No gift is more appreciated than one that has been made from scratch—especially when it tastes as good as it looks. This Mexican Hot Chocolate Mug Cake recipe is our new favorite food gift. Once prepared, these mug cakes will cook in less than two minutes in the microwave. Talk about instant gratification! It's completely different from our typical food gifts (though, we always love our cheese straws and Fancy Fudgy Bites), and the fun presentation really can't be beat. We found the cutest, most festive mugs to present these chocolate treats to all of our friends and family. For this recipe, you whip up mini cake mixes to wrap individually in the microwavable mugs; and then the gift receiver reads your pretty instruction tag for the rest! (You can download our free printable tags to save you time creating your own.) Chopped pecans and cinnamon add even more flavor and texture to this fluffy mug cake, and we serve these treats warm with marshmallows sprinkled on top. Although these mugs look more time consuming than some food gifts, you aren't actually cooking anything, meaning you'll have these ready in minutes. Now that's our favorite part. There is no food quite as comfort-packed as chocolate, making these chocolate-rich cakes the ultimate gift for the holidays.

Maggie Battista


Credit: Hector Manuel Sanchez; Prop Styling: Karin Olsen; Food Styling: Kellie Gerber Kelley

Recipe Summary test

10 mins
15 mins
Makes 1 cake mix


Dry Mix
Additional Ingredients


Instructions Checklist
  • For each cake, combine all-purpose flour, granulated sugar, kosher salt, unsweetened cocoa, chopped toasted pecans, bittersweet chocolate chips, baking powder, and cinnamon in a small food-safe gift bag. Place mini marshmallows in a separate bag. Place both bags inside a 12-oz. microwavable mug.

  • To prepare each cake, stir whole milk, canola oil, and vanilla extract into the dry ingredients in mug. Microwave on HIGH until cake rises and is cooked through, 60 to 90 seconds. Remove from microwave; sprinkle marshmallows on top. Microwave on HIGH 5 more seconds. Serve immediately.