With finals coming up and the overwhelming cold and snowstorms encouraging students to stay within the confines of their dorms, the need for quick and easy desserts is higher than ever. In preparation for the next few weeks of nonstop studying, my friends and I took a trip to Target to try out some of Betty Crocker’s microwavable mug desserts to satisfy these late night cravings.

After mulling over our options, we decided to try Funfetti Cake, Chocolate Cake with Caramel Drizzle, a Chocolate Chip Cookie with Chocolate Sauce, and a Cinnamon Roll with Cream Cheese Frosting.

These mug treats require almost no prep and don’t even need other ingredients other than water or milk (depending on your preferences), making them perfect for dorms. Once the water or milk is added, all that's left to do is to pop them into the microwave for a few short minutes.

Depending on your preferred consistency, you can add more water to make it more moist, or less to make your dessert drier. It was also dependent on the chosen dessert; cakes were better with a thicker consistency, while the cookie was preferable when it was drier. Overall, the prep time was minimal and no baking knowledge is required.

As far as taste goes, it relies on what you’re looking for in a late night sweet treat. All of these desserts definitely gave us our sugar fix, although some overdelivered in this regard. Of the four we tried, we ranked them based on flavor, overall satisfaction, and legitimacy of the instant dessert.

1. Funfetti Mug Cake:

First off, everyone clamored for the Funfetti cake option, which is by far the most popular choice for cake flavor in our group. After trying it, everyone agreed that it had appeased their sweet tooth and was a good substitute for a homemade cake.

Despite being made with water, it was very rich and moist, like it had been made with milk.

However, its overpowering sweetness when mixed with the frosting was a definite downside which lowered its overall satisfaction score. Because of everyone’s high standards for real Funfetti cake, we felt this fell short of expectations.

Overall ranking—6.5 / 10

2. Chocolate Mug Cake:

The next option was the chocolate cake with caramel drizzle. It was exceptionally chocolatey, bordering on strong, but not overpowering.

The caramel on top added a hint of separate flavor that enhanced the taste of the cake, that was particularly good when mixed into the rest of the mug. Another bright side was it smelled like hot chocolate while cooking, which is guaranteed to excite everyone in the room.

Another perk was that it had a shared consistency between a cake and a brownie, making it deeply rich and satisfying and perfect for those who like their cakes a little more fudgy. 

Overall ranking—8.5 / 10

3. Chocolate Chip Cookie:

The third dessert choice was the chocolate chip cookie with chocolate sauce poured on top. While we had high hopes for pulling a gooey and warm cookie out of the microwave, we were instead met with a strangely cakey and oatmeal-like concoction.

There were few chocolate chips in the cookie, making it mostly vanilla flavored. Furthermore, the consistency made it an even stranger dessert because it did not match what a true chocolate chip cookie should be.

Its strange texture also made it more difficult to discern if it was fully cooked when we pulled it out of the microwave. In short, this dessert fell short of expectations and was overall unsatisfactory, leaving us wanting a real cookie.

Overall rating—5.5 / 10

4. Cinnamon Roll:

Finally, we tried a cinnamon roll with cream cheese frosting. Of all of the options that we bought, we were most hesitant of this one. However, once we gave it a shot, we found ourselves pleasantly surprised by the results.

It was delightfully full of cinnamon and had a good consistency. While it wasn’t the same as a fresh cinnamon roll, its flavor made up for the more cake-like consistency, which made it more similar to a coffee cake in some ways.

When the cream cheese frosting was mixed in, it was enough to cut through the sugar and create an enjoyable balance in flavor. This dessert was a great option for a late night study snack, or even a breakfast treat.

Overall rating—8.5 / 10 

As a whole, these desserts are great options for a late night snack or way to satisfy your sweet tooth. There are also tons of other options and brands if you're feeling adventurous. My advice—try them out!