Instant Pot Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

For those of you who own an Instant Pot but haven’t tried using it to bake, I suggest you give it a try. I’ve made (and collected) many Instant Pot dessert recipes and have been very happy with the results.

In this intensely flavored chocolate cake, I actually use the Instant Pot’s “Steam” setting. 

Pressure cooking the cake doesn’t do much to change the cooking time of the cake, but it does have a strong impact on the cakes ability to rise. Without a lot of extra baking powder or other leavening agent, you can end up with a very flat and disappointing result.

Steam cooking surrounds the cake in a hot bath that evenly cooks the cake on every side. The steamed cake is perfectly light and moist.

The other difference with this instant pot cake is that it is made with virgin coconut oil instead of butter or other vegetable oil. The coconut oil provides a hint of nutty flavor.

Instant Pot Chocolate Cake

It also has a high smoke point, which makes it ideal for coating the pan, keeping it from sticking and avoiding burnt edges. If you don’t have any handy, substituting it 1:1 with butter or vegetable oil will work as well.

In this cake I use Mexican crema for additional moisture. Crema is similar to sour cream, but it has less acidity and thus a less intensely tangy flavor than sour cream. Sour cream (or creme fraiche) can be substituted. If you decide to use sour cream, the orange juice is not necessary.

The orange juice is added in to give the batter more acidity. The acidity activates the baking soda and makes the cake light and fluffy, but does little to change the flavor.

Finally, I use hot coffee to bring out the flavor in the cocoa. The flavor of the cake won’t be like mocha, just more intensely chocolatey.

Accessories needed to make Instant Pot Carrot Cake

I use a 6 inch springform pan (15.24cm), which is a nice size in the 6 quart instant pot. A 7 inch (17.78 cm) pan will also work.

If you don’t already have a trivet with handles, it is probably one of the most useful Instant Pot accessories out there. It makes getting dishes in and out of the Instant Pot soooo much easier.

If you don’t own one, no worries. You can take a 15 inch (38 cm) to 10 inch (50.8 cm) piece of tin foil and fold it several times until it forms a 2-3 inch “sling.” Simply slip it under the trivet that comes with the Instant Pot. They can be used to remove the pan after cooking. 

Lastly, it is a good idea to have more than one gasket for sealing the Instant Pot. Anyone who uses their pressure cooker often knows that the odors of what was cooked last can linger in the silicone gasket. A good soak in vinegar can make a big difference, but I have opted to have one gasket that I use for steaming savory dishes, and another for desserts.  

Don’t forget to pin or bookmark the recipe for later!

Intense Chocolate Instant Pot Cake

Here are some additional Instant Pot recipes you might enjoy! 

Yield: 1 Cake

Instant Pot Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

Instant Pot Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

Double Chocolate Instant Pot Cake with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3/4 Cup Flour
  • 3/4 Cup White Sugar
  • 3/4 Cup Unsweetened Powdered Cocoa
  • 1 Ounce Dark Chocolate
  • 3/4 Teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 3/4 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/3 Cup + Virgin Coconut Oil
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 1 Tablespoon Vanilla
  • 1/2 Cup Hot Coffee
  • 1/3 Cup Mexican Crema* or Sour Cream
  • 1 Tablespoon Orange Juice**

Instructions

Grease the bottom and sides of a 6" springform pan with coconut oil.

Chop the dark chocolate into small pieces and place in a small heat-safe bowl.

Add the cocoa powder and hot coffee, stir until the chocolate is melted and set aside.

Stir together the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda in large mixing bowl.

In a separate medium sized bowl, whisk together the egg, coconut oil, vanilla, sugar and Mexican crema or sour cream. If using crema, add the orange juice. If using sour cream, the orange juice is optional.

Whisk the coffee-cocoa mixture together with the other wet ingredients.

Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Combine with a whisk or egg beater.

Once all of the ingredients are combined and there are no lumps, add the batter to the springform pan.

Add one cup of water to the bottom of the Instant Pot.

If you do not have a trivet with handles, make a sling by folding a 15 inch (38 cm) piece of tin foil over about 3 times. Slide it under the trivet to help lift out the cake when it is done cooking.

Cover with tin foil and crimp the sides to make sure that no water will enter the pan.

Set the instant pot on "steam" for 40 minutes and make sure the valve is set to sealing.

When the cooking time is complete, immediately release the steam.

Remove the cake from the Instant Pot and allow it to cool.

After the cake is completely cooled apply the frosting. It is ready to be served!

Notes

*Mexican crema is similar to sour cream, but lacks some of the acidity and tangy flavor.

**Orange juice has been added to the recipe for extra acidity, which will react with the baking soda and help it do its job of making bubbles. This results in a lighter more airy cake. Sour cream already has some acidity, so if you are using it in this recipe instead, the orange juice is not necessary.

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 5 Tablespoons Butter (70g) (softened)
  • 8 Ounces (190g) Block Cream Cheese (softened)
  • 1 Ounce Dark Chocolate
  • 3/4 teaspoon (3.27ml)vanilla
  • 1/8 teaspoon (.5g) salt
  • 1 cup (200g) powdered sugar
  • Pinch Cinnamon

Instructions

    1. Make sure that the butter and cream cheese have been warmed to room temperature.
    2. Melt 2/3 of the dark chocolate by heating it in a microwave safe dish.
    3. Add salt, vanilla, melted chocolate, butter and cream cheese to a large bowl.
    4. Blend together using a hand blender or standing egg beater.
    5. Once the mixture is completely combined, add in the powdered sugar sugar, cinnamon and cocoa powder and blend.
    6. Taste and adjust the flavor, adding additional powdered sugar if desired.
    7. The frosting is ready to use!