5 microwave mug desserts to zap your woes away

Show of hands: Are microwave mug desserts the best thing ever for their delectable convenience (raises hand), or totally deplorable for that exact reason (raises hand again)? I’m the first to admit that it’s a complex relationship, but on a winter’s night, nothing can stop me from layering sugar on sugar, waiting for the “beep!” and blissing out, mug in hand.

If you’re not familiar with microwave mug desserts, you might be thinking, “How totally unsophisticated.” How totally correct. But when your sweet tooth is in a pinch this holiday season, I’ll be right here waiting, the following recipes in tow. Enjoy!

They’re pretty much the best thing ever.

Recipe and photo provided courtesy of Betty Crocker

Smores without the campfire? It most definitely can be done. Fudge brownie mix teams up with crushed graham crackers and mini marshmallows to replicate this old-school treat. Serves



1 cup dry Betty Crocker fudge brownie mix (from 18.3-oz box)

1 tablespoon fat-free egg product
1 tablespoon vegetable oil 
1 teaspoon water 
2 tablespoons miniature marshmallows
2 teaspoons crushed graham crackers
1 teaspoon miniature semisweet chocolate chips


1. Spray bottom of microwavable mug (about 12 oz) with cooking spray. In small bowl, mix brownie mix, egg product, vegetable oil and water.

2. Spoon batter into mug. Microwave uncovered on high 40 to 50 seconds or until top is set and toothpick inserted in center comes out almost clean; immediately top with marshmallows, graham crackers and chocolate chips. Let stand about 1 minute to allow marshmallows to soften before serving. Best served warm in mug.

Smores Mug Brownie

Recipe and photo provided courtesy of The Kitchn

Sure, strawberry shortcake is on the easier side of desserts to whip up on the fly. But this warmed-up version is tailor-made for colder months. Serves 1.


1 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons whole or 2% milk
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of fine salt
1 small strawberry, diced, plus more for topping
Whipped cream, for serving (optional)


1. Place the butter in a 12-ounce or larger microwave-safe mug and microwave until just melted. Add the milk, sugar, and vanilla and whisk to combine. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt, and whisk until well-combined. Add the strawberry, then gently push the pieces down so they’re mostly submerged in the batter.

2. Microwave on high for 60 seconds, and then in 15-second bursts until the cake begins to pull away from the sides of the mug and the top looks set, dry, and springs back when gently touched, about 30 to 60 seconds more. Top with extra strawberries and a dollop of whipped cream and serve immediately.

Strawberry Shortcake in a Mug

Recipe and photo provided courtesy of No. 2 Pencil

Hands down, peanut butter was my favorite kind of cookie as a kid. These days, I make a batch when I find time, which is, like, once a year. So when the craving hits, this recipe is at my rescue.


1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon peanut butter
1 tablespoon firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon granulated white sugar
2-3 drops pure vanilla extract 
Small pinch kosher salt1 egg yolk
3 level tablespoons all-purpose flour
Crushed peanuts for topping


1. Melt peanut butter and butter together in microwave for about 30 seconds. Add sugars, salt and vanilla and stir to combine. Add egg yolk and stir again. Add flour and give a final stir.

2. Sprinkle peanuts on top and heat in microwave for around 45 seconds. Microwaves vary, so start checking for doneness at 35 seconds. Serve warm.

Peanut Butter Cookie in a Cup

Recipe and photo provided courtesy of Mels Kitchen

Birthday cake all day, every day. Thats all I have to say about this one. Serves 1.


¼ cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
Pinch of salt (very light pinch!)
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ cup milk
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 ½ tablespoons extra-virgin or refined coconut oil, melted (or canola or vegetable oil)2 teaspoons sprinkles


1. In an 8-ounce (that’s a fairly standard size) mug, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Make a small well and add the milk, vanilla and oil. Mix just until combined. Stir in the sprinkles.

2. Microwave for 90 seconds at 70-80% power (adjusting as needed depending on the heat/power of your microwave). Serve warm with a dollop of frozen yogurt or ice cream, if desired.

Vanilla Funfetti Mug Cake

Recipe and photo provided courtesy of The Hungry Hedgehog

Lets face it: caramel apples are beautiful to look at, but they can be a literal pain to eat. Not this guy. All the goodness of caramel apples in a fluffy dream. Serves 1.


¼ cup flour
2 ½ tablespoons applesauce
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon milk
¼ teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons diced apples
1-2 tablespoon caramel sauce
Optional: 2 teaspoons streusel (½ teaspoon flour, ½ teaspoon butter, 1 teaspoon brown sugar)


1. Mix flour, sugar and baking powder well, then add applesauce and mix until wet. Add remaining ingredients except for caramel and just mix.

2. Cook in microwave for 5060 seconds.

3. Drizzle with caramel sauce. Add streusel if desired.

Caramel Apple Mug Cake

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