The guide to the ultimate mug cake

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When settling into my too-worn-in sofa, wearing pajamas that are also a little too worn in, I always feel as though I’m forgetting something. Cheesy romantic comedy? Check. Glasses on and makeup off? Check. Then, I realize I forgot a snack: the most important prerequisite for a movie night. Rummaging through my pantry drawers, I generally find them to be empty except for stray crumbs from previously devoured cookies. It’s too late to rush out to the grocery store. I’m already festooned with flannel pajamas. The only answer is to make something myself. But that takes too long and would be too much for one person, no matter how much my stomach would like to think otherwise.

Does this scenario sound familiar?

If so, I highly suggest you try the mug cake. It’s a microwavable version of your favorite cake that still retains the original’s yumminess, and it’s perfect if you are all by yourself at night. Cue the Celine Dion.

Like all good recipes, this one is hard to mess up. First, gather the following:

  • 2 tablespoons of oil
  • 4 tablespoons of sugar
  • 4 tablespoons of flour
  • 1 whisked egg
  • 3 tablespoons of milk
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Then, pour your dry ingredients into a mug of your choosing and add the wet ingredients. It doesn’t really matter in which order you do it. Just don’t tell anyone. Pop the mug into the microwave for three minutes and relax. There you go — cake in three minutes.

If you’re feeling extra adventurous on your night in, you might want to try adding some extra ingredients. Want to get in the fall mood? Add 1 tablespoon of applesauce and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and nutmeg. If that’s too wet, add a bit more flour until it appears to be the same consistency as before. People say baking is supposed to be precise, but mug cakes transcend the ordinary baking world. Guesstimating is perfectly acceptable — if not expected — in the mug-cake world. Are you a Jaffa Cake fanatic? Try mixing in 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder and 1 tablespoon of orange juice. Feeling like you need a reward for powering through all 11 seasons of Law and Order: SVU? Add 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder and drop in a piece of sea-salted caramel.

Mug cakes will vanquish any sudden cravings or hunger pangs that creep up on you. Best of all, they don’t require too much energy that might interrupt any lethargic flopping around on the couch you had planned for the night.

Contact Nora Harhen at [email protected].