This easy vanilla mug cake recipe is perfect for those days when you’re craving fluffy homemade vanilla cake. And it’s ready to eat in under 5 minutes!
The best vanilla mug cake
With a soft texture and classic vanilla flavor, this single serving vanilla cake in a mug is like true love in the form of a dessert.
It calls for just a few pantry staple ingredients and can easily be made in the microwave or oven, whichever baking method you prefer.
And there’s no milk and no eggs required!
Readers also love this Healthy Banana Bread
What is a mug cake?
Moist, filling, flavorful, and quick to prepare, mug cake recipes are great if you are baking for one, or if you don’t want the temptation of an entire cake in the house.
Add all of the ingredients to a mug, stir to form a batter, and microwave or bake in the oven until soft and fluffy. It really is that easy.
You can even do some dessert meal prep in advance.
Simply measure out the dry ingredients for multiple cakes, portion the mix into individual bags, and store your single serving vanilla cake mixes in the cabinet.
This way, they are ready to go any time you want vanilla cake without the wait!
Vanilla mug cake recipe video
Above, watch the step-by-step recipe video
Ingredients for vanilla cake in a mug
The cake calls for flour, baking powder, pure vanilla extract, water, sweetener of choice, a pinch of salt, and optional oil or butter.
Flour: I’ve successfully made the recipe with spelt flour, white flour, or oat flour. A few readers say that all purpose gluten free flour works for a gluten free vanilla mug cake.
The recipe tastes great with almond flour but does not really hold together. So just eat it straight from the mug if you want to do a grain free cake. Or there is also a keto mug cake recipe included as an option in the recipe below.
Vanilla extract: Make sure to buy pure vanilla extract, not imitation vanilla or vanilla flavoring. Look for the word “pure” on the label.
This extract is more expensive, but the improved taste and lack of artificial aftertaste are very much worth the higher price.
Sweetener: You can use your favorite granulated sweetener here.
Try white or brown regular sugar, raw or unrefined coconut sugar, or granulated erythritol for a sugar free mug cake. Use the lower sugar amount if adding frosting or the higher amount if eating the cake on its own.
Fat source: For a traditional vanilla cake texture, it is best to use either melted coconut oil, sunflower oil, butter, or a vegan alternative. You can make an oil free, fat free version by substituting mashed banana, applesauce, or sweet potato. The low calorie mug cake will taste like a muffin, making it perfect for breakfast or a healthy snack.
Vegan vanilla mug cake
Because this recipe calls for water, it already naturally works without milk.
To make a fully dairy free and egg free mug cake, just choose banana, coconut oil, or vegan butter instead of dairy butter.
Top the vegan mug cake with your favorite nondairy ice cream.
Vegans also love these Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies
How to make the recipe
To prepare the vanilla cake, start by setting all of your ingredients out on the counter and reading through the directions.
Grease a mug, or a heat-safe bowl or two ramekins. Add the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, water, oil or oil free option, and vanilla extract to the mug or bowl.
Stir everything together with a fork or spoon to form a vanilla cake batter.
If you are baking the mug cake in an oven, preheat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Then bake on the oven’s center rack for fourteen minutes or until the cake is light and fluffy.
Or for a quick microwave mug cake, cook for one and a half to two minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out mostly clean. The microwave time will depend on your microwave’s wattage.
Apparently you can also bake mug cakes in an air fryer, but I have never tried this method. If you experiment, be sure to report back for the rest of us.
Serve and enjoy. Whether or not you want to share is entirely up to you!
Also make this homemade vanilla Chia Pudding
Top the mug cake with packaged or homemade frosting, melted almond or peanut butter, vanilla ice cream, or fresh berries, banana, and Coconut Whipped Cream.
Feel free to stir a spoonful of rainbow sprinkles, some crushed walnuts or pecans, or a handful of shredded coconut and mini chocolate chips into the batter.
Or garnish with birthday sprinkles, powdered sugar, or shaved chocolate after baking.
I used the basic cream cheese frosting recipe from my Easy Cinnamon Rolls.
Fun flavor variations
You can stir in a half teaspoon of ground cinnamon for a cinnamon roll mug cake.
Or add three to five drops of pure almond extract or maple extract.
Turn it into a lovely spice cake by including a pinch each of ground cardamom, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, and cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice.
Or omit the oil and swirl in two tablespoons of peanut butter or almond butter instead. Top the finished microwave cake with chopped peanuts and caramelized banana slices.
For a coffee cake, stir in a half teaspoon of instant coffee granules, or swap out the water for strong brewed espresso instead.
Of course, my personal favorite variation is to throw in a handful of chocolate chips and top the yellow mug cake with dark chocolate frosting.
- 6 tbsp flour (spelt, white, oat, or here’s a Keto Mug Cake)
- 3 tbsp sugar or granulated sweetener of choice
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 1/2 tbsp butter or oil or mashed banana
- 3/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
To make a single serving vanilla mug cake, simply stir all ingredients in a greased mug or bowl. Either bake in the oven or microwave until fluffy, with a cakey texture. It takes around 1 1/2 to 2 minutes to cook in the microwave, depending on wattage. Or preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and bake 14 minutes.View Nutrition Facts
More Mug Cake Recipes
Brownie In A Mug
Chocolate Protein Cake
Banana Bread In A Mug
Pumpkin Mug Cake
Coffee Mug Cake
If you have any other mug cake flavors that you would like to see, please feel free to leave a comment and let me know what recipe to try next!