Berry-Lemon Coffee Cake in a Mug. (Photo/Faith Kramer)
Berry-Lemon Coffee Cake in a Mug. (Photo/Faith Kramer)

Easy desserts in a mug for a quick pick-me-up

Single-serving desserts made in minutes have been my obsession these past few months. Luckily I found these recipes from three cookbook authors who are Jewish.

Cookie in a Mug, which takes just minutes, is by Rachel Moskowitz and Devorah Kahan, from their book “One Pot, One Pan.”

This kosher cookbook, subtitled “Super Easy and Delicious Recipes for Beginners, Balabustas and Everyone in Between,” features fuss-free versions of contemporary dishes and classic Jewish foods made in the oven, on the stovetop or in the microwave.

The recipes for Berry-Lemon Coffee Cake and Chocolate/Mocha Pudding are from San Francisco resident Amy Sherman’s “A Microwave, A Mug, A Meal,” which focuses on cooking for one with flavor-packed recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner and treats.

Sherman recommends using microwave-safe ceramic or glass mugs. She specifies microwaving at 1,000 watts (full power on most microwaves). For higher wattage microwaves, check the manufacturer’s instructions for the proper setting. For less powerful microwaves, additional cooking time may be needed. As always, be cautious when removing hot items from the microwave. If multiplying these recipes, microwave one mug at a time.

Cookie in a Mug

Serves 1

Adapted from “One Pot, One Pan”

  • 1 Tbs. butter or stick margarine
  • 1 Tbs. sugar
  • 1 Tbs. firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • ⅛ tsp. vanilla extract
  • ⅛ tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 2 heaping Tbs. semisweet chocolate chips

Place butter in a microwave-safe mug and microwave on high for 1 minute. Remove from oven. Stir if not fully melted (if necessary, zap again until melted). Add sugar, brown sugar, vanilla and salt. Stir. Add yolk and stir. Add flour, stir again. Add chips. Mix well. Microwave on high for 40 to 60 seconds. Serve warm.

Notes: I used a 1-cup ceramic ramekin. Forty seconds produces a cake-like cookie, 60 seconds a firmer one. Eat with a spoon right out of the mug. I added a scoop of ice cream.

Berry-Lemon Coffee Cake

Serves 1

Adapted from “A Microwave, A Mug, A Meal”

  • 1 tsp. unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 tsp. plus ¼ cup flour
  • 2 tsp. old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 tsp. firmly packed brown sugar
  • 4 tsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 4 tsp. sugar
  • 1 Tbs. milk
  • ⅛ tsp. kosher salt
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. freshly grated lemon zest
  • 10 fresh blueberries or raspberries

In a 2-cup microwave-safe mug, soup mug or bowl, combine butter, 2 tsp. flour, oats and brown sugar. Microwave at 1,000 watts for 1 minute. Remove from microwave. Stir with fork, breaking up crumbs. Microwave at 1,000 watts for 30 more seconds. Remove mug. Crumble mixture with fork. Spread crumbs out on a paper towel.

In the mug, whisk together oil, yolk, sugar and milk with fork. Add salt, baking powder and ¼ cup flour. Stir well. Stir in zest, then berries. Top with crumbs, gently pressing them into the cake. Microwave at 1,000 watts for 1 minute. Let rest 2 minutes before serving.

Notes: Sherman’s recipe called for raspberries. I garnished with additional berries and lemon zest.

Chocolate or Mocha Pudding

Serves 1 to 2

Adapted from “A Microwave, A Mug, A Meal”

  • 2 tsp. cornstarch
  • ⅛ tsp. salt
  • ½ cup whole milk (do not substitute)
  • ¼ cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • ⅛ tsp. vanilla extract
  • ⅛ tsp. instant coffee powder, optional

In a microwave-safe 2-cup mug, soup mug or bowl, whisk together cornstarch, salt and milk. Add chocolate. Microwave at 1,000 watts for 1 minute. Watch to ensure it doesn’t boil over. Stir in vanilla and coffee powder (if using). Cover and chill in refrigerator.

Notes: Sherman’s recipe uses the coffee. I used a microwave-safe, 16-oz. glass and garnished with whipped cream.

Faith Kramer
Faith Kramer

Faith Kramer is a Bay Area food writer and the author of “52 Shabbats: Friday Night Dinners Inspired by a Global Jewish Kitchen.” Her website is Contact her at [email protected].