Cooking With Carney: Molten Chocolate Peanut Butter Mug Cake

The Cake Isn’t A Lie: A mug cake is ideal for an after school treat or a night in with friends. Chocolate cake typically pairs well with coffee, milk, white dessert wine or stout beer. 

Carney Ziegler

I am a little ashamed to admit how many mug dessert recipes I’ve tested, searching for one that isn’t too complicated and actually doesn’t taste like it came from a microwave. To name a few, I experimented with confetti cake and peanut butter cookies, but neither worked out the way I wanted. However, through my multiple trials and errors, I have found the one I’ve been searching for: Molten Chocolate Peanut Butter Mug Cake. It was worth the wait.

This one-minute cake is perfect for a study break treat, since you’ll likely have all the ingredients on-hand and it takes minimal effort. It’s also something I would readily suggest serving to friends on movie nights in lieu of a late night ice cream run. It’s a good option, too, if you’re looking for something sweet for a date night in. Share this with your significant other or each make your own. With my sweet tooth, I don’t have room to judge.

A few suggestions if you’re looking to lighten up this dessert is to try substituting any of my proposed ingredients for light or vegan butter, non-dairy milk, low-calorie peanut butter, dark chocolate chips and dark brown sugar instead of granulated sugar. I think the recipe is just right the way it is, though. Cut yourself some slack and enjoy a well-deserved splurge.

I was honestly leery to try a mug cake recipe. They typically end up dry, thick and not flavorful enough to be a real treat, but this recipe resulted in such a pleasant surprise. Think melted peanut butter and chocolate oozing from the center of the mug.

Life can get hectic, with school, work and extracurriculars, but this chocolate peanut butter cake is bound to give you the pick-me-up you need at the end of the day. And the best part? Because you make this recipe in a microwave, it’s dorm-friendly. So for those of you in the dorms wary of the communal kitchens, or anyone living in the Village without full-sized ovens, this is a great substitute to baking brownies that takes significantly less time and effort to make.


  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • ¼ cup milk
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 heaping tablespoon peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon chocolate chips, plus more for topping, if desired


In a large mug, add melted butter, milk and vanilla. Stir to combine. Add flour, cocoa powder, sugar and baking powder, whisking thoroughly until no lumps remain.

Dollop peanut butter into the center of the mug, pressing gently until the batter covers the top. Sprinkle chocolate chips into the center, pressing gently until the batter covers them, too.

Microwave for 60 seconds. Remove and sprinkle with additional chocolate chips, if desired. Let cool about one minute before serving.