Learn how to make cake in a bowl: A unique way to make cake, and perfect for giving away as a gift. Here’s everything you need to know to get started.

Learn how to make cake in a bowl: Perfect for giving away - no need to return the cake pan!

Why Make a Cake In A Bowl?

Why in the world would I make a cake in a bowl?!

Hear me out.

I make cake in a bowl for one specific reason: Because it’s great for gifting

  • Did a friend just have a baby? Give her homemade cake in a bowl.
  • First time meeting your new neighbors? Bring them a delicious homemade cake in a bowl they don’t have to return.
  • Want to do something nice for a friend? You guessed it: Cake in a bowl.

You’re going to want your cake tin back. But a bowl? It’s the perfect vessel for gifting.

Make a cake in a bowl! Give it away as a gift. An oven-safe bowl makes the perfect baking vessel.

What Kind Of Bowl To Use

You’ll want to look for a bowl that says oven-safe or oven-proof on the bottom.

If it doesn’t say it’s okay to bake on the bottom – do not use the bowl!

A Pyrex bowl will work well. But pretty much any oven-safe bowl will work, including both glass and ceramic bowls – as long as it says its oven-safe or oven-proof.

I like to go to thrift shops to find bowls for the sole purpose of giving them away as gifts. They typically only cost $1.00 or $2.00. So much better than giving someone cake in a pan that they’ll have to return!

What kind of bowl to use to make cake in a bowl: Choose an oven-safe glass or ceramic bowl. Check the bottom.

Choose Your Favorite Cake Recipe

Any cake you would make in a regular cake pan, you can make in an oven-safe bowl.

You can use a cake mix (follow the recipe on the box, which usually calls for eggs, water, and vegetable oil/canola oil).

Or you can make homemade cake. Try one of these recipes (follow the link for full recipe):

  • Wacky cake: This is my go-to chocolate cake recipe. It’s a super simple cake recipe that tastes like it was much harder to make – and much more expensive. It’s made with all-purpose flour, cocoa powder, salt, sugar, baking soda, oil, vinegar, and vanilla. No eggs or butter: a vegan cake.
  • Moist dark chocolate cake: If you want something a little fancier, this cake is really delicious. It’s especially good topped with raspberry buttercream.
  • Banana cake: The combination of banana cake and milk chocolate frosting is a match made in cake heaven.
  • White/vanilla cake: Everyone loves a basic white cake – especially a super moist cake that is also buttery.

Again, any basic cake recipe will work.

It's easy to make cake in a bowl: Use your favorite cake recipe and bake it in a bowl instead of a pan.

And Choose Your Favorite Frosting Recipe, Too

Just as any cake recipe will work, any frosting recipe will work to top a cake in a bowl. You’ll just have to decide if you want to put frosting on the top of the cake while it’s still in the bowl – or if you’ll want to remove the cake from the bowl and put it on the “dome” part of the cake.

Choose your favorite frosting recipe or try one of these:

Remember to let the cake cool to room temperature before frosting.

Recipe Details

How much cake batter to use: This depends on the recipe you are using. This wacky cake recipe that I made didn’t rise much, so my cakes turned out more dense. A cake mix will generally turn out to be more of a fluffy cake. Keep your recipe in mind. As a general rule, you can fill each bowl sprayed with cooking spray 2/3 full (or less, if desired) and bake for an appropriate amount of time (use a toothpick to test cake). 

What cake recipe to use: Again, you can use any kind of cake batter to make a cake in a bowl: A cake mix or your favorite cake recipe. 

How many bowls to use: This is flexible. You could put all of the cake batter in one large bowl, or divide it into several bowls. I made two medium-sized cakes and one small cake out of one cake recipe. 

How long to bake the cakes: This is where you will have to be flexible with your baking. If the bowls are different sizes, or if there is an uneven amount of cake batter in each bowl, the baking time will vary. Just keep an eye on the cakes, use a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake to test for doneness – and keep in mind that the bigger cakes will require a longer cook time than the smaller ones.

Can I mix the cake and bake the cake in the same bowl? Not exactly. If you’re looking to make a one-bowl chocolate cake, for example, you’ll want to mix up the cake in one bowl and pour the batter into a bowl sprayed with cooking spray (or coated in butter or oil). If you simply mix the batter in the bowl and stick it in the oven, the cake may stick to the bowl – and maybe that’s not a problem for you!

The shape of the cake: A bowl is not the same shape as a cake tin. So when you make a cake in a bowl, it will be more dome-shaped. 

Cake in a bowl: A unique way to bake a cake. Perfect for giving away as a gift.

Are There Other Kinds Of Cake In A Bowl?

Mug cakes: Microwaved mug cakes are super fun to make. They’re typically mixed up and cooked in the same microwave-safe mug, hence the name. They’re small, making and they’re a great option if you are looking for 1 or 2 servings of cake. Here are some of my favorite mug cake recipes:

You can also make a punch bowl cake, which is a dessert involving layers of ingredients in a punch bowl, including cake squares, vanilla pudding, pie filling, and whipped cream. Check out this easy recipe.

Believe it or not, this isn’t the first bowl dessert I have made: I previous made a pie in a bowl.

Pie in a bowl: Did you know that you can make pie in an ovenproof bowl? Believe it!


Learn how to make cake in a bowl: Perfect for giving away - no need to return the cake pan!

Cake In A Bowl


  • Your favorite cake recipe (or a boxed cake mix)
  • Your favorite cake frosting recipe (or store-bought frosting)


  1. Prepare cake batter according to recipe - or according to instructions on the cake mix box.
  2. Prepare your bowls: Make sure each bowl is oven-safe. Spray with nonstick cooking spray - or rub the inside of the bowl generously with butter or oil.
  3. Distribute batter among bowls. There doesn't need to be an even amount of batter in each bowl - but note that baking time will vary depending on the size of the bowl and amount of cake batter in each bowl.
  4. Bake at 350F - or according to the recipe. Watch cakes closely. Use a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake to check for doneness.
  5. Remove bowls from oven and allow to cool in the bowl before adding the frosting - or removing the cake from the bowl and adding frosting.

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