Microwaves: More from your microwave Microwave recipes: What can you bake in your microwave


Chocolate sponge cakes work well in microwaves

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 cook books

Microwave recipe books contain baking ideas

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:

'Care is needed with products of a high sugar and fat content, which can burn very easily in the quick cooking of a microwave.'

Diane Sanderson,
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 margarine
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.

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