Friday, October 15, 2010

Weekend Recipe: Microwave Chocolate Cake

Monday was rather trying. Mr. T is resisting naps like a Frenchman resisted Nazis in WWII (um, a member of the Resistance, not a Vichy type ... terrible simile, moving on now). After feeding him for what seemed like hours, I put him down, tiptoe away, only to be called back seconds later by his heartbroken wails. Lather, rinse, repeat. I finally got him down for a blissful hour, and that afternoon popped a smiling, rested tot into the stroller to visit some dear friends who are moving away soon. Of course, when we got there he cried and cried and CRIED, only to revert to Mr. Smiling, Rested Tot when I bundled him up to head back home. Sigh. Once I finally got him down for the night, I really needed a pick-me-up. I really wanted a gooey, warm piece of chocolate cake, but no way was I going to bake one. Enter my new bff, the microwave!

I found this recipe and minutes later, with a few tweaks per the recipe's reviews and a buttercream icing I whipped up myself, I was sitting down to a fudgy bit of heaven. At least as close to heaven as I'll get these days, anyway. The recipe makes two bad-day-sized servings, or three normal-day-sized ones. Because it uses baking powder instead of baking soda, you can refrigerate the batter to use later without losing any fluffiness (this isn't exactly a fluffy bakery-style cake anyway, since it's steamed rather than baked). I'd recommend saving batter rather than cooking the whole thing and saving cooked pieces -- I think it'd probably dry out and get chewy. You'll also want to eat it fairly soon after cooking it to have the best flavor and consistency (and why wait, anyway?).


3 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons dark cocoa powder

1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 pinch salt

Grease a microwave-safe bowl, coffee mug or ramekin and set aside. Mix the butter, sugar, egg, vanilla and milk in a medium-sized bowl. Mix together flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt and stir into wet ingredients. Pour into microwaveable bowl and nuke for 2-2.5 minutes, until the cake is springy and a knife run around the sides comes out clean. Don't overcook it, especially if you're cooking a portion of the batter instead of the whole batch -- you can cook in 1-minute increments to be on the safe side.

Buttercream icing

1/2 tablespoon butter
splash of milk
2 tablespoons cocoa
about 3/4 cup powdered sugar (enough to make the icing as thick as you like it -- I like mine kind of runny so it soaks into the hot cake)

Heat butter and milk in microwave until butter is melted. Stir in the cocoa and sugar.

Enjoy! It's really easy to make, so you'll find all kinds of excuses to whip one up. Oh, my alarm didn't go off today, need some cake. Went for a run today, need some cake. Blogbooster ate the post I painstakingly thumbed out using my phone while feeding the baby tonight, need some cake (this may or may not be true. Hint: it's not the first option).


  1. This entry is ROCKIN'. I don't even know if that is a normal thing to say (maybe it's British? maybe I hang out too much alone in Milan?) but I love this. And will use it. And I loved the part about the bad-day-sized vs. normal-day-sized.

    Also maybe you should dress Mr T up as if he is leaving, and then don't leave? Just a thought from someone who doesn't know anything about children.

  2. bad-day-sized servings - hilarious!


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