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Make-It-Mine Chocolate Mug Cake

Updated: Feb 15

Easy 5-minute gourmet cake recipe sure to satisfy any cravings. A quick fix luxury.

Ah, the late 80s gave us some gems, but none quite as mouthwatering as the chocolate lava cake. There's something almost magical about that first forkful, where the rich, molten chocolate heart oozes out in a deliciously decadent flow. Guess what? You can now whip up this gooey delight in less than 5 minutes, right in your microwave! 

Mug cakes are the ultimate lazy chef's dream come true. They're ridiculously easy to make, miraculously mess-free, and just perfect for your sweet tooth, the kiddos, and our beloved Lift UP clients. Speaking of Lift UP, we're all about dishing out food security with a side of love to folks in 50 affordable housing communities across Downtown and Northwest Portland. 

You'd be surprised, but not everyone we help has a fancy kitchen to play chef in. Some are making do with just a hot plate and a microwave. That's why at Lift UP, we're not just about catering to dietary needs like Diabetes, High Blood Pressure, Kosher, and Gluten-Free diets; we're also big on keeping things simple for our friends without full kitchens. 

And for the chocolate skeptics out there (yes, we acknowledge your existence, as bewildering as it may be), fear not! There's a vanilla version just for you. Got a sweet tooth and 3 minutes to spare? This recipe's got your name on it. 

Why not jazz up the classic mug cake for an extra special touch? Here are some fun tweaks and toppings to elevate your mug cake game, perfect for making any day feel like a celebration with your favorite person.  

Lift UP has made a huge difference in my life – Kim Lift UP pantry shopper

Make-It-Mine Chocolate Mug Cake


  • 2 tbsp wheat flour or gluten free flour 

  • 1 tbsp unrefined cane sugar 

  • 2 tbsp chocolate chips 

  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder 

  • ¼ tsp baking powder 

  • ⅛ tsp salt 

  • ½ tsp vanilla extract 

  • 1 tbsp apple sauce 

  • 2 tbsp milk or plant milk

  •  Powdered sugar (optional) for garnish 


  1. Combine Dry Ingredients: Start by selecting an 8-ounce ramekin or a small mug. Add all the dry ingredients into it. Use a fork or a small whisk to thoroughly mix these ingredients together until well combined. 

  2. Add Wet Ingredients: To the same ramekin or mug with the dry ingredients, incorporate the apple sauce, plant-based milk, and vanilla extract. Stir everything together until the mixture is smooth and there are no lumps. 

  3. Microwave Cooking: Place the ramekin or mug in the microwave. For a firmer cake texture, microwave on high for 50 seconds. If you prefer your cake to be gooey and more moist, microwave it for 40 seconds instead. 


Red Velvet Mug Cake: Infuse romance by transforming your double chocolate mug cake into a red velvet version. You can achieve this by adding a little bit of red food coloring and substituting some of the cocoa powder with white flour. Serve with cream cheese frosting to capture the essence of red velvet's iconic taste. 

Strawberry Chocolate Mug Cake: Incorporate strawberries, a symbol of love, into your mug cake. Mix in fresh or frozen strawberries into your batter, or top your finished cake with a strawberry sauce or sliced strawberries and whipped cream. The combination of strawberries and chocolate will be a delightful treat. 

Chocolate Lava Mug Cake: For a more decadent dessert, adapt your recipe to create a gooey chocolate center by reducing the cooking time slightly or by placing a piece of chocolate in the center of the batter before microwaving. This molten heart will surely impress your Valentine. 

Espresso Double Chocolate Mug Cake: Add a teaspoon of instant espresso powder to your batter to enhance the chocolate flavor and add a sophisticated twist. This addition is perfect for coffee-loving couples looking for an extra kick. 

Chocolate and Hazelnut Mug Cake: Mix in a spoonful of hazelnut spread into your batter before cooking or dollop it in the middle for a hazelnut surprise center. The nutty flavor complements the chocolate beautifully, creating a luxurious treat. 

Chocolate Orange Mug Cake: Add orange zest and a small amount of orange extract or liqueur to your batter for a refreshing twist. The citrus note pairs wonderfully with chocolate and adds a sophisticated flavor profile. 

S'mores Mug Cake: Stir in some crushed graham crackers into your batter and top with mini marshmallows before cooking. After the cake is done, broil it for a few seconds to toast the marshmallows, mimicking the beloved campfire treat with a Valentine's twist. 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Mug Cake: Before cooking, drop a spoonful of peanut butter into the center of your batter. The result is a deliciously gooey peanut butter core enveloped by moist chocolate cake—a combination that's hard to resist. 

Simply Vanilla Mug Cake


  • 4 tbsp all purpose flour 

  • 2 tbsp white granulated sugar 

  • ¼ tsp baking powder 

  • ⅛ tsp salt 

  • 3 tbsp of milk or non-dairy milk of choice 

  • 2 tbsp canola oil or vegetable oil 

  • ½ tsp vanilla extract  


  1. Use same instructions from chocolate cake above. Add some sprinkles and whipped cream to be ultimately transported back to your childhood.  

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