An indulgent brownie that's accidentally vegan, in less than a minute

Who says plant-based has to be virtuous?

By Mary Elizabeth Williams

Senior Writer

Published February 27, 2022 4:30PM (EST)

Vegan Mug Brownie (Mary Elizabeth Williams)
Vegan Mug Brownie (Mary Elizabeth Williams)

Just because you want to eat something that doesn't have any animal products, that doesn't mean you've given up on everything.

One of the biggest obstacles many of us who want to lean more plant based face is how irritatingly, unappetizingly virtuous so many of the recipes out there are. Have you ever gone searching for a delicious vegan cake or cookie, only to be assaulted with a bunch of suggestions for things that also promise to be gluten-free, sugar-free, fat-free, low-calorie, and/or all of the above? And then you're like, if I wanted all that, I'd eat a potato. Did I say I wanted to be healthy? I refuse to suffer through any brownie, ever.

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This is all so unfortunate and unnecessary, because plenty of delicious, indulgent foods happen to be vegan. One of my favorite chocolate cakes. A good avocado toast. Oreos. Plenty of really great dark chocolates. So in my quest to find the easiest, fastest vegan dessert in creation, I realized I had to stop searching for a vegan dessert.

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What I found was a brilliant little mug brownie with no eggs, no dairy and no butter from Kirbie's Cravings. I especially love it because it doesn't call for a nondairy milk, so even the least vegan person in the world can pull this together without buying anything they wouldn't otherwise use. Don't expect an overflowing mug. Because there's no leavening, this is a dense, fudgy number. I've upped the chocolate a little and swapped the water with cooled brewed coffee for a super intense flavor, but work with what you've got here. In less than one minute, you'll end up with a rich treat that doesn't feel like you've sacrificed anything. Because you haven't.


Recipe: The richest 1-minute mug brownie
Inspired by Kirbie's Cravings


1 serving
Prep Time
5 minutes
Cook Time


  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of white flour
  • 2 tablespoons of white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of neutral oil, like vegetable or canola
  • 2 tablespoons of cooled brewed coffee (or water)
  • 1 ounce of chopped dark nondairy chocolate (Ghiradelli and Lindt both offer great options.)



  1. In a microwave-safe mug, add cocoa, flour and sugar. Stir together with a whisk or fork.
  2. Add oil and coffee. Whisk until smooth.
  3. Add half the chocolate and stir into batter. Sprinkle remaining chocolate on top.
  4. Microwave brownie for about 40 seconds at full power. (You may need to add a few seconds more, depending on the strength of your microwave.) The brownie should look a little firm but still jiggly. Let cool a bit, and then enjoy warm.



Cook's Notes

I would not dissuade you from topping this with a spoonful of peanut butter.


More vegan desserts we love: 

By Mary Elizabeth Williams

Mary Elizabeth Williams is a senior writer for Salon and author of "A Series of Catastrophes & Miracles."

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