Single-serve 'mug' desserts on the rise

by Lynn Petrak
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Desserts-in-a-Cup from Miss Jones Baking can be warmed up in 40 seconds.

Developing and marketing a quick and easy-to-bake dessert isn’t exactly new. The Stir ‘n Frost cake line was considered innovative back in the late 1970s, while the advent of the microwave in the 1980s spurred bakeries to introduce an array of microwavable desserts.

In today’s Pinterest era, when photos and recipes for tiny cakes and cakes-in-a-mug garner myriad shares and likes, manufacturers are taking a new tack to entice dessert-loving consumers with simple-to-prepare products. One example is a new line of single-serve Desserts-in-a-Cup from Miss Jones Baking Co., San Francisco. 

Available online now and rolled out in stores this spring, the product can be warmed in under 40 seconds in the single-serve microwavable cup. True to the current marketplace, the desserts are made with organic ingredients, marketed as clean label and billed as better-for-you at less than 250 calories. Cake-in-a-Cup varieties include vanilla, Warm Double Chocolate, Confetti Pop and chocolate chip, sold in individual cups in shades of pink, blue, green, yellow and green. In addition to cake cups, Miss Jones Baking Co. is introducing new Cookie-in-a-Cup and Brownie-in-a-Cup single-serve microwavable packages.

“We want to bring that homemade, from-scratch taste of Miss Jones to our consumers in an even more convenient way with microwavable Desserts-in-a-Cup,” said founder and chief executive officer Sarah Jones, who wanted a single-serve product that would satisfy cravings without an overindulgence. “I got into the baking business to disrupt the status quo with organic mixes and frostings. Our team has done that, and now it’s time for the next disruption.”

Another example of prepare-in-package single-serve sweets is the Go! Cake line, started by two similarly entrepreneurial bakers who founded the Easy Gourmand brand, based in Coral Gables, Fla. Go! Cake, available in Chocolate Madness, Caramel Fever, Banana Power and Lemon Garden, is sold in a 4.2-oz easy-open pouch. Users can microwave the batter in the pouch or pour it into a mug or other small container and microwave for one minute.
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