The Best Chocolate Mug Cake

$0.30 each
by Beth - Budget Bytes
4.64 from 155 votes
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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.

Chocolate cake being lifted out of the mug by a spoon.

Love peanut butter and chocolate? Check out my No-Bake Pretzel Peanut Butter Bars or Peanut Butter Fluff Cups.

What Makes This Mug Cake The Best?

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 overly 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.

Make it a Vegan (Dairy-Free Mug Cake)

With one simple swap, this Chocolate Mug Cake can be made vegan. Simply swap the milk with your favorite non-dairy milk and you’re good to go! Life is good.

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!

Overhead view of a chocolate mug cake with a spoon in the center.
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“The One” Chocolate Mug Cake

4.64 from 155 votes
In just two minutes you can have this perfect single serving chocolate mug cake to quiet that sweet tooth. 
Chocolate cake being lifted out of the mug with a spoon.
Servings 1
Prep 3 minutes
Cook 1 minute
Total 4 minutes


  • 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour ($0.02)
  • 1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder ($0.03)
  • 2 tsp sugar ($0.01)
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder ($0.02)
  • a pinch salt ($0.01)
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil ($0.04)
  • 2 Tbsp milk ($0.04)
  • 1 Tbsp peanut butter ($0.13)


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Microwave on high for one minute and then enjoy!

See how we calculate recipe costs here.


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.


Serving: 1ServingCalories: 344.9kcalCarbohydrates: 28.4gProtein: 7.3gFat: 23.5gSodium: 569mgFiber: 1.5g
Read our full nutrition disclaimer here.
Have you tried this recipe?Mention @budgetbytes or tag #budgetbytes on Instagram!


Love microwave mug cakes? Check out my Funfetti Mug Cake, or Cinnamon Nut Swirl Mug Cake!

Close up of a spoonful of chocolate cake with the mug in the background.

How to Make a Chocolate Mug Cake – Step By Step Photos

Dry ingredients for the mug cake in the mug.

Add 2 Tbsp flour, 1 Tbs unsweetened cocoa powder, 2 tsp sugar, 1/4 tsp baking powder, and a pinch of salt to a microwave-safe mug. Stir them together very well.

Chocolate cake batter in the mug.

Add 2 Tbsp milk and 1 Tbsp oil, then stir until it forms a batter.

Peanut butter added to the center of the cake batter in the mug.

Drop a dollop of peanut butter (about 1 Tbsp) down into the center of the batter.

mug cake after microwaving, from the side.

Microwave on high for one minute and you’ve got yourself a cake with a melty, peanut butter center! The cake turns out extra light and fluffy and the peanut butter kind of sinks in as the cake rises up around it. So magical!

Chocolate cake being lifted out of the mug with a spoon.

Every bite has a light cake and a gooey, rich bit of melty peanut butter. Absolutely perfect.

half eaten mug cake with a spoon resting in the middle.

And 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. 👀

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  1. Delicious and so easy! I used 3 tsp sugar, based on the comment and swapped the pb for Nutella. Thank you!!!!

  2. This was very good. Followed everything exactly except adding a bit more sugar and some chocolate chips. The texture was great– fluffy and moist, especially with the warm, melty peanut butter middle. The flavor was very good too, but I felt like it was missing a little something. Maybe a splash of vanilla? Will definitely make it again!

  3. I have made this recipe many times for my husband so he doesn’t eat an entire pan of brownies, although I usually do have to make 2 mugs. Since I know he likes things sweeter than I do I use heaping teaspoons of sugar instead of level teaspoons, and I stir in some mini chocolate chips. They always disappear quickly.

  4. It always over flows my mug, it comes out liquidy for me so I experimented with dry ingredients. Ehhh 3/5

  5. you rock! Thanks for posting. I printed and put it on the inside door of my baking cabinet. The cake is good too. I substituted a block of ganache for the peanut butter.

  6. Ha! Only 5 star comments get posted. I posted my opinion with 2 stars…apparently can’t take criticism! Cause mine was deleted.

    1. Cathy, we don’t delete comments. The first time someone comments it gets held in moderation until we can confirm it’s not spam. I think it’s just as important to show negative comments as positive comments because those are real experiences and I don’t think it’s fair to give people the unrealistic expectation that every recipe will turn out perfectly every time.

      1. This is so good! Is there anything you can suggest instead of oil to lower the calories?

        1. You could try applesauce but we haven’t tried it I’m not certain it would work!

  7. This was so good! I did substitute the oil with my cannabutter and you couldn’t even taste it. Absolutely delicious and moist.
    Disclaimer, if you try this start with a small amount along with the oil until you know how it will affect you.

  8. I made a vegan version of this cake and boy was I blowing away. Not only did it taste good, but it also had the perfect cake texture.

  9. This was perfect for a midnight sweet tooth snack! I don’t like things too sweet, and this was great! Thanks

  10. Totally excellent! I followed the recipe to the letter and am now enjoying the best mug cake I’ve ever had.

  11. I love that it’s small. I feel like it really helps my self-control because if I finish it and want more I have to do all the “work” to measure out all of the ingredients all over again (which I’m usually too lazy to do). Versus if I make a whole pan of dessert, there’s not much stopping me from eating several servings at once. Thank you for the recipe! :)