Kirbie's Cravings

Cake Mix Lava Mug Cake

A super easy molten chocolate lava mug cake that uses cake mix as the base but doesn’t require oil and eggs. This single-serving cake takes only about 5 minutes to make including cooking time.
overhead photo of a lava cake with a spoon

Over the weekend, I took my 3 ingredient cake mix mug cake and made it even better with a molten lava center. It’s now one of my favorite mug cake recipes and is so easy and quick to whip up when you’re craving a lava cake.


  • chocolate cake mix
  • unsweetened applesauce
  • water
  • dark chocolate squares

Chocolate Cake Mix

Most standard chocolate-flavored box cake mixes should work for this recipe. I’ve successfully made it with popular ones like Duncan Hines and Betty Crocker. My favorite one to use is Pillsbury™ Purely Simple® Chocolate Cake because I like the minimal amount of ingredients inside the cake mix.

overhead photo of a chocolate mug cake

Cake Texture

The cake is incredibly moist and fluffy with a slightly looser crumb than a regular cake mix cake. The center of the cake is liquid chocolate thanks to the addition of a few chocolate squares added to the batter.

How to Make Cake Mix Lava Mug Cake

  • Add cake mix, applesauce and water to a microwave-safe mug. Mix with a whisk until batter is smooth.
  • Drop in chocolate squares into the center of the batter. You do not need to push them into the batter because they will sink in when the cake starts to cook.
  • Cook the cake for about 1 minute. Let the cake cool slightly before eating. Cake is best eaten warm while the chocolate in the center is still melted.

close-up photo of a spoonful of chocolate lava cake
I love keeping around a box of cake mix just to make cake mix mug cake. One box can last quite a while.

More Recipes with Cake Mix

Chocolate Cake Mix Lava Mug Cake

Servings: 1
Prep Time: 4 minutes
Cook Time: 1 minute
Total Time: 5 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
A super easy molten chocolate lava cake using cake mix as the base.


  • 6 tbsp chocolate cake mix
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 2 dark chocolate squares each one measuring 1 inch by 1inch


  • Add cake mix, applesauce and water into an 8 oz microwave-safe mug. Mix with a mini whisk until batter is completely smooth.
  • Place chocolate squares onto the center of the batter. Do not push them in. The weight of the chocolate should cause them to sink a little and they will continue to sink when the cake cooks.
  • Cook cake in the microwave for about 1 minute at full power. Let cake cool a few minutes before eating. Cake is best enjoyed warm while the center chocolate is still melted and liquid.


  • I used an 1100 watt microwave. If your microwave has a significantly different wattage, you may need to adjust cooking time or power.
  • Most standard boxed chocolate cake mixes will work in this recipe. You can choose your favorite brand like Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, Duncan Hines, etc. For this recipe, I used Pillsbury™ Purely Simple® Chocolate Cake.
  • I recommend sticking to chocolate squares rather than chocolate chips. Chocolate squares will melt completely whereas chocolate chips are designed not to melt easily. I used Chocolove dark chocolate squares.
  • The cake is supposed to be eaten inside the mug. I don't recommend trying to replate it because the cake will not easily come out of the mug in one piece.

The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.

Did you make this recipe?I'd love to see it! Mention @KirbieCravings and tag #kirbiecravings!

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2 comments on “Cake Mix Lava Mug Cake”

  1. Hi! Is there any replacement for the applesauce if i dont have one?