Back on Rachel Ray!

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If you missed the original airing, check out the re-run on Rachel Ray featuring Microwave Mug Cakes. Click here to watch.

Valentine's Day

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valentine-2mugsLooking for something special for Valentine’s day? Try a mugcake.

Snow…and a freshly-baked microwave mug cake.

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Any night is a good night to eat a yummy microwave mug cake. But a Friday night in New England … when we’re expecting the first snowstorm of the season … seems like an especially good time to bake one. Because I’m feeling virtuous — and because a colleague, author/publisher Barbara DesChamps, inspired me (she’s currently working on a book about soups and, by the way, you can visit her online at http://www.chateaupublishing.com ) — I think I’ll make Amy’s Microwave Mug Cake which uses carrot juice and tomato juice as its two main ingredients. Thank you for the inspiration, Barbara!

Celebrating December 1

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What’s the best way to celebrate the start of December — or the first day of any month? Treat yourself to a microwave mug cake, of course. In honor of the Christmas season, you might want to choose a microwave mug cake that’s red (you’ll find several of those in the book, but my favorite is the Cherry Pomegranate Microwave Mug Cake) and add a green topping (say, vanilla frosting with a dash of green food coloring mixed in or even a tablespoon or two of pistachio pudding). Yum! I’m making myself hungry, and it’s not even ten o’clock in the morning!

One of the coolest things about microwave mug cakes is that, when the inspiration (or the snack attack) strikes, you can invent  a new one.

Thus, I was inspired late last night to invent the  Leslie Wish It Microwave Mug Cake. The  Leslie Wish It Microwave Mug Cake was named after Leslie Levine, a fellow publicist and author of several important books including Wish It, Dream It, Do It: Turn the Life You’re Living into the Life You Want (Simon & Schuster/Fireside).

Anyway, Leslie’s book cover (along with my gurgling stomach, at 10:00 last night, I’m sorry to say) reminded me of bananas … which is possibly the most perfect late-night fruit because it makes you think of tropical islands, warm breezes, and luscious aromas. In short, bananas are inspirational and inspire sweet dreams, just like Leslie’s book — especially if you eat them in an almost-midnight (and,, for me, 10:00PM might as well be midnight) snack.

Here, without further ado, is the Leslie Wish It Microwave Mug Cake recipe. Enjoy it!

Leslie Wish It Microwave Mug Cake

1 egg
2 tablespoons banana yogurt
1 tablespoon oil
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
4 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 tablespoons instant banana pudding powder (not prepared)
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 tablespoons whole wheat flour

Prepare mug by coating the inside lightly with cooking spray.

Mix the ingredients in a small bowl. Beat egg first with a spoon and mix in other liquid ingredients. Then add dry ingredients and mix until you’ve removed all the lumps.

Pour the batter into the mug (do not fill more than halfway) and smooth the top with a spoon. Thump mug firmly on the tabletop six times to remove excess air bubbles. Place mug on top of a microwavable small plate or saucer.

Bake for 3 – 4 minutes. Check for doneness by inserting a toothpick in the middle of the microwave mug cake and removing the toothpick. If the toothpick is dry, the MMC is done.

Wait 2 minutes, then run a butter knife along the inside of the mug, and tip the cake into plate. Position the mug cake so that the slightly rounded top is on top. Your microwave mug cake will now look like a slightly overgrown muffin.

Fancy stuff: Frost the whole Leslie Wish It Microwave Mug Cake with banana yogurt, or split the MMC in half, and frost each half individually (in which case you’ll end up with two separate MMCs — or you can reassemble the frosted halves to create a layered MMC). Decorate, if you wish, with sliced bananas.

Have you tried a Blueberry Muffin Microwave Mug Cake yet? It’s one of my favorites. Although I’m the inventor of 101 recipes for microwave mug cakes, and I’m not supposed to play favorites, the Blueberry Muffin Microwave Mug Cake is, indeed, the one I bake more often than not when I want a quick snack. I usually have most of the ingredients in the pantry, and to me, eating a Blueberry Muffin Microwave Mug Cake is like going out to a doughnut shop  without leaving home. Plus, a Blueberry Muffin Microwave Mug cake is always freshly baked, warm, and ready.

Try the recipe and let me know what you think. You’ll find the recipe for a Blueberry Muffin Microwave Mug Cake right here.

Microwave Mug Cakes Help With Portion Control

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Look, microwave mug cakes aren’t a health food. They’re made of white flour and refined white sugar, so it’s not a good idea to make a steady diet of them.

That said, if you do want to indulge, it’s probably far better to bake a microwave mug cake than it would be to bake an entire pan of brownies or muffins. A microwave mug cake offers only a single-serving and, once you’re done indulging, it’s gone. Anything else that you might bake offers leftovers. You know what you do with leftovers — you give them away (which provides others with more temptation than they probably need) or you eat them yourself.

Besides the fact that you probably don’t want a few days’ worth of leftovers every time you want to treat yourself to something sweet, microwave mug cakes boast another selling point. you always eat them when they’re freshly-baked.

Now if you know something that can beat a still-warm Microwave Mug Cake for freshness — and it’s built-in portion control feature — please let me know. Until then, I’m treating myself to Microwave Mug Cakes, and I’m leaving the full-sized cakes for truly special occasions — like Thanksgiving get-togethers!

After School Microwave Mug Cakes Beat Mom's Cookies

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In the olden days, if you were a very lucky child, you might come home from school to find your mother taking a sheet of freshly-baked cookies out of the oven. Not to quibble with the romantic fantasy, but who were those cookies for? They were for everyone in the family to enjoy, right?

Mom was wonderful, of course, but…she was the one who picked the type of cookies she would bake. She was the one who had the fun of baking them. And she probably ate half of those cookies even before the school’s dismissal bell sounded.

How much cooler are microwave mug cakes? With microwave mug cakes, you choose the flavor. You get to bake it. You get to eat the whole thing, and you don’t have to share with family members — or even with your mom.

Which is the real reward for getting through another day of school: mom’s cookies or a microwave mug cake? Your mom owned those baking sheets full of after-school cookies. You own the microwave mug cake, piping hot, on your plate…in less than ten minutes. As far as I’m concerned, there’s just no contest.

Why did a book publicist write a recipe book for microwave mug cakes? Well, home office-based book publicists get hungry, too, and even those with tremendous self-discipline and willpower sometimes need something incredibly delicious.

So one day, when I saw a recipe for a single-serving chocolate mug cake that you could bake in your microwave oven, I caved in and gave it a try (during my lunchtime, naturally). It hit the spot.

Hands down, the chocolate mug cake recipe I’d seen floating around the Internet (and that I’d received in my email box at least a dozen times) beat baking a whole pan of brownies that I’d either spend the rest of the week trying to ignore or, worse still, wouldn’t ignore. It beat finding a recipe, whipping out the electric mixer and the mixing bowl, hunting down the right ingredients and a brownie pan, heating up the entire kitchen — this was on a hot day in the New England summertime — and waiting about an hour to make, bake, and cool the brownies so that I could eat one.

The chocolate mug cake was perfect except for one minor detail: that’s all there was.  Seriously.

I scoured the Internet in search of other microwave mug cake recipes, but all I could find was that chocolate mug cake recipe (which seems to have morphed into at least half a dozen versions, not all of which worked for me). You can find everything on the Internet, I reasoned. Surely, fans of the chocolate mug cake recipe must have come up with their own microwave mug cakes. I even did the obvious — I typed www.microwavemugcakes.com into my browser – and I came up dry. No one seemed to have created microwave mug cake recipes that I could try to satisfy my need for a quick, satisfying single-serving treat. Everyone in Cyberspace apparently agreed to leave that one mug cake recipe, and its permutations, stand on its own, and languish out there in isolation and relative obscurity.

That seemed like a miscarriage of baked-goods justice to me, so I determined, then and there, that I would create 101 Recipes for Microwave Mug Cakes, and I’d self-publish it so that the book could reach the bookshelves before Web surfers forgot about the chocolate mug cake recipe they’d enjoyed (and passed on to everyone whose email address they had). And that’s what I did.

101 Recipes for Microwave Mug Cakes wasn’t an easy book to create given the fact that, for every new ingredient I introduced, my microwave oven had an unexpected reaction. Did I want to use fruit juice in one of my microwave mug cakes? Did I want to add miniature marshmallows to a recipe? Did I want to leave out the baking powder? Did I want to try an egg substitute? Did I have a hankering to add some powdered drink mix?

Finally, the turntable on my microwave oven stopped turning for awhile, and the light bulb in my microwave oven darkened in protest. Intrepid book publicist, handy person, and baker that I am, I fixed the turntable and the light bulb, wiped out the messes that exploding microwave mug cakes had caused in the microwave oven, and restored my microwave oven to pristine condition.

I was left with 101 Recipes for Microwave Mug Cakes that work — if you follow the directions, and if you observe the basic safety rules for using any microwave oven. My microwave oven suffered so that yours won’t have to.

And now you don’t have to experience the frustration that I felt when I learned that the chocolate mug cake recipe floating around the Internet was all there was. There’s more  now. There are 101 additional recipes for microwave mug cakes that you can enjoy — in ten minutes or less.

Invite your friends to enjoy their own microwave mug cakes, but don’t bake one for them. Let them discover the joy of baking quick, single-serving desserts for themselves. And feel free to eat your microwave mug cake without guilt. After all, how often do you do something terrific for yourself that’s inexpensive, legal, fun, and doesn’t even require cleanup?