Chocolate Cup-Cakes

posted by Andrea | 05/7/2012

The other day, I found a recipe for chocolate cake… in a cup… in the microwave. Well, actually it was a mug, but I like the idea of calling it a “cup” cake! And since I’m always in the mood for chocolate, I figured I should give it a try.

I had my doubts — I pictured scrubbing chocolate out of the inside of my microwave and scraping crusty stuck-on chocolate from my pretty white mugs long after this little baking experiment was over.

Thankfully, I was wrong.

This recipe was surprisingly easy and produced very little mess in my kitchen.

If you’re looking for a delicious dessert for one… or a fun project to tackle with your kiddos, this is it!

Recipe for Chocolate Cup-Cakes:

{print this recipe}

Ingredients for ONE Jumbo Mug

  • 1/4 c. flour
  • 1/4 c. sugar
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • 2 T. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 T. beaten egg (about a 1/2 of a large egg)
  • 3 T. oil
  • 3 T. milk
  • 1/4 t. vanilla extract
  • 2 T. semi sweet chocolate chips
  • vanilla ice-cream, whipped cream, chocolate sauce, and other favorite toppings (optional)

Ingredients for SIX Small (8 oz) Mugs

  • 1 c. flour
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 c. oil
  • 3/4 c. milk
  • 1 t. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 c. chocolate chips, or crushed candy bars (I used Hershey’s Dark Chocolate)
  • vanilla ice-cream, whipped cream, chocolate sauce, and other favorite toppings (optional)

(I chopped up a Hershey’s bar for our cup-cakes!)


  • Mix first 4 ingredients in a bowl (or in the individual mug)
  • Add egg(s) and stir until a paste forms
  • Add in milk, oil, vanilla, and chocolate chips or other mix-ins
  • Stir until everything is well combined
  • Pour mixture into mugs — filling them about 1/2 full
  • Microwave on medium for 2-3 minutes — or until cake starts to puff up over the top of the mug (this is the time for 1 mug; it may take longer if doing multiple mugs at the same time)
  • Remove mug(s) from microwave and top with vanilla ice-cream, whipped cream, and/or chocolate sauce
  • Eat and enjoy!

** make sure you remove the mug by the handle — they are REALLY hot!

Not only is this recipe extremely simple to make — it also tastes fantastic. I like cake, but I don’t really like frosting, so this is just perfect for me! And even if you do like frosting, this cake is so moist and gooey… you won’t even miss the frosting. Plus, if you mix the ingredients right in the mug, you’ll hardly have any dishes to wash.

We had fun making this recipe with adults at our house… and I’m positive kids would think it’s a blast as well. You might even offer a variety of treats to mix into the cake batter (crushed Oreo, crushed candy bars, chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, M&M’s, etc.) so everyone can customize their own mug.

Have you ever made cake in a mug?

Visit my virtual recipe box for more simple, delicious, family friendly, recipes!


Filed under: Food

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  1. Cindy


    Okay, can I just say this is so perfect on so many levels? I haven’t had a chance to make this yet, but it sounds perfect for dessert for 1. Plus a neat thing for kids to make & then watch cook in the microwave! I’m going to try this Tues with my grandson.


  2. Staci


    Just tried this… absolutely delicious! I split it with my son so I didn’t feel quite as bad about the ridiculously high calorie content. If you think you’re doing your diet a favor by making this, you’ll need to split it at least 4 ways. I loved the super moist texture of the cake, though. I may try it again using splenda and subbing applesauce for the oil. It might be a failure, but at least it would only be a small one 🙂 Thanks for the recipe… it’s definitely worth it for a decadent treat every once in a while!


  3. Mel


    Now I have a frugal substitution for those microwave cake snacks at the store. It’s delicious. Thanks for sharing the recipe!


  4. Stacey


    I like making the chocolate chip cookie mug thing. It has more of a cake consistency but tastes like a chocolate chip cookie. Its really good with cool whip or ice cream on it.

    1/3 cup flour
    1T softened butter
    3 T brown sugar
    1 egg
    chocolate chips

    i mix the first 4 ingredients together, add a little bit of vanilla and stir. Throw in a bunch of chocolate chips (im sure it calls for just a few tablespoons but im sure i use about 1/4 or more:)). Microwave for about 1 minute and a half. serve immediately and with icecream or whipped cream:)


  5. Jenna


    My husband and I whipped one of these up last night while we settled down with two of our favorite books in a rare moment of quiet. They were perfect! Thanks for the recipe.


  6. Debra Kapellakis


    tiny and cute for those rare moments of peace and quiet


  7. Rebecca


    I can’t wait to try this! Looks easy for nights when you want a dessert but don’t want to totally overdo it


  8. Ana


    I love cake in a cup! I haven’t made it in a long time, but it’s so delicious and easy!


  9. linran


    This “cup” cake looks really fun. I can’t wait to try it. I have made half a cake mix in the microwave before and it came out really good. I cooked it in a small square casserole dish.


  10. Erica Gladden


    I make the 3-2-1 mug cake. Less ingredients, but the cake texture is a little different. Mix a box of store-bought cake mix (any flavor you like) with a box of store-bought angel food cake. The ingredients in the angel food cake help it cook in the microwave. The texture also ends up very similar to an angel food cake, which I like. Store the mixture in an airtight container (this will last you for a long time.) When you’re ready for cake, mix 3 tablespoons of cake with 2 tablespoons of water and cook in the microwave for 1 minute (hence, the 3-2-1.) I like to make strawberry cake and eat it with sliced strawberries. Yes, it’s seriously this easy!


    Heather Reply:

    THANK YOU for posting this… I am going to the store to buy several flavors, mix it up, put it in little storage bags, and get some cute mugs for teacher gifts. For an easy glaze icing you can just do powdered sugar, add water to the baggie, mush to mix, snip off corner and squeeze.


    Staci Reply:

    Teacher gifts… great idea! I try to be creative and frugal with teacher gifts because between my daughter’s and son’s teachers, aids, and therapists I have 11 gifts to give!