Microwaves: More from your microwave Microwave recipes: What can you bake in your microwave
What to bake in your solo microwave
Fruit v sponge
Some cakes aren’t really good for microwave baking – the fruit in fruit cakes will burn, so avoid any cakes with this sort of rich recipe if you're using a solo microwave.
Sponge or madeira cakes are an excellent option for a microwave whether you cook them in small cases as fairy cakes or as a larger sponge.
Chocolate is best
A solo microwave is never going to brown your cakes, but adding a couple of tablespoons of cocoa or coffee will give your cake some colour and turn a Victoria sponge into a chocolate sponge.
But if you ice your Victoria sponge, no-one will notice that the top isn’t browned. To finish your cakes, always leave them to stand for a minute or two – this allows the heat to be distributed evenly around the cake.
Baking pastries in your microwave
It's best to bake pastries in your conventional oven rather than a microwave – pastry needs to dry out while cooking and solo microwaves won’t be able to achieve such results.
Whatever you want to bake in your microwave, you might want to take a look at our reviews of stand mixers and food processors to help you cut preparation time in the kitchen - if you're not sure what type to go for, our guide to choosing the best baking gadget will help.
You can unlock all our reviews, from microwaves to stand mixers, with a £1 trial subscription to Which?.
Microwave cake recipes
Are microwave recipes different from oven recipes?
The ingredients used in cakes are going to be the same whether you bake in a microwave or a conventional oven.
The main difference between a conventional oven recipe and a microwave recipe will be the cooking time, which is always going to be shorter in a microwave.
Microwave recipe books
If you're looking for a microwave cook book, you'll be able to pick one up on the internet for about a fiver. The following books are good for starters and all of them include sections on baking in your microwave:
- How to get the best from your microwave, by Carol Bowen - includes plenty of recipes for cakes and desserts and is packed full of attractive photos.
- The combination microwave cook, by Annette Yates and Caroline Young,
- Microwave magic by Jennipher Marshall-Jenkinson, and
- The combination and microwave handbook, again by Carol Bowen, is also helpful for novice microwave bakers.
- Mug Cakes: Ready in Five Minutes in the Microwave, by Lene Knudsen
Some of these books are quite old, however, and microwaves are generally more powerful today – so you'll probably need to reduce the cooking times a little if you have a modern microwave.
Microwave recipes on the internet
The internet is an excellent place to find recipes – these sites are packed full of tasty recipes to try:
- Microwaves Technology Association A great resource with 60 + microwave recipes for everything from apple crumble to syrup pudding
- Cooking Corner Hundreds of cooking ideas and 40 + microwave baking and desert recipes alone
- Microwave recipes cookbook Packed full of recipes including 40 for cakes, deserts and puddings
'Care is needed with products of a high sugar and fat content, which can burn very easily in the quick cooking of a microwave.'
Nat. Federation of Women's Institutes
Microwave chocolate cake recipe
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, cooking takes seven minutes with one minute standing time.
175g caster sugar
150g sifted self-raising flour
40g cocoa powder
3 tablespoons of milk
3 medium eggs
1 teaspoons 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.