Kitchen Korner: Mug Cake

It has officially snowed in the valley — even if it was just a few wimpy flakes. Don’t worry about the quantity; it’s officially sweater, slipper, fire place, cake in a mug season and, man, do I have the perfect season opener. Get ready basic boys and girls: the pumpkin spice mug cake.

The pumpkin spice mug cake is one of those recipes you keep on a notecard hanging on the fridge for emergency situations. It can be made in four minutes in a house, a condo, an apartment, a dorm room at any state of test stress, when you walk in the door at two in the morning or when you’re just not ready to fold your laundry yet. All you need are a few ingredients and a microwave, which is, let’s face it, pretty much the first item you acquire as a college student.

And if you’ve finally decided that latte just isn’t for you, here, ladies and gentleman, is your easier, cheaper and quicker (and less chemically altered) replacement — or supplement if you can’t quite let it go. Make sure your microwave is clean, walk, bike or run to Town and Country and get ready to get your mug cake on.

Unless you’re planning on using the following baking necessities for other delicious recipes, or if you’re planning on making fifty mug cakes, you’ll just need to purchase the smallest amounts you can find of flour, brown sugar, baking soda, canola oil and milk. Then throw some nutmeg, cinnamon, canned pumpkin and vanilla extract in that shopping cart and head home to that microwave.

Other things that would be nice to have: a mug, a sifter and a spoon. However, the typical college student who does not have a sifter on hand can just as easily use a fork to sift the flour and baking soda together.

Pumpkin Spice Mug Cake


2 Tbsp flour

¼ tsp baking powder

3 tsp brown sugar

3 dashes nutmeg

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

1 Tbsp canola oil

1 Tbsp milk

1 ½ Tbsp canned pumpkin

2 drops vanilla extract

Nuts, chocolate chips (optional)

  1. In your mug, sift the flour and baking powder. Then, add the nutmeg, cinnamon, brown sugar.
  2. Add the oil, milk, pumpkin and vanilla extract and mix well with your spoon, or that same fork.
  3. Drop in the optional chips or nuts and mix.
  4. Microwave the cake for one minute, top with ice cream or whipped cream if you’re so inclined, and enjoy!
  5. Be the envy of all your friends.

Make your two minute cakes and share photos to the Montana State Exponent Facebook page. Happy cake in a mug season!