A year ago while still at my previous job, I drove home from work with intense stress-induced chocolate cravings at least one night each week. Those persistent desires demanded more than a kid-sized Starbucks hot chocolate or a small square of Hershey’s Special Dark. They required a thick slice of decadent chocolate cake, usually supplied by the Safeway bakery a quarter-mile away from our house.
Once inside, I sped straight to the back of the store, bypassing the front of their cake display filled with cupcakes and cheesecakes to scour the back. I skipped past their square two-layer pieces; those tasted too milky and had slightly runny frosting. Instead, I scrutinized every single triangular slice of their tall six-layer dark chocolate cake, always selecting the biggest one practically bursting out of the seams of its plastic package.
I slowly savored two layers each night, nibbling at mouse-sized bites to make my chocolate therapy last as long as possible. By the time I swallowed the final morsel on the third day, I felt the stress melt away like the fudgy frosting on my tongue, and it motivated me to tackle another round of papers at work.
Then came the night that Safeway sold the last slice before I could claim it. Another customer walked out with my consolation cake, and I arrived home almost in tears. I had been depending on eating it all day! At the distraught look on my face, my guy asked what was wrong, and after I sniffled out a sad answer, he slipped his car keys into his pocket while I snuggled into a fuzzy blanket on the couch to watch reruns of “Top Chef.”
Right as the episode ended 45 minutes later, he pulled open the front door. Without telling me, he had driven to the opposite side of town to search the other Safeway’s cake selection, and after finding no six-layer slices, he then bravely stopped by the newly opened Whole Foods downtown. He jockeyed his way through the indecisive college kids wandering the store, patiently standing in the bakery line to order two gourmet chocolate cupcakes.
After offering him a few bites of each, I finished both cupcakes that night. Two chocolate cupcakes = two layers of chocolate cake, right?
Once I left that job to blog full-time, fewer days demand a stress-relief slice of six-layer chocolate cake. On the rare occasion my chocolate cravings spiral out of control, I usually bake a pan of my favorite fudgy chocolate brownies instead. And yet… That’s almost just as dangerous. With no self-control around chocolate, I’m always tempted to eat all 16 by myself, especially the four fudgiest ones in the center!
Because those brownies also require lots of cooling time, I decided to create a quicker recipe—preferably ready in under 10 minutes—with only one serving, making it impossible for me to overeat. And after a weekend of experimenting and rounds of testing, I finally perfected the dessert.
This Skinny Single-Serving Microwave Brownie packs a huge chocolate punch, full of incredible fudginess and irresistible decadence. Its smooth texture simply melted in my mouth, completely satisfying my dark chocolate cravings. Despite its deeply rich flavor, it’s still a low-fat and low-calorie treat!
You only need 5 ingredients (plus water) to make this easy dessert, and I guarantee you store most of them in your pantry right now! Cocoa powder, whole wheat flour, yogurt, agave, and vanilla. Containing only these few wholesome healthy ingredients, this skinny brownie is clean-eating friendly and completely guilt-free.
Most microwave mug cake or mug brownie recipes call for both a tablespoon of butter and an egg yolk. That’s 157 calories and 16 grams of fat alone, not including the other ingredients—and it’s supposed to be a single serving! My recipe requires neither, but it’s still just as rich and fudgy because I added a lot more liquid ingredients than dry. More liquid ingredients = moister and fudgier brownies.
Just like my ultimate healthy fudgy cocoa brownies, this brownie solely depends on cocoa powder for its decadent chocolate flavor. Other recipes require melting chocolate bars or chips, but not this one! That demands too much time for a quick brownie fix, and it also creates another dish to wash—no thank you! But because I added more cocoa powder than flour in this skinny treat, the intense chocolate flavor really shines.
Similar to my other brownie recipes, you’ll mix the dry ingredients in one bowl, the wet ingredients in another, and combine them together before pouring into a ramekin. I do not advise mixing everything in the ramekin. Because this recipe contains very little fat, you’ll need to lightly mist the ramekin with nonstick cooking spray before adding in the batter to prevent the brownie from sticking.
To create extra fudgy brownies, I always bake them low and slow in the oven, so I applied a similar technique to the microwave. Cook the brownie batter at 40% power (low) for 2 minutes 15 seconds (slow-ish) to ensure it stays dense and moist. Do not microwave it on HIGH like with other mug recipes! The edges will overcook while the center stays raw.
If the center still looks slightly underdone after microwaving, that’s okay! It will continue to cook through as it cools, resulting in a perfectly fudgy brownie. (And even if it doesn’t, it’s still safe because it lacks eggs, so you can’t get salmonella!)
Look at that gorgeous fudginess! After only 5 minutes of measuring, 2+ minutes of cooking, and 3 minutes of cooling, you can savor a decadent Skinny Single-Serving Microwave Brownie too. That’s just 10 minutes to make a sinfully rich, secretly healthy dessert!
Ready to make your own?