#LockdownLife: No-Oven Baking Hack + Atta Cake Recipe


I generally don’t like cooking but I have always enjoyed baking. However, I haven’t been that regular with it for the last year or so. Finally, few months after the birth of my second daughter, I had decided to start baking once in a while. She was sleeping longer hours in the night, we had fallen into bit of schedule and I finally had time to bake once in a while at least.

Though I had all my baking supplies and equipment, I needed an oven. So after a lot of searching, I finally shortlisted one that I felt would work as well as the last one I had owned and I placed the order.

Few days later – LOCKDOWN! I’m not complaining! I was very happy when the lockdown was announced. Our daughters and I had been self-quarantining for a week or so before curfew and lockdown. It’s the need of the hour and I hope everyone is following protocol.

But, that also meant my oven was not gonna arrive anytime soon. At the same time, specially since we have kids in the house, we stopped ordering food from outside and cooked everything at home. So how does one make desserts such as cakes without an oven?

Yes, I know one can bake a cake in the pressure cooker too. I saw a few tutorials online and the cakes seemed steamed plus some videos showed I needed to layer the bottom with salt. Frankly, I don’t wanna waste essential supplies at a time like this… even if it is just salt. Everyone puts themselves at risk while stepping out for something as simple as buying groceries. So the less wastage, the better it is.

Hence, I researched some more and found an idea that could work as a stove-top oven. I first tried baking an atta cake (recipe shared further down in the post) because I had a lot of atta and very little maida which I didn’t wanna waste incase the experiment failed. Plus I figured if an atta cake will rise, then any cake will rise! LOL! Not only did my cakes bake easily in it, we also baked pizzas and it totally worked!


Essentially what you need is a large utensil with a lid. I used a large tope with a lid. Inside that, put another wide base steel utensil upside down. Your baking tray will sit on this. The reason you can’t place the baking tray directly at the bottom of your large utensil/tope is because that will be the same as trying to bake directly on the stove and will burn the bottom of your cake. By placing it on an upside utensil inside the tope, you basically ensure that it gets even heat from all sides while baking. This tope will function as a jugaad oven. šŸ˜‰

WATCH THIS VIDEO to understand it better:

Switch the gas on and keep it on low with the lid covered for five minutes before you put your baking tray in. For a 6-8 inch baking tray, approximate baking time is 30-40 minutes. But since this is an oven-hack and you can’t regulate the temperature, I advise checking it after 30 mins and then every 5-10 minutes till your cake is baked. If you don’t have a baking tray, you can use a steel utensil as well. I baked my atta cake in a regular round steel bartan.

After that, I tried a suji cake and that turned out very well too. I will share that recipe too in a new blog post very soon. But here’s the atta one to start with.

No-Oven Atta Cake Recipe

PS: I used standard baking measurements.

Wet Mix:

  • 1/4 Cup (50G) softened/melted butter (I used regular salted butter since that’s what I had at home. You can use Ghee as well.)
  • 2 Eggs (For eggless cake, replace eggs with 1 cup yoghurt or condensed milk. In case of condensed milk, reduce sugar content.)
  • 1/3 Cup (40G) Powdered Sugar (I had regular sugar which I just ran in the blender. For a healthier version, use Jaggery.)
  • 1-2 teaspoons vanilla essence
  • Optional – Add 4 teaspoons of Cocoa Powder if you want to make a chocolate atta cake

Dry Mix:

  • 3/4 Cup (150G) whole-wheat flour/atta
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda (Or just up the quantity if you have only one of the two.)
  • One pinch of salt


  1. Grease a 6-7″ round or square tin with oil. Line with parchment paper if you have. Make sure the tin fits easily into your large utensil.
  2. Place a steel utensil upside down inside the large utensil/container (as shown in video) and cover with lid. Make sure lid fits well so heat doesn’t escape. Switch the gas on and keep on low heat while you prepare the cake batter.
  3. In a bowl, whisk butter, sugar and vanilla essence. Then add the first egg and whisk well. Add second and whisk again. You can replace the eggs with yoghurt or condensed milk if you want. If you are making a chocolate cake, then add the cocoa powder before adding the eggs or yoghurt.
  4. Now the dry mix. Sift the atta, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large glass or ceramic bowl.
  5. Add in the wet mix whisked earlier and keep folding in to mix the two well. In case the batter looks too thick, add some more oil/ghee or some water. The mixture shouldn’t be too runny but should not be too thick either.
  6. Pour the mixture into your baking tray. Carefully, take the lid off your large container that was preheating and place the baking tray on the upside down utensil inside. Carefully put the lid back on quickly and keep the heat on the lowest setting. Let the cake bake for 30 mins.
  7. Check after 30 mins with a toothpick or a knife. If only some crumbs are sticking, then switch the gas off and leave the cake to bake in the remainder heat with the lid on for another 5-10 minutes.
  8. Then take it out and let it rest for 15 minutes so it can cool down. Loosen up the sides with a butter knife and unmould or overturn on a plate to take the cake out of the baking tin.

Voila! Your atta cake without an oven is ready! I am not adding a frosting/icing recipe right now. Will share a simple buttercream icing recipe later along with my suji cake recipe post. But a very easy thing to do is to have the cake with a chocolate spread or jam. You can have it just like that as a teacake as well.

Hope you guys liked the No-Oven Baking Hack. Do let me know how does your cake turn out. I’m sorry I don’t have better (or more) pictures but honestly, shooting anything with a 5-year-old and a 4-month-old in the house is quite a task. And Karma was very keen to help me out with all the mixing and all. So I had zero time to click proper pictures. But I do hope the video and the instructions will be enough to make you give it a try.

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