Chocolate Mug Cake Recipe

We will be the first to admit that we thought mug cakes were naff. Why bake a cake in a microwave when you have an oven? Surely a microwave cake is some sort of retro 80s culinary massacre? Wrong. It’s actually rather genius! Don’t worry, we will carry on using our oven to bake cakes, but it is good to be resourceful in a pinch. Let’s say when you’re faced with an equally retro holiday cottage in the countryside and you fancy a bit of chocolate cake it’s a real dilemma. You’re not London, shops close at 6 and cake only comes with eggs. Without a set of scales (mixing bowl, cake tin or whisk) in sight (full disclosure: this was our holiday situation a few weeks ago), so being able to rely on our old forgotten friend the microwave and some cleverly packed plant-based staples was ingenuity at its best.

This recipe also allows you to make use of another middle-England holiday cottage staple, spent coffee grounds from your cafetiere. Not only is this a great way to use something that would normally go to waste, but the coffee grounds add a slightly nutty, deep coffee flavour. And if you have any leftover Easter chocolates, they’ll find a happy home here too.

Simply whisk all of the ingredients together in your mug of choice and add the chocolate when it’s nearly ‘baked’ and you have a oozey, fudgey chocolate cake–in a mug. And without any of your usual cake baking kit! Use regular cutlery tablespoons, most people don’t travel with a set (unless they’re a chef). This cake cake can easily feed two, if you’re willing to share.


Total Time: 15 m I Prep: 10 m I Cook: 5 m I Difficulty: Easy


Serves 1 very generously or 2


  • 5 heaped tbsp wholegrain flour (we use spelt)
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 3 tbsp dark cocoa powder
  • 3 tbsp unrefined sugar (we use coconut sugar)
  • Small pinch sea salt
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 level tsp milled flaxseeds*
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract (optional)
  • 1 tbsp spent coffee grounds
  • 8 tbsp plant milk/water/coffee
  • 6 squares of dark chocolate/a few chocolate Easter eggs


  • In a bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients, making sure they are well combined, then make a hole or well in the centre of the mixture.
  • Add the wet ingredients, including the coffee grounds to the well. Whisk using a fork until well combined.
  • You can divide the mixture over 2 mugs or 1 large mug. Place the mug in the microwave and cook on high (approx 800-100W) for 50 seconds before adding the squares of chocolate, half in each mug if using two, and push it into the centre of the cake. Microwaving for an additional 30 seconds.
  • Give the cake a few minutes to cool and serve with more melted chocolate, a spoonful of nut butter or tahini, cream or ice cream.

*If you eat eggs and want to use egg instead of flax seeds, replace with 1 egg and cut the liquid back to 1 tbsp.