Microwaves: More from your microwave Microwave baking: How to bake cakes in your microwave


Microwave tip: chocolate is the best type of cake to bake

Microwave baking tips

Microwaves are capable of much more than defrosting and heating up ready meals – they also offer a quick and easy alternative to baking with conventional gas and electric ovens, once you know how. Follow our tips for mouthwatering microwave cakes, and try out our tasty recipes for a family-sized microwave chocolate cake and a microwave chocolate mug cake that bakes in less than a minute. We've also rounded up the best microwaves for baking cakes. 

Best cake recipes for microwaves

A solo microwave is never going to brown your cakes, so avoid plain old sponges when attempting microwave baking as they will just end up looking anaemic. Instead, add a couple of tablespoons of cocoa or freshly brewed coffee to give your microwave baking a rich, tasty look.

If you do want to plump for a Victoria sponge, a good tip is to ice the top or add a scrumptious spread of jam or cream so that no one will notice that it's looking a little pale. 

To finish cakes baked in the microwave, always leave them to stand for a minute or two – this allows the heat to be distributed evenly around the cake.

Best microwaves for baking

To get the best results with microwave baking you really need to invest in a combi microwave. Combination microwaves combine microwave energy with grill and convection heating (fanned hot air) so they should be able to heat, roast, crisp and brown in the same way as a conventional oven. 

Find the Best Buy microwaves for baking by logging into our table below. Not a Which? member? Sign up for a £1 trial to Which? to access this and thousands of other reviews.

Best Buy microwaves for baking
Travel systemClick for full reviewTypical priceTest score


Subscriber only contentSubscriber only content76%

This model scored top marks in our baking tests and excelled in our heating tests. Food is heated quickly and evenly and loses little weight during cooking.  

Find out which microwave we're talking about – log in or take a £1 Which? trial.


Subscriber only contentSubscriber only content74%

This combination microwave and grill is brilliant at baking. It's outstanding at heating, defrosting and convection cooking, too.  

Find out which microwave we're talking about – log in or take a £1 Which? trial.


Subscriber only contentSubscriber only content72%

Excellent at baking and does a good job of heating and defrosting. The grill is good at browning. 

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Bake a microwave mug cake in minutes

Microwave mug cake recipe


1 egg
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons plain flour
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
2 tablespoons chocolate chips


1. Break an egg into your mug

2. Add two tablespoons of brown sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract

3. Then add three tablespoons of plain flour

4. Add a tablespoon of softened butter

5. Throw in two tablespoons of mini chocolate chips

6. Mix everything together

7. Microwave for 50 seconds on full power. Check to see whether your microwave mug cake is cooked by piercing with a metal skewer or fork. If not, return for another 30 seconds until it is ready. 

Microwave chocolate cake recipe


'Cakes cook very well in the microwave oven because they contain lots of moisture - so sponge and fairy cakes cook in minutes, and can be coloured with cocoa or a little coffee powder.'

Jennipher Marshall-Jenkinson,
Microwave Technologies Association

This recipe is great for a decent-sized cake that's big enough for a family tea. 

Mixing the ingredients will take about five minutes, and cooking takes seven minutes with one minute of standing time.


175g margarine
175g caster sugar
150g sifted self-raising flour
40g cocoa powder
3 tablespoons of milk
3 medium eggs
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of vanilla essence


Put all the ingredients in a bowl and mix together until light and fluffy. Alternatively, if you have a food processor, add all the ingredients to the bowl and process for about 60 seconds or until the ingredients are mixed together. Spoon the mix into a microwave-safe dish, cook on full-power for seven minutes and leave to stand for one minute. We used a 900-watt microwave.


You can serve warm with a dusting of icing sugar on top, or cool and then cover with icing and your favourite toppings.

Baking pastries in your microwave

It's best to bake pastries in a conventional oven rather than a microwave – pastry needs to dry out while cooking, and solo microwaves can't achieve this.

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