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July 21, 2008 9:15 AM   Subscribe

A tasty chocolate cake you can make from scratch in five minutes. In the microwave. In a mug. Other 5-minute variations include peanut butter chocolate cake (picture), jello cake (picture), and spice cake
posted by blahblahblah (80 comments total) 66 users marked this as a favorite

 
Warning: A bunch of people did this on Something Awful. They did not enjoy the results.
posted by smackfu at 9:19 AM on July 21, 2008 [6 favorites]


Neat! And dangerously simple.
posted by amro at 9:20 AM on July 21, 2008


When I was a kid, my mom bought little microwave cake mixes. Each box included a packet of dry ingredients, a little plastic pan and a packet of frosting. The cakes always came out a bit spongy, but as a kid, I took great pride in having Baked Something.

Now, it's all about facilitating laziness and gaining access to freshly-baked cake in single-serve portions using fresh, real-food ingredients and requiring minimal dish-dirtying. Mmmmm lazycake.

Thanks, blahblahblah.
posted by Flipping_Hades_Terwilliger at 9:25 AM on July 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


This cake, it farts?
posted by chillmost at 9:32 AM on July 21, 2008


Having just read a few of the Something Awful comments, I've decided to revise my position on the awesomeness of microwaved cake. It was probably a lot more awesome when I was ten.
posted by Flipping_Hades_Terwilliger at 9:34 AM on July 21, 2008


I have actually been looking for this recipe for awhile. I have found a few, slightly similar recipes, but there was always something slightly off. Ignoring the goons, this is a great, super-lazy way to make a quick cake for yourself.
posted by banannafish at 9:36 AM on July 21, 2008


This is when you know you have a problem.
posted by DU at 9:41 AM on July 21, 2008 [3 favorites]


SA is right: the chocolate version of the cake has very little flavor and an odd texture. I think vanilla and a dash of salt would help, as might substituting buttermilk for the milk. (It also didn't take anywhere near 3 minutes in my microwave, and I'm sure leaving it in too long doesn't improve it any.)
posted by magicbus at 9:42 AM on July 21, 2008


I don't get it. The microwave requires at the very least four button-presses (e.g. "3-0-0-start"). The oven just requires you to turn a knob to 350. And the oven will actually produce... cake.

This recipe isn't any simpler than actual cake batter. In fact, the secret is: it's actual cake batter! Just cook it in the oven, and enjoy your cake. And rest easy knowing that now you know cake batter is not hard to make, but no one else seems to.
posted by rusty at 9:50 AM on July 21, 2008 [5 favorites]


That SA thread has a very good Huevos Rancheros Recipe in it.
posted by Lord_Pall at 9:58 AM on July 21, 2008 [4 favorites]


Put two tablespoons of this in a mug, mix it with a tablespoon of yogurt (or applesauce, even) and nuke it. Damn, it's tasty.
posted by Faint of Butt at 9:58 AM on July 21, 2008


WARNING WARNING WARNING

ANY FURTHER MENTION OF THE
WORDS 'CAKE' AND 'LIE' IN THE
SAME MESSAGE WILL CAUSE
THIS THREAD TO SELF-DESTRUCT

YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED
posted by sixswitch at 9:58 AM on July 21, 2008 [9 favorites]


A passable chocolate souffle actually isn't hard to make, and it will be far better than a microwave cake.
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 10:01 AM on July 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


Also, cake without frosting is just bread. Maybe chocolate bread, but still far short of cake.
posted by DU at 10:04 AM on July 21, 2008 [5 favorites]


6-minute chocolate cake. Mixing and clean-up are just as easy. I've tested this recipe repeatedly in my own kitchen... it hasn't failed me yet.

A little patience goes a long way.
posted by wg at 10:05 AM on July 21, 2008 [2 favorites]


I don't get it. The microwave requires at the very least four button-presses (e.g. "3-0-0-start"). The oven just requires you to turn a knob to 350. And the oven will actually produce... cake.

It appears to me that the difference we're talking about is time. Hence the "in 5 minutes" part." Ovens need time to get hot.
posted by ORthey at 10:07 AM on July 21, 2008


Mugcakes!
posted by fiercecupcake at 10:11 AM on July 21, 2008


Why does your 6-minute chocolate cake take 30-60 minutes, wg?
posted by ErWenn at 10:14 AM on July 21, 2008


4 Tablespoons cake flour
4 Tablespoons sugar
2 Tablespoons cocoa
1 Egg
3 Tablespoons milk
3 Tablespoons oil
1 Mug


Err, those proportions seem a bit off. Here's what goes in my family's version of that Depression-era favourite Wacky Cake. Dead easy way to make a moist, rich cake that isn't sickly sweet and sticky while using only the pan you mix and bake it in.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Mix dry ingredients in a nonstick 8 x 8 pan or a loaf pan:
* 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour (no fancy cake flour needed)
* 3/4 cup sugar (sweet but not cloying)
* 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* Additional spices to taste: try 1/2 teaspoon each of ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg to start

Add wet ingredients: stir into dry ingredients in the following order with a fork until combined, but do not overmix
* 3 tablespoons oil (the original used 4 T, and I've seen as high as 6 T, but 3 works just fine)
* 1 tablespoon white vinegar
* 1 cup cold water with 1 teaspoon vanilla added (you might also add 1 teaspoon of peppermint or almond extract)

Put into oven for 30 minutes for an 8 x 8 pan, or 40 minutes for a loaf pan. Cake is done when it pulls slightly away from the sides and/or a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

(I'm working on a carrot cake variation of this, too.)
posted by maudlin at 10:17 AM on July 21, 2008 [11 favorites]


I've heard Hitler microwaved chocolate cakes.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 10:17 AM on July 21, 2008


Also: I can't WAIT to get home and put my thousands-of-dollars'-worth of pastry school to use making A Better Microwaved-in-a-Mug Cake. Brace yourself, Metafilter, for I have ideas.
posted by fiercecupcake at 10:20 AM on July 21, 2008 [7 favorites]


Give me a FPP with a 4 Minute cake recipe...screw this 5 Minute crap.
posted by JibberJabber at 10:25 AM on July 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


Fail cake.
Really, if you don't have time to bake a cake then buy one.
But don't pretend you are cooking with the microwave.
posted by 2sheets at 10:35 AM on July 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


Nah, the heck with microwave cake h8rs! I'm a cake junkie (cakie?) and to me, this is a brilliant concept. I can't wait to try it!
posted by Lynsey at 10:41 AM on July 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


Basically just a pan cake, same idea, very simple way to cook flour without the need for fancy equipment or an oven. Flour, water, oil is the basics. Oregon Trail kinda stuff.
posted by stbalbach at 10:41 AM on July 21, 2008


I'm making a note here: Failure.
posted by cavalier at 10:50 AM on July 21, 2008 [2 favorites]


I once purchased a small cake mix thing at a Japanese grocery store which was made in the same way. One just added a packet of the powdered mix to a mug, cracked in an egg, whisked it together, then microwaved it. The result was basically the same as seen here. This makes me happy because now I can just put these together at home.

If you are interested in that Japanese treat, here's a series of photos of the package and the process of making one up: Mokomoko Cocoa Chiffon
posted by c0nsumer at 10:51 AM on July 21, 2008


Not a fail cake.
I am currently without an oven and I crave homemade chocolate cake [true story]. I have found my solution.

I am not a child but am nostalgic for fun size, awkwardly-shaped baked goods produced by an Easy Bake Oven [not a true story but could be for some]. Here is the grown-up version.
posted by rokabiri at 10:55 AM on July 21, 2008 [3 favorites]


My kid sister used to have an Easy Bake Oven. You haven't had cake till you've tried one baked with a light bulb.
posted by hojoki at 10:58 AM on July 21, 2008


Paging Dr. Oetker to the white courtesy throne...
posted by seanmpuckett at 11:00 AM on July 21, 2008 [3 favorites]


You shouldn't put oil in a cake. It's a substitute for the correct ingredient, which is margarine.
posted by fire&wings at 11:01 AM on July 21, 2008


The thing about people saying Fail Cake without actually trying: that's dumb. Try it, and if it fails, to you, then come back and say fail, if you want. Maybe it will fail. Maybe you wanted some hot chocolatey goo and that's just what you got in 5 minutes. Maybe something else.

Also, this may be way off, but I don't really see this as cake replacement. People like to try all sorts of different shit for no good reason. Why, just a few years ago I wanted to make a pie, but I had no flour. So I made a pie crust with pancake mix. It pretty much failed, and also the filling was gross, but it was really fun and we poked eyes and a mouth into the crust and when the pie came out it was crying juice out one eye. Turned out the real "pie" was the fun times we were creating.

The end.
posted by ORthey at 11:01 AM on July 21, 2008 [12 favorites]


All of a sudden I am craving Betty Crocker chocolate chip snackin' cake. Do they still sell that?
posted by sevenyearlurk at 11:01 AM on July 21, 2008


Do this while you wait for it to cook and you can eat cake all day and not gain an ounce!
posted by any major dude at 11:01 AM on July 21, 2008


Oregon Trail kinda stuff.

YOU HAVE DIED OF MICROWAVE-CAKE-BASED DYSENTERY.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 11:08 AM on July 21, 2008 [7 favorites]


I would like to say that I do make eggs in the microwave. Well, scrambled eggs, in perfect english muffin sized circle to go on my home made breakfast sandwich. It means one bowl to clean up, no frying pan, and I can warm up some canadian bacon at the same time (one egg in a bowl or vessel with the same diameter as the english muffin, scramble with a dash of water, some salt and pepper, nuke for 40-50 seconds).

Healthier and faster than an premade one at mcdonalds (my recipe is 250 calories vs 300 from mcdonalds, and is HFCS free and costs under a dollar per sandwich, BREAKFAST HACK).
posted by mrzarquon at 11:09 AM on July 21, 2008 [3 favorites]


Thank you, c0nsumer! We had a few of those in the past, which we dubbed "Add Egg Get Cake" based on the illustrations. Now I know what to ask for in the admittedly unlikely event we want more.
posted by schoolgirl report at 11:09 AM on July 21, 2008


HUZZAH!!
Now I can more quickly make my cakes for farting on!
posted by Jonsnews at 11:15 AM on July 21, 2008


I can cook. I can even bake. But this is cool.
posted by rokusan at 11:20 AM on July 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


This cake, it farts?

Actually, yes. Watch the video.
posted by rokusan at 11:20 AM on July 21, 2008


My 6-year-old and I just made one. Sprinkled with powdered sugar, it was actually quite good. But the best part was that I got to break up a hot and boring day by unexpectedly declaring, "Let's do a cake experiment!" Thanks, blahblahblah.
posted by jrossi4r at 11:39 AM on July 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


Why does your 6-minute chocolate cake take 30-60 minutes, wg?

The six minutes is how long it takes to assemble the ingredients and get it in the oven. That's where the patience comes in...
posted by wg at 11:56 AM on July 21, 2008


The six minutes is how long it takes to assemble the ingredients and get it in the oven.

But I'm not hungry in 30-60 minutes. I'm hungry NOW.
posted by Justinian at 12:21 PM on July 21, 2008 [2 favorites]


Apparently my microwave is low-volume. It took about 8 minutes to cook. Not too tasty, but if I'm desperate it's an option.
posted by cherie72 at 12:30 PM on July 21, 2008


Blech.
posted by Debaser626 at 12:43 PM on July 21, 2008


Needs bacon.
posted by clearly at 12:46 PM on July 21, 2008


"You shouldn't put oil in a cake. It's a substitute for the correct ingredient, which is margarine."

At first glance I would have sworn that you said "marijuana" and was puzzled and intrigued at the same time.
posted by clearly at 12:48 PM on July 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


I wish I'd seen something like this while I was living in Tokyo, where the vast majority of apartments (that I saw) had no oven. I didn't even know about the Mokomoko stuff.
posted by bashos_frog at 12:48 PM on July 21, 2008


My mom tried this yesterday and really liked it.
posted by sarcasticah at 12:50 PM on July 21, 2008


Yeah, Dr. Oetker and I have a date with the office microwave. Mmmm-hm.
posted by everichon at 12:52 PM on July 21, 2008


The chocolate cake recipe doesn't contain any leavening. Apparently it relies on steam to make the cake rise.
posted by Class Goat at 1:45 PM on July 21, 2008


> It appears to me that the difference we're talking about is time. Hence the "in 5 minutes"
> part." Ovens need time to get hot.

What's more significant to me is what the heat of running the oven for the preheating period and the baking period and the after-baking cooldown does to the temperature of my little house with its two-gerbil-power AC unit. Baking stuff is just not a summertime activity for me. (I'm in Georgia and "summertime" means before Easter to after Thanksgiving.) So actually I guess time does come into it--if I want oven-baked cake/ham/cornbread/whatever, and it's April, I have to wait until November.
posted by jfuller at 2:06 PM on July 21, 2008


I would like to say that I do make eggs in the microwave.

I do that, too, but one has to be cautious; overcooked microwaved egg-thing turns greyish and rubbery. Undercooked microwaved egg-thing is a bowl of snot.

And I dunno about you, but I always have to hand-wash the bowl immediately after cooking the egg, because if I don't, the egg forms a kind of eggy cement which cannot be removed with a flamethrower, marble chisel, elliptical sander and a team of four professional engineers, their iron rings shining in the glow of the magnetron.
posted by ten pounds of inedita at 2:09 PM on July 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


17-second chocolate chip blondie sundae:

- Place ~2 tbsp store-bought cookie dough in mug or dessert dish.
- Microwave on high for 17 seconds. May vary by a few seconds, but more than 25 seconds may end up burnt.
- Allow to cool. Heated sugar will continue cooking for little bit.
- Add lump of ice cream!
posted by zennie at 2:14 PM on July 21, 2008 [2 favorites]


It's a piece of cake to bake a pretty cake.
posted by WCityMike at 2:24 PM on July 21, 2008


people. have some self respect. don't eat anything that looks so much like dog shit.
posted by Dave Faris at 3:21 PM on July 21, 2008


You can make rice krispy treats in a microwave. I would just throw some butter, marshmallows and rice krispies in a mug and throw it in the microwave long enough for the butter to melt and the marshmallows to puff up. Take it out, stir, and enjoy. Tastes just like you baked 'em.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 3:47 PM on July 21, 2008


It's passably cake. Maybe something Mom would make on an off-day, when she didn't feel like exterminating or coddling our guests, but not something that I would serve to any of you.

Most of you.
posted by Weighted Companion Cube at 3:55 PM on July 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


Tastes just like you baked 'em.

Which is scary, because rice krispy treats aren't baked, they're just cereal stirred into melted butter and marshmallows, whether they're melted on the stove or in the microwave really doesn't matter much.

As for the cake, mix it up and pour it into a deep but narrow bowl that's been lightly hit with cooking spray (e.g. Pam) and while it's cooking, mix a tablespoon each of butter, cream cheese and powdered sugar (you may want more sugar, use it to taste). Add a dash of vanilla and mix around in a small bowl. Turn the cake out onto a plate, let it cool for a few minutes, spread with the cream cheese frosting. Cut in half and share with your favorite person.

Also, the lightest mist of cooking spray is the secret to getting microwave scrambled eggs out of the bowl without the nuclear ring o'baked on egg that is deadly to try to scrub out. It means that you use two bowls, but you can hand wash the bowl you use for the scrambling part while the eggs are cooking.
posted by Dreama at 4:16 PM on July 21, 2008


Turned out the real "pie" was the fun times we were creating.

Shades of The Man-Maker.
posted by odinsdream at 4:20 PM on July 21, 2008


This is the worst thing I have ever microwaved.

But I still have a dream of making single-serving microwave cake that tastes like Betty Crocker's.
posted by beandip at 4:54 PM on July 21, 2008


I made this, with the following changes.
I mixed/nuked in a tall cereal bowl.
I used one teaspoon of oil, not 3 table spoons.
I replaced the 3 table spoons of oil with 3 table spoons of apple sauce.
I used 2.5 tablespoons of All purpose flower.
.5 tablespoons of baking powder
Microwaved for 3.5 mins, and it turned out perfect! couldn't believe it..
It needed some frosting.
posted by tomas316 at 5:43 PM on July 21, 2008 [2 favorites]


because i dont' have an oven, cake flour, cocoa, and most of the other stuff, but i do have a betty crocker cinnamon swirl cake, i'm going to enjoy a tasty homemade cake right now.

i love cake. but not the white kind. that pretty much sucks.
posted by msconduct at 6:02 PM on July 21, 2008


RAWK!
posted by msconduct at 6:10 PM on July 21, 2008


I haven't had the pilot light on in my kitchen stove since before the ex left. We're talking close to a decade now. The stove has become a very old and clunky countertop.

If I can't nuke it in the microwave, it don't git et.

I've written down a couple of the above recipes. Seriously considering going to the store and buy ingredients, some of which haven't been in my kitchen in a very long time, just to experiment with this idea.

What's a good substitute for the sugar?
posted by ZachsMind at 7:51 PM on July 21, 2008


For the microwave cake haters out there, let me just say that the cake's quality is more than made up for by how much it is to stir some cake batter in a mug, stick it in the microwave, and watch it go up and down for three minutes. Don't listen to the directions; just eat the thing straight out of the mug cozied up, say, with some ST:TNG?

Get some colorful mugs and you have quite the item for entertaining.
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 9:54 PM on July 21, 2008


I should mention -- if you mix this then put it into a lightly oiled vessel to cook, you can cut the oil in the batter in half with no appreciable loss of moistness at all. 3 tablespoons of oil was insane to start with.
posted by Dreama at 1:02 AM on July 22, 2008


Why does your 6-minute chocolate cake take 30-60 minutes, wg?

The six minutes is how long it takes to assemble the ingredients and get it in the oven. That's where the patience comes in...


I've never seen a recipe that tells you down to the minute how long it will take to "assemble the ingredients" and yet give a half hour (or 100% difference) estimate of how long it takes to bake the damn thing.

And a 6-minute cake should take six minutes. I want it all and I want it right now.
posted by leftcoastbob at 6:34 AM on July 22, 2008


My wife's favorite recipe is to take a box of chocolate cake mix and add a can of diet coke to it and then bake it. No other ingredients needed. I don't know why it works but it works great and is damned tasty. I guess it has no fat or low calories or something?

But yeah, I want to try this even if it sucks. I just like the idea of walking around with a big pile of poo-cake coming out the top of my mug.
posted by bDiddy at 9:46 AM on July 22, 2008 [2 favorites]


I tried it, it's decent. No worse than those Duncan Hynes cakes. I modified it being Canadian and only having all purpose flour. I used the same recipe adding 1/4 tsp of baking powder and 1/8 tsp baking soda, and only using 1/2 an egg (I figured a whole egg was a little much). It came out nice and moist, not at all the experience those SA folks had.
posted by xmattxfx at 11:27 AM on July 22, 2008


BTW, for the record, anyone who responds to a thread about instant cake by describing the wonders of the conventional oven should be doused with the spray bottle like a housecat trying to knock over the kitchen trash receptacle.

"Preheat oven to 350 degrees F"

*spritz* Bad MeFite! Bad! *spritz*
posted by ZachsMind at 5:02 PM on July 22, 2008 [2 favorites]


I am sure to try this. I love experimenting with food. I wonder what will happen when I toss in a chunk of dark chocolate, or perhaps, pre-melt that chocolate and pour it in.
posted by Goofyy at 1:46 AM on July 23, 2008


I can tell there isn't a strong 'slow food' contingent here.
posted by Dave Faris at 7:42 AM on July 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


Here is a post from a chef praising it: http://www.playingwithfireandwater.com/foodplay/2008/07/microwave-chocolate-cake.html
posted by melissam at 12:58 PM on July 25, 2008


DaveFaris: "I can tell there isn't a strong 'slow food' contingent here."

*spritz* Bad MeFite! Bad! *spritz*
posted by ZachsMind at 6:16 PM on July 25, 2008


Here is a post from a chef praising it

Well, FWIW, that recipe is different from the linked recipe in that, amongst other things, it requires nitrous oxide to be injected into the batter....
posted by ten pounds of inedita at 7:51 PM on July 25, 2008




Well, FWIW, that recipe is different from the linked recipe in that, amongst other things, it requires nitrous oxide to be injected into the batter....


Well I guess now we know how to fix it...except it sort of defeats the whole purpose..which was a quick and easy cake. Most of us don't really keep that stuff lying around.
posted by melissam at 8:20 PM on July 25, 2008


I discovered tonight I don't keep ANY of these ingredients lying around. I just got back from the store and it cost me $36 to buy all the ingredients and stuff. I also got marshmallows but I forgot the rice krispies.

...i usually eat out so things like flour and sugar and vegetable oil are not common items in my kitchen. Dust and the occasional tumbleweed are items in my kitchen. ..and a microwave. That I already had.

Will keep you all posted on my progress in testing this idea of fast cake. Unless I assplode myselvis.
posted by ZachsMind at 10:01 PM on July 25, 2008


I put the end result of my experiments over at YouTube. Hee!

Yes I know the music is loud. I put my voice up as high as I could and lowered the music as far as the software would let me but the end result is still kinda okay but coulda been better. Kinda like the cake!
posted by ZachsMind at 1:42 AM on July 26, 2008


We made the OP cake on Sunday. It was a little rubbery but had a good sweet chocolate flavour to it. I wouldn't seek it out specifically, but if it was given to me again I would eat it without hesitating.
posted by seanmpuckett at 11:05 AM on July 30, 2008


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