How to Make Mug Cakes

Hot cocoa mug cake

When you don't need an entire cake but you want something sweet, try baking a mug cake. These delightful treats for one are baked right in a coffee mug, and since you make them in a microwave oven, it doesn't take long to achieve a little sweet tooth gratification!

Hot Cocoa Mug Cake Recipe

This recipe makes a creamy, cocoa-flavored cake that's similar in texture to a sponge cake.


  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons instant cocoa mix
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons milk, whole or 2%
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla


  1. In a small bowl, combine the flour, cocoa mix, sugar, and baking powder, and stir gently to mix.
  2. In a separate small bowl, combine the milk, egg, oil, and vanilla, and whisk until combined.
  3. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until mixed.
  4. Lightly spray the inside of a mug with non-stick spray, and use a small spatula to scrape the batter into it.
  5. Microwave in a 1,100 watt microwave oven on high for approximately two minutes. Use an oven mitt to remove the mug from the oven.
  6. Allow the mug to cool for about five minutes, and then slide a small spatula all the way around the cake to loosen it, and gently tip it out onto a dessert plate. Or, if you prefer, let the cake cool until just warm and eat it right out of the mug.

Topping suggestions: Top this cake with a dollop of chocolate nut spread, hot fudge sauce, or a dusting of powdered sugar. You might also consider spreading a little peanut butter on top for a delicious flavor combination.

Apple Coffee Cake Mug Recipe

This little egg-free coffee cake won't rise as high as some mug cakes, but its moist texture and buttery flavor will make your taste buds happy.

Apple coffee cake

Batter Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon applesauce

Crumble Topping Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon cold butter
  • 1 teaspoon dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon


  1. Place one tablespoon of butter in a small microwave-safe bowl, and heat it on high for about eight seconds to soften it.
  2. Add one tablespoon of brown sugar to the melted butter and stir until dissolved.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the 1/4 cup flour, baking powder and salt, and stir.
  4. Add the applesauce and vanilla extract to the butter and sugar mixture, and stir until combined.
  5. Add the flour mix to the wet mix and stir to form a batter.
  6. Spray a mug with non-stick spray, and pour the batter into it.
  7. In the same small bowl used for the flour mix, combine two teaspoons flour, one teaspoon butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon, and cut through the mixture with a fork until the dry ingredients are incorporated into the butter and form lumpy crumbs.
  8. Sprinkle the crumb mix on top of the cake batter.
  9. Microwave on high in a 1,100 watt microwave until for about two minutes.
  10. Use a small spatula to loosen the cake from the mug and place it on a small dessert plate.

Topping suggestions: The crumble topping might be enough for some people, but feel free to drizzle a little icing or caramel syrup on top if you like.

Carrot Spice Mug Cake Recipe

This spongy carrot cake is mildly sweet and satisfying. This is another egg-free recipe, but you can mix one small egg in with the wet ingredients if you want your cake to rise higher.

Carrot spice cake


  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 2 baby carrots (roughly 1 tablespoon worth)
  • 1 tablespoon milk, whole or 2%
  • 1 tablespoon applesauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla


  1. In a small bowl, mix the dry ingredients.
  2. In a small food processor, combine the optional small egg, brown sugar, carrots, milk, applesauce, and vanilla, and pulse until the carrots are finely ground.
  3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and stir to form a batter. Pour the batter into a mug.
  4. Bake on high in a 1,100 watt microwave oven for about two minutes. Let the cake cool for about five minutes before you slide a spatula around it and tip it out of the mug. Allow it to cool before adding toppings.

Topping suggestions: Top with a little canned cream cheese frosting, whipped topping, or vanilla Greek Yogurt, and drizzle with some caramel sauce.

Tips for Making Mug Cakes

  • You can use any size mug as long as it is microwave safe. The width of the mug determines just how high the cake will rise. In general, wider mugs allow the cake to bake more evenly.
  • The baking time on all of these recipes are based on using an 1,100 watt microwave. Depending on the wattage of your own microwave, baking times may vary. Watch the cake as it bakes, and bake it for a slightly shorter or longer time as needed. The cake is done when it springs back when you lightly tap it in the center.
  • Although a microwave oven is perfect for baking one mug cake, you can place your mug in a baking dish and bake it in a conventional oven at 350° F for approximately 15 minutes or until the cake springs back when tapped in the center.

Go Ahead and Eat Cake

There's nothing wrong with having a little cake now and then, as long as you don't go overboard. Feel free to adjust these recipes to create your perfect flavors. With a little practice, you'll know exactly how long your microwave takes to bake each cake.

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How to Make Mug Cakes