Microwave Chocolate Orange Cake: the Easiest Recipe for a Quick and Super Yummy Dessert Ready in Minutes!

Total time: 15 mins.
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 2 people
By Cookist

Forget the oven! This Microwave Chocolate Orange Cake will soon become your new favorite.  It's all about rich chocolate flavor with a burst of orange, ready in just minutes.  It’s super easy to make, so no need to be an expert baker. Simply make a batter with a few simple pantry ingredients, then microwave for a warm, gooey cake. Top it off with a creamy chocolate ganache (made with chocolate chips and cream!) and an orange slice for the perfect sweet treat.

What is Microwave Chocolate Orange Cake?

Unlike its classic oven-baked counterparts, Microwave Chocolate Orange Cake is a delightful invention of the modern era.  It likely emerged as a creative adaptation of mug cakes: single-serving treats popularized with the rise of microwave ovens in the mid-20th century. The microwave cake is all about convenience. It combines the rich flavors of chocolate cake with the bright citrus notes of orange, all condensed into a microwave-safe small baking dish. The batter is made in a single bowl… which means less cleanup!

Interestingly, the combination of chocolate and orange has a long history.  Chocolate was originally enjoyed as a bitter drink by the Aztecs, and orange peels were often added for a touch of sweetness. This flavor combination continued to be enjoyed in Europe, influencing modern desserts like chocolate orange cake and truffles.


  • To make it moist and not dry, stick to the baking time, and don’t overbake the cake. You can swap the granulated sugar for brown sugar. Brown sugar adds an extra flavor of caramelization and makes them more moist and chewier.
  • Once you combine the wet and dry ingredients, resist the urge to overmix. A few streaks of flour are okay – overmixing can lead to a tough, dry cake.
  • The best way to check for doneness is with the toothpick test. Insert a toothpick in the center of the cake – it should come out with a few moist crumbs.
  • If you don’t feel like a ganache topping, you can also use a chocolate buttercream or make a glaze icing. Whip up a quick and easy glaze icing by whisking together 2 cups of confectioners’ sugar, 2 tbsp butter, 1 tsp vanilla extract, and up to 4 tsp milk. Drizzle and spread over the cooled pound cake.
  • Add any decorations like chocolate or rainbow sprinkles, coconut, or nuts soon after glazing and before the icing sets. This way the toppings will stick to the dessert.

What If I Don't Have Orange Zest?

Orange zest adds a lovely citrus punch, but you can still make the cake without it. The cake will have a more prominent chocolate flavor. Alternatively, a teaspoon of orange extract can be used in a pinch, though it won't have the same depth of flavor as fresh zest.

My Cake Came Out Dry. What Went Wrong?

Overmixing the batter can lead to a dry cake. Additionally, microwaves can sometimes cook unevenly. Make sure you're using medium power and following the toothpick test for doneness.

Can I Use A Different Kind Of Milk?

Yes, you can! Whole milk, low-fat milk, or even plant-based milk alternatives like almond milk or oat milk should work well.

Can You Make Microwave Chocolate Cake In A Mug?

Yes, you can! To make this recipe in a mug, divide the batter equally into cups with at least a 1-cup measurement. Microwave for 1 minute and 50 seconds, cool, and decorate.

How To Store Microwave Chocolate Cake

The microwave cake can be stored at room temperature for up to one day, or in the fridge for up to 4 days. Keep it in an airtight container to prevent the cake from drying out.


Orange zest
All-purpose flour
150 grams
100 grams
Cocoa powder
60 grams
Baking powder
10 grams
Melted butter
90 grams
hot water
370 ml
Orange juice
30 ml
For the ganache
Chocolate chips
150 grams
full-fat cream
150 ml

How To Make Microwave Chocolate Orange Cake

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and orange zest.

Add the melted butter, hot water, and orange juice and whisk until well combined.

Pour the batter into a greased 16cm (6 inch) round silicone pan. Microwave on medium power (400W) for around 6 minutes. Leave to cool.

While the cake cools, make the ganache. Combine the chocolate chips and cream in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high power for 1 minute, then whisk vigorously until a smooth and glossy ganache forms.

Flip the cooled cake onto a plate.

Top with the prepared ganache and garnish with a decorative orange slice.

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