Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Microwave Mug Cake for a Zoom Celebration

My favorite flour company posted a photo of a mug cake recently. Hudson Cream Flour has a baking community on Facebook. Hudson Cream Flour is produced right in our home county - Stafford County, Kansas, by Stafford County Flour Mills. (We actually live on the Reno County side of the county line, but we identify as "Stafford County." That sounds like a buzz-worthy thing to say these days, don't you think?) You can become a member by checking out Hudson Cream Baking Community on Facebook.

Anyway, it reminded me that I had never posted a recipe of a microwave mug cake that was part of a 100-year-anniversary celebration for my Stafford PEO group.

On March 23, we celebrated 100 years of Chapter BK, PEO, an international organization that advocates for education for women, as well as other philanthropic endeavors.

I agreed to chair the anniversary committee. But with the regulations still in place for meetings due to Covid-19, we opted to have a Zoom party, rather than gather in person.

The 12 founders from 1921 would probably have been appalled. On their initiation day, the 12 Stafford ladies gathered for a formal meal, prepared by the Stafford High School home economics students. Then, for the chapter's 50th anniversary, the women had a luncheon at the Brown Tea Room in Stafford. The Golden Girls (the remaining 50-year members) arrived to the festivities in a limousine, chauffeured by one of the husbands. They had a meal of escalloped chicken, glazed carrots, creamed peas in timbale shells, perfection salad, rolls and lemon chiffon pie. (I had to look up "timbale." I'd never heard of it before, but it sounds fancy to me!)

I'm thinking that a microwave cake and a paper bag of party supplies would not have sufficed for the gentile ladies of yesteryear.  Of course, back in 1921, there were no microwaves anyway!


The committee members prepared "party packs" that were delivered to each members' front porch ahead of time. It included a commemorative mug in which to make the microwave cake, a cake "kit" (complete with candle), a craft kit to make a paper daisy, party hat, party blowers and a daisy napkin. (Our PEO flower is the marguerite - a daisy.)

I experimented with several recipes. Randy wasn't complaining. Eventually, I came up with one in which our committee could supply all the ingredients except for 1/4 cup of milk, which each member provided on her own.

My friend, Betty, packaged the dry ingredients into snack-sized plastic bags. She put the liquid ingredients in a 2-ounce plastic cup. I provided a 2-ounce container of prepared buttercream frosting, tinting it yellow and using a star-tip to swirl it for a "party" effect. (I thought I'd gotten a photo, but I guess not!) We added a small baggie with extra sprinkles and a candle to make it party-worthy!

This is one of the  pages from A Century of Sisterhood, a book I made to celebration the anniversary, and shows our Zoom party and mug cakes.

Then the ladies made their own cakes at home and ate them while I gave the program. 

I went through history books and other anniversary programs and ultimately did a 26-page book.

It included biographic information about each founder and photos when available. The book also had information from the 25-, 40-, 50- and 75-year anniversaries. I also included summaries about what the world was like at each of those milestone anniversaries, which occurred in 1921, 1946, 1971 and 1996.

This was from the silver anniversary and showed the remaining founders at that time.

This was a double-page spread from the 50th anniversary at the Brown Tea Room.

And here's a photo from the 40th birthday. Things were definitely more formal back in those days. They didn't plan a special event, yet look how dressed up they all were for a regular meeting!

As I said, I'm not sure our microwave cake would have passed inspection back in the day. But we 2021 ladies were surprised how good they were. (Of course, warm cake is good anytime. And the buttercream frosting certainly makes anything taste better!)

Microwave Mug Cake
for a Zoom Party
Put the following dry ingredients in a snack-sized bag:
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
1 tablespoon sprinkles

Put the following into a 2-ounce plastic cup with secure lid:
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon almond flavoring
1/4 cup milk
1) Wash & dry your mug.
2) Have 1/4 cup milk available to use.
3) Have a match or lighter available to light the candle!

TO PREPARE MUG CAKE (We will do this during the party!):
1) Put measured (provided) dry ingredients in the provided mug.
2) Add plastic container of wet ingredients (provided.)
3) Add 1/4 cup milk. (YOU PROVIDE.)
4) Stir well with one of the forks, thoroughly combining wet & dry ingredients.
5) Place mug on a plate or paper towel in your microwave (just to catch any overflow).
6) Microwave 90 seconds. It WON'T look like a cake baked in the oven because it doesn't brown. But it should "spring back" like a "normal" cake. If it doesn't seem done, put back in for a few more seconds. However, don't overcook. It will continue baking after removing from MW.
7) It's hot! Use a potholder to remove.
8) Top with provided frosting, light the candle & ENJOY!
I also provided a 2-ounce container of prepared buttercream frosting in each partygoer's sack. We had 22 possible participants, so I used 1 1/2 times the recipe from Sally's Baking Addiction.
Vanilla Buttercream
Recipe and commentary from Sally's Baking Addiction blog
1 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
4-5 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream, half and half or whole milk at room temp
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 tsp. almond extract
Food coloring (as desired)

With a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add 4 and 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, the heavy cream, and extracts. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds, then increase to medium-high speed and beat for 2 full minutes. Taste. Add a pinch of salt if frosting is too sweet. I always add 1/8 teaspoon.

Adjust if needed: You can control the consistency at this point– add up to 1/2 cup more confectioners’ sugar if frosting is too thin or more heavy cream if frosting is too thick (add only 1 Tablespoon at a time, beat together, then taste and add more if desired).

Use immediately or cover tightly and store for up to 1 week in the refrigerator or up to 3 months in the freezer. After freezing, thaw in the refrigerator then beat the frosting on medium speed for a few seconds so it’s creamy again. After thawing or refrigerating, beating in a splash of heavy cream or milk will help thin the frosting out again, if needed.

  1. Quantity: This recipe is enough to frost 12-16 cupcakes or a thin layer on a 9×13 inch quarter sheet cake. Follow these ratios for a 2 layer cake and these ratios for a 3 layer cake.
  2. Confectioners’ Sugar: If your confectioners’ sugar is particularly lumpy, I recommend sifting it 1-2x before measuring and using.
  3. Heavy Cream: I love using heavy cream for the creamiest consistency. You can use half-and-half or whole milk instead if needed. The lower the fat, the less creamy your buttercream will be. Whichever you use, make sure it’s at room temperature. Otherwise your frosting could separate or appear grainy.


  1. Congratulations on your 100th Anniversary and it looks like it was a great party and the book will be a treasure!

    1. Thanks! We had a fun celebration, despite the unusual party format. The book was fun to put together (though time-consuming.)

  2. I'm sure the Founders would be impressed with your dedication and time spent creating this celebration given the difficult Covid time we live in. The anniversary book was a labour of love, given all you do on the the farm.

    1. Thanks, Helen. It was a fun project. I learned a lot.