Be My Schmalentine | Quick Sticky Chocolate Cake for One (or Two)

Sticky Chocolate Cake for One | Once Upon a Recipe

Here we are again. It’s almost February 14. Schmalentine’s Day. Hooray.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, Valentine’s Day just ain’t my jam. It kind of makes me want to gag. I am a big believer in giving and receiving love every damn day of the year, and therefore I fail to see the point of devoting an entire day to over-the-top demonstrations of love when it’s much nicer to spread it around all year. Flowers? Yes, I’d like to receive them a little more regularly, please and thank you. Chocolate? I already eat it nearly every day. A nice dinner out? Let’s do it. Weekly. Jewelry? I’m not really into it. Jewelry makes my body feel…cluttered.

Sticky Chocolate Cake for One | Once Upon a Recipe

Simple acts of love? Now we’re talking. Slip a sweet note into my coat pocket. Make me a simple dinner at home. Pick up a nice bottle of wine to enjoy with dinner. And don’t wait for February 14 to do it.

Whether or not you have a significant other to celebrate with this Valentine’s Day, you’re probably looking for a sweet treat to enjoy. If nothing else, V-day is a total excuse to eat as much chocolate as your little heart desires. How about this quick and dirty chocolate cake? I came across this recipe for chocolate cake for one in the beautiful cookbook “Home Made Winter” by Yvette van Boven. The recipe is described as a 3-minute chocolate mug cake.

Sticky Chocolate Cake for One | Once Upon a Recipe


Cringe. Friends, I don’t do mug cakes. The microwave, while useful for many things, does not cook cakes very well. Have you ever tried it? The texture is just…ugh. Gummy. Spongy. Yuck. But what intrigued me about this recipe is the fact that Yvette suggested that the cake could be baked in the oven for those who find microwave cakes to be off-putting. For the record, I tried the cake both ways. And I maintain my sentiments about microwave cakes. But you may wish to give it a try, especially if you’re in a pinch for time.

For me, this cake serves a particular purpose. Either you’re having a mad craving for chocolate cake and you don’t want to go to the trouble of making a big cake, and then be left with an entire cake to entice you until it’s gone. Or, you’re in a pinch for a quick dessert for one or two. The cake batter comes together in a flash, and even if you choose to bake it in the oven, it will be ready within 20 minutes. Go the microwave route, and you’ll be taking your first bite in just over 3 minutes. The best part? No leftovers!

Sticky Chocolate Cake for One | Once Upon a Recipe

Quick Sticky Chocolate Cake for One (or Two)ย ~ adapted from Home Made Winter

3 TBSP. all-purpose flour

1/4 tsp. baking power

Pinch of salt

3 TBSP. sugar

2 TBSP. cocoa powder

1 egg

1/2 tsp. vanilla

3 TBSP. milk

3 TBSP. vegetable oil

3 TBSP. dark chocolate chips

If using the oven, preheat it to 350ยฐF and spray your baking dish with non-stick spray (I used a large ramekin dish). If using the microwave, pick a large microwave safe mug. Use a separate bowl to mix together all of the ingredients and pour into the baking dish. If using a mug, you can simply add everything into the mug and mix it together. No clean-up! However, with the microwave technique, you can omit the baking powder and salt. Bake your cake for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. If using the microwave, pop your mug into the microwave and cook on high for 3 minutes. The cake will rise over the rim of the mug, but don’t sweat it.

Enjoy the cake while still warm, and definitely feel free to add a scoop of ice cream on top. I’m a bit of a chocolate cake purist and prefer to eat it straight up.

Sticky Chocolate Cake for One | Once Upon a Recipe


Need some other Valentine’s Day ideas? I suggest that you start your day with Banana Bread Oatmeal Pancakes or my Nana’s Cinnamon Buns. If you’re in the mood for a love day beverage, I highly recommend a Red Lotus Martini (or two) or a big glass of Red Wine Sangria.

Cooking together is so romantic (in my opinion). Get in the kitchen with your significant other or your friends and make some heart-shaped pizzas with this Whole Wheat Pizza Dough. For a festively colored side dish, try this creamy and dreamy Beet Risotto.

Sweet treats? These Red Velvet Sandwiches are delicious and easy. If you’ve got a little more time on your hands, make some decadent Rice Pudding. Or Homemade Snickers Bars. Or Bourbon Pecan Pie Brownies. For something a little lighter, try Fruit Salsa and Cinnamon Chips. And diving into this Skillet Chocolate Chip Cookie might just be the most delicious thing you can do on February 14.

Happy love day, my friends. And remember to share some love, each and every day of the year.ย <3


  1. This is a genius idea for someone like me – – with just two in the household, baking an entire cake is a bit much. And I love the easy clean-up too! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. This sounds great, can’t wait to try it.will be in the regular oven though. It’d just my boyfriend and I do this would be perfect for us.we waste too much with bigges sizes! Thanks

  3. Cute!

    I agree with your feeling the whole V day thing. Still it is nice to have an excuse to show someone how much you love them, I just don’t think you need to spend all your money on it ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Well thank you for that dose of silver lining! Too true, an excuse to show a little extra love is always welcome. Happy love day to you and yours! xo

  4. Mmmmm yummy!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. I am so the same way with jewlery. I wear my wedding rings and maybe a necklace if I am going out. Other than that it just sits there. I am not for microwaving cakes. I feel weird when my Grandma tells me she microwaves a potato for dinner so I can’t see doing a cake in there. Sidenote: that beet risotto is waking up my tastebuds. I need to try that!

    • Ha ha, ok I have to admit to microwaving potatoes on occasion, but potatoes are completely different from cakes. You must make that beet risotto!

  6. I love this and I LOVE the serving size. I rarely bake because I do not want to have a bunch of leftovers sitting around my apartment. This would be the perfect solution!

  7. I’m all about spreading the love all year round. This sounds amazing! I need more chocolate in my life year round!

  8. I totally agree with you re: Valentine’s Day – in fact I probably could have written this post myself, haha! Love this simple chocolate cake and the fact that there are no leftovers. Yum!

  9. Chocolate everyday? I agree! I don’t need a holiday for that. This cake looks really yummy.

  10. This looks amazing! It would definitely be for one, because I wouldn’t be sharing;) Just kidding haha. Have a lovely Sunday!

  11. Totally with you on Valentine’s Day. But make me one of these….and I’ll totally be your everyday Valentine. It looks phenomenal!!

  12. What a fast, fun, easy little cake. Love recipes like these!

  13. Celeste says:

    I bake this a few times a week for my boyfriend and I to share. It’s perfect! Thank you so much for the recipe!

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