Mug cakes and their sweet sidekicks, like pie and pudding, are the super-simple, instant-gratification solution when a dessert craving strikes and you're ready to dive your spoon in now. Before you get started, here are a few important things you need to know to make the mug dessert of your dreams.
1. You don't actually have to use a mug.
Sure, mugs may have started the sweet trend of quick microwave desserts, but they're not the only tool that gets the job done. You can also use Mason jars, ramekins, or even paper cups to make your mug dessert dreams a reality.
2. Never fill the mug more than halfway.
To make sure your dessert ends up in your stomach and not all over the inside of the microwave, be sure not to fill the mug or jar more than half full. I like to stick with using a 12- to 16-ounce mug for most desserts.
3. Use eggs with caution.
Eggs may be included, but aren't necessary in all mug dessert recipes. They make for ultra-creamy puddings and pies, but can also leave cakes feeling heavy and dense. When making mug cakes, a good rule of thumb is that one large egg is enough for two mug cakes. Don't want to use eggs? Swap in other moist and gooey ingredients, like nut butter, Nutella, or dessert sauces.
4. Cook in short bursts.
Not all microwaves operate at the same power, so finding just the right cook time can be tricky at first. Mug desserts cook fast, so to avoid overcooking, cook in shorts bursts, starting with the shortest time listed in the recipe.
5. Know that your dessert will deflate, and it's normal.
During the final bit of cooking, your dessert (be it cake, pudding, or anything else) will puff and balloon, rising out of the mug, appearing like quite the grand dessert when you pull it from the microwave. But don't be alarmed when it totally deflates seconds later — this is normal and happens with nearly all mug desserts. Remember, these desserts get big points for ease and instant gratification, not looks.