Hot Chocolate Mug Cake

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With the Bake-Off finale having come and gone, there might be a couple of us on a sugar low, so why not fulfil your own baking needs with a quick and easy mug cake.

While fan-favourite Henry may have been able to pull off baking at university, trying to do it yourself quickly becomes quite the challenge. Baking’s a great way to destress, and the end result makes the whole thing worth it. But, as a uni student, it can feel a bit impossible when considering the number of expensive equipment and ingredients usually involved in the process. In this case, your secret weapon is the mug cake. While it may look like one of those Instagram fads that never quite lives up to your expectations, they’re actually the perfect cheat to get around expensive equipment and long baking times, and all you need is a trusty uni mug and a microwave.

If you have as much of a sweet tooth as me, the potential behind the mug cake is massive. I thought the visual pun of the hot chocolate in a mug was a cute starting point, but the diversity in flavours you could try out, as well as how cheap the actual cake is, really encourages experimentation. With a bit of tinkering, you could easily transfer all your favourite cakes to mug-sized alternatives, and the quick zap from the microwave allows you to give them all different kinds of gooey centres. For instance, you could put a spoonful of peanut butter or Nutella in before cooking. Also, if you’re thinking about going vegan but worried you’ll miss all your favourite desserts, you can easily replace the milk in this with a dairy-free alternative to make an easy vegan treat for yourself.

Ingredients:
  • 6 tbsp all-purpose flour – 3p of £0.45 Aldi the Pantry plain flour 1.5kg
  • 6 tbsp white sugar – 6p of £0.65 Tesco Silver Spoon granulated sugar 1kg
  • 4 tbsp cocoa powder – 23p of £0.99 Aldi the Pantry cocoa powder 250g
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder – 23p of £0.99 Aldi the Pantry cocoa powder 250g
  • Pinch of salt
  • 6 tbsp milk – 5p of £1.09 Aldi semi-skimmed milk 4 pints
  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil – 8p of £1.09 Aldi Pure vegetable oil 1litre
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract – 10p of £0.65 Aldi the Pantry vanilla extract 38ml
  • 30g dark chocolate – 13p of £0.85 Aldi dark chocolate 200g

Total: £0.69

Serves 2 portions, takes 6 minutes

Instructions:
  1. In your mug, mix together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt until completely combined.
  2. Mix in milk, oil and vanilla until a smooth texture is reached.
  3. Cut chocolate into one centimeter square pieces and evenly disperse these throughout your batter, using a fork to push chocolate chunks to different depths within the mixture.
  4. Microwave for 2 minutes and enjoy!

Luke Webb