This honest-to-goodness 5-minute Chocolate Lava Mug Cake recipe is the stuff chocolate dreams are made of! It is loaded with everything you are looking for in Classic Chocolate Lava Cake– from the tender, buttery crumbs to the gooey choco-lava center- but is made in a mug using a microwave only!
The Best Chocolate Lava Mug Cake
This fluffy and decadent treat has become a Tiktok sensation not just because of its scrumptiousness but also cause it’s ridiculously easy to do! You do not need an oven or a baking pan, nor do you need to follow any complicated steps to make it! It’s as simple as mixing everything in a mug and letting your microwave do all the work! This self-splurging, mug-sized treat is perfect for those late-night chocolate cravings or when you need a delicious dessert made in a jiffy!
While the origin of the mug cake is unclear, this innovative sweet treat’s continuous rise in trend has shown us how one can adapt a classic oven cake into a quick and easy, novice-friendly recipe using modern appliances. Plus, it uses pantry staples that you can quickly get your hands into!
A 6-ingredient Recipe
- Butter: helps the cake rise as it traps steam in the batter while it cooks. It also adds moisture to the finished product, and let’s not forget the taste! Who doesn’t love butter in their cakes?
- Can I use margarine? Yes, it is the perfect substitute.
- Can I use oil instead? Absolutely! This will give you a mug cake that stays moister longer but is less rich in taste.
- Boiling water ensures that all the flavours are mixed properly as a dispersing agent and provides the proper environment for the cake to rise and become fluffier.
- Caster sugar / superfine sugar: adds sweetness and more moisture.
- Can I use regular white or brown sugar? Yes, you can, though caster sugar is advised as it dissolves more quickly.
- Cocoa powder: Using unsweetened cocoa powder is a must for this recipe, so it does not become overly sweet.
- Can I use chocolate powder? I do not recommend this. Cocoa also gives the mug cake a richer flavour and adds that beautiful dark colour, making it even more appetizing.
- Self-raising flour: Using it makes the ingredient list shorter as it already contains baking powder and salt. So convenient!
- Can I use plain flour? Yes, just add 1/4 teaspoon of baking powder and a pinch of salt. The rule of thumb is to mix one cup of flour with 1 ½ teaspoons of baking powder and ¼ teaspoon of salt to make larger quantities.
- Can I make it gluten-free? Sure, use a brand of flour without gluten.
- Dark chocolate: choose melts, cubes, or choc chips to become the ooey-gooey centre of our lava cake!
- Can I use milk chocolate? Yes, but it may be sweeter.
- Using chocolate chips? No problem! Just make sure to press them close together in the centre of the mug cake.
You have to try this one to believe it! Top tip: make sure you use your biggest mug if you want to keep your microwave clean! A small heat-proof bowl will also work in a pinch.
How to Make the Perfect Chocolate Lava Mug Cake
- Stir the boiling water and butter in a large mug until the latter has melted. Add sugar and mix evenly, then stir in self-rising flour and cocoa powder until smooth.
- For the molten lava center, press down the chocolate squares into the middle of the batter, making sure they’re close together.
- Cook the cake in a microwave on full power until it has risen and the raw batter on top is all gone. Stick fork or spoon into cake’s center to check if cooked through. Cook further in 5-10 second bursts if needed.
Variations and Add-ons
While one might say that a well-done chocolate lava mug cake is perfect on its own, there’s no reason not to try and step up a bit further by adding some variations. One of the most recommended ways to eat this treat is by serving it with a dollop of whipped cream or your favourite flavoured ice cream. Alternatively, you can add other toppings such as ganache, vanilla sauce, or different types of sauces that would suit your taste buds.
As for the batter itself, vanilla is always a welcome addition. Vanilla acts as an enhancer to all other flavours, giving more complexity and dimension to your baking. If you also want to add extra lightness and tenderness to your mug cake, try adding a bit of buttermilk.
Do’s and Don’ts when Making Chocolate Lava Mug Cake
- Do grease mug to be used. While eating ungreased cake straight out of the container is a dream come true for us sweet lovers, it’s going to be a lot easier to clean it afterward. This is also helpful if you want to transfer the cake to another bowl or platter. Presentation is everything, am I right?
- Do use check the mug first. Make sure it is microwave-safe before using it! There should be no metal platings or designs. If you do no have one, you can always use ramekins.
- Don’t use small mugs. You may have a merry time looking at your mug overfilled with batter, but you certainly will regret cleaning the mess in the microwave afterwards. Also remember that mug cakes rise even more than regular cakes. Only fill about half-way of the mug. Use a mug that is at least 350 mL (12.5 oz), or use a small microwave-safe bowl. If your cake starts to overflow, stop the microwave and let the cake sink down, then resume cooking.
- Don’t overcook the cake. If your cake is hard and rubbery, it is overcooked. 60 seconds will be plenty of cooking time for this cake in most microwaves. If you know that your microwave is more powerful than standard microwaves, reduce the power to 80%. Don’t confuse the chocolate sauce for the uncooked batter. When in doubt, a slightly undercooked cake is far better than an overcooked cake!
- How do mug cakes work?
- The microwaves heat up our batter, which makes our leavening agent react. This reaction produces carbon dioxide, making our mug cake rise and become fluffy.
- Is mug cake a real cake?
- Yes they are. Though Mug cakes are more suitable for gosh-darn-I-need-sweets in the middle of the night cravings, and not recommended if you want to impress your significant other’s parents, things like that.
- Can I make place several mugs in the microwave at once?
- Sure, but it will take longer to bake them that way.
Storing Chocolate Lava Mug Cake
- Mug cakes are best eaten straight out of the oven. If not possible, it may be stored at room temperature for 1-2 days so long as it’s tightly sealed with plastic wrap. Storing in a refrigerator is not advisable as it ruins the texture.
- 2 tbsp (40 g) butter, softened
- 2 tbsp boiling water
- ¼ cup caster sugar
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- ¼ cup self-raising flour
- 4 squares dark chocolate
- In a large mug (350 mL / 12.5 oz capacity or larger), stir together softened butter and boiling water until butter has melted. Stir in sugar until well combined. Stir in cocoa powder and self-raising flour until well combined.
- Press the 4 squares of chocolate down into the batter in the centre of the mug, making sure they are quite close together (this will give you a better molten lava centre).
- Microwave for 1 minute on full power until the cake has risen and there is no raw batter on the top of the cake. You can quickly stick a fork or spoon into the centre of the cake to see if it cooked through. Cook in further 10 seconds bursts, if needed (but be careful not to overcook). Serve with whipped cream or ice cream, if desired.
- I recommend eating the mug cake while it is fresh. It isn't designed to keep well.
Substitutions & Tips
- Find the original recipe video on here on TikTok (you don't need to have a TikTok account to view the video).
- Butter: you can substitute butter with margarine.
- Sugar: you can substitute caster sugar with brown sugar or white sugar.
- Flour: you can substitute 1/4 cup of self-raising flour with 1/4 cup of plain flour combined with 1/2 tsp of baking powder.
- Chocolate: you can use milk or white chocolate if you like. You can also use 1 tbsp of chocolate chips, just make sure to press them close together in the centre of the mug cake.
- Why did my cake overflow? If your cake overflowed then you are using a mug which is too small. Use a mug which is at least 350 mL (12.5 oz) or use a small microwave-safe bowl. If your cake starts to overflow, stop the microwave and let the cake sink down then resume cooking.
- Why is my cake hard and rubbery? It is likely that you have overcooked the cake. 60 seconds will be plenty of cooking time for this cake in the majority of microwaves. If you know that your microwave is more powerful than normal microwaves, reduce the power to 80%. Don't confuse the chocolate sauce for uncooked batter. When in doubt, a slightly undercooked cake is far better than an overcooked cake!
Nutrition Information:Serving Size: 1 Mug Cake
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 801Total Fat: 44.9gSaturated Fat: 27.4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12.3gCholesterol: 86mgSodium: 8.2mgCarbohydrates: 87.2gFiber: 6.6gSugar: 62gProtein: 8.5g