5 Cakes You Can Make in a Slow Cooker That Require Very Little Effort

No oven required.

Real Simple Web Gallery - Slow Cooker Cakes - Carrot Cake

By now you're well aware that your trusty slow cooker can make anything from pulled-pork tacos to chicken congee, but it's also quite a star when it comes to whipping up dessert. In fact, since slow cookers work by generating steam from heat, which helps retain moisture during the cooking process, sweet treats made in a slow cooker are often more moist and evenly cooked than those baked in a standard oven.

When it comes to making a cake in a slow cooker, you often need to construct a homemade rack that prevents the cake pan from sitting directly on the bottom of the insert, but trust us when we tell you that this is much easier than it sounds—all you need is some aluminum foil. (Pro-tip: This aluminum foil structure also works if you need to make a homemade steamer basket for your slow cooker.)

Another trick that helps yield perfectly baked slow-cooker cakes involves placing a taught towel underneath the slow cooker lid. This helps absorb any droplets of condensation created by the steam, and is an easy way to safeguard the top of your cake so it's picture-perfect.

Now that you're armed with some helpful slow-cooker cake hacks, let's get to the sweets!

01 of 05

Slow-Cooker Angel Food Cake

Slow-Cooker Angel Food Cake
Whether you make it in a slow cooker or bake it in the oven, angel food cake gets its lift from properly beaten egg whites. Unlike heavy cream, which is best whipped when very cold in a very cold bowl, egg whites whip better at room temperature. Leave your eggs out for a couple of hours before baking or set them in a bowl and cover them with some warm water. This should warm them up in about 15 minutes. Once your angel food cake has cooled, it’s best sliced with a serrated knife: those tiny teeth and a gently sawing motion will cut neatly through the cake without deflating it. Get the recipe: Slow-Cooker Angel Food Cake. Victor Protasio

Believe it or not, baking an angel food cake in a slow cooker actually gives it that super light consistency that can be tricky to master. Just make sure you use the cream of tartar called for in this recipe, as it helps stabilize the egg whites, which is crucial in a slow-baked dessert. And if you've got a dull metal loaf pan lying around, use it to help bring this cake to life. That pan's distinct shape helps keep the cake tall and airy.

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02 of 05

Slow Cooker Apple Spice Cake

We like this crockpot spice cake dusted with a light coating of powdered sugar, but it would be equally delicious drizzled with caramel sauce.
Victor Protasio

While this cake is packed with beloved fall flavors, it's suitable for any time of year. And since this dessert spends nearly three hours in the slow cooker, you can rest assured that the end result is moist, flavorful, and downright delicious. To really impress your guests, dust the finished product with powdered sugar, or drizzle some homemade caramel sauce on top.

03 of 05

Slow-Cooker Carrot Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting

Slow-Cooker Carrot Cake
Carrot cake can sometimes suffer from the dries. That’s why they’re often made with oil instead of butter and packed with controversial extras like raisins and pineapple. Butter is part liquid, which evaporates and can dry out during baking, even with the addition of shredded vegetables. But oil almost always ensures a moist cake, plus its neutral flavor won’t mask the natural sweetness of the carrots. Cooking, or actually steaming, this cake in the slow cooker, gives it an ultra moist interior and a layer of classic cream cheese frosting doesn’t hurt. Get the recipe: Slow-Cooker Carrot Cake. Victor Protasio

There's nothing worse than biting into a dry slice of carrot cake. Luckily, once you master this recipe for slow-cooker carrot cake, you'll never have to worry about the texture of your dessert again. The tasty cake cooks entirely in the slow-cooker, then once it's baked and has cooled, you can split it into two layers and decorate it with the cream cheese frosting. Easy enough, right?

04 of 05

Slow-Cooker Chocolate Pudding Cake

Slow-Cooker Chocolate Pudding Cake served with ice cream on a plate.
Like chocolate cake dump cakes? Oh, well, that’s what we heard. This one couldn’t be easier AND you don’t have to worry about it for 3 whole hours. It works in a round or oval-shaped slow-cooker and you probably have all the ingredients in your pantry. Except maybe the coffee granules, which are great, believe us, but you could definitely make this cake without them and the kiddos would be none the wiser. Go ahead and pull out the ice cream about 15 minutes before you’re ready to eat this one to encourage sexy melting.Get the recipe: Slow-Cooker Chocolate Pudding Cake. Victor Protasio

If you're looking for a scrumptious cake you can set and forget, this is it. In other words, once you mix the ingredients together, all you have to do is toss everything into a slow cooker and let it bake for about three hours. And if you let the cake finish "cooking" outside of the slow cooker, you'll be treated to a pudding-like center that's gooey, fudgy, and impossible to resist.

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05 of 05

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

Slow-Cooker Pineapple Upside-Down Cake
If you’ve never made pineapple upside down cake, this recipe is a good place to start. Most upside-down cake recipes require you to make a traditional caramel and pour it into a cake pan before you layer on the fruit and the batter, which can be intimidating, even for seasoned upside-down cake bakers. But this one only requires mixing a bit of brown sugar with melted butter and smearing it on the bottom of a slow cooker and we KNOW you can handle that. We love a classic pineapple approach but come summer try this with peaches, plums or apricots. Get the recipe: Slow-Cooker Pineapple Upside-Down. Victor Protasio

This cake calls for canned pineapple slices along with several baking staples, such as dark brown sugar, vanilla extract, and eggs. While making the cake in a slow cooker is no problem, inverting it so the picturesque pineapple slices are on top might present a slight challenge. We suggest grabbing an extra pair of hands to help out. Serve this classic cake with some unsweetened whipped cream, which will complement the intense sweetness of the pineapple.

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