There's no rule that says cake should be reserved for special occasions. The end of a hard workday is just as appropriate a time to treat yourself as a wedding or a birthday party. If you want to make weeknight cake-baking a part of your routine, you'll need to downsize. Instead of a cake pan and an oven, the only equipment required for this recipe is a mug and a microwave.
Ree Drummond's recipe for chocolate mug cake on Food Network consists of ingredients most home bakers already have in their pantries. Start by mixing 3 tablespoons of flour, 3 tablespoons of sugar, 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder, a quarter teaspoon of baking powder, and a pinch of salt in a 12-ounce microwave-safe ceramic mug.
Combine the dry ingredients with a fork, and then pour 3 tablespoons of milk and 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil into the mixture. Add a splash of vanilla extract for optional flavoring and stir the ingredients until you have a smooth batter. For the final step, mix in 3 tablespoons of chocolate chips.
The baking part of the recipe takes less time than reheating your leftovers. Simply pop the heat-safe mug into a microwave oven and cook it on high for 90 seconds, then wait 2 to 3 minutes for the cake to cool down before digging in.
The recipe is meant to feed one, but if you live with other people, be prepared to get requests to make a second serving. Fortunately, the instructions are so easy that you can teach the rest of your household how to make it for themselves. If you're craving a dessert featuring the fresh fruit in your fridge, this 10-minute recipe for strawberry shortcake is a delicious alternative, too.
[h/t Food Network]