Party of One: Mug Cake

This weekend I really, really just wanted cake.

I didn’t want to make a whole cake, though, because we still have cupcakes left from last week.  And it would have thrown off my carefully plotted baking schedule (which resumes next week with chocolate cream pie, at my mamabear’s request).  And I had so much going on with my never-ending spring cleaning (see also: this upcoming Tuesday’s post) that I didn’t want to take the time out to make, bake, and inevitably frost a whole cake.

Stupid needy stomach.

Luckily for me, this was an easier fix than I anticipated.  Enter: mug cake.

Easiest cake ever. Also the least pretty.

Easiest cake ever. Also the least pretty.

Perfect, single-serving, cake-y goodness.  Done in two minutes.  What more can a girl with a burning need for cake ask for?

There are probably eight or nine trillion recipes for mug cake out on the internet right now.  It’s kind of sweeping the world by storm because hello, single serving cake product with its own container built right into the title.  And did I mention it takes like zero effort?  Frankly I’m surprised these weren’t bigger sooner.

Probably those damn cupcakes being all charming and distracting us.

Four ingredient cake, where three of the ingredients are mixins?  Believe it.

Four ingredient cake, where three of the ingredients are mixins? Believe it.

But like any cake recipe, it’s easy enough to adjust as far as flavor is concerned.  I just looked around for the basic ratios on flour, sugar, leaveners, etc, and then did what I wanted from there; the end result was a strawberry-banana chocolate chip extravaganza.

I also didn’t really wind up measuring.  Like at all.  (I planned to, so y’all could have a real recipe, but these things happen sometimes.)  It was a very blasé cake baking experience, but here are the basics: a mashed banana, flour, one egg white, strawberries, and chocolate.  I relied on the sugar from the berries and the banana to cover the sweet component, but sugar is also something that could be considered in reproduction cakes.  All that got mixed in a mug and microwaved, and cake ensued.

Fresh out of the oven. The microwave oven.

Fresh out of the oven.
The microwave oven.

And a happy camper was I.

Single-serve baked goods: awesome, or non?  Your thoughts are always welcome below.

Happy birthday, sailor.

Today’s Headlines: Bee Cannot Make Caramel


Last night we did family popcorn-and-movie night with Seven Psychopaths (which I enjoyed for how self-aware and mostly witty it was, but I’m still not 100% sure I followed the plot) and my sister and I somehow wound up with leftover popcorn.

And how!

And how!

(I’m not sure how it happened, either, so don’t ask.)

The thing is– I just made dessert yesterday, and I didn’t want to work too hard on making a second dessert just to use up the popcorn.  So I thought ‘pfft, I’ll just make popcorn brittle and call it a day.’  Then the inspiration-fairy hit and I decided to make that brittle even better with the addition of Biscoff.

So. Good.

So. Good.

My plan was foolproof.  My prepwork was once again excellent.

I was so prepared!

I was so prepared!

I put the sugar and corn syrup in a pan with water to start simmering.  There were bubbles, like there’s supposed to be.

In the words of Jim Broadbent's character in Moulin Rouge, everything was going so well.

In the words of Jim Broadbent’s character in Moulin Rouge, everything was going so well.

And then, shortly after that picture was taken, everything fell apart.  This is incidentally enough where I stopped taking pictures, since horrible failure is not something I really like documenting.

The first caramel burned.  I tried again and got as far as adding the butter and Biscoff, but that just made it seize up and impossible to mix with the popcorn.  And by that point I’d been standing over the stove for too long to want to try again, so I gave up (sue me) and just made Biscoff caramel corn.

By which I mean I mixed it up anyway and there are pieces that stuck to some of the popcorn.


It’s tasty.  Not at all what I wanted, but it’s tasty.  And one of these days, I WILL learn how to make a proper caramel.

That day is just not today.

What are your nastiest technical challenges in the kitchen?