Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Cake in a Mug - Tasty Treat or Kitchen Fail?

Happy Tuesday, everyone. The Texan here, fresh off of spring break and a week at the ranch. And you'll never guess what I saw. 
Texas Bluebonnets!
You know what that means... Spring has arrived in Southeast Texas.
And to think, only two weeks ago they were covered in ice.

The cattle really enjoyed the nice weather and lazing beneath the live oaks.

More about the ranch later, but today I wanted to share this most amazing recipe I found in the newspaper the other day. It's called Cake in a Mug. I was so intrigued by Jan's Muffin in a Mug recipe (here), that this really caught my eye. Of course, it's not near as healthy as Jan's recipe, but if you're looking for a quick chocolate fix, hey, this is the way to go.

First, you need a mug.
This is my favorite tea mug I got at conference a few years ago.

Now, into that mug, you want to add:
4 heaping tablespoons flour
4 heaping tablespoons sugar
2 heaping tablespoons cocoa

Stir that together, then add:
1 small egg, beaten
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons canola/vegetable oil

I used a fork for mixing.

Stir well before adding 2-3 drops vanilla extract and a handful of chocolate chips.

Mix well and cook uncovered in the microwave on a high for 3 minutes.
Here goes nothing.

Oh-oh... still a minute and a half left to go.

Made it without spilling over.

Now, the recipe says to let it cool and tip out onto a plate. Which I did. However, I'm thinking this would have been yummy just like this. 

But I followed the directions.

So while we're waiting for the cake to cool, let me tell you about Maddie's first ranch adventure.

First of all, the ranch is a 4 1/2 hour drive. It took a while, but Maddie finally found a comfortable spot to rest in the car.
Yep, that's the center console and her chin is resting between the seat and my arm.
Silly puppy.

But it was worth the trip. So many new sights, sounds and smells to explore.

And we never knew what she might drag out of the woods. 
Like these deer bones.

This was Maddie's first experience with water,too, so we weren't sure how she would react.
She liked sitting on the pier, the breeze blowing through her fur.

But, sometimes, you just have to get up close and personal.

The hilarious part was when she decided to take a flying leap. Sure wished I'd had the camera then. I mean, it was literally a flying leap, all fours spread out as far as they would go.

Cake's ready.
So I tip it out of the mug.
Not real attractive, but it smells divine.

And clean-up doesn't look too bad.

Now for the real test.
Hmm...the more it cools, the harder it gets. But it still tastes good. Just the texture is a little off.
I'm thinking it shouldn't have been nuked for so long. Our microwave is 1100 watts, so maybe I should have cut the time to 2:20 or 2:30 minutes. This was not addressed in the directions, but I think this is definitely a case of trial and error. 

Will I try this again?

You betcha! And I think I'll add a few more chocolate chips. My handful wasn't very full.
But this was quick, easy and used only ingredients I had on hand. Not to mention the portion size. 
Way better than a big ol' cake sitting in my kitchen, calling to me for who knows how long.

So what do you think? Tasty treat or kitchen fail?
Would you try this?

I'll leave you with one last Maddie video. 
This time, I did have the camera rolling.


  1. See, I've never really wanted to make a cake in a mug because there are so many people here and I'd need to make 8 cake mugs (mug cakes?). But now I understand something that is a HUGE plus: if it's not quite right (maybe more chocolate chips? Less time? More vanilla?) it's not a total cake fail! It's just a mug full!
    I really, really love that. I detest making a cake that doesn't come out quite right because it's my first time with the recipe and I needed to adjust for my oven. But this? I can tweak all I want, until I get it right and I'm not wasting 9 cups of flour (double batch of cinnamon rolls) or 6 sticks of real butter (double batch of pound cake) or 6 eggs (double batch of custard).

    I could always make a tiny version and then repeat the entire process if it turns out, but most recipes take at least 30 minutes of baking and everyone can smell it! So, this takes a few minutes, and no one will die from waiting for the next one.


    1. And once you get the process just right, Virginia, each kid can have fun making their own. But you are so right, you don't feel like you've wasted anything when it's such a small batch.

  2. P.S. I want to steal Maddie. I've never wanted to steal someone's dog before.

    Maybe this is a mid-life crisis.

    1. Yeah, those things happen to the bat of us, Virginia. :)

    2. It's because toddler boy is getting older.

      It's a dangerous time in life.

    3. Hubby seems to think he's too old be to be a new dad at 46. What is his problem??? I think he's realized having everyone potty trained is a thing of beauty.

  3. Never mind the cake in a mug -- I want a Maddie in the mug. Too cute!!!! At least you know she can swim now. :-) Love how alert she is on the dock, watching every little thing!

    My microwave is an old clunker so not sure if I'll try this soon, but since I live alone I love the idea of being able to whip up a dessert in a few minutes.

    1. She really is very alert, Kav. She even watches the birds that fly by. Not much gets past the little stinker. Except noting where the side of the dock is. :)

      As for the dessert, I bet you could adjust it to your microwave, just as I need to adjust the recipe to mine. Hey, if you have all the stuff on hand and you're craving something sweet and chocolatey, may as well give it a shot.

  4. I want Maddie in a mug too!!!! I could care less about the cake, I want the pup!!!!

    You know, I've tried these mug things, but like you, Tex, I'm not a fan of the texture. And there's another thing. I find my weight easier to control if I don't come up with easy ways to self-sabotage.... and cooking mugs of great desserts is kind of irresistible to me. :( Then I'D EAT IT, TEX!!!!!

    But honestly my bowl of steamed green beans today DOES NOT COMPARE to this.....

    Dagnabbit! :)

    1. Ruthy, I don't even want to think about a bowl of green beans. Though I know I should. Maybe they'd sound better closer to lunch.

      I am the queen of sabotage, among other things. And I have got to start correcting that. Sigh.

  5. Chocolate cake and a cute dog. Thank you for the day's treat and entertainment!!

    1. You're welcome, Tina. I aim to please. :)

  6. Oh wait -- I'm thinking about that alligator and snake post not too long ago (shudder0. Ack! Maddie could end up as breakfast! Best send her up north where I can keep her safe. :-)

    1. Kav, Kav, Kav... She'd freeze to death up there. :D

      We made sure there were no critters around to bother her. Fortunately, the snakes are still dormant. But that will soon change. And I could just see Maddie deciding that slithering thing was her next chew toy. Yuck. You can bet we'll be keeping a close eye on her.

  7. I"ve never tried the mug stuff except once with egg and I sorta forgot to spray it.sigh..cleanup wasn't easy. will have to try it someday

    1. I know exactly what you mean, Susanna. I think I still have a mug with baked-on egg from two years ago. Which is why I don't do eggs in the microwave anymore.

      This mug, though, I just let it sit with some water in it for a few minutes and everything wiped right out.

  8. What a hoot!!! Maddie is pure entertainment. Such a cutie. :) Don't you love how they go crazy when they're wet? Our dogs always went wild after baths, racing around, rolling, shaking. :)

    I think you're right on the time on the cake, Mindy. Jan's muffin is only one minute (and it's delish by the way!).

    I'm going to suggest my daughter try this! Maybe she'll do one for me as well. :)

    1. She really is a source of entertainment for us, Missy. And post-bathtime is always hoot.

      You'll have to let me know how the cake turns out for you. I'm getting eager to try it again. :)

  9. I love that last video. The puppy learns wisdom :)

    What a great place for a pup to explore - as long as she keeps away from the rattlers. And it must have been such fun to watch her with all of her "firsts"!

    I'm sold on the cake/muffin/whatever in a mug. You can satisfy your chocolate cravings, but there are no leftovers around to keep tempting you!

    As for clean up - I've found that the sooner you get to cleaning out the mug, the easier it is.

    1. You are so right, Jan. The mugs have it. Single-serving size is always better. At least for the waistline. :)