It was more than 5 years ago when I tried my first Microwave Chocolate Cake. That cake was slightly spongy, but it was easy to make and delivered a warm chocolate cake for one in just about 3 minutes. Microwave cakes that are “baked” in mugs have remained popular, as the lure of a very fast chocolate cake is hard to resist. I mostly gave up on chocolate cakes baked in mugs, but when I saw that a recent issue of Cook’s Country (Oct/Nov 2013) featured them, I knew that I would have to give the recipe a try and see how it stacked up to other microwave cakes I’d tried.
The first thing I noticed about the recipe is that it was a little more labor intensive than most of the microwave mug cakes I’d tried in the past. Usually, they’re mixed up in the mug that you “bake” them in, but this recipe is put together a little more like a traditional cake batter because it uses melted chocolate to give it some extra richness. The batter is poured into mugs and microwaved on medium power – stopping once to stir the batter and ensure that the cake cooks evenly – then topped with small chunks of chocolate that turn into a “molten” chocolate center before the cooking is finished.
For the extra effort that goes into this batter, you get a cake that has a lot of intense chocolate flavor (especially if you use really dark chocolate) and isn’t too sweet. The baking method Cook’s Country used did improve on the texture of the original mug cake, since it was cooked evenly all the way through. But the cake still has the texture of a steamed cake for all that added richness. If you’re not familiar with steamed cakes, they are spongier than your average cake and they dry out quickly – and it’s not what you would typically expect to find in a molten chocolate cake that has been baked in an oven. Since these cakes are small, they start to dry out and become fairly firm once they’ve been out of the microwave for 5-10 minutes.
Sticking a piece of dark chocolate into the center of the cake gave it a molten center that helped to keep the cake moist, in addition to adding richness. I liked using milk chocolate in the center because it added a little extra sweetness into the cake and liquefied a little more thoroughly, saturating the cake. Dark chocolate will still work if you prefer that to milk chocolate, of course. I recommend serving these with whipped cream or ice cream, to balance out the cake. They must be served immediately after “baking” them. Don’t be tempted to turn them out onto a plate, as they look much prettier inside the mug than they do out of it!
Microwave Molten Chocolate Cake for Two
from Cook’s Country
4 tbsp butter
1 oz dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
2 1/2-oz chunks of milk chocolate
In a small bowl, melt together butter and dark chocolate until smooth. Stir in cocoa powder and vanilla extract.
In a medium bowl, whisk together sugar and eggs. Beat in chocolate mixture until smooth. Sift in the flour, baking powder and salt and whisk until well combined.
Divide batter evenly into two 11-oz coffee mugs.
Microwave on 50% power for 45 seconds. Stir, then microwave on 50% power for an additional 45 seconds. Insert one chunk of milk chocolate into each cake, then microwave on 50% power for 35-45 seconds, or until the cake looks set and slightly dry on top.
Allow to cool for 1 minute, then serve.
ChewthefatSeptember 14, 2013
I can’t help chuckling, wondering what the editorial meeting was like at Cook’s Country when they proposed this feature article, given that I’ve heard Chris Kimball takes such a dim view of microwaving (I have heard him say he only uses it to rehear his coffee). Obviously, the forces of modernity won out…
Stephanie @ Plain ChickenSeptember 14, 2013
YUM! Can’t wait to try this!
Celia T. McNamaraSeptember 15, 2013
The microwave molten chocolate cake looks delicious! Thanks for providing the recipe. Will definitely try it and let you know how it goes 🙂
Jeff @ CheeseburgerSeptember 17, 2013
It’s very easy to make and surprisingly very delicious!
DivyaSeptember 17, 2013
It is a hit in my house!! I made it once, and then had to make a second batch immediately for my chocoholics. Thank you for another amazing recipe.
JazminSeptember 25, 2013
I love molten chocolate cake! I am definitely going to try this because I love to bake. On top of that I love chocolate.
PattyDecember 1, 2013
Since my husband and I both have diabetes and we occasionally succumb to the power of chocolate, I modified the recipe to reduce the sugar. Instead of dark chocolate chunks, I used Hersey Dark Cocoa Powder. Mix everything except the sugar as described. Substitute 1/4 cup of Splenda. I have found that baking or cooking with Splenda works best if you add Splenda as the last ingredient. I also I used semi-sweet chocolate chips (6 for me, 8 for my husband) for the molten part. They were more than I expected. To quote my husband “a chocolate fix to the max” and for me, it was one serving instead of an entire cake that would tempt me everyday! Very YUMMY!
Robin @thebakingexchangeMarch 4, 2015
Just made this and hhhmmmmmm….it was good. Totally satisfied my craving and didn’t make me feel like I overate. It was cute and fun. 🙂
SamreenSeptember 8, 2015
Just made this and it was ohh-sooo-good, plus I did add a pinch of coffee to enhance it further. It did turn hard while sitting for like 5 minutes when I turned it over on a plate. Guess I should have read the whole post instead of looking at the pictures and jumping to the recipe. Will have to be careful the next time. 😛