Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Healthier microwave mug cake

I am such a lazy cheater pants. As a registered card caring lazy cheater pants, I really love the microwave. Yeah I know it robs all the nutrients from your food. Blah blah blah. I'm a horrible mom so I don't really care.  Besides, do nutrients really matter if you are making a microwave cake for one?
Answer: No. No they don't.

To date, I've made three different versions of the microwave mug cake for one. The first being the original eggless chocolate cake.  This one is by far my favorite.  Of course it is.  It has 4 tablespoons of sugar and 2 tablespoons of oil....for one serving.  Yeah.  Why wouldn't it be delicious?

The second version of mug cake I made contained bananas and peanut butter. The fat from this recipe came from the peanut butter.  The sweetness came from half a banana and 1 tablespoon of brown sugar. While this recipe had less and healthier sugars and fats, it didn't taste nearly as good as the first version. Mostly because it tasted like bananas. Not a bad thing, except I am not the biggest fan of bananas.

Then, I tried a non chocolate-y, coffee cake version.  It was also very yummy, but contained 3 tablespoons of sugar and 2 tablespoons of butter.   Delicious, but not the lowest of calorie desserts when you consider this is a single serving!

I played around with the original recipe, using whole wheat flour, 1 1/2 tablespoons of oil and 2 tablespoons of sugar.  It was just ok, and a bit on the dry side.  Guess that oil and sugar were there for a reason.

Then I found another recipe for a chocolate mug cake at This Homemade Life.  It only contained 2 tablespoons of sugar and applesauce instead of oil.  Not too shabby!  Now I'm sure even though it is no sugar added, there is still sugar being added to the dessert from the applesauce.  But they are good fruity sugars!  As are the sugars from the milk.  Good milky sugars!  I'm sure that if you added up the sugars from 1/4 c apple sauce and 3 tablespoons of milk it wouldn't equal the 2 extra tablespoons of sugar from the "original" mug cake.

Now a bit about this particular mug cake.  Wow did it rise.  The original recipe barely rose at all, but this one came almost to the top of the mug. I only nuked it for 2 out of the suggested 3 minutes because the top started to look a bit rubbery.  I bet if I had kept it in for the whole 3 minutes, the cake would have rose above the mug.  Even though the top started to get on the rubbery-chewy side, the bottom 3/4 was nice and gooey.  Not so gooey that it could be confused with a lava cake, but pleasantly between regular cake and lava cake.

I doubt this recipe will completely replace my original recipe for mug cake.  Sometimes you just need that no good for you sugar-y goodness.  I do think I will make this slightly healthier version more frequently, provided no one eats up all the applesauce!

Chocolate Mug Cake from This Homemade Life (serves 1)
4 tbsp white whole wheat flour
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
1/4 tsp baking powder
dash cinnamon
3 tbsp nondairy milk (I used non fat milk as it was what I had on hand)
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
vanilla extract
2-3 tbsp vegan (or not) chocolate chips

In a small bowl mix flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder and cinnamon. Mix in applesauce, milk and a drop or two of vanilla. Mix in chips. Pour batter into a coffee cup, and microwave for three minutes. (I thought 3 minutes was too much. At 2 minutes the top started to look rubbery. Only the top part was like this. Underneath was a slightly lava cake-ish dessert. So know your microwave!)


  1. No butter or oil? Love it! Great idea to use whole wheat flour instead of plain white, too. I'm terrible at making microwave mug cakes - hopefully this recipe works for me!

  2. I think with microwave cakes, it is better to under cook them than overcook them. I can't stand a rubbery cake, but a gooey cake is yummy. And as this cake has no eggs, there is no worry about salmonella. (I'm freaky paranoid about that.)

    The first time I made this I checked the cake after a minute and it was no where close to being done. Don't be afraid to stop the microwave and check where the cake is in the cooking process.

  3. Because I'm obsessed with math, I did the calculations about the sugar. The original cake would have about 45 g of sugar (in 4 tablespoons), while the applesauce and milk total about 8 g of sugar. I'm thinking this will make a nice mid-morning snack tomorrow.

  4. I actually think that there would be more than just 8g of sugar. The recipe does call for 2T brown sugar, but you could use splenda brown sugar. There is also sugar in the chocolate chips. Comparatively, this doesn't make a difference because I but chocolate chips in both recipes. Although you could omit the chocolate chips if you wanted to i guess.

  5. Yeah, I missed the brown sugar when I was doing this research. With out the chocolate chips, with regular brown sugar, this recipe takes out 22 g sugar and replaces it with 8 g.

    I cooked mine too long last time and it was rubbery. I'm going to try again, though.

  6. You've got to really watch the microwave cakes. they go from good to gross in seconds. I find its better to under cook than overcook as the cake is going to continue to cook even out of the microwave. (No need to worry about under cooking as there are no eggs. YouIf the top of your cake is rubbery, check underneath. It might just be that top bit that is icky.

  7. Success! I wrote a bit about my efforts on my blog and linked to this post.

  8. Glad to hear it worked out for you. :)

  9. This really reminds me of chocolate bread pudding. Many people complain about the texture of mug cakes, but as long as you don't over nuke, they are a healthier chocolate fix, and still chocolatey good. Don't expect it to have the texture of regular cake, and enjoy guilt free! Microwaved mine for 2 minutes for perfection.

  10. I'm convinced that the people who complain about the texture are simply over baking them. Then again I like mine gooey in the center like a lava cake!


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