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Oct 27, 2009 04:04 PM

Stovetop cake?

Help! I'm a big baker (layer cakes, cupcakes, cookies...), but due to NYC rent constraints just moved to an apartment without an oven. Buying a toaster oven is out of the question (and it'd be too small for cakes anyway), and my best friend who would let me use her kitchen doesn't have an oven either.

This leaves me in a bit of a quandary. Is there any way to make a cake on the stovetop? I know Mark Bittman recently had a quiche-y, stovetop cake, but it requires finishing in the oven which I can't do.

Does anyone out there have a recipe/method for "baking" on the stovetop? If you do, I'd be indebted to you forever!

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  1. read through this thread from last year - there's some really great info and advice:

    1. Probably not what you're looking for, but I've made "cakes" in a crockpot, and if you don't own one maybe you can borrow? They actually were quite good, but not the kind of cake you could frost, etc.

      1. There is a very popular cake you can get in Chinatown bakeries and coffee's called a Steamed Sponge Cake that can be made in a bake pan and wok steamer, or if my memory serves me correctly, in a teflon coated pan. Check the Google site for pictures. I see no reason why you couldn't take two cakes and frost them up like traditional baked cakes.

        1. Are you opposed or able to steam it? I love this technique, and I have a nice spice cake recipe that I know is pretty darn good. You can make a delicious carmel or spice frosting, or even a cream cheese frosting. If you have a good sized wok as I do, and my sort of large bamboo steamer has two stackable layers, making it possible to make a layered cake. If not, get your widest pot, turn a heat proof bowl upside down, place a rack or plate for your baking dish to sit on while it steam cooks. This works for fish, dumplings, so many things.

          1 Reply
          1. re: chef chicklet

            I was going to suggest steamed puddings, many of which are very cake-like (dense, moist cake, but cake!). You can do them in a metal or pyrex bowl covered with foil (use a large rubber band or string to tie it on), you don't need a pudding mold.

            One of my favorites, and perfect for this time of year, is this persimmon pudding recipe from a Chowhound poster. I use a 6-cup bowl, and make two changes: brown sugar instead of white and golden raisins instead of dark.

          2. As others have pointed out, steaming is an option. I would use my wok and stack of steamer baskets. One 9" layer per basket. Then there are those delicious "cakes" made from stacked and stacked and stacked crepes with totally decadent fillings between each layer. They cost a fortune on the web. And there is no reason why you can't use cake batter as if it were pancake batter, then stack 'em up. I would use a cast iron pan for this one.

            Years ago I had a set of "bowls" that had absolutely vertical sides and a flat bottom. (Wish I still had them, but alas, they were fragile.) I used the mid sized one of those for baking cakes in the microwave. It was interesting! I had to interrupt every so often or the steam would build up under the cake an pop it out of the top like a cork! They were good though. Not rubbery unless I overcooked them. I would slice them into three layers to frost. No equivalent "bowls" available today that I know of, but one of those non-metallic bundt pans would probably work well. Oh, and I used unsalted butter to grease the bowl. No flour necessary when you use butter in any pan. Cakes pop right out.