Rice cookers are one of the most widely used kitchen appliances of our time, and it’s hard to find many houses that don’t own at least one rice cooker. When this is being used so much, it’s almost ironic that people don’t know the full potential of this kitchen appliance.
While most people use a rice cooker for cooking rice only, there are some who use it for steaming vegetables, and a few use it for cooking flavored rice. However, most people can’t even think beyond this.
However, rice cookers can be used to do a lot more than that. These amazing kitchen appliances can be used to cook pasta, boil an egg, cook egg, porridge, quinoa, and they can be used to bake as well!
A lot of our readers often question us, “Can rice cooker be used for baking?” The answer is yes, and to clear away all the confusion; we decided to dedicate an entire article to this!
In this article, you’ll know everything there is to know about baking with a rice cooker. We’ll talk about how a rice cooker functions, can rice cooker be used for baking, how to bake a cake in a rice cooker, and how you can choose the right rice cooker for you.
So, let’s get started, shall we?
How a Rice Cooker Functions and How that Helps in Baking:
When we’re asked, “Can rice cooker be used for baking” or not, we first try to explain why it can. To do so, it’s important to know how a rice cooker functions and how many types of rice cooker there are. So, let’s start with that first.
A rice cooker acts more or less like an oven. However, saying that it functions similarly to an oven would be a wrong statement. Every rice cooker comes with a heating coil that provides Heat to the interior of the rice cooker.
The rice cooker heats up until the water is provided to it turns to steam. Once the water turns to steam, it starts moisturizing and cooking the ingredients provided to it. There are different types of rice cookers, and each model comes with a definite and unique cooking time. In fact, there are two types of rice cookers from the direction of the heat provision factor. While some rice cookers provide Heat from the bottom only, there is another type of rice cooker that provides Heat from all sides.
Now, if you want to bake a cake in the rice cooker, you better get the ones that provide Heat from all sides. If you get one of the rice cookers that provide Heat from the bottom only, there’s a high chance that the bottom of the cake will get crusty, and that’ll destroy the entire taste of the cake.
Then again, there are two types of rice cookers if you’re considering the programmability. There’s the ‘One-click’ rice cooker that comes with only the ‘Cook’ feature and the ‘Warm’ feature. You won’t be able to bake complex recipes with these as they are usually very restricting.
Then again, there are the rice cookers that come with integrated micom. Micom stands for microcomputers, and these rice cookers are equipped with heat sensors. The computer inside these appliances senses the Heat through the sensors and changes the temperature in a way that the cooking medium remains stable all the time. Thus, you’ll be able to achieve a constant temperature that’ll allow you to slow cook, pressure cook, and even bake.
On the other hand, the temperature in the standard rice cookers experience a roller coaster ride where they reach a boiling point, and you have to cool them down manually.
So, “Can rice cooker be used for baking?” The right answer is, not all of them. If you take the traditional rice cookers, the baked cake will taste very bad. Then again, if you take the brand new, programmable rice cookers, you’ll be able to bake cakes without a hitch!
Then again, baking in rice cookers saves a lot of energy than baking on a stove! If you’re using stovetops, we highly recommend you try baking in rice cookers. Not only is this energy-efficient, but it can save you from a lot of hassle as well. However, that’s only if you have one of the advanced rice cookers that can be programmed to function in different ways.
Is Putting Water in Rice Cooker Mandatory When Baking?
This is another misconception that you’ll need to avoid. While you’ll need to add water to most of the recipes you cook in a rice cooker, you don’t need to add water while you’re baking.
Then again, it also doesn’t mean that you can’t add anything at all. A rice cooker functions a lot different than an oven. In a rice cooker, you need to provide some liquid that’ll turn into steam to moisturize and cook the dish.
Thus, experts usually use more milk when they’re baking in a rice cooker. If you’re using a rice cooker for baking a cake, we’d recommend you use a lot more milk than you would’ve otherwise.
Then again, you shouldn’t even worry about these that much, as you’ll be following a recipe crafted for rice cooker especially. There are a lot of tested and tried baking recipes online, and you’ll find them a lot on reliable cooking websites. If you follow these recipes, you won’t face any problem while baking.
In fact, we’ll drop our favorite baking recipe down for you! So, make sure you check that out first!
Baking in Rice Cookers in the Easy Way:
Although baking a cake in a rice cooker is one of the easiest things to do, a lot of people feel intimidated at the thought of doing it. If you’re feeling the same, we assure you that it’s only because you didn’t do it previously, and mostly because no one around you did it, and they’ll probably think you’re stupid or crazy.
But as you’ve kept up with us thus far, we highly urge you to try this recipe out! Now, we’re going to unveil a detailed recipe, and you’ll get instructions for doing even the simplest things! So, even if you’re new to baking, don’t be afraid to try this out!
- Cake mix
- Whipped cream
Here, the whipped cream is an optional ingredient. However, we do believe that the cake will taste better if you add the whipped cream on top. Then again, if you want, you can add fruits such as strawberry or cherry on top. These additions will make your cake taste better by adding some foreign elements to it.
Hold on tight, as now we’ll be diving straight to the steps that you need to follow!
- The first and foremost thing would be to make sure whether you have all the ingredients at your hand or not. If you’re new to this, trust me when I tell you that you’ll completely hate it if you find that an ingredient is missing that too in the middle of the process.
- Once you have everything prepared, you should check the pack of your cake mix. There you’ll get the instructions about how many eggs you need to mix, how much water you need to add, and how much oil or butter the mix needs. You can add any type of oil, including the healthy ones. However, we recommend using butter, as that’ll be perfect for most people.
- If you’re new to baking, this step can be daunting for you. In this step, you’ll have to mix the cake. You can do so using an electric beater or a whisk. You need a lot of patience to get this right, as it usually takes a lot of time. However, there’s a catch. If you don’t whisk it properly, you won’t get a proper mix that’s ready for baking. Then again, if you overdo it, the cake will be as tough as a brick. That’s why it’s very important to find out the right time to stop.
- You should add the flavorings to the mix. We added strawberry essence as that’s how we like it. However, you’re free to use anything that you want!
- Once you have the mix, it’s finally time to pour it into the pot of the rice cooker. However, it’s important that the pot of your rice cooker be non-sticky. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a cake that’s broken from the sides and the bottom. Fortunately, most rice cookers are non-sticky nowadays.
- After pouring the mix, you should turn the rice cooker on. However, it must be mentioned that the rice cooker may take more than once to bake properly. How many times you need to cook it depends completely on the rice cooker. In fact, there are some amazing programmable rice cookers that come with a ‘Cake Mode’ function. If you can get one of these, you’ll be able to skip the additional steps, and you’ll end up with a better result.
- If you’re new to baking, you might be thinking about how you can determine whether the cake is baked perfectly or not. To check this, one of the most used methods is to touch the cake with fingers. If you feel that your finger is bouncing back after applying some pressure, you can be sure that the cake is baked perfectly. However, this requires some experience, and the beginners struggle to determine this technique. So, you can try inserting a toothpick inside the rice cooker to check whether it’s been cooked properly or not. If the toothpick comes to clean out of the cake without anything sticking to it, you’re good to go!
- Now, you can’t just serve a cake that you just took out of the rice cooker! Even if you don’t want to add any frosting, you better let your cake cool down for ten minutes, at least. On the other hand, if you want to add frosting, you should let it cool down completely before you begin.
- Once the cake is completely cool, you can add some flavorings to it. Depending on what type of essence you used, you can add toppings. For example, if you’ve used a strawberry essence, you can top the cake with some fresh strawberries. Then again, adding whipped cream on top is a great idea as well. Some people, including me, prefer using cold creams. You can use this if you’re a fan.
- A lot of people struggle to whip fresh cream. When you’re whipping fresh cream, you should use an electric beater as it’ll perform far better than a wire whisk. Then again, if you fail to thicken up the cream, you can try adding a hint of cream of tartar. This usually thickens the cream up quite a lot.
Now you tell me, will it be too hard to follow these instructions?
This is the simplest baking recipe that we could think of, and that too in a rice cooker! We tried our best to simplify the recipe so that even a beginner can bake it. Hopefully, you can, too, if you try for sometimes!
We hate to mention it, but honestly, you won’t be able to bake a perfect cake with a rice cooker at the very first go. However, the same is true for baking cakes no matter what medium you’re using. Even if you bake in an oven, you’ll need a fair bit of practice before you become a master of this art.
That’s why we don’t consider that as a drawback. The only thing that you’ll need to learn is how long you need to bake the cake. Most beginners struggle to find the right amount of baking time. In fact, if you’re new to baking cake in a rice cooker, but you’ve baked in the oven before, you’ll face a fair share of problems even then! But once you master this, nothing will hold you back!
Plus, if you’re willing to spend some extra for getting a rice cooker that comes with the baking function, you won’t have to worry about this either. These advanced rice cookers come with integrated microcomputers that calculate and observe every change in the rice cooker, and they steer the rice cooker in a way that you’ll always get the best result out of it.
However, no matter which medium you cook it, you need to get the ingredients and the batter right. Make you use every ingredient appropriately, and you should also create a perfect batter.
We’ll end this section with a few more hints that might be helpful to you. These are:
- The cooking time depends on your rice cooker. Resort to the provided manual or online forums for more information on the timing. If you can’t find any, try baking with different timings, and use the method we described above to check if the baking is perfect or not.
- Use the cake mode if you have this function.
- Don’t stop after cooking once. You may need it to cook it twice or thrice for optimum results.
- Refer to the packaging of the cake mix to know how much oil, water, and egg you’re going to need.
- Cool the cake on an aluminum tray for getting the best result.
How to Choose the Perfect Rice Cooker for Baking:
As we’ve said at the very outset, a rice cooker is a widely used kitchen appliance. This also means that there are tons of rice cooker brands and models out there. However, not all of them are good, and a lot of them can end up destroying your perfect recipe. So, it’s very necessary to get a rice cooker that’ll be able to bake the cake as you want to.
But how do you pick a rice cooker that’ll allow you to bake properly? Here are some factors that you need to keep an eye out for:
Rice Cooker Size:
The first thing that you need to consider is the size of the rice cooker. Now, the standard cup measurement that defines a rice cooker will not be appropriate for you. There are a lot of rice cookers that save space by decreasing the diameter and increasing the height of the rice cooker. Then again, there are those that offer a considerable diameter but a lower height.
Now, the size of the rice cooker that you’ll choose depends completely on the size of the cake you want to bake. So, we leave this on your preference!
Not all rice cookers are programmable. Most rice cookers that you’ll find under the $150 mark are ‘One-click’ rice cookers, which means that you won’t get a lot of functions out of these. These rice cookers aren’t suitable for baking complicated cakes. However, you can get the simplest cakes done with these.
If you want to bake amazing cakes, you need programmable rice cookers. These rice cookers come around the $200 and above price mark, and they offer features like ‘Slow Cook,’ ‘Pressure Cook,’ and even functions that are made especially for baking! If you can get your hands on one of these rice cookers, you won’t have to worry about baking a cake again!
Although the delay option isn’t helpful for a baking cake specifically, it can be helpful to cook a lot of things. With the delay option, you can select the time at which the rice cooker will start baking. This is a very convenient feature, and it’ll make your life a lot easier!
The direction of Heat:
Now, this is a very important thing to consider. There are a lot of rice cookers that provide Heat from the bottom only. You shouldn’t opt for these, as these rice cookers can make the bottom of the cake very crusty, which will ruin the overall taste of the cake.
On the other hand, there are rice cookers that come with a single heating coil at the bottom, but they provide Heat evenly from all sides of the rice cooker. In fact, there are some rice cookers that heat from the lid as well.
This helps bake the cake perfectly as Heat is provided equally from all sides. These rice cookers might be a bit costlier than the regular $50 rice cookers out there. However, even if you’re not getting a programmable rice cooker, you should spend the extra for getting this as it’ll be worth every penny.
Best Rice Cooker for Baking:
1. Zojirushi NS-TSC10 (B0074CDG6C):
The first product is from Zojirushi, and it’s their NS-TSC10 model. Now, Zojirushi is one of the most reputed rice cooker brands that you’ll find out there, and the Zojirushi NS-TSC10 doesn’t fail to surprise us.
It’s a programmable rice cooker, and it features induction heating. To those of you who don’t know, Induction heating is the best type of heating system that a rice cooker can have. Due to this technology, the temperature of a Zojirushi rice cooker can be kept at a constant, which allows the user to cook different complex dishes, and it also helps to bake.
The Zojirushi NS-TSC10 also comes with a cake mode. If you turn this mode on, you won’t have to worry about anything else, and the rice cooker will alert you once the baking is done. This is one of the best features of this rice cooker.
Product Design and Quality:
If you’re looking for something durable, the Zojirushi NS-TSC10 is the one for you. This rice cooker is built like a tank, and users even claim that they used Zojirushi rice cookers for years before they had to replace them.
The build quality is not only durable, but it’s premium as well. If you check the parts out, none of them will feel flimsy.
- Induction heating technology
- Integrated micom
- Offers a lot of features, including cake mode
- Very durable build
Product Link: Click Here
If you’re looking for something at a lower price, you should go for the Instant Pot Duo rice cooker. This is an amazing rice cooker, especially if you consider its price. This rice cooker comes at a price lower than $100, which makes it one of the most affordable rice cookers for cooking cake perfectly.
Even though it’s cheap, it offers a lot of features. You’ll get a lot of different programs that’ll allow you to cook different types of rice, soup, porridge, meat, etc. Sadly, there’s no dedicated option for baking, but you can control the pressure level exerted by the rice cooker, which is great.
Product Design and Quality:
The Instant Pot Duo is comparatively larger than the Zojirushi rice cooker. It comes with an LCD display that’ll display the timer as well as the modes. The build quality of this rice cooker is solid as well, and it’s a decent choice for anyone looking for a rice cooker at an affordable price.
- Affordable pick
- Comes with a variety of functions
- The pressure level can be controlled
- Premium build
- Large cooking capacity
- Free iOS and Android recipe app
Product Link: Click Here
3. Breville BPR700BSS (B013I40R8E):
Last but not least, we have the Breville BPR700BSS rice cooker. Now, this is a completely premium rice cooker, and it’s only for those who want the most durable rice cooker on the planet. The Breville BPR700BSS advanced features like steam release and a safety valve that makes this gives the user a manual experience.
However, that also allows the users to personalize the cooking and baking. If you’re sure about what you’re doing, you can go for this rice cooker. However, if you’re new to baking or cooking, you shouldn’t pick the Breville BPR700BSS rice cooker up as it’s very tough to use.
Then again, there’s an LCD display on the body of the rice cooker. What makes this one different is that you’ll get all the metrics displayed than other rice cookers don’t. For example, you’ll get pressure and temperature indicator, steam indicator, countdown timer, cooking timer, etc.
Product Design and Quality:
The Breville BPR700BSS is built with stainless steel, and it has a solid build. You won’t face any problem using this rice cooker.
- Offers a manual experience
- Solid build
- Detailed LCD display
Product Link: Click Here
Hopefully, you got the answer to “Can rice cooker be used for baking?”
Yes, you can. But at the same time, it’s important to keep in mind that not all rice cookers can provide the same results when it comes to baking. So, you should choose the perfect rice cooker that’ll allow you to bake properly.
If you already have a ‘One-Click’ rice cooker, you can try out the simple cake recipes. You can make yummy cakes with these too; it’s just you’ll need to put in more effort for that. Happy baking!