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How to Make Single Serving in the Microwave - Mini Cake in a cup

As we move into the future, more and more people are using the microwave oven than are using the standard oven. Your standard microwave is cheaper to buy, easier to maintain and clean, and provides a level of convenience enjoyed by a great many people in the world. Whether you are a college student with little time to cook but a great need to provide yourself sustenance, a single person with no skill in the kitchen, or a child who is not yet allowed to use the standard oven, there are many options for tasty treats without having to sacrifice the experience of actually cooking.

When I was much younger, I learned via a children's cook book how to utilize the microwave for cooking foods you generally wouldn't think of making in a microwave. These ranged from macaroni and cheese (not Kraft Mac 'n Cheese out of a box, but real bonifide macaroni and cheese) to imitation crab cakes, mini casseroles and the traditional meat and three, all the way down to pastry goods. One of the recipes I learned was for making cake in the microwave, and to this day it's a recipe that sticks with me.

If you'd like to make a cake but don't want to fiddle with the entire cake mix and oven situation, here's how you do it.

Ingredients for your Microwave Cake

  • A microwave safe cup, 12 ounces or around that.
  • Cooking spray


  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 ½ tablespoons sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons cocoa powder
  • A pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon oil


First, spray your cup with butter flavored cooking spray - enough to coat the cup. In a bowl, mix together all the ingredients and stir well. Now pour this batter into your cup.

Put the cup in the microwave and cook it on full power for 60 seconds. Depending on the power of your microwave, and your altitude (go figure) you may have to cook the cake longer. Only cook in additional 15 second intervals, because an overcooked cake is no good, and it's even worse because you're microwaving it. Trust me, you think an overcooked cake out of the oven is dry and yucky, try having a solid wedge of dry microwave cake sometime. It's no fun.

Once your cake is finished, it should be nice and fluffy. Now on to presentation and service! Take a plate and a butter knife and gently turn your cup over. Let the cake slide out of the cup, which it should after having been poured into your cooking spray covered cup. Guide it with soft presses of the butter knife, and once it's out, set the cup aside to be washed.

You can add fresh fruit, ice cream, or even chocolate sauce to a bowl to make this a sweet treat that is truly easy enough for anyone to make. For a real classy microwave cake, cut the cake in half height-wise, so that you have to mini-cakes. Spread chocolate sauce over the bottom half, then put on a layer of sliced strawberries. Spread a bit more chocolate sauce over the base of the top half, then put the top half back on. Drizzle chocolate sauce over the top and sides, sprinkle a little confectioner's sugar over the cake and voila, chocolate strawberry cake in less than five minutes!

Vanilla Microwave Cake in a cup


sarah on August 18, 2013:

How long do you cook if your microwave is 1000 watts?

lulu on August 29, 2012:

it was really good. I doubled the cocoa to make a really rich, dark cake. I also had to add a little more milk to make up for the moisture lost from the cocoa.

GuyanezeCutiiee on December 28, 2011:

Amazing cake. I made it for my little brother and he concluded that he doesnt want the store boxed mug cakes anymore !

Person on November 12, 2011:

wonderful idea!

sayali on September 30, 2011:

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I tried your mini cake recipe today.But I got a problem in baking,the lower part of the cake remained unbaked.What should I do.Please help me out..

BB on July 10, 2010:

Does it have to have cocoa? Can I leave it out or substitute for something??

sulli on February 05, 2010:

sounds really good

Chetan on December 26, 2009:

Thanks for the recipe, will prepare it at night or might be for the new year celebration.

Does any one know how to make eggless cake ?

Kevin on October 20, 2009:

Wow..not bad at all! I haven't tried this per se but since it was so quick, I used it as a basis for experimenting making green tea cake my wife & I got addicted to in Japan.

Simply substitute the cocoa powder for matcha and leave out the vanilla (though I wonder if it would be nicer with the latter) worked so well, I'm shocked.

Brilliant..thanks for posting this!

mochakiss on May 25, 2009:

I didn't have cocoa powder so I substituted 1/2 tsp cinnamon and another 1/2 tsb flour and it turned out great...tasted kinda like a coffee cake. Thanks for sharing.

Kiz Robinson (author) from New Orleans, Louisiana on December 30, 2008:

Hi Nana!

My reccomendation is that you use a glass, as it transfers the heat more readily and makes for easy serving in the glass if you wish. For your granddaughter, a plastic cup would work fine, just make absolutely sure it's microwave safe. :)

Nana on December 30, 2008:

I'm going to try this with my grandaughter. Is plastic or glass better. Has anybody tried using cupcake holder?

Vondre from Columbia, SC on May 16, 2008:

The cake was phenomenal, and it was so good. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE MOST BEAUTIFUL, AMAZING CAKE EVER !!!! Everyone loved it. Beautiful....

Well.. I have a cake related hub page as well. Just click on my picture to check it out when you have time

Happy Baking!

Angela Harris from Around the USA on March 09, 2008:

OOoOh, I gotta try this.

Kiz Robinson (author) from New Orleans, Louisiana on March 09, 2008:

Shoot yeah it does! LOL I think I may go make one for myself now, actually. :D

Bonnie Ramsey from United States on March 09, 2008:

WOW! That makes it even better! LOL.

Kiz Robinson (author) from New Orleans, Louisiana on March 09, 2008:

The best thing about this cake is that without any extras, the cake itself is about 185 calories. So, it's a low-fat treat as well!

Bonnie Ramsey from United States on March 09, 2008:


I am not exactly a teen or a bachelor but being home alone while hubby is off on the truck, I get the munchies and don't want to make a full size cake just for me. (Too much danger in eating the whole thing by myself LOL). This is an excellent idea for loners! I am adding this one to my recipe folder as well! Thanks for the hint!


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