Posted by: notdeaddinosaur | February 6, 2014

When You Only Want a Little

On a cold winter’s night, I find myself craving something sweet. Just a little; on a diet, you know. And not too hard to make; I am working with an abbreviated kitchen. I’ve always loved cake batter. Not just licking it off the beaters, but actually eating it by the spoonful. Easy enough to mix up a concoction of flour, sugar, and milk to hit that tiny sweet spot. I’ve even taken to adding a pinch of baking powder to give it that nice zing.

Tonight, though, I tried baking it. With the help of a really cool cookbook called Ratio (actually just the cover) and my latest kitchen toy, a $25 electronic scale with “tare” feature, I can provide an actual recipe for an adorable little cake that just hits the spot. I know, I know; the Internet is replete with recipes for Mug Cakes. I’ve looked at them: they’re bigger, usually include an egg, and tend to weigh in at well over a thousand calories. This one is much smaller, and adds up to a not inconsiderable 344 calories. But hey, if you’re careful the rest of the day (or week) you can still swing it once in a while.


  • 1/2 oz peanut oil (what can I say, I like the flavor)
  • 1 oz sugar (I use vanilla sugar, which I suspect is why I can get away without any other flavorings)
  • 1 oz flour
  • 1 oz milk
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder (I probably should have added a similar quantity of salt)

Put a small mug or glass custard cup on your kitchen scale and zero it out. Using the “tare” feature between ingredients, measure them out into the container in order. Stir until blended. Bake in microwave on high for 1 minute. Will be very hot, with soft coarse crumb. May be moist/slightly underdone at the very bottom (just how I like it.)

Optional (today only): Place candle in center of cake, light it, and sing Happy Birthday in absentia to DinoDaughter and the Jock.



  1. What, no chocolate? 😊


  2. sounds fun and like it could fill a need…I don’t understand the tare concept

  3. Even without chocolate, it sounds like a zillion calories just reading about it, but enjoy, enjoy. And I’ll happily join singing Happy Birthday to DinoDaughter and the Jock.

  4. We did this tonight… Used butter as our fat and a dash of vanilla extract (we don’t have vanilla sugar).
    Cups and Cap’n added 1-2 tsp cocoa powder without any adverse effects.

    On a side note, Ratio is the most important cookbook in our kitchen too.
    – Nykki

  5. Wow, I don’t really like recipes and cookbooks but appreciate the chemistry in baking. That might be the perfect book for me, plus slide rules have a certain appeal.

    I’m excising considerable restraint in not heading for the kitchen right away to have some cake. If my will power is overcome I’d be adding chocolate of some kind too.

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