“Mug Cakes: 100 Speedy Microwave Treats to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth” by Leslie Bilderback

Mug Cakes: 100 Speedy Microwave Treats to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth by Leslie Bilderback

It’s my birthday tomorrow! You probably don’t care, but I do and as such, I demand cake! Heaven knows I’m not asking for an entire cake though. Most of my friends work retail and there are four more days until Christmas. Doing the math, I haven’t hardly anyone around to share cake with, so I was looking for something better. There I was in the stacks of my dearest local library, searching for maybe a book on cupcakes or perhaps even cake pops when, behold: Mug Cakes: 100 Speedy Microwave Treats to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth by Leslie Bilderback.

For those of you who don’t know what a mug cake is, they’re a single-serve cake that’s recipe is whipped together in a mug and then baked in that mug right in your microwave. It’s instant cake and it’s magic. The only thing that takes any time is getting the ingredients together.

Author Leslie Bilderback says it best when she says “The idea of making a cake in the microwave will certainly be poo-pooed by the professionals.” Fortunately, we’re not trying to professionally feed the masses. This book is meant for those of us who had a long day at work and need to take the edge off with a small, simple cake.

Bilderback begins her book, most importantly, with the basics of mug cake making. She explains the reasoning for every ingredient needed to create a mug cake, even the microwave! Most of her recipes are exceedingly simple, especially her classic recipes. The only thing that might be considered remotely difficult is purchasing some of the more fancy ingredients, such as rose water or matcha powder, needed for some of the fancier mug cakes. If you’re a baker, the “classic” ingredients should already be available to you in your kitchen.

For those with sensitivities to certain foods, Bilderback includes a chapter specifically for you. If you need a gluten, sugar or dairy free mug cake, no problem! Bilderback includes two vegan options as well.

What could make a book about fast cake better? Perhaps a book about fast pudding, or even fast pie? Bilderback includes these options too! Her chapter Not Exactly Cakes has her readers creating mug pudding, mug cheesecake, and an important part of southern life, mug pie.

My absolute favorite part of the book though, is Mug Cake Mixes for Giving. This is a great gift idea. You found the perfect mug for a friend and you want to fill it? Just put all the dry ingredients together in a bag and gift tag it with the instructions and a list of the wet ingredients. Boom. Cake in less than 5 minutes. What a great gift!

Bilderback also included her topping recipes. Her toppings consist of anything from icing to ganache, glazes to candied nuts. They’re not necessary, but great to have. They’re pretty easy too, but you’ll probably need to hit the grocery store for the more special ingredients.

Out of all the things I could complain about, I’m going to be silly and say that I just really wish Bilderback had included a cinnamon roll mug cake recipe. That, and also that there isn’t a nutritional guide with each recipe. Oh well. Mug cakes are so small, my sugar and calorie intake aren’t really going to matter, right? …Right?

Emery Lai is a Library Assistant at Alamance County Public Libraries. She may be reached at elai@alamancelibraries.org or 336-229-3588.