I’m one of those bakers, who don’t even feel comfortable melting chocolate in a microwave, never mind making a cake. So imagine my surprise when I found myself cooking a cake via microwave, doing all the mixing in the jar I was cooking it in, and with a fork! (Well, I used some chopsticks to mix in my berries, but stil!)

I enjoy simple and minimalistic in a house, but when it comes to baking, the sky is the limit for me. (Hence, the pepper with berries.) So what happened?

Well, I was moving (many of you who follow the Instagrams saw some of my photos). Most of my bakeware were still in boxes and I just couldn’t bring myself to unpack after moving 50 or so boxes up four flights of stairs.

I remembered seeing a mug cakes book at the store showing all these different cakes you could make via the microwave. I thought…brilliant! It’s quick and easy (I doubted how good it would taste though), and I had my microwave unpacked already.

“Mug Cakes” by Lene Knudsen

Turns out the microwave IS a pretty quick and effective way to cook a cake. I could see last minute dinner guests coming and you whipping this up in about 10 minutes, and that’s including cooking time.

I do have some tips for this process though. First, don’t overfill the jars like I did. The cakes will explode, so make sure you put a dish under. I used a small 700 watt microwave, but you will need to monitor and adjust if you have a stronger wattage one.

In terms of the cake itself, I did find that the microwave dried out the cake and also made it a little denser than I would like. So I made the substitutions by adding a little bit of vegetable oil and also replacing normal all-purpose flour with cake flour, and I think that really did the trick. Side tip is if you mix in the ricotta, but leave some portions unmixed, when the cake cooks up, you’ll get these pockets of creamy cheese, and that really changes up the texture as well.

Directions

1. Get all your ingredients ready. Start by melting your butter.

2.Add in all your wet ingredient - oil, eggs, sugar, ricotta, and vanilla. Grate in lemon zest.

3. Add in the rest of the dry ingredients.

4. Gently mix berries in the jar or in a separate bowl to prevent crushing.

Mixing in Jar (Be careful - can overflow)

Mixing in Separate Bowl

5. Divide batter among 3 jars. Each jar should be 50 to 60-percent full. Top off with one to two berries.

6. Put plate under jar and microwave (700 watt) one at a time for 1 minute 30 seconds to 1 minute 40 seconds.

Ready to Serve!

Recipe

(Makes 3 small mason jar "mug cakes")

  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 5 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons ricotta
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 10 tablespoons cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 12 berries