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Lately the granddaughters have been into cooking, so I try to look out for easy things for them to cook when they visit. Last week, a friend posted a recipe for 3-2-1 Mug cake on Facebook and it looked like just the thing for them.

The recipe is very simple. You start with an Angel Food Cake Mix (the kind that only requires the addition of water) and another (any flavor) cake mix. Dump both cake mixes together in a gallon zip-lock bag. Seal and mix. The “3-2-1” comes into play when you want to prepare your snack. This cake is cooked in the microwave in a coffee mug (a small one works fine and I spray lightly with Pam). Measure 3 tablespoons of the mix into your mug. Measure 2 tablespoons of water into the mug and mix. It is a pretty watery mix. That’s ok, but do make sure you don’t leave any dry mix at the bottom. Microwave the cake for 1 minute on high. That’s it!

The cake has an unusual appearance because it’s microwaved, but it tastes good and is low calorie. I calculated the calories and it is only 86 calories (plain, unfrosted). The 2 cake mixes combined should make about 38 mug cakes (or cupcakes). If you want a low calorie topping to make this a little fancier, try fat-free whipped topping and a dash of sprinkles. We had icing tubes left from Christmas cookies, so we added icing.

Today I tried baking these in the oven as cupcakes. I baked them at 350° for 15 minutes. They turned out great–the profile was a little more stable than the microwaved ones. The microwaved ones are tall cylinders, so they don’t behave as well for decorating as the cupcake shape.

Update 3/5/14: I have used Carrot Cake Mix, Chocolate Cake Mix and Red Velvet Cake Mix with this recipe. I think Carrot Cake was the best because of the slightly spicy flavor (maybe a Spice Cake would be good too). The Red Velvet stays a little gooey in the center, but very yummy.

One other tip I tried was adding 1/3 cup dark chocolate cocoa to the combined cake mixes (for Chocolate and Red Velvet). It makes a stronger chocolate flavor.

On making cupcakes instead of mug cakes, use 2 tablespoons of mix + 2 tablespoons water. This will fill the cupcake liner almost to the top, which is okay because these cupcakes don’t rise much.

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Low Calorie Cupcake

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