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Slow Cooker Chocolate Cake

If you’re after a cake with a soft velvety texture, moist crumb structure and an incredibly rich chocolatey taste, then slow cooker chocolate cake is where it’s at. It’s an effortless recipe with stunning results!

Picture of Slow Cooker Chocolate cake with chocolate icing. The cake has been cut and a slice is presented on a plate.

I can’t count the amount of times that I have tried to make the ‘perfect’ chocolate cake both in the slow cooker and the oven. I just couldn’t get it quite right. Either the chocolate taste wasn’t rich enough, the sponge not moist enough or the cake didn’t rise as much as I’d hoped. So after many attempts at rectifying all of these things I finally have a recipe which does actually meet my expectations. And I don’t mind saying it’s deliciously fantastic.

Chocolate cake recipe for the slow cooker

This recipe will work both in the oven and slow cooker however (like my slow cooker banana bread), it’s just better in the slow cooker. It rises gently to create a beautiful deep brown dome of chocolate goodness. Divine!

The picture below shows how amazingly moist and glossy the top of the sponge looks straight out of the slow cooker. Just look at that gleam!

Overhead view of a chocolate cake that has been baked in the slow cooker.

Despite it’s softness, it cuts beautifully so it’s entirely suitable for simply cutting out a wedge and eating immediately (guilty 🙋), or slicing in half horizontally and sandwiching a fudge icing in between the slabs of cake. Perfect for birthday cakes or the chocolate lovers among us.

So what you have here is a slow cooker chocolate cake recipe which is both simple and versatile. I’ll also give you a few more ideas of how you can vary this recipe in the recipe variations section below.

Why You Should Make It

  • Super simple to make a bakery quality chocolate cake.
  • The sponge is incredibly moist and stays that way for up to five days!
  • It’s a dairy free chocolate cake! This chocolate sponge recipe is actually entirely dairy free but I can assure you that the taste is on a par with the very best dairy laden chocolate sponges!
  • Versatile recipe, suitable for icing, glazing or simply enjoying as is.
  • It can be frozen for a later occasion.
View of a slice of slow cooker chocolate cake which has been presented on a plate.

Equipment

  • Slow Cooker, I use a 5L Crock-Pot Duraceramic model – it’s perfect as it has a round pot.
  • Baking parchment.
  • Kitchen Foil.
  • Kitchen Roll.

Ingredients

Exact ingredient quantities can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of the page.

Overhead shot of ingredients required to make dairy free slow cooker chocolate cake

Flour – self raising flour, the usual choice for cakes.

Cocoa powder – to add the rich chocolate taste.

Sugar – fine caster sugar to sweeten the cake and balance the bitter edge of the chocolate.

Eggs – to create structure and add stability to the cake mixture.

Oil – a light flavourless oil binds the dry ingredients and adds moisture to the cake. Using oil instead of butter gives the moisture of the sponge longevity. I use vegetable oil.

Water – to add moisture and bind the dry ingredients.

Milk – oat, almond or dairy milk can be used. Milk further loosens the batter with a creamy taste.

Baking Powder – a raising agent.

Vanilla Essence – for flavour.

How to make chocolate cake in the slow cooker

Collage of the steps to make chocolate cake in the slow cooker
  1. Prepare the slow cooker by creating a foil liner for the base of the pot.
  2. Create a cake case out of baking parchment, then heat the slow cooker on high for 20 minutes.
  3. In a large mixing bowl combine all of the ingredients. Beat gently for 2-3 minutes until smooth – I do this in a stand mixer for ease. Pour the mixture into the baking parchment cake case in the slow cooker.
  4. Put kitchen roll under the lid of the slow cooker to trap any moisture. Bake on high for 2 hours.
  5. Once baked, remove from the slow cooker by lifting the edges of the baking parchment case and allow to cool on a wire rack.

Recipe Variations

  • Slow cooker chocolate fudge cake. This cake is deep enough to make a sandwich cake. Simply take a long sharp knife (a bread knife is perfect) and carefully slice horizonally through the middle, then fill with a chocolate fudge buttercream. Here is a recipe for chocolate fudge icing that can be whipped up easily, and if you want a dairy free option try this vegan chocolate fudge recipe instead.
  • Hot chocolate sponge. If you under cook this cake very slightly (15 minutes should do it) you create the most incredible fudgy chocolate sponge cake which is perfect to enjoy warm with ice cream.
  • Add chocolate icing (more of a mirror glaze really!). This is a quick method to make icing perfect for drizzling over the cake. It drips decadently down the side and has a beautiful shine. It’s how I usually like to finish the cake, and is shown in the picture below (you can find the instructions in the recipe card). The icing tastes amazing and adds extra moisture to the cake, and still remains sticky. But hey, that’s half the fun of eating chocolate cake!
  • Why not make double chocolate cake? Add 75g of chocolate chips to the sponge mixture before baking. Dark or milk chocolate chips will blend in with the sponge mix whilst white chocolate will add fun spots of contrast in the colour!
Overhead view of Slow Cooker Chocolate Cake with chocolate mirror glaze icing.

Top tips for making Slow Cooker Chocolate Cake

Sieve the flour and cocoa. Sieve both the flour and the cocoa before mixing with the other ingredients, it will make the batter silky smooth.

Baking parchment case. Whilst pouring the cake batter into the baking parchment case in the slow cooker, take care that the folds of parchment don’t protrude into the sponge mixture as it will then bake into the cake. It does come out easily but spoils the look of the edges of the cake.

Don’t peek 👀! Don’t open the slow cooker before the recommended cooking time. Some of the warm air will escape, dropping the internal temperate of the slow cooker. This may adversely affect the rise of the cake.

Cake shape and depth. This cake was baked in a 5L round slow cooker which obviously results in a round, deep cake perfect for creating sandwich and occasion cakes. Oval shaped or larger volume slow cookers may result in a shallower cake which may not be as suitable for slicing into layers and adding fillings. To compensate, you may wish to increase the volume of ingredients required – you can do this by hovering over the number of servings on the recipe card and moving the slider.

If you like the look of this recipe, why not have a browse through some our other slow cooker baking recipes!

FAQs

Can I use a cake tin in my slow cooker?

Yes, providing it fits into the slow cooker pot! It’s also a good idea to slightly extend the baking time as the tin will need time to heat up before the cake batter can start to cook.

How do you make a moist chocolate cake?

Cocoa has a drying effect when used in sponge recipes so you must compensate by adding more wet ingredients as per the ratios in the recipe. Using a light, flavourless oil instead of butter also helps to maintain moisture within a cake.

Why is my cake dry and crumbly?

A dry cake is usually the result of either baking too long, too hot, or using too much flour in the batter.

Can I freeze chocolate cake?

Slow cooker chocolate cake can be frozen as soon as it’s cooled, and it’s best to do it before any icing or fillings are added. Wrap it well in cling film then put it straight into the freezer. When you want to eat the cake remove from the freezer and allow to thaw at room temperature for 6-8 hours.

How do I store slow cooker chocolate cake?

After the cake is cooled either wrap it in cling film or place it in an airtight container, then store somewhere cool and dark. The cake will remain soft for 3-5 days.

Slow Cooker Chocolate Cake

If you're after a cake with a soft velvety texture, moist crumb structure and an incredibly rich chocolatey taste, then slow cooker chocolate cake is where it's at. It's an effortless recipe with stunning results!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 2 hrs
Total Time 2 hrs 15 mins
Course Dessert, Other
Cuisine American, British
Servings8 people
Calories345kcal

Ingredients

  • 300 g self raising flour
  • 70 g cocoa
  • 2 eggs large
  • 150 ml oil
  • 150 ml water
  • 50 ml milk oat, almond or dairy milk
  • tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence

Instructions
 

  • Begin by creating a foil liner for the slow cooker pot (see recipe note 1) – measure and cut out a length of foil as wide as the pot. Press this neatly into the base of the pot and half way up the sides.
    Image to show foil lining slow cooker pot before baking a cake.
  • Next, create a baking case for the cake out of baking parchment. Measure out a piece of baking parchment as wide as the pot plus 3cm each side. Press it neatly into the base of the pot over the top of the foil liner. Press the paper neatly around the inside of the pot where it overlaps, and try to get it as flush as possible. This will prevent the the paper sticking into the cake batter. Turn the slow cooker onto high and allow to heat for around 20 minutes. (see recipe note 2)
    Image of slow cooker pot lined with baking parchment to create a cake case.
  • In a large mixing bowl beat the eggs and add the oil, water, milk and sugar. Gradually spoon in the sifted flour, cocoa, baking powder and vanilla. This will make a loose batter (see recipe note 3 for stand mixer instructions).
    300 g self raising flour, 70 g cocoa, 2 eggs, 150 ml oil, 150 ml water, 1½ tsp baking powder, 1 tsp vanilla essence, 50 ml milk
  • Pour the batter into the baking parchment cake case inside the slow cooker.
  • Measure out four sheets of kitchen roll, fold in half, then lay it over the top of the slow cooker. Trap in place with the slow cooker lid. Cook on high for 2 hours.
    Slow cooker pot with kitchen roll placed under the lid before baking a cake.
  • After 2 hours the cake should be cooked perfectly. To test, take a skewer and press it into the deepest part of the cake, it will come out clean if it is cooked. If there is batter on the skewer replace the lid and allow to bake for longer, checking at 15 minute intervals.
  • Once cooked, lift the edges of the baking paper to remove the cake from the slow cooker and then transfer to a cooling rack. Once cooled remove the paper from the cake and decorate or slice as you wish.

Notes

  1. Creating a foil  liner for the slow cooker will distribute the heat provided by the elements underneath the pot evenly and create a more even bake. 
  2. Make a cake case out of baking parchment to keep the cake batter together and stop it from sticking to the sides of the pot.
  3. A stand mixer can be used to make the cake batter. Simply add all of the ingredients to the bowl of the stand mixer as per the recipe instructions, and beat together until smooth.
  4. All brands and types of slow cooker have slightly different heat outputs which will affect the timings of the bake. Times stated in the recipe are a guide only.

Chocolate Mirror Glaze for Slow Cooker Chocolate Cake

Ingredients: 65g cocoa powder (sieved), 100g icing sugar (sieved), 1 tablespoon butter, 90 ml milk, 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
Method: Add all of the ingredients to a small pan on the stove. Heat over a medium high heat and bring to a rolling boil for 2 minutes, stirring throughout. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 20 minutes. Stir the icing through and then pour over the chocolate cake (pre-cooled). Drizzle the icing over the centre of the cake and it will drip down to cover the top and sides.

Nutrition

Calories: 345kcalCarbohydrates: 35gProtein: 7gFat: 20gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 6gMonounsaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 42mgSodium: 69mgPotassium: 86mgFiber: 1gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 233IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 53mgIron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Picture of slow cooker banana bread freshly sliced.
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