The concept of nuking a single-serve cake in a coffee mug is pure genius. It's been afloat in the blogosphere for awhile, now a hit again thanks to Pinterest.
In fact creative faux-baking is making a comeback. I've seen brownies baked in the waffle maker: I tried this, and it makes for a dense chocolate waffle which although my 4 year old was in love with the concept, it was NOT an effective substitute for a brownie craving. Cakes cooked in coffee mugs (read on for a variation). Cinnamon rolls in the Belgian waffle press (don't have the latter). Even hash browns in the waffle maker (my next to-try).
So in the spirit of rapid nuclear baking (are you envisioning a mushroom cloud of powdered sugar?) I messed around with a base recipe for a single-serve coffee cake and produced this one-bowl dessert for two: the Orange Creamsicle & Clove Cake. It's less dirty dishes and less time to make than two single serves in individual mugs, and in all actuality, starting with the recipe two "single serves" actually turned out to me more like a nicely modest serving for two adults and a kid or two.
For the cake:
A glass or microwave-safe bowl (I used a 20oz 6-inch casserole dish and it just-fit, don't use anything smaller)
1/2 cup flour
4 Tbs sugar
1/4 tsp baking powder
dash cinnamon & clove, to taste (optional)
1/4 tsp each orange extract (or try juice or zest) and vanilla extract (more or less to taste)
4 Tbs milk, half-and-half, creamer, or heavy whipping cream
2 Tbs butter or margarine, softened
Mix in this order in the glass bowl:
Microwave the butter just long enough to soften, not melt it. For me that was 7-10 sec. Stir in sugar, orange & vanilla extracts, cinnamon, clove, and baking powder. Mix very well. Add the egg, beat well. Add milk or creamer. Add flour. Stir all well.
Microwave on high approximately 2 minutes. Keep an eye on the cake to avoid overflow. Cook in 10-20 second increments additionally until risen and spongy.
Meanwhile, grab a ramekin and mix 3 Tbs powdered sugar and just enough milk or cream to make glaze-consistency. Add a few drops more orange extract or juice, if desired. Whisk well with a fork. Pour over cake when done. Sprinkle with a bit of clove and/or powdered sugar for garnish, if desired.
The thing about this cooking method is that it is not as even and uniform as the in-oven method. Therefore, the ingredients don't get as light and fluffy. They definitely have a cake-like consistency but just a bit more dense and spongy. I recommend this method for a quick pick-me-up or something easy to whip up in few minutes. I would NOT recommend this method if you're trying to impress...it's good, but not spectacular!