I tried baking the Magical Microwave Cake in a pot-pie tin at 350 degrees in the toaster oven for about 12-15 minutes, and it worked. I liked the texture better than the microwave version (I'm not crazy about baked goods made in the microwave). It was much closer to real cake. I wouldn't serve it to guests -- if I were having guests, I could make a real cake, anyway -- but when nothing but cake will do, this is a good option. It does mean you can't make a cake during a commercial break, but you can mix up the cake and put it in the oven during one commercial break and then get it out of the oven during the next commercial break -- unless, of course, you're watching the opening ceremonies of the Olympics, in which case you put it in the oven during one commercial break and it bakes during two segments of programming and two commercial breaks.
I decided that I only need a heaping half teaspoon of cocoa powder per cake when I'm baking it. Since the microwave version doesn't brown and stays really moist, it seems to need the extra to get a little oomph and color to it. Actually baking seems to intensify the flavors.
Now I think I need to find some mini baking pans. I need something about the size of the pans used for the Easy-Bake oven. I have some mini loaf pans, but those may be too deep.
There was a suggestion in the comments for a cookbook called Small Batch Baking, and it turns out my library has a copy (currently checked out). I shall have to investigate and then if it pans out (no pun intended), I may buy a keeper copy. There's also an edition for chocolate lovers. I've gotten pretty good at reducing most recipes, and you can freeze cookie dough and bake only what you need, but cakes are tricky, so that's where I need recipes.
Reasons when CAKE is essential:
1) I've had a rejection on a book
2) I've had good news on a book
3) I've had a frustrating day/week
4) I've had a particularly good day/week
5) Something really good is on TV and it deserves an appropriate snack to celebrate the occasion
6) I've made a good meal and it needs a good dessert
7) It's a rainy day
8) It's my birthday, or some other special occasion
9) It's cake or prison after a long, sordid murder trial
10) I've been really good all week, eating properly, and I just can't take it anymore
This sounds like I'm an emotional eater, but I'm really not. This sort of thing hits only a few times a year, unless icky stuff has been happening to me. I've also learned that when a need like this hits, if I indulge it immediately, I'm fine and don't eat that much. If I don't indulge it, it builds and things get ugly. Just knowing I have this cake mix in the house and can have cake whenever I want will actually probably reduce the amount of cake I eat. I had to force myself to make it last night in order to continue my experimentation (it was a dirty job, but I just had to do it as a service to my blog readers).