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The new rice cooker I bought shows that it can bake a cake--like a sponge cake--in a rice cooker. I have also read that cakes turn out misshapen when made in a rice cooker. I've never baked a cake before and don't know too much about it, so using the new rice cooker to bake it is tempting.

My definition of good:

  • Not misshapen
  • Doesn't taste bad
  • is like a cake that is baked normally (not in a rice cooker)

Thanks!

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The first requirement will almost certainly depend on your rice cooker. The second will depend a lot on your cake recipe... –  Shog9 Mar 15 '11 at 15:00
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I'm only guessing, having never tried it, but I would suspect a sort of "steaming" effect to happen as compared to cooking a cake in an oven. After all, it isn't called a "cake cooker", so it seems unlikely it will be more than moderately successful. –  Allison Mar 15 '11 at 17:34
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I'm having trouble seeing much more than a yes or no question here. I think you'll be better off trying the recipe and coming to us if you have problems. –  hobodave Mar 15 '11 at 22:52
    
I agree with hobodave. Try it and come back with results. –  Megasaur Mar 17 '11 at 13:37
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2 Answers 2

I haven't done it myself, but since the "goodness" of a cake is largely subjective, I think you should try it and see what happens.

Be scientific about it: if you don't like it, change a variable and try again.

A cursory search on youtube might also help. Here is one I found: Zojirushi Mother's Day Cake

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My rice cooker recently turned out the highest chiffon/sponge cake I've ever made in any appliance including my oven. In answer to your question, my rice cooker is capable of baking a "good" cake, but all rice cookers are not equal, and for sure all recipes are not equal.

Explanation of "good" follows.

1. Shape

My cake's shape slightly resembled a wheel of cheese. I happen to have a pot with a rounded base, and my cake was overcooked so it did not sink upon cooling, creating rounded edges on both top and botton. However I would not have considered it misshapen. If it had not been dark blue (food colouring) I'm sure my guests would have recognised it immediately as a cake. I have seen other rounded-base rice cooker cakes that had flat tops, and flat-base rice cooker cakes with flat tops and bottoms. Presumably if you had a cake-shaped rice cooker pot you could bake a cake-shaped cake in it - whatever you feel that is.

2. Taste

Actual taste is almost entirely down to my recipe, as mentioned by another poster. I chose to ignore the rice cooker recipe which didn't seem right, and use a combination of recipes of bloggers who have made rice cooker cakes, and my own judgment. As far as rice cooker-related taste factors, there was no clear evidence of Maillard reaction in my rice cooker and therefore no caramelisation or burning on top despite being (deliberately) overcooked.

3. Like a cake baked normally

Of course your mileage will vary depending on your definition of normal. My answer is yes and no: yes for the purposes of presenting an acceptable cake and no because there were certainly differences. Some of these differences made the cake better in my opinion than if it had been baked in an oven.

As mentioned my cake rose very high, 2-3x the height of the original batter, and then did not sink upon cooling, something I have not replicated in a conventional oven. I also found the crumb much more even than most of my oven baked cakes, ie no undercooked centre. The texture was soft and moist. It did not have any kind of crispness on top, only a slight membrane.

Overall I consider it was a "good" cake and would make one again.

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