3-2-1 Magic Mug Cake

3-2-1 Magic Mug Cakes

This isn’t really a recipe. It’s directions for magic. There is a time and a place for cake mixes. And this is one of them. When the directions for this magic formula appeared in the food section of our newspaper, I had to give it a try.  It is just too perfect a care package treat for anyone with a sweet tooth and access to a microwave, in other words, most college students and many military.

3-2-1 Magic Mug Cakes

If you are like me, you will read this “recipe” and say, “No way. This can’t work. And if it works, it can’t taste any good.” So go ahead and make yourself a mug of 3-2-1 cake before you send the rest of the ingredients off in a care package. It does work and it tastes like a normal cake mix cupcake. Magic.

3-2-1 Magic Mug Cakes

The 3-2-1 in the name comes from the proportions of ingredients used.  All that is needed is one box of angel food cake mix combined with one box of any other flavor of cake mix and water.  Three tablespoons of cake mix and two tablespoons of water are mixed in a mug, then microwaved for one minute. That’s all!

3-2-1 Magic Mug Cakes

For my Monday Box, I poured the two cake mixes into a labeled gallon-size zip lock bag, added a measuring spoon and a can of non-stick spray, and wrote out directions on an index card. For a special touch, include a mug and spoon, and some add-ins  too. If your care package recipient has a need for extra sugar, feel free to add a can of frosting (disgusting stuff but most college students don’t seem to notice).

3-2-1 Magic Mug Cakes

If this idea gets you thinking about mug cakes and you are looking for some  recipes of the non-magic but delicious variety, take a look at the Apple Speculoos Mugcake or the Pink Velvet Mugcake my friend, Sarah, creates at Easy Bakery. The blog is in French but it works well with Google translate and Sarah is always happy to translate recipes into English, which is lucky because my French is less than basic.

3-2-1 Magic Mug Cakes

3-2-1 Cake

(Printable recipe)

Makes about 48 mugs of cake

1 box  Angel Food Cake mix

1 box  Cake mix (flavor of your choice)

Water

Non-stick spray

1 can  Frosting (optional)

Add-ins (optional) such as chocolate chips, coconut, candy bars, nuts, sprinkles

  •  In a gallon sized ziplock bag, combine the two boxes of cake mix. Shake the bag to mix thoroughly.
  • Lightly coat the inside of a microwaveable mug with non-stick spray. (The spray is not  required but it sure makes clean-up easier. Without it, the mug will need to be soaked to loosen zapped on cake crust)
  • (Here comes the 3-2-1 part) Into the mug, add 3 tablespoons of cake mix and 2 tablespoons of water. Throw in  1-2 tablespoons of add-ins, if using. Stir to combine.
  • Microwave on high for 1 minute.
  • If using frosting, now is the time to add a dollop. Eat right out of the mug with a spoon or pop the little cake out of the mug and take a bite.

Packing tips: Combine the two cake mixes in a labeled gallon-size zip lock bag. Include a measuring spoon and a can of non-stick spray. Write out directions on an index card. For a special touch, include a mug and spoon, and some add-ins  too. If your care package recipient has a need for extra sugar, feel free to add a can of frosting.

If you enjoy this 3-2-1 cake, you might also enjoy:  

About these ads

40 thoughts on “3-2-1 Magic Mug Cake

  1. Ohhh I love it ! And I love to see that your recipe is three times easier because of the cake mix !! You’re right : it’s a good treat for military and student.
    Cake mix are not popular in France but that’s pretty cool ! Love this article my dear Wendy ! Hag sameah

    • Thanks, Sarah! What I love about your mug cakes, is that they are real cakes for 1 person. This magic cake is just a fun quick snack. It is a perfect “recipe” for someone with only a microwave and without many ingredients. I am not surprised that cake mix is not popular in France. The whole world travels to France for food and pastries that does not come out of a box! Hag sameach!

    • I have Hermione’s hair but not her talents, Jess! :) As you know from first hand experience, most college students don’t have the time, interest, or know-how to bake but do have a need to snack. I can never figure out how you fit so much into your days! For those without YOUR magic skills, we have magic cake!

    • No ingredients to buy. Nothing to go bad in the fridge. Unlikely to explode. :) An excellent dorm snack for the budding chef or those allergic to cooking. Let me know what he thinks!

    • It is the perfect snack for a college student or military person with the munchies! No perishable ingredients. No special directions. But it is the magic that makes it fun!

  2. Magic indeed! I love this for those times when my sweet tooth hits out of the blue and I must have something sweet immediately or I will self combust!!

  3. Pingback: If you were a college freshman - Sybermoms Parenting Forum

  4. Would it mess up the 3-2-1 ratio if I added extra cocoa powder to my mix? After mixing the German chocolate cake mix with the angel food cake mix, it is no longer chocolate-y.
    Thanks!

    • I haven’t tried it, but I think it might work. I would start with adding cocoa powder to 1 mug (maybe 1/2 -1 teaspoon at first) and see what happens before you potentially waste your cocoa and your mix. Too much cocoa will make the cake bitter. Another solution for more chocolate flavor is chocolate syrup after the 3-2-1 cake bakes or the molten lava style with added chocolate chips or candy bars to the mix before microwaving. Let me know what you discover! :)

    • Hi! My daughter, who must eat gluten free, asked me the same question recently! The key to 3-2-1 cakes is the eggs in the angel food cake mix. That is what causes them to rise. I haven’t tried 3-2-1 gluten free yet because though I have vanilla and chocolate gluten free cake mix, I don’t have an angel food cake mix. I will try to locate one. If you try making a gluten free 3-2-1 cake, let me know how it goes!

      • Maureen, our stores don’t seem to carry any brand of gluten-free angel food cake. I looked online and couldn’t find it either. BUT I did make the 3-2-1 cake just with gluten-free chocolate cakemix (just skip the part about combining the two mixes) and it worked great! I used Betty Crocker Devils Food Gluten-Free. I think any brand would work. Enjoy!

    • Hi, Kruti. I think that the answer to your question is, yes. I have not tried with regular cake mix (no angel food mix) plus water, but I have tried with just gluten free cake mix (no angel food mix) and it worked great! I have also read recipes online that say you can just use the one box. So, I would give it a go! Please let me know how it goes. :)

      • Thanks. :) I tried it and it worked really well! I filled half a cup with the mix and like a third cup of water and it turned out great. I’m glad I can make this with only 2 things. Such a time saver.

  5. I did not like the 321 cake idea very much and now wonder what can I do with this whole bag of mixed Angel food and Devils food cake mixes? I would like to use them up and make one big yummy something. Any ideas for this problem?.

    • Sorry you didn’t like your 3-2-1 cake, Connie. I have 2 suggestions. First, did you only try the 3-2-1 cake plain? I think it tastes like a sponge that way. With add-ins like the molten lava version or the apple cinnamon version it tastes WAY better. Plus it must be eaten warm. If you still don’t like it, I am sure you could use it in any recipe calling for cake mix. I suggest googling or doing a search on Pinterest for “cake mix recipe”. There are pancakes, and waffles, and cookies that I have seen using cake mix. I hope you find something delicious!

  6. Pingback: Free Lesson Plans: The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs

    • We did make 3-2-1 Gluten Free, Cassie! I couldn’t find a gluten free angel food mix so we just made it with gluten free chocolate cake mix (Betty Crocker) and it came out great!

    • Thanks, Jana! 3-2-1 is the perfect college dorm snack! It keeps well, feeds a crowd, and satisfies the late night munchies! :) I recommend using microwave safe paper cups for college kids because then there are no dished to wash!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s