Got a mug and got a few minutes to spare? Here's 6 cake recipes you can make. Yes, really.

Baking can sometimes feel off limits for the woefully inept amongst us who do not even own a whisk, let alone a cake tin, scales, mixer or piping tube. No more. 

 

These laughably quick recipes from Mug Cakes, the brilliant book by Mima Sinclair shows you how to bake delicious cakes even if all you’ve got to hand in your kitchen is a microwave and a mug. Don't let the list of ingredients fool you - these are stupidly easy and can be made literally in minutes.  You’re welcome.

 

Black Forest cake

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Warm, gooey chocolate cake, sweet sticky jam, fresh whipped cream, rich chocolate curls and a cherry on top… who could want for more?

 

Ingredients

2 tbsp soft butter

40g dark chocolate, broken into small pieces

1 medium egg, lightly beaten

2 tbsp semi-skimmed milk

3 tbsp caster sugar

3 tbsp self-raising flour

pinch of salt 

1 tbsp cherry conserve 

 

To decorate 

50ml double cream 

1 tbsp cherry conserve 

10g dark chocolate 

fresh cherries, to garnish 

 

Method 

  1. Place the butter and chocolate in a 350ml mug and microwave for 10–20 seconds until melted.
  2. Add the egg and milk to the mug and beat with a fork until combined. 
  3. Add the sugar, flour and salt and beat again until smooth, then fold through the conserve.
  4. Cook for 2 minutes @ 600W, 1 minute 45 seconds @ 800W or 1 minute 30 seconds @ 1000W. Leave to cool.
  5. Meanwhile, make the icing. Lightly whip the cream into soft peaks. Spread the conserve over the cooled cake and then spoon on the whipped cream. Using a vegetable peeler, create delicate chocolate curls and scatter these over the cream.
  6. Finish, of course, with a cherry on top and serve immediately. 

 

Tip: You can serve this cake warm – just watch out for dribbling cream!

 

Honey cake

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A little extra effort goes into this one, but when your best friend sees those little buzzy bees, you’ll know it was all worth it.

 

Ingredients

2 tbsp soft butter 

1 medium egg 

2 tbsp runny honey 

½ tsp vanilla extract 

3 tbsp light muscavado sugar 

4 tbsp self-raising flour

Pinch of salt 

 

To decorate 

2 tbsp softened butter 

4 tbsp icing sugar 

Pinch of ground cinnamon 

30g yellow marzipan 

Black food dye 

4 flaked almonds 

Cocktail stick 

1 tsp honey 

 

Method

  1. Place the butter in a 350ml mug and microwave for 10–20 seconds until melted. 
  2. Add the egg, honey and vanilla to the mug and beat with a fork until combined. Add the sugar, flour and salt and beat again until smooth. 
  3. Cook in the microwave for 1 minute 45 seconds @ 600W, 1 minute 30 seconds @ 800W or 1 minute 15 seconds @ 1000W. Leave to cool. 
  4. Meanwhile, make the icing. Beat the butter, icing sugar and cinnamon together until light and fluffy, then spoon into a piping bag fitted with a large round nozzle. 
  5. Divide the marzipan in two and, with your fingers, roll each piece into two bumble bee-sized oval shapes. Dipping either a skewer or a paintbrush into the black food dye, paint the marzipan with stripes and eyes to look like a bee, finishing with almond flakes for wings. Place one on a cocktail stick.
  6. Once the cake is completely cooled, pipe the icing in a spiral pattern over the sponge. It’s best to work from the outside edge inward and to keep constant pressure on the icing bag. To finish, release the pressure on the bag, press down lightly and then pull straight up.
  7. Garnish with the bees and drizzle with honey to serve.

 

Tip: Making the marzipan bees a day in advance means they will firm up a little and hold their shape.

 

Salted caramel and chocolate cake

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Salted caramel is ridiculously addictive. Here the salt sets off the caramel and dark chocolate perfectly.

 

Ingredients

2 tbsp soft butter, plus a little for greasing

40g dark chocolate, finely chopped

1 medium egg 

1 tbsp semi-skimmed milk

2 tbsp light brown sugar

3 tbsp self-raising flour 

2 tbsp dulche de leche or thick caramel, mixed with ¼ teaspoon sea salt flakes

pinch of sea salt flakes

 

Method

  1. Grease a 350ml mug with a little butter.
  2. Place the remaining butter and chocolate in a second mug and microwave for 10–20 seconds until melted.
  3. Add the egg and milk and beat with a fork until combined. Add the sugar and flour and beat again until smooth, then transfer the mixture to the greased mug and spoon a tablespoon of the salty caramel on the top.
  4. Cook in the microwave for 3 minutes 20 seconds @ 600W, 3 minutes @ 800W or 2 minutes 40 seconds @ 1000W. Leave to cool.
  5. Carefully turn the cake out onto a plate and spoon over the remaining caramel. Sprinkle with a few sea salt flakes and serve immediately.

 

Tip: Top with a scoop of vanilla, chocolate or caramel ice cream.

 

Coffee and walnut cake

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This is an old classic that never goes out of style and in my opinion is the perfect cake for a mid-morning snack or afternoon tea... especially when it comes with a creamy caramel topping!

 

Ingredients

2 tbsp soft butter

2 tbsp instant coffee granules mixed with 1 tablespoon hot water

1 medium egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

3 tbsp golden caster sugar

4 tbsp self raising flour

pinch of salt

1 tbsp walnuts, roughly chopped

 

To decorate

2 tbsp double cream

1/2 tbsp caramel sauce

1 walnut half

 

Method

  1. Place the butter in a 350ml mug and microwave for 10–20 seconds until melted. 
  2. Add the coffee, egg, vanilla and sugar to the mug and beat with a fork until thoroughly combined. Add the flour and salt and beat again until smooth, then fold through the walnut pieces.
  3. Cook in the microwave for 2 minutes @ 600W, 1 minute 45 seconds @ 800W or 1 minute 30 seconds @ 1000W. Leave to cool.
  4. Meanwhile, make the icing. Whip the cream into soft peaks, fold though the caramel sauce and then spoon over the cooled sponge and top with the walnut half.

 

Tip: For a little extra luxury, replace the double cream in the icing with mascarpone.

 

Chocolate and peanut butter cake

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If you had to work late, your train was delayed or you got caught in the rain... this is the cake to treat yourself with – it will banish your blues away.

 

Ingredients

2 tbsp soft butter

40g dark chocolate, finely chopped

1 medium egg

2 tbsp semi-skimmed milk

3 tbsp caster sugar

3 tbsp self-raising flour

pinch of salt

2 tbsp smooth peanut butter

1 tbsp salted roasted peanuts, roughly chopped

 

Method

  1. Place the butter and chocolate in a 350ml mug and microwave for 10–20 seconds until melted.
  2. Add the egg and milk to the mug and beat with a fork until thoroughly combined.
  3. Add the sugar, flour and salt and beat again until smooth, then float a tablespoon of peanut butter on top of the cake mixture but don’t stir – this will sink down as the cake cooks to create a lovely gooey peanut butter centre.
  4. Cook in the microwave for 2 minutes 20 seconds @ 600W, 2 minutes @ 800W or 1 minute 40 seconds @ 1000W.
  5. While the cake is still warm, top with the remaining peanut butter. Wait for it to melt slightly and then scatter with peanuts, curl up on the sofa and enjoy. 

 

Swap: Overdose on chocolate – swap the peanut butter for chocolate spread.

 

 

Lamingtons

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Lamingtons

Via: Mug Cakes

A traditional Australian treat and a school fête favourite! These little cakes are as fun and messy to make as they are to eat!

 

Ingredients

2 tbsp soft butter, plus a little to grease 

1 medium egg

1 tbsp semi-skimmed milk

2 tsp vanilla extract

3 tbsp caster sugar

4 tbsp self-raising flour

pinch of salt 

 

To decorate 

2 tbsp butter 

1 tsp cocoa powder 

3 tbsp icing sugar 

3 tbsp desiccated coconut 

3 tbsp double cream

1 tbsp strawberry jam

 

Method

  1. Grease a 350ml mug with a little butter and set aside. Place the butter in a second mug and microwave for 10–20 seconds until melted.
  2. Add the egg, milk and vanilla to the mug and beat with a fork until combined. Add the sugar, flour and salt and beat again until smooth.
  3. Cook in the microwave for 2 minutes 20 seconds @ 600W, 2 minutes @ 800W or 1 minute 40 seconds @ 1000W. Leave to cool.
  4. Meanwhile, make the icing. Place the butter, cocoa and icing sugar in a mug and microwave for 10–15 seconds until melted. Stir to combine.
  5. Scatter the coconut evenly over the plate. Turn the cooled sponge out of the mug and then dip the entire cake in the chocolate icing. Immediately transfer the chocolate-coated cake to the plate and roll so the coconut is distributed evenly over the surface. Leave for a few minutes while you wait for the icing to set. 
  6. Meanwhile, whip the cream into soft peaks. Slice the cake in half horizontally and spread the top of the bottom sponge with the jam. Add a spoon of whipped cream and then top with the other sponge half.

 

Tip: Purists wouldn’t slice the sponge and serve with cream and jam so leave it out if you wish.

 

 

Mug Cakes by Mima Sinclair is published by Kyle Books, priced £8.99. Photography by Tara Fisher.