What's an unexpected secret behind making moist cakes, delicious crumbles, and sweet treats? A slow cooker! Let’s dig in and find out more.
A slow cooker isn’t just for stews, soups, or meat cuts. In fact, it’s almost like having a second oven. The best part? It doesn’t consume as much electricity and doesn’t warm up your kitchen like an oven does. Let’s find out the different benefits of using your slow cooker for baking and how you can get the most out of yours.
What Is a Slow Cooker?
Arriving home to a delicious, hot meal is one of life's luxuries, and a slow cooker lets you do exactly that. It cooks your food at a super low temperature, which in turn cooks the food slowly and evenly. The benefit? Tender, juicy and evenly-cooked food without you having to constantly check on it.
Most meat cuts, in particular, turn out super juicy and tender when cooked in a slow cooker.
Tips for Making Delicious Desserts in a Slow Cooker
If you think about it, what is an oven except for an appliance that cooks food evenly from all angles? A slow cooker is exactly that, and more! Therefore, using it for baking or preparing desserts isn’t such a bad idea after all.
In fact, there are plenty of recommendations for delicious dessert recipes baked in a slow cooker. Let’s look into the different tips you can benefit from to make fun desserts using a slow cooker.
- Make sure you have a slow cooker that's sized appropriately considering what you’re baking. For cakes and pies, we suggest at least 6 quarts of capacity. The same goes for bread and individual desserts. For baking muffins and cupcakes, you can fit ramekins inside the slow cooker.
- If you want to make a round cake, you’ll either have to use an insert or a baking dish from your existing stash. If that doesn’t fit in, you can add the batter directly into your slow cooker, but make sure it's floured and greased first or you'll risk the cake sticking to the inside.
- If you want to prevent condensation and vapors from dripping onto your dessert, make sure to use a slow cooker with a vented lid. Alternatively, you can wedge something between the lid and the cooker to create a small gap, but make sure the item used to wedge the lid can withstand prolonged exposure to heat.
- If the top of your baked goods looks damp, you can take the lid off of your cooker for the last 30-60 minutes of its cooking time.
- Later on, you can melt your sugar and caramelize it inside your slow cooker to prevent it from burning.
- You can bake cookie bars right inside the crock or in a separate insert.
- Make sure to use a plastic knife when you’re about to cut anything inside your slow cooker. A metal knife runs the risk of scoring the interior finish, which will reduce the life span of your slow cooker.
Benefits of Using a Slow Cooker
Now that you have some know-how about utilizing your slow cooker for baking, here are some overall advantages of using a slow cooker:
- No liquid escapes a slow cooker. While adding ingredients, make sure you reduce water by a third. This also helps create more nutritious meals!
- Slow cookers can be used throughout the year. Unlike ovens, they don’t turn your kitchen into a furnace.
- A slow cooker uses much less energy than a conventional oven and can often bring out better flavor in food.
- They help save time with preparation since all of the cooking happens in a single step.
Summing Up With Some Slow Cooker Dessert Ideas
If you’re looking for some dessert ideas — or what to bake in a slow cooker — perhaps you can make some strawberry banana pudding cake or a tropical peach crumble. Make sure to consider the design, size, and space a slow cooker takes on your countertop before purchasing it. And remember, the more advanced the cooker is, the more it will cost!