Monday Morning Mmmm: Chocolate Cake in a Mug

It may not look pretty, but it is fast and tasty. You want to know about this recipe. (Also, use a bigger mug.)

I really like to cook. And I really like chocolate. But making a whole chocolate dish for just one person? (Because my husband doesn’t love chocolate and my daughter only gets “treats” if she eats all her veggies and that just doesn’t always happen.)

Not a great idea.

A couple weeks ago, Mark’s dad and brother were over for lunch. They were lamenting that they don’t often cook some of their favorite foods, because as men living alone, they just can’t finish a whole cake by themselves.

Um, yeah. Let’s just say I have the opposite problem. Or not. We don’t actually have to talk about it at all. But that IS why I was excited to see a recipe for chocolate cake for one on Simply Cooked, my blog match for the month with the Secret Recipe Club.

[That sounds fun, doesn’t it? Secret? Club? For recipes? Right. It’s as awesome as it sounds and more, so if you cook and blog about it, check it out.]

Chocolate Cake for One (in a mug)
4 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
1 egg
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons oil
pinch of salt

Spray the inside of a [large] mug with baking spray. Mix the dry ingredients in the mug. Combine the wet ingredients and then add them, mixing well. (For the record, “mixing well” sounds a lot easier than it is, especially if you happen to use a mug that is too small for this project.) Microwave on high for 3 minutes. Let stand for five minutes so you don’t scald your mouth, and then dig in!

My mini cake was pretty tasty, but I do believe I’ll add some chocolate chips next time. And maybe some ice cream. I didn’t happen to have any ice cream on hand, but I imagine a scoop of vanilla on this puppy would really take it over the top!

Simply Cooked is a great blog about simple, healthy, home-cooked meals. Sarah says that she’s a veggie lover married to a carnivore, so she’s creative in her cooking. However, she’s also a math teacher who happens to live in Hong Kong (and cook in a tiny kitchen), so she loves keeping meals simple. In other words, she’s my kind of cook!

Also, I can’t wait to try Sarah’s chocolate snacking cake when I have more time and more people to feed!

By the way, did you see my other Secret Recipe Club entries? You might notice a pattern (a dessert pattern): First came baked apple crumble and next was double chocolate pumpkin muffins. Yum!

Have you ever made dessert for one? (And I don’t mean a 9×13 pan that you polish off by yourself. In three days.) (What? You’ve never done that? Okay, right. I was totally joking.)


  1. Love this! I’ve seen recipes like this around for years but I’ve never tried to make one of them. My kids, especially my daughter, would get such a kick out of this.

    It looks great and I could just picture it with a big scoop of ice cream on top!

  2. This looks like a fun idea for kids. I think even my 15 year old would like this…bookmark!

  3. Definitely a fun idea for kids…looks great!

  4. That does look delicious!!!

  5. I love these mug cakes because they are so cute, so quick and so easy to make and they taste good.

  6. Looks wonderful and I love that it’s for one.

    If you haven’t already, I’d love for you to check out my SRC recipe this month: Cilantro Lime Chicken

    Cook Lisa Cook

  7. I had to laugh when I saw your photo – thought to myself, “Rookie. Your mug’s too small.” :-D I make this mug cake a lot. Cuz it keeps me from baking a whole one & polishing it off by myself in 3 days. And if you do it really right, the cake will slide out of the mug, giving you a log-‘o-chocolate cake. Which you can split & fill with all kinds of stuff. Don’t ask me how I know.

    Welcome to the wonderful world of Mug Cake! xox

  8. I have a number of desserts that I make for one! And chocolate cake in a cup (custard bowl, actually) is one of them. (Gluten-free’d tho) I’ve even sliced it in half and filling it with black currant jam. Fills a craving for cake quite nicely. The gluten-free world also raves about them as you can mix up the dry stuff and then just add water (if you used powdered milk) and egg away from home. Voila! Safe dessert for whiny children or cranky adults.

    Mostly, when it comes to dessert for one, it involved melted chocolate over various delicious items. Like, say, frozen cherries. Occasionally, I’ll make rice pudding for one in the microwave or a tiny cup of cannoli cream to eat over fruit. (I’ve got selected recipes in my soon-to-be-published cookbook about cooking for one *cough self-promotion.*)

  9. Making cake is a mug is a wonderful idea for a quick snack. I’ll try to tweak it to be gluten-free. Thanks so much for sharing the method and the recipe! :D

  10. I’ve wanted to try mug cake, but heard it was very dry. Maybe I’ll give this one a spin.

    Recently I made the “individual cookie dough serving” that circulated around Pinterest. It was not good. It made me sad.

  11. I did a mug cake for my blog a year ago, too.

    I love this recipe b/c it’s the ultimate one-pot dish. Mine didn’t overflow its confines, maybe I should have made the final photo prettier by covering up some of it w/ icecream or whipped cream.

  12. This looks really fun! :) It does look like it would be great with vanilla ice cream on top. :)

  13. This has been one indulgence when I wan t to treat myself home alone on those lazy days.

  14. I still haven’t taken the leap to try one of these mug cakes. I have visions of a brown microwave oven. I guess I don’t trust my microwave.

  15. Wait…what?? They CAN’T finish a cake by themselves? Really??? Damn, I could finish a cake in an hour!

  16. Mary I’m going to miss you in the club! So glad we’ve met, please don’t be a stranger. And feel free to come back anytime :)

  17. Jennifer Young says:

    I have tried this before, it is so so. Mine turned out a little dry and not sweet enough. I’m sure if I tinkered with the recipe, it could turn out better. I don’t really do individual desserts except the occasional jello pudding. But, sometimes I do like to make a batch of chocolate chip cookie dough, flash freeze individual cookie scoops, and put them in a freezer bag. Then you can pull out a few at a time for warm chocolate chip cookies anytime. Or, your husband could eat the whole bag of raw cookie dough when you’re not looking. I might know what that’s like…

  18. I’ve seen these mug cakes around but have never tried it. It looks so yummy!

  19. Oooo this looks so delicious! I’ve made it before but now I really want a cake in a mug! :)

  20. Perfect for the midnight chocolate craving!!! :)

  21. Sounds like it would be just the right bite for when the craving hits!

  22. Definitely perfect for those of us who don’t want to consume a whole cake on our own. No, I’ve never done that and neither has Grumpy. ;-)

  23. I’ve always wanted to try doing this. Yours looks real pretty. It’s going to be so much harder to keep the craving at bay!

  24. I’ve always wanted to make cake in mugs, especially so I could tell people I’m just drinking coffee with a spoon ;) Looks fabulous – love the drip down the side of the mug, photo!

  25. Thanks for trying out my recipe. Your picture at the top of the post is wonderful. The mug may have been a bit small, but the dripping chocolate is very appetising looking! :) It’s nice to meet you via the SRC.

  26. Oh my goodness, I’ve never seen this! I may have to let my children try this – they’ll love it. Thanks :)

  27. Built in portion control?! Yes!! I cannot wait to make this cake!

  28. I found a similar recipe a couple of years ago and found it so handy when we wanted just a little something sweet in a hurry. have to try your version.

  29. Sarah L says:

    I remembered seeing this awhile back and tonight had a “hankering” for cake. My husband is on a health-related restrictive diet and the last thing I need around the house is a big cake. This hit the spot! I probably over cooked it, but our microwave is more powerful than Superman, so I cooked it less than three minutes. I did mix it in a bowl (and wonder about baking it in a bowl?) which gave me more room and a spoon and bowl to lick. I also added chocolate chips and ice cream! Giving Up Perfect to the rescue!

    • Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect says:

      When I’ve made it recently, I have made it in a bowl. Somehow, I think the larger space allows the cake to get bigger…? I made it a few weeks ago and split it with a friend – and topped it with ice cream! Yum! Glad I could meet your need for cake!

      • Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect says:

        Wait. That sounded weird. *I* didn’t meet your need for cake. The cake did. Oh well. You know what I meant!

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