Today’s post was originally supposed to be a full-on cake, but by the time we got home from eating a ginormous lunch with my parents at one of our favorite Chinese restaurants, I was in way too deep of a food coma to do any sort of heavy duty baking. Too many servings of rice, salt & pepper pork, fried fish, stir fried green beans, noodles, and spicy beef tendons will do that to a person.
So instead of baking a cake (or going for a run…or being productive in general), I flopped on the couch with Dan for a couple hours and watched the sun slowly set on yesterday’s gorgeous 60-degree and sunny day. It was nice, but also sort of stressful. As a food blogger, wasting perfectly good natural light on a day when I don’t have a lot going on always makes me feel vaguely guilty. Does anyone else get that way?
So at the last possible second, I mustered a burst of energy to get off my ass and put together another Valentine’s Day post as promised. There was no time to make anything that would take me longer than 30 minutes (which was roughly how much longer the sun was going to be in the sky), so I couldn’t do anything fancy.
No cakes, no cupcakes, no pies…no decadent breakfast foods…no elaborate Valentine’s Day-themed entrees. What on earth could I make in a handful of minutes that would both look good and taste good?
Mug cakes, of course! Chocolate mug cakes for two, loaded up with ripe strawberries and freshly whipped cream – all things which readers have been telling me are must haves for February 14.
What I love about these little cakes is that they are (1) super easy to make (super basic ingredients, 5 min cook time tops), (2) really delicious, and (3) don’t totally wreck my new plan to look fabulous at all my friends’ weddings this summer. Portion control is the name of the game, and mug cakes are perfect for that.
I don’t know about you guys, but when someone puts an entire chocolate cake in front of me, it takes everything I have in me to not just dig in with a spoon and eat all of it in one sitting. Mug cakes, on the other hand, are the perfect size to satisfy my sugar/chocolate cravings, without testing my willpower or giving me the option to go off the rails.
And because it’s such a small scale dessert, I find that it’s easier to tweak the ingredients to suit any diet (e.g., less sugar, gluten free flour, etc.) without causing a kitchen disaster.
Oh, and one other benefit of these mug cakes: they gave me a chance to break out my new tray and polka dot mugs from West Elm (which are actually supposed to be flower pots, oddly enough)! What do you think?
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- 3 tbsp flour
- 4 tbsp granulated sugar
- 3 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 egg
- 3 tbsp milk
- 3 tbsp oil
- 3 tbsp chocolate chips
- Sliced strawberries (for garnish)
- Whipped cream (for garnish)
- Spray insides of 1 large (or 2 small) microwave-safe mugs with cooking spray.
- Place dry ingredients and wet ingredients in your large mug. Using a fork or small whisk, mix everything into a smooth batter. (You can also mix everything in a bowl, then pour batter into mug(s)).
- Stir in chocolate chips.
- Microwave mug on high for about 1-1/2 to 2 minutes. (If necessary, continue to microwave cake in 30 second increments until desired level of done-ness is achieved.)
- Allow cake to cool a few minutes, then spoon sliced strawberries and whipped cream on top.
- Enjoy, immediately!
(Very slightly adapted from Dear Crissy’s recipe)