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How to Make a Cake Without Ingredients

Home > Everywhere > School Holiday Activities | Patisserie | How To | Gluten Free | Baking
by Olga R. (subscribe)
I am a writer in the making with a passion for imagery, globetrotting and exquisite designs.
Published April 1st 2013
You can bake the cake and eat it too
Anyone who's into baking knows that sooner or later it happens: you're throwing a party, or going to a dinner, or you've simply set your mind towards giving yourself a treat. You find a recipe, you mentally go through the ingredients. You start the whole process only to realize you are missing that one vital ingredient that will make your whole deal collapse.

How could I have forgotten the flour? Or the eggs? Or the butter?

Flourless Orange Cake
Recipe by Yin Tang, photography by Mark O'Meara, vi

You can't get to the shops (yes, it happens. Say it's Good Friday, or there's a blizzard, or you haven't got a car). So there you are, the kitchen suddenly looks terribly desolate, like a circus after a show except there hasn't even been a show. Are you just going to give up? Weathered bakers and die hard cake-makers know better than that.

Sure, you could fall back on truffles, or mousse, or some other fancy French no-bake dessert. But sometimes you simply want some good old cake. The solutions provided below show how you can have exactly that.

Note: the following recipes have all been sourced from reliable recipe websites, and selected among the ones with the highest ratings.

No Flour

So the main thing that gives a cake substance is flour, right? Not necessarily. There are many reasons why people choose to go without flour in a cake, only one of them being the above-mentioned empty space in the pantry.

Flourless chocolate hazelnut cake
Recipe by Liz Macri, photography by Mark O'Meara, vi

The most popular example is probably the Flourless Orange Cake, but for those who don't have a passion for citrus flavours, the Flourless Chocolate Cake is an equally worthy candidate for your post-meal sugar hit. Also try a variation of the latter with an addition of hazelnut.

No Butter

You can find most butterless cake recipes when hunting down healthy baking options. Here's a great recipe for the classic Sponge Cake minus butter or oil. If you're in a more fruity mood, you might want to try the Mango Fruit Cake, or give the Healthy Apple Cake a go. You'll notice that this last recipe calls for macadamia oil - not your typical pantry item - but later mentions that plain vegetable oil will do the trick.

No Eggs

One sure-fire way to find eggless recipes is to search within the vegan community. Try out the Fat-free Vegan Apple Banana Muffins, plain Vegan Cake, or Vegan Chocolate Cake.

No Milk, Butter or Eggs

Sounds like a joke, right? And yet, someone's grandma was gracious enough to share her knowledge with her grandchild, who proceeded to share it with the rest of us. Prepare to be amazed by Grandma's Eggless, Butterless, Milkless Cake, which gets a whopping 4.5/5 stars over nearly 200 reviews.

No Oven

So, it's really not your day. As a final challenge to your patience and goodwill, your oven has decided to break down.

5-minute Chocolate Cake
Recipe by scoochmaroo, via

Not all hope is lost: you can still have a cake, thanks to the following ingenious recipes:

Eggless Steamed Chocolate Cake - Notice this one is eggless as well

Debby's steamed banana Cake

Ma Lai Go (Steamed Chinese Sponge Cake) - Ovenless, dairy-free wisdom from the Orient

5-minute Chocolate Cake - For sweet-toothed mamas who just ain't got the time

Also, check out Fauzia's visual walk-through of a general method for 'stovetop baking'.

As a final note, if you are an outdoors person, looking for solutions outside mainstream culture or simply developing a green conscience, you might want to explore the unusual world of solar cookers. Not a last-minute remedy perhaps, but worth thinking about.
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Why? Because you mustn't give up so easily
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