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This vegan vanilla mug cake is soft, fluffy, and it’s the perfect portion for one person! It takes just 60 seconds to cook and less than 5 minutes total - including prep time!
With all the baking I do, every once in a while I crave something quick and easy that doesn’t require much work and won’t leave a pile of dishes in my sink.
On those days, mug cakes satisfy my cravings every time! This chocolate mug cake has been my go-to, but now I’ve added this vegan vanilla mug cake into my rotation and it always hits the spot!
This mug cake is easy to make and perfect for when you want just enough dessert for yourself, without having to make a whole cake.
The texture is light and fluffy and you can add chocolate chips or sprinkles to take it up a notch!
Why You'll Love This Mug Cake
- This vegan cake in a mug is ready in 5 minutes - with prep time included!
- All the ingredients in this recipe are simple pantry staples, so you probably already have them in your kitchen.
- If you don’t have a microwave, I’ve included an oven method as well.
- This mug cake is delicious topped with vegan vanilla ice cream, vegan whipped cream (homemade or store-bought) or chocolate sauce!
- This recipe can be made oil free, refined sugar free, whole wheat, or gluten free too.
- All you need is a mug, your measuring utensils, and a fork or small whisk, so there are hardly any dishes! Low effort but high reward!
- Flour: This mug cake recipe uses all purpose flour, but to make it either healthier or gluten free, you can also substitute it for whole wheat flour, oat flour, or gluten free 1-1 baking flour.
- Butter: This recipe uses vegan butter because the butter adds a lovely flavor, but you can also use vegetable/canola oil, melted coconut oil, or unsweetened applesauce (replace at 1-1 ratio)
- Vegan Milk: any vegan milk of your choice will work great.
- Vanilla Extract: Real vanilla extract is best, since it’s the main flavor of this mug cake.
- Granulated sugar: For a healthier refined sugar free version, you can replace the white sugar with coconut sugar or maple syrup (if using maple syrup, you’ll need to add about a Tablespoon more flour).
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 you’re using butter, add the butter to your mug and microwave for 10-20 seconds, or until the butter is melted. If you’re using vegetable oil, you can just add the oil to the mug.
Step Two: Add sugar, vanilla extract, and milk to the mug. Use a fork, spoon, or a small whisk, to whisk until combined.
Step Three: Add in the flour, baking powder, and a pinch of salt to the mug, then whisk until fully combined and smooth. Be sure to mix all the way down to the bottom of the mug to make sure the ingredients are mixed well.
Step Four: Microwave the mug cake for 45-65 seconds ( the timing will depend on your microwave), until the mug cake looks only slightly under-cooked on the very top.
No microwave? No problem! You can make this mug cake in the oven, it just won’t be as quick (it takes longer than 5 minutes in the oven unfortunately). A few notes if you are planning to make the mug cake in the oven:
- If you're planning to use butter, you can melt the butter on the stovetop first, or you can just use oil to avoid more dishes for such a small amount of butter.
- If you’re using the oven method, you can use an oven-safe ramekin or small cup. I don’t recommend using a small cup or ramekin in the microwave method - the microwave cooks it really fast, which can cause the batter to overflow when it rises. The oven method cooks it slower, so the smaller ramekin is fine.
Here are a few of my favorite toppings and mix-ins for this mug cake:
- Add chocolate chips (dark, semisweet, or vegan white chocolate), or chopped up pieces of your favorite vegan chocolate bar into the batter after adding the dry ingredients. You can also add chocolate chips on top instead.
- Sprinkles! Either in the batter for a funfetti-style mug cake or on top after the mug cake is done baking!
- Drizzle your favorite nut butter on top!
- Top with coconut whipped cream (homemade or store-bought) or any flavor of vegan ice cream
- Drizzle some biscoff cookie butter spread or chocolate hazelnut spread on top
- Store-bought vegan chocolate frosting! You can also use homemade if you have some on hand.
- Chop up some Oreos or your favorite vegan chocolate wafers and stir them into the batter or sprinkle crumbs on top!
FAQs and Expert Tips
A mug cake is a vegan cake in a mug! The ingredients are added to a medium sized coffee cup or large ramekin, baked in the mug, and then eaten right out of the mug. They are small portions (usually the perfect amount for one person), and baked in the microwave for around a minute.
Your mug was too small! The microwave cooks the mug cake really quickly, which causes the batter to quickly rise and spill over if your mug isn’t big enough. You should be using a regular to large sized coffee cup to avoid this, not a mini cup or ramekin.
You sure can! The recipe card at the bottom of this page contains instructions for the oven method.
Can I make this vegan vanilla mug cake ahead of time?
I don’t recommend making it ahead of time. As is the case with almost anything that is heated in the microwave, the mug cake will be dry, instead of light and fluffy if you try to make it ahead of time and eat it later. It’s so quick to make (5 minutes!) that it’s easier to just make it when you want to eat it.
If you’d like, you could measure out the dry ingredients in small containers or cups ahead of time then mix them with the wet ingredients later.
- Choose a big enough mug: Any regular to large coffee mugs will work fine for this mug cake, but if you use a really small mug or teacup, the cake batter will overflow out of the cup and make a big mess! The exception is if you are making the cake in the oven instead of the microwave, in which case a smaller ramekin will work fine.
- Be sure to mix the ingredients all the way in the bottom of the cup, so that you don't miss any dry or wet ingredients in the bottom of the cup. The batter should be smooth with no lumps.
- Don't overcook the mug cake! If you microwave it for too long, the texture will be dry. 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 and when it comes out clean, it’s ready.
- Let the mug cake cool for around 5 minutes after it’s done: The mug will be very hot to the touch.
- Eat the mug cake right away! The mug cake will dry out 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 quite as quickly.
Storage and Freezing Instructions
This vegan vanilla mug cake should be enjoyed right away after it’s baked, and should not be frozen.
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Vegan Vanilla Mug Cake
- 1 Regular Sized Mug or Ramekin
- 1½ Tablespoons melted vegan butter, sunflower/canola/vegetable oil, or coconut oil
- 3 Tablespoons vegan milk of choice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar (sub coconut sugar or maple syrup for refined sugar free) SEE NOTES
- 4½ Tablespoons all purpose flour, whole wheat flour, oat flour, or gluten free 1-1 baking flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- pinch of salt
- sprinkles or chocolate chips (optional)
- If you’re using butter, add the butter to your mug and microwave for 10-20 seconds, or until the butter is melted. If you’re using vegetable oil, you can just add the oil to the mug.
- Add sugar, vanilla extract, and milk to the mug. Use a fork, spoon, or a small whisk to whisk until combined.
- Add in the flour, baking powder, and a pinch of salt to the mug, then whisk until fully combined and smooth. Be sure to mix all the way down to the bottom of the mug to make sure the ingredients are mixed well. Add in sprinkles or chocolate chips if desired.
- Microwave the mug cake for 45-65 seconds ( the timing will depend on your microwave), until the mug cake looks only slightly under-cooked on the very top.
- 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 sunflower or other neutral oil).
- Add the butter or oil to an oven-safe mug, ramekin (3.5 - 4 inches), or bowl, then use a fork to mix in the sugar, milk, and vanilla extract.
- Add in the flour, salt, and baking powder. Mix until no clumps remain and no bits of flour are left in the bottom of the dish. Stir in the chocolate chips or sprinkles 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.