When you’re waking up covered in a light sheen of sweat to the deep-voiced man on the radio announcing “it’s already 80 degrees with a high of 99” your desire to turn on the oven turns to negative 20 degrees. Particularly when you are trying to keep costs down in the form of taming the resource-sucking A/C beast. Yet somehow, my desire for cake does not function in the same manner.
It’s true that I crave a lot more fruit, icy desserts and cool dishes in the summer. But sometimes, stumbling upon one awesome blog leads to cravings for oatmeal which leads to areyoucrazyit’samilliondegreesoutside which leads to CAKE. (as all good roads do.)
Then the idea of steaming the cake occurred to me—a common method for many Asian cakes. While I’m actually not the biggest fan of many chiffon-style Asian cakes (there is a time and place for sponge cakes and usually I’m in gooey chocolate mode, where we have no time or place for that), it turns out that, when steamed, a tangle of mashed banana, a little oat flour and some cocoa turns into a gooey, moist mass of what could very well fool someone into thinking is full-on indulgent cake.
By looks, at least. It is a naturally sweetened cake, after all. Stuffing the center with chocolate chips really ups the richness quotient and gives you an extra gooey (if not quite molten) center. Left plain, it’s completely breakfast-approved by my standards. Despite my best efforts, I’ve never been a fan of baked oatmeal (the original inspiration for this recipe)—past experiences have left me cold thanks to slimy oat bits or a dried-out crust. Steaming this cake obliterates any chance of dryness since it’s cooked with wet heat, and using oat flour in place of oats eliminates the slime factor of baked oats in favor of a cakey texture.
Even when I split this into two portions, I found it extremely satisfying, though I’ve also definitely eaten one giant cake by myself. I’ve topped it with Greek yogurt and peanuts, ice cream, and in this picture, leftover custard from a blueberry tart. You really can’t go wrong!
PS. Shout out to a certain miss who has been killing it with her step-by-step photography and inspired a lot of these photos! <3
My steamer kind of looks like this, though you don’t need to invest in a steamer to steam things! Food52 has an awesome article on how to hack a steamer. But steamer inserts are quite reasonably priced, and steaming gives you the benefits of saving major energy compared to turning on the oven for one tiny cake as well as making things incredibly moist.
Gooey Chocolate Oat Cake
- 1/3 cup ripe banana mashed (this is usually nearly a full medium-sized banana for me)
- 1/3 cup almond milk
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup oat flour
- 1 heaping tablespoon good-quality cocoa powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 tablespoon chocolate chips optional
- pinch of espresso optional
- Mash the banana until smooth. Whisk in the milk and vanilla.
- Stir in the oat flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt.
- Pour batter into a large, greased ramekin (or divide batter into two normal-sized ramekins). For an extra-gooey center, pour in half the batter, place chocolate chips in the middle, and cover with the rest of the batter.
- Fill the bottom of your steamer with water and turn on high. Once the water starts boiling, turn the heat down to medium and put your cake into the steamer basket. Steam for 15-20 minutes, or until cake is fairly firm to the touch (if you press it with a spoon, it shouldn't jiggle, unless you want a really undercooked cake). Feel free to under-steam it if you like since this is also really similar to any basic overnight oat recipe, which you can eat raw.
Did you try this recipe?Tag @thepancakeprincess on Instagram!
OMG I just found heaven with this cake!!! Thank you for sharing!!! one question for you: what is the sauce on top??
Haha thanks for the kind words Yuvia! I believe the sauce on top was a custard leftover from a fruit tart that I had just made. My go-to is Salad In a Jar’s microwave custard that she uses in her fruit tarts, so that’s most probably what it is 🙂
I just found your site few days ago while searching for Oat bread recipes. Your recipe (Oat bread/cake) turned out wonderfully, my 4 year old son gobbled it up!
I am trying this next, looks so delicious! I was trying to explain to him what ‘mouth watering’ means, he was all confused, haha!
I was wondering if it will be just as delicious if I use cow milk instead of almond milk in this recipe, any thought?
Thank you for your amazing recipes!
Hi Jane! So glad to hear you and your son liked the oat flour banana bread(?)! You can definitely go ahead and use cow’s milk in this recipe. You can really use pretty much any milk in place of the almond milk 🙂 Let me know how it turns out for you!
Yes sorry that’s what I meant oat flour banana bread. Thanks Erika for quick response! Now I don’t have to wait to make this until I bought almond milk. I am going to make it now and surprise my son with it for breakfast tomorrow 🙂
Not sure if it sounds too gready if I ask you to post the yummy custard in the pictures you posted! Of course I mean some time in the future when you have time…
I hope your son liked it! And not greedy at all–I don’t remember exactly, but I have a feeling it was the custard from this post: http://www.salad-in-a-jar.com/family-recipes/fruit-and-cream-mini-tarts (it’s the custard I make every time I make fruit tarts! :))
It looks sooooo god!
BUT do you think it’s possible to bake it, instead of steaming it? I have never ever steamed anything/don’t own a steamer/don’t even know what a steamer is.
Hi Anna! Don’t worry, I got you covered 😉 Check out the paragraph under “Notes” right above the recipe for info about steamers. Let me know if you have any questions beyond that 🙂
And also to your question, I think that yes, you can bake it, but the texture may be quite different. I haven’t tried it!
wow wow wow, this was AMAZING. i didn’t make it perfect but i’m definitely going to try again (i didn’t grind my oat flour fine enough, as I was grinding it up at 7 in the morning and was afraid i’d wake my roommates, so it was a wee bit chunky) because it was so tasty.
i made a chocolate date paste and put that in the middle and aaaaah. it’s like a healthy molten lava cake.
i have one question, though; yours is so dark! did you use dark cocoa? mine was quite a bit paler!
Oh YUM!!!! The date paste sounds so amazing!!! Brilliant idea! And hmm I can’t say for sure, but I think I used a cocoa powder I bought in Paris, which may have been dark. I can check when I’m back in my kitchen! In any case, glad you liked it!! 🙂
Kylie @ immaeatthat
susan @ the wimpy vegetarian
You’re killing me!!!! Between your drop dead gorgeous photos, (yes, I’m heading to the link you thoughtfully provided right now) and this melt-in-your-mouth chocolate wonderfulness, you are heading for the big time, Erika. I just love everything about this post!!!
Katie (The Muffin Myth)
This looks bonkers awesome! Obviously chocolate chips are getting stuffed into the middle. Obviously.
Such a delicious post Erika! Your blog is looking amazing & this cake could definitely be my breakfast tomorrow! I have all the ingredients, choc chips included. Loving the use of the gif. too, love animation!
Karen @ The Food Charlatan
Erika, I love your blog. Your posts are always so surprising and…dare I say inspiring? (I kind of hate the overuse of that word, but there’s no avoiding it this time.) I’ve never steamed anything sweet in my entire life. I have to try this! Also, your GIF is adorable.
Ahhh Karen that made my day!!! You’re awesome. And thank you. 🙂
Erika I love your chocolate oat cake! It’s healthy, looks delicious, and oh my God the clicks are mouth watering. I can have this for breakfast or as a dessert, and not feel guilty at all. Steaming food is the best way to save its nutrients, I’d love to try your cake as soon as I can 🙂
Sarah | The Woks of Life
Ok, as a fellow daughter with a microwave-denouncing mother who STEAMS everything to heat up food, this cake recipe is awesome. (Without this, I would have had to surreptitiously sneak into the kitchen and muffle the microwave beeps with a kitchen towel). I love single serving desserts and I love healthier baking ingredients even more. Thanks for sharing this Erika!
Hahaha yay, so glad you understand!! We were so spoiled growing up because my mom would almost never take the shortcut of heating things up with the microwave–like your mom, it was always about the stovetop. And hahah those microwave beeps are such tattle tale-rs!
Looks delicious! Yum!
Kayle (The Cooking Actress)
ERIKAAA-your photos are friggin stunnninggggg-and the cake looks crazy addictive and deeeelish!
Shikha @ Shikha la mode
This cake looks so good and perfectly portioned – worth getting a steamer if I can make these so easily! I can’t even imagine the temperature in Texas right now – it’s like 70 degrees in SF and I think it’s hot!
Choc Chip Uru
I am SO focusing on the OAT section of this delicious recipe, so I can eat, you know, a LOT more cake than I should 😛
Choc Chip Uru
Yes. Just, YES. 😉
Cake doesn’t listen to reason well, does it. *sigh* Neither do my cravings for gooey chocolate treats! Cannot believe this is healthy! Like, no butter, no dairy – you are the best, Erika! Pinned!
Thanks Mary Frances! So glad you feel the same 🙂
OH my goodness this looks too, too amazing!!!! The photos are stunning. Steaming is SO genius (I’ve been straight-up microwaving mug cakes over here, so.. that’s happening.) Plus that custard on top looks unbelievable. And ahhh you’re TOO sweet for the shoutout, Erika!!! Thank you so so much <3 you're inspiring ME with this GIF action! I love it.
Hahaha I’ve def had my fair share of microwaved mug cakes but I whenever I made them, I’d always hear my mom’s voice in my head denouncing the microwave…cancer and all. Do you get that from your mom? Anywayyy….any time!!! I feel like I keep saying this, but I CANNOT get over how you are killing your photography. IT’S SO IMPRESSIVE!!!!!!!
The Vegan 8
Gooey. Chocolate. Oat. Cake. Omg that sounds and looks so amazing Erika!!! I love oats and I love gooey and I love chocolate. The only think I don’t like is banana, but quite honestly it’s not that much banana, and the best way I can eat banana is when it is baked into cake or muffins. It seriously looks so good and I love the extra step photos too!!! I checked out her link to her photos and they are beautiful just like yours!!
Catching up on your posts too, sorry I’ve been behind!
Haha yes I thought about you when I was adding this recipe! You always help me keep in mind the banana-haters of the world. The original recipe also suggests using applesauce or avocado in place of the banana, though I didn’t try it. Glad it didn’t completely turn you off though–thanks for the lovely comment as always! 🙂
Selena @ The Nutritious Kitchen
omg omg omg. First off the presentation of your step by step photos simply blew me away. Seriously they are GORGEOUS and make me want to take a bite outta that cake through my laptop screen.
Secondly, this cake. Chocolate ooey gooey cake. SOLD. And the fact that it’s so healthy is mind boggling. Literal mind blown.
Basically this is amazing and you are amazing! Pinning this for sure and it will fulfill my late night chocolate cravings this week i am sure!
Ahaha Selena, your comment TOTALLY made my day! Thank you so much 🙂 I was definitely borrowing a little inspiration from our mutual friend Kylie at Imma Eat That for this healthy/decadent creation 🙂
You have managed to make me want to “steaming the cake” even though I have no problem turning on the oven. This is good because I know that I will be like you, craving cake but do not want to be near oven, in a couple of weeks. This cake looks so gooey-good I am craving it RIGHT NOW!!!! <3 <3 <3
P.S. I love Two Red Bowls' photos, too. Someday, I will do step-by-step photos just like you & Cynthia 🙂
Haha aww thanks Pang! What a huge compliment from you, considering how gorgeous and carefully composed your photos are! And definitely let me know if you give steaming a try! It makes things so moist!
Millie l Add A Little
I love steamed cakes!!! You should try out making some mushi-pan (it’s Japanese steamed bread) which I bet you would LOVE Erika!!
This looks so amazing, and loving the step by step photos!!
Ooh. Googling now. I’m on it! Thanks Millie 🙂
Nancy @ gottagetbaked
Girl, don’t be cray-cray! I just read your response to Nora’s comment about warning you if your posts are too long with photos. I want more! These photos are beautiful and I’m in love with the process shots. You’ve been totally killing it with the amazing photography lately. And this recipe. It’s awesome. You’re brilliant for steaming this cake. The Asian in me is ashamed I never thought of doing that before, even after years and years of watching my mom steam cake. Oh yeah, and I need to mention the GIF – I love it! If I ever learn how to make them myself, I’m gonna start including them in my posts 😉
You are TOO KIND, lady! Tell me about your mom steaming cake! What kind of cake would she steam? Like sponge cakes? For fancy occasions or every day? Would she steam big cakes? (I’m kind of afraid to try anything bigger than a ramekin). And girl, google gif creator–that’s all you need! 🙂
Please send me some!
If I could, they’d be on your doorstep right now 😉
Thalia @ butter and brioche
delicious erika.. another great recipe! love how relatively guilt free it is.. thanks for the inspiration + for sharing!
Thanks so much Thalia!
ahhhhh THAT GIF! I’m in love! Mashed banana gif makes me wanna do a dance 🙂 Cynthia totally kills it with her photos on the regular but your photos are absolutely gorgeous too, lady! And gluten/dairy/egg free? Such a bitchin recipe. Steaming cake, seriously summer-perfect!
(“This pop isn’t working, Benny! I’m baking like a toasted cheeser – it’s so hot here!” — Sandlot)
Hahaha that quote is so relevant. Thank you so much!!! You’re so awesome–I love the image of people dancing along to a gif of mashing a banana :3 haha!
As per usual, this looks amaaaaazing Miss Erika! I am a sucker for ooey gooey cake and I love the fact that this one is kinda healthy… even with the chocolate chips (antioxidants, riiiight?!). Great photoshoot. I’m drooling right now! xx
Ahh thanks Laura! Um hello genius. OBVIOUSLY the antioxidants mean that the chocolate is necessary 😉
Kim @ AdventuresInANewishCity
Soooo….I’m coming over tonight to eat this, kthanks!
Nora (A Clean Bake)
Stop it. Seriously. I can’t even handle it. Confession: I have been periodically checking your page all day today ever since I saw your picture on instagram last night because I HAVE TO HAVE THIS. Stunning, stunning, pictures by the way. I really enjoy the process shots!
Ahhhh you always make my day, lady! <333 Thanks for the amazing compliment! But please keep me in check--if these posts are getting tooo long with all the process shots, let me know! 😉
this looks soooooooooo good. the perfect breakfast! and i love, love, love that you steamed it! sometimes i just don’t want to heat the oven for a tiny cake, so steaming is awesome!
YES! I’m so glad you appreciate the steaming! I can practically see my mom shaking her head at me whenever I even think about turning on the oven for one cupcake!
Michelle @ Hummingbird High
OMG, this looks amazing. Really. OMG.
*insert emoji blowing kisses*
you da best <3