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Molten Chocolate Mug Cake

Trail Snacks With Lentine Alexis

The first thing that gets left out on a fast-and-light backpacking trip? Dessert! Well, no longer. This Molten Chocolate Mug Cake—made from ingredients you *probably* already have at home—is just the morale boost you need on a long thru-hike or a short solo mission in the mountains. No special equipment and no special techniques. All you need is a canister stove and a spoon. 

Molten Chocolate Mug Cake

makes 1 12-oz. mug cake


dry ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons evaporated cane juice
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon coconut milk powder or milk powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • Large pinch of sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons bittersweet chocolate chips (64-70%) plus more for melting on top


wet ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil, olive oil, or whatever cooking oil you bring in your pack
  • 3 tablespoons water for cake
  • 1 ¼ cup of water to steam in Jetboil


  • Canister stove (such as a JetBoil MiniMo)
  • Compatible gas canister
  • 12oz aluminum or titanium camp mug (must be metal)
  • Spoon
  • A bandanna or towel for a potholder



Before your backpacking trip: 

Combine all of the dry ingredients in a small Ziploc baggie or reusable bag, making sure that the container is watertight.

On the trail:

  1. Mix the dry ingredients with the coconut oil and water in your 12oz metal camp mug. Stir thoroughly to combine. If you’re using coconut oil and it’s in a solid state, no worries—the oil will melt with the warmth of the stove.
  2. Assemble your canister stove, attach the propane, and pour about one cup of water into the pot.
  3. Place the cake-mix-filled mug into the water in the pot and place the lid atop—the lid will prevent the mug from bumping around too much inside the stove as the water begins to boil.
  4. Ignite the stove and bring the water to boil, allowing the water to simmer for 20-25 minutes, checking on the cake and stirring the batter every five minutes. The mug may teeter a bit inside the stove—don’t worry, again the lid will keep the mug from tipping over or from too much water getting into the cake as it steams. Keep an eye on the water level; as the water steams off, you may need to add water to keep your cake cooking.
  5. Once your cake is gooey and cohesive, turn off the stove and allow the cake to sit and set for a few minutes. Then add chocolate chips to the top and dive in!


Lentine Alexis is a former professional endurance athlete & classically trained chef. The former Culinary Director at Skratch Labs, she uses a real-food philosophy to create recipes for athletes and everyone looking to eat well and adventure better. Find more recipes and info on her upcoming cookbook for athletes at lentinealexis.com, or follow her @lentinealexis.