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Black Forest Mug Cake Recipe

Apr 2016

Sinkology is proud to present Emily Schuermann, our food-loving guest blogger who runs Food for a Year. Emily is here to share some recipes she has created exclusively for the Sinkology blog that reflect her view of a copper sink: simple, timeless, affordable and beautifully rustic.

finished black forest mug cake recipe with whipped topping and cherries

I am pretty sure mug cake is about the best dessert idea EVER!! It’s portion control AND instant gratification all in one tasty cup of homemade, gooey goodness. 

While working on this recipe, I read a stack of mug cake recipes and reviews and after all of my research, I came to realize there are 2 Mug Cake Camps. The first camp primarily uses a boxed cake mix while the second uses a short list of ingredients to yield a “from scratch” mug cake. I vote for scratch-made simple and that is exactly what I created.

flour, cocoa, sugar, dry ingredients for mug cake recipe

When the total volume of dry ingredients equals 4½ tablespoons (7½ T including sugar), you know you are in for a different kind of baking experience. With volumes so minuscule, self-rising flour is the perfect ingredient for ensuring just the right amount of leavening for these little cakes.

Double dark, or “Special Dark” cocoa powder gives these Black Forest Mug Cakes an intensely deep chocolate flavor ((SO GOOD)) & I have found adding a teeny pinch of kosher salt helps to develop that intensity to it’s fullness. So, into the little bowl a TEENY pinch of salt goes.

four mixing steps for black forest mug cake recipe, 4 photos side-by-side

After the dry ingredients are properly mixed, it is time to add the wet ingredients:

  • buttermilk
  • vegetable oil
  • vanilla
  • tart cherry juice ((from a can of whole pitted tart cherries, packed in water))
  • chocolate chips

Once all of the wet ingredients are incorporated into the dry, fold in the cherries. The tart cherries add that little something, so unexpected and amazing. 

chocolate mug cake before baking in white mugs on tabletop

Place equal portions of the cake batter into 2 buttered 6 ounce microwaveable mugs. Cherry pie filling, sweetened whipped cream and some dark chocolate shavings transform this cake into an official ((homemade)) Black Forest Cake. Talk about easy!!

cherries for chocolate mug cake recipe simmering in a pan on a stove

I added a little sugar, cornstarch, butter and a pinch of salt to ½ c of the reserved cherry juice and heated it to a boil. The juice was perfectly thickened in under 1 minute. I warmed 10 tart cherries in the thickened juice as the cakes were baking & cooling. A can of cherry pie filling will substitute nicely if you prefer to skip these steps.

one baked chocolate mug cake sitting on a white dish

Microwave each mug separately on HIGH for 40 to 45 seconds depending on your desired doneness. I prefer the cake to be a little more on the gooey side, so 40 seconds was perfect. Allow the cakes to cool for 2-3 minutes before eating.

two baked chocolate mug cakes on a countertop

Garnish the cakes with a few tablespoons of the sweetened whipped cream, cherry pie filling and some chocolate shavings.

finished chocolate mug cakes with whipped topping and cherries on a dish

The addition of the tart cherry juice & cherries to the dark fudgy cake, along with the whipped cream, cherry pie filling and a nice sprinkle of chocolate shavings, creates precisely what I hoped for – a perfect (miniature portion) of a classically decadent Black Forest Cake. So simple, so effortless with all of the homemade goodness we love so very much!

one finished black forest mug cake with a spoon

Now, you may be thinking – this speedy homemade cake recipe is dangerous to willpower! But really, how dangerous can a teeny 6 oz portion of warm, gooey, fudgy, tart cherry-filled cake topped with a cloud of sweetened whipped cream — that is baked from scratch in under 5 minutes be??

Black Forest Mug Cake
Serves 2
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
1 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
1 min
  1. 3 T self-rising flour
  2. 1½ T extra dark cocoa powder
  3. pinch of salt
  4. 3 T sugar
  5. 3 T buttermilk
  6. 2 T vegetable oil
  7. vanilla, just a splash
  8. 3 T chocolate chips
  9. 1 T tart cherry juice*
  10. 8-10 tart cherries, canned in its water*
  11. butter ((for greasing 2 6 oz capacity microwaveable mugs))
For Garnish
  1. sour cherry pie filling*
  2. sweetened whipped cream**
  3. dark chocolate shavings
  1. Grease the inside of 2 microwavable, 6 oz. capacity mugs and set aside. In a small mixing bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder & salt, stirring with a fork until the ingredients are evenly combined.
  2. Add sugar, buttermilk, oil, vanilla and canned cherry water/juice to the dry ingredients and stir until completely combined (30 strokes should do it).
  3. Fold in cherries and chocolate chips.
  4. Pour half of the chocolate batter into each mug. Place one mug on a microwave-safe plate and microwave for 40 to 45 seconds. If you like gooey cake 40 seconds worked perfectly. If you prefer a spongy cake, try 45 seconds.
  5. Remove the mug cake from the microwave, allowing to cool while you microwave the remaining cake.
  6. Once the cakes have slightly cooled, top with sweetened whipped cream** and a few tablespoons of tart cherry pie filling.*
  1. *Sour cherry pie filling can either be homemade or from a can. For homemade, either follow your favorite recipe or drain a 14.5 oz can of "whole tart cherries in water". Reserve the water and combine ¾ c. reserved water, 1 t. corn starch, 1 T salted butter, 2 T sugar and a pinch of salt over in a small sauce pan. Bring to a rapid boil over medium-high heat, stirring continuously. When desired thickness has been obtained, remove from flame, add 10-12 canned tart cherries and set aside until ready to use as a garnish.
  2. **For sweetened whipped cream, either use a pre-made whipped topping or make your own by beating 2 T sugar & 1 c of heavy whipping cream on HIGH speed until stiff peaks form.
Adapted from Food for a Year
Adapted from Food for a Year

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