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How to Bake Without an Oven [Cheap Ways to Bake Cookies and Cake to Perfection!]

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How to bake without an oven – Whether you want to try something new or your oven is temporarily out of order, you’ll be amazed at the different ways to bake without an oven! Baking using a gas or electric oven gets expensive. And many alternative methods produce excellent results without the huge fuel bills.

But – what’s the best way to make homemade cookies, bread, and muffins without an oven?

We’re about to look at the most fun and innovative ways.

Sound good?

Let’s bake!

How to Bake Without an Oven

To bake without an oven, dutch ovens covered with coals work the best! But they’re not your only option. When baking without an oven, surprising results can get achieved using a cast-iron skillet or large pan on your stovetop.

Cast iron cookware can also be used for baking food on a campfire. And it’s also possible to bake cookies in the microwave and cakes in a crockpot.

homemade sourdough bread baking with cast iron
Contrary to popular belief – you can bake without an oven! You can cook bread, cookies, cake, homemade stew, and even bake peach cobbler! We also found a borderline-genius stovetop bread recipe from Food Network. You can tweak the stovetop bread recipe to add homemade flavors, savory additions, or your favorite (or secret) ingredients.

Can You Bake Without an Oven?

Yes! We’re about to show you how! Luckily there are many ways to bake without an oven! Just a few simple hacks will help you bake cookies, cake, biscuits, or pie using equipment most people already have in their kitchen at home.

And if you’re camping out, we’ve got some top tips for campfire baking without an oven too!

How Can We Bake in the Microwave?

If your oven is out of order, or you’re staying somewhere with only rudimentary kitchen equipment, turn to the microwave to solve your baking problems.

This technique can be helpful for smaller kitchens that do not have space for an oven, such as those in tiny homes, RVs, and trailers.

Most of you will have heard of the legendary microwavable mug cake, but did you know that you can bake bread, pizza, cake, and brownies in the microwave too?! And it tastes okay! (Obviously – it’s not as good as fresh homemade pizza from the oven. But – it’s much better than nothing!)

Silicone bakeware is perfect for baking with a microwave. Silicone helps your homemade baked goods cook evenly. And it’s also surprisingly easy to clean.

The main difference when you’re baking bread, cookies, or other foods in the microwave is that the food will not develop the same brown crust you get in the oven. And don’t forget to cover food with cling wrap to prevent it from drying in the microwave. Use your microwave’s highest setting to emulate the heat of an oven. (Also, make sure that your cling wrap is microwave safe!)

Camp Dutch Oven Cast Iron Pre-Seasoned | Overmont

Here's the best way to bake without an oven. Use a Dutch oven instead! It transforms any campfire into a mean baking machine. Now you can bake homemade bread and cakes. Without a gas oven! You can also use it for cooking homemade soups, roasted meats, or heat a savory breakfast. The lid also holds coals - so you can bake your food evenly. It's perfect for baking off-grid, during a power outage, or at the campsite.

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04/16/2024 03:29 pm GMT

Can You Bake a Cake in the Microwave?

Most cakes can get baked in the microwave. And we’re not just talking mug cakes here! While making individual cakes in mugs can be fun, it is a lot of mess and washing up for just one small cake. So why not scale things up and try baking a full-size cake in the oven?

Most cake batters can be cooked in the microwave, although you will get the best results from a recipe including baking powder as the raising agent. Remember to keep your cake covered while it bakes in the oven to help retain moisture.

We also found a collection of yummy Betty Crocker muffin mixes for the microwave. The flavors are hot fudge brownie, cinnamon roll, chocolate chip cookie, and triple chocolate cake. Sounds good to us!

Read More – How to Bake Bread Without Yeast! 6 Easy Ways!

How Long Does It Take to Bake a Cake Without an Oven?

Baking cakes in the microwave is a super-speedy method, and a standard single cake layer will cook in just ten minutes at full power! 

(We found another yummy microwavable chocolate pudding cake recipe on Food Network. The cooking time is also about ten minutes.)

Mug cakes are even faster! They will cook through in under two minutes. However – we always advise that you read your recipe carefully. Sometimes, the cooking time varies. And – your microwave may have different baking settings!

hot coals for baking with cast iron
If you want to bake without an oven, you might want to cook more than homemade cookies! Luckily, you can also bake meat on fire using hot coals. We found more details on back-country baking strategies in an article from the NOLS University blog. They even show how you can bake homemade bread and muffins using nothing but hot coals and an orange peel. Crazy! And neat!

Baking Without an Oven or a Microwave

If you have a heat source, you can bake. Even without an oven or microwave! So whether you’re trying to bake on a stovetop or campfire, we’ve got everything you need to know right here.

Can I Bake on the Stove Top?

No oven or microwave? No problem! There are so many ways to bake on a stovetop. You’ll wonder whether you need a baking oven or microwave at all.

The basic principle of baking on the stovetop is ensuring the heat is evenly distributed, with just the right amount of moisture to bake the food perfectly.

You must take steps to regulate the heat carefully. We advise using low heat to prevent uneven baking! And to make sure that your baked goods do not burn on the bottom. But with practice, you’ll cook beautiful loaves of bread in your crockpot and delectable cakes in the skillet!

We found another yummy recipe on Food Network for baking without an oven! This time, they show how to bake slow cooker bread. Perfect!

How Do You Bake on the Stove?

The easiest way to bake on the stove is to use a cast-iron skillet. They can help cook thinner items such as cookies, brownies, and drop scones. Iron skillets will offer great results, as the baked goods will have a delicious crisp base and a light and fluffy center.

My favorite item to bake on the stovetop is flatbreads! When we don’t have the time to bake bread from scratch, I can have a batch of flatbreads sizzling away in the skillet in under five minutes. They are also great fun to make while camping out under the stars!

Read More – How to Roast Chestnuts Over an Open Fire! Homemade Baked Nuts!

Can You Bake a Cake in a Saucepan?

A super-easy way to bake full-size cakes in a saucepan is to create a mini oven that sits on your stovetop!

  1. Take a large saucepan with a tightly fitting lid.
  2. Place a small wire rack in the bottom of your pan.
  3. If you don’t have a wire rack, use a few balls of rolled aluminum foil instead. 
  4. Then all you need to do is place your baking tin inside the saucepan, resting on the rack.
  5. Pop the lid on lightly.
  6. And hey presto, you’ve got a stovetop oven!
homemade cornbread in cast iron pan for baking
Cast iron pans (with covers) are another genius way to bake without an oven. Cast iron can also help you cook homemade stews, soups, and stir-fries. We also read that cooking with cast iron adds 20 times more iron to your food. It’s perfect if you have iron deficiencies. Who knew!

Can You Cook a Pizza on the Stove?

Yes! We’ve made dozens (or hundreds) of grilled cheese sandwiches and quesadillas on the stovetop. Homemade pizza is no different! You can cook a pizza on the stove, and you’ll be surprised when you realize just how simple this method is!

All you need is a large skillet, preferably made from cast iron. Cast iron will give you the perfect heat retention and distribution to cook your pizza evenly, resulting in a delicious crispy crust.

If you don’t have a cast-iron pan, then any good non-stick pan will do. Wipe it with cooking oil first to help your pizza dough slide easily off the surface when cooked.

One common complaint about stovetop pizza is that the top does not cook properly, but there is an easy solution to this baking problem. Place a lid on your skillet to retain heat. And the top of your pizza will be bubbling and golden in no time.

Are There Other Oven-Free Baking Methods?

With a bit of imagination, there are many ways to bake without an oven! For example, the stovetop methods we’ve outlined can be adapted to use on an outdoor grill or campfire. So if you’re camping, there is no excuse for surviving solely on bacon sandwiches and other fried foods anymore!

dutch oven with charcoals for baking
Dutch ovens are one of our favorite ways to bake without an oven. The best-kept secret for baking with Dutch ovens is to place coals atop – and below! The idea is to heat all sides. The best source we found says to place coals atop the Dutch oven with one to three ratios. In other words – most of the coals should go atop the Dutch oven.

How Do You Bake a Simple Cake Using a Jiko?

A Jiko is a charcoal burner that can get used for creating everything that your standard oven would! The efficiency of Jiko burners means that it is perfect for baking cakes, although the technique requires a bit of time and practice.

Cooking with a Jiko is an art form that deserves a full-length blog all to itself, but fans of this method swear by the versatility of these little cooking devices!

The best technique for baking a cake in a Jiko is to use a large pan – called a sufuria – filled with sand. A smaller sufuria filled with cake batter gets nestled inside, and the setup gets cooked inside the Jiko burner.

yummy roasted peanuts on wooden table
When researching how to bake without an oven, we found a fun article from the University of Nebraska (UNL Food) blog. They talk about how to toast nuts using a microwave. And stovetop! We figured if you bake homemade cookies using silicone and a microwave – you may need a salty snack to go along with them. They’re not as good as roasting nuts over an open fire. But – it’s the next best thing!

Baking in a Rice Cooker, Crockpot, or Pressure Cooker

We found an excellent article on Today that reveals 13 baking recipes for slow cookers. It’s perfect if you’re baking without an oven. Or if you’re baking on a budget!

However, I must admit that this method takes a bit of trial and error, as the settings on every type of slow cooker, rice cooker, or crockpot are so variable! If you’re lucky enough to have a bake setting on your machine? Then the process gets simpler.

The secret to baking in an Instant Pot or similar gadget is to add a cup of water to the pan and use the metal trivet to raise the cake tin off the bottom. The trivet creates the ideal conditions to bake cake and bread to perfection.

Also – remember that all slow cookers are different! Always read the instructions of your slow cooker or crockpot to ensure it’s safe for baking! Finally – ensure that you get your recipe from a reliable source. And follow it carefully.

Read More – How to Build a Cinderblock Fire Pit Grill! Easy DIY!


As you can see, not having an oven does not need to be a barrier to creating some delicious baked goodies! Anyone can bake with standard kitchen items. Either on the stovetop or in the microwave. And if you fancy taking things into the great outdoors, there are some fun and family-friendly ways to bake on the campfire too!

What about you?

Have you ever made fresh homemade pizza on a cast iron skillet? Or – have you baked any sweet and savory goodies outside by a fire?

Please let us know!

The cost of electricity and gas keeps increasing! And we love to hear any cash-saving tips from our fellow homesteading friends.

Thanks again for reading.

And have a great day!

Read More – Our 8 Best Homestead Cooking Tricks!

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