Instant Chocolate Cinnamon Cup Cakes

I've never been much of a chocolate person. This has always baffled my father who will always, always, choose the most chocolaty item on the menu. When presented with a dessert menu I typically pick something like creme brulee, fruit cobbler or pie. But sometimes you're stuck at home on the third rainy day in a row with nothing sweet in your house except half a pint of ice crystal infested ice cream and some frosted shredded wheat. When all you want is quick but warm, homemade, satisfying dessert this is what you should make.

These little cakes bake up rather magically right in the microwave. Their texture is somewhere between cake and a brownie, dense and a little fudgey as long as you don't over cook them. They will turn rubbery and not so tasty after just a few too many seconds in the microwave. I love cinnamon and think that it adds just enough complexity to this quick dessert to make it truly interesting. The melted chocolate chips are also a must, studded through the cake just to lend a bit of contrast and richness. I used Ghiradelli 60% Bittersweet Chips. To fancy it up you could definitely do this a la mode with a small scoop of ice cream (strawberry would be divine.)

As for bake ware, Katy found these darling little milk glass tea cups at Salvation Army. There were 10 at the store and initially I bought six. But they were still there on my next trip. So of course I had to get the rest of the set, $8 all told. The cups hold about 4 oz of liquid, and I wouldn't pick anything smaller for these cakes because they do rise. You could definitely use ramekins or make one larger cake in a coffee mug. All of the ingredients can be mixed right in a 2 cup measuring cup. So unless you're a bit of a spazz in the kitchen like me, there's very little mess and only a few dishes to wash. These cakes are liberally adapted from this recipe at Food Network. I subbed and swapped some ingredients and proportions (less sugar, more cocoa. Butter instead of vegetable oil, etc.)

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Instant Chocolate Cinnamon Cup Cakes
These perfectly portioned chocolate cakes are rich and chewy, and, most important, ready in just 10 minutes.
3 tablespoons Butter4 tablespoons Light Brown Sugar1 Egg3 tablespoons Milkdash of pure Vanilla Extract1/4 cup unbleached Flour1/4 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon3 tablespoons Cocoa Powderdash of Salt1/4 cup Chocolate Chips
In a glass measuring cup (2 cup capacity) heat butter in the microwave until it's just melted, but not hot. About 30-40 seconds depending on your microwave.

Stir sugar into the melted butter then beat in the egg. Add the milk and dash of vanilla. Mix in cocoa powder and cinnamon. Add flour, stir until incorporated.

Pour batter into two small microwave safe cups (at least 4 oz capacity) until each is halfway full. Sprinkle in half of the chocolate chips. Divide the rest of the batter between the cups then tap them lightly on the counter to even out the batter. Arrange the rest of the chocolate chips on top, sprinkle on a little extra cinnamon if you want to get fancy.

Microwave the cups, one at a time, in the center of the microwave for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Don't over-bake, they'll turn chewy and hard. The cakes should rise but still look a little glossy when you take them out. Eat hot.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 2 servings


  1. When I get take a break from my diet and allow flour, butter, and chocolate back in the house, I hope to try out this recipe. Thanks! The photos look fantastic.

  2. Looks very yummy! Thanks for the recipe. I'll definitely have to try this sometime.

  3. These look like a fun, quick fix. What quantity of chocolate chips do you recommend? The recipe does include chocolate chips in the ingredients.

  4. @memoria - Thanks so much! I hope you get a chance to try them!

    @anon - Thank you, hope you enjoy them!

    @judyburke7 - Thanks for the catch! I used about 1/4 cup of chocolate chips, the recipe is now updated :)

  5. I don't have any cocoa powder , only hot cocoa mix at the moment, but I love your name! I just named my daughter Aubrey when I had her two weeks ago!

  6. Just made them - I used a little less brown sugar and about an 1/8c of the chocolate chips. The consensus is I should have listened to you and used 1/4 :).
    Can't wait to try again - with more chocolate! Thanks so much!

  7. @mariettamama - Aww, congratulations! Yeah, hot cocoa mix probably wouldn't be quite right for this ;)

    @anon - I'm so glad you liked them! The first time I made them I used 3tbs of brown sugar and no chocolate chips and they weren't quite right. But you could definitely get away with less sugar by adding more chocolate!

  8. I've got to make these! I've seen a few different recipes lately, but never tried one.

  9. @Yadi - I think they're delish, the trick is definitely to not over cook them!

  10. I LOVE chocolate and cannot wait to try out this recipe. If you're a chocoholic as well, you should try out this recipe:

    It's delicious!!!

  11. Yum! I love instant dessert!! You get to enjoy it that much faster. My boyfriend just said 'yum! i want one"

  12. This recipe is going to be seriously dangerous in this household...Some one please hide this from me!!

  13. Oh my goodness..delightful and delicious.

  14. That looks delicious, definitely going to try it :) Just one question...I usually use microwave at 350 watts, does it suit your recipe or shall I reduce/increase the power?

  15. @Iris B. - My microwave is pretty wimpy, I can't even adjust the power so I would probably recommend using a low-ish setting. I would watch the cake through the window starting around 45 seconds and take it out a few seconds before you think it's done.

    @Alicia & Tracy - Thanks! They are definitely crave-worthy.

    @foodies at home - I know, chocolate can be so dangerous to have around!

    @anon - Thanks, I'll take a look.


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