The Ultimate Mug Cake

This is the absolute best chocolate mug cake recipe! Here’s how to make a mug cake in under 5 minutes that’s insanely fudgy.

Mug cake

Got 5 minutes? Let’s make a mug cake! We’ll admit, we’re a little late to this trend. But count us as firm believers! This genius method for going from 0 to cake in just a few minutes is absolutely worth a try. This Chocolate Mug Cake recipe comes out insanely fudgy and 100% delicious! It’s got a secret ingredient that makes a delightfully rich flavor. The hardest part? Waiting for it to cool until you can dig in. Here’s our tutorial: all you need to know about how to make a mug cake – and some variations for making it your own!

How to make a mug cake…in 5 minutes!

The mug cake is a viral internet sensation: simply place a few ingredients into a mug and microwave it! It sounds like one of those Pinterest experiments doomed to fail…only it isn’t. The cake comes out surprisingly moist and fluffy, with a fudgy interior. In fact: we prefer it to a traditional cake that takes hours to make. Here are the basic steps to make this easy mug cake:

  • Mix the dries, then stir in the wets. We designed our recipe so you have 2 tablespoons of all of the main ingredients. It makes it so easy to measure out!
  • Add mix-ins. Our base recipe uses chocolate chips. We have a few more ideas below!
  • Microwave for 1 minute, then about 20 seconds. The timing varies based on your microwave.
  • Important: cool it! It’s very, very important to cool your mug cake before digging in. Keep reading…
Mug cake recipe

Timing varies based on microwave

The timing for cooking a mug cake really varies based on the power of your microwave. Here’s how to make this easy mug cake recipe fit any microwave:

  • Cook 60 seconds on high, then check. It’s possible that your cake could be done now, if you have a high powered appliance.
  • When is it done? It looks cooked and spring back when you touch it. It will still look fairly moist on top. But if it’s super gooey, keep going.
  • Cook 20 seconds, then another 10 if not cooked. Ours works with 60 seconds and then another 30 seconds: but find right’s right for you!

Why is it important to cool a mug cake?

Here’s the other most important thing about a mug cake recipe. Make sure to cool it for 2 to 3 minutes before digging in. Why?

  • Cooling the mug cake solidifies the texture. Take a bite too soon and it tastes super hot and well, microwave-y (if that’s a word). Ever taken a bite of something right out of the microwave? Then you know what we mean. You can also burn your tongue if you’re not careful (I know from experience).
  • After 2 to 3 minutes, it’s solidified and still warm. Don’t worry: it will still be warm after a few minutes! It will be amazingly fudgy and delicious…we promise.
Chocolate mug cake

Secret to this chocolate mug cake: Dutch process cocoa powder!

The other secret to this chocolate mug cake recipe is our favorite ingredient for baking chocolaty sweets: Dutch process cocoa powder. This special type of cocoa powder is easy to find and results in the best chocolaty, fudgy desserts. What is it?

Don’t have or can’t find Dutch process cocoa powder? No problem: you can substitute regular cocoa powder! It still tastes incredibly delicious.

Dutch process vs regular cocoa powder
Dutch process vs regular cocoa powder

Mug cake mix-ins!

Another important thing to consider: how to customize your mug cake! The mix-ins in a mug cake recipe are important. They make the final texture and give you a little surprise on the inside! Here are a few ideas:

  • Dark chocolate chips: This is what we used! You can omit, but just 2 tablespoons chips makes a deliciously gooey texture.
  • Peanut butter: Add a dollop of peanut butter to the center of the batter.
  • Cookie dough: Add a ball of edible cookie dough to the center (room temp or frozen). Or try our chickpea cookie dough, a healthy-ish option.
  • Chocolate mint candies like Andes mints

Chocolate mug cake toppings

Last up: the topping! This chocolate mug cake is pretty rich, so you don’t really need the topping. But add a bit of melty vanilla ice cream and it’s heaven. The warm vs cold contrast is truly delightful! Here are a few more topping ideas:

How to make a mug cake

Makes 2 servings!

If you’re looking for a big treat, you can make this easy mug cake recipe for yourself and go crazy! But honestly, it’s so rich that I could barely finish it. Alex and I split one and it was perfect! So feel free to serve this up with two spoons — it also makes it a little more reasonable from a calorie perspective. But if you’re looking for a treat and want the whole thing: go for it!

This mug cake recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based and dairy-free.

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Mug cake

The Ultimate Mug Cake


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (21 votes, average: 4.05 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 2 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 minutes
  • Total Time: 4 minutes
  • Yield: 2 small servings 1x
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This is the absolute best chocolate mug cake recipe! Here’s how to make a mug cake in under 5 minutes that’s insanely fudgy. 


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons Dutch process /dark cocoa powder (or standard cocoa powder)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar (granulated or coconut)
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 pinch kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons milk of choice
  • 2 tablespoons neutral oil
  • 2 tablespoons dark chocolate chips (non-dairy as desired)

Instructions

  1. Mix: In a 12 ounce* microwave-safe mug, mix the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda and salt. Stir in the milk and oil. Add the chocolate chips and stir once.
  2. Microwave: Place a paper towel under the mug in the microwave, then cook on High 60 seconds. Check for doneness: if it’s still gooey and wet on top, microwave another 20 seconds, then another 10 seconds. It done when the top looks cooked and springs back when you touch it (it will still appear moist but will be springy). The exact timing depends on the microwave: ours works well with 60 seconds, then another 30 seconds. 
  3. Cool: Important: wait for 2 to 3 minutes for the cake to cool down from piping hot to warm. Don’t taste right away: it doesn’t taste right. But cooling a few minutes does the trick! Top with whipped cream or ice cream and serve warm. 

Notes

*It also works in an 8 ounce mug (shown in the photos), but it may spill a bit over the sides (hence the paper towel).

  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Microwave
  • Cuisine: Cake

Keywords: Mug cake, Mug cake recipe, Chocolate mug cake, How to make a mug cake

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

6 Comments

  • Reply
    Will
    February 4, 2021 at 10:22 pm

    Can I make this without a microwave? Asking for a friend.

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      February 5, 2021 at 2:23 pm

      If you have an oven-proof mug or ramekin you could bake it at 350F until a toothpick comes out clean. Probably 25-30 minutes, but we haven’t tested it.

  • Reply
    Awts
    February 7, 2021 at 5:47 pm

    Delish and SO easy! Thanks

  • Reply
    Melissa
    February 10, 2021 at 6:09 pm

    Do you think butter would work as a substitute for the oil?

    • Reply
      Sonja Overhiser
      February 11, 2021 at 9:26 am

      Yes it will work! We’d melt the butter first before mixing it into the other ingredients. Let us know what you think!

  • Reply
    Jackie Michelucci
    February 20, 2021 at 11:23 pm

    Yummm… I had to use bread flour because I was out of AP so I added a splash more milk because it was too thick (like a dry paste). Turned out great with the extra milk though! Thankfully, we had the Dutch cocoa powder on hand. I Highly recommend it… the cake was so delicious & fudgey as promised. Another CC hit!!!! They Never miss! :))

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