Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Let Them Eat Cake

Actually, I’ve never been a huge fan of cake. I have always preferred gooier desserts. Give me pie or bread pudding or trifle over a piece of cake any day. Unless it’s a particularly gooey piece of cake – maybe it has lots of filling between the layers. Then I’d be happy to indulge.

But recently I’ve had two experiences with cake, one literal and one literary, which are forcing me to reconsider my dessert options. And my breakfast options, too, I’m afraid. And my middle-of-the-afternoon-how-to-fulfill-the-craving options. Late at night…

A friend of mine e-mailed me a recipe for 5 Minute Chocolate Mug Cake this summer. It was one of those “I’ll send it to five people, then you send it to five people…” pass alongs that we usually take one look at and that’s the end of it. Oh, if only I had deleted it. Instead, I’ve had chocolate cake every day for the past week. It’s ironic because I’m pretty sure one of the selling points of 5 Minute Chocolate Mug Cake is that you’re only making a small amount and therefore won’t have a whole cake to work your way through. You know how we hate to waste things. We’d rather get fat. But now, I’m never more than a few minutes away from hot, gooey chocolate dessert. It’s really gooey. It’s the chocolate chips that make it so. In the recipe I received, the chocolate chips were listed as optional, but they really are a must. The first time I made it I left them out because I didn’t have any. Chocolate chips don’t last long in our house, especially if the bag’s open. The final product was no big deal.

Oh, why didn’t I leave it at that?

I bought some on my next trip to the store. Semi-sweet. Came right home and tried the recipe again.

Oh my goodness.

Don’t do it.

I’m going to print the recipe here just so you’ll know what not to do.

5 Minute Chocolate Mug Cake

4 Tablespoons flour

4 Tablespoons sugar

2 Tablespoons cocoa

1 egg

3 Tablespoons milk

3 Tablespoons oil

3 Tablespoons chocolate chips

a small splash of vanilla

1 large microwave safe mug

Add dry ingredients to mug and mix well. Add the egg and mix thoroughly. Pour in the milk and oil and mix well. Stir in chocolate chips and vanilla. Microwave on high for 2 minutes. Cake will rise over the top of the mug, but don’t be alarmed! Tip cake out onto a plate or eat out of the mug.

I will redeem myself a little by telling you that every time I’ve made it, I’ve shared it with one or sometimes two other people.

And I’ve hidden the chocolate chips in a place they’ll never find them.

I just polished off my second cake experience this summer – Jeanne Ray’s Eat Cake, a delightful novel about a woman who bakes cakes and feeds them to her family in order to alleviate stress. Her husband ends up losing his job and seems to be on the brink of a mid-life crisis, but she steps up her cake baking and saves the day. The book includes recipes for several cakes.

Fortunately they all take longer than five minutes to make.


  1. I filed the 5 minute mug cake recipe away. Now I've simply got to get it out and try it...

  2. Oh, dear. Did you have to post this? I tried the mug cake without chocolate chips and thought it was just so-so. I think it's probably much better for me if I had left it at that. But I now have chocolate chips in my cupboard, and I'm going to feel compelled to give the recipe a re-try sometime very soon, thank you very much.

  3. Hello,
    I tried the cake and loved it. Especially my 2 year old daughter ate it all. I also have a blog and now I will post it there. The more people learn the recipe, the more feel happy :)