Let's be honest for a minute, here: cooking and baking with your kids is super fun. But also, super messy, and occasionally maybe even just a tad frustrating.

Hey, there's nothing wrong with that. The mess is part of a fun, and the twinge of frustration is just a part of life. The point is that everything comes together in the end to make for some good eats, and some good time spent with your kids.

via @gemma_stafford

But sometimes, you want to keep all of the fun with none (or less of) the mess. Sometimes, you want to make something with your kids that's quick, cute and safe, with a huge, delicious payoff.

And for those times, there are mug cakes.

Mug cakes are pretty much a miracle of modern baking. Okay, that was maybe a little bit of a dramatic statement - but, hey, they're easily customizable, quick and fun to make with your kids, and seriously tasty.

via @_betty.na_

Plus, considering they're cooked in the microwave and require almost no action other than whisking, they're a pretty safe thing to make, too!

via @vera_s.healthylife

There are legit all kinds of mug cakes out there that you and your kids can make, including vegan, gluten-free, and even paleo kinds.

Here are a few recipes to help get you started - but remember once you've got the basic instructions down, the sky's the limit. Go nuts. Reduce the sugar. Amp up the chocolate. Bake your best mug cake. Live your best life.

Mint Chocolate Chip Mug Cake

- 4 tbsp self-rising flour

- 4 tbsp sugar

- 1 egg

- 3 tbsp cocoa powder

- 2 chopped mint chocolate squares

- 3 tbsp milk

- 3 tbsp vegetable oil

- Whipped cream, for garnish

- 1 mint chocolate square, for garnish

1. Combine all cake ingredients into a large coffee mug. Whisk well with fork until smooth. Microwave on high for 1.5-3 minutes.

2. Garnish and enjoy!


Vanilla Funfetti Mug Cake

- 1 cup all-purpose flour

- 2 tbsp granulated sugar

- Light pinch of salt

- 1/2 tsp baking powder

- 1/4 cup almond or coconut milk

- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

- 1 1/2 tbsp refined coconut or extra-virgin olive oil

- 2 tsp sprinkles

1. In a standard sized mug, whisk together flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder.

2. Make a small well and add in the milk, vanilla, and oil. Mix until combined.

3. Stir in sprinkles.

4. Microwave for about 1.5 minutes; serve and enjoy!


Donut Mug Cake

- 6 tbsp all-purpose flour

- 3 tbsp sugar

- 1/3 tsp baking powder

- pinch nutmeg

- 3 tbsp milk

- 1/4 tsp vanilla

- 1/4 cup chocolate chips

- 2 tbsp heavy cream

- sprinkles for garnish

1. Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, nutmeg, milk, vanilla, and vegetable oil together in a medium sized mug.

2. Microwave for 1.5 minutes.

3. Put chocolate chips and heavy cream into a small bowl. When the cake is done, microwave the chocolate and cream for 30 seconds; stir until smooth.

4. Make a small hole in the centre of the cake and hollow it out. Make sure not to use anything sharp if you're letting your kids do this part.

5. Frost the top with the chocolate sauce mixture and add sprinkles to garnish. Serve and enjoy!


Strawberry Pop Tart Mug Cake

- 1 tbsp butter

- 1 tbsp icing sugar

- 2 tbsp milk

- 4 tbsp all-purpose flour

- 1 tbsp strawberry jam

- Icing for garnish

- Sprinkles for garnish

1. Mix butter and sugar together in a mug. Stir in flour and milk, mix until combined.

2. Make a well and spoon in the jam. Smooth batter over jam until it's covered completely.

3. Microwave mixture for 45 seconds - 1 min, or until firm.

4. Let cool; spoon icing on top and garnish with sprinkles. Enjoy!