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BOOK REVIEW: Mug Cakes by Mima Sinclair

| 31 December 2015 | 1 Reply

BOOK REVIEW: Mug Cakes by Mima Sinclair 

Kyle Books
November 2014
Hardcover, $18.99
Reviewed by Steph O’Connell



These days it’s all to easy to run out of time for things, and it’s far too easy to let baking become a lost art in the time crunch.

Now, of course making mug cakes isn’t baking, and it certainly isn’t art... But this is a revolutionised kind of baking in single servings for busy people, or for people who don’t want to have to wash utensils galore once the cooking is done.

And you might just be surprised with the results.

Here, everything can be prepared and cooked in the same mug. Here, you need a fork and a spoon at most. Here you will find a book for those of us who constantly make excuses to avoid the kitchen.


Top tips: 

  • No mug is too big: This reviewer had great results with her Casa Domani Portofino jumbo mugs.
  • Make sure your mug is microwave safe: If it is, it should be marked as such on the base, but there is a handy test detailed in the book in case there are no symbols or guidelines.
  • Pay attention to the size of eggs: The book recommends medium eggs which can prove difficult at best to find in Australian supermarkets, but after your first couple of cakes you’ll get the hang of how to adjust the other ingredients to suit your large or extra-large eggs, if that’s all you can find.
  • Eat your cake before it cools. These recipes are amazing when eaten warm, but they do tend to dry out once they cool.
  • Don’t judge a cake by its picture: Some of my favourite cakes were the ones that sounded the least appealing at a glance. Don’t be picky, give them all a try!
  • Read the front matter: There are some critical dos and don’ts at the start, as well as tips for the best results, but there are of course things that you will learn on your own through trial and error.

Favourite recipes: 

  • Chocolate & Peanut Butter: I mean, chocolate cake. Duh. But this one comes with the bonus of a gooey, melted, peanut butter centre.
  • Almond & Berry Breakfast Mug: It’s in the name. This is a great mug to start the day, with berries, nuts, and lots of energy to get you going. Plus it tastes great.
  • Banana Bread: I say banana bread, and you know what I mean… but this one comes with the recipe for a cream cheese and lemon juice icing that is to die for.
  • Carrot Cake: One of the better carrot cakes I’ve had the pleasure of tasting, and ditto with the icing from the previous recipe.
  • Strawberries & Cream Victoria Sponge: This was the biggest surprise of the lot. Sponge can so often be bland, plain, and lacking in flavour. But in this instance, cooked in the microwave, the cake is moist and still warm when you dig in. I may not have bothered with trying this one at all if it hadn’t been a friend’s favourite kind of cake, but it’s the one my mind goes back to whenever I think of this book.


Sinclair does a great job of providing a variety of options for various occasions and various tastes. Some are more healthy than others, some are more… chocolate than healthy, but they all taste fantastic, and when you’re digging into a gooey, warm, freshly “baked” mug of cake just for you, you’ll see the art in what she does.

Category: Book Reviews, Other Reviews

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