Brownie in a Mug

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Oh my. We’re doomed. My young friends Reilly and Alden just showed me how they make single serving brownies, in a mug, in a microwave. Takes 5 minutes.

We did experiment a bit. Turns out that you really should not use extra virgin olive oil for this recipe, it’s too strongly flavored. Corn oil or canola oil work best.

A pinch of salt helps make the chocolate more chocolate-y. I’ve added some vanilla and a tiny bit of cinnamon; you could also add a speck of instant coffee to take it up a notch.

Mug Brownie

The brownie lacks for structure (no egg) but that’s okay because it’s contained by the mug. When it’s done, it’s HOT. Perfect for topping with a little vanilla ice cream or whipping cream.

The trick is getting the cooking time right for your microwave. Every microwave oven model is different.

Our 1000 watt microwave cooked these brownies in a mug perfectly at a minute 40 seconds. If you have a stronger microwave it will likely take less time. Enjoy!


Brownie in a Mug Recipe

  • Prep time: 3 minutes
  • Cook time: 2 minutes
  • Yield: Makes one serving

Some mugs don't microwave well because there is metal in their ceramic glaze. They'll work but they may get very hot. Best to use a plain old everyday un-fancy mug.


  • 1/4 cup flour (30 g)
  • 1/4 cup sugar (50 g)
  • 2 Tbsp (13 g) cocoa (natural, unsweetened)
  • Pinch of salt
  • Tiny pinch of cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup water (60 ml)
  • 2 Tbsp canola oil or vegetable oil (NOT extra virgin olive oil, it's too strongly flavored)
  • 1 to 2 drops vanilla extract
  • 1 small scoop of ice cream or 1 or 2 teaspoons heavy whipping cream to serve


1 Place flour, sugar, cocoa, salt, and cinnamon in a microwave safe ceramic mug. Stir with a fork or spoon to mix well and break up any clumps.

2 Add the oil, water, and vanilla to the cup and stir until the mixture is smooth and there are no lumps.

3 Place in microwave and heat on high until the mixture is cooked through, about a 1 minute and 40 seconds for a 1000 watt microwave. You may have to experiment and adjust the time for less or more powerful microwaves. If you don't know the power level on your microwave, start with 60 seconds and increase until the brownie is done. It should still be moist when cooked through, not dry.

4 Let cool for a minute and serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a teaspoon or two of whipping cream poured over.

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Piper and Alden eating mug brownies

Showing 4 of 370 Comments

  • kinga olson

    This literally took 5 minutes to make and was deliciously chocolately – a quick treat that is even better with a drizzle of orange or loganberry liquor and a shot of whip cream. I used an orange infused Olive Oil for half the canola. Cooked in the micro for exactly 1 min. Plan to mix the dry ingredients in a bag with the recipe to send in the next care package for my college kids – perfect late night study treat. thanks for sharing!

  • stella

    i didn’t add any cinnamon, and sprinkled in some chocolate chips. it was delicious and if i were to have one criticism it’d be that the canola oil threw off the taste a little, so next time i might use unsalted butter instead.

  • Leslie

    Not very sweet but definitely hit the spot for something quick and with little clean up. I used sweetened cocoa and cut down on the sugar just a tad. Next time I’ll use a little more sugar than what it calls for and still use sweetened cocoa. I had mint chocolate chip ice cream but vanilla would have been even better. I say it’s a keeper!

  • Lynette Foxen

    Don’t Give Up!!
    Firstly, I have tried many of these recipes and have found that they all start to burn before 60 seconds is up with my microwave. I would highly suggest starting at 40 seconds to begin with. After many trials I have found that melting the fat with the sugar beforehand yeilds the best tasting results. Using butter or coconut oil is going to taste best, as vegetable oil contributes nothing flavor-wise toward this simple recipe’s construction. Once the butter and sugar have combined I add the water and the cocoa, then lastly the flour and flavorings. I have learned to watch this nuked treat very carefully using my nose rather than my eyes. The cake/brownies will continue to cook once removed and while it is cooling it is also drying out. To be sure that your method produces a nice, moist treat do some testing and don’t give up. It is very worthwhile once you have figured out how to best use your microwave for this super quick chocolate fix. My first few were terrible but I stuck with it, gave it a few tweaks, and now I am a pro at quick brownies and cakes any time. There are no hard rules to this method either. If you find it is constantly too dry, up the fat or the liquid. Milk can also be used. In addition to the cocoa powder you can add chocolate or other flavored chips. Pouring over a dollop of heavy cream is great for cutting the sweetness and adding a wonderful creamy flavor to the chocolate. Just be sure that your container is big enough to accommodate the batter and the options are endless. I even added an egg yolk to one trial and it came out very rick and delicious! Good luck and have fun!

  • Melanie

    This is my go-to recipe for a brownie in a mug. It’s really yummy and quick to make. I follow the recipe exactly. No, it doesn’t taste as good as pan brownies….but let’s get real, if we had the time an inclination to make pan brownies, we wouldn’t be looking for how to make it in a cup. It’s chocolate and it’s quick. Mine is warm, moist, and yummy, and it doesn’t require a trip to the store. Thank you for sharing this recipe!

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