Wednesday, May 6, 2009

1-2-3 Chocolate Microwave Mug Cake

Calling all Chocoholics! I will stop at nothing to bring you a fix! Last month I received an email "forward" from my brother-in-law with a recipe for a 5 Minute Chocolate Microwave Mug Cake. My first reaction as a long time baker was suspicious, but the concept was intriguing. The recipe kept buzzing around my head and I thought, what the heck, I'll just try it. My suspicion came back and I wanted opinions first, so I "googled" it. Wh-o-a....bad reviews from everyone. OK, so I won't try it. Well, sometimes I can drive myself crazy by not letting go of an idea. I made it and, you know, they were brought a whole new meaning to rubbery...and bad tasting. Now I had a challenge before me. There had to be a way to make this work. So many people work in offices and schools, live in dorms or have minimal kitchens, but have microwaves. You may just want a quick fix of chocolate cake without a big production, so I had an obligation to solve this dilemma. I won't even go into how many times I tested this recipe, but I think my next blog may have to be on the best place to buy elastic waist pants! I will lovingly give you the outcome of my recipe testing with a few caveats. Microwaves have different power. Since I never bought into the bigger is better philosophy, I have a fifteen year old 650 watt microwave, so you'll have to gauge your cooking time on that. I also don't like food to be cloyingly sweet, so I have a light hand with the sugar. One of the points of this cake is to make it with ingredients that are easy and accessible, so I used plain Egg Whites in a carton and canned whipped cream (gasp!). Whipped cream is a must with this cake...take a bite, squirt on some more whipped cream...take a bite...repeat until finished! So if you're game, give this a try and let me know how it comes out. The worst thing that can happen is that you have a new brown rubber ball to play with or...some attractive new stretchy pants!

1-2-3 Chocolate Microwave Mug Cake

3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
2-3 tablespoons sugar (according to desired sweetness)
1 tablespoon flour
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons vegetable oil, such as canola
3 tablespoons egg white or plain Egg Whites in a carton
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon chocolate chips

*As a variation, substitute almond extract for the vanilla.
Also, you can change the chocolate chips to any flavor chips you'd like.

In a 1-1 1/2 cup microwave safe mug, blend cocoa, sugar, and flour together.
Add milk, oil, egg white and vanilla. Stir vigorously for 2 minutes, (or until you've sung Happy Birthday 6 times!) making sure to get all ingredients incorporated. Sprinkle chocolate chips on top, if desired. Bake in microwave for 2 minutes. Check to make sure it is cooked on the bottom by lifting it a little with a spoon. If it is runny, cook 10 seconds more at a time until done. Do not overcook, as it will be rubbery. It puffs up and may overflow, but that is OK, it deflates somewhat as it cools. You want the texture to be moist and slightly undercooked. Let cool until just warm and serve with whipped cream squirted fresh from the can.
Serves one.

Download 1-2-3 Chocolate Microwave Mug Cake (pdf)

Written and photographed by Diane.

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La Table De Nana said...

Good for you for bringing us IMPROVEMENT:) I never made it because of the reviews..I will now! Your presentation is gorgeous.I love the can:) It stages well..

Thibeault's Table said...

Wow, wouldn't a cup of cake be great for breakfast. Better not show that to Moe.


katy said...

this is a great recipe to have in hand when someone (erm, me) wants (needs) a quick chocolate fix!

question though: about how many large eggs would i need to crack to get enough egg white?

thanks for sharing!!!

2 Stews said...

Katy...One large egg white equals about 1/4 cup, which is 4 tablespoons. Of course, this amount varies from egg to egg. Being the thrifty person I am, I don't like throwing away the egg yolk and unused egg white. I use the packaged carton of egg whites, because this is something that can be portable and easily measured. I found using the whole egg gave the cake a rubbery consistency. Good Luck...hope this helps! If you have any other questions, please ask :-)

Lori (All That Splatters) said...

Now I just need a microwave version of Creme Anglaise to use up that leftover yolk and serve with my cup-a-cake! I'm impressed you stuck with it to improve the recipe. I just received the original recipe from a friend in California and also saw the negative reviews. Good job!

Amanda said...

A local radio host cooked this on the air the other day. He described it as "spongy" and "in desperate need of ice cream!" I admire your dedication to making it better. :)

Pearl said...

microwave? wow!

kelly said...

i played with this recipe too, and ended up using LOTS of good (miscellaneous) chocolate, and cutting the baking time by half, so it was barely cooked around the edges of the cup and lava-y on the inside.

here's the recipe from my blog:

Kristina said...

Just made this with my roommate. It's great! We topped it with raspberry sorbet instead of the whipped cream...tasty combo!

Anonymous said...

OMG...this reminds me of college, late nights on the phone ans study breaks!!! Looks delish...I really don't think anyone can go wrong with the microwave cake!

Anonymous said...

This looks delicious!Quick and easy dessert :)Hope you wont mind but I'd love to guide Foodista readers to your site, just add this little widget here to this post and it's all set to go, Thanks! -

a quiet life said...

what a great post! you totally crack me up too~ i am afraid to have chocolate so readily accessible now too! love all your pics~

Elena Bruno said...

Hi! thank you very much for your recipe of Chocolate Filled Eggs :-)
Ciao from Italy!

oneordinaryday said...

Good for you for improving the original. My kids and I made a version of this a couple weeks ago and it was rubbery and the mugs were impossible to clean afterwards. Yours sounds much better.

the decorated cookie said...

This is pure genius! Can't wait to try this. I also posted a link on my edible crafts column (

Unknown said...

i ended up with a rubbery mass the first time round. but adjusted the cooking time to a minute and 10 seconds on my microwave and ended up with chocolatey goodness. it seems like a chocolate pudding more thana cake though..

ExpatMom said...

Wow! This is a huge change on the iffy recipe I've been using. I'm in college, and it's really not practical for me to bake a whole cake for myself!
The recipe i've been using calls for all the same ingredients, but uses 4 tablespoons of flour! I've been adding a dash of baking soda to, in an attempt to make it less dense. Now I'll have to try the flour adjustment and see how it goes!
Another thing - I've found the texture improves greatly with about a tablespoon of peanut butter, even though you can't really taste it.

2 Stews said...

David...o-o-o-o that rubbery mass;-)
You must have a powerful microwave! That is the tricky part with this cake....microwave powers vary. Finding that perfect sweet spot of cooking time is crucial, but oh so rewarding!

Smiley...what a brilliant idea to add peanut butter...I'll try it! Thanks for the tip! I think I hear my microwave calling my name now!!


Caffeinated Weka said...

OMG - this is ingenious! I am definitely going to try it.

katze_kitty said...

I've tried the older recipe and ended up with a rubbery mass of...just nasty...

I'm really looking for a good version that works.
I have a problem though. is there perhaps a way for me to substitute the cocoa for something else?
Being 14 i don't really have much access to what my parents decide to buy =P

2 Stews said...

katze_kitty...I wholeheartedly agree with you about the "older recipe"! I don't think I'd substitute anything else for the cocoa powder as it would change the texture. If you come up with a different version, please let me know...I admire your inquisitiveness!


Anonymous said...

i love you.

Unknown said...

Would flourless version work with almond-meal? I'm addicted to flourless cakes! They're moist and yummy!

Unknown said...

MMM! I just made this - I wish I had known your variation *before* graduation. Ah, well, that's how it goes I suppose.

I used 1 medium egg white and half vanilla extract, half mint extract! I can't wait to do this with chocolate chips next time (we were out today)

Unknown said...

hi, this is a wonderful recipe, but is there a substitute for the egg whites for a person who is vegetarian???

2 Stews said...

Diana...almond meal sounds delicious...I think I'd give it a try. It just may work. Let us know! Maybe even a dash of almond extract with the vanilla would be good. :-)

Tiffany...the mint extract would be great!

gunjan...I'm not sure about substituting the egg whites as I've never done that with a recipe. If you have any success, please pass it on! And if I come up with anything, I'll post it.

Thanks to all!


Laurel said...

I have to give you props for this recipe, I made 2 mugs worth tonight and they were fantastic! Instead of whipped cream I ended up just pouring a little heavy cream I had over it (and yeah, I was just too lazy to turn the heavy cream into whipped cream, hence the mug cake). I got great comments on it though, definitely a keeper.

Anonymous said...

This is sooo delicious! I tried to make cake in a cup a couple of months ago and it was awful, and I tried your recipe today and it's so good! And moist! Yum! Thanks :) ;)

Lollie Dot Com said...

Wonderful work! I like the way you think. I'd like to offer you a challenge, how do we make this same thing only incredibly healthy and high fiber? I'm thinking unbleached whole wheat flour, sweeten with splenda, add some flax for fiber? Cut the oil to one tablespoon + applesauce... Could it still be delicious?

I'm a mad diet scientist, but no cook. I've lost 104 pounds with Dr. Oz, and workouts. I only eat delicious and nutritious, but I allow myself splenda. I sure wish we were neighbors. Cause I also need healthier muffins than any I've ever seen. :) And you are one very creative person. :))

2 Stews said...

Lollie-ext-5555...congratulations on your weight loss!!! I can't imagine how difficult it must have been. You are on the right track to just focus on healthy. Check out Mari @
She has some great healthy recipes. Also, a reader, "chocolate eater", emailed me with some alternative options using applesauce:

1-2-3 Healthier Chocolate Microwave Mug Cake

3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa (Dutch process is best, in my opinion)
2-3 tablespoons sugar (according to desired sweetness)
1 tablespoon flour
3 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon vegetable oil, such as canola
1 tablespoon unsweetened applesauce
3 tablespoons egg white or plain Egg Whites in a carton (not Beaters w/onion!)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
pinch salt (2 shakes from salt shaker)

Or, if caffeine kicks your butt as it does mine, there's:

1-2-3 Lower Caffeine, Lower Calorie Healthier Chocolate Microwave Mug Cake

1 1/2 -2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa (Dutch process is best, in my opinion)
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon flour
2 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon vegetable oil, such as canola
1 tablespoon unsweetened applesauce
3 tablespoons egg white or plain Egg Whites in a carton (not Beaters w/onion!)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
pinch salt (2 shakes from salt shaker)

I have not tried them yet, let us know if you sounds interesting.

Also look on my site for a low fat granola: would be fun to live next door and experiment away...I'll have to work on a healthy muffin.

Thanks! Diane

Lollie Dot Com said...

I love a good cook who feels an obligation to solve dilemmas! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you, Diane!

I'm on the way to Wally World to buy cocoa and I'll have a guilt free mug of nutritious, delicious chocolate cake before this day is done. :)

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Elaine said...

I was likewise challenged by the recipe floating around the internet, introduced to me be my mother-in-law. The idea of cake in a mug was intriguing, but the common, whole egg recipe didn't taste very good.

I came up with my own version that Lollie-ext-5555 may be interested in (try using Splenda, if you like), since it has about 7 1/2 grams of fiber in it and uses no oil:

Mug Cake

3 ½ T whole wheat flour
3 ½ T brown sugar
2 T cocoa powder
¼ t baking powder
4 T milk
¼ t vanilla
2 T applesauce
½ T ground flax
pinch of salt
3 T chocolate chips (optional)

I like to top mine with peanut butter sauce.

*P.S. Sorry about my previous post, I was logged into the wrong account.

Administrator said...

These cakes are awesome. Great way to satisfy the sweet craving without having to bake an entire cake. Much faster too. I have a similar recipe that uses boxed cake mix and instant pudding mix. The great thing about this is you can mix up the flavors.

Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

I just made this cake and WOW! I've made other microwave chocolate cakes before, but this one is by far the best! It's so moist, dark and fudgy. I added about 1/3 teaspoon of instant espresso powder to the mix. The coffee brings out the chocolate taste without really tasting like coffee. Also, a teeny-tiny dash of sea salt for the same reason, it enhances the chocolate. I found that 2 Tbs of sugar was quite enough. YUM! Thanks for the great recipe!

Cher said...

I just tried this, and it was great. My 950 W microwave took about 1 min 55 sec to get a moist spongey cake. I topped with cool whip, but it still seemed to be missing something. Ta da! It's chocolate syrup! With that on top, it was perfect! Thanks for the recipe, I may have to post it on my own blog.

Anonymous said...

This is sooo good! I have a 1000 watt microwave and only cooked mine for 1 minute, 45 seconds. Very moist and dangerously easy!

Anonymous said...

I made a ganache topping using melted Dove dark chocolate (4 pcs ) and 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream, melted in a double boiler and poured over the warm cake before cooling it down in the fridge...heaven in a coffee mug!!!

Anonymous said...

This was AMAZING. I have IBS though and chocolate is one of my triggers. I know - very sad. Red wine is another trigger... might as well make it coffee too and then I'll just shoot myself! :) So, any idea how to make this vanilla instead? Wonder if I could sub vanilla cake mix for the cocoa. If I try that I'll report back.

2 Stews said...

Anonymous...thanks for your comment...did you see my post:

Maybe that will work. I hope to test some other recipes soon, too. Standby!


Kelly said...

Diane, I'm the anonymous who wanted vanilla cake since I can't eat chocolate. Here it is! I was making COOKIES out of cake mix. Using a vanilla cake mix with pudding in the mix, you add 2 eggs, 1/3 cup veg oil, 1/2 tsp vanilla. Drop by rounded teaspoons on baking sheet, bake at 375 for 6-9 minutes. Set aside as much batter as you want for cakes in a cup (making cookies and cake helps you use up the whole box of cake mix). Using the "cookie" batter, put 2 tablespoons of batter in your cup, add 1 tablespoon of milk, beat well. Microwave (1000 watts) 1 minute on high. If runny, heat 5-10 seconds at a time to finish. It's sweet, you won't need frosting. :D

UK Foodie said...

Tried making something like this before, but it didn't work - was a complete disaster!

Anonymous said...

I made this using the healthier version. Except I used 2 tbsp of splenda/sugar blend, 2 tbsp of applesauce, 1 tbsp of raspberry preservers and NO vegetable oil. Everything else was the same. I have a very old microwave so it took 3 minutes on high to cook properly. It was very moist like a pudding cake and had great flavor! Thanks for posting this recipe! The variations are endless.

2 Stews said... are brilliant! Now, if we could only come up with a solution for the red wine dilemma!
Thanks so much for experimenting and posting your results.

UK Foodie...I feel your pain. That is why I persevered. The first recipe I saw was hideous! I hope you'll try again.

Anonymous...thanks for the variation. It's interesting that when you only make one serving, you know exactly what you're getting. When we make a full size cake, it just isn't so clear. Maybe sometimes that's a good thing ;-)

Thanks all..I love to hear the feedback!


Pemadora said...

This afternoon I gave a go at the microwave mug cake recipe I'd found elsewhere... it really was horribly rubbery and I'm so glad to have found this lovely blog.
I'll try this improved version and get back to you with the results. c:

Thanks a lot for the modifications!
The pictures are so beautiful too.

bea said...

Hi, i came across your entry, and though i haven't tried it yet, it looks real real good! i just have a bunch of questions though:

- does this keep well in the fridge? like for example, i make it today, eat a bit, then save some in the fridge for tomorrow, will it still be okay? if it's still okay, will reheating it retain its great taste as well?
- is there any certain size the mug should be? i can't really gauge from the picture of the mug you used.

hope you can help me out..thanks a whole lot!

2 Stews said...

Bea...thanks for the questions....yes, it does keep well in the fridge. I would bring it to room temperature before a very quick reheat. Any over cooking will change the texture. So just a quick zap will do it. I found that I always eat it all at one sitting ;-) My cup was 8 ounces.

Thanks and hope it all works out well for you!


Anonymous said...

Thank you. Oh my...this is wonderful!! I tried the other recipe before and got an eggy, rubbery mess. The egg whites are much better. I just used one large egg white and substituted one of the tablespoon of oil with a Tbls applesauce and it came out very good. I added a pinch of table salt it brings out the chocolate flavor. My microwave cooked it in about 1 1/2 minutes. I noticed on some videos they put the mug on the edge I put mine in the center. I know the microwave has more power in certain areas. I will try putting it on the edge next time.

Unknown said...

Thank you so much for this, it's delicious!
It really helps when you have a sweet tooth, but do not want to wait and have to make a huge mess!

goodwync said...

I've waited a long time to try one of these recipes. After reading your post on the subject, I finally tried it using your recipe. It was delicious! Too bad I discovered it the day after I signed up for Weight Watchers...oh well, I'll just have to figure out how many points it is and make allowances for it once in awhile. Thanks!

Rebecca said...

I have seen other recipes like this, but what intrigued me to this recipe was that you used egg whites, instead of just a whole egg. I just made a couple of these for me and my dad and he loved them! He is quite the chocolate expert and he loved it! I put a couple white chocolate chips in it, it was great! Thanks for the recipe!

Shaded Mazoku said...

I'm not a fan of chocolate cake, so I decided to see if I could adapt it for spice cake. Turned out great! Delicious and moist ^_^

2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoon flour
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons egg white
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cardamom
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

I like my spice cake with a lot of spice but I'm sure you could use less, or more, spice if desired, or other spices.

Thank you for sharing the recipe! It's perfect when you're a single person and just want some cake.

2 Stews said...

Shaded Mazoku...this sounds fabulous!! Thanks so much for sharing. I love, love warm chocolate cake, but know some don't. Have you seen my microwave cheesecake?

Thanks again for taking the time to share :-)


Anonymous said...

This was SO good! I made mine with English Toffee pieces and it was FABULOUS! Thank you so much for posting this

Anonymous said...

Oh i made it too once - But This one looks much yummier :)


Ash said...

I live in a hopeless little apartment without a oven or a stove so I make do with various appliances (like the microwave). I only had hot chocolate on hand. Just fyi, if you end up using hot chocolate, use an extra tablespoon of hot chocolate and a little extra flour. Also, it took me 5 minutes (but then, the last tenent did warn me about the cruddy microwave so that may have been the problem). Its unique. I like it :D

Durazna said...

I just finished eating my mug cake! It was AMAZING! I tried a few recipes before but I always founded to be dry, or brownie-like, or flavourless, or whatever.. but yours is simply soooo yummi!
I didn't have egg whites so I used one whole egg, I added diet milk :P and butter toffees filled with chocolate.. oh man, when I tried the first spoon.. it was heaven all I can taste! and I looove that it has a cake pudding texture! a total keeper!
Thank you for posting this awesome recipe! <3

Anonymous said...

AMAZING is all i can. quick, easy, no dirty kitchen and it tastes great! I will be saving this one and revisiting it a ton!

homegirl said...

im always bored at home and looking for things to do..easy things :D
this was tastes so good and light..

Sadaf said...

wow yummy, i must try to make this delicious recipe....

Kristina said...

Perfect recipe! I'm studying in Korea and it's really hard to find ingredients let alone living without a oven! So perfect and absolutely delicious!!! :D Thanks so much!!!

Anonymous said...

I tried this recipe and i will say that I was highly disappointed. The cake was rubbery, not chocolatey, and flat-out unattractive. It was a very nice idea, but it was not executed very well.

eileensideways said...

i made this years ago and i must have overcooked it. the whole concoction fell out of the cup and bounced, twice!

Manda'sBlog said...

This is delicious! Thanks!

Allie P. said...

Just made a couple of these! Seems scary, because I'm never sure when I might overcook it (the cake rising nearly out of the cup is quite dramatic!) But seriously delicious. The fudgey consistency I got was amazing. I also really appreciate someone representing on the not-too-much-sugar front. YUM! Decadent and great.

Zola the Gorgon said...

Oh dear, you had me laughing uncontrollably! Egg whites in a carton? Cream in a can? Unbelievable - and very, very funny :)

Lily said...

I know it sounds weird. But mug cakes are excellent when you need a quick chocolate fix. Thanks for another recipe to try!

Naxish Iqbal said...

it was awesomeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. i just loved itttttttttttttt, thx alottttttttttttttttttt:):):)

Lauren said...

This cake has a wonderful texture, but I would not use so much cocoa power and add more sugar (I used your max amount on the sugar, but I think I would still add 1-2 tablespoons more) and instead of whipped cream, I poured some whole milk over it. Lovely!

Anonymous said...

this was amazing! but i was wondering how much calories does it consist

Anonymous said...

I just made this and it was great. The only thing I'd do differently the next time around is use slightly less cocoa. I only cooked it for 1:15 and the texture was perfectly gooey. I ended up breaking up the cake and mixing 2 tbsp of marshmallow fluff and 2 tbsp of some leftover vanilla frosting from a jar I had in the fridge. Everything melted together and it was like heaven in a mug.

Anonymous said...

Wow!! I just tried it, its delicious!! Perfect for a snack when studying in the winter yum!

Megan said...

I made Shaded Mazoku's spice cake version of this. I used 1 medium egg white, I didn't have cardamom, so I used a little pumpkin pie spice and a little nutmeg. The spices were a little off, but it still tasted great. I microwaved for 1 min 40 sec - was perfect!

Thanks Diane for working so hard to give us such a great recipe! :)

Anonymous said...

Needs waaaaay less eggs and less time in the micro.