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This vanilla mug cake recipe takes 5 minutes and comes out moist and delicious! Topped with ice cream, it’s a perfect dessert for two.

Vanilla Mug Cake
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Need a sweet treat that takes literally 5 minutes to make with ingredients you have on hand? Meet the ultimate Vanilla Mug Cake! This one is so moist, so sweetly vanilla-scented, it feels like it’s a fancy from-scratch baking project. Except it’s a cake made in the microwave. The mug cake is an internet trend that’s totally worth trying: because it really is that delicious. It’s usually a single serving dessert: but top it with ice cream and make it a dessert for two!

Ingredients in this vanilla mug cake recipe

A mug cake is a single-serving cake mixed in a mug and cooked in the microwave. The microwave “bakes” the cake in under 2 minutes. It might sound like one of those Pinterest experiments doomed to fail…only it isn’t. This vanilla cake comes out surprisingly moist and fluffy, beautifully sweet and perfect for toppings of any kind! Even better: you probably have all the ingredients on hand in your pantry and fridge. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Flour
  • Sugar
  • Baking powder
  • Milk (oat milk or almond milk, for vegan)
  • Butter (coconut oil or neutral oil, for vegan)
  • Vanilla
Vanilla Mug Cake

Cook time varies based on microwave

All you’ve got to do is mix the ingredients together in a mug, then nuke it for about 1 ½ minutes! Now, here’s an important thing to note. Cook time for a mug cake varies based on the power of your microwave. Here’s how to make this vanilla mug cake recipe fit any microwave:

  • Cook 60 seconds on high, then check. It’s possible that your cake could be done now, if you have a high powered appliance.
  • When is it done? It looks cooked and springs back when you touch it. It will still look fairly moist on top. But if it’s super gooey, keep going.
  • Cook 20 seconds, then another 10 if not cooked. If it’s still gooey, go for another 10 second burst. You don’t want to overcook it, so air on the side of caution!
Vanilla Mug Cake

Make sure to cool before eating!

Here’s the other most important thing about this vanilla mug cake recipe. Make sure to cool it for 2 to 3 minutes before digging in. Why?

  • Cooling solidifies the texture. Take a bite too soon and it’s much too hot: the way that the microwave cooks it different from an oven. Don’t rush this part!
  • After 2 to 3 minutes, it’s solidified and still warm. Don’t worry: it will still be warm after a few minutes! Dig in and it has a beautifully fluffy, moist texture and sweet vanilla flavor.

Vanilla mug cake mix-ins!

The concept of vanilla mug cake is very loose: you can easily add mix-ins to customize it!

  • Dark chocolate chips: This is what we used! You can omit, but just 2 tablespoons chips makes a deliciously gooey texture.
  • Peanut butter: Add a dollop of peanut butter to the center of the batter.
  • Cookie dough: Add a ball of edible cookie dough to the center (room temp or frozen). Or try our chickpea cookie dough, a healthy-ish option.
  • Chocolate mint candies like Andes mints
Vanilla Mug Cake

Vanilla mug cake toppings

This vanilla mug cake is the ideal canvas for toppings of any kind! Make it as a birthday cake vanilla mug cake with sprinkles, or go for a fruity topping. Might we recommend this all-natural strawberry puree? It’s full of beautiful, pure berry flavor. Here are some of our other favorite toppings:

  1. Vanilla ice cream: try homemade ice cream
  2. Homemade whipped cream: try classic or dairy free
  3. Strawberry sauce: try strawberry sauce, strawberry compote or strawberry puree
  4. Raspberry sauce: opt for raspberry sauce or raspberry compote
  5. Vanilla sauce: add homemade creme fraiche
  6. Fresh berries or cherries
  7. Chocolate sauce or caramel sauce

What would you add? Let us know in the comments below!

This mug cake recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based and dairy-free.

Vanilla mug cake
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Vanilla mug cake

Vanilla Mug Cake

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

4.8 from 11 reviews

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 3 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 large or 2 small 1x


This vanilla mug cake recipe takes 5 minutes and comes out moist and delicious! Topped with ice cream, it’s a perfect dessert for two.


  • ¼ cup all purpose flour
  • 2 ½ tablespoons sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 small pinch salt
  • 3 tablespoons milk (or non-dairy milk for vegan)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted (or neutral oil or coconut oil for vegan)
  • ½ tablespoon vanilla extract


  1. Mix: In an 8 or 12 ounce microwave-safe mug, mix dry ingredients. Stir in the melted butter, milk and vanilla. Mix well, until a smooth batter forms.
  2. Microwave: Place a paper towel under the mug in the microwave, then cook on High 60 seconds. Check for doneness: if it’s still gooey and wet on top, microwave another 20 seconds, then another 10 seconds. It is done when the top looks cooked and springs back when you touch it; if it’s still gooey, try another 10 second burst. The exact timing depends on the microwave: ours works well with 60 seconds, then another 30 seconds.
  3. Cool: Important: wait for about 5 minutes for the cake to cool down from piping hot to warm. Don’t taste right away: it doesn’t taste right. But cooling a few minutes does the trick! Top with whipped cream, ice cream, or strawberry puree and serve warm.
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Microwave
  • Cuisine: Cake
  • Diet: Vegetarian

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. Ashley B says:

    Why is the batter so liquid-y? It’s almost as thin as water and the cake itself is so mushy

  2. Christina B says:

    Just made and ate this mug cake. It was good. I made two servings and had to cook 2 mins 20 secs. I let sit 5 minutes. Still had some gooey spots but not many. It was a tasty moist cake.

  3. Meredith says:

    Easy, moist and delicious! A go-to when I am craving cake!

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