Let Them Eat Cake

3 02 2013

Do you ever crave a homemade dessert when either you don’t have the time or the ingredients to make one? I’ll be presumptuous and assume your answer is “yes.” I have a chocolate cake recipe—given to me by a BFFL, Best Friend For Life (I speak Tween Girl)—that takes few ingredients and microwaves in three minutes. That’s right, three minutes! And here’s the best part: It bakes in a regular mug. It’s quick. It’s clean. It’s adorable. I think it’s just the right amount for one person wanting an adequate amount of cake, for two people wanting to share, or for a few people wanting a few bites of goody. It’s perfect for a cold February night.

Kevin and I usually make this Mug Cake after the kids are in bed, when we want something chocolatey but not an entire dessert hanging around the house as a daily temptation. Sometimes a child wanders out of their room and says, “I smell something baking.” Busted!

The final consistency is a bit different from a regular cake and it’s not as sweet. So, if you’re a die-hard sweet tooth, then try snuggling the Mug Cake up to melty ice cream, drizzling hot caramel sauce over and around it, or spreading thick frosting on the top. The optional chocolate chips in the recipe add a touch more sweetness, but they do settle onto the bottom of the mug. I haven’t altered the recipe enough to make thicker batter that might hold them up during “baking.”

Three-Minute Chocolate Mug Cake


4 T. flour

4 T. sugar

2 T. baking cocoa

1 egg

3 T. milk

1 T. oil (it can handle up to 3 T. but I think it gets an icky, slimy texture)

3 T. chocolate chips (optional) or butterscotch, vanilla, cinnamon, peanut butter

A splash of vanilla extract

1 coffee mug, greased on the inside (found that out the hard way!)

Add the dry ingredients to the mug and mix with a spoon or small whisk. Add the egg and incorporate thoroughly. Pour in the milk, oil, and vanilla extract and mix well. Finally, add the chocolate chips if you choose to and mix throughout the batter. Set your mug into the microwave and cook on high for three minutes. It’s normal for the cake to rise temporarily over the top of the mug. Remove your hot mug from the microwave and allow the cake to cool for a couple of minutes. You can eat it as-is or tip it onto a dish and add any extras that suit your taste.

One-Minute Cinnamon Roll Mug Cake


2 T. applesauce

1 T. oil

1 T. buttermilk

¼ tsp. vanilla extract

¼ C. plus 1 T. all-purpose flour

2 ½ T. brown sugar

¾ tsp. cinnamon

1 dash nutmeg (optional)

¼ tsp. baking powder

1/8 tsp. salt

1 coffee mug, greased on the inside

Combine all ingredients in a mug, mix thoroughly with a spoon or small whisk, and microwave for 1½ minutes.

If you said, “No way!” when you read this recipe, then you had the same reaction that I had. I made this Cinnamon Roll Mug Cake the day after my mom emailed the recipe, partly out of curiosity if it really worked and partly because my family can’t get enough cinnamon thingys this winter. The first time I made it, I excitedly texted a photo of it to my husband. Later, when he was ready to test it out, I had to confess I ate the whole thing for lunch. The surprise on his face confirmed that I should not have done that for more than one reason. Lesson learned.

It requires basic ingredients that we all have on-hand. I never buy buttermilk but always make my own for recipes. Mix 1 cup milk with 1 tablespoon lemon juice and set aside for a minute or two while you prepare other ingredients. Then, voila, buttermilk! For this Mug Cake, use the 1 tablespoon of buttermilk and put the rest in your fridge ‘cause you’re going to want another Cinnamon Roll Mug Cake later anyway.

Once it’s done, drizzle cream cheese frosting on top and sprinkle with more cinnamon. Or, if you are serving it to someone who does not like cream cheese frosting like I have in my house and shall remain unnamed but just became a teenager, then a cinnamon-sugar mixture sprinkled on top is scrumptious. Next, grab a fork and dig in—or learn from me and grab at least two forks!




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