Kid-friendly Black & White Lava Brownie Cake in a Mug + Brilliant Berry Swirl Recipe - Sticky Fingers Cooking
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Recipe: Black & White Lava Brownie Cake in a Mug + Brilliant Berry Swirl

Recipe: Black & White Lava Brownie Cake in a Mug + Brilliant Berry Swirl

Black & White Lava Brownie Cake in a Mug + Brilliant Berry Swirl

by Erin Fletter
Photo by irina2511/
prep time
10 minutes
cook time
2 minutes
1-2 servings

Fun Food Story

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Black & White Lava Brownie Cake in a Mug + Brilliant Berry Swirl

Throughout history, we as humans have always faced and adapted to challenges. As we do, we learn new ways of being and moving about in the world that are, ideally, beneficial to us individually and collectively at once. This is the premise of our commitment at Sticky Fingers Cooking. We’re driven by a deeper pull to give kids the priceless skills of confidence and independence in the kitchen. We strive to open young people’s minds to culture and thought further than that of the United States, and this open-mindedness transcends beyond the kitchen to the playground and elsewhere as kids grow into young adults. It is easy to love and to know our own culture: it is another thing entirely to be inquisitive about people from other places. Food is a natural bridge from point A to point B, and truly the great unifier. 

Everyone loves to share the food they love. Many cultures have their own beautiful recipes for sweets, cakes, and other baked goods. The brownie is one of ours. In true fashion, we had to gussy up the classic with a molten white chocolate center and a simple smashed raspberry sauce. We hope you love this recipe and continue to find the sweet spots in everyday living.

Happy & Healthy Cooking,

Chef Erin, Food-Geek-in-Chief

Fun-Da-Mentals Kitchen Skills

  • crack :

    to break open or apart a food to get what's inside, like an egg or a coconut.

  • mash :

    to reduce food, like potatoes or bananas, to a soft, pulpy state by beating or pressure.

  • measure :

    to calculate the specific amount of an ingredient required using a measuring tool (like measuring cups or spoons).

  • microwave :

    to heat or cook food or liquid quickly in a microwave oven, which uses high-frequency electromagnetic waves to generate heat in the food's water molecules.

  • mix :

    to thoroughly combine two or more ingredients until uniform in texture.

  • sprinkle :

    to scatter small drops or particles of an ingredient evenly or randomly over food. 

Equipment Checklist

  • Microwave
  • Microwave-safe mug
  • Measuring spoons
  • Potholders
  • Metal spoon for mixing
  • Plate
  • Fork for mashing


Black & White Lava Brownie Cake in a Mug + Brilliant Berry Swirl

  • 1 T unsalted butter **(for DAIRY ALLERGY sub vegetable oil or dairy-free butter, like Earth Balance)**
  • 2 T sugar
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract **(for GLUTEN ALLERGY use certified gluten-free pure vanilla extract, not imitation vanilla flavor—check label)**
  • 1 egg **(for EGG ALLERGY sub 1/2 ripe banana, mashed, or 1 T applesauce)**
  • 2 T cocoa powder **(for CHOCOLATE ALLERGY sub carob powder)**
  • 3 T milk **(for DAIRY ALLERGY sub dairy-free/nut-free milk)**
  • 2 T + 2 tsp all-purpose flour **(for GLUTEN ALLERGY sub gluten-free/nut-free flour blend with xanthan gum)**
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 2 heaping T white chocolate chips **(for DAIRY/NUT/SOY ALLERGY use Enjoy Life brand white chocolate chips)**
  • 1 handful fresh raspberries, or frozen and thawed **(for RASPBERRY ALLERGY sub blueberries)**
  • 1 pinch granulated sugar

Food Allergen Substitutions

Black & White Lava Brownie Cake in a Mug + Brilliant Berry Swirl

  • Dairy: Substitute vegetable oil or dairy-free butter, like Earth Balance, for unsalted butter. Substitute dairy-free/nut-free milk for milk. Use Enjoy Life brand white chocolate chips.
  • Egg: For 1 egg, substitute 1/2 ripe mashed banana or 1 T applesauce.
  • Chocolate: Substitute carob powder for cocoa powder.
  • Gluten/Wheat: Substitute gluten-free flour blend with xanthan gum for all-purpose flour. Use certified gluten-free pure vanilla extract, not imitation vanilla flavor. 
  • Nut: Use Enjoy Life brand white chocolate chips.
  • Soy: Use Enjoy Life brand white chocolate chips.


Black & White Lava Brownie Cake in a Mug + Brilliant Berry Swirl

melt + measure + crack + mix

Microwave 1 tablespoon butter in your mug for 30 to 40 seconds until it melts. Measure and add 2 tablespoons sugar and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract. Crack 1 egg and add it to the mug. Mix well!

measure + add + mix

Measure and add 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder to the mug. Mix vigorously until the cocoa powder is combined with the wet ingredients. They will want to stay separated but keep mixing until thoroughly combined.

measure + add + mix again

Measure and add 3 tablespoons milk, 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons flour, and 1 pinch of salt and mix again, tilting the mug to make it easier to mix.

add + cover + microwave

Once ingredients are thoroughly mixed, drop 2 tablespoons of white chocolate chips into the center of the batter, one by one. They will sink slightly into the batter. Push them down gently with a metal spoon so that when they melt, they will form a liquid lava center. Cover the mug with a damp paper towel or dish towel and microwave on high for 1 minute. Let rest for 30 seconds. Then microwave for a final 30 seconds. Remove mug with potholders and let cool slightly.

sprinkle + mash + spoon

While the brownie cake cools, add 1 handful of raspberries to a plate and sprinkle them with 1 pinch of sugar. Use a fork to mash the berries to a pulp. Spoon this Brilliant Berry Swirl mixture over your Black & White Lava Brownie Cake and dig in!

Surprise Ingredient: Berries!

back to recipe
Photo by Ana Hollan/ (girl eating wild elderberries)

Hi! I'm a Berry!

"To be specific, I'm an edible berry. We might be sweet or sour, colorful, juicy, and delicious! People around the world eat us alone, with other foods, and in jams, preserves, and pies! Yum! Did you know that bananas, pumpkins, tomatoes, and watermelons are technically berries!" 

  • Thousands of years ago, before crops were domesticated, hunter-gatherers picked wild berries, an activity people still enjoy doing today. 
  • Berry cultivation may have begun as early as the 10th century in Japan, the 14th century in Europe, and the 18th century in the United States. 
  • The word "berry" comes from the Old English "berie," from the German "beere."
  • Globally, strawberries are grown twice the amount of any other berry, although strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries are not actual berries, botanically speaking—they are aggregate fruits. 
  • Botanical berries include blueberries, cranberries, elderberries, gooseberries, lingonberries, and persimmons.
  • Berries are a wonderful snack eaten by themselves or added to cold and hot cereal. But they are equally delightful when made into preserves, jams, and sauces. In addition, berries are often used in baked goods like cakes, cobblers, muffins, and pies. 
  • Berries are often called a "superfood" and are recommended by doctors and nutritionists for a healthy diet. They are high in antioxidants and fiber, and many have essential nutrients like vitamin C, helping to protect against cancer and chronic disease.

History of Brownies!

Photo by Saveurs Secretes
  • The brownie, one of our favorite desserts, was created in the United States. 
  • Numerous legends surround the origin of the brownie. One tale is of a housewife in Bangor, Maine, who forgot to add baking powder while making a chocolate cake. So when her cake didn't rise properly, instead of tossing it out, she cut and served the flat pieces. The most accepted story, though, is that the brownie was created in 1893 by a chef at the Palmer House Hotel in Chicago, Illinois, at the request of the owner's wife for a cake-like dessert that could be part of a boxed lunch for ladies attending an exposition, or world's fair, in the city. 
  • The first printed version of a brownie dessert was in an 1896 cookbook by Fannie Farmer, although it used molasses, not cocoa, in the recipe. A chocolate brownie recipe first appeared in a cookbook in 1904.
  • There are thousands of brownie recipes, both "cake" and "fudge" types. Either type is perfectly correct—and delicious. Of course, the brownie probably got its name from its chocolate brown color, but there is also a light-colored version without cocoa called a "blondie."

Let's Learn About the United States!

Photo by JeniFoto/ (July 4th Picnic)
  • Most of the United States of America (USA) is in North America. It shares its northern border with Canada and its southern border with Mexico. It consists of 50 states, 1 federal district, 5 territories, 9 Minor Outlying Islands, and 326 Indian reservations. 
  • The country's total area is 3,796,742 square miles, globally the third largest after Russia and Canada. The US population is over 333 million, making it the third most populous country in the world, after China and India.
  • The United States of America declared itself an independent nation from Great Britain on July 4, 1776, by issuing the Declaration of Independence.
  • The Revolutionary War between the US and Great Britain was fought from 1775-1783. We only had 13 colonies at that time! On September 9, 1976, the Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia and declared that the new nation would be called the United States. 
  • The 13 colonies became states after each ratified the constitution of the new United States, with Delaware being the first on December 7, 1787.  
  • The 13 stripes on the US flag represent those first 13 colonies, and the 50 stars represent our 50 states. The red color of the flag symbolizes hardiness and valor, white symbolizes innocence and purity, and blue symbolizes vigilance and justice.
  • Before settling in Washington DC, a federal district, the nation's capital resided in New York City and then Philadelphia for a short time. New York City is the largest city in the US and is considered its financial center. 
  • The US does not have a recognized official language! However, English is effectively the national language. 
  • The American dollar is the national currency. The nickname for a dollar, "buck," comes from colonial times when people traded goods for buckskins!
  • Because the United States is so large, there is a wide variety of climates and types of geography. The Mississippi/Missouri River, running primarily north to south, is the fourth-longest river system in the world. On the east side of the Mississippi are the Appalachian Mountains, the Adirondack Mountains, and the East Coast, next to the Atlantic Ocean. 
  • On the west side of the Mississippi are the flat Great Plains, the Rocky Mountains (or Rockies), and the West Coast, next to the Pacific Ocean, with several more mountain ranges in coastal states, such as the Sierras and the Cascades. Between the coasts and the north and south borders are several forests, lakes (including the Great Lakes), rivers, swamps, deserts, and volcanos. 
  • Several animals are unique to the US, such as the American bison (or American buffalo), the bald eagle, the California condor, the American black bear, the groundhog, the American alligator, and the pronghorn (or American antelope). 
  • The US has 63 national parks. The Great Smoky Mountains, Yellowstone, Yosemite, Zion, and the Grand Canyon, with the Colorado River flowing through it, are among the most well-known and visited.
  • Cuisine in the US was influenced early on by the indigenous people of North America who lived there before Europeans arrived. They introduced beans, corn, potatoes, squash, berries, fish, turkey, venison, dried meats, and more to the new settlers. Other influences include the widely varied foods and dishes of enslaved people from Africa and immigrants from Asia, Europe, Central and South America, and the Pacific Islands. 

What's It Like to Be a Kid in the United States?

  • Education is compulsory in the US, and kids may go to a public or private school or be home-schooled. Most schools do not require students to wear uniforms, but some private schools do. The school year runs from mid-August or the beginning of September to the end of May or the middle of June.
  • Kids generally start school at about five years old in kindergarten or earlier in preschool and continue through 12th grade in high school. After that, many go on to university, community college, or technical school. 
  • Spanish, French, and German are the most popular foreign languages kids learn in US schools. 
  • Kids may participate in many different school and after-school sports, including baseball, soccer, American football, basketball, volleyball, tennis, swimming, and track and field. In grade school, kids may join in playground games like hopscotch, four-square, kickball, tetherball, jump rope, or tag.
  • There are several fun activities that American kids enjoy doing with their friends and families, such as picnicking, hiking, going to the beach or swimming, or going to children's and natural history museums, zoos and wild animal parks, amusement parks, water parks, state parks, or national parks. Popular amusement parks include Disneyland, Disney World, Legoland, Six Flags, and Universal Studios.
  • On Independence Day or the 4th of July, kids enjoy a day off from school, picnicking, and watching fireworks with their families. 
  • Thanksgiving is celebrated on the last Thursday in November when students get 2 to 5 days off school. Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa are popular December holidays, and there are 2 or 3 weeks of winter vacation. Easter is celebrated in March, April, or May, and kids enjoy a week of spring recess around that time.  
  • Barbecued hot dogs or hamburgers, watermelon, apple pie, and ice cream are popular kid foods for 4th of July celebrations. Turkey, dressing, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie are traditional Thanksgiving foods. Birthday parties with cake and ice cream are very important celebrations for kids in the United States!

That's Berry Funny

What is a volcano’s favorite type of dessert? 

A lava brownie!

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