“Cake-in-a-Cup” for Inexpensive Christmas Gifts

Cake in a Cup

Many parents struggle with Christmas gifts for teachers, coaches, friends, etc. As a former teacher, I can tell you that you will never go wrong with food! (good food, that is) I have done a few things over the years that got rave reviews, and were very inexpensive. Of course, I’m willing to share!

Cake in a Cup:

Get a nice, large mug. (NEVER give a teacher a “teacher” mug. I guarantee they already have 1000) I tried this cake before I gave it(it’s more of a brownie consistency) , and I LOVED it! It is one serving, and they can make it in the microwave when they get a chocolate craving.

Cake in a Cup (makes 8)Cake-in a Cup Teacher Christmas Gift

18 ¼ oz. Chocolate Cake Mix (box, any brand)
3.9 oz. pkg. Instant chocolate pudding mix
3 c. powdered sugar, divided
4 ½ T. hot cocoa mix, divided
2 ¼ t. vanilla powder, divided (This is the only expensive ingredient, and can be left out if needed.)

Place dry cake mix and pudding mix in a large mixing bowl; mix together.Divide and place a ½ cup mix in 8 plastic sandwich bags; secure with twist ties and label as cake mix.Tuck one bag in a large mug that will hold at least 1 ½ cups of water.Because the cake is microwaved, be sure the cup doesn’t have any metal decorations on it.Place 1/3 cup powdered sugar, 1 ½ teaspoons hot cocoa mix and ¼ teaspoon vanilla powder in 8 plastic sandwich bags; secure with twist ties and label as glaze mix.Makes 8 individual mixes for coffee mugs.

Gift Tag (Tie onto the handle with raffia or ribbon)

Generously spray inside of coffee mug with nonstick vegetable spray.Empty contents of cake mix bag into mug and add one egg white, 1 Tablespoon oil and 1 Tablespoon water.Mix until well blended.Microwave on high for two minutes.While cake is baking place glaze mix in small mixing bowl and add 1 ½ teaspoons water, mix well.When cake is done, pour glaze over cake in cup and enjoy while warm.

I put this Cake-in-a Cup into a Coffee and Dessert gift basket. Add a 1/2 lb of Bald Guy Brew Coffee and a few chocolate truffles, and you have a wonderful gift basket. You can buy baskets at the Dollar Store, and shrink-wrap for gift baskets in any craft store and it looks very professional.

Do you have any ideas for inexpensive gifts? CLICK HERE  for more inexpensive teacher/ neighbor gift ideas.

This post was previously published in November, 2008.

About Sarah Pinnix

I'm a mom, blogger, vlogger, libertarian. I love Jesus, and my husband, too. Social Media Strategist for a Non-Profit (All statements here are solely my own)


  1. I received something like this one year and I love the fact that everything was right there at my fingertips!


  2. Thanks for the great tip, I am so stealing this one! We needed an inexpensive gift for the MOPPETS workers in our MOPS group! Great idea 🙂


  3. Kara, his is great for MOPPETs. I am really active in our MOPS group. In fact, we made this last year at a meeting, then I used the recipe like crazy!


  4. Jenny is Live & In Color says:

    I LOVE this idea! Thanks for sharing it. I’m going to do it for my girls’ teachers this year. I like that it’s a single serving that can be made in the microwave. Thanks for posting this!!!


  5. That is SO cute!!

    Can I also mention something? I have a really hard time finding your COMMENT button. I don’t know how much control you have over that in Blogger, but I thought you might want to know. Now that I think about it, I find this with a lot of blogger blogs.


  6. What a great idea. I love it!


  7. What a fabulous idea!! We have multiple teachers this year, so this will most definitely be tried!


  8. This is such a wonderful idea for gift giving during this holiday season. Very affordable if I were to receive such I’d really be happy..Btw, its always the thought that counts…


  9. This is a very good idea and unique for a Christmas gift. Thanks!


  10. Very well written article. It will be helpful to everyone who employee it, including me. Keep up the good work – can’t wait to read more posts.True Healing Self Healing



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