Dorm-Friendly Desserts: 4 Mug Cake Recipes You Need to Try Now

As a freshman, going from living in a spacious house to a tiny dorm room has been quite the adjustment. Living in a dorm can be pretty limiting, especially when it comes to cooking anything other than ramen or mac 'n' cheese, but I realized that there is a lot that you can do with 5 minutes and a microwave.

Cue my newest discovery: mug cakes. When I first heard about these single-serving, microwaveable cake recipes, I was a little skeptical of how good they could actually be. But eventually, my sweet tooth kicked in and motivated me to try a few recipes out for myself.

Recipe #1: Birthday Mug Cake

Mix the flour, sugar and baking powder in a mug, then add the milk, oil and sprinkles. Mine was done in 1 minute in the microwave, but if it's not quite done, add time in 10-second increments. I topped mine with frosting and more sprinkles, but you can use whatever toppings you want!

This cake had the exact taste and texture of a vanilla cupcake. Not bad for something made in the microwave! I would definitely make this again, but maybe with a little less frosting - this cake is plenty sweet on its own!

Recipe #2: S’mores Chocolate Mug Cake

Add flour, sugar, baking powder and cocoa to a mug - this cake is pretty big, so a large mug works best. Then add milk, oil and vanilla. Add 2 tbsp. of chocolate chips, 2 tbsp. of marshmallows and half of a crushed graham cracker. This recipe calls for 40 seconds of microwave time, but mine took a minute. I would recommend poking the cake with a fork to see if it’s done, since there will be a lot of melted chocolate that might make it look underdone. Top the cake with the rest of the marshmallows, chocolate chips, crushed graham cracker, hot fudge sauce and whipped cream!

If I could describe this cake with one word, it would be: decadent. I might have gained the freshman 15 just from eating this, but it was honestly worth it. The texture was very moist and fudgey, and it had A LOT of chocolate flavor. Plus, this one definitely wins the most attractive award!

Recipe #3: Nutella Mug Cake

Just mix all the ingredients together in a mug and microwave for 1 minute (add time in 10-second increments if it’s not done). If you don't have self-rising flour, you can just add 1/2 tsp. baking powder to regular all-purpose flour!

The best part of this cake is its simplicity. It only has three ingredients and took probably less than 2 minutes to make, and for being that simple, it was pretty good. Be careful not to cook this one for too long - mine was a little too dry, but I put some vanilla ice cream on top to add some more moisture. This wasn’t my favorite of the recipes (and it definitely isn't the healthiest), but it is pretty convenient and quick. 

Recipe #4: Pumpkin Spice Mug Cake

Mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder and pumpkin pie spice in a mug. Add the pumpkin, milk, and vanilla, mix well and microwave for 1 minute. If it’s not done, add time in 10-second increments (mine took 1 minute 10 seconds). I topped mine with whipped cream and a dash of pumpkin pie spice.

Okay, so I saved the best for last. I don’t know if it’s just because pumpkin spice season is finally upon us, but I absolutely loved this cake. It was pretty light but also moist, and it had a really nice pumpkin spice flavor - definitely a must-have for fall.

I might have put myself in a food coma from eating so much cake, but I can't say it wasn't worth it. Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by how these mug cakes turned out. They taste just as good as regular cake, for a fraction of the time and effort. Next time you need a little something sweet, try one of these out - I promise you won’t be disappointed!

[All original photos]