I'm Elyse. Some of my most vivid and cherished memories are around a table with friends and family, and I want that for you, too.
What are you in the
I considered titling this post “A Mug Cake that isn’t Crazy Depressing”. But, turns out no one Google searches that.
Something I really enjoy about this blog is that I get to share a lot of joy with people. We bake together, we chat about the things we love, and we eat really, really well. However, not every day is a banger. Some days are rough. And, every once in a while, I feel like I don’t have the tools to deal with it. I’ll feel flustered or weepy or overwhelmed or angry, and it can make me feel a little incapable of doing the things expected of an adult.
Now, no one comes to Elyse Creates to hear me vent or to be an armchair therapist, so it is rare that I talk about stuff like this. But I do think it’s important to remind folks that the internet can fool us into thinking that we are alone in our grief or anger. But, you’re not! It’s totally normal to have days where you don’t feel your best.
The other day, it felt like everything was going wrong and when I got home, all I wanted was something warm and chocolatey. As a baking blogger, there’s always some kind of treat in the apartment…but not this day. So, I went to the internet and thought I would try a mug cake. I gathered my ingredients, mixed them in a mug, and tossed the whole thing in the microwave. It was…not good. I wanted comfort in a mug, but what I got was weirdly eggy and not nearly chocolatey enough, it felt like a bummer end to an already bummer day. I don’t want that for you.
Making a Better Mug Cake
To preface, nothing that you make in 5 minutes, in a microwave, can beat the quality of something you put your all into. But, when “your all” is all gone, this will do the trick. After trying a few mug cake recipes, I ran into a few consistent issues. 1. It was REALLY annoying to mix everything in the mug. 2. Things were more bubbly in texture than spongy, which was a weird sensation. 3. The ‘cake’ was not sweet or chocolatey enough. 4. Recipes that called for egg ended up tasting far too eggy.
Now to be clear, these issues could have absolutely been user error. I didn’t try any recipe more than once, so they could be amazing and I just screwed up somehow. Also, while I had the size mug that was called for, none of my mugs have a wide mouth, which made mixing troublesome.
So, to fix things, we got to testing. We nixed the egg, upped the sugar and chocolate, pulled back the flour, avoided baking soda, and mixed everything in a bowl before dumping it into the mug. I also decided that I wanted, nay, needed peanut butter. So I plopped a dollop into the center before baking. This left me with a gooey, peanut buttery center.
If you have a wide-mouth mug, feel free to mix everything in there. But, for those of us who only have normal mugs, I’m afraid you have to mix it in a bowl. It causes one more dirty dish, but will save you a headache and ensure that everything is mixed properly.
Feel free to top this cakey/brownie-ish mug with everything or nothing. Have some whipped cream? Throw it on! Powdered sugar? Heck ya! Want even more peanut butter? I’m not going to stop you. Do whatever makes you feel better. A small word of warning, after you are done with your cake, remember to soak your mug. The chocolate bits can stick to the sides sometimes, and on rough days, you shouldn’t have to scrub.
Need a few more chocolate recipes in your life? Check these out!:
This chocolate and peanut butter mug cake can be thrown together in 5 minutes and scratches the dessert itch without needing to turn on your oven.
3T all purpose flour
2T cocoa powder
3T granulated sugar
1/2t baking powder
pinch of salt
3T whole milk
3T canola oil (or vegetable oil)
1t vanilla extract
2T semisweet chocolate chips
1/2T (or 1 1/2t) smooth peanut butter
Find a mug that holds 10-12oz. To make sure, try filling it with 1.5C of water. If you succeed, you have your mug!
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
Add the milk, oil, and vanilla to the bowl and whisk to combine.
Add the chocolate chips and gently mix in. Pour the batter into your mug.
Plop your scoop of peanut butter into the center of your mug and microwave it for 60-90 seconds. 75 seconds tends to work great for me. It keeps things fudgy while holding together, but every microwave is different, so keep an eye on it.