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Learn how to make a super quick and satisfying treat in the microwave in just 1 minute! This microwave vanilla mug cake has all of the traditional flavors of a regular vanilla cake, but cooked in the microwave and requires no mess in the kitchen. 

vanilla cake in a white mug topped with strawberries.

Cooking cake in the microwave is a tool we think everyone should have in their back pocket. Ever get a hankering for something sweet but nothing is in site? Yeah, me too!! This perfect vanilla mug cake recipe is our favorite because it’s not too sweet and has a beautiful, delicate vanilla flavor. Since it is rather plain, this recipe is incredible topped with a lemon curd and fruit, ice cream and sprinkle, and really good Lemon Whipped Cream

Why This Microwaved Vanilla Mug Cake Recipe Works 

  • It is the quickest and easiest way to make a cake! 
  • It is a perfect serving size for one person, which means we don’t have to share! 
  • Clean up is fast with just a fork and a mug and take only 1 minute to bake up! 

Ingredients for microwave vanilla mug cake.
Ingredients For Microwaved Vanilla Mug Cake    

  • 1 tablespoon butter, dairy if needed 
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour, gluten free if needed 
  • 3 tablespoons sugar 
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste 
  • 1/4 cup milk of choice 

How to Cook Vanilla Mug Cake in the Microwave

  1. In a microwave safe mug, melt 1 tbsp of butter for 30 seconds
  2. Combine flour, sugar, and baking powder in mug; mix
  3. Add in wet ingredients, milk and vanilla extract; mix until a batter is formed; microwave on high for 1 minute
  4. Let cool, enjoy!

This recipe is versatile in that it cane be made totally vegan or gluten free if that is your preference. This microwave mug cake works incredibly well with non-dairy butter and a 1-1 gluten free flour blend. Don’t use almond or coconut flour as it will result in a totally different texture. 


Vanilla cake in a mug topped with lemon curd and diced strawberries.

Tips for a Perfect Vanilla Mug Cake Every Time 

Use a large mug to prevent any overflowing cake in your microwave. This will prevent a big, sticky mess! 

Microwave wattages and power vary depending on what type of microwave you have and how old it may be. Be sure to keep an eye on your cake while it is in the microwave so it doesn’t overcook. 

Worried about your cake overcooking? Set your timer for 45 seconds and then check. If your cake hasn’t pulled away from the edges of the mug, it’s not finished. Pop it back in the microwave for an additional 15 seconds. 

Vanilla Cake in a white mug sitting on a wooden cutting board with a spoon.


How long to microwave a mug cake? 

After lots of trial and error, we have come to understand the very best way to know if your cook is done is if it has pulled away from the sides of the mug. When you back a cake in the oven you look for a spring back from the top of your cake, so use the same method here while also looking for the pull. 

Why did my cake explode?  

It is very unlikely that your cake will explode in the microwave. However, there is really only one cause; a mug way too small. Your mug should be large enough to hold the cake batter as well as have at least 2 inches to expand. 

Can I add salt to make batter? 

We are big salt lovers at Steamy Kitchen, so YES! We suggest adding an 1/8th of a teaspoon of salt to your batter or sprinkle a little on top of your batter if you like a big salty punch of flavor at once. 

vanilla cake in a white mug topped with strawberries.

Vanilla Mug Cake

Use your microwave to make this quick and delicious Vanilla Mug Cake! Top it with whipped cream or lemon crud and fresh fruit.
Prep Time 2 mins
Cook Time 1 min
Total Time 3 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 1
Calories 397 kcal


  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup milk


  • In a microwave safe mug, melt 1 tbsp of butter for 30 seconds
  • Combine flour, sugar, and baking powder in mug; mix
  • Add in wet ingredients, milk and vanilla extract; mix until a batter is formed
  • Microwave on high for 1 minute
  • Let cool, enjoy!


Serving: 1gCalories: 397kcalCarbohydrates: 64gProtein: 5gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 36mgSodium: 339mgPotassium: 121mgFiber: 1gSugar: 39gVitamin A: 449IUCalcium: 195mgIron: 2mg
Keyword Cake, Easy Recipe, microwave, Microwave Recipes, Mug Cake, Vanilla Cake
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!