microwavecakeCredit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/s0mebody3lse/Are you in the mood for cake but are too pressed for time to actually bake one? Sure, you could pick one up at the grocery store, but there’s nothing like the aroma of freshly baked cake permeating every square inch of your house. With this handy invention known as the microwave, now you can have your cake and eat it too. Before we proceed, make sure you have microwave safe pans on hand before you start. Glass pans such as Pyrex are a good choice. Metal pans are not microwave safe, so leave them in the cabinet. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s start baking!

First, pick a recipe you’d like to use. I recommend using a box mix your first time around so that if things don’t turn out right, you won’t feel you wasted too much of your time and effort. Regardless of the type of cake you’re baking, no modifications are needed when it comes to the ingredients - just follow all the instructions (except for the part about preheating the oven, of course) up until you get to the part where you place the cake in the oven.

This is where things get tricky. The cooking time can range from about three to thirteen minutes depending on several factors, so you’ll have to do a bit of experimenting on your own to find out the optimal amount of time required for your recipe. Microwaves vary greatly in power, and the size and shape of the pan you use also affects the cooking time. Batter placed in deeper pans take longer to cook than those placed in shallower pans.

Start by microwaving the cake on high for just three minutes. Insert a toothpick into the edge of the cake, and if it comes out clean, then it’s done. If not, continue microwaving it in increments of one minute and testing it until the toothpick comes out clean. The middle of the cake would still be runny, but don’t worry about it. The edge of the cake cooks faster than the middle, and microwaved foods continue to cook after you stop heating them. If you were to keep on microwaving the cake until the middle is cooked, the edge would already be burnt.

After you’re done cooking, let the cake stand for five minutes to finish the cooking process. You now have a delectable cake that’s just waiting to be eaten. Frost the cake when it‘s completely cool, or if you’re inpatient, just dig right in. Either way, enjoy!