Rice-cooker cakes are an ingenious creation by college students in Asia. As the dormitories didn’t have ovens, students who craved freshly baked cakes turned to the humble rice-cooker. In fact, in addition to an oven, I hear they also use it as a steamer and a crock pot!
After learning about the rice-cooker cake concept from Jacqui, who is part of my fabulous team at I Ate My Way Through, I was quite excited to put it to the test with my own little rice-cooker at home.

Matcha rice-cooker cake
Recipe adapted from A Dream of Tokyo
4 eggs
200g sugar
170g plain flour
50g oil
2 tsp matcha powder
Icing sugar and more matcha powder for dusting (optional)
Using an electric mixer, blend the eggs and sugar until creamy.

Rice cooker cake - cream the eggs and sugar

Sift the flour and combine with the matcha powder then fold into the mix. Add the oil.

Rice cooker cake - sift the matcha powder and flour

The rice-cooker is non-stick so you shouldn’t need to grease the pan. Simply pour the mixture into the rice cooker and press ‘cook’.

Rice cooker cake - pour mixture into rice cooker

Once the rice-cooker has completed its cycle, insert a bamboo skewer into the centre of the cake to check if it is done. You may need to press ‘cook’ again.

Rice cooker cake - done

Using either a rice paddle or a bowl scraper, gently loosen the cake around the sides. Take the rice-cooker bowl out of the rice-cooker, place a plate on top of it and carefully flip the bowl, allowing the cake to fall against the plate.
Dust with icing sugar and matcha powder and serve.

The recipe is pretty fail-proof unless you are like me and force-cook the cake even though the rice-cooker has already flipped from ‘cook’ to ‘warm’ and refuses to go back to ‘cook’. So yes, I accidentally browned mine a little. But the cake was still extremely fragrant, very light and fluffy. I guess sort of like a Chinese steamed cake but not.
So there you have it. It’s true. You can bake a cake in a rice cooker!

matcha Rice cooker cake - ready to eat

Imagine the endless possibilities you could bake with different flavoured essences or fruit juices. Or with a bit more creativity, produce spectacular chocolate lava cakes and upside-down fruit cakes!
This will be the easiest cake you’ve ever baked!

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Jennifer is the founding blogger of I Ate My Way Through (originally, Jenius.com.au). Growing up in the multicultural melting pot of Sydney’s Inner West as a second generation Australian (of Vietnamese refugee parents of Teochew Chinese ancestry), Jen has always had a deep curiosity about global cuisines, culinary heritage and the cultural assimilation of immigrants. For Jen and her family, food is always at the centre of all celebrations, life events and milestones. A lover of the finer things in life, as well as cheap eats, her blogging ethos is all about empowering and inspiring people to expand their culinary repertoire. When not running her two companies (she is also the Managing Director of The Bamboo Garden online marketing agency), Jen can be found exploring old-world charms at vintage markets and delving into local eats around the world. She has a weakness for fried chicken.
  • woah that’s awesome! ive always wanted to steam a cake but my steamer wasnt big enough woohoo cant wait to try this!

  • Wow, that’s so cool! For someone who doesn’t bake (or cook for that matter), this is worth a try! Thanks for the recipe!

  • oh my – how BRILLIANT!!!!

  • That’s really ingenious! I can’t wait to try this one at home!

  • haha love this! I scored a slow cooker this Christmas, and I can’t wait to bake a cake in it!

  • How cool is that! I always knew there was more a rice cooker could do, although I only use mine for rice… Will have to try this out one day.

  • I have to try this… what a great idea!

  • How clever is this? Thanks for testing it for us! I have a rice cooker I never use, so this would be a great role for it.

  • This is great!! Will have to try it out myself.

  • Brilliant! I’m living in Tokyo in a house with no oven (not uncommon) and I’ve been missing baked goods so much! Thank you for this recipe, I’m going to give it a go!

  • i saw this post and ran straight to the kitchen and got started (much to mum’s annoyance when she came home and said she needed to use the rice cooker). had the same problem as you with the switch flicking back to warm so ended up cooking it on warm – texture was quite dense on mine but rather tasty nonetheless. thanks for the post!

  • wow this is awesome! i love steaming my cupcakes but haven’t tried the cake version in my ricecooker!

  • You are a star – I am so trying this next weekend. Looks delicious.

  • Talk about ingenuity! This looks like a fun recipe to try out 🙂

  • this is soo funny but awesome at the same time

  • Jen

    Thanks for all your responses guys and keep those photos of your rice cooker cakes coming! Love seeing your results 🙂
    Happy baking/steaming! xx

  • Jen

    hmmm, i’m no baking expert but i think it could be more dense because the egg & sugar wasn’t creamed enough? or next time you can try beating just the egg whites first until they are stiff then beat in sugar and yolk.
    rice cookers all behave different so it’s a matter of trial & error. but at least they’ll all be delicious trials. haha 😛

  • You are a Jenius!!! 🙂 OMG I’m getting so excited about this already!!! Do you think it would work with a slow cooker?

  • HAHA I just saw this! Totally awesome! Good to know I can rely on my rice cooker if my oven fails on me. Thanks for sharing Jen!

  • Always good to hear of students putting their education to good use.

  • alannah le

    Does anyone know where I could get matcha powder in sydney? cheers 🙂

  • Jen

    Try IGA Market City… or any of the Japanese grocers, e.g. Tokyo Mart

  • dasz

    Studying abroad in China right now, and wanted to bake a cake for my host family– this came out perfectly! If you want a taller cake, I separate the egg white from the egg yellow, and used half the sugar to beat with the egg white until stiff peaks formed. Then I added that to the rest of the mixture. Delicious! Thanks for the inspiration!