Dessert for Two: Mexican Hot Chocolate Mug Cakes

This recipe-for-two basically looks like chocolate heaven. Plus, it’s made in the microwave! Can’t get easier than that. There are even notes on how to make gluten-free and dairy-free variations.

cinnamon almond hot chocolate mug cakes
Mexican hot chocolate mug cake

Perhaps you’ve heard about or even tried making mug cakes. A few years ago they were all the rage and they were everywhere online and offline. What’s not to love about a dessert that you can make in small portions when a craving hits, and it takes around 5 minutes total? There’s everything to love, and then some.

cinnamon hot chocolate mug cake batter
Mexican Hot Chocolate Mug Cakes for Two-2
Mug Cake ingredients

You don’t need any fancy ingredients. Well, this recipe uses almond meal because of the texture it adds, but that’s easily substituted if it’s not something you keep in your cupboard or prefer not to use. Chances are you already have everything else on hand.

making Mexican hot chocolate mug cakes

Also, you definitely don’t have to be a phenomenal baker to make these. If you can work a whisk and push buttons on a microwave, you can make mug cakes.

This take on the ubiquitous chocolate mug cake is to take it into the Mexican hot chocolate territory by adding a little almond flavor (almond meal and extract), a bit of cinnamon and nutmeg, and a dash of cayenne for a little kick. Thanks to a spoonful of chocolate chips on top, it’s pure magic. Like, so addictive. You may make them daily for awhile.

A few tips about making mug cakes: First, don’t overcook/bake the mug cakes. All microwaves cook differently, so where it might take one minute in my microwave, it may take 2 minutes or more in your microwave. Start with one minute and add time as needed. It make take making these a few times to find the perfect amount of time for your microwave, and it will be a tasty, tasty experiment indeed.

In this case it’s better for the cakes to be a little undercooked than overcooked. (And don’t worry, the egg totally gets cooked even if the batter feels a little on the gooey side.)

prepping chocolate mug cakes
chocolate mug cakes prep
chocolate mug cake batter

Second thing: you don’t have to add eggs, but mug cakes with eggs tend to feel more cake-like. One egg for two mug cakes works pretty great. If you halve the recipe, just use an egg white or egg yolk. Second thing, part B: you don’t have to add chocolate chips, but it’s so, so good if you do.

making chocolate mug cakes
batter in mugs
hot chocolate mug cakes

Third, mugs do not come in one size. For this recipe, 12-ounce mugs work great. A tea cup is too small. If that’s all you have, just fill it about 1/2 full to allow the batter to rise up. The cakes will sink after cooking.

By the way, the top will still look a little damp even if it’s cooked thoroughly. That’s because it doesn’t get a nice browned top like it would in the oven.

delicious hot chocolate mug cakes

Lastly, the toppings are optional, but you’re probably going to want some. I mean who doesn’t love a pretty dollop of whipped cream and sprinkle of chocolate shavings and sliced almonds?

Mexican Hot Chocolate Mug Cakes for Two

Serves 2

4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons almond meal (or more all-purpose flour)
1/4 cup sugar
2-4 tablespoons cocoa powder (use more for a darker cake)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne
1/4 cup milk
1 large egg
2 tablespoons oil (see note)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
2 tablespoons chocolate chips (optional)
To serve: whipped cream, sprinkle of cinnamon and cocoa powder, chocolate shavings, sliced almonds

1. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, almond meal, cocoa, baking powder, salt, and spices. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the milk, egg, oil, vanilla, and almond extract. Whisk until smooth.

2. Divide the batter evenly between two 12-ounce mugs. Sprinkle each one with 1 tablespoon of chocolate chips, if using.

3. Microwave on high power for 60-90 seconds, depending on the microwave wattage. The cakes will rise up and then fall again. Check center of cake to see if it’s cooked through. If not, microwave again at 10 second intervals until done. Be careful not to cook for too long or cakes will be dry and crumbly instead of fudgy.

4. Cool slightly and top with whipped cream and desired garnishes.

hot chocolate mug cake recipe

-To make these gluten-free, use all almond meal or substitute a gluten-free all-purpose baking blend for the flour.
-This recipe hasn’t been tested in an oven, but you want to, try baking the batter in buttered ramekins at 350°F for about 15 minutes, or until cooked through.
-To change up the flavors, add different spices like cardamom or ginger in addition to the other spices, or omit the others and use your favorite.
-Instead of chocolate chips, you could try adding fresh raspberries to the batter before cooking/baking.
-Not a chocolate fan? No worries. Just substitute flour or almond meal for the cocoa powder and up the vanilla extract a tad.
-Instead of avocado oil, you can use melted butter or coconut oil, or your oil of choice.
-To make a non-dairy version, substitute your favorite non-dairy “milk” such as coconut or almond, or use water instead.

hot chocolate mug cakes recipe
mug cake batter

Credits: Images, styling & recipe by Lindsey Johnson for Design Mom.

23 thoughts on “Dessert for Two: Mexican Hot Chocolate Mug Cakes”

  1. We are big hot chocolate lovers in my house and I can’t wait to try these out. Perfect timing since it finally got a little chilly here in Florida:) I think I will make these for my daughter as a special treat tonight. Around here lows in the 40s warrant a warm drink!

  2. How cute! I might have to surprise my husband with a pair of these (we live in the midwest and winter is just starting to get pretty real around here!) one evening soon.

    When I crave dessert, the ones I crave most are fruit based -especially lemon or berries (or both, heaven help me).

  3. Heck. I missed that this is ‘a thing!’ Dessert for two series … Love. Mug cakes rule – and your ingredients display pic here is so pretty.

  4. I always tend to crave rich flavors at night. In fact, I have to share my absolute favorite, easy and SUPER rich dessert for 2 recipe that I found recently and had to force myself to stop making because it’s just so good!

    I also LOVE microwaving a banana, a little scoop of peanut butter, and some chocolate chips until it gets all squishy and delicious! This one looks a lot less appetizing ;) but always satisfies my sweet tooth, and can be *healthier* as long as you don’t go overboard with the PB/chocolate.

  5. This sounds amazing! I kept meaning to make the first one – and even bought the peanut butter cups – but then had a particularly rough day over Christmas and just shared the pb cups with my husband. ha! Hopefully I’ll have better luck with this one!

  6. Oh man, I can’t wait to try this! My husband used to make something similar, but it never had eggs and kinda came out too dry, but this sounds perfect.

    I’d love to get some recipes for healthy indulgences. I have some go-to favorites for something like chia seed puddings, because I like creamy, fruity desserts, so maybe something similar to that. And as the seasons change, using fresh seasonal ingredients would really be exciting to try.

    Can’t wait to try more recipes!

  7. I just made this and it turned out great! Do you know what the texture is like if you leave out the egg? I like my chocolate cake more dense, like a brownie. Any suggestions?

    1. Hi Annie! I’m so happy it worked for you! The texture without the egg is more spongy. It totally works without using one. If it were me, I would leave out the egg and up the oil/butter (for two mugs) by 1 tbsp so it’s not dry. Another thing that makes it more dense or fudgy is using less flour or all almond meal. You will probably need to play around with it until you get to the texture you like the best by tweaking the flour ratio. Upping the sugar will also take away from the spongy texture a little bit. Brownies tend to have a much higher sugar to flour ratio. I would have to try it for sure, but I’m thinking adding and extra 2 tbsp. sugar for two mugs would help a lot. (And no egg.)

  8. This sounds delicious! Can’t wait to try it! I cannot overstate how much I love the ingredients photo. I just want to stare at it for a long time.

  9. Just made these for myself and my teenaged daughter-Sunday night studying ;) and they were delicious! I’m a terrible baker but they turned out perfectly. I’m already planning on an apple and cinnamon one to make for breakfast for my teenaged son (who is allergic to chocolate-poor guy.)

    1. Obviously very late to this post, but wanted to add a heads-up: the sugar is not listed in the instructions (and we did not notice until after we cooked them). Oops. Going to try again. :-)

  10. Pingback: At-Home Valentine's Day Dinner For Two - bits + bites

  11. There is reference to an egg in the comments but I don’t see it in the ingredients list. Did you make a change to the recipe?????


    Please think about making the recipes printer friendly——–I love sharing my recipes when I find a greatone :)

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