12 Sweet & Satisfying Dessert in a Cup Ideas & Recipes

Whether you need a quick fix for a sudden sweet tooth or a crowd-pleasing dessert that fits in the palm of your hand, dessert cup recipes are the way to go.

Published February 28, 2023

If you're looking for an easy single-serve treat or a crowd-pleasing dessert, these dessert cup recipes are simple and delicious. Satisfy a late-night sweet tooth with quick mug cake recipes or plan the perfect party menu with fancy mini dessert cups that guests will devour. Classic flavor combinations with quick and easy steps are the key to a perfect dessert in a cup recipe.

Lemon Cheesecake Mousse Cups


This recipe works just as well for a weeknight dessert at home as it does for feeding a sizable dinner party crowd. Refreshing citrus and creamy cheesecake make this lemon cheesecake mousse dessert cup the perfect finish to a hearty meal.

Single-Serve Toffee Banana Pudding


This simple banana pudding recipe comes together quickly for a single-serve dessert that's comforting and light. The toffee twist makes this dish even sweeter!


  • 1 cup banana or vanilla pudding
  • ½ banana
  • About 4 vanilla wafer cookies
  • Whipped cream
  • Crushed toffee pieces


  1. Layer your ingredients in a tumbler-sized glass or parfait dish.
  2. Start with one or two of your cookies, followed by a dollop of pudding, a few banana slices, whipped cream, and a sprinkle of crushed toffee.
  3. Repeat this process until your cup is full.

Cinnamon Roll in a Mug


Whether it's a Friday night or brunch time on a Saturday, a quick single-serving cinnamon roll is the perfect treat. This cinnamon roll in a mug recipe features a quick dough and an easy glaze for topping. The best part is that it all comes together in just a couple of minutes in your microwave.

Strawberry Shortcake Dessert Cups


Prepare the easiest dessert ever for a crowd and give it a fancy twist. Strawberry shortcake dessert cups come together quickly with just a few ingredients. Use stemless wine glasses for a fancy mini dessert cup your guests won't be able to resist.


  • Angle food cake, cut into cubes (or pound cake, cut into cubes)
  • Sliced strawberries
  • Whipped cream
  • Garnish of choice


  1. Put cake cubes in the bottom of your cup.
  2. Cover your cake cubes with a generous helping of sliced strawberries.
  3. Top with whipped cream and your garnish of choice. Chocolate shavings, chocolate syrup, or fresh mint will dress up your strawberry shortcake dessert cups.
Quick Tip

If you want a sweet and syrupy topping, combine your strawberries with sugar and vanilla overnight before adding them to your cups.

Chocolate Chip Cookie in a Mug


When the cookie cravings hit, there's no need to run out to your local bakery or make an entire batch of cookies. Just throw together this easy chocolate chip cookie in a mug recipe for a quick craving crusher.

Caramel Apple Pie Cup


Everyone loves a slice of apple pie. Whip up this quick and easy version of apple pie in a cup to treat yourself or serve a group.


  • Apple sliced into small cubes
  • Cinnamon
  • Sugar
  • Lemon juice
  • Butter
  • Frozen puff pastry
  • Caramel


  1. Measure everything with your heart for this recipe! Quickly toss your apple cubes in cinnamon, sugar, and a dash of lemon juice.
  2. Add them to a pan on medium-high with a bit of butter and cook until the apples are as tender or crisp as you prefer.
  3. While your apples are cooking, cut a slice of puff pastry into a size and shape that fits the cup you will be using. Dust the top with granulated sugar and place on a greased baking sheet.
  4. Bake the puff pastry according to the instructions on your box.
  5. Once you have your apples and pastry prepared, fill your cup three quarters full with apples and top with your warm and crispy pastry.
  6. Drizzle caramel on top and serve with a small scoop of ice cream.

Microwave Brownie in a Mug


If you need a fudgy, chocolatey brownie in roughly 60 seconds, this is going to be your new favorite dessert recipe. A microwave brownie in a mug pairs perfectly with a scoop of ice cream and a drizzle of hot fudge. You can even add your own twist to the recipe with nuts, peanut butter, or cream cheese frosting.

Fried Ice Cream Cups


Make the easiest fried ice cream ever with a simple dupe for the irresistible dessert. Just a few ingredients come together to create a single serving of fried ice cream or to feed a crowd.


  • Cornflake cereal
  • Caramel sauce
  • Ice cream
  • Chocolate sauce
  • Whipped cream


  1. Preheat your oven to 325°F.
  2. Empty the cornflakes into a bowl and thoroughly coat them in caramel sauce.
  3. Once you distribute the sauce evenly, pour your cornflakes on to a parchment-lined baking sheet and use a spatula to spread the mixture out.
  4. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until your cornflakes look golden brown and the caramel has developed a slightly crispy texture.
  5. Cool. Once your cornflakes are completely cool, break into bite-sized pieces.
  6. Alternate layers of ice cream with your cornflakes and top with a final drizzle of caramel sauce, chocolate, and whipped cream. Grab a spoon and enjoy!

Individual Tiramisu Cups


Tiramisu is arguably the most decadent and elegant dessert you can serve, and it's beloved by many. Serve a dinner party or gathering of friends with these individual tiramisu cups that are easy to make and free of eggs. Your favorite dessert to devour just became your favorite dessert to make for others.

Fruit Cobbler in a Mug


There is nothing quite like a sweet and tart fruit cobbler topped with ice cream. Making a traditional cobbler takes a bit of time, but an easy blackberry cobbler in a mug is simple and quick. You can sub out any fruit you prefer, and you'll be digging in to warm cobbler and ice cream before you know it.

Easy Fuit & Cheesecake Parfaits


Everyone loves cheesecake! But your guests might have their own topping preferences. Make the entire crowd happy by offering a selection of fruit and cheesecake parfaits.


  • Whipped cheesecake spread
  • Granola
  • Selection of fruit pie fillings or fruit preserves


  1. Start with a layer of cheesecake spread, followed by your fruit, and topped with granola.
  2. Repeat this process until your cup is full, doing your best to finish the final layer with granola and a few slices of fresh fruit. You can also use jarred lemon curd or apple butter in place of pie filling for a super-smooth dessert.
Quick Tip

Serve your cheesecake parfaits in clear glasses so your colorful layers will shine.

Pumpkin Spice Mug Cake


Move over pumpkin spice latte, there is a new pumpkin treat in town, and it requires a coffee mug. You only need a few ingredients and about six minutes to fix your sweet pumpkin spice cravings. Warm, inviting, and perfectly spiced, this pumpkin spice mug cake is perfect for the fall, but it's so good you might dig in all year round.

Fill Your Cup With Dessert


There are endless possibilities for making a decadent dessert in a cup. From chocolate cake and cookies to fruit pastries and smooth mousses, these dessert cup ideas will bring a whole new meaning to your cup running over.

12 Sweet & Satisfying Dessert in a Cup Ideas & Recipes