Chocolate Lava Mug Cake

Baked Chicago's chocolate lava cake

I am known to have sudden, overwhelming and (often) uncontrollable cravings for chocolate. Let’s be honest. The craving is for almost anything sugary-sweet! And a warm, dark chocolate dessert like a chocolate lava cake fits that description quite well.

Usually my chocolate cravings lean toward brownies or slice of cake. But you know what happens if you make an entire pan of brownies or cake – you end up eating the entire thing. Or at least I often do. And then that warm gooey chocolate feeling turns to cold shame because I have trouble turning “off” the sweet tooth switch.

Not everyone has impulse control issues, but I do with food. But I’ve learned that ignoring a craving can often make it worse. So sometimes you just have to say “yes” to chocolate. But you have to do that with purpose and parameters. The best parameter that works for me is portion control. If I only make one serving, I am less likely to over-indulge. So I’m giving you permission (and me, too!) to say “yes” to this chocolate lava cake for one.

Why I love chocolate lava cake for one

  • it’s lightning fast (you can make it in under 2 minutes in most microwaves)
  • it’s satisfyingly decadent
  • it’s actually a large single serving so there’s enough to share without feeling like you’re depriving yourself
  • the calories can be dialed down by substituting some of the simple sugars (e.g. dark brown sugar) with sugar substitutes (e.g. Splenda) or reducing the amount of chocolate chips and squares

Reminders for making the most of any microwave-in-a-mug recipe

  1. use a large (at least 16 ounces) microwave-safe mug
  2. spray the inside of the mug with non-stick cooking spray for easier clean up
  3. don’t overcook recipes; remember that ingredients will continue to cook inside the mug after the microwaving is done. If you’re unsure how long to cook something based on your microwave’s wattage, cook in 30-second intervals and closely monitor the progress
  4. handle containers with care inside the microwave; use an oven mitt or hot pad to avoid burning your hands

Chocolate Lava Cake

Cook Time: 2 minutes

Yield: 1

Chocolate Lava Cake


2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/4 cup milk chocolate chips


Spray the inside of a microwave-safe mug with non-stick cooking spray. Place 2 chocolate squares in the bottom of the mug.

In a small microwavable mixing bowl, add butter and brown sugar. Heat in microwave on high for 45 seconds. Remove from microwave and stir with a fork. Mix in the egg and vanilla. Stir in cocoa powder.

Add flour, vegetable oil, baking powder, salt and stir until combined. Mix in the chocolate chips. Pour mixture into prepared mug.

Microwave on high for 1 minute 30 seconds to 2 minutes (times may vary based on microwave wattage; do not overcook). Cake will appear lightly moist and will continue to cook in mug.

Invert onto a place. Chocolate lava will flow when mug is removed. Serve immediately, but be careful when eating the hot "chocolate lava."


Photo by Madison Myers; used with permission. Baked Chicago copyright 2013.