“The One” Chocolate Mug Cake

$0.29 each

There comes a time in every girl’s life when she needs a chocolate mug cake.

Perhaps it’s one of those days where you just want to curl up on the couch all day and watch bad Lifetime movies about stolen babies (ladies, you know what I’m talking about). Or maybe you just ran four miles for the first time in your entire life and unless you counteract it immediately with a dessert, the universe will be thrown out of balance and implode, and the entire 2012 apocalypse will be all your fault. Or maybe it’s your birthday and everyone forgot so there was no cake. Okay, sorry, that last one was kind of depressing. Anyway, my point is, sometimes you just need a bite of cake to make things right. Just a bite.

I was never a fan of mug cakes because all of the versions I’ve tried have turned out rubbery and just not at all delightful. Until I found this recipe, which for me is “the one.” This is why I like it:

  • It’s not very sweet. (If you want it sweeter, add more sugar or some chocolate chips.)
  • It’s small. Other recipes I’ve tried have just been too big and they make me feel like I just over indulged. This one is just a few, rich, delightful bites.
  • There is no egg. I find that eggs make mug cakes rubbery or spongey and they also mean that you can’t scale the recipe in size. If you want a small cake, you can’t just split an egg in half, right?
  • There are a lot of variations. Add chocolate chips, use nutella, jam, or caramel sauce in place of the peanut butter, vegan-ize it by using soy milk in place of cow’s milk… lots of options.

Don’t be tempted to leave out the peanut butter (or jam, or whatever you drop in the center) because it helps keep the cake moist and rich. It simply wouldn’t be the same without it.

So, shout out to Jessie at Made From Scratch for experimenting with mug cakes until finding this perfect mix. You just saved the universe from imploding!

“The One” Chocolate Mug Cake

the one chocolate mug cake

4.7 from 24 reviews
"the one" chocolate mug cake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Cost Per Serving: $0.29 each
Serves: 1
  • 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour $0.02
  • 2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder $0.02
  • 2 tsp sugar $0.01
  • ¼ tsp baking powder $0.02
  • a pinch salt $0.01
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil $0.04
  • 2 Tbsp milk $0.04
  • 1 Tbsp peanut butter $0.13
  1. In your mug, stir together the dry ingredients (flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, and a pinch of salt). Make sure there are no clumps.
  2. Stir in the vegetable oil and milk until the mixture is smooth. Drop a tablespoon of peanut butter into the center and push it down into the batter.
  3. Microwave on high for one minute and then enjoy!
Microwave power varies slightly, so you may want to experiment with the cooking time, give or take 5-10 seconds. One minute is a good place to start.

the one chocolate mug cake

Step By Step Photos

dry ingredientsMeasure the dry ingredients into a mug (flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, and a pinch of salt).

stir ingredientsStir them together until evenly mixed and there are no clumps.

wet ingredientsStir in the vegetable oil and milk until it is a smooth mixture. You can use soy milk and make this recipe completely vegan!

peanut butterDrop a dollop of peanut butter down into the center and press it into the batter (I should have pushed this in a little more, you want the PB to be mostly covered in batter).

cooked chocolate mug cakeMicrowave on high for one minute and you’ve got yourself a cake with a melty, peanut butter center!

chocolate mug cakeAnd then five or six delightful bites later, you’re done and you don’t feel like you do when you “accidentally” eat a whole pint of ice cream. …not that that ever happens.


  1. Maria says:

    This is the most perfect mug cake! I used Reese’s chocolate/peanut butter spread in the middle and it was super yum. I rarely make mug cakes because they are always too heavy and too big. But this was light and the perfect size!

  2. I just made this but didn’t have any milk. I had moosetrack vanilla ice cream though. So I used ice cream instead of milk, stirred in two tablespoons of Nutella instead of pb, and added some water to make the batter more smooth. Cooked for 55 seconds. It was a weird consistency but tasted yummy with the ice cream.

  3. Natalie says:

    I made this mug cake gluten free by using Cup4Cup GF flour in place of the flour. It turned out amazing & my husband keeps asking me for it!!

  4. Abbey Taylor says:

    I’ve made this often and it was soon good!

  5. I was a little skeptical about a cake being made in the microwave, but it worked! It came out a little spongy but nice anyways :)

  6. Joanne says:

    This cake came out perfect and just the right size. Other mug cakes are far too big and dense for me and make me feel bloated after. This had the perfect ratio. I did increase the sugar by 1 extra tsp.

  7. Kari says:

    Awesome! I’m not messing with buying little baked goods for a nighttime snack at the grocery store anymore. These are cheaper, fresher, and much lighter in calories.

    With peanut butter, I did up the sugar to a tablespoon on my second “cake”. What can I say, I have a sweet tooth! But I tried it with raspberry jam instead and with that, I didn’t need any sugar added. I personally really prefer the jam option to peanut butter, because the jam gets really hot and falls to the bottom, so when you stick your spoon in you get this even chocolate fudgey cake and a bit of really warm, sweet fruit topping.

  8. I didn’t like the vegetable oil taste, so I subbed in coconut oil and it was awesome (if you like the taste of coconut- pretty strong!).

  9. Karen M. says:

    Wow, delicious and so simple! I used peanut butter and threw in a few chocolate chips too. Stamp of approval from Hubby!!

  10. Jill says:

    Any ideas for making this in the oven? Our microwave broke & we haven’t replaced it yet. Thanks!

  11. Lauren says:

    Just made this using water (I didn’t have any milk on hand) and hot cocoa powder. Water gets the job done; it still tastes great but I can see how it’d be even better with milk. Next time (and there most definitely WILL be a next time)!

  12. Andrea says:

    This was so yummy! I only added half the peanut butter and used nutella instead of the other half of pb. This was the first microwave cake I’ve ever had and I loved it! This is the best site ever. I actually made your sausage, pepper and onion pasta for dinner. It was requested by my husband. Thanks for keeping my family and I fed so well and so cheap. :)

  13. Ruth says:

    Just made this.. Used cookie butter (speculos) in place of peanut butter, so yummy

  14. This was yummy.

  15. Audrey says:

    Just made this after a long day. Such a great treat and so chocolatey! I used agave instead of sugar, and the taste was great. Thanks for sharing this!!!

  16. Craig Williams says:

    I love this recipe and have made it many times. I’m wondering how one could make a change in flavor. Perhaps a lemon, vanilla or strawberry? I just don’t know what to substitute for the coco since it’s a dry ingredient. Let me know if you have any thoughts.

    Thank you!

    • It would definitely take a little experimenting to get the dry/wet ratio right if you take out the cocoa powder. Once you get the amount of flour right, though, you could add just about any flavor extract that you like. :)

  17. Meghan says:

    As usual, this recipe was delicious. I added a little cinnamon and cayenne, too!

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