pumpkin mug cake

Arguably one of the best parts about the fall season is the food that comes with it. 

As the sun sets earlier and the leaves change colors, baking with pumpkin and cooking soup each weekend start to feel like rituals. Yet with just a microwave and a mini fridge, the thought of trying to cook or bake anything might seem daunting. 

Here are some dorm-friendly dessert recipes to get you in the fall spirit. Most feature ingredients that are easy to use in multiple of these recipes, so a little financial investment will go a long way.

Pumpkin mug cake 

This recipe is from Shawn’s “I Wash You Dry,” a food blog. Each of the ingredients are fairly cheap and can be used for different recipes, so this recipe is definitely financially practical.

All you’ll need is 4 tablespoons flour, 2 tablespoons of sugar, 1 teaspoon of baking powder, 2 tablespoons of pumpkin puree, half a teaspoon of vanilla extract, 3 tablespoons of milk and 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice. 

Mix all the ingredients in a mug, throw it in the microwave for two minutes and it’s done.

Caramel apples 

Due to COVID-19, many fairs and fall carnivals are not being held this year, so you might be left craving caramel apples. Fear not, this recipe from “This Rawsome Vegan Life” features minimal ingredients and is quick to make (and it’s even vegan).

You’ll need 2 apples, ¼ cup of dates, 2 tablespoons of coconut oil, some water and some spices. The recipe recommends using cinnamon and salt, but pumpkin pie spice would work great to give it even more fall flavor.

You’ll need a blender to blend everything together and then coat the apples in the “caramel.” You could get even get fancy and top with nuts, nut butters or sweeteners. 

Snickerdoodle mug cake 

Samantha of “Five Heart Home” has a great, easy recipe for a snickerdoodle mug cake that will leave you feeling all the warmth of the fall season. 

First, mix together ¼ cup flour, 2 tablespoons sugar, ¼ teaspoons each of cinnamon and baking powder, ¼ cup milk, 2 tablespoons melted butter and ½ teaspoon vanilla extract. Then, microwave for 1 to 1 and a half minutes. 

Samantha recommends using a tall mug so that it fits all the cake inside and doesn’t rise over the edge as it cooks. 

Pumpkin spice cookie dough dip 

This recipe by Laura Fuentes is something totally new and different, but sounds delicious. It requires more expensive ingredients, but again, these are definitely transferrable to a lot of recipes. 

All you’ll need to do is mix 1 cup of pumpkin puree, 3 tablespoons maple syrup, 2 tablespoons coconut flour, 2 tablespoons nut butter (she recommends peanut butter but I think almond butter would be great too), ½ teaspoon cinnamon (I also think pumpkin pie spice would work here too) and optional chocolate chips. 

This would be a great dip with apples or any fall-themed cookie.

Apple crisp in a mug 

This recipe from Lindsay of “Pinch of Yum” incorporates all the fall flavors and warmth of fall baking that we all love. 

Melt 3 tablespoons of coconut oil in the microwave, then stir in ¼ quick oats, 2 tablespoons pecans, 2 tablespoons of flour, 2 tablespoons of sugar, ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon and a pinch of salt. Then, toss 2 cups of chopped apples with ½ tablespoon of flour and ½ tablespoon of sugar and a pinch of cinnamon. 

Layer the two mixtures together and microwave for three and a half minutes and it’s done.

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