Bread makers have unquestionably made every bread lover’s life a breeze. Sure, these handy appliances might not be a must-have kitchen essential but once you get used to having an unlimited supply of homemade bread, it’s hard to live without one. It’s not just breadmaking where these come in handy either, you might just be surprised at how versatile this kitchen appliance really is. But what else can you do with this little powerhouse, I hear you ask?
Most people don’t know that bread machines can become more than just bread machines. When I got my first bread machine, it took me a while to realize that I could do more than just make a loaf of bread. I started to experiment with different recipes and found out that I could make all sorts of things. In truth, I was very skeptical at the beginning “why would I make a cake in a bread machine when I can use my trusty oven?” Don’t let the name of this single-use appliance deceive you!
Here are 11+ other uses for a bread machine that I bet you never knew existed!
Other uses for a bread machine that isn’t bread!
Yes, you heard right, cake! In fact, it’s quite simple to make a cake in a bread maker. You might be wondering what is the cake setting on a bread machine, but many bread makers actually have a dedicated cake setting, like the Zojirushi Virtuoso. So all you have to do is add the ingredients to the bread pan as you would in a bowl and press the start button.
Depending on the size of your bread pan, your cake might come out a little small or large, narrow or tall. If you want to make a layed cake, I suggest slicing the cake into tiers once it has cooled down. But if you’re like me and just want a small snack-sized cake, then I say go ahead and eat it as is!
If your bread machine has a ‘cake’ setting, then you’ll find a recipe for it in your machine’s instruction booklet. The recipe the machine provides is the best one to use as the measurements will be designed to fit that specific machine.
However, if your machine doesn’t have a cake setting, you can use the ‘bake’ cycle instead. All machines should have a bake cycle that allows you to just bake whatever you are making. If you do this, make sure you combine all your ingredients beforehand in a bowl. Once you have done that, pour the mixture into a greased loaf bread pan and bake.
Check how long your machine’s bake cycle is and what temperature it bakes at as this varies from machine to machine. Not all types of cakes can be made by a bread maker, so it’s best to consult your machine’s instruction booklet beforehand.
Bread Machine Chocolate Cake Recipe:
Here’s a simple recipe for those of you who want to try baking a cake in your bread machine:
- 180g melted butter (3/4 cups)
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 medium eggs, beaten
- 1/4 cups milk
- 300g all purpose flour (2 cups)
- 210g sugar (3/4 cups)
- 70g cocoa powder (1/4 cups)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1) Beat the eggs and mix them with the rest of the wet ingredients in a separate bowl.
- 2) Pour the wet ingredients into the bread pan.
- 3) Sieve the dry ingredients together and place them into the bread pan.
- 4) Select the cake setting and the dark crust.
- 5) Push the start button.
If you want to try other recipes for cake, take a look here.
Jam is another delicious thing that you can make in a bread maker. All you need is some sugar, fruit, a squeeze of lemon juice, and some pectin – which is an ingredient that helps thicken the jam (optional).
The great thing about making homemade jam is that you can customize it to your own taste by using different types of fruits. I like to use a mix of strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries, but you can use whatever fruit you like.
The recipe I’m going to share with you is for strawberries jam, but you can easily adapt it to make any type of jam that you want.
- 3 cups sliced strawberries
- 3/4 cups sugar
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp pectin (optional)
- Add the strawberries, sugar and lemon juice to a bread maker pan.
- Dissolve the pectin in the cold water and add to the pan (if using).
- Set your bread maker to the jam setting and start it cooking.
- Check the instruction booklet of your machine for how long it should cook for and at what temperature.
- Once your jam is cooked, allow it to cool down before transferring it to a sterilized jar or container. If you want a smooth jam, you can blend it using an immersion blender.
It will keep in the fridge for up to two weeks. If you want to watch how to make jam in your bread machine, here’s a helpful video you should take a look at.
You’re probably thinking, how on earth can you make yogurt in a bread maker? But trust me, it’s possible and it’s really easy! Again, not all bread makers have a yogurt setting, so check the top or your machine or the user manual if you are not sure.
If your machine does have a yogurt setting, then all you need to do is add milk and yogurt starter culture or just yogurt to the bread pan to help with the fermentation process.
Here’s what you need:
- 350ml Milk or 1 1/2 cups (I use full fat milk but you can use any milk alternative)
- 50ml Yogurt
- 3 Tbsp Sugar
Set your machine to the yogurt setting and let it do its thing.
Croissants are one of my favorite things to eat for breakfast so I found out my bread maker has a recipe for it, I was ecstatic. These delicious pastries take a very long time to make by hand so if you want croissants quickly, use your machine to make the dough.
- 460g AP flour or strong white flour
- 250ml Water
- 2 1/2 tsp Yeast
- 2 tbsp Sugar
- 1 tsp Salt
- 2 tbsp Butter
You will also need around 250g of butter, 1 egg a splash of milk, and parchment paper or cling film.
- Add all the ingredients to the bread machine and select the dough-only setting.
- While the dough is being prepared, roll the 250g of butter between two pieces of cling film or parchment paper and roll it gently into a square around 1 inch thick.
- Place the butter in the fridge to chill.
- When the dough is ready, remove the dough and place it on a lightly floured surface and roll out into a rectangle 10”x12”.
- Take the chilled butter from the fridge, remove it from the cling film or parchment and place it on the dough. Make sure there is enough space around the butter so you can fold the dough over the butter, like a sandwich.
- Roll the dough out again, making sure the butter spreads evenly as you go.
- If you want to laminate your croissants, fold the dough again, place it in the fridge to chill for an hour, take it out roll it out again and keep doing this for 3 to 4 times.
- If you are keen to get your croissants in the oven, once you roll the dough out, cut it into 8 triangles and roll it up starting from the base of the triangle.
- Place the croissants on a baking tray and let them rise for around an hour.
- Once risen, brush the croissants with egg wash and bake at 200C for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.
Although bagels are technically bread, it is not very obvious that you can make them in a bread maker. I was quite surprised when I found the recipe in my machine’s manual and it turned out that they were really easy to make.
If your machine doesn’t have a specific bagel recipe, just use the recipe for the basic white loaf. Below is the recipe that is in my bread machine.
- 360ml water
- 560g strong white flour
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 3 tbsp melted butter or olive oil
- 2 1/2 tsp yeast
- Add your ingredients in the bread pan and set your machine to the dough-only setting.
- Once the dough is ready, cut the dough into 15-20 equal pieces and roll into balls. Use your finger to make a small hole in the middle to form a ring.
- Cover and allow to rise for 40 minutes.
- While they are rising, fill a big pot with water, add 2 tbsp of baking powder and bring to a boil.
- When the bagels are nice and plump, add two a time in the water and boil for 1 minute on each side.
- Place on a baking tray and place in a pre-heated oven for 30 minutes at 180C or until golden brown.
If you have a jam setting on your machine, you can also prepare risotto or rice pudding. The jam setting will cook for an hour and half so put a timer on as you won’t need the full hour and 30 mins to cook rice pudding.
Ingredients for rice pudding:
- 4 cups Milk
- ½ cup Sugar
- ½ cup Long grain white rice or risotto rice
- 1 Tbsp Butter
- 1 Egg
- ½ tsp Vanilla extract
- ½ tsp Almond extract
- ½ tsp Cinnamon
- Place all your ingredients in the bread pan.
- Press the jam setting and let it cook for 1 hour 20 stirring every so often.
Staying on the rice topic, you can also make plain rice in your bread machine. Add rice and water to your bread machine and set it to the bake or cake cycle and let it cook for an hour.
If you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, you can make risotto in your bread machine. The key to making a good risotto is stirring it often and adding the stock gradually, which can be a bit of a tedious task.
The bread machine will stir the risotto with the kneading paddle so you won’t need to worry about the rice getting stuck to the bottom.
Just use your usual risotto recipe and set it to the jam setting. It should be ready within an hour but put on a timer and keep checking to readiness.
A bread loaf isn’t the only loaf you can make in your bread machine. You can actually prepare meatloaves in it as well.
You can use any recipe for meatloaf and it should work with most bread makers. you can form the loaf by hand before putting it in the machine or alternatively, just press the meat mixture into the bread pan.
You are not wanting to mix anything here so just set your machine to the bake-only cycle.
Mochi is a Japanese rice cake that is traditionally made by pounding sticky rice until it forms a sticky paste. However, you can also make it in your bread machine.
The key to making mochi in the bread machine is to use sweet rice flour or glutinous rice flour. You can find this at most Asian supermarkets. Mochi involves multiple steps and it can be a bit of a daunting task, but your bread maker can make it in just a few hours.
Take a look at this recipe here.
You can also make scrambled eggs in your bread machine. Just whisk the eggs, milk, and butter in a bowl and pour it into the bread pan. Yes it sounds a bit pointless as scrambled eggs can be made easily in a pan over a hob, but if you are making scrambled eggs for a large number of people, the bread maker might come in very handy.
Set your machine to the jam cycle for 15 minutes.
Other recipes to make
Aside from just bread, there are so many other dough-based foods you can make in the bread machine, all you need to do is get your machine to the dough only setting. You can make pasta, noodles, pizza base, buns, and dinner rolls.
Surprisingly you can also make cheesecake in the bread machine. Find the recipe here.
My Favorite Bread Machines
If you want to use your bread maker for more than just making bread, you need a machine that has a wide variety of settings. It is not as simple as just throwing in cake ingredients to a bread pan and turning it on. Each machine is different and holds different measurements and has different bake settings and times.
You are better getting your hands on a bread machine that offers an array of settings that allows you to make cake, jam, rice, and yogurt rather than a machine that has limited settings.
Lucky for you, there are so many bread machines out there on the market these days and there is definitely one that will fit your needs. I have compiled a list of the best bread machines for you to choose from so you can make all sorts of different things in your machine, not just bread.
KBS Bread Maker
This bread machine has 17 customizable settings from your typical bread settings, to cake, jam and yogurt.
The KBS features a very sleek, expensive-looking exterior. It has a glass touch display and a large viewing window so you can watch your cake while it bakes. What makes this bread maker stand out is the ceramic, non-stick bread pan that is designed to make natural and healthy food.
KITCHENARM Smart Bread Machine
Have you ever come across a bread machine with 29 settings? Well, the KITCHENARM Smart Bread Machine has just that. Yep, you read that right 29 SETTINGS! This machine can do just about anything and everything when it comes to baking bread or other things in your bread maker.
It even comes with an automatic fruit and nut dispenser so your ingredients are evenly dispersed throughout your cake or bread. Plus, it has a 13-hour delay timer so you can plan your baking ahead of time.
What I love about this bread machine is that it has a variety of settings for bread, not just a boring white or wholewheat loaf. It has recipes for bread made with honey, beer, pumpkin, cheese, oatmeal and so many more. I also really like that that you can control each stage of the cycle to your exact specifications, including the kneading time, rest and baking stages,
More importantly, it has many settings that are not just bread. The KitchenArm bread machine can make cake, jam, yogurt and even sourdough starter!
Zojirushi BB-PDC20BA Virtuoso Plus Breadmaker
The Zojirushi might look a little outdated, but is one of the top machines on the market along with the Breville below. Most bread makers have one paddle in the center of the bread pan. This machine has two, ensuring that your bread, cake, or jam ingredients are fully incorporated.
Aside from regular bread recipes, you can also find recipes for jam and cake. But, what is great about this machine is that it can make so many different recipes that are not included in the settings or the recipe book. Just take a look at the website. They have a whole section dedicated to recipes you can make in their breadmakers.
This Breville BBM800XL has a reputation as being one of the best bread makers on the market. It has 13 settings, ranging from a basic loaf setting, whole wheat, yeast-free (cake setting), and even jam.
If you love nuts and dried fruit in your cake or bread, you will love the automatic nut dispenser. Another great feature I love about the Breville is the collapsible paddle. The collapsible mechanism ensures that you get a more consistent texture in your bread or cake without any holes at the bottom and prevents the paddle from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
The Breville BBM800XL also comes with a viewing window, so you can watch your cake or bread as it bakes.
What are you baking?
As you can see, there are many different uses for a bread machine. You can use it to make bread, cake, jam, yogurt, rice pudding and so much. If you want to use your bread machine for more than just making bread, make sure you get a machine that has a variety of settings.
If you want to use a bread machine for more than what its name suggests, the KITCHENARM bread maker is a great choice. With 29 settings you can make anything your heart desires. It is also very compact so will fit nicely and snug in your kitchen.
The big question now is, what are you going to bake first in your bread maker?