If You Love Chocolate Cake, Wait Until You See This Easy Recipe – CNET
This story is part of Try This , CNET’s collection of simple tips to improve your life, fast.
Let’s be honest. Who doesn’t love a warm, gooey chocolate cake ? I certainly do, and there may be no better excuse to indulge than on National Chocolate Cake Day. If you’re looking for a sweet, simple dessert that tastes way better than that box of cookies you keep in the back of your pantry, say no more. Let me introduce you to the five-minute mug cake.
There are three main reasons to love the humble mug cake. First, it takes five minutes. Second, you prepare, bake and eat it in a coffee cup, so you can make a quick, single-serve cake when you don’t want to wash a ton of dirty dishes. Third, cup cakes are an ingenious shortcut for people without an oven in order to cook tasty baked goods at home, since all you need is a microwave.
I only recently graduated to an apartment with a conventional oven. Before that, We lived in a tiny college dorm and then a New York apartment, both sans ovens. Before I caved in and bought a toaster oven , I was able to turn out good chocolate and peanut butter mug cakes in my microwave.
Whether you’re looking for a hassle-free delicacy or an oven-less cake recipe, here’s how to make a chocolate cake in a coffee cup that’ll satisfy your cravings. I’ve also included a few ways to modify this recipe, if you have dairy- or egg-related dietary restrictions. You can also easily make mug cakes gluten-free by using gluten-free flour blends you buy or make from scratch .
@cnetdotcom Cake in a cup doesn’t get better than this. #baking #chocolatecake #cakeinamug #bakingtok #trythis #lifehack #bakinghack ♬ Celebrate the Good Times – Mason
Chocolate mug cake recipe
During my tenure making mug cakes, I actually experimented with recipes from the Food Network , New York Times , Allrecipes and Tasty to uncover the simplest way to make a delicious chocolate mug cake — one that requires minimal time and skill to prepare, and with ingredients you likely have on hand.
A lot of recipes look fairly similar to the one below, with the main ingredients being flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, milk, oil and an egg. Some recipes, however , called for less common ingredients that you may not have in your pantry, like chocolate hazelnut spread. Others even called for butter (instead of vegetable oil), which required a separate cup to melt within and some skill to avoid scrambling your egg when it’s hot. I tried to keep this one simple by sticking to pantry basics and oil, which is easier to incorporate and helps keep this particular quick-cook cake moist.
For a basic chocolates mug cake recipe, all you’ll need are these staples:
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3 to 4 tablespoons sugar (depending on how sweet you want your cake to be)
- 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
- ¼ teaspoons cooking powder
- A pinch of salt
- 3 tablespoons milk
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- A few drops vanilla extract
- Chocolate chips to taste (optional, but if you have them, I recommend)
1 . Add flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt to a standard-size (12-ounce) microwave-safe mug. Note that if you are using a smaller cup, your cake may rise and spill over the rim. Mix thoroughly with a fork until ingredients are well combined.
2 . To the same mug, add the milk, vegetable oil, vanilla plus an egg. Whisk all the ingredients together with a shell until the mixture is homogeneous and free of lumps. Stir in chocolate chips, if desired.
3 . Microwave your own mug cake uncovered for 90 seconds. Allow the wedding cake to cool for a few minutes before eating — trust me, it gets hot!
4 . Top the mug dessert with more chocolate chips as desired, powdered sugar or even ice cream, and enjoy.
How to make your cup cake dairy- and egg-free
Whether you choose to omit dairy and eggs from your diet or have allergies, you can easily hack a mug cake recipe to exclude milk or eggs.
For the formula above, simply replace the egg with an extra tablespoon of oil. It’s important to note, however , that this does affect the texture of the cake, and it will not rise as much while cooking. To make the recipe dairy-free, simply use a milk alternative such as almond milk, oat milk or soy dairy. The results are just as good.
How does a microwave cook the cake?
The microwave’s history can be traced back to 1955, when the appliance was first introduced for home kitchens , but the mug cake’s lineage is less clear. One of the earlier references to a microwavable dessert cooked in an espresso cup surfaced in a 2009 YouTube video titled ” The most dangerous cake in the world . ” The woman in the video skeptically tries a recipe from her neighbor, and she concludes that it’s “dangerous” because you can have a moist wedding cake ready in less than five minutes any time of day.
Microwaves use super-speedy electromagnetic waves to cook the food item by vibrating the water in the food. This means cooking a cake (and other dishes) can be done much quicker in comparison to ovens, which use gas or electricity to warm up the entire inside of an oven to cook food. A plus for ovens, however , is they can also caramelize and crisp up food, creating a nice crust on baked goods. For baking bread, this means the color and texture of your dessert will be different when cooked in a microwave instead of baked in an oven.
For more, take a look at the six essential kitchen tools to elevate your cooking , CNET’s recommendations for the best microwaves plus countertop ovens . Plus, what’s the difference between sheet pans, cookie sheets and cooking pans ?