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This Vanilla Mug Cake recipe is a perfect single serve dessert, just for you. Light, fluffy vanilla cake with festive sprinkles, baked in the microwave, and ready in only 5 minutes.

Mug cakes, vanilla with sprinkles and pink frosting, in white mugs.

The cake is amazing on its own or you can top with frosting and sprinkles to make it extra festive. If you really want to take it up a notch, top the mug cake with a scoop of your favorite vanilla or chocolate ice cream.

Serve these adorable treats to yourself any night of the week! But they would also be fun for kids as a special Valentine’s Day dessert, too!

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Why We Love This Vanilla Mug Cake Recipe

  • Ready in 5 Minutes – You can have dessert ready for yourself FAST!
  • Single-Serving – It’s perfect when you’re craving something sweet, but don’t want to make the whole batch.
  • Simple Ingredients – It uses staple ingredients that you likely have on hand.

Ingredients

You likely have all of the ingredients on hand!

  • Unsalted Butter – ​​You can also use salted butter and just omit the salt.
  • Milk – I prefer using whole or low fat, but you can use any milk.
  • Egg Yolk
  • Vanilla Extract – This is crucial for flavor!
  • Dry Ingredients: White Granulated  Sugar, All-Purpose Flour, Salt, Baking Powder
  • Sprinkles – Optional, but they’re too fun!
  • For the Frosting – Butter, Powdered Sugar, Vanilla Extract, Milk or Heavy Cream, Food Coloring (optional)

How To Make A Vanilla Mug Cake

See the recipe card below for full, detailed instructions

A moist and tender single-serving cake that is ready in only 5 minutes!

Melted butter in a mug.

Melt Butter – In a microwave safe mug, melt the butter in the microwave. 

Melted butter, egg yolk, sugar in a mug.

Add Wet Ingredients and Sugar – Whisk in (or use a fork) the milk, egg yolk, vanilla extract, and sugar until well combined.

Melted butter and egg mixture, flour and sprinkles in a mug.

Add Dry Ingredients – Mix in the flour, salt, baking powder, and sprinkles until just combined.

Batter mixed up in a mug.

Microwave – Microwave the mug cake for 45 seconds, check if the center is still wet. Microwave for another 10-15 seconds, if needed.

Pink frosting in a bowl with beaters.

Frosting – Optional, but who doesn’t love frosting?? Beat together powdered sugar, butter, milk and vanilla. Add a few drops of food coloring if you want to.

Mug cake with sprinkles, pink frosting and a spoon.

Enjoy! Pipe some frosting on top, add a few more sprinkles, and serve with a spoon.

Recipe FAQs

Why are mug cakes chewy?

If your mug cake is chewy or rubbery, then it likely was cooked too long. It’s best to start with the lower end of the time and then continue microwaving in 5-10 second intervals until done.

Are mug cakes supposed to be gooey?

Most mug cakes should be moist and tender, like a regular cake, but not gooey like cake batter. You can tell a mug cake is done gently touching the top of the cake – the top should feel slightly sticky (but not wet) and the cake should be just set but still very tender.

Why are mug cakes popular?

Mug cakes are so popular because they’re fast to make, don’t require an oven, and are single-serving! They’re perfect when you’re craving something sweet but don’t want a huge batch of something or don’t want to heat up your oven.

How do you store these?

This mug cake recipe is intended to be a single serve dessert. So the cake is best enjoyed immediately after making. The frosting can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator for one week.

Healthier Swaps

  • Use less sugar or use another type of sweetener like honey.
  • Omit the egg and add an extra tablespoon of milk.
  • Use nonfat/skim milk.
  • Omit the frosting.

Helpful Tips

  • Mug Size – Make sure to use a large coffee mug. Anything smaller than a 10 ounce mug, and you could overflow the mug when cooking. The mug should be no more than half full of batter before cooking. 
  • Microwave Time – Every microwave is different, and you may need to adjust your cooking time. Start with 45 seconds and add more time as needed. Do not overcook the cake, it will continue to cook as it cools.
  • Make Without the Egg – You can still make this cake without the egg, just add in an extra tablespoon of milk in its place. The cake will rise less and have a slightly denser consistency. 

More Cake Recipes

Recipe

Vanilla Mug Cake

5
This Vanilla Mug Cake recipe is a single serve dessert! Light and fluffy vanilla cake is baked in the microwave, and ready in 10 minutes.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 minute
Total Time 11 minutes
Servings 1 serving

Ingredients
  

Cake

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon sprinkles

Frosting

  • 1 tablespoons softened butter
  • 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Milk or heavy cream as needed for thinning the frosting
  • 1 drop food coloring optional
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Instructions
 

  • In a 10 oz microwave safe mug, add in the butter and microwave until just melted, about 30 seconds.
  • Whisk in the milk, egg yolk, vanilla extract and sugar until well combined.
  • Add in the flour, salt, baking powder and sprinkles. Mix until just combined, be sure to scrape the bottom of the mug well.
  • Microwave for 45 seconds. If more than a ½” circle in the center is still wet, microwave for another 10-15 seconds. If you use a taller mug it may require more cooking time, microwave in 10 second increments until just set. Let cool in the microwave for 1 minute. Enjoy.
  • To make the frosting: Beat the softened butter with a hand mixer or whisk until smooth, beat in the powdered sugar one tablespoon at a time, adding drops of milk until desired consistency and level of sweetness is reached, add in ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract and beat briefly. Color with food coloring of choice if desired.

Notes

One mug cake = one large serving. Sort of like two cupcakes. The frosting adds about 200 calories in case you’d rather omit it.
Make sure to use a large coffee mug. Anything smaller than a 10 ounce mug, and you could overflow the mug when cooking. The mug should be no more than half full of batter before cooking.

Nutrition

Calories: 719kcalCarbohydrates: 83gProtein: 7gFat: 40gSaturated Fat: 24gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 287mgSodium: 616mgPotassium: 103mgFiber: 1gSugar: 58gVitamin A: 1344IUVitamin C: 0.02mgCalcium: 187mgIron: 2mg

Nutritional Disclaimer Kristin Maxwell of “Yellow Bliss Road” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. For accurate calorie counts and other nutritional values, we recommend running the ingredients through your preferred online nutritional calculator. Calories and other nutritional values can vary depending on which brands were used.

Kristin Maxwell

Kristin Maxwell is the creator and main recipe developer, writer, and photographer of Yellow Bliss Road. A self-taught cook and self-appointed foodie, she specializes in easy, flavorful and approachable recipes for any home cook.

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