Baking is often touted as a complicated art, but it is actually possible to make amazing cakes in a cup or mug using a microwave. Cupcake shops seem to already be last week’s trend and one of the reasons for that has to be the rising awareness that if you’ve got a microwave, a mug and a few basic ingredients, you can cook up fantastic treats from the comfort of your own kitchen (or office kitchen if you’re hankering for a snack during the workday).
So how do you make ‘Mug Cakes’?
You can find creative recipes all over the web, from classic chocolate cakes to cinnamon rolls to gluten-free treats. Not only are there cake flavors and consistencies to fit every fancy, but these mug cakes can be whipped up in three minutes flat!
Start with a microwaveable coffee mug (or two if you’re in the mood for sharing), some measuring spoons, and simple baking ingredients. All of the dry ingredients, like flour, sugar, baking powder, go directly into your mug, reducing the clean-up time to almost nothing. After the dry ingredients are mixed thoroughly in your cup, add the wet ones, like milk and oil, until you get that smooth cake batter consistency. Then, go for it – get creative! Throw in chocolate chips, nuts, or Nutella in the middle for a molten center of gooey joy.
Here comes the best part. You’re ready to bake. The modern miracle known as the microwave oven is of course! Pop the mug into the microwave on high for one minute, no more, no less.
What’s the Catch?
Those culinary studs who’ve already upgraded their kitchens with combination microwaves know this kind of versatility quite well. But for me, this idea of baking in my microwave was truly a revelation.
The cooking time can be a bit tricky. Though most recipes suggest just microwaving for one minute on high, microwaves and mugs vary so much that you may have to add additional seconds. It’s advised to, if your cake looks like it needs a bit more time, do so in five-second increments. But most mugs are not fully microwave transparent, meaning that the cake tends to cook from the top down. But this just give you an opportunity to experiment with chocolate sauces or molten centers, which can ideally drizzle down the sides of the rich, velvety cake if you flip if over and serve it on a plate.
How do ‘Mug Cakes’ measure up to Traditional Cakes?
That question is one that you’ll have to answer when you try it out. And it’s one that depends on the ingredients you choose. In terms of aesthetics, most of the mugs you find at home are not going to result in cakes beautiful enough to bring as a gift to your next housewarming party. Those kinds of cakes take specially formed cake pans and dramatic icing inscriptions of ‘welcome to the neighborhood.’ Mug cakes are more of the style: I want to treat myself today. I hope you’re convinced to give this quick and easy method a chance! There’s no reason not to indulge.