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Crock Pot Cake

Long before the Instant Pot, the Crock Pot was the original "set it and forget it" must have kitchen appliance. While I use my Instant Pot regularly, I still love my Crock Pot for things like long cooking soups and beans but did you know that the Crock Pot also makes great cakes.

Unlike the Instant Pot version, the Crock Pot cake is not dense but instead, has a more pronounced crumb, is lighter, and much fluffier. This version would definitely be better suited for folks that love traditional cake over the texture of a flourless cake (which is similar to the Instant Pot version).

I made this recipe with a 4.5 quart Crock Pot in a 6 inch cake pan using one box of the German Chocolate Cake donut mix.

Serves: 6-8 (or more depending on the size of the slices)

Bake time: 2 hours and 40 minutes (when baked at 5400 ft)

What you'll need:

  • One box of donut mix
  • A 6 inch cake pan (I use Fat Daddio's 2"x6" pans)
  • Oil, water, and your favorite butter, per the instructions in the mix box 
  • Spray oil or oil
  • Parchment paper (I like If You Care brand because it's un-bleached and compostable.)
  • Foil (It's recyclable!)
  • A clean kitchen towel (you will not want a towel that is heavily scented from strong detergent or fabric softener!)


1. Make the icing per the direction card in the box. For a thicker frosting, you can reduce the recommended water amount by 1 teaspoon and add extra water only if needed. Cover the icing and set aside.

2. Prepare the Crock Pot. You will first need to create a foil wreath to act as a trivet for the base of the Crock Pot. Using a piece of foil approximately 14 inches long, lightly twist the foil and form a circle. Set the wreath into the base of the Crock Pot. To the base of the Crock Pot add 2 cups of water (the foil wreath may float a bit).



3. Next you will need to create a foil sling to easily remove the cake pan after the cake is done baking. To make a foil sling, tear off a piece of foil approximately 22 inches long, fold in half length widthwise, and set aside.

4. Prepare the cake pan. Using the cake pan as a guide, trace and cut out a 6 inch round from the parchment paper. Spray the inside of the cake pans with the spray oil and place the parchment round into the bottom of the pan. Set aside.

5. Make the mix batter per the direction card in the box. 

6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and give the pan a little shimmy to level it.



7. Lay the foil sling down on the counter and place the cake pan in the middle of the sling. Carefully pick up the two sides of the sling and gently lower the pan and sling into the Crock Pot, on top of the foil wreath. You may need to push down on the pan a bit to make sure the pan is level. To ensure that the lid will fit tight, push the sling sides down into the Crock Pot until flush with the top.



8. Drape a clean kitchen towel over the top and put the lid on. The purpose of the towel is to catch the condensation that forms on the lid so it doesn't drop on the cake surface. Note: The Crock Pot method does not work with a piece of foil covering the cake pan instead of a towel over the top. The cake will burn from the intensified heat trapped under the foil.



9. Turn the Crock Pot to high and set a time for 2 hours and 30 minutes. At 2 hours and 30 minutes, check the cake for doneness (top springs back when poked, toothpick comes out clean). If it needs a bit more time, set the timer for another 10 minutes. I baked this cake for 2 hours and 40 minutes at 5400 feet.

10. Once done, use the foil sling to gently remove the cake pan and place onto a cooling rack. This cake needs to cool in pan to ensure that it remains moist. If you are planning to serve it while still warm, I would let it cool for at least 30 minutes before removing and frosting.



11. Once cool, turn out, remove the parchment paper from the bottom, and position on a plate for frosting. I like to scoop all the frosting onto the top and use an angled spatula or butter knife to work the frosting over the top and down around the sides. 



12. If you plan to serve it soon, this cake can remain on the counter uncovered for a number of hours. Covered cakes left on the counter will start to get a bit gooey. I prefer an airtight container in the refrigerator. Just pull the cake out about 20 minutes before serving. This cake last days when covered in the refrigerator.