Pumpkin Spice Mug Cake

1 Posted by - November 27, 2013 - Food & Drink, Halloween & Autumn

Mug cakes. Let me count the ways I love/hate you.

1. I love you because you suck so very, very much that people come to my blog to read about the carnage.

2. I hate you because you turn out a spongey mess every. goddamn. time. (The picture below is a publicity photo recreation of the carnage. The same exact thing happened the second time I did it.)


3. I love you because you are the epitome of dessert sadness. You mean that I have given up on having friends to share my cake with, so I’ll just make one for me, and me alone. Alooooooone.

4. I hate you because it takes a bazillion ingredients to make you and by the time I get all that shit out and assemble it, I might as well just bake a fucking cake.

Mug cake, I can’t quit you. That’s why I decided to try this pumpkin spice mug cake in honor of the season.

We started off about like I expected. A bazillion ingredients. And some substitutions, because dudes, I was not going to go to the grocery store on the evening before Thanksgiving. (Except then I did anyway because I was out of tonic for my Tom Collins and my mother in law needed celery. It was as bad as you think.)

I did not have canola oil, so I subbed olive oil, and I did not have milk, so I subbed coconut milk. No big, I think.

pumpkin cake ingredients

You know how sometimes your brown sugar turns into an impenetrable brick? Yeah, that. But I managed to mostly break it up and mix it in with the other dry ingredients.

dry ingredients

Then I added the wet ingredients. And now I have an excuse to make a pumpkin pie I guess, because I have a whole can of pumpkin puree open, minus a tablespoon and a half of it that’s in this damn mug.

added wet ingredients

Here it is all mixed up (and blurry because I not only fail at Baking For One, but also at photography). You will note that there’s not much in there. This is not only a single serving of pumpkin cake, but a single serving of pumpkin cake for the self-loather. It’s seriously like three bites worth of cake.

mixed cake

I put it in the microwave for one minute, and when it came out it actually didn’t look as bad as I thought it would. it was not in the shape of a mug lollipop or anything, and did not really resemble a sponge. Not really.

cooked mug cake

There were some spongey bits, it’s true, and some of the bricked brown sugar didn’t quite dissolve, but on the whole, it was pleasantly moist. (There’s that word again. Sorry.)

I ate it on the couch in my pajamas alone with the light off because that seemed fitting for a one-serving cake. I may have shed a single, perfect tear into the empty mug when I was done. I don’t even want to think about why you would be eating this for Thanksgiving because if you can’t find a relative to annoy on Thanksgiving, when can you?

Anyway, I hope you don’t need a single serving of Thanksgiving dessert, but in case you do, this one passes.


Pumpkin Spice Mug Cake
Article Name
Pumpkin Spice Mug Cake
If you are forever alone, here is a single serving Thanksgiving dessert for you. Too sad for words, though.


  • Cyndi Sizemore November 27, 2013 - 9:31 pm Reply

    Ahhhh… Memories! The Strawberries & Cream Mug Cake test was the very first of your blogs that I ever read. I found it on Pinterst. It was so amazeballs that I had to go back & read from the beginning & over the last year or so kept up with them all. I look forward to your posts. Stay classy, Lady! You are one of the many MANY things I am thankful for! Happy Thanksgiving from Kentucky!

  • A. B. England November 27, 2013 - 9:55 pm Reply

    Ah, it gives me hope for the pumpkin spice chess cake I’m making tomorrow. Then again, I’m making it so the kids, Hubby, and I will have a gluten free option available, and I don’t have a mix or a recipe, just gluten free flour, spices, eggs, pumpkin purée, butter, confectioners sugar, cream cheese, and a vague idea of what to do.

    Happy Thanksgiving and thanks for all the giggles.

    • Crystal Kelly Yzaguirre November 28, 2013 - 2:01 am Reply

      just so you know its absolutely unnecessary to cut out gluten unless you have a gluten allergy. In fact gluten free products usually have more sugar and fat to hold them together.

      • A. B. England November 28, 2013 - 7:49 am Reply

        This I know. We all four did the 30 day elimination and re-exposure test last year and had very strong reactions. (Hubby later tested positive for three of the eight genes that code for gluten intolerance/celiac when his neurologist needed confirmation for insurance purposes.) Believe me, if it weren’t for health reasons, we’d be enjoying the pies, rolls, and other wheat filled treats with everyone else. And that little fact about the gluten free options being worse health wise than their glutenous doubles, plus their price point, is why we just stick to fruit, vegetables, and meat 98% of the time.

  • Tiffany M. Fleischman-Jumper November 27, 2013 - 10:22 pm Reply

    Just FYI, If you put a slice of bread in the container in which you store your brown sugar, it will not turn into a brick.

  • greentrams November 27, 2013 - 10:29 pm Reply

    Is it just me or does it look like results appear like someone took a dump in your cup? A pumpkin colored dump? Not appealing. It looks like a stool sample for a patient trying to beef up the old vitamin c.

    • Daniela Rossi November 27, 2013 - 11:36 pm Reply

      Is the exact orangey color the poop gets when you have to take vaseline to empty your guts for a test.

      A medical test, not a school one. That would be weird.

      • Alie November 29, 2013 - 11:04 am Reply

        Hmm, don’t know about the vaseline thing, but it reminded me of baby poop. That’s exactly what my son’s poop looked like after he had sweet potatoes for the 1st time.

  • Audrey B November 27, 2013 - 10:42 pm Reply

    I’m glad to know I’m not the only one with a brown sugar brick. In fact,I just used my brick to make a pumpkin pie. This post made me feel better about it. So thanks!

  • Nina November 27, 2013 - 11:02 pm Reply

    Regarding the brown sugar; if you put it in a completely seal tight container (and make sure you seal it properly) it will stay soft. I use a Rubbermaid Tupperware to store it and have had nice and soft brown sugar ever since. Except when I fail at closing the lid properly.

    • Shila Gillotte November 27, 2013 - 11:45 pm Reply

      They make these little terra cotta doohickies that you soak in water, then add to the brown sugar to keep it un-bricky. I only give mine a refresh soak once a year and it works great! Search Amazon for “brown sugar saver”; mine is the doofy teddy bear because I couldn’t find a plain one that wasn’t 3x the price.

    • TheSwede November 28, 2013 - 2:10 am Reply

      Silica Gel (Do not eat). They are everywhere, now you have a use for them.

    • Mend November 28, 2013 - 4:51 am Reply

      Use a marshmallow

    • DaisyDesigner November 28, 2013 - 9:06 am Reply

      I put a piece of bread in with mine. I usually use the end piece because no one ever wants to eat it anyway.

      • Tori @ Jane Not So Plain November 29, 2013 - 10:59 am Reply

        Worked for me, too.

  • Shila Gillotte November 27, 2013 - 11:41 pm Reply

    Regardless of the inherent badness of mug cakes, subbing olive oil for canola is most certainly a “big”. Olive oil tastes like… well… olives, and canola is a nice neutral-tasting oil. The next time the mug madness strikes, try vegetable oil, soybean oil, corn oil, peanut oil, heck, even coconut oil for much better results.*

    (* I’m certainly not guaranteeing the results will be edible, but at least give the recipe a fighting chance!)

    • TheSwede November 28, 2013 - 2:09 am Reply

      Oil is still oil though, it will taste different but behave the same. Subbing coconut milk for regular milk on the other hand is a ginormous nono as they aren’t even distant cousins. Coconut milk will not help the cake in any way besides taste, you are better off adding plain water.

      As someone once said; cooking is based on feelings, baking is based on chemistry. You need the right ingredients and pretty exact amounts or it will not work as intended.

  • Mend November 28, 2013 - 4:54 am Reply

    only mug cakes i’ve made have been using angel food cake mix and spice cake mixed. mix those together and then add alittle water and then put in the microwave. it still comes out kinda spongy though. But only uses 3 ingredients, pretty much just 2 once you have the two mixes mixed together.

  • Joy November 28, 2013 - 6:46 am Reply

    When I got to the part about olive oil I gasped out loud and said NOOOOOOOOOOOOO. So glad you’re okay. Also, when you’re craving chocolate, I found this brownie for one to be okay: http://www.yammiesnoshery.com/2012/07/two-minute-mug-brownie.html. Hint: double the recipe because – let’s face it, these mug things do not make enough to eat all my feelings accompanying the fact that I am, indeed, making a brownie for one.

  • Beth November 28, 2013 - 11:57 am Reply

    HA! Well seeing how family just postponed Thanksgiving until Saturday due to a Migraine, I’m guessing I might have to eat a one Turkey Day cake on the couch alone silently crying. LOL I’ve only made a mug cookie and was hugely disappointed in the taste. I’m scared to try another one of these mug things.

  • PanyaV November 29, 2013 - 3:46 am Reply

    I’ve tried all of the recommended remedies for brown sugar rocks, and the only thing that’s ever worked for me is microwaving them in 10-second intervals, smooshing with the back of a spoon in-between. Works every single time, just have to let it cool some before adding it to the rest of the ingredients.

    P.s. To those saying the olive oil was a mistake — have you never heard of olive oil cake?

    And the purpose of the milk is for the fat in it to make the cake moist, tender, and rich — coconut is MUCH higher in fat than cow’s milk, so the point is moot. [Not ‘mute’ or ‘moo’ (“…like a cow’s opinion. It just doesn’t matter.”)]

    • Midnite79 December 3, 2013 - 6:49 pm Reply

      I just saw that Friends episode where Joey said that! lol

    • Michelle December 5, 2013 - 7:46 pm Reply

      I love that you quoted Joey!

  • alihaider December 2, 2013 - 5:53 am Reply

    Do something for me.

  • Catherine December 2, 2013 - 10:18 am Reply

    I love how your tagline is Failing at Pinterest Pins so you don’t have to and you fully acknowledge that you have no qualms about substitutions and I’m positive that I’ve seen you say somewhere that you aren’t asking for help with your baking, yet every baking post you fuck up people always want to tell you how to fix it. Honestly, your blog would be pretty boring if you didn’t fuck shit up and instead was show-and-tell of how wonderful all your pins are. If they were still laden with fucks and penises I would still read your blog, though. Nothing wrong with fucks and penises.

  • ChickieD December 2, 2013 - 1:39 pm Reply

    I agree. These mug cakes reek or sad.

  • Beth December 2, 2013 - 1:52 pm Reply

    You’re hilarious! I wanted to say hi, since I stopped by from the Bloggy Moms December Link Up. Definitely gonna have to stop by again to see what else you’ve tried. 🙂

  • Kelly724 December 3, 2013 - 7:16 am Reply

    I still feel very strongly that you need a Penis Pintester mug. Maybe I’ll go to one on those paint your own pottery places and make you one.

  • Christine December 4, 2013 - 10:17 pm Reply

    I put my brown sugar in the freezer.

  • Meganeporter December 15, 2013 - 4:42 pm Reply


    Look here’s more things in mugs for you to test!!! 🙂

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