Coffee Cup Cakes

A trio of coffee cup cakes: From top: Minute Chocolate Mug Cake, White Chocolate Macadamia Mug Cake and PB and J Mug Cake.

Lee News Service

When the cookbook “Mug Cakes: 100 Speedy Microwave Treats to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth” by Leslie Bilderback landed on my desk, I knew I had a gold mine in my hands. I mean, who wouldn’t love the ability to cook up a sweet treat in just seconds?

But the cookbook turned out to be an even bigger treasure to me: It taught my sons how to cook. I let my boys — now 7 and 9 — and my husband pick one cake each they’d like to try from the many beautiful photos in the cookbook.

We landed on a Fluffer Nutter, a Caramel Fleur De Sel Mug Cake and a White Chocolate-Macadamia Mug Cake. We’d go on to make many more, including a PB and J Mug Cake and a few chocolate varieties (OK, those were for me).

The day after our mug cake extravaganza, my 9-year-old asked if he could make one. He insisted on doing it all on his own.

As he reasoned. “I can read, and I can use the microwave.” Turns out, he was right. After one failed attempt because he misread 1/4 cup of sugar as 1 1/4 cups, he was creating cakes for the whole family.

A few days later, his little brother followed suit, creating his own cake recipe using cinnamon and orange extract.

Some of the cakes from the cookbook were successful, some not so much. All were quite easy to make.

Just mix the ingredients and pop in the microwave. Because microwaves heat differently, just be sure to watch your cake, taking it out once it is risen and firm. And because you mix the cakes in the coffee cup, cleanup is easy.

But make no mistake, these are not culinary masterpieces, nor are they meant to be, writes Bilderback in the introduction.

“This book is here to fulfill the cake craving you have after a long day at work, or in the middle of the night, or when the plumber presents you with a $900 invoice,” Bilderback writes.

Or when hungry kids want a little something sweet on a special occasion and think making it themselves is just as big of a treat.

Caramel Fleur De Sel Mug Cake

Yield:

2 cakes

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 large egg

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 tablespoon store-bought caramel sauce

2 tablespoons milk

6 tablespoons self-rising flour

1/2 teaspoon fleur de sel or other high-quality sea salt, divided

4 caramel candies, preferably salted

In a large mug, whisk together the butter and sugar with a fork. Stir in the egg, vanilla, caramel sauce and milk. Add the flour and 1/4 teaspoon of the fleur de sel. Beat the batter until smooth.

Divide the batter between two mugs. Top each mug with a pinch of the remaining fleur de sel. Microwave separately for 30 seconds each.

Top each mug with two caramel candies. Continue cooking 1 to 1 1/2 minutes more (each separately) until risen and firm.

Per serving: 470 calories; 16 g fat; 9 g saturated fat; 125 mg cholesterol; 8 g protein; 75 g carbohydrate; 51g sugar; 1g fiber; 1,055 mg sodium; 155 mg calcium.

Recipe adapted from “Mug Cakes” by Leslie Bilderback

Minute Chocolate Mug Cake

Yield: 2 cakes

1 large egg

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 pinch salt

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

2 tablespoons butter, melted

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon unsweetened shredded coconut

2 tablespoons toasted sliced almonds

11/2 tablespoons miniature semisweet chocolate chips

3 tablespoons milk

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

Confectioners’ sugar, for garnish

Whisk together egg, sugar, salt, cocoa powder, butter, vegetable oil and vanilla extract in a bowl until smooth. Stir coconut, almonds and chocolate chips into the mixture; whisk in milk.

Place flour into a small bowl or measuring cup and stir baking powder into the flour with a mini whisk or fork.

Pour the flour mixture over batter and whisk just until you can’t see the flour.

Divide batter evenly between

2 coffee cups. Gently tap the cups on a work surface to eliminate air bubbles.

Microwave each cup separately on high for 1 to 2 minutes, until risen and firm.

Lightly dust each serving with confectioners’ sugar.

Per serving: 490 calories; 30 g fat; 13 g saturated fat; 125 mg cholesterol; 9 g protein; 49 g carbohydrate; 33 g sugar; 3 g fiber; 195 mg sodium; 75mg calcium.

Adapted from allrecipes.com

White Chocolate-

Macadamia Mug Cake

Yield: 2 cakes

1 large egg

3 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil

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3 1/2 tablespoons buttermilk

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

5 tablespoons self-rising flour

Pinch of kosher salt

1/4 cup white chocolate chips

1/4 cup chopped macadamia nuts

In a large mug, whisk together the egg and oil with a fork. Stir in the buttermilk, sugar and vanilla. Add the flour and salt.

Beat the batter until smooth. Divide the batter between two mugs.

Microwave separately for

30 seconds each. Top each mug with half of the chips and nuts then cook each mug, separately again, for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes more, until firm and risen.

Per serving: 675 calories; 46 g fat; 11 g saturated fat; 100mg cholesterol; 9 g protein; 58 g carbohydrate; 40 g sugar; 2 g fiber; 420 mg sodium; 170 mg calcium

Recipe adapted from “Mug Cakes” by Leslie Bilderback.

PB and J Mug Cake

Yield: 2 cakes

3 tablespoons peanut butter

1 large egg

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1/4 cup milk

1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/3 cup self-rising flour

Pinch of kosher salt

2 tablespoons jelly

In a large mug, whisk together the peanut butter and egg with a fork. Stir in the oil, milk, vanilla and sugar.

Add the flour and salt. Beat the batter with a fork until smooth.

Divide the batter between two mugs. Top each with a generous tablespoon of jelly. Microwave separately for 11/2 to 21/2 minutes each until risen and firm.

Per serving: 500 calories; 22 g fat; 5 g saturated fat; 95 mg cholesterol; 13g protein; 65g carbohydrate; 43 g sugar; 2 g fiber; 515 mg sodium; 150 mg calcium.

Recipe adapted from “Mug Cakes” by Leslie Bilderback

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