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This vegan mug cake for one is the perfect dessert to satisfy your sweet tooth! It's ready in under 5 minutes and is soft, fluffy, and chocolatey. You can make it in the microwave or in the oven, and there are gluten free and refined sugar free options!
When I'm in the mood to bake a chocolate cake, I'll almost always go for something like my Vegan Chocolate Cake or Vegan Oreo Cake. But whenever I want a single serving treat or if I'm just feeling a little bit lazy when that chocolate craving hits, this vegan chocolate mug cake is there to save the day!
I love that I can whip this mug cake up in less than 5 minutes, it calls for simple ingredients, and it tastes just like a vegan mug brownie. This recipe is dairy free, eggless, and nut free. It also tastes delicious when made gluten free and/or refined sugar free!
What is a mug cake?
A mug cake is pretty much what it sounds like: a cake in a mug! Mug cakes are single serving cakes usually made in a medium sized coffee cup. They are often made in the microwave (the quickest way), but can also be made in the oven.
Why This Vegan Mug Cake Works
- It's the perfect sized portion for one person!
- This mug cake is so easy and takes less than 5 minutes to make, so it's ideal for late night chocolate cravings.
- You don't need any fancy ingredients to make this mug cake - you probably have everything you need in your pantry already.
- This recipe can easily be made gluten free or refined sugar free!
- You don't have to have a microwave to make this cake, there's an oven method too!
- This vegan chocolate mug cake is delicious on it's own, but it's even better topped with vegan vanilla ice cream, vegan whipped cream (homemade or store-bought) or with a drizzle of peanut butter on top!
- Flour: This mug cake calls for all purpose flour, but you can also substitute it for whole wheat flour, oat flour, or gluten free 1-1 baking flour
- Cocoa powder: You can use any any kind of unsweetened cocoa powder for this recipe
- Butter: This recipe uses vegan butter, but you can also use vegetable/canola oil or melted coconut oil (replace at 1-1 ratio)
- Granulated sugar and brown sugar: White/granulated sugar and light brown sugar are used in this recipe but you can also substitute coconut sugar or maple syrup for a healthy refined sugar free version!
- Vegan milk: You can use any kind of dairy free milk.
Step By Step Instructions
Note: Full ingredient measurements and instructions can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of this page.
STEP ONE: If using butter, melt the butter in the microwave for 10-20 seconds. If using vegetable oil, you can just add the oil to the mug.
STEP TWO: Use a fork, spoon, or a mini whisk (definitely the cutest kitchen tool I own), to mix in both sugars. Add the vanilla extract.
STEP THREE: Add in all the dry ingredients and the milk. Mix until fully combined and be sure to mix all the way down to the bottom of the mug to incorporate everything well until the batter is smooth. Stir in chocolate chips if desired.
STEP FOUR: Microwave the mug cake for 45-65 seconds (depending on your microwave), or until the mug cake looks cooked but slightly under-done on the very top.
If you don't have a microwave, you can make this vegan mug cake in the oven! It will take longer than 5 minutes but will still be delicious. A few things to note:
- If you'd like to use butter, you can melt the butter on the stovetop first, but it will be easier (and less dishes) to just use oil instead.
- If using the oven method, you can use an oven-safe ramekin or small cup if you'd like. The microwave cooks the cake really fast, which can cause it to rise quickly and overflow if you use a smaller mug, but with the oven you won't have to worry about that.
- The oven method, although it takes longer, does provide a fluffier, moister cake since it cooks the mug cake slowly.
I actually love eating this cake on it's own, but there are so many delicious add ins and toppings you can use too! Here are a few suggestions:
- Mix in vegan white chocolate chips, semisweet chocolate chips, or chopped up pieces of your favorite vegan chocolate bar
- Add sprinkles just for fun!
- Drizzle peanut butter, almond butter, or cashew butter on top of the baked cake
- Top with whipped cream or vegan ice cream
- Drizzle with chocolate hazelnut spread or biscoff cookie butter spread
- Chocolate or vanilla frosting is delicious on the cake (especially if you have a pre-made store-bought vegan kind like this one already on hand!)
FAQS and Expert Tips
Absolutely! This recipe is eggless, but mug cakes are fully cooked just like a regular cake 🙂
If the mug cake comes out chewy or dry, you've over-cooked it! This will happen more often in the microwave method, since it's easier to microwave it for too long. To avoid this next time, take the cake out when the top looks shiny or even a bit wet, then let it cool for a few minutes.
This means that you used a cup that was too small! The safest way to avoid this when using the microwave method is to use a regular sized coffee cup (not a mini cup or ramekin!).
Yes! Check out the recipe card below for the oven method.
Nope! No need to grease the mug. Just throw the ingredients in, bake, and dig in!
Yes! I love making this recipe with oat flour or gluten free baking flour.
Can I make this a healthy and refined sugar free mug cake?
Absolutely! You can replace the sugar at a 1-1 ratio with coconut sugar, or with maple syrup for a completely healthy and refined sugar free treat that tastes so, so decadent. I've even made this for breakfast before and topped it with peanut butter and chia seeds!
- Don't use a mug that is too small. Most mug sizes will work fine for this mug cake, but if you use a really small mug in the microwave method, the cake batter will overflow out of the cup and make a big mess! If you're making the cake in the oven, a smaller ramekin will work just fine.
- Mix the ingredients thoroughly, so that you don't miss any dry ingredients in the bottom of the cup. The batter should be smooth with no lumps.
- Don't over-cook the mug cake! It will get dry if you do. You may have to check on it a few times, but it should look slightly under-cooked on top when cooking in the microwave. With the oven method, you can test it with a toothpick.
- Let the mug cake cool for around 5 minutes after removing it from the microwave/oven. It continues to set a little bit after it's ready.
- You can easily halve the recipe if you want a smaller mug cake!
- Eat the mug cake right away! You've probably seen this with other food you've microwaved, but mug cake will get dry if you try to make it hours ahead of time or save it for tomorrow. If you use the oven method it won't dry out as quickly though.
Storage and Freezing Instructions
This mug cake should be enjoyed immediately and shouldn't be frozen. This is especially true with the microwave method! As with almost anything that is heated in the microwave, the mug cake will be dry if you try to eat it a few hours later.
If you make the cake using the oven method, it's still best enjoyed right away but it can be covered tightly with plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to a full day.
Pin it for later!
MORE VEGAN RECIPES YOU'LL LOVE
Vegan Mug Cake
- Mug or Ramekin
- 2 tablespoon melted vegan butter, canola oil, or melted coconut oil
- 2 tablespoon granulated sugar * (or maple syrup for refined sugar free)
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon light brown sugar* (or maple syrup for refined sugar free)
- 2 tablespoon cocoa powder *
- 3 tablespoon all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, oat flour, or gluten free 1-1 baking flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- pinch of salt
- 3 tablespoon vegan milk of choice
- 1-2 tablespoon vegan semisweet chocolate chips (optional)
- This recipe makes one medium/large mug cake but can easily be halved for a smaller treat. Add the butter to a medium sized microwave-safe mug and microwave for 10-20 seconds or until melted. (If using oil instead of butter, skip this step)
- Add the vanilla extract, brown sugar, and white sugar to the mug and mix them together with the butter.
- Add in the flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking powder, then mix in the milk. Mix well with a fork or spoon until no lumps remain. Stir in chocolate chips if using.
- Microwave the mug cake for 45-65 seconds. The exact time will depend on your microwave. The top of the cake should look a little bit shiny, and not quite cooked on top. Be sure to not over-cook it or it will be dry!
- Let it cool for a couple minutes, then top with ice cream, whipped cream, or nut butter, if desired. The mug cake should be eaten immediately.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Melt the butter or coconut oil over the stove (or, for a quicker method with less dishes, skip this step and use canola oil)
- Add butter or oil to a oven-safe mug, ramekin (3.5 - 4 inches), or bowl, then use a fork to mix in the sugars and vanilla extract.
- Add in the flour, salt, and cocoa powder, then and the milk. Mix until no clumps remain and no bits of flour are left in the bottom of the dish. Stir in the chocolate chips if using.
- Place in the oven and bake for 22-26 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Be careful removing the dish from the oven! Let it cool for 5 minutes then enjoy!
The calorie information provided for this recipe is an estimate. The accuracy of the calories listed is not guaranteed.