College Kitchen: Baking in a mug

A&E put three of the most popular Pinterest mug recipes to the test.

by Maddy Folstein

If you’ve ever scrolled through Pinterest, you’ve probably come across the miracles that are mug recipes (we’ll use the word “miracles” lightly).

The pictures that accompany these recipes are stunning. They make you question how a microwave could ever produce something that appetizing.

But there’s often more to these recipes than meets the eye. A&E tested three different mug recipes to see how accurate the claims made on Pinterest actually are.

Three ingredient flourless Nutella mug cake


1/4 cup of Nutella

One egg

1/2 tablespoon cocoa powder

1. Thoroughly mix all ingredients in the mug until smooth.

2. Microwave for about one minute and 10 seconds. Let sit for 15 minutes.

This cake was by far the winner of the three recipes. It was warm and gooey — everything you would want from a molten chocolate cake.

The short ingredient list certainly helps. Since many dorm residents already keep ingredients like eggs and Nutella in their rooms, it should be easy to throw together.

Supplement with ice cream and/or berries, and this cake is taken to another more gourmet level.

I used a large mug for this recipe, and while being microwaved the cake almost overflowed. The average mug would probably not fit this cake, so use this as an excuse to add to your collection.

Four ingredient flourless chocolate peanut butter mug cake


Three and 1/2 tablespoons peanut butter

One egg

Two tablespoons granulated white sugar

  • 1.Thoroughly mix all ingredients in a mug until smooth.
  • 2.Microwave for about a minute and let cool before eating.

This cake was perhaps the most unappetizing food I’ve ever baked — an actual Pinterest fail.

Online, it looked gooey and rich. The cake that I ended up with was dense and sponge-y (not in a good way).

This recipe was also difficult to mix, so the result was rather uneven. Some bites had too much egg, while others had way too much peanut butter.

Grab a peanut butter cup instead.

Omelet in a mug


Two eggs

One tablespoon water

Desired toppings

1. Crack eggs in mug and mix with water. Top with desired fixings.

2. Microwave for one to two minutes, until the eggs are fluffy and thoroughly cooked.

I think I was behind the times on this recipe. Since making it, I’ve found out that many of my friends have made scrambled eggs in the microwave before.

Dining hall eggs are consistently overcooked, and there are mornings where I need a quick breakfast without leaving my room.

These eggs, though imperfect, are the answer. They aren’t fluffy like regular scrambled eggs, but when topped with salsa, cheese or deli meat they almost taste homemade.

The cook time for these was between one and two minutes. I cooked them for around one minute, but I would go with one and a half minutes to be sure that the eggs are cooked all the way through.

Though I was impressed with the majority of the recipes I made, I wouldn’t call them “life hacks.”

Some of the best-looking recipes on Pinterest required ingredients like baking soda and flour, which many dorm-dwellers would not readily have on hand. Recipes like the chocolate peanut butter cake are probably not that reliable — especially given the results I saw.

Sometimes Pinterest can be a cruel, painful lie.