Quick Dessert - Mug Cakes: 2 Recipes


Mug cakes seemed to be all the rage during the 2020 shelter-in-place months.  That's when we first discovered these GREAT single-serving quick and easy desserts.

While you can find a ton of different versions out on the old internet, we've found 2 recipes with limited ingredients (and no eggs!) that we continue to enjoy.  I have absolutely no idea where the original recipes came from and whether or not I adjusted anything from the original, so I will give you the recipes as we use them today.

I've discovered that keeping a few pre-measured cakes on hand in the pantry allows for an easy way to satisfy a sudden sweet craving while minimizing the dishes we dirty while making them.  I rarely bake anything anymore as it's just the two of us and we don't eat enough sweets to warrant baking a cake, pie, etc., very often so these seem to be a great option.  

I've also found that putting the instructions on the jar makes it incredibly quick to whip it up.  And my husband can make his own if he'd like!

Is It Rubbery?
No, it's not rubbery (provided you don't overcook it).  If you've never had a mug cake before, here is a quick disclaimer.  It's a microwaved single serving "cake".  This isn't going to be the best cake you've ever had or the perfect cake texture.  That being said, we still find them quite yummy and a great little dessert (particularly if you include one of the add-ins).  

I melt the butter in the mug and then all ingredients to this.

Cooking Time
Each recipe comes with a range of time for cooking.  You will need to figure out how much time to cook them in your particular microwave.  This will be a bit of trial and error.  Cooking them correctly is going to make a big difference in the quality.  If they are overcooked, they get dry & rubbery (if this happens to you add a scoop of ice cream on top - it will make it delicious despite the strange texture).  

**I prefer them slightly undercooked - it gets gooey and pudding-like (perfection!) while my husband prefers them cooked until a dry texture is achieved**

I started with the lowest time on the range of cooking time with each of the cakes and it was still too long with my microwave (which is how I know ice cream will save the day!) so I've had to adjust mine down.  I've also discovered that if you make the oil-free option listed below you may have to cook it for a bit longer.

Sugar, Flour, & Oil Subs
I have no idea if you can sub the flour with gluten-free as I have not tried it.  If you do try this, please leave a comment and let us know whether or not it worked out.  

I'm sure you can sub the granulated sugar and light brown sugar with other sugars, however, again, I have not tried this.  Reducing the sugar, if you find it too sweet, turns out just fine.

You can sub the oil with just about any oil or butter (if it's a solid oil or butter, melt it first. To minimize the dirty dishes, melt it in your mug before adding the other ingredients.).  If you want to make an oil-free version, I've found that using 1 Tablespoon of nut or seed butter + additional milk (to make up for how much oil/butter is called for) works.  This still makes it calorie dense, however, does make it oil-free (and delicious!).

Preparing Mug Cakes For The Pantry
In order to make a small batch of these cakes to store in the pantry, pre-measure the dry ingredients into jars and include instructions of the measurements and ingredients to be added when ready to cook as well as microwave time.

Once we are down to just a few jars in the pantry I'll take the clean jars, line them up on the counter, and measure out all of the ingredients into each of the jars.  I've already pre-labeled the jars with wet ingredients to be added when ready to cook and cooking times, so I put the lids on and they are ready to be added back to the pantry.

Now, on to the recipes!

I cooked this one in a small bowl so you could see it.  Includes mini chocolate chips!

Chocolate Mug Cake
Dry Ingredients:
3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 Tablespoon cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla powder (**if using liquid extract, add 1 teaspoon during wet ingredients)
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
pinch salt, optional

Wet Ingredients (to be added right before cooking):
3 Tablespoons milk
2 Tablespoons oil
**add vanilla here if using a liquid extract**

In a mug, measure out all dry ingredients.  Whisk.  Whisk in milk and oil.  Microwave on high approx. 40-60 seconds.  (may take longer, depending on your microwave)  Top should be firm to the touch.

Optional add-ins:
Chocolate Chips (mini works best - added after whisking and before cooking)
Peanut Butter or Nut Butter (1 Tablespoon added to the center after whisking and before cooking)
Cream Cheese (1 Tablespoon added to the center after whisking and before cooking)

Optional topping:
Ice Cream or Whipped Cream

Shown just slightly undercooked - gooey and delicious!!
Cinnamon Roll Mug Cake
Dry Ingredients:
3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla powder (**if using liquid vanilla extract, add 1/2 teaspoon with liquid ingred.)

Wet Ingredients (to be added right before cooking):
3 Tablespoons milk
3 Tablespoons melted butter
**add vanilla extract here if using liquid instead of powder**

In a mug, melt butter in the microwave.  Measure out all dry ingredients and whisk into the butter.  Whisk in milk.  Microwave on high approx. 45-60 seconds (may take longer depending on your microwave).  Top should be firm to the touch.

Optional topping:
Ice Cream or Whipped Cream