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Instant Pot Cake

If you've never made an Instant Pot cake, get ready to be blown away. Instant Pot cakes are moister than moist, super easy to make, and pretty foolproof. The only downside is that they actually take longer than a cake baked in the oven but the "set it and forget it" nature of the Instant Pot more than makes up for it. 

One note. These are very moist, dense cakes. If you like a little more lightness in your cake (or you're one of the few people that likes dry cake), this isn't the method for you.

I made this recipe in a 6 quart Instant Pot, in a 6 inch cake pan, using one box of the Chocolate Coconut donut mix.

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

Bake time: 40 minutes on pressure cook setting (or Cake setting if your model has that setting), 10 minutes more for natural release (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!)
  • Instant Pot and wire trivet


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 Instant Pot. Insert the wire trivet into the Instant Pot. If you don't have the trivet that came with it, you can also use foil to create a foil wreath and place it in the pot. 



3. Add 1/2 cup water to the Instant Pot.

4. Using the cake pan as a guide, trace and cut out a 6 inch round from the parchment paper.

5. Spray the inside of the cake pans with the spray oil and place the parchment round into the bottom of the pan. Set aside.

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

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



8. Tightly cover the cake pan with a piece of foil and lower the pan into the Instant Pot. If using a foil wreath beneath the pan, make sure the pan is level. You will also want to create a foil sling if you don't have the trivet to easily remove the cake pan after it cooks.



9. Put on the Instant Pot lid, making sure that the vent switch is positioned to Sealing.

10. If your Instant Pot has a cake setting, you can use that. If your model does not have a cake setting, select Pressure Cook, and manually add 40 minutes (High Pressure/Normal). Turn off Keep Warm.



11. Once the cooking cycle has finished, allow 10 minutes for Natural Release before switching to Venting.

12. Remove the cake and let cool in pan on the wire trivet or a cooling rack until completely cool.

13. Once cool, turn out 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. As you can see in the picture below, I used less water when I made the icing because I wanted a thicker frosting. Starting with a super thick frosting also works well if you know that you want to serve the cake warm (or are too impatient to wait for it to cool. It's hard, I know!)

14. I added the coconut topping to my cake after I frosted it but you can leave it bare too. Just be sure to add the topping as soon as you frost it or it won't stick as well (once the frosting starts to dry).
15. 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.

I also made this as a Chocolate Raspberry Sprinkle cake with a super simple frosting style (pile it on top, spread around a bit and let it roll down the sides.)