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Mug Cakes

Mug Cakes

Tweens, Teens

Length

Prep: 1 hour shopping trip, 20 minute set up
Program: about an hour to an hour and a half, depending on number of attendees.

Number of Attendees 

I did it drop in but in most libraries I would have registration so you know you have enough mugs.
We had 23 7th-12th graders attend this summer reading program. 

Materials 

Coffee Mugs (either cheap ones from ikea/dollar store OR library branded promotional ones)
Baking items as needed by recipes (flour, sugar, milk, vanilla extract, etc.)
Store bought frosting or ingredients for homemade frosting
Toppings for cakes (sprinkles, etc.)
Measuring cups and spoons (purchased or borrowed from staff)
Microwaves (ideally more than one)

Description of Program

Mug cakes are the only cooking program that has actually worked for me! We had coffee mugs made up for the library as a promotional item for a street fair so I was able to take some for the program. The teens could pick from one of three recipes (found online – there are tons!), measured the ingredients and baked the cakes in a microwave. 

Instructions

Set up a few tables with the different ingredients and measuring cups and spoons. Teens will follow along with the recipe and put the ingredients into their mugs, and bake their cakes in the microwave. When they cool, they can put icing on them and decorate. Most of the teens ate their cakes on the spot but a few brought them home. They were allowed to take home the mugs at the end of the event.

Cost

$50-$70 for cooking supplies and mugs, depending on attendance and how many things you already have on hand

Miscellaneous 

Make sure you test the recipes ahead of time. Two turned out great but the chocolate cake recipe I had didn't include an ingredient that was really necessary to make it turn out well and the kids who picked it had to start over with a new recipe.
If you can borrow an extra microwave or two from home or the staff kitchen, the program will run much more smoothly. Most of the program ended up being waiting in line to cook the cake even though they only took about two minutes each to cook.
For added difficulty you can have the kids make their own icing, but that may end up being more expensive than store-bought for a large group.

Submitted by:

Keri Adams, Johnson Public Library (Hackensack)
keri.adams@hackensack.bccls.org

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