Homemade chocolate cake takes time, effort and patience… unless you have a mug, 5 minutes and a microwave. This tasty mug cake recipe is simple, easy and can be customized to suit your sweet tooth. Chocolate Cake in a Cup, perfect for a serving size of one, delivers a big treat with a small effort. We like to eat it still warm, with vanilla ice cream. We're also not above "frosting" it with Nutella — or a scoop of peanut butter for rich chocolate-peanut butter perfection.
Can you really bake a chocolate cake in the microwave? An entire cake? Nope! But the magic of microwave cookery is in full effect for this single-serving recipe—it works great for one when you want a quick treat. If you want to double the recipe it'll work just fine, but you'll need to divide the final batter between two mugs and increase cooking time by 15 seconds if you cook both cakes at once.
Do I need a special kind of cup or mug for this to work? All the vessel has to be is microwave-safe, more or less mug shaped (i.e. not flat), and able to hold 8 ounces. And because the entire recipe is made right in the microwave-safe mug, clean up is easy and fast.
Does it taste the same as a cake baked in the oven? This cake is a little different, texture-wise. It's a bit denser because the microwaves cook the cake differently than the heat of a traditional oven. The effect is more lava cake, less birthday cake. But what you trade off in texture you get back in speed! What other cake gets "baked" in less than two minutes? This chocolate mug cake is the perfect option when you're craving a delicious sweet treat and don't want to wait 45 minutes.
Will it really rise? Doesn't cake need baking powder or baking soda? While most cakes require a helpful lift from baking soda or baking powder, in this recipe whisking the egg into the small amount of batter gives it enough puff from the air incorporated into the egg white that the cake still rises.
What if I don't have one of the ingredients? Is this a strict recipe? All baking, even when it's done in the microwave, is a more precise than regular cooking because of the chemical reactions involved. However, see the next two questions below for exceptions…
Mini chocolate chips? Do I need them? Must they be mini? You can leave out chocolate chips if you don't have any, but using two types of chocolate makes for a richer, more flavorful cake. Mini chocolate chips will suspend most evenly throughout the batter. But if you only have regular sized chips, stir a few into the batter and then sprinkle the rest across the top right before you pop it in the microwave. Some will sink, but not all. And use whatever kind of chips you like! Butterscotch is a satisfying counterpoint to the chocolate, as are white chocolate chips, or try peppermint chips during the holidays.
Do I have to use both brown and white sugar? Using these two kinds of sugar gives the cake a more complex sweetness and interesting flavor—and be sure to gently pack the brown sugar into the measuring spoon for maximum deliciousness (and accuracy)! So, for the best mug cake, use both. But if you only have white sugar, that can work too.
Is this safe for kids? Could a child make it? While it's always best to have an adult present in the kitchen, this microwave mug cake is an excellent starter recipe for a young cook eager to bake something by her- or himself! No hot oven or flame on the stove makes it a no-worry lesson in following directions, counting, and the wonders of kitchen chemistry.
Can I customize this cake? What if I want to incorporate some mix-ins? Go wild! Give a nod to chocolate's heritage— it's indigenous to Latin America and was originally cultivated by the ancient Mayans— by making a Mexican hot chocolate cake: Add 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon and a dash of cayenne to the dry ingredients. Or make a s’mores cake: Stir 1 tablespoon of mini-marshmallows into the prepared batter just before baking and serve with graham crackers.
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon white sugar
- 4 tablespoons milk
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 egg
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon mini chocolate chips
- whipped cream (optional, for serving)
- Mix all the ingredients together with a fork in a large mug or in two smaller ones. Mix for 2 minutes.
- Microwave for 2 minutes.
PER SERVING *
|Calories390Calories from Fat100|
|% DAILY VALUE*|
|Calories from Fat100|
|% DAILY VALUE*|
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.