This week we decided to test some of the recipes in Joanna Farrow’s Mug Cakes book. Obviously, this is all in the name of science. It’s nothing to do with the fact that we’re all cake fiends in this office…
We selected four cakes to trial from the 30+ recipes in this sweet little book (why yes, that is a sugar pun). We went for the Poppy Seed & Lemon Cake, Rich Chocolate Honeycomb Cake, Spicy Banana Bread and the Raspberry Cheesecake.
So, let’s dive in! To make any of these cakes you will need:
A mug – it must be microwave proof, otherwise your cake won’t bake.
A fork or small whisk – we found that a fork made less mess when it came to mixing the cakes.
A spoon – for the eating!
Lemon & Poppy Seed
Difficulty: Easy Peasy Fear Factor: This was the first one we made, so nerves were on edge.
Top Tip: Don’t turn your back when the cake is in the microwave – they rise faster than you think!
Amelia's Verdict: Delicious! The lemon curd makes this wonderfully squidgy. You can add more lemon curd as a topping, or cream. I went for the token healthy option: blueberries.
Rich Chocolate Honeycomb
Fear Factor: It’s chocolate cake – what could go wrong?
Top Tip: We used chocolate fudge icing so we didn’t have to worry about melting the chocolate.
Ben's Verdict: I think this one is my favourite. Lacking any Malteasers, we crumbled Oreo cookies over the cake and added a couple of strawberries. Not only does it look pretty, it tastes amazing!
Spicy Banana Bread
Fear Factor: None, until we saw how quickly this one rises!
Top Tip: The recipe calls for ¼ teaspoon of ground mixed spice. We added a bit more for some extra punch.
Cam's Verdict: Heavenly! This was my favourite. We topped this with thick cream and maple syrup.
Difficulty: Smooth sailing.
Fear Factor: Cheesecake is stereotypically difficult to get right, so we were waiting for this one to sink or explode.
Top Tip: Microwave in short bursts. The book recommends no more than 45 seconds.
Laura-Anne's Verdict: Very sweet and rich. It would be nice as a small sweet bite after dinner; you could split this recipe between teacups for a pretty individual dessert.
In conclusion, we love this book! There’s a helpful tips section which includes information on choosing your mug and varying cooking times; some gorgeous photographs; and really simple instructions. This book is perfect for any baker, and would make a pretty addition to any bookshelf. Let them eat mug cakes!