5 reasons to mug a cake in 5 minutes

If you’re having a lil déjà vu and think you’ve seen the above photograph on a site or two, it means you’re following me on Twitter, and are privy to the fact that I’ve included this recipe when I guest-blogged over at Chai & Biskut a couple of days ago, and mentioned it on my other blog. Now if you find the photograph absolutely new to you, it means you must surely have a good excuse for not following me on Twitter you’re missing out on the easiest chocolate cake recipe.

And even though I find the name ‘Five-Minute Chocolate Mug Cake’ enticing enough, I understand the doubts the naysayers out there may have, and hence, here are five reasons I believe you should give this a try.

#1   It literally takes five minutes
And I’m not saying it takes 5 minutes to bake / microwave, but rather 5 minutes from pantry to table! No preheating of the oven required, because you don’t even need an oven; it’s all achieved by the power of microwave. Of course this is assuming that you already have all the ingredients on hand; I’m not about to be blamed if you’re going to take into account the time you travel to the grocer’s to get that perfect dark chocolate bar.

#2   It is versatile
Listen to your cravings and go crazy with the add-ins;– chocolate chips, marshmallow or even a piece of chocolate;– and you’ll practically be serving different cakes each time. If you feel a need to be healthier, just substitute the all-purpose flour for wholewheat. And if it’s your birthday four months late, just add a scoop of ice-cream after it’s baked. Don’t worry, I won’t tell.

#3   The ingredients matter
It’s not the first time I’ve heard of the chocolate mug cake, but I must say I was skeptical of the taste, since most of the recipes call for vegetable oil and cocoa powder, and being a chocoholic, I prefer a little depth to my chocolate cakes. So when I read Ellie’s tweet (and post), I knew I had to try it immediately, since the recipe calls for real chocolate and butter. And of course I had to throw in a little cinnamon for good measure, and that extra ‘kick’.

#4   No fuss over serving
While I definitely appreciate great food styling and presentation when dining, I have a soft spot for homely comfort food, and when it comes to comfort food, sometimes the messier the better. While it feels more communal digging for your share of fruit cobbler straight from the large casserole with your spoon, there is something comfortingly child-like about eating a cake from within your favourite mug, as you pull your knees together and lounge lazily on your couch.

#5   You are what you eat [from]
A mug cake doesn’t sound too fancy for your tête-à-tête session with the ladies? Then have yours in pretty dainty little teacups (just be sure they’re microwavable), and you’re good to go!

Five-Minute Chocolate Mug Cake
(adapted from here)

50g dark chocolate
3 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons plain flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons sugar
1 egg
3 tablespoons milk

  1. Melt the butter and chocolate in a double boiler. Set aside to cool.
  2. Add flour, ground cinnamon and sugar to a small mixing bowl, and mix well. Add the egg and mix thoroughly. Pour in the milk and mix well. Add the melted chocolate and mix again.
  3. Pour the mixture into a large microwavable coffee mug. Microwave for 2 minutes on medium, 1 minute on high. It should be cooked (skewer test comes out with moist crumbs), but still a lil moist. Remember, it will continue to cook while standing.
  4. Allow to cool a little, give yourself a pat on the back, and indulge!

195 thoughts on “5 reasons to mug a cake in 5 minutes

  1. the mister

    #2 It is versatile
    Listen to your cravings and go crazy with the add-ins;– chocolate chips, marshmallow or even a piece of chocolate;– and you’ll practically be serving different cakes each time.

    Hmmmm…. Cheese can? The stringy, yummy mozzarella kind!


  2. Ju (The Little Teochew)

    I know! I saw it at Ellie’s and I was thinking, this will be next! I’ve made it before, using Lorraine’s (NQN) recipe and it was good. But using REAL chocolate and cinnamon … ah, I think that will give more ooomph! Awesome shots, Z!

  3. Wei-Wei

    What about bacon? 😀 I think this is amazing. I’ve been looking for a way to use up that Lindt chili dark chocolate for a while now… this looks perfect 😀


    PS: I can’t follow you on Twitter because it’s blocked in China. Good excuse, no? 😛 I would love to, though.

  4. ovenhaven Post author

    Ju: Thanks, dearie! And yes, as much as I love cocoa powder, nothing beats real chocolate 🙂

    Heather: Not a problem! Thanks for dropping by 🙂 Hope you’ll like it!

    Wei-Wei: I’ll accept that excuse 😛 And yes, it’s a great way to use up the chocolate!

    306flavourcountry: Hope you’ll like it! 🙂

  5. katie o.

    it reminds me of some microwave brownies i made a while back. consistency was slightly different, (think easy bake oven), but the flavor was spot on. i’ve seen the mug cakes before, but i think i finally must give it a whirl. ps. lovely photos.

  6. Karen

    it’s such a good recipe .. but I don’t add some cinnamon, but next time I will give it a try.. sometimes I also add some vanilla-sugar.
    A tip: you can also use cocoa solids instead of the melted chocolate.. 2 spoons.
    And I break the chocolate in little pieces and add it to the mixture before you pour in the cup.

    But I’m addicted to this kind of cake ♥

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  8. Michael

    My wife is allergic to chocolate but I would love to make these for the family. What would be the substitution for the 50 grams of dark chocolate? Vanilla, other ideas?

    This is such a great, fun idea.

    Thank you,

    1. Gwendolyn

      I’m allergic to chocolate, too, so I substituted white chocolate (I used Ghiradelli)and also added 1/4 t. vanilla extract and left out the cinnamon.

  9. Amber

    This is very similar to a microwave brownie bowl recipe I make. So yummy (and also good half baked with ice cream). I’ll have to give yours a try!

  10. brownpaperbaggirl

    I love the idea of adding cinnamon to this recipe. I posted the original recipe on my blog a month or so ago. It is the perfect little lovely dessert when short on time or craving chocolate!

  11. Sihan

    this is soo awesome! and so convenient to put together! should make a romantic dessert for two on a stay-home movie night as . Thanks for sharing!

  12. shigi

    Thank-you for the recipe! I was wondering though… is there a way to prepare this without a double boiler? I know it probably sounds like a stupid question, but I know baking is an exact science so I want to make sure I don’t mess it up 😛

    1. ovenhaven Post author

      Hi shigi, you don’t really need a double boiler. I don’t even have one! I just fill a saucepan with water, and place a larger pan on top of it, making sure that the bottom of the larger pan doesn’t touch the water. Hope that helps 🙂

  13. volkjosh

    I love making this recipe. Our family has a slightly different one, but the results are just as good. For the record, adding some Andes mint candies is heavenly!

  14. TheIntentionalSage

    I love chocolate just as much as the next person, but I wonder if this is possible to heat up in a toaster oven rather than the microwave. Something about the ‘microwaves’ given off from the microwave make me leery about eating food that comes out of it.

    With Love and Gratitude,

    The Intentional Sage

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  16. Amy

    Looks delicious! I’ll try to create a grain-free version for us gluten-sensitives… using a nut flour, perhaps.

  17. pandabeara

    Omg, you just ruined my diet. It was only working because I convinced myself I didn’t have enough ingredients to bake anything sweet. This is great, I might have to try it. It’d make a great end to a dinner party.

  18. whuffie

    I’m going to go out on a limb and sound like an idiot, here. I’ve done the standard version of this cake before many times but this sounds even better. My idiots question of the week is this: “What does og stand for in the measurements?”

  19. Erin

    Gorgeous photos! I’d definitely going to try a “vegan-ized” version of your recipe. I hope it comes out as lovely and delicious.

  20. Malin

    I’ve been curious, but too sceptical to try this out yet, but you just convinced me! And eating straight from the mug is the best way! (My chocolate fondants never make it onto a plate… 😉

  21. Sarah

    This sounds like the perfect thing for when you’re craving just a little bit of chocolate. I bet it’s great in the summer too, since you don’t need the oven! I will need to try this!

  22. alglass

    I must say I had my doubts when I heard about this before, but your enthusiasm for good ingredients has made me rethink my reaction; I think I shall try it out after all! Lovely blog!

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  25. From The Pews


    White Chocolate…A Snickers Bar….M&M’s….how about a dash of Real Vanilla as well…

    Oh My! The things one can add-in…

    Thank You!!

    BTW, the best part for me, the kiddies already have it in a cup, it’s individual, the mess is cut in HALF! And yet, a Special Just For Me kinda treat.

  26. ovenhaven Post author

    Thanks everyone for dropping by! For those who are going to give this a try, I hope you’ll like it 🙂

    whuffie: It’s not ‘og’; it’s 50 grams 🙂

    shebamakeda; Michael: You can omit the chocolate and just increase the amount of flour in the recipe to 6 tablespoons in total, and add a splash of vanilla extract / essence, or you could try this recipe for yellow cake in a mug.

    rohitmaiya: You can try using an equivalent egg substitute.

    TheIntentionalSage: I reckon you could give it a whirl in a toaster oven using a safe mug, but I’m not sure of the temperature, and the duration would definitely be longer.

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  31. Jessica

    Oh man. I can’t wait to try this after my next round of chemo! What a great idea for when I’m just too tired to do much of anything. This will make my heart smile on those days!

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  36. Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets

    I was just looking at Ellie’s version and contemplating making it when I saw your post. This looks great and sounds so delicious and easy that I’ve half a mind to make it right now despite it being almost midnight. But then it’s such a breeze, what’s the harm?

  37. rosesandwaterfalls

    I tried this immediately! I followed the directions exactly (even looked up how many cups is 50g) but it came out sorta dry and not very cake-y. I must be really bad at baking.

    Any suggestions on how I can make it more moist? I’m thinking I’m gonna pour half the batter in the mug, add milk chocolate chips, then pour the rest of the batter on top. Do you think this will help?

    I have a photo of my failure up on my blog.


    Amateur baker,

    1. ovenhaven Post author

      If it came out dry, it’s either one of two: (1) your microwave temperature differs, hence the cake ‘cooked’ faster (my medium is 500W, high is 700W), or (2) you left it standing too long. It still continues to cook while standing, so be sure that the next time you make it, your inserted skewer comes out with moist crumbs, not totally clean. You could try making it for 1 min 30 sec on medium the next time 🙂

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  39. ratsindear

    Hey…..u have just answered a question and idea I have been wanting for a long time…i used to think i wish I cud get the quickest dessert recipe..nothing grand…but quick and to appease my craving…..now I have it…thank u so much ……..

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  41. RealRecessionista

    It’s got all natural ingredients so super easy to go organic. It doesn’t make your kitchen a huge mess. It doesn’t cost a lot to make (perhaps a dollar at most per serving?). AND it cures my chocolate cravings without undoing my whole day?

    Two words:

    Shut up.


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  44. Ajay K. Yadavalli

    Wonderful. I keep looking for simple easy to make recipes for cooking with my 6 year old daughter. I am sure she will just LOVE this one. Thanks.

  45. whuffie

    *Laughs at myself!* Ye gads sometime the way I look at things I think I’ve lost my mind… Small wonder it didn’t make sense. Thanks for clearing that up – and of course for the wonderful recipe!

  46. pieceofnyu

    Hii! wow, I’m impressed with this blog! I’ve got to confess I’m a chocoholic too, so I totally love ur blog! 🙂 and I’m definitely going to try this little recipe… only 5 min, amazing! 😀

    I’ll add u at my blogroll to see your newest recipes! take care!

  47. theatregrad

    Excellent. A proper chocolate cake in a mug recipie that sounds like it will actually taste good, not convinced by the hype over the oil and cocoa powder versions at all but this must be wonderful.

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  49. Michelle

    If I wanted to make two of these at the same time how much would I have to add to the time to cook them both to perfection?

    1. ovenhaven Post author

      I wouldn’t recommend making them both at the same time at all. Because the cooking duration differs according to the height and size of the mug you use, I’d suggest you try making one at each time, and start around 1min 30s, and nuking it for every 30s more if you find it’s still uncooked.

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  51. cake recipe

    This is one of my kids’ favorite cake recipe! They really love it! I even use their personal mugs (the ones they painted themselves in one of those ceramic crafts we once found in the mall). Well, I basically love baking, so these kind of stuff are what we’d usually keep ourselves busy with in the kitchen. You see, the kids love hanging out in the kitchen with me, 🙂

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  57. Crystal

    This looks lovely. I have tried a chocolate brownie in a mug before, but the real chocolate makes it sound decadent. I am going to be trying this one very soon.

  58. jpcabit

    This looks REALLY good!!!!!

    Although I find it hard to believe it takes only five minutes. (Remember: This from a guy who once took three hours to make a bad pot of curry…)

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  60. Melissa

    I swear mug cakes have made my weight go up by at least 10 pounds. But at least my enjoyment of life has gone up while consuming them. 😉

  61. grace

    you mean to tell me that i wasted the last two days not being able to eat this just because i’m not a twitterer? life’s unfair. 🙂

  62. Alex C. Williams III

    This recipe just made my bucket list. I have got to try this recipe! If this turns out well I’ll have to ask you to teach me how to make a great apple. I made an apple pie when I was younger and let’s just say that was a mild tragedy.


  63. chelle

    This looks totally yum. And I would love to try a no frills recipe, just you know, in case there’s ever a scenario at midnight I would crave choc and I can laze in my PJs and munch on this. 😉

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  65. yasdr

    I’ve tried your recipe although I used different ingredients for the cake. Since I don’t have a microwave and the oven needs serious cleaning, I used steam to cook the cake. Although it didn’t take me 5 minutes to get the cake done, the result was satisfying. 🙂

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  68. ophelia

    seems awesome! I love that it’s chocolate. simple. microwaveable.
    hooray to recipes like these! thks for sharing! 🙂

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  70. Taz

    They used to sell mug muffins mixture at my local supermarket, I only once bought a pack for the novelty and though they were fun they tasted terrible. These sound so, so much better, so I’m definitely going to try them!

  71. Lauren

    i made these using oatmeal instead of flour and added baking powder..it was perfect! very home-y and warm:)

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  76. Claudia

    No need for a double boiler as far as I’m concerned. Made this last night and simply nuked the chips and butter together, gently, in a 2 c. Pyrex which then served as my mug for baking (I folded the flour/milk mix into the chips/butter instead of vice-versa). MUCH nicer than a previous attempt w/ the oil and cocoa version.

  77. norieskitchen

    I can use this recipe for a cake idea i am thinking. I am going to cover the mug cakes with a terracotta colored fondant and make them look like pots…thanks for the idea…i was trying to look for a small enough cake pan for that project.

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  79. dayah

    Ive tried this before!! I love this, especially when I want cake, but I dont want to go thru the hassle of using a mixer and baking a huge cake!

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