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.
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.