Lazy Gal’s Mug Brownie Recipe

There are a lot of great culinary creations out there. Icebox cakes. Deep-fried Snickers. Those milkshakes that come with slices of pie blended in them. But possibly the most exciting discovery in recent dessert history is that someone realized you could make a brownie in a mug. A delicious, single serving of chocolatey dessert can be made incredibly quickly and with little effort. There are other things you can make in mugs—eggs, muffins, or chocolate chip cookies, for example—but right now, let’s focus on brownies.

Fun fact about me: I have made an obscene amount of mug brownies in my life. I’ve used an entire 8-oz. container of cocoa powder on nothing but mug brownies. (Yeah, I’m not too proud of that.)

(That’s definitely a lie. If I could, I would list this on my resume with my other achievements.)

I’m not saying you should follow my lead and devote a significant amount of your diet to mug brownies, but . . . sometimes a craving hits and you don’t really need a full pan of brownies and a diabetic coma. Or it’ll be 10:00 PM and it’s too damn late to make brownies (also not true, just ask my previous roommate). Or you’re bored one Wednesday night during a useless flashback on Arrow. So what’s a girl to do?

The answer: grab yourself a mug and some pretty basic ingredients and get to baking.

You’ll need:

  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 2 tbsp. flour
  • 1 tbsp. cocoa powder (If you are like me and have a soul the color of pitch, I highly encourage you to use dark cocoa powder)
  • 1 tbsp. water (I suppose you can use some other liquid. Coffee. Milk. Men’s tears. I’ve used Baileys and Kahlua with no ill effect.)
  • Splash of vanilla extract (be reasonable—a little goes a long way)
  • Dash of salt

Optional – pick one or none, or hell, go crazy and try them all and let me know how it goes:

  • Pinch of instant coffee
  • Spoonful of Nutella, peanut butter, and/or jam (A note of caution: only try jam if you’re super into burning your tongue. Speaking from experience, it’s delicious but walks the line of ouch-maybe-this-isn’t-worth-it. Actually, cookie butter would also be stellar in this. Trader Joe’s Specaloos, be still my heart.)

If, like me, you somehow manage to get ingredients everywhere or, also like me, you have a hella cute cherry-print apron (other apron styles are also appropriate), now’s the time to put that on.

Then, pick your mug. This is fairly key because you want something that’s cozy and cute, but also an acceptable size to hold your brownie. My mug of choice:



Perfect for wrapping my hands around.


And now, let’s get baking.

1. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in the microwave for 20–30 seconds.

2. Some people tell you to mix all your dry ingredients in a separate bowl and then add them to the mug. Fuck them; it’s 10 PM and we’re being lazy as hell. We don’t need another thing to wash. Grab a tablespoon and dump two spoonfuls of sugar into that mug.

3. Scoop two tablespoons of flour (not heaping tablespoons, though) and add to mug. Sugar before flour, because, reasons. Also, in my head, less cross-contamination between ingredient containers.

4. OK, well, the cross-contamination reason loses all respectability with this step. Gingerly scoop out 1 tablespoon and add to mug (in a futile attempt to get less flour in your cocoa powder container).

5. Add 1 tablespoon water (or milk or booze or holy water, etc.).

6. Measure out—or don’t, you could eyeball it—however much vanilla seems appropriate into the mug.

7. Pour a pinch of salt into your hand, pinch some into the mug, and throw the rest over your left shoulder for luck. You can sweep that up later.




8. Grab a clean spoon and, if desired, add whatever else you want to this brownie. Nutella or peanut butter are my go-tos, but hey, this is your lazy, late night brownie—add whatever the fuck you want.

9. Stir it all together with either a clean spoon or, let’s be real, the very messy spoon you just used.

10. Microwave the mug (sans spoon, natch) for 30 seconds. If it still looks undercooked after that, you can either run with it or microwave in 10-second intervals until you reach the desired doneness (generally, when the top of the brownie looks less wet). Personally, I’m all about that undercooked-brownie lifestyle, but you do you; this is your brownie.




Some eating tips:

1. Maybe wait a minute for the molten lava hotness to cool to a more reasonable eating temperature.

2. If you can’t wait, godspeed, my child. May your burned tongue and/or the roof of your mouth heal quickly.

3. Have a glass of milk handy. (I actually have a friend who poured milk over her mug brownie, which is an option, I guess. A bit soggy for me, though.)

4. Consider ice cream. Put some on the brownie, give it two seconds to start melting, and dig in.

But honestly, there’s no real way to ruin this, so have at it and enjoy!


Jessika Rieck

Jessika Rieck

Jessika disapproves of nametags, a certain Dido song, period piece films (except for Belle; that can stay), British literature, and many other things that probably bring you joy. She loves the phrase "tire fires," and wild owls flock to her wherever she goes, assisting with her daily chores. If you want to make her laugh, just mention "prancercise."

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