If I accomplished only one thing in my time at l’Université, it’s this cake. I love my pastries and my sweets, but an entire cake alone is just too much. Even an entire cake for two people can be a bad temptation to go for seconds or thirds. Then there’s cake for breakfast, cake for a snack… Until I’m overwhelmed by cake.
I wanted a cake for one; that wouldn’t be sitting around the house tempting me to have another taste or taking up room in my freezer. There are numerous recipes out there for mug-cakes. The type you can assemble quickly and pop into the microwave for a minute. I especially like this one from Budget Bytes. But I don’t have a microwave and mug-cakes don’t often work in the oven.
So I had to come up with my own version for a quick, oven-baked cake for one.
I’ve had a fair amount of cake fails in the past, and I knew it would take a fair amount of testing. For one, I didn’t want to have to crack open a whole egg, only to use half a yolk. And I wanted to make sure the cake wasn’t overwhelmingly sweet, which seemed to be a problem during recipe development.
Maybe I was a bit crazy to taste cake after cake after cake in order to find something that worked. I like to think it was a self-indulgent kind of self-sacrifice, and I’ve finally found a recipe I love.
This is not a cake that can be doubled or baked in a large cake pan. It won’t stick together, as there are no eggs. It’s also not quite your traditional cake texture. I like to think of it as a cookie-cake. Depending on your ingredients, it can take a bit longer to assemble than a traditional mug-cake, but the wait is worth it.
You’ll need a small baking tin for this. I use my little horse cake tin, but small individual pie tins should also work well.
I love to bake this cake until it’s fondant but not completely done. It’s almost like a lava cake, with a crispy outside and soft, melted interior. It’s the perfect, self-indulgent dessert when you are craving something decadent… without the left over temptation.
- 25 grams butter, softened
- 20 grams sugar
- 1 ½ tbsp milk – I use almond milk
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- pinch of salt
- 3 ½ tbsp all-purpose flour
For the chocolate:
- 1 tsp Nutella
- OR 1 tsp coco powder
- OR 5 squares or 25 grams of baking chocolate, melted
I haven’t tried things like peanut butter or speculoos spread yet, but those might work as well.
- Preheat over to 200°C/400°F. Very lightly grease your cake tin. In a deep bowl mix the sugar and butter until well combined. Add the milk, baking soda, and salt and mix again. Add flour and mix until you have a homogenous batter. Finally add your chocolate of choice and mix until it’s thoroughly incorporated. The batter should be smooth but not too tough.
- Spoon the batter evenly into the cake tin and bake for 5-10 minutes depending on how “done” you want your cake to be. Let cool for a minute. Eat warm with a spoon. I usually indulge myself further by eating it right out of the cake tin.
There is nothing else I can say about the wonders of a chocolate cake for one. It’s a little bit of celebration and consolation at the same time. A way to forget about the day’s troubles and just enjoy.