You're going to hate me for posting this recipe. Why? Because it's chocolate cake made in a slow cooker.

Uh oh. But also, ooh la la!

Thanks a lot, Michele Scicolone. All we're going to do for the rest of the day is dream of eating this cake from The French Slow Cooker.

Queen of Sheba Cake (Reine de Saba)


serves 8


This cake is based on the famous Reine de Saba that helped launch my professional culinary career. While I was in college, I started to bake a version of this cake at home to supply a local gourmet shop and a restaurant in my Brooklyn neighborhood. Then one day I put a cake in the oven and set the timer. When I returned to the kitchen to remove it, the batter was still liquid and the oven had turned cold. Nothing could get it going again.

I hated to waste all of those good ingredients, so I improvised by placing a large pot partially filled with water on the stovetop. I put the cake pan on a rack in the pot, clamped on the lid, and steamed the cake until it was set.

I loved the tender, creamy texture of that steamed cake. My slow cooker does a great job of making a similar chocolate cake that is fit for a queen.

It looks great with just a sprinkling of confectioners’ sugar, but when fresh raspberries are in season, I like to arrange them in rows on top of the cake as a garnish. Top with either whipped cream or Crème Anglaise (page 223).



  • 4 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate

  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for the dish

  • ½ cup sugar

  • 3 large eggs

  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract

  • ¾ cup finely ground toasted almonds


Butter a 7-inch springform pan. Line the bottom with a circle of parchment paper. Butter the paper. Place a rack in the insert of a large slow cooker (to improvise one, see page 9).

Melt the chocolate in the top of a double boiler or in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. The bottom of the bowl should not touch the water. Let stand for a few minutes until softened. Stir until completely melted.

In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the butter with the sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time and add the vanilla. With a rubber spatula, gently fold in the chocolate and almonds.

Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan. Place the pan on the rack. Pour just enough hot water into the cooker so that it stays below the bottom of the pan.

Cover and cook on high for 2 hours, or until the cake is slightly soft in the center and set around the edges. Remove the pan from the cooker and let cool slightly.

Cover and chill for several hours or overnight. Run a small knife around the edge of the cake. Remove the sides of the pan. Cut into wedges and serve.

“Queen of Sheba Cake” from The French Slow Cooker by Michele Scicolone. Copyright © 2012 by Michele Scicolone. Reprinted by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved. Read our review of this book.

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