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Hot Cocoa Mug Cake

With all the hot chocolate bombs floating around the internet these days, it’s an understatement to say I’ve had hot cocoa on my mind. I wanted to take it one step further and figured a hot cocoa mug cake was the perfect spin on this trend.

This mug cake is ready in minutes and is the perfect way to warm up on a cold day. I enjoy this recipe the most right out of the microwave, when it’s still warm and the chocolate chips are perfectly melted.

Add a few mini marshmallows and a swirl of whipped cream on top and you’ll be in hot cocoa heaven! You can also add mini marshmallows into your batter, but they’ll dissolve as the cake batter is heated in the microwave.

image of hot cocoa mug cake with spoonful scooped out to show how moist and fluffy the cake is

Cooking Your Hot Cocoa Mug Cake to Perfection

When I think of a mug cake, I want it to be warm and the tiniest bit gooey. To achieve this perfect texture, I like to heat my mug cakes in my microwave for 1 minute, then heat it in 15 seconds intervals until it’s ready.

Cooking in intervals after 1 minute makes sure you don’t overcook your mug cake and helps prevent the batter from overflowing. My total cook time is usually 1 minute and 15 seconds.

However, cook time can vary based on your microwave! Different microwaves have different wattage and can vary from 600-1200 watts.

The higher the watts the faster your mug cake will cook. My microwave cooks at 1200 watts and is from 2013.

Test your mug cake after a minute by inserting a toothpick into the center of the cake. If it comes out mostly clean with a few moist crumbs, it’s been heated long enough! The sides may still be a bit gooey but that’s way it’s supposed to be.

If the toothpick doesn’t come out clean from the center and the batter still seems goopy, heat the mug cake for another 15 seconds. Repeat this process until the toothpick test works.

Err on the side of undercooking your mug cake, as it will continue to set as it cools. If you overcook your mug cake it can get a somewhat spongy, firm texture.

image of hot cocoa mug cake with spoonful scooped out to show how moist and fluffy the cake is

Picking The Right Mug

Another factor you need to consider when making a mug cake is the mug you use!

Obviously it needs to be microwave safe (no-metal), but it also has to be large enough. While initially the batter might not fill you mug very high, the cake will rise as it cooks in the microwave.

As long as your mug has a capacity of 12 oz. or 1 1/2 cups or more you’re good to go. The batter shouldn’t go higher than half way up your cup.

image of chocolate cake batter being poured into a mug to make a hot cocoa mug cake in the microwave

You also want a little extra room in your mug for toppings!! Cue the whipped cream and chocolate syrup.

Mug Cake Substitutions and Swaps

This hot cocoa mug cake recipe uses a lot of ingredients and I know you might not have all of them on hand. Or if you have food allergies or restrictions, I’ve got you covered.

Below are some swaps and substitutions that you can make.

image of ingredients laid out on a counter to make a hot cocoa mug cake
  • All Purpose Flour – This recipe turns out best with AP flour, but you can use a gluten free flour blend or cake flour if that’s all you have on hand.
  • Granulated Sugar – You can use brown sugar in place of granulated sugar if it’s all you have on hand. I do not recommend reducing the amount of sugar though, as it will change the texture of your mug cake.
  • Hot Cocoa / Hot Chocolate Mix– Any hot cocoa or hot chocolate mix will work! Swiss Miss and Ghirardelli are my go-to brands.
  • Vegetable Oil – You can use any flavorless oil in this recipe or melted butter. Canola or sunflower oil would work great!
  • Vanilla Extract – Other extracts can also be used in place of the vanilla extract. Feel free to use coconut extracthazelnut extract or even pistachio extract.
  • Chocolate – You can use milk, dark or semi-sweet chocolate. I like using dark chocolate best!

Tips for Making The Best Hot Chocolate Mug Cake

  • Be sure to properly measure your flour (spoon into the cup measure then level) or use a kitchen scale to measure your dry ingredients.
  • Make sure you use a large enough mug or glass and that it’s microwave safe (metal-free). As long as your mug has a capacity of 12 oz. or 1 1/2 cups or more you’re good to go.
  • Cook time can vary based on your microwave! Different microwaves have different wattage, and can vary from 600-1200 watts. The higher the watts the faster your mug cake will cook. My microwave cooks at 1200 watts.
  • Any hot cocoa or hot chocolate mix will work. Swiss Miss and Ghirardelli are my go-to choices.
  • Top your mug cake with whipped cream, mini marshmallows, and / or chocolate syrup to make it even more delicious.
  • Please see the section above for substitutions and ingredients swaps.
image of a spoonful of hot cocoa mug cake to show how delicious and chocolatey it is

Let Me Know What You Think!

If you make this hot chocolate mug cake recipe I’d love to hear what think of it! Please leave a rating and let me know your thoughts by sharing a comment.

Also please tag me @chelsweets! Use the #chelsweets so that I can see your amazing creations on social media.

Other Recipes You Might Like:

Yield: 1 Mug Cake

Hot Cocoa Mug Cake

image of hot cocoa mug cake with spoonful scooped out to show how moist and fluffy the cake is

This hot cocoa mug cake comes together in matter of minutes, and is the perfect, easy dessert for one!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 minute
Total Time 6 minutes

Ingredients

Hot Cocoa Mug Cake

  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, spooned & leveled (30g)
  • 2 Tbsp granulated sugar (25g)
  • 1/4 cup hot cocoa mix (45g)
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder (1g)
  • 1/8 tsp salt (>1g)
  • 1/4 cup hot water (60g)
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil (28g)
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract (1g)
  • 1 Tbsp milk or dark chocolate chips (12g)

Instructions

  1. Whisk together 1/4 cup flour, 2 Tbsp granulated sugar, 1/4 hot cocoa mix, 1/4 tsp baking powder, and a pinch of salt in a small bowl.
  2. Add in 1/4 cup hot water, 2 Tbsp vegetable oil, and 1/4 tsp vanilla. Stir together with a whisk together until no clumps of flour remain.
  3. Pour into a 12 oz or larger microwave-safe mug and sprinkle 1 Tbsp of chocolate chips over the top of the batter.
  4. Heat for 60 seconds then check the doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center of the cake. If it comes out mostly clean with a few moist crumbs (melted chocolate is ok too if you hit a chocolate chip), your mug cake is ready! If the batter is still liquid in the center, heat for an additional 15 seconds then retest with a toothpick. Repeat until your mug cake is cooked through.
  5. Let the cake cool for a few minutes (or else you will burn your tongue - trust me!!), then top with your favorite toppings and enjoy warm! Ice cream, whipped cream, Nutella, caramel sauce or chocolate sauce all work great as a topping.

Notes

Tips for Making the Best Hot Cocoa Mug Cake

  • Make sure you use a large enough mug or glass, and that it is microwave safe (metal-free). As long as your mug has a capacity of 12 oz. or 1 1/2 cups or more you're good to go.
  • Cook time can vary based on your microwave! Different microwaves have different wattage, and can vary from 600-1200 watts. The higher the watts the faster your mug cake will cook. My microwave cooks at 1200 watts.
  • Any hot cocoa or hot chocolate mix will work! Swiss Miss and Ghirardelli are my go-to choices.
  • Top your mug cake with whipped cream, mini marshmallows, and / or chocolate syrup to make it even more delicious.
  • Please see the section above for substitutions and ingredients swaps.

Nutrition Information

Yield

1

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 594Total Fat 41gSaturated Fat 10gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 29gCholesterol 5mgSodium 21mgCarbohydrates 50gFiber 4gSugar 20gProtein 6g

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Liz

Monday 25th of January 2021

This is so perfect for when you're craving dessert for one and want it quick! I just made this and it's perfect. Topped it with a scoop of vanilla bean and salted caramel ice cream. I weigh all my ingredients always as opposed to measuring them out using cups and it's wayyyy more efficient. Thanks for sharing!

Sher

Wednesday 20th of January 2021

Delicious! I didn't have chocolate chips on hand so I substituted with black cocoa powder instead. Came out perfectly in one minute!

Sky Martin

Wednesday 20th of January 2021

DONT WASTE YOUR HOT COCOA this was not good the batter tasted great I followed all instructions and it still wasn't good a toothpick came out clean so I started eating it then it was just raw uncooked and it didn't taste very good at all. So do not waste your hot cocoa on this.