Make way for cake! I’ve never been a huge fan of Valentine’s Day. It seems forced and contrived. When you have a S.O. you find yourself in the middle of a crowded restaurant filled with 2-tops, wondering what you’re doing there. When you don’t, you end up eating too much Ben & Jerry’s or getting drunk or wallowing in the fact that you’re single.
But I’d be lying if I said I didn’t like Valentine’s Day desserts. I’m a huge fan. This is a holiday in which you express your love through chocolate. And for a sweets lover like me, that’s pretty… sweet.
What could be a better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day than with a cake for two. Or for one, because no judgement here. After the success of last year’s 30-Minute Chocolate Cake For Two, I just had to continue the tradition with this red velvet baby. Still filled with chocolate goodness, but this time with red velvet batter and a delicious vanilla frosting.
Even better? This baby comes together in just 30 minutes. The secret? It’s actually a red velvet mug cake. Crazy, huh?
How to make a mug cake
If you’ve never made a microwave mug cake, you might be a little doubtful about how good a cake made in the microwave can taste. Let me assure you, this red velvet mug cake is BOMB. Here are the basic steps for making this mini dessert:
Make the red velvet cake batter — In a small bowl, mix together all the cake batter ingredients and whisk until combined. Grease three mugs of the same size and distribute the batter evenly between the mugs. Don’t have three mugs of the same size? No worries, just use the same mug all three times, taking the time to clean and re-grease the mug between uses.
Microwave and chill the cake layers — Microwave each mug on high for 1 minute, then flip the mug over to release the cake layer. Once all the cake layers have been cooked, pop them into the freezer until they cool to room temperature.
Frost the cake — The vanilla buttercream is a simple combination of butter, powdered sugar, and milk. Whip that up while the cake layers cool, and then frost the cake. (Feel free to make this a naked cake like I did!).
Drizzle on the chocolate — The chocolate ganache is totally optional, but worth the extra effort. Drizzle it on top of your gorgeous red velvet mug cake, and dig in!
You have no excuses, people. Put down that Ben & Jerry’s, get out your mug, and get baking.
In a small bowl, mix together all dry cake ingredients with a fork. Add in wet ingredients, stirring until combined. Heavily grease three large mugs* and evenly distribute batter into mugs (~1/2 cup of batter each).
Microwave each mug by itself for 1 minute on high. Remove from microwave and shake slightly to loosen cake from mug. Flip mug over onto parchment paper-lined plate or board. The cake should drop right out. Repeat with remaining mugs, then place into freezer for 5 minutes, or until the cakes cool to room temperature.
While the cakes are cooling, make the frosting. Combine all ingredients in a standing mixer and beat on high until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Remove cakes from freezer and frost the top of each layer before stacking.
Melt the chocolate and milk in a microwave-safe bowl until melted (about 15 seconds). Drizzle over cake!
*don’t have 3 uniform mugs? Use one, cleaning thoroughly between cooking each layer!