Vanilla mug cakes on a counter

*This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclaimer here. While we may use affiliate links, we would never allow this to influence product listings or recommendations.

This vanilla mug cake is the perfect treat if you are craving cake at an inopportune time, or if you simply just can’t be bothered to nip out and buy something. Sweet, simple and ready in 90 seconds, this fluffy mug cake is perfect for pairing with some fun toppings.

What is it?

If you’ve not had a mug cake before, well, you’re missing out. They are single-serve, super quick cakes that you can make in the microwave in minutes. You can really experiment with different flavour combinations, although the base ingredients remain the same. Flour, milk, sugar, oil and baking powder.

While it might seem strange not to have egg as a standard ingredient, it’s difficult to split an egg, and using a full egg in a single-serve cake will over-power and affect the texture.

Can you make a mug cake in advance?

Vanilla mug cakes with different toppings

Cooked mug cake really needs to be eaten straight away. It really is at its best then – steaming hot and delicious. Additionally, when left to cool, don’t expect it to cool into a standard fluffy cake. Given that it’s nuked in the microwave and steamed, rather than baked, the texture will start to harden as it cools, which isn’t great.

You could make the batter up to a day in advance and store in the fridge before microwaving, however. Just make sure to give it another good stir before cooking in case the ingredients have separated.

Recipe Variations

This cake has the soft flavour of vanilla, but as the flavour is fairly mild, it’s perfect for using as a base for other flavours. Of course you can make the cake as is, and then add toppings, or you can try some of these ideas:

  • Peanut butter bomb – make the cake as directed and then add a blob of peanut butter pushed into the middle. The peanut butter will turn into a nutty molten center (see this peanut butter fondant mug cake for a chocolatey version!)
  • Coloured mug cake – you can add food colourings to the batter to experiment with different colours
  • Fruity mug cake – chop strawberries, raspberries, blackberries or other fruits, into small pieces and stir into the batter.
  • Chocolate chip mug cake – add some chocolate chips to the batter. You can also add a little cocoa powder to some cream and whip to add to the top.


To make this vanilla mug cake you will need a few simple ingredients:

Vanilla mug cake ingredients
  • 4 tbsp plain / all-purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp milk – you can use low fat or full-fat milk
  • 2 tbsp white sugar
  • 5 tsp vegetable oil – you can substitute for sunflower or another flavourless oil


Mug – the ones I used are 220ml (just under 1 cup). You don’t want to go any smaller than this as the cake expands when cooking. To be on the safe side I recommend a larger mug than this to avoid any spillage.

How to make it

Vanilla mug cake mix in a mug

In your mug, mix together the flour and milk until fully combined and a smooth consistency.

Add the remaining ingredients and mix together well.

Microwave for 90 seconds, or until the top of the cake is fully cooked and not runny. Leave to rest for 2 minutes before eating.

If you are looking for other quick and easy dessert recipes then try this chocolate peanut butter fondant mug cake or these individual no-weigh yogurt cakes.

Products that work great for this recipe:

clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Vanilla mug cakes on a counter

Vanilla Mug Cake

  • Author: caroline
  • Total Time: 6.5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 1x


A super quick and easy vanilla mug cake. Just 90 seconds in the microwave and you’ll have a spongey sweet cake which is perfect for topping with whipped cream, fruit, chocolate chips or anything else you can think up! 

The default recipe makes one cake


  • 4 tbsp plain / all-purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp milk (low fat or full fat)
  • 2 tbsp white sugar
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 5 tsp vegetable or sunflower oil
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence


  • Mix together the flour and milk in the mug and stir until fully combined. 
  • Add the remainder of the ingredients to the mug and stir together until you have a consistent texture and none of the oil remains on top of the mixture. 
  • Place in the microwave for 90 seconds, or until it is spongey all the way through and no doughy patches remain. 
  • Serve with whipped cream, sprinkles, chocolate chips or fruit and fresh sprigs of mint! 


  1. You can substitute the oil for any flavourless oil
  2. Different microwaves may need slightly different cooking times
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1.5 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Microwave
  • Cuisine: British


  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 525
  • Fat: 24g
  • Carbohydrates: 69g
  • Protein: 7g

Keywords: cake, dessert, snack, mug, vanilla, indulgent, comfort food, microwave

2 Thoughts on “Vanilla Mug Cake”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe rating