- Prep time 6 minutes
- Cook time 2 minutes
- Serves 1 to 2
I always want dessert, full stop. And while I try to keep my pantry, fridge, and freezer all stocked with sweet treats, sometimes that river runs dry, save for half a bag of chocolate chips and a few staple baking ingredients. When grappling with the lack of dessert at 9 p.m., I’m faced with a conundrum: Do I just eat the chocolate chips? Make a mess of the kitchen and wait however long it takes to bake something? Skip dessert altogether? (The horror). More often than not, the answer to “quick and easy dessert,” when typed into an internet search engine, is a mug cake.
Trouble is, mug cakes often aren’t very good, and very often require the same amount of ingredients as a regular cake, in which case I might as well just make the real thing—goodness knows it’ll taste better baked in an oven. The titles of the mug cake recipes that are actually easy and have short ingredient lists are usually prefaced by “No Carb” or “Low Fat,” which is simply not it (if you’re having dessert, just have dessert). So I took matters into my own hands. This three-ingredient mug cake—seriously! it’s just egg, chocolate, and butter!—tastes just like a flourless chocolate cake you might find on the dessert menu at a restaurant. It does require one bowl in addition to the mug, to beat the egg into frothy submission, but that’s really the biggest lift here. I recommend using 60 percent chocolate chips, which can be called semisweet or bittersweet depending on the brand, but anything from 45 to 70 percent will deliver the right amount of sweetness while keeping the cake super rich and dark-chocolatey. While they do technically count as extra ingredients, a shower of confectioners’ sugar adds a bit of drama to a mug cake, and nothing makes chocolate cake sing quite like finishing with flaky salt. If you have access, I recommend using both. —Rebecca Firkser
(¼ cup) semisweet or bittersweet (I used 60 percent) chocolate chips
Confectioners’ sugar (optional)
Flaky sea salt (optional)
- Place the chocolate chips and butter in a microwave-safe mug. Microwave on high in 15-second intervals, stirring between each, until just about totally melted, then stir to combine.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the egg until it’s super frothy and doubled in volume, about 5 minutes.
- Gently fold half of the beaten egg into the chocolate mixture until totally combined. Fold in the remaining egg until combined.
- Place in the microwave and cook on medium for 30 seconds, then on high for an additional 45 to 60 seconds, or until just set. Immediately sprinkle it with confectioners’ sugar and flaky salt, if using, then devour.