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Fluffy Vegan Vanilla Mug Cake

This fluffy moist vegan vanilla mug cake has the perfect texture and just seven ingredients (unless you add some sprinkles or chocolate chips, then eight!). It cooks up in just two minutes in the microwave.

Front view of a chocolate chip mug cake in a green mug.

Why you’ll love it:

  • It’s perfectly moist, sweet and fluffy.
  • It has a nice noticeable vanilla taste (no subtlety here).
  • It’s easy to customize with add-ins.
  • You can satisfy your sweet tooth with a cake fix any time!
  • It’s incredibly easy to make.
  • Just seven ingredients (plus add-ins ).
  • It just takes two minutes to cook in the microwave.

If super quick vegan desserts are your thing you might also want to check out my 6-minute vegan banana foster recipe. For something lighter and healthier but still quick to make and absolutely delicious, try out a creamy vegan strawberry banana smoothie.

Green mug with a white star and a funfetti cake with cream on top in it.

Ingredients and substitutions

The ingredients for this vegan vanilla mug cake are pretty simple and I did extensively test all the quantities used so I recommend sticking with the main recipe as much as possible. Let’s look at the image below to see what we’ll need, and then see if anything can be swapped out or substituted.

labelled ingredients: chocolate chips or sprinkles, salt, vanilla extract, baking powder, sugar, oil , flour and plant-based milk.

Chocolate chips or sprinkles: These are totally optional (but oh so yum). I use two tablespoons, and mix one and a half through the batter, and sprinkle the remaining half a tablespoon on top. Other tasty things to add in (keep to about two tablespoons though) include:

  • Raisins
  • Berries
  • Chopped strawberries, cherries, apple, banana or peach.
  • Almond flakes
  • Chopped nuts
  • Vegan nutella (add to batter and swirl through)
  • Desiccated coconut

NB: Whichever add-ins you use, do be aware that you will need to remove an equivalent amount of batter if you make this in an 8.5 oz (240 grams) mug. For a larger mug e.g. 12.5 oz, you won’t need to remove anything.

Salt: A pinch of salt (just a pinch) for flavor, don’t skip it.

Vanilla extract: Obviously you came here looking for a vegan vanilla mug cake so it wouldn’t make sense to leave out the vanilla extract. If you don’t have any vanilla you can try using vanilla sugar instead of regular sugar as a substitute. If adding raisins you can also try swapping out the vanilla extract for rum extract (or a tablespoon of actual rum!) for a tasty rum and raisin mug cake.

Baking powder: This is the raising agent, so it’s totally necessary. If you don’t have any baking powder you can try substituting it by adding an eighth of a teaspoon of baking soda to the dry ingredients, and adding a quarter teaspoon of lemon juice or vinegar to the wet batter, and mixing it in well.

Sugar: You can reduce the sugar if you wish but I wouldn’t recommend increasing it. As always, do make sure your sugar is actually vegan and hasn’t been manufactured using bone char.

Oil: You can use any plain oil such as canola or sunflower. I don’t recommend using coconut oil unless it’s been deodorized (or you actually want a mild coconut flavor). You can also substitute for the same amount of vegan butter, just melt it first.

All-purpose flour: I don’t recommend using whole grain or wholewheat flours.

Plant-based milk: Use any plant-based milk you like. I tend to use almond milk or soy milk for baking. Just make sure it’s unsweetened or it will throw off the sweetness. Don’t use coconut milk as its flavor will overpower the vanilla.

How to make it

Making this vegan vanilla mug cake is as easy as pie. Just measure your dry ingredients into a mug, mix, add the wet ingredients, mix well, add any add-ins, and zap for two minutes. Done!

Check out the images and notes on how to make it below in case you’re unsure of anything.

For the first step, simply measure and add your dry ingredients to a mug that can be used in the microwave (preferably ceramic or glass with no metallic paint or elements).

I use an 8.5 oz (240ml) mug to make this cake. If you have a much larger mug, e.g. a 12.5 oz (370ml) mug, you can leave it as is or increase the baking powder to 3/4 tsp for even more muffin goodness, although it will be slightly less moist.

Mix together the dry ingredients with a spoon or a spork (image one below). You can of course use a fork but I prefer using a spoon to mix the batter later, and why dirty both a spoon and a fork?

split image with a mug with flour on the left labelled one and on the right a mug with milk and brown liquid labelled two.

Measure and add your wet ingredients (image two above). Don’t worry about mixing the wet ingredients before adding them to the dry, just directly measure and add to the mug.

Mix very well with a spoon. Make sure to tilt the mug and get into all the bottom bits of the mug so there is no flour left untouched at the bottom – this is why I prefer to use a spoon to mix as it’s better at getting into all the nooks and crannies at the bottom of the mug. The batter doesn’t need to be perfectly smooth, a few lumps are fine (see image three below).

Split image with batter in a mug labelled three on the left and a fluffy cake in a mug labelled four on the right.

Add any add-ins such as chocolate chips. Do note that if you’re adding add-ins and using an 8.5oz mug you’ll need to remove an equivalent amount of batter or the mug will overflow, so if adding two spoonfuls of chocolate chips, remove two spoonfuls of batter for example. If using a larger mug you won’t need to remove any batter.

Place the mug in the microwave and heat on full power for two minutes. Your mug cake should be ready! Check the top is soft and golden yet cooked as in image four above. If it’s slightly underdone (this can happen if you have a lower power or older microwave) then put it back in and continue to cook in thirty-second increments until done.

Allow to cool slightly, add a little vegan ice cream or vegan whipped cream, and enjoy! I usually eat my mug cakes warm from the mug – I mean who produces a cake in two minutes and then has the patience to wait half an hour until it’s fully cooled? If you added chocolate chips then eating it while it’s warm will also ensure the chocolate is still warm and melty.

Yummy.

Be warned, especially if serving to kids in mugs, the cakes are VERY hot after coming out of the microwave so do wait a few minutes before handing them over.

You can also easily separate the sides of the cake from the mug with a butter knife and ease it out into a bowl if preferred, all the better to have more surface area to sprinkle toppings over!

Top down view of two mugs with cake, one with chocolate chips the other sprinkles.

FAQs

Can you refrigerate mug cake?

Yes (once cooked), for up to one day. I don’t recommend mixing the batter up and then refrigerating for later use however, as you would then need to extend the cooking time and risk drying out your mug cake, as well as it being less fluffy from the baking powder already having spent most of its “raising” power.

Can you freeze mug cake?

Yes. You can then thaw it in the fridge (they’ll thaw within a few hours) and then reheat it in the microwave for between 15 to 30 seconds.

I don’t have a microwave, how can I make this recipe?

You can bake this vegan vanilla mug cake in the oven at 350F (189C) for between 12-15 minutes. However, unless you are sure your mugs are oven safe (check out this useful guide) then I would use a ramekin instead of a mug .


Did you make this vegan vanilla mug cake? Let me know how much you loved it with a star rating, review, and/or comment below.

Take a picture of your finished dish and tag me on Instagram (@the_fiery_vegetarian) or connect with me on Facebook, I love seeing all your creations!

Green mug with a white star and a funfetti cake with cream on top in it.

Fluffy Vegan Vanilla Mug Cake

Yield: 1
Prep Time: 1 minute
Cook Time: 2 minutes
Total Time: 3 minutes

A delicious fluffy soft moist vanilla vegan mug cake with sprinkles or chocolate chip options! Seven ingredients plus add-ins and just two minutes in the microwave!

Ingredients

  • 5 level Tablespoons all-purpose flour (45g)
  • 3 level Tablespoons white sugar (35g)
  • Pinch of salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons oil (neutral like canola or sunflower)
  • 4 Tablespoons non-dairy milk (almond, oat or soy)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons sprinkles or chocolate chips (OPTIONAL)

Instructions

  1. Add the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, salt, baking powder) to an 8.5 oz microwave-safe mug and mix well with a spoon.
  2. Add wet ingredients (oil, milk, and vanilla extract) and mix well with a spoon, ensuring no dry ingredients are left unmixed at the bottom of the mug.
  3. If using add-ins and using an 8.5oz (240ml) mug, remove the same amount of batter as add-ins that you'll be mixing in. E.g. remove two tablespoons of batter and mix in one and a half tablespoons and sprinkle the remaining half tablespoon on top. For larger mugs, there's no need to remove any batter.
  4. Cook for two minutes on full power in the microwave. Allow to cool slightly before eating. Enjoy!

Notes

For larger mugs like 12.5 oz ones, you can leave as is or increase the baking powder to 3/4 teaspoon for more cake - just note that the cake will not be as moist.

Nutrition Information
Yield 1 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 479Total Fat 21gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 30gCholesterol 5mgSodium 411mgCarbohydrates 115gFiber 4gSugar 76gProtein 8g

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