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How to Cook Practically Anything in a Mug

by Shirley Erasmus

We all have those days when washing dishes is simply not a priority in a student’s life (I’m looking at you Chemistry 101). For those days when the only thing available is a coffee mug, there are still some pretty impressive meals to be made.

The great thing about these handy meals is that they can easily be made by students in res too! Got a mug? Got a common-room microwave? Then you’re half-way to achieving mug-made heavenly food! Let’s cook practically anything in a mug.

Breakfast of Champions: omelette in a mug!

For those days when you just need a bit of extra motivation, whip up this fresh, tasty and easy omelette!


  • 1 egg
  • 1 ½ Tbsp milk
  • 1 slice of bread
  • Sliced ham or bacon
  • Cheese
  • Dijon mustard


  • Beat egg and milk together with a fork in a coffee cup, adding salt and pepper to taste. Tear bread into small pieces and stir in. Add cheese; stir in.
  • Tear or cut ham or bacon into small pieces; add to mixture.
  • Microwave on high until done, about 1 minute 10 seconds.
  • Garnish with mustard.

Weekend Special: french toast in a mug!

For weekends when you’re feeling a little fancy (well, besides the mountain of dishes), bring on this winner of a recipe- and get back into bed!


  • 2 slices of bread- cubed.
  • Butter
  • 1 egg
  • 3 Tbps of milk
  • Cinnamon
  • Syrup


  • Cut your slices of bread into cubes.
  • Use some butter to smear the inside of your mug to keep your yummy french toast from sticking.
  • Mix together in a separate mug, the egg, milk and cinnamon.
  • Pour the mixture into and over your cubed bread and give it a minute to soak in.
  • Now stick your cup in the microwave. Start with one minute, then add ten seconds at a time until it’s cooked. Approximately 1 minute, 20 seconds.
  • Once cooked, remove and drown in syrup.

(Optional extras: add raisins, slivered almonds or vanilla essence for a more gourmet experience).

 Scraping the Bottom of the Barrel: mac ‘n cheese in a mug!

For those end of the month days when you’re counting your coins (till you can buy more dishwashing liquid!)


  • 1/3 cup pasta
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup 1% milk
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese


  • Combine the pasta and water in a large mug.
  • Microwave on high for two minutes, then stir. Often the water will overflow while it heats up. If you don’t want it to overflow place your mug on a plate in the microwave.
  • Repeat this for at least 2 to 4 more minutes, stirring at each 2-minute interval. The water should absorb completely and the pasta will be cooked through. (If the pasta needs another minute it is okay to add one more teaspoon of water and microwave for another minute).
  • Remove your mug from the microwave and stir in the milk and cheese. Microwave for another minute.
  • Stir the cheese thoroughly into the pasta- top up with more cheese and eat up!

 Bananas are a Fruit Right? Banana bread in a mug!

This is perfect for those banana’s that are looking a little too ripe, get the fruit flies out the house (one less thing to worry about) and get something yummy in your belly!


  • 1 ripe banana- mashed
  • 1 Tbsp milk
  • 1 Tbsp oil
  • Vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ Tbsp baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp white sugar
  • 3 Tbsp flour


  • Spray a microwave safe mug with cooking spray.
  • With a fork, whisk flour, sugar, salt, baking powder.
  • Add the egg and combine until just incorporated with dry ingredients. Mix in vanilla, oil, milk and mashed banana.
  • Pop into the microwave for up to 3 minutes, with no fear to stop and check after 90 seconds for your desired consistency.
  • Remove and cover with ice cold ice-cream!

Nothing tastes better than Nutella: the Nutella mug-cake!

Lets be honest, this is a recipe for a brand new bottle of Nutella, because the truth is, it probably won’t be there a week later.


  • 4 tablespoons self-rising flour
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons Nutella
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil


  • Combine all ingredients in a large coffee mug.
  • Whisk well with a fork until smooth.
  • Microwave on high for 1½– 3 minutes. (Time depends on microwave; mine took 1½ minutes.)
  • Remove and top with more Nutella / caramel or ice-cream!

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