Microwaves: More from your microwave Microwave baking: How to bake cakes in your microwave

'Cakes cook very well in the microwave oven because they contain lots of moisture - so sponge and fairy cakes cook in minutes, and can be coloured with cocoa or a little coffee powder.'

Jennipher Marshall-Jenkinson,
Microwave Technologies Association

Microwave baking guide

Microwaves are capable of much more than de-frosting and heating up ready meals – they also offer a quick and easy baking alternative to conventional gas and electric ovens.

Combination microwaves – which use microwave energy, convection and a grill – are well set up for most baking tasks. 

But you don’t need a combination or grill microwave to bake simple cakes – a solo microwave can do the job.

All you need is a recipe, the ingredients, a bowl, a mixer or wooden spoon, bakeware - and a microwave, of course.

Our insider guide on how to buy the best microwave explains the pros and cons of the different types of microwaves.

Cake test

Are oven cakes better than microwave cakes?

Chocolate cake taste test – oven versus microwave

You can bake cakes in a solo microwave and their instruction booklets often provide recipes that give novice bakers a few ideas. But are microwave cakes as good as cakes baked in a traditional oven?

We put this to the test by baking chocolate sponge cakes in a solo microwave and an electric oven using the same recipe and batch of ingredients. 

We then asked the cake-baking experts of Thundridge and High Cross Women’s Institute (WI) to taste the cakes and tell us which one they preferred.

Microwave cake taste test

Oven or microwave  – which tastes better?

20 WI members tasted two slices of cake each without knowing which was baked in a solo microwave and which was baked in an oven.

There’s no fooling the ladies of the WI – 19 out of 20 said that they preferred the cakes baked in a traditional oven. 

They told us that the oven cakes were more moist than the microwave cakes, which were a bit dry – but none of the tasters disliked the microwave cakes.

So if you're making a cake in the microwave, to stop it drying out make sure that you don't over-cook it. 

And why not serve it soon after it’s been baked so it's nice and warm – but make sure you leave it to stand for a few minutes first.

You also might want to take a look at our reviews of stand mixers and food processors to help you save time when it comes to preparing ingredients. If you're unsure what type to get, then check out our video guide to the best baking gadgets

You can unlock all our reviews, from microwaves to food processors, with a £1 trial subscription to Which?.

Microwave bakeware

You can’t use metal baking trays in a microwave, of course, and make sure that your bakeware is microwave-safe.

Bakeware

Silicone bakeware is flexible and non-stick

Silicone bakeware

Silicone bakeware is the easiest option for baking in your microwave. 

Silicone is non-stick so you won’t need to line you cake trays or use cake cases for fairy cakes.

It’s also flexible so you can easily press out your finished cakes. And you can wash it in the dishwasher.

A silicone cake or bun tray costs about £10 at John Lewis  

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