Two Minute Chocolate Mug Cake. A Fancy Cake in a Cup.

At this harrowing time in our lives I think it’s safe to say that there has never been a greater need for Cake in a Cup.

Cream ironstone cup filled with overflowing chocolate cake, topped with raspberries and a snowbank of powdered sugar.

Like most people, I can tell you exactly where I was during certain momentous world events.  When I found out John F. Kennedy Jr. died I was talking on the phone to my friend Renee. For the O.J. Simpson verdict I was in the lobby of CBC television studios.  And for Cake in a Cup, I was browsing Stumble Upon.

Remember Stumble Upon? 

After seeing the recipe for Cake in a Cup I jumped out of my computer chair and bounced, Tigger-style towards the cupboard.  Everything I needed to make an actual chocolate cake inside of a coffee cup in 3 minutes FLAT,  had been inside  my cupboard my whole life and I had NO idea.  

Cake in a Cup Recipe (s)

This good old cake in a cup takes basic cupboard ingredients like flour, sugar  and cocoa to make what is essentially an INSTANT cake that you cook in the microwave.  

Perfect for a midnight snack, easy dessert or binge watching buddy while you’re living the life of a shut in. The perfect companion to Netflix is mug cake. Everyone says so.


Cake in a cup ingredients laid on a wood board including cocoa, dark brown egg, flour in an ironstone cup, sugar and a mini glass pitcher of milk.

What’s in it?  Basic ingredients:  flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder salt, milk, vegetable oil.  An egg and chocolate chips are optional.

The one thing this cake doesn’t require is love. THIS IS NOT A CAKE MADE WITH LOVE, it is a cake made out of insanity and necessity.

Ironstone mug filled with cocoa, flour and sugar set on a vintage blue and white plate.

How do you make it? Just like a tiny cake. Mix your dry ingredients like the sugar, cocoa, baking powder and flour together in a microwave safe mug.

Dry ingredients of cocoa, flour and sugar mixed together in ironstone mug.

Stir them up well.

Wet ingredients of cake in a cup in ironstone mug on a vintage blue and white plate set on wood tabletop.

Add in your wet ingredients.

Chocolate cake in a cup ingredients mixed in with dry and ready to cook in microwave.

Stir those up.

Ironstone mug filled with chocolatey looking batter set on wood table with a small pitcher of milk in the background.

And then cook it as all the world’s best desserts are cooked – in the microwave on high.

Cooked chocolate cake in a cup rising up from an ironstone mug topped with bright red raspberries and powdered sugar.

This is O.K. on it’s own, but really like my sour cream, cilantro, cheese topped homemade chili, it’s all about the toppings.  Add frozen berries, powdered sugar, whipped cream or chocolate shavings to elevate this chocolate mug cake. Or, ORRRRR top it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. 

That’s how you turn this into something – well, something a little more impressive than what it is – an emergency dessert to be used in dire circumstances. Like right now.

I made this recipe on one of the bazillion television shows that I hosted.


This cake in a cup recipe is to be used in a chocolate craving emergency! It’s kind of like jello … you might not want to serve it at a dinner party, but sitting all by your lone self in a bathrobe on the sofa it’s perfectly acceptable.

Now, let’s be honest here for a second, shall we? I know this is the Internet and that sort of thing is often frowned upon, but just for kicks … let’s be honest.

CAKE IN A CUP IS GENIUS! It may be the greatest invention ever, second only to potato chip flavoured toothpaste (fingers crossed someone has this one in the works).

Is it the most delicious cake you’ve ever had in your life?  Well, that depends on how drunk you are.

It’ll certainly be the most fun and fastest cake you’ve ever made in your life.

I expect you’ll be adding this  to your very own list of “remember where you were” momentous occasions.

Cake in a Cup.

It's hard to believe this ridiculous recipe works but it actually does. Ease your chocolate craving immediately!
4.8 from 10 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 1 minute
Cook Time: 2 minutes
Total Time: 4 minutes
Servings: 1 person
Calories: 666kcal


  • 4 Tbsps flour all purpose or cake
  • 4 Tbsps sugar
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 2 Tbsps cocoa
  • 2 Tbsps vegetable oil
  • 5 Tbsps milk
  • 1 Tbsp Chocolate Chips


  • Add dry ingredients to a microwaveable mug.   Stir to combine.
  • Add oil and milk.
  • Mix well, making sure to incorporate all the dry ingredients hiding at the bottom of the cup.
  • Top with a couple of tablespoons of chocolate chips. These will sink down into the middle of the cake when you cook it.
  • Microwave on high for 1.5 minutes.*



You can also add 1/2 of a beaten egg - which is about 1.5 tablespoons of beaten egg. If you add egg, reduce the amount of milk by 1.5 tablespoons.  Using egg will make the cake spongier.
The power of your microwave will dictate how long to cook the cake for. A stronger microwave (950 watts) will cook the cake faster in just over a minute. An older, or weaker microwave will take 1.5 minutes.
If you overcook this cake (and you might on the first try) it will be dry and ruined. 
Take this cake WAY over the top by dusting it with powdered sugar and topping with jam or frozen fruit. Raspberries are my go-to.
  • Cut the sugar back to 3 tablespoons and omit the chocolate chips to save over 100 calories.


Calories: 666kcal | Carbohydrates: 91g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 34g | Saturated Fat: 26g | Cholesterol: 6mg | Sodium: 46mg | Potassium: 265mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 61g | Vitamin A: 147IU | Calcium: 124mg | Iron: 3mg


For those of you who don’t know (my mother) Stumble Upon was an Internet network from the olden days (before Pinterest) with some of the best information on the Internet.  Quick hits of brilliance.   And a few toads.  It still exists by the way, under the name of Mix. 


→Follow me on Instagram where I often make a fool of myself←


Two Minute Chocolate Mug Cake. A Fancy Cake in a Cup.


  1. Eve says:

    I just had a revelation.
    Cake in a Cup = Cupcake

  2. whitequeen96 says:

    In the 6th paragraph, you list baking powder as an ingredient. But I don’t see it listed in the actual recipe? Do we need it?

  3. Carole says:

    Cake in a cup sounds like a great solution for so many of life’s problems. World peace would probably breakout if everyone had a microwave (great potential for a new government program) and every one baked themselves a cake in a cup each day. I am appalled however that it has 666 kilocalories. Are 666 kcals a sign it is actually evil?

  4. SuzNKton says:

    This is very similar to ours 3 2 1 cakes.

    It is considered mandatory packing to tale a Mason jar of 3 2 1 mix to college. Friends of the student with the jar of 3 2 1 mix are frequently gifted with same mix for Christmas and birthdays. If you are really special, you may also receive a jar of homemade sweetened condensed milk to do with it! (When living with a person of Newfoundland heritage, one learns that “Newfoundland cream” can be added to most desserts ).

  5. Stephanie Smith says:

    Seriously, how do you not have your own amazingly successful YouTube channel by now? All that sleeping I bet.

  6. Avril says:

    Made it without the b. powder last night. Turned out just fine! will adjust recipe next time and see if it’s any different. I didn’t have any chocolate chips, so cut a Bailey’s chocolate in half and put them both in, YUM!!!!

  7. Mary says:

    Why in hell would you tell me how to reduce the calories?!? I was just thinking of substituting half and half for the milk! These are times that try women’s souls. And waistlines.

  8. Joanne Mercieca says:

    LOL I was all excited to try this until I saw the calorie count. I can’t eat that many calories for a midnight snack because I don’t want to cut down on my wine calories.

  9. Joanne Mercieca says:

    LOL I was all excited to try this until I saw the calorie count. I can’t eat that many calories for a midnight snack because I don’t want to cut down on my wine calories.

  10. Nancy says:

    The question burning in my mind is that oh-so-picturesque board. It’s so rough, I would have to take that board outside to my # 3 washtub and scrub all the flour and sugar out after I made the cake. That’s how I talk myself out of cooking and just eat all the chocolate chips while I read this.

  11. Connie in Tucson says:

    April 15, 2020 *** Please be advised – The PRINTED recipe omits a key ingredient:
    1/4 tsp baking powder.

  12. Mary W says:

    I do have it all in my house – lunch will never be the same. I’ll get the grands to make their own while calling it a math lesson and we will all be happy as clams? Where on earth did that saying come from?

  13. Donna says:

    Good morning, in your video you mention 3 minutes in microwave but recipe says 1.5. Also is self raising flour the same as cake flour. Thank you 😊

  14. Bev says:

    I want to try this, but I live at 5000 ft. elevation. This requires some high altitude adjustments in baking cakes. This cake in a mug uses far less ingredients than a regular cake recipe. Has anyone figured out how to adapt this recipe?

  15. Lisa says:

    Hi Karen.
    I read your post last night at 2:00 a.m. awakened by the raindrops pummelling my skylight in my picturesque confines here on Cape Cod.

    Although my immediate impulse was to pop out of bed and return with a hot mug of chocolate cake before the covers could cool, I managed to restrain myself until breakfast.
    I mixed up the recipe ingredients and was poised to pop it in the microwave when I recalled something from 2am about baking powder. Rechecked the recipe… no baking powder…rechecked the text…baking powder….
    Hmmm… slight panic, no time to think, the clock was ticking… I had promised myself cake in 4 minutes!

    So I threw some baking powder into the wet mix, stirred it up and tossed it in the microwave for a minute, hoping for the best but knowing that whatever came out would be chocolate and edible, my only 2 criteria at the moment.

    It cooked up in 1 minute, and I ate it in 30 seconds, which, combined, is exactly how long it takes my dog Hazel to do her business in the rain!
    It came out fluffy and delicious.

    I mean the cake. Obviously.

    Needless to say, I couldn’t have possibly waited for a reply, but could you please confirm about the baking powder, since I’m planning on making it for every meal until this quarantine is over.

    Do you think I could put protein powder in it for dinner?

    • Karen says:

      Thank you so much! I don’t know how I missed that, I’m so glad you let me know. Yes, 1/4 tsp of baking powder. I’ve fixed the ingredient list in the recipe. :) ~ karen!

    • Virginia says:

      You are my kinda gal! Ha! I am reading this at 1:30 am lying in bed wondering if the microwave would beep too loud to bust me out in my attempt to sneak a nice treat without waking my husband or chocolate lab sleeping next to me after reading this!

  16. Kat says:

    I suggest adding cinnamon, cloves, and ginger to the dry ingredients. Add 1/2 tsp of peppermint extract when mixing wet stuff. Add some peanut butter after mixing the wet stuff, just mix till most lumps are down to the size of nickels & quarters. we
    Also, very easy to make it gluten free. Almond flour is nice in this (I’ve never tried using all almond flour though.)
    Gluten free tends to rise more, before falling after cooking, I suggest using a large mug or cereal bowl. (I also use the whole egg with cakes this size. You can half the ingredients for a smaller cake.)

  17. Sabina says:

    In these dire pandemic times, my adult daughter is thankfully working from home, my home, she hasn’t moved out yet…and I bring her a snack every day around 10am because I am working from home too but I have no work to do :) today she will get chocolate cake in a mug, with fresh raspberries on top!

  18. Susan says:

    Is there a version of this for those without a microwave?

  19. Gigi says:

    Rereading some older posts and came across this one. I definitely tried this first time around and it “hit the spot” as I recall. But I didn’t recall making it this way as described.
    Why would you cook the dry ingredients for 3 minutes prior to adding the egg and cooking another 3 minutes?
    Please review the recipe again as I think there is a mistake there.

    • Karen says:

      You’re right Gigi! Thanks, that must have happened when I was transferring my old recipes into the new format where you can print them. Thx! ~ karen!

  20. Mo says:

    Yeah, but then I make 4 because one isn’t enough. Lol.

  21. Helana says:

    Works out to 1/4 tsp of baking powder, with regular flour. Thank you. The kidlets love this.

  22. Bear says:

    I hope this works, because I am testing some recipes for my daughter’s 11th Birthday and one recipe I came upon ended up tasting like rubber and even looked like rubber.

  23. cyn says:

    Even faster cake in a cup.. here for you —
    one pkg angel food cake mix – dry
    one pkg chocolate cake mix – dry.
    (or any flavor mix you like)
    mix these two dry mixes together super duper well store,in dry store container.
    Take out one coffee cup to microwave in, I spray it with Pam.. cooking spray.

    3 Tablespoons of dry mix,
    2 Tablespoons of water, mix quite very well.
    few chocolate chips on top.
    Micro for one minuit..
    SHAZAM you have cake in a cup!! light and yumm. Just to add to your cake recipies… OOOH and you can give a few Tablespoons as gifts with the how too’s. easy peasie.

    • Rose says:

      That’s what I keep in my pantry. So much easier and always at the ready. But I use a big mug and double it: 6-4 -1. It still takes only 1 minute to bake. No need to spray the mug, and I pour some chocolate syrup over it before eating.

  24. Bridget says:

    Your cake in a cup was calling my name tonight. I read this post a week ago, but tonight it flung itself back into the front of my mind when I was craving chocolate….

    It is cooking now and the anticipation is killing me. I admit I popped a few of the chips while waiting and they were Trader Joe’s chips which I heard were at the head of the class for all chocolate chips. I had such a chocolate rush from those 2 or 3 tiny morsels that I am afraid my head will explode when I finally get my cake in a cup!

    Ok, it is ready…I will be back in a jiff.

    Karen, you are a goddess sent straight from chocolate late at night heaven! I threw a few more chips on top and they are all soft and melty now.

    My husband has just come home, do I had my newfound cake – or run screaming with joy to share it with him….you’ll have to guess which route I took!

    (I shared.)

  25. Leanne says:

    oops… i just reread this. I saw cake and got confused and forgot how to read apparently because I now see that you explained stumble upon. (your mom and i should be friends)

  26. Leanne says:

    I feel like I am about to ask a question that is going to change my life forever. reverently whispers… What is stumble upon?

  27. Alyson says:

    Stupid Karen. I JUST discovered your blog,showed my daughter the stupid cake in a cup recipe – and now she makes it all the time and leaves the cakey cup on the drainer and looks at me all innocent with cake moustache on her 10 year old face saying there wasn’t enough to make two. She hides the cocoa, I know it. Stupid kid.

  28. Karen: In response to jj’s post above, I don’t know about lowfat but how about a no fat version?

    Air in a Cup.

    Instructions: stare at a microwaveable ceramic cup and think hard about whether you REALLY want to bake anything cake-like in it that will just go to your hips anyway. Then, just walk away.

    There you have it; the no fat version. AIR IN A CUP. Pure genius :)

    South Beach Diet, why have you made me such a cynic? I think I need to eat cake. NOW. Excuse me for a moment while I go search the pantry.

    My advice to anyone still following this thread: if you’re gonna eat cake, go for the full meal deal. In a cup no less! Carpe diem!

  29. jj says:

    If anyone comes up with a lowfat version of this please post it!

  30. Jerry says:

    A pinch of chili powder goes wonderful with chocolate. Chocolate anything.

  31. Pam'a says:

    Thank you, thank you, Karen– Cake in a Cup has made for some lovely moments with my beloved, who has now stopped pining loudly for the “Pie Delivery Truck” every night after dinner.

    Oh! p.s. If you don’t have any of that fancy-schmancy self-rising flour around, there’s a fix: Add a TEENSY pinch of baking powder (I worked it out, and it’s roughly a 1:48 ratio) and use a bit less flour–what the pros would describe as a “scant” 4 Tb.

  32. Jennifer says:

    OMG, that is friking fabulous!! Can’t wait to try it and show my SIL!!!

  33. Zina says:

    I am so going to do this with my nieces when I get back to the UK.

  34. Nicole* says:

    I’m new here and I’m really enjoying your blog – so funny!
    this cake sounds awesome – is 11:18pm too late to cook a cake in a cup?

    • Karen says:

      Absolutely NOT too late to make cake in a cup. It’s NEVER too late to make cake in a cup! Thanks for visiting! – karen

  35. Tickled Red says:

    Shhh…don’t tell the monkeys it’s that easy! They will be eating chocolate cake 24-7 and swinging from the ceiling fan. :) Wonderful post darlin’…that’s actually a brilliant find.

  36. JennyM says:

    Have you ever made Egg In A Cup? I’m not sure a scrambled egg needs to be simplified, but it makes the perfect size egg… uh, puck? to put on an English muffin, and all you have to wash is a coffee cup.

    Quick shot of cooking spray into a mug.

    Crack in one egg.

    Beat egg with fork.

    Add small pat of butter and splash of milk or water. Some shredded cheese if you have it. Give it a good stir.

    Microwave on high for 1 minute at 50/60%.

    Ta da!

  37. Nadine says:

    A.MA.ZING. How have I made it this long without a cake in a cup? Thank you for changing my world.

    PS: you can use regular flour if you need to!

  38. Amanda says:

    I made this last night –so ridiculously easy! And, pretty delicious for something so simple. I think I’ll add butterscotch chips, and walnuts next time for a bit of flare. But, cinnamon & cardamom might be really nice, too :) Thanks for sharing this, Karen! Lovin’ your blog!

  39. alicja says:

    Ok. My first post here :) I come from Poland, and that`s were I live. I can hardly understand what you`re writing (I was always better at german) but, nevermind, you make me laught EVERY SINGLE TIME, when I read your blog :)
    It`s totally crazy. I laughed when I was reading about yoghurt tampons. Actually I died with laugh ;)
    That`s for the beggining.
    Next- I`m not sure, what is the difference between sailboat and fibregals sailboat, but, that`s what I found once:

  40. allison albainy says:

    Apply for Oprahs show…You are already great…You would win! PFFFTTTTTT! :)

  41. Heather says:

    I put a pinch of cinnamon in my cake in a cup. It plays nicely with the density of the chocolate.

  42. Joni N. says:

    But I don’t have any self-rising flour.

  43. Jessica says:

    I agree with Kate – I don’t even know what Oprah’s show giveaway is, but I’d vote for you fo’ sho’!

  44. Jessica says:

    I second that, Oonafey. I’m shit out of luck. No microwave AND my oven doesn’t work. So no Cake-in-a-cup OR plain old oven baked cake for me. Grocery store cake. That’s where it’s at.
    Hey, Karen! Wanna add “How do you fix an oven on a 50’s gas range?” to your “Ask Karen” list?

  45. Damn. If only I had a microwave.

  46. Lori says:

    Must. Try. Now. Oh my.

  47. Kate says:

    AMAZING!! Plus I think you should apply for Oprah’s show giveaway that she is having! I would love to watch all your blog ideas on the TV!!

  48. Courtnet says:

    This is genius! My kids will love it!

  49. Sara says:

    Occasion #1 – “Stumbling” and link clicking a week ago and found your site!

    Occasion #2 – At the library a couple months ago looking at some pastry cookbooks and found “101 Recipes for Microwave Mug Cakes”…of course I checked it out. Can’t believe I’ve had all these mugs sitting around here with nothing in them but coffee, tea and hot chocolate…pfttt

  50. Christina says:

    Thank you for my daily dose of laughter! x

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