I’m not all that into sweets, but once in a while I do like a treat. However, it’s become almost impossible to find desserts these days that do not contain dairy. Almost everything, it seems, lists milk or butter as one of the ingredients.
What’s a girl to do?
Mug cakes to the rescue!
I have become totally hooked on these tasty little desserts and have them now a couple of times a week. A mug cake can be whipped up quickly and easily – the batter can be mixed together in less than two minutes, and microwave “baked” in another minute. There’s very little mess as well because the cake is mixed right in the mug or cup (I use a Japanese teacup I picked up at a 100¥ store), so there are no messy mixing bowls or utensils other than a spoon. There’s an endless variety of cakes that can be made. They can be made from a blend of boxed cake mixes* if you use those, or as I prefer, from scratch, usually from items that you have on hand in your pantry. The only secret to mixing a mug cake is to blend your dry ingredients first, then add the wet, making sure that all the dry gets incorporated into the batter (it can get stuck down at the bottom edge of the mug or cup). Also, the cakes are quite hot when they come out of the microwave – they need to cool for a few minutes before eating.
The first mug cake I tried out was a matcha (powdered green tea) mug cake. I ♥♥♥ all things matcha, so when I saw this recipe for a matcha mug cake I had to try it. Sometimes I add a tablespoon of chocolate chips to the batter (Kirkland brand chips from Costco are vegan), but it’s just as good without them. I use vanilla soy milk to keep the recipe vegan. I love the bright green color and the matcha flavor is perfect (This is the matcha I use. It’s expensive, but because you don’t need much, a package lasts a l-o-n-g time). Before I stopped eating dairy, I would sometimes add a little ice cream to the top, or some whipped cream, which helped to make my delicious little cake even more delicious.
Recently I decided to branch out, and have added a peanut butter mug cake topped with chocolate to my repertoire as well as “the moistest chocolate mug cake.” Both are easy, delicious, and when made with soy milk, they’re both vegan. With the peanut butter cake, a tablespoon of chocolate chips goes on top when the cake comes out of the microwave – they melt as it cools to make a rich chocolate topping. The chocolate cake recipe calls for a tablespoon of Nutella to be added to the top before baking, but I’ve used peanut butter instead and it’s turned out fantastic. I’ve also read that you can stuff a Lindor truffle down inside the batter before baking for more of a molten lava effect.
There are loads of websites with recipes for mug cakes, and they can be found on Pinterest and other recipes sites as well. Kirbie’s Cravings has pages of mug cake varieties. I’m looking forward to giving this lime-coconut cake a try – it sounds delicious! I’m also anxious to try this “moistest very vanilla mug cake,” although I’m going to have to get myself some vanilla bean paste.
Mug cakes are an easy and tasty way to indulge yourself. They’re not low calorie or low fat, but they are definitely portioned controlled – one little cake is very satisfying.
You can have your cake and eat it too!
*To make a mug cake mix from cake mixes, blend together a box of angel food cake mix with any other flavor of regular cake mix; store in an airtight container or Ziplock bag. To make a cake, use the 3-2-1 method: 3 TBSP mix blended with 2 TBSP water in a mug, then microwaved on high for 1 minute.