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Instant Fall Classic...From Your Dorm Room


Instant Fall Classic...From Your Dorm Room


Photos and Words by Eliza White

When I make my own food, I get such a sense of satisfaction that is just impossible to achieve otherwise. However, living in a dorm has left me without a kitchen, and with the munchies for homemade delicacies. Life lesson: never take for granted the power of a stocked kitchen at home. And while I could stock up my room with the grocery store versions of my mom’s specialties, keeping too much food around would be, frankly, quite the temptation. However, I have figured out a solution to all of my problems in the form of mug recipes.

I have definitely noticed an increase in the popularity and variety of these single-portion, microwavable novelties. Check out this website:; there are 30 right there. Whether you want breakfast, lunch, dinner, or dessert, there is a mug recipe for you.

So, with my constant craving for pumpkin bread – which seems to just be a natural instinct that occurs with the changing of the leaves – I decided to experiment with my microwave and craving for a homemade goodie. I went online and found a recipe that appealed to me, and ran to my microwave. 

Pumpkin Coffee Cake in a Mug
Adapted from Heather Likes Food


For the cake:

1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp pumpkin puree
a few drops of vanilla
¼ cup all purpose flour
1/8 tsp baking powder
a pinch of salt
a pinch of ground cloves

For the streusel:

1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp all purpose flour
1 tbsp brown sugar
¼ tsp cinnamon


  1. Soften (but don’t melt!) the butter in your mug the microwave for about 5 seconds.
  2. Stir in 2 tbsp of sugar and mix.
  3. Stir in pumpkin, vanilla, flour, baking powder, and pinch of salt and cloves and stir until combined.
  4. Use the back of your spoon to smooth it out in the bottom of the mug.
  5. In a separate mug, combine the streusel ingredients and mix until it looks like lumpy sand.
  6. Pour on top of cake batter in your first mug.
  7. Cook in the microwave for 50-80 seconds depending on your microwave. (It took about 70 seconds for mine!). It should look slightly set on the top.
  8. Enjoy!