Rice Cooker Chocolate Chestnut Cake (Gluten-Free/Vegan)

When living in China, one usually does not have access to an oven, as ovens are not standard equipment and most likely you won’t find them in rented apartments. Oftentimes, even people who own their own flats don’t have an oven – baked/roasted food is just not that common in China (at least it’s not very common to make this type of food at home); people mostly just stir-fry, deep fry, boil or steam their food. What to do when you have a craving for a home-made cake and you also want a slightly healthier option than a regular sweet cake or bread you can buy at a bakery, but you don’t have an oven? Well, today I wanted to share a recipe with you that only requires a rice cooker (which, in turn, is very common in China), is also gluten-free and can be made vegan!

You will need:

  • 5 medium bananas
  • 1 cup of chestnut flour (it’s 板栗粉 bănlìfĕn in Chinese, can be bought on Taobao, see here: click!)
  • 1/2 cup of white sugar (can be substituted with brown sugar or honey if you wish)
  • 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 2-3 tablespoons of coconut oil (butter)
  • 1/2 cup of milk (can be swapped for plant milk, e.g. soy milk)
  • A pinch of baking soda
  • 2 eggs (optional)
  • Raisins (optional)


First, mash the bananas (you can use a blender for that) and mix them with flour, sugar, cocoa powder, cinnamon and baking soda. Then add the liquid ingredients – egg, milk, coconut oil and make sure that the mixture is smooth (you can use blender for that as well). This is how it should look like:


Smear a bit of oil inside thee rice cooker and then pour the mixture in. You can then add raisins if you want.


My rice cooker has a special program for making cake, so I choose this one when making this cake. However, one cycle is usually not enough and I run it again for some times, maybe additional 10-15 minutes. If your rice cooker doesn’t come with different programs, just one “cooking rice”, then I recommend running it for two cycles to make this cake.


The way I take the cake out of the rice cooker is that I cover the inner pot with a flat dish and then, using a moist cloth so that I don’t burn myself, I flip it over and slowly put the dish with the pot on the counter, and then slowly lift the pot from the dish. If you want the raisins to be on top, you can flip the cake again using another dish.

This is the finished cake. It should be soft and moist inside.


I hope you like it!

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