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Microwave Cupcakes: About What You Would Expect

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Microwave cupcakes were the obvious choice when browsing the site of my June Taste & Create partner, Tangerine’s Kitchen. Why not try microwave cupcakes? I have already made crockpot cupcakes and steamed cupcakes.

Why Not Try Microwave Cupcakes?

After making microwave cupcakes, I now have a good answer to the question, “Why not try microwave cupcakes?”

  1. Did you ever microwave a bagel? Did you notice how it got all oddly rubbery? The same thing happened to my microwave cupcakes. The texture was not right!
  2. Strange things can happen in the microwave. I put my test cupcake in the microwave for two minutes and it came out as you see on the right. That’s not chocolate – it’s burnt. It was also hard as a rock! I couldn’t cut it with a sharp knife. Obviously, I adjusted the microwaving times for the other cupcakes and that didn’t happen again.

Big Disclaimer: My issues with microwave cupcakes could be due to the specific recipe I was using. The recipe didn’t have any butter or vegetable oil (which I thought was a bit unusual) and that could have contributed to its dryness. Maybe some of you have had success with cupcakes in the microwave – do tell!

Bigger Disclaimer: In trash-talking these microwave cupcakes, I mean no harm to my wonderful Taste & Create partner. She’s got a slew of recipes on her blog that look great and maybe even this one would have been great if I had made it as a cake as she did rather than as cupcakes. From her picture, her cake did have a very different consistency than mine. It actually looks fluffy and has brown on the edges.

Huge Disclaimer: As I was writing this post, I realized that I didn’t completely follow the microwaving directions. I was supposed to use medium power for part of the time and full power for the rest of the time. Grrrrr. How did I miss this? I am now beginning to question whether these were awesome cupcakes that I just screwed up. I’m not questioning this enough, however, to make them again. Also, I stopped and started the microwave (to check on and rotate the cupcakes) every minute which some say is the same thing as half power.

I should also point out that not everyone disliked them. One of Jonathan’s cohorts went out of his way to tell Jonathan that they were “quite yummy.” To each his own.

The Microwave Cupcake Recipe

I present this recipe so that maybe you can learn from my mistakes or give me a hint about how you make microwave cupcakes work for you. See also my failed doughnut cupcakes.

As noted above, the recipe is from Tangerine’s Kitchen. I have reprinted it below with my adaptations.

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Microwave Cupcakes: About What You Would Expect


  • 1/2 C sugar
  • 1 t ground cinnamon
  • 1 C whole wheat flour I used graham flour
  • 3/4 C all-purpose flour
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 t vanilla extract I used vanilla bean paste
  • 1 C ripe mashed banana
  • 1/4 C milk


  1. Line a silicone cupcake tray with paper liners. Obviously, you can't use your regular metal cupcake tins in the microwave.
  2. Combine sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. Mix well and set aside.
  3. Stir whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking soda and salt and set this aside as well.
  4. Beat eggs, vanilla and banana.
  5. Gradually add the flour mixture alternately with milk, beating lightly.
  6. Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full.
  7. The amount you need to microwave will depend on the strength of your microwave. After my burnt tester (shown above), I was overly cautious. I microwaved at 1 minute intervals and rotated after each minute. It took a total of 7 minutes to cook completely.

Recipe Notes

Top these cupcakes with my honey meringue frosting, add a banana slice and torch both the frosting and banana. (See disclaimers and frosting pictures and recipe link in this post)


The Honey Meringue Frosting

I topped these cupcakes with my honey meringue frosting. I then added a banana slice and torched both the frosting and banana. Not all was lost – the cupcakes looked really pretty!

My Favorite Banana Cupcakes

If you are looking for a yummy banana cupcake recipe (not in the microwave), check out:

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22 comments on “Microwave Cupcakes: About What You Would Expect”

  1. Ivy says:

    Steamed cupcakes, microwave cupcakes?Interesting. What will be next boiled cupcakes or grilled?
    I am just not sure about all this. Cupcakes are meant to be baked in the oven, how nature intended.Haha.
    Your finished cupcake looks beautiful though, and I love how you set it on a bunch of bananas.

    • Kristine says:

      Wow! I followed your advice on the 1 minute intervals with angel food cake (3 eggs, 1cup milk, 1/2 cup oil, and cake mix!) and these took me 2 minutes! TWO minutes!
      There were only 2 cupcakes; I baked the other 12 in the oven. They turned out a little browner, but delishious.

      Hold on – I tried a microwaved cupcake 1st and looks were very deceivin. . .it looked so fluffy and white, but 1cm into the bite: ROCK HARD!!!
      I took pictures of both kinds, but there’s no option to post them here;(

  2. Rachel says:

    I’m sorry it didn’t turn out well as expected….But I like that yo chose to do cupcakes!!!

    I made your snickerdoodle cupcakes.

  3. Shakespere says:

    Hi. I really enjoyed you clog. It looks delicious!

  4. Stef says:

    Ivy – Hah! I’m not sure about it either. I’m up for trying things once though. :)

    Rachel – Of course I was going to do cupcakes. :)

    Shakespeare – Thanks!

  5. kamailesfood says:

    I’ve heard of people baking stuff in the microwave and I’m always skeptical. I guess if I knew how to work the microwave better, I could avoid that mishap.

  6. Stef says:

    Kamiales – Yeah, there must be a trick to it.

  7. Julie says:

    I almost resorted to trying to bake cookies in the microwave when my oven broke last fall. Luckily, it was broken only a few days. Still, I was surprised at how many microwave cookie recipes I found online. Sometimes, I get a small urge to try one of them out. Now I have this to add. I even have a silicone muffin pan!

  8. Cathryn says:

    I tried for a while to come up with a microwave cupcake recipe, and while I don’t have a perfect one yet, I’ve discovered a few things:

    -chocolate cupcakes turn out the best
    -oil is better than butter
    -using soy milk instead of eggs keeps them from being so dry but still holds the cake together
    -microwaving a single cupcake takes between 30 and 60 seconds depending on the recipe (the point of my mini-endeavor was to find a way to make just one cupcake for myself quickly, so I only tried cooking one at a time)
    -partially covering the cupcakes (I make mine in creme brulee cups with the lids sitting askew on top)keeps them from getting dry on top and creates a mini-steamer effect in the microwave

    I haven’t tried making them in a while and I don’t know where my recipes are, but you can make delicious molten lava cupcakes in the microwave! The microwave melts the chocolate centers perfectly, and you get a spongy cake that absorbs the melted chocolate and doesn’t have any hard edges like it would if you baked it.

  9. i have made microwave cakes. and microwave “lava cakes”

    For the lava cake mix the cake mix (gasp! yes, cake mix) as directed and then pour into a greased (i use a plastic rice cooker or a large pyrex measuring cup)
    then plop 1/2 to 3/4 can of frosting (yes, can) in the middle of the batter and stick it in the microwave (if you don’t have a rotating plate then you will have to turn it a few times) 8-10 minutes. let it cool for 5-10 mintues and then dump it on a plate. the frosting will have melted and settled on the bottom so when you flip it the frosting will flow on the top.

    the other stupid easy, and in my opinion tastier way, is to mix one cake mix and one can of diet soda. no eggs, oil, etc. microwave for 8-10 minutes and serve with fat free cool whip for a low fat dessert. or put the frosting in it as above and serve with ice cream!

    i have found that chocolate with mini chocolate chips taste the best. but you can do vanilla cake with orange soda, etc. you can’t taste the soda in the chocolate cake.

    warning: these are not always beautiful cakes! but they taste super good!

  10. I microwaved some leftover cupcake batter in a coffee cup once… http://flickr.com/photos/ilafffalot/1120440030/

  11. Stef says:

    Julie – I wouldn’t hurry to try it. If you do though, please let me know what you think.

    Cathryn – Thanks so much for the tips. What a great idea about the molten lava cake! I can completely see how that would be awesome in the microwave. Hmmm…

    Sara – Talk about easy! Thanks for sharing!

    Howtoeatacupcake – Hah! Fun! I know what you mean about getting inpatient sometimes.

  12. Anonymous says:

    my boyfriend made

  13. Anonymous says:

    my boyfriend made cornbread muffin and the oven locked and now my cupcake pan is lost forever moral of the story DONT LET UR BOYFRIEND MAKE CORNBRTEAD IN UR CUPCAKE PAN

  14. Laurie says:

    My son thinks that the Girl Gourmet Cupcake Maker looks like fun. I 100% respect his desire to have cupcakes. now. fast. But, I wouldn’t buy a toy like that, even for a daughter. Sooooo, anyway, I’m wondering if I could cook the batter in the microwave egg poaching dish?

    Hmmmmm might try that.

  15. Amanda says:

    I made regular “from the box” cupcakes with silicone cups for 1:30 each on high. They weren’t as “fluffy” as I’d liked, but they were definitely good and not rubbery. My 4 year old and 1 year old loved them!

  16. admiller says:

    I enjoyed your cupcake project. I also attempted microwave cupcakes and was pleased with the result. I wrote about it at ehow.com. If interested, check it out:


  17. Anonymous says:

    I stumbled upon this page while trying to find out what piece of equipment I have. It’s a brown plastic “Mirro” circular-shaped muffin pan, I would guess. There’s a hole in the middle. It says, “For microwave use only.” Well, I’m all about quick and easy, so I wanted to know what I could cook in this. Do you all have any idea what it is? If so, briannagdolan (at) yahoo (dot) com. Thanks!

  18. Anonymous says:

    You need to put them in another container to microwave, thats why the texture is wrong

  19. Kate says:

    Would you bake cupcakes (or anything) at 570 degrees Fahreinheit (300 degrees Celsius)? No? Because when you microwave at full power (1000 watts) that’s what you’re doing. Anything will be burnt or dry if you cook it at too high a temperature. Light, fluffy, moist delicious cakes are easily achievable in the microwave if you get your settings right. 500-650 watts is the proper setting for cakes, protein etc. change your power settings and you’ll be amazed at what’s possible.

  20. Dk says:

    We can silicon cupcake on convention mode or either on microwave mode ???

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