Chatelaine Kitchen

Five-minute chocolate cake in a mug: Testing the recipe

Is the five-minute chocolate cake in a mug craze too good to be true? A Chatelaine Kitchen recipe tester gives the recipe a whirl. Find out what she thinks
By Kristen Eppich
chocolate mug cake Getty Images

Chocolate cake is perhaps one of my most favourite foods. So when "five-minute chocolate mug cake" started popping up everywhere from daytime television to food blogs, I simply had to quell my curiosity and try it out for myself. While I was thrilled at the prospect, I was also extremely skeptical of the result. So, being the recipe tester I am (for the Chatelaine Kitchen) I set aside five whole minutes and put the chocolate mug cake to the test.

There are a few variations to this recipe, but most tend to have equal parts, milk, oil, flour and sugar along with an egg, cocoa powder and chocolate. Here is the slightly modified recipe that I used.

Directions: Stir one egg with 3 tbsp milk and 3 tbsp vegetable oil in a microwave-safe coffee mug. Add 3 tbsp flour, 3 tbsp sugar, 2 tbsp cocoa powder and mix well. Stir in 3 tbsp of milk or semisweet chocolate chips and 1/8 tsp vanilla extract. Microwave for two minutes. The cake will rise above the rim of the mug but will not spill over. Remove and let cool for two minutes.

The verdict: The texture of the chocolate mug cake is very much like a bread pudding - dense and spongy. The texture is flat and bland and the flavour doesn't compensate adequately. The addition of chocolate chips help a bit by adding bites of chocolatey gooeyness. Also, the lifespan of the cake is very short - about as long as it takes to make it. After about five minutes, it becomes even firmer. One final note - the cake is intended to be individual, but before you indulge, perhaps review the ingredients...3 tbsp oil, 3 tbsp sugar...eek!

So, if you are looking for a light, fluffy chocolate cake, you'll be disappointed. But if you can set your expectations aside and feel like trying something new, or something to make with the kids, then this recipe/experiment is a lot of fun. It will also fill the void in a moment of sweet tooth desperation!

Originally published March 15th, 2012.


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