. Shape rounded teaspoonfuls into 1" balls. Roll in coconut.
                Yield: 5 doz.

                There are lots of recipes if you Google "no-bake cookies." Here's one that uses oatmeal.

                1. Some quick breads can be made in a Dutch oven, sealed with foil or parchment, on a stove top, with 1" water inside. Just adapt these recipes:


                  1. Baking, by definition, requires an oven of some sort - the heat cooking the food has to be dry and coming from multiple angles. If your pot is something like a cast iron Dutch oven with a lid, you can sort of do some baking applications... but you're kind of SOL in the baking department.

                    With that said, there are lots of sweet things you can make on the stove with a pot. Custard, pudding, granola (for parfaits, I guess), fruit compote, coulis, jam etc. caramel/butterscotch... you can macerate fruit, mix fruit with heavy syrup (lots of fruit applications). If you have a pan, you can make crepes, sort of fried-biscuit type things (and pancakes, sweet bannock, etc.) pastry creams, whipping cream, um...

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: afoodyear

                      thank you everybody for your comments. if and when i do try out some of the things you suggested i will put the results up somewhere.

                      i realise sweet things might really be quite difficult, because i'm on exchange in china and it's quite hard and/or expensive to get certain ingredients.

                      this also explains my lack of an oven for baking.

                      1. re: theventana

                        I used to bake with a coal and solar oven in girl scouts. Easy to make with a box, some foil, some plastic wrap. If you ever find you NEED pineapple upside down cake, it can be done. Especially in the summer.

                        1. re: theventana

                          Well, perhaps as an exchange, you could learn some local techniques for things without an oven? Isn't that part of the reason for doing exchanges?

                          My first thought, tho not baked items, were, puddings of various sorts.

                          Check out various camping and "pioneer" sites for campfire cooking. I think you will find recipes and ways that will suit your purpose.

                      2. Haunt flea markets for a cast iron dutch oven and it will open up a whole world of great stove top "baking".

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: Passadumkeg

                          I would guess cast iron would be quite inexpensive in China. You could look into a bamboo steamer on a wok, for steamed buns or sweet, fluffy dim sum desserts.
                          Your housemates may go in with you on a two burner induction device. These are inexpensive on eBay, so there may be low prices in Chinese markets. What part of China? What is shopping like?

                          1. re: jayt90

                            i'm in beijing (on exchange from singapore)! clothes-wise the shopping is great, food wise not so great because baking products are very expensive. also the mainland chinese really seem to have an aversion to dairy products.

                            been doing alot of porridge and soup things.

                          2. re: Passadumkeg

                            Damn you P! Beat me to it again! You are good!

                            What I was going to say is if you have a big enough cast iron pot (or Dutch Oven) you can treat it like an oven. Place a spacer on the bottom and then a tray or small, round cookie sheet in there and bake away! With mine a regular cake pan will fit inside and using chopsticks as spacers I could stack two in it. You may only have a small area but you can make it work. Anything you can do to cause the heat to envelop the container rather than be concentrated on the bottom will make it more "oven-like". I have made biscuits and cornbread "on the trail" by enveloping the "Dutch Oven" with coals. See if you can get a hibachi-like device and use coals. Improvise with a somewhat close fitting metal can where you put coals in the bottom, set the pot in, and finish covering with coals. This will probably require that you be outside.

                          3. make friends with your steamer...

                            steamed brownies:

                            steamed banana cake:

                            steamed layer cake:

                            also, i remember watching an informercial where they made an angel food cake and brownies (both from mixes) in a double sided griddle thingy. so i would figure that you could pour cake mix into a pan, until it gets firm and brown on the bottom but still liquid-y on the top. then flip it and finish cooking covered...essentially, a very thick pancake...gee, just realized that that must be where they got the name...:o


                            then, of course, there's always deep fried cake, i.e., doughnuts...

                            1. This won't help you now, but is interesting from a slightly "historical" perspective. When I first went to Israel back in 1982, it wasn't unheard of to have apartments that did not have ovens, only stovetops. They had a type of pot called a sirpella, which in English translates to a "wonderpot." It looked like a bundt pan with a cover that covers the entire pot, including the hole. It came with a ring that you would put over the flame on a gas stove, then you put the wonderpot on that. The ring would direct the heat up the hole of the "bundt-type" pan, but the solid cover would keep it in, and allow it to circulate within the pan. The pot's design allowed it to simulate the interior of an oven. I used it for years to bake cakes, and even cookies! Cookies were a pain, because you could only lay about five or six at a time inside, but when I was really in the mood for cookies, I did it. I don't imagine these are readily available anymore, either in Israel or the States, but it certainly would have fit the bill for your needs.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: queenscook

                                I had the same experience living in Israel without the use of an oven and baked cakes in the wonderpot. When my mother in law came to visit me in the U.S,A, she brought along the aluminum wonderpot which today I use without the cover to bake the cakes in the oven. It is still shiny like new and been in my possession for over 50 years. Some day I will try to bake with it on top of the stove as I did in Israel.

                                1. re: queenscook

                                  So that's what it's called- a wonderpot! I've been wondering what it's called. My sister-in-law brought her wonderpot to our house because I mentioned that I wanted to make a cake for our Christmas family dinner. We don't have an oven, so she brought it over. She said it was "ancient" and been with her family ever since she was little.

                                2. They may be difficult if milk and/or eggs are hard to find but crepes are sweet and stove top.

                                  1. You can bake many things in electric rice cookers, which I imagine (ignorant though I am) are available in China. There are lots of recipes for rice cooker cakes and bread on the internet, but here's the one I tried:

                                    Also, this may not help you, but for the general topic, it's possible to bake bread in a dutch oven. I made the no-knead bread on the stove (though I cheated at the end for prettiness):

                                    It's not called a "dutch oven" for nothing.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: renz

                                      http://littlebouffe.blogspot.com is a private blog, so I cannot visit your links. I have a decent recipe for no-knead bread in a dutch oven which I made in an oven. I am interested in what temperature / time you used on the stove top to do the "baking". My oven recipe calls for preheating the oven and dutch oven to 475 and then cooking for 30 minutes.

                                      I am also interested in the rice cooker cakes and breads.


                                    2. I've baked a cake on a stove-top when I was without an oven. I used a regular cake recipe (can't remember which one), a pan, and a lid.
                                      I cooked it on low heat and the main thing was to get rid of moisture as it accumulated on the lid. So I stood and watched the cake - I had a glass lid - and mopped up the moisture with a towel throughout the cooking process. I also flipped the cake near the end of the cooking to make sure the top was cooked - kinda like cooking a pancake.
                                      It didn't turn out as high as it might have in the oven, partly because I didn't have a very deep pan. And it was also of a more dense texture and a little rubbery. Do 2 of them so you can make a layer cake. By the time you get icing in between the layers and on top, it turns out pretty good.

                                      1. What about old fashioned steamed pudding? I've never made it, has anyone else?

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: WCchopper

                                          I did once - it was good if quite heavy. It took a long time to cook if I remember (I did it quite a few years ago). I'm not sure theventana can get the ingredients though.

                                        2. Oh, and don't forget about crepe cakes. There's a recipe that ran recently on chow for a crepe cakes with a chocolate filling. That would be totally possible on the stove.

                                          Also, if you get anymore confidence in the microwave, there are recipes out there for microwave cakes and steamed puddings, and many of them turn out really well. My mom makes carrot cake in the microwave and it's my favorite version, so moist.

                                          The steamed puddings would also be doable in the pot, but you'd need some kind of mold.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: renz

                                            Oooh, yes. I once had an incredibly tasty cornmeal crepe/banana/caramel stacked cake-like confection.at a local restaurant. I've been itching to try to recreate it ever since they took it off the menu.

                                          2. Stop thinking about baked sweets and start thinking about candy. Pralines, fudge, truffles, taffy....confectionary is fun, doesn't require lots of expensive ingredients (a thermometer might be your most expensive item). Peanut butter fudge is a good place to start.

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: Hungry Celeste

                                              Peanut butter can be really hard to find outside of the USA. But, I think your point is a good one.

                                              1. re: pmody

                                                While peanut butter can be hard to find, peanuts are generally easy to find, esp in certain parts of China & SE Asia. A mortar & pestle will yield peanut butter in minutes with nothing more than elbow grease. Or, if peanuts prove impossible to locate, substitue almonds, walnuts, or other locally available nuts.

                                                Oh, and toffee: requires nothing more than butter & sugar.

                                            2. Theventana is probably no longer in China, but since someone revived this thread, it occurs to me that if you put a rack in the bottom of a big, heavy, covered pot, you could probably make a single round cake layer, a quick bread, or a crisp/cobbler.