Chocolate Mug Cake

February 13, 2020

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Microwave Chocolate Mug Cake – the easiest and fastest dessert ever! It literally takes just minutes to prepare and cooks in a flash! I’ve made countless chocolate mug cakes and this one is my favorite (and you’ll be be surprised by the ingredient that makes it the best).

More must try easy chocolate desserts you’ll love: Small Batch Brownies (makes just 3), No Bake Cookies (a family favorite), Oreo Balls (a party staple).

Chocolate Mug Cake with chocolate chips and dollop of whipped cream on top.

Since I first tried mug cakes way back when, I was so surprised that something so good could really be cooked in a microwave.

If you’ve never tried mug cake this is the recipe to start with! It’s chocolate bliss made in minutes!

I tested over 15 mug cakes and this is the one I love most. And it uses just a handful of everyday ingredients you likely already have on hand.

In other words this is one dangerous recipe! Perfect for when those chocolate cravings strike but you don’t want to put in all the effort or have a need for an entire cake!

So What’s the Secret Ingredient for the Best Mug Cake?

Mayonnaise! I tried so many different variations including butter, vegetable oil, eggs, yolks, applesauce etc. and surprisingly mayonnaise (along with milk) came out the winner with the best overall texture and moisture.

Mayonnaise is made with oil, liquid and egg yolks (which are natural emulsifiers) so it helps bind ingredients and also helps produce a soft, moist and fluffy, and even fudgy mug cake.

It does seem strange but you really don’t taste it. It just works.

Ingredients shown here that are needed to make chocolate mug cake.

Ingredients Needed to Make Microwave Chocolate Mug Cake

  • All-purpose flour – I don’t recommend substitutes here, unless you’re up for some experimenting. If you were to use gluten free flour, almond flour, etc. ratios would likely need to be altered.
  • Granulated sugar – surprisingly the texture was better with granulated sugar than brown sugar so stick with the white.
  • Baking soda – you really only need a pinch in this recipe (just a fair pinch), a little baking soda goes a long way.
  • Cocoa powder – use unsweetened cocoa powder, that way you can control the amount of sweetener added.
  • Milk – I recommend using whole milk though 2 percent, 1 percent or even skim should work just add an extra 1 tsp mayonnaise to make up for the lower fat.
  • Vanilla extract – don’t skip this, it perfectly compliments the chocolate flavor.
  • Mayonnaise – use good quality mayonnaise with a good flavor (such as Hellman’s/Best Foods) and stick with full fat. Unfortunately I haven’t yet tested with vegan mayo, if you do please let us know how it goes.
  • Chocolate chips – you could also just mix in 2 Tbsp chocolate chips instead. Chocolate chunks will work great too.
  • As a side note no salt is needed for the recipe since it’s already included in the mayonnaise.

First step of making mug cake shown, whisking dry ingredients in mug.

How to Make Chocolate Mug Cake

This couldn’t be easier to make, it’s just a 4 step process:

  1. Mix dry ingredients in a mug: Whisk flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda in a medium microwave safe ceramic mug (about 12 oz.).
  2. Add wet ingredients: Add in milk, vanilla and mayonnaise.
  3. Blend, top with chocolate chips: Stir well with a fork to combine, while scraping along bottom and edges (especially bottom edges if it’s not rounded). Sprinkle chocolate chips on top.
  4. Cook though in microwave: heat in microwave on high power until just barely cooked through in the center, about 1 minute to 1 1/2 minutes. Let it cool for a minute or two before serving it will be hot.

Showing second step of making mug cake, stirring wet ingredients into mug cake.

Can I Double the Recipe?

Yes double the batter amounts mix in a bowl, then just divide among two mugs and cook separately. Or just make two side by side, measuring out the ingredients twice.

Can Mug Cake be Made in Advance and Stored?

Unfortunately no. Mug cakes are best served shortly after preparing (within about 5 – 10 minutes). The texture changes as they cool, this recipe was however best of all others tested after a 30 minute rest.

Chocolate Mug Cake shown just after cooking in the microwave.

Chocolate Mug Cake Variations

  • Optionally if desired top warm mug cake with vanilla or chocolate ice cream, or whipped cream and chocolate shavings.
  • Top with a scoop of Nutella after cooking (instead of using chocolate chips).
  • Add a drizzle of natural peanut butter after cooking.
  • Finish with fresh sliced strawberries or whole raspberries.
  • Try with dutch process cocoa, use 1/4 tsp baking powder instead of the pinch of baking soda.

Chocolate Mug Cake with a scoop removed to show filling.

Tips for the Best Mug Cake

  • Don’t use light mayonnaise or cake will likely end up dry and texture won’t be as soft and tender.
  • If you have a cappuccino style mug those are my favorite to use for mug cakes.
  • Be sure mug is large enough. Once batter is mixed there should be about 1/3 of empty space left for cake to expand. You don’t want batter all over in your microwave.
  • Mix everything well. You don’t want little pockets of dry mixture, use the prongs of the fork to get to bottom edges.
  • Don’t over-cook or it will be dry. Mine is usually perfect at about 1 minute 10 seconds (in 1000 watt microwave), cook time will vary based on shape of mug used and microwave wattage.
  • No greasing mug is necessary, whether or not you use non-stick spray you’ll will end up with mixture stuck on. Just soak in water for a while once you’ve finished the cake then it will clean up easy.

Close up image of chocolate mug cake being scooped into with a spoon.

More Mug Cake Recipes to Try

Chocolate Mug Cake

5 from 4 votes

The fastest and easiest dessert ever! It literally takes just minutes to prepare and cooks in just over 1 minute! I've made countless chocolate mug cakes and this one is my favorite.

Servings: 1
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 minute
Total Time 6 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 3 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 pinch baking soda
  • 2 Tbsp mayonnaise (good quality like Hellman's)
  • 3 Tbsp whole milk
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)

Instructions

  1. Mix dry ingredients in a mug: Whisk flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda in a medium microwave safe ceramic mug (at least 11 oz.).

  2. Add wet ingredients: Add in milk, vanilla and mayonnaise.

  3. Blend, add chocolate chips: Stir well with a fork to combine, while scraping along bottom and edges (especially bottom edges if it's not rounded). Sprinkle over chocolate chips.

  4. Cook though in microwave: heat mixture in microwave on high power until just barely cooked through in the center, about 1 minute to 1 1/2 minutes. Let it cool for a minute or two it will be hot.

  5. Optionally top: if desired served topped with vanilla or chocolate ice cream, or with whipped cream and shaved chocolate.

Recipe Notes

  • No greasing mug necessary. It's going to stick either way so just soak in water after finishing for easier clean up.
  • Be careful not to over-cook or mug cake will end up dry.
  • Enjoy within about 10 minutes of making for best texture.
Nutrition Facts
Chocolate Mug Cake
Amount Per Serving
Calories 557 Calories from Fat 270
% Daily Value*
Fat 30g46%
Saturated Fat 8g50%
Cholesterol 17mg6%
Sodium 476mg21%
Potassium 335mg10%
Carbohydrates 71g24%
Fiber 6g25%
Sugar 45g50%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 73IU1%
Calcium 67mg7%
Iron 4mg22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: mug cake
Author: Jaclyn

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12 Comments

  • Karen

    Pretty good, if you need a quick chocolate fix. I used a small glass mixing bowl (12 oz.?) and it worked perfectly. I followed the recipe exactly, but I made sure to mix the dry ingredients well, as well as the wet ingredients, before adding together. I didn’t fancy a bite of mayo in my cake! The top of the cake still looked wet after a minute and a half in the microwave. But when I tested it, the batter had become cake all the way thru.

  • Vanessa

    I made numerous chocolate mug cakes in the past, and thought they just weren’t my thing. That changed when I found this recipe! I used dark brown sugar because it was all I had and the texture still came out amazingly soft and moist.

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      Happy to hear this recipe changed your opinion on them :). Thanks for your review!

  • Rewari

    First of all i love chocolate, & my second love is chocolate cake.
    Thank you very very much for cake recipe <3

  • Renata Rea

    Superb !! The easiest dessert & really delicious. I added a few sour cherries & it was a mug version of black forest cake 🤗…. we added a scoop of vanilla ice cream & it was a hit 👍

  • Barb

    Just tried it this minute – so, so good.
    I was curious since I did not have the exact ingredients but wanted to see if it would work or not.
    I used Hellmans 50% less fat mayo and 1% milk. Just used a bit more of the mayo that called for.
    On my microwave it was 1 minute 15 seconds – and it was terrific

  • Emily H

    Mayonnaise is brilliant for this! Growing up, my dad made a mayonnaise cake that was so good, so I knew about it as an ingredient in chocolate cakes, so I can’t believe it never occurred to me for a small batch cake that using part of an egg would be a hassle for. Well done! Can’t wait to try it.