Tuesday, July 23, 2013

“Minute” Chocolate Mug Cake – Can You Really Make Cake in 60 seconds?

No, it actually takes 45 seconds! Turns out I was wrong about mug cakes. I’ve had the belief over the past few decades, that a decent mini chocolate cake from a microwave was impossible. I based this on the fact that every example I’d come across had the texture of a hockey puck.

I assumed the cause was the microwave’s ultra-violent thermodynamics, and that there was nothing anyone could do about it, but then I got to thinking. Maybe there was a way to tweak the existing recipes out there to minimize this problem. Long story short, I tweaked an existing recipe, which minimized the problem.

The secrets were using smaller amounts of batter, and cooking for way less time than has been suggested by others. Once you’ve boiled off all the water in the batter, you are totally screwed, so the idea here is to just barely get to the point of doneness, and stop. For me that was exactly 45 seconds.

I’ve included the power data here, so you can compare it to your microwave. Apparently, I have a 1,100-watt model, which is a very common rating, but of course, if yours is much more or less powerful, you will have to do a few tests to figure out your ideal time.

Now, is this as good as a traditionally baked chocolate cake? Of course not, but it’s certainly close enough. And when you consider the fact it literally takes only a few minutes to make, this should find its way into your summer dessert recipe rotation. I hope you give it a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 2 chocolate mug cakes:
1 large egg
1/4 cup sugar
pinch salt
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp melted butter
1/8 tsp vanilla extract (I forgot to add, and it was fine, but I’d put a few drops to be safe)
- Stir well, then add:
1 tbsp shredded coconut (I used unsweetened)
2 tbsp toasted sliced almonds
1 or 2 tbsp mini semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used 1, but it could have used a few more chips)
3 tbsp milk
- Stir well, then add:
1/4 cup flour mixed with 1/4 tsp baking powder
- Pour into 2 coffee cups and microwave on full power for 45 seconds

View the complete recipe

57 comments:

Laura Biscaro said...

I love your desserts, Chef John. you should really make more of them ;)

blog62Admin said...

Hello Chef John:

I always watch your demos for new ideas and your blog gives me a lot.

I say "WOW" to your recent creation "The 60 Seconds Cake". You have a superb imagination... I would never have thought about doing cake using your demo. Love this and now, I need to go buy me a 1100W microwave. No pun intended.I have a mini micro which is much much less wattage than what you have... keep on cooking and I will keep watching !!! ATL//

Akai sora said...

Chef John, can you do low fat, low carb and low sugar versions? I understand that it doesn't taste the same and I used to not care - I do now - but can you do that? Or substitutes.

I can do some of these meals once a week but some ingredients like butter are still troublesome to consume because of the saturated fat/cholesterol levels.

I know that this question might have been repetitive and annoying, but just asking you anyway.

Chef John said...

Akai, I'll be honest, I can't. I don't think a low fat, low carb and low sugar cake worth eating exists.

cookinmom said...

ok...my mom always said,"if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say it at all". Wellll, gotta' say it anyways...if I get all those ingredients out, I might as well make a cake for everyone! All kidding aside, I always undercook mine so that it's nice and fudgy!

Junkayswag said...

I don't like the taste of egg in the cake so is it possible to leave out the egg & double the milk?

Marilyn said...

The one I make uses one package of Angel Food cake and one of any other cake mix. You use 3 T of the mixture, 2 T of water, and microwave for one minute. Then frost or add topping.
Not as full of good things as yours, but will do in a pinch.

Chef John said...

Not tried, but that's what I hear. Some say better w/o egg so I may try.

sofanumber2 said...

Hi Chef John! My husband and I love your video blogs and I love being the boss of my everything. We watched this video 6 minutes ago and thoroughly enjoyed every last bite of the cake! Thank you for your creativity. Laura

Valentino Pasta said...

Is that your walker in the reflection? You've aged.

Sabiha Alibhai said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sabiha Alibhai said...

Chef John you are truly amazing! I just made this for my mother and she loved it! The vanilla bean ice cream and the "dramatic" icing sugar an cocoa powder gave it a nice touch ;)

tiff said...

chef john you're awesomeeeee! my microwaved didnt work so i made pancakes instead and turned out great hahaa thanks for the recipe!!

Ting's Desolace said...

Hi Chef John I would like to thank you for sharing this recipe because I have just achieved the unachievable: non-hockey puck mug cake!!
Here is the result:
Click Here

PS: apparently we can't use "img" tag in the forum..so I had to attach the link URL

Rafal Zarycz said...

I really like it, i did mine w/o baking powder(forgot about it!) And still poped up very nicely, smells great. Thanks cheff John!

J. Jones said...

Hey Chef John,

If I'm not mistaken, that microwave is 1,600 watts, rather than 1,100.

Of course I've never looked at microwave ratings; I'm just reading the label there where it says 1.60 kW.

Chef John said...

No, actually it is 1,100 watts according to GE website of that model.

Jackie Reynolds said...

My food wish is raclette. Please

Jon said...

My food wish is for Chef John to be on Alton Brown's podcast.

Please please please!

Scott Rayden said...

Hi Chef Johhn,

What's your opinion on putting these into ramicans and baking them? I'm thinking of doing this for a dinner party for 8 people. Will you get a better cake texture by cooking this recipe in the oven?

What temp and how long would you recommend in the oven?

Thank you!

Chef John said...

Sorry, no idea, as this is specifically for the micro. If you're going to do that it would be much wiser to simply find a recipe made for baking in ramekins that's already been tested. Good luck!

dora night said...

How far ahead can I make the batter before I "bake" them?

dora night said...

Chef John
How long does the batter last before you have to "bake" them?

Mich said...

Chef John, more dessert that can be made as easy as this one, please!

Kia Dufun said...

Chef John, we just tested this recipe and in less than a half hour, we had cook and eaten this dessert. I made smalls change, like forgetting to add the sugar and I also omitted 1 tbsp of butter (for health reasons). It was tasty but since we crave sugar in our house, I sprinkled some sugar on top of everything : what a delishhhh! It all melted with the hot cake and ice cream! Thank you, thank you, thank you soooo much!

By the way, my microwave is only 900 watts and the cakes were done in less than 50 seconds. Also, I combined all the dry ingredients together and, in another bowl, all the wet ingredients, which I transfered in the dry ingredients to mix altogether. Easy street for me!

The cake is airy and did not stick to the side of the cup (so no need to grease before cooking, which is even better).

Elina said...

This recipe is perfect especially when kids asking for a desert at 8pm (like tonight). It is yummy too, thank you!!! :-)

Chris Stevens said...

Thanks for another easy way not to lose weight.

Tim Dee said...

Hello Chef John

I tried this recipe as soon as I saw it and it came out pretty darn good but, I thought it could use a little tweaking. Hope you'll try my version.

1 Large egg
*1/3 cup sugar *
pinch of salt
2 tbsp unsweetened coca power
*2 tbsp vegetable oil *
2 tbsp melted butter
*1 cap full vanilla extract *
-stir well, then add:
*3 tbsp chopped walnuts*
*3 tbsp mini semi-sweet chocolate chips*
3 tbsp milk
-stir well then add:
* ½ cup cake flour with ¼ tsp baking power *
* -Pour into 3 - 6 ounce clear glass ramekins and microwave *
I microwaved them one at a time on a coffee cup saucer to catch any spills for 50 seconds.

Sunny Chu said...

Chef John,
I tested this recipe last night in preparation for making these for real tonight for my GF. I have been cooking with Raw Sugar for about 5 years now, so I just use that. Recipe is simple, and the result was soooooo YUM! YUM! YUM!

Thank You! Keep UP the GREAT work!

Sunny Chu said...

Chef John,

I tested this recipe in prep for doing it for real for my GF tonight. I've been using Raw sugar for all my cooking for about 5 years now, and I think it works fine. The result was lovely and super YUM!

Thank You and keep up the great work!

Brian Kotowski said...

Can the batter be deployed & left to sit thru dinner until it's nuked? I have to say it looks sexy as can be. You should tweet that pic with the caption: Recommended by Carlos Danger.

Brian Kotowski said...

Can the batter be deployed & left to sit thru dinner until it's nuked? I have to say it looks sexy as can be. You should tweet that pic with the caption: Recommended by Carlos Danger.

Chef John said...

I'll say probably.

philogaia said...

Funny you should say you can't call this a cupcake. I would say not only that you absolutely can but it is historically correct. My understanding is that the cupcake originated in Regency England made for Balls and was indeed cake made in cups for easing eating at a ball. They also served ice cream and syllabubs in cups as well. :)

Chef John said...

People asking about making ahead, you'll have to test yourselves, as I've only made this right before cooking.

Jules said...

Perfect-o! Followed the directions exactly and it came out perfectly (with slight time adjustment for our lower watt microwave).

A great last-minute dessert. Bravo!

Rita said...

YAY! for the freakishly small whisk - because i have one :)

that looks soo gooey good! almost looks like the chocolate lava cake. mmmm...hmmmm!

Khairulnisa said...

Hi, Chef. Your microwave oven was made in Malaysia. Cheers from one Malaysian subscriber!

Hutli said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hutli said...

Oooo freakishly small metal whisk!! Believe it or not Chef John, I have one even smaller!! It's completely useless but oh so cute :D

Gretchen inNOLA said...

Husband is this...close to banning you from our computer world. Claims he's gained at least 10 lbs. since you published this *THANK YOU!*

Chef John said...

More to love! ;)

ankita sharma said...

Chef John, I wanted to specially thank you for this easy and super quick, yet extremely tasty recipe. I know there are a lot of versions of this 'mug' cake, but I liked yours the best! The timing and the amount of liquid to be used for the microwave is just perfect. Or at least to me it was. I may have a biased opinion, but just like with most of your other recipes, I knew I was gonna like it the minute I saw the video. (Great job with the videos, by the way!)
I made this in a hurry for my mother right before midnight for her birthday, and we absolutely loved it! I didn't use the coconut though, and used some other add-ons instead, but it turned out to be one of the most delicious and moist 'mug' cakes and it definitely helped in starting off her birthday on a sweet note! So THANK YOU very much for putting this recipe up. :)
Keep up with this amazing work... and ENJOY!
Cheers! :D

ankita sharma said...

Chef John, I wanted to specially thank you for this easy and super quick, yet extremely tasty recipe. I know there are a lot of versions of this 'mug' cake, but I liked yours the best! The timing and the amount of liquid to be used for the microwave is just perfect. Or at least to me it was. I may have a biased opinion, but just like with most of your other recipes, I knew I was gonna like it the minute I saw the video. (Great job with the videos, by the way!)
I made this in a hurry for my mother right before midnight for her birthday, and we absolutely loved it! I didn't use the coconut though, and used some other add-ons instead, but it turned out to be one of the most delicious and moist 'mug' cakes and it definitely helped in starting off her birthday on a sweet note! So THANK YOU very much for putting this recipe up. :)
Keep up with this amazing work... and ENJOY!
Cheers! :D

Marian Cabral said...

Hi chef,

Tried the recipe. It was great. Everyone @ home loves it. dad wants it as baked biscuit puding which comes out nicely. Thank you for the recipe. May God Bless you.

Fahad Hassan said...

Very good recipe

Emily Clark said...

This is something that I think my hubby would like but, as for me, I'm more of a vanilla cake kinda girl. So... Chef John, can you please post a video for a Non- Chocolatey mug cake recipe??? Maybe a French Vanilla/Coconut Mug Cake or an Angel Food Mug Cake would be great! Thanks! Btw, I LOVE all you're videos because they are so helpful and really easy to follow while ALSO being entertaining as well! Keep up the good work!! :)

Emily Clark said...

This is something my hubby would like but, as for me, I'm more of a vanilla cake kinda girl. So... Chef John, can you please post a video for a non-chocolatey mug cake recipe??? Maybe like a French Vanilla/Coconut Mug Cake or an Angel Food Mug Cake would be great! Thanks! Btw, I LOVE all you're videos because they're so helpful and really easy to follow while ALSO being entertaining as well! Keep up the good work!! :)

Becca March said...

Delicious. Mine didnt cook fool way through. Wich was nice cos i turned it out the jug and had chocolate sauce. Yum

alison bartlett said...

Chef John,
I will be making this dessert with my Winter Camp in Incheon, South Korea! There are 15 kids in each class, so I am wondering if more than one mug can cook at a time in the microwave, and if so, how should I adjust the time?
thanks!

Chef John said...

Sorry, I have no idea, and would have to test, but probably has to be done one at a time!

Vbryce said...

I just made this for my breakfast and I can not tell you how delicious this was! I've tried minute microwave cakes before, but this one was absolutely the best one yet! I love how the chocolate chips melt and make it gooey. Maybe next time I would sprinkle a few on top for a frosting. I left out the coconut and almonds, but I'm sure they are delicious. Also, I actually poured all into a bowl instead of two and cooked for 90 seconds. Perfection!

Thanks John!

BeginnerMom said...

I'm gonna try this. BTW, where did you buy your coffee cups? I like them.

dreamerscopilot said...

Chef John, love your videos. Just watched the one about mug cakes and wanted to try it. I had made pancakes and had leftover batter and I thought, "This has everything already in it except more sugar, vanilla and cocoa." Yep, I tried it and thought you'd like to know that it turned out perfect. Next time, I'll try yours. Pat

HakWozniak X said...

It's the best recipe I've ever read!!! :-)

At the beginning I thought that this is some kind of a joke... microwave cake? Impossible!
But I've already made it for my mum on Mother's Day and IT IS DELICIOUS!!!! :-DDD

Greetings from Poland!!! :-*

(New Zealand) said...

This + me + 8.5 months pregnant + chocolate cravings = happy late night snacking! :D
Thank you Chef John, from a very happy mumma in New Zealand!
P.s. My mum had the microwave cookbook from the 80's and we've been brought up on micro cakes, but this one takes the cake!! Be doom chh ;)

Ching said...

oh my goodness chef John u r a genius! I totally agree with u that it is the texture that makes a difference in these microwave cakes! and you did it!! the texture is exactly the same with the normal ones! I am just gonna make a thousands of them!!