Vanilla Mug Cake

Sometimes I want to make a gorgeous cake or cute cupcakes to share with my family or take to a gathering — other times I just want a quick cakey treat for myself without popping out to a bakery or the grocery store. This vanilla mug cake is the perfect single serving dessert to fulfill that need for a quick fix for my sweet tooth.

overhead of three vanilla mug cakes with sprinkles and frosting


All you need to make this is the right sized mug, a microwave, and the simple ingredients you likely already have in your pantry. Combine everything, heat it up, and voila — you have the perfect single serving dessert. 

What I absolutely love is that you can dress this up however you like. Sure, you need to make the cake just right (which is not hard) but you can top it with whatever you like from frosting, chocolate sauce, nutella sauce to a fancied up yogurt or a caramel drizzle.

The next time you need an easy recipe for a quick dessert that serves one, try this out. Treat yourself on Friday night — or after a long Monday — either way it’s the best way to indulge without turning on the oven.

close up bite shot of vanilla cake with frosting

Why You’ll Love Vanilla Mug Cake

A moist cake in an individual serving with hardly any cooking time and made in a large mug, this is the single serving dessert of your dreams!

  • Single Serving– Don’t you ever just want a bite of cake? This solves that problem- just a bite of cake and frosting- enough for one- and you are satisfied.
  • Easy – What could be any easier than microwaving a quick cake? Mug recipes just combine the simple ingredients and go from there for an easy dessert in mere minutes, rather than making a whole cake.
  • Convenient – Most ingredients will already be in your cupboard, or you might have easy substitutes. Either way, when you have a sweet tooth, you’ll likely be able to throw this together on the fly.
  • Fast – A cake in a matter of minutes? Yes, it’s true. This easy recipe is the way to go from a dessert desert to a delicious after-dinner treat in no time.
head on shot of three mug cakes with bright frosting and sprinkles


To make the best vanilla mug cake recipe, you just need a handful of simple ingredients- most you probably already have on hand!

  • All-purpose flour – All purpose flour helps to lend the perfect texture to this single serving cake.
  • Sugar – Use plain white sugar — it dissolves quickly and will work perfectly for this recipe.
  • Baking powder – This leavening agent will help the cake to rise perfectly and quickly.
  • Sea salt – Using fine granules means they’ll dissolve quickly and mix well into your batter.
  • Unsalted butter – Melt this first so that it mixes quickly and easily.
  • Egg yolk – Using just the yolk means you’ll have a rich, decadent cake.
  • Whole milk – You can use a lower fat variety, but whole milk will yield the best results.
  • Vanilla extract – Make your own, use what you have in your pantry, or even substitute vanilla bean paste.
  • Rainbow sprinkles – This brightly colored addition will add color and flair to your mug cake.


Grab a small tube or make your own, either way, this is the perfect amount for one mug cake!

  • Salted butter – Soften it on the counter or in the microwave prior to baking to ensure it mixes well.
  • Powdered sugar – Also called confectioner’s sugar, this is the best choice for this icing.
  • Milk – Whole milk is definitely the preference here to give the frosting its silkiness.
  • Vanilla extract – Make your own or just grab the store brand of your choice.

How To Make Vanilla Mug Cake

You are going to love how easy it is to make this easy vanilla mug cake recipe!

To Make Mug Cake:

  1. Dry ingredients. In a large microwave-safe mug (12 ounces or larger), use a spoon or whisk to mix together the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
  2. Wet ingredients. In a small bowl, mix together the wet ingredients: melted butter, egg yolk, milk and vanilla extract. 
  3. Combine. Next, combine the wet mix with dry mix in the mug and stir the mixture until it forms a thick cake batter. 
  4. Add sprinkles. Next, stir in the sprinkles. Be sure to scrape down the sides on the mug to incorporate all ingredients.
  5. Microwave. Microwave the mixture in the mug. If the mixture remains doughy after the recommended heating time, continue to microwave it in intervals. 
  6. Let cool. Allow the mug cake to cool to room temperature before frosting.

To Make Frosting:

  1. Combine butter and powdered sugar. In a small bowl, combine the butter and powdered sugar. Ensure that the mixture is smooth and without lumps. 
  2. Milk and vanilla. Next, add the milk and vanilla and mix until all ingredients are fully incorporated.
  3. Food coloring. Use a drop of food coloring to make the frosting fancy, if desired.
wooden spoon with a bite of rainbow cake and frosting


This is the perfect dessert when you’re craving a sweet treat but just want something small. The best part is that there are plenty of ways to make this microwave mug cake your own.

  • Chocolate chips – Add some chocolate chips to the batter to give some fudginess to the cake. 
  • Alternative flours – Experiment using almond flour, oat flour, coconut flour, or any other alternative flour you might like for a lower carb or gluten free version.
  • Toppings –  While the sprinkles make it colorful, you can use your own favorite toppings. Try using whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream (or the flavor of your choice) as well as caramel sauce or chocolate pieces.
  • Alternative milk – You can try using oat milk, coconut milk,  almond milk, soy milk, or any other milk alternative you prefer.
  • Garnish – In addition to toppings you can garnish the mug cake to make it look pretty with fresh fruit or pieces of your favorite chocolate candy.
head-on view of a white mug filled with single serving cake

Storage and Freezing

You’re likely not going to need to store this, but if you do, you can store for a day or two in the refrigerator.

overhead of 3 mug cakes

More Small-Sized Desserts

We love mini desserts! Whether it is a single-serving for a dinner party or a single-serving for you to enjoy while relaxing during your favorite TV show, we have you covered.

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Edible Cookie Dough is the perfect single serving cookie dough to satisfy your cravings without using eggs.
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Mini Funfetti Cheesecake Recipe

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tall coffee mug with cake and frosting and a wooden spoon

Vanilla Mug Cake Recipe

5 from 5 votes
With basic pantry ingredients, you can have a fun single-serve Vanilla Mug Cake ready in under 5 minutes! So EASY to whip up!
Prep Time: 1 minute
Cook Time: 2 minutes
Total Time: 3 minutes
Servings: 1


Mug Cake:



To Make Mug Cake:

  • In a large coffee cup (12 ounces or larger), stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
  • Add the melted butter, egg yolk, milk and vanilla extract. Stir until it forms a thick cake batter. Stir in the sprinkles. Scrape down the sides.
  • Microwave for 70-80 seconds. If it still looks doughy, microwave in 10 seconds intervals. Microwaves and the width of mugs vary greatly, so it can take some time to get the right amount.
  • Remove and allow to cool slightly before frosting.

To Make Frosting:

  • In a small bowl, combine the butter and powdered sugar until smooth. Add the milk and vanilla. Use a drop of food coloring, if desired.
  • If you've tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was in the comments or star ratings.


Calories: 800 kcal, Carbohydrates: 99 g, Protein: 9 g, Fat: 41 g, Saturated Fat: 25 g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2 g, Monounsaturated Fat: 11 g, Trans Fat: 1 g, Cholesterol: 290 mg, Sodium: 518 mg, Potassium: 151 mg, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 65 g, Vitamin A: 1386 IU, Calcium: 158 mg, Iron: 3 mg
Calories: 800
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: mug cake, vanilla mug cake
Did you make this recipe?I’d love to see your recipes – snap a picture and mention @savoryexperiments or tag #savoryexperiments!
collage of mug cakes with bright frosting and sprinkles
Jessica Formicola in her ktichen

About the Author

Jessica Formicola

Jessica the mom, wife and food lover behind Savory Experiments. She is obsessed with butter, salt and bacon and spends all her time in the kitchen and behind a camera. Jessica is a contributor to PopKitchen by Parade, Better Homes & Gardens, The Daily Meal Food + Travel and more!

Read More About Jessica

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Recipe Rating

Questions and Reviews

  1. 5 stars
    These mug cakes were so easy to make and very yummy. The kids loved having their own individual treat too!

  2. 5 stars
    Love the portion size of these because sometimes you don’t want to bake a whole cake just for one. Thanks!

  3. 5 stars
    Wow…this looks so delicious. So simple to make too. I am going to make this as a after school treat for my lil one….