For our very first Frugaltroph article, we decided to feature our new favorite frugal dessert. Whenever we bake a whole cake, it often begins to go stale before we’re halfway through it. Therefore we came up with the idea of Cup-o-Cakes, an easy, time- and money-saving way to prepare personal-sized cakes as a snack for yourself, to enjoy with a friend or everyone at your dinner table.
How to Make Cup-o-Cake
- Prepare cake mix as directed in an airtight container. If you do not consume a lot of cake, just mix 1/3 of a pack of cake mix with 1 egg and cut the other ingredients (oil and water) to 1/3.
- Store unused batter in the refrigerator.
- When you feel like having cake, put a few spoonfuls of batter in a microwaveable cup or mug. Do not fill cups more than 1/2 full because the cake will rise quite a bit.
- Microwave for about 1 – 1½ minutes or until cake is fully cooked.
- Top with frosting and sprinkles if desired.
- Eat or wrap as gift.
Sack/School Lunch: Tup-o-Cake
If you have children or bring your own lunch to work, imagine how nice it would be to have a beautiful, personal sized cake for a snack or dessert. To do this, follow the same directions for Cup-o-Cake, but make it in a small microwave-safe Tupperware or food storage container. Top it with frosting and/or sprinkles to make your children feel special.
For convenience, you can prepare a week’s worth of Tup-o-Cakes on Sunday evening.
Varying Cake Flavors
- Swirl different cake mixes together
- Change frosting colors and flavors
- Mix in chocolate chips
- Top with jam
- Mix in blueberries, mashed bananas and other fruits
- Top with maraschino cherry
- Use brownie instead of cake mix
- Top with instant pudding instead of frosting
- For the health & weight conscious, mix some oats or bran into your batter before cooking
- Layer different colors of cake mixes in your cup or container
- Add vanilla, lemon, almond or other extract in your cake mix
Benefits of Cup-o-Cakes and Tup-o-Cakes
- Saves utilities: eliminates oven preheating and baking
- Saves time: only requires 1 or 2 minutes to cook a cake
- Saves money by buying in “bulk” and using as needed
- Prevents waste from making more than you can consume
- Reduces risk of forgetting and burning a whole cake
- Portion control
Cost of a Cup-o-Cake
We tend to eat small servings and usually use about 2 tablespoons of batter in an 8 oz. cup. With cake mix at $1.00 or $1.50, we estimate the cost of each serving to be around $0.20 including the egg, oil and frosting.
A Cup-o-Cake makes a great gift for any occasion.
- Present it to a friend or co-worker on his/her birthday.
- If giving a mug as a gift, you could prepare a Cup-o-Cake in the new mug as part of the gift.
- Add candles for a birthday.
- For coffee lovers, make a coffee flavored cake.
- Wrap the Cup-o-Cake in cellophane and tie with a ribbon.
Family Member’s Birthday
On your child or spouse’s birthday, prepare a Tup-0-Cake with his/her lunch. Put pretty frosting on it, or write Happy Birthday in frosting or candy letters, include a candle or put a bow on the Tupperware.
Be creative and have fun.