Mug Cakes & Meals

Gemma’s Best-Ever Vanilla Mug Cake

4.52 from 1096 votes
My Best-Ever Vanilla Mug Cake recipe is the king of mug cakes — classic vanilla flavor, loads of sprinkles, and made entirely in less than 5 minutes.
Made in under five minutes, this is my Best-Ever Vanilla Mug Cake in a Gemma's Mug Meals Mug with Spork in the handle, topped with pink frosting and sprinkles.

Hi Bold Bakers!

This great recipe is very near and dear to my heart. I originally posted my vanilla mug cake recipe to celebrate hitting over 1 million subscribers on YouTube! That’s where Bold Baking started, and then the fans (that’s you, Bold Bakers!) helped us create the #1 baking destination with BiggerBolderBaking.com — and you’ve stuck with Kevin and me through it all!

Bake anytime, anywhere. That’s my motto and what I’d love to give everyone the confidence to do. My Best-Ever Vanilla Mug Cake, decked out with sprinkles, is a perfect example of one of my easiest (and, more importantly, delicious) recipes that takes that motto to the fullest extent.

People from Ireland are well known to say, “Go raibh míle maith agaibh.” It means, “Thanks a million.” I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to say it enough to all of you.

What Is A Microwave Mug Cake?

Mug cakes are simply cakes you can make in a mug! Basically a cake in a cup, right? 

No. That’s not all they are. 

Not only can they be made super quickly with small amounts of ingredients you probably already have in your pantry, but they’re a single-serving elevated cake because they steam in the microwave — instead of drying out in the oven. 

They’re a perfect treat without having to make a full batch, or a delicious sneaky snack in the middle of the night. Just a few ingredients, in just a few minutes, and all for you. 

Finished Best-Ever Vanilla Mug Cake, topped with pink frosting and sprinkles.

Choosing The Right Vanilla Extract

Any vanilla extract you may have will certainly work in this recipe, but to bring it to the next level I highly suggest making your own (and EASY) DIY vanilla extract! It lasts forever, tastes amazing, and couldn’t be easier to make. 

[ Looking for Mug Recipes? You’re in the right place! I have 100+ perfected Mug Meals & Mug Desserts for anything you’d like. ]

What You Need To Make A Vanilla Mug Cake

Mixing bowls? Cake pans? A sifter? Get out of here! You just need three M’s to make a delicious, quick vanilla mug cake:

Then you’ll be “Mmm’ing” throughout your kitchen. 

How To Make A Vanilla Mug Cake

Making a vanilla mug cake is so simple, and only takes 4 steps. Here’s how easy it is (and don’t forget to get the full recipe with measurements, on the page down below):

  1. In a mug you can use in the microwave, whisk together the dry ingredients — flour, sugar, and baking powder.
  2. Combine milk, oil, and vanilla into the mug. Stir in sprinkles!
  3. Microwave for 45 seconds to 1 minute until firm to the touch.
  4. Top with some frosting, vanilla ice cream, or whipped cream and enjoy!

If you need inspiration, here is my Best-Ever Buttercream Frosting, homemade Whipped Cream with a Mason Jar, and even my Homemade Ice Cream Recipe with Only 2 Ingredients!

Gemma’s Pro Tips To Making Mug Cakes

  • Don’t overmix your batter! It will be tempting, but just mix until all ingredients are combined. Otherwise, you’ll have a tough cake.
  • Don’t over microwave! When you microwave on high, check after 45 seconds and add more time if necessary. 
  • No microwave but still in the mood for a quick cake? You can bake this recipe at 350 °F (180°C) for around 10 minutes — just make sure your mug is rated for that temperature.
  • Your mug should NOT have any metal or metallic paint. I’m sure there are plenty of YouTube videos (not on our channel!) that show why this would be a terrible idea. 

A spoonful closeup of my Best-Ever Vanilla Mug Cake showing color, sprinkles, and texture.

How To Prepare A Vanilla Mug Cake In Advance

My vanilla mug cake should be eaten straight away, but you can mix up a batter of this recipe and keep it in the fridge for 48 hours and microwave whenever inspiration hits.

I love this recipe. It’s quick, it’s delicious, and the kids can get involved (and even make one of their own if they want a snack and you have a Zoom meeting)! There’s honestly no better way to treat yourself than this vanilla and sprinkle mug cake — even if you just need a delicious pick-me-up!

Also, just so you know: the sprinkles are not mandatory, but highly encouraged. 

Get More Microwave Mug Desserts!

And don’t forget to buy my Mug Meals Mugs! They’re perfectly designed for my Best-Ever Vanilla Mug Cake and over 100+ other mug desserts and meals I’ve created — they even come with a spork and a slot in the handle to carry it.

Full (and printable) recipe below!

Watch The Recipe Video!

Gemma's Best-Ever Vanilla Mug Cake

4.52 from 1096 votes
My Best-Ever Vanilla Mug Cake recipe is the epitome of mug cakes — classic vanilla flavor, loads of sprinkles, and made entirely in less than 5 minutes.
Servings: 1 serving
Prep Time 4 mins
Cook Time 1 min
Total Time 5 mins
My Best-Ever Vanilla Mug Cake recipe is the epitome of mug cakes — classic vanilla flavor, loads of sprinkles, and made entirely in less than 5 minutes.
Servings: 1 serving

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 4 tablespoons milk (or dairy-free milk)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons flavorless oil (sunflower, vegetable or coconut oil)
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon Funfetti sprinkles

Instructions

  • In a microwavable mug whisk together the flour, sugar, and baking powder.
  • Add in the milk, oil, and vanilla and mix until just combined. Stir in the sprinkles.
  • Microwave for roughly 45 seconds - 1 minute, or until firm to the touch (timing is based on my microwave which is 1200 Watts so your timing may vary).
  • Serve warm with frosting, ice cream or cream. Enjoy!

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Shelia Schaffer
Shelia Schaffer
4 months ago

Made this for the first time today and it turned out fabulous. I only used 1 TBSP of sugar and microwaved in my 700 watts microwave for 2 minutes and it turned out perfect. I just love these little desserts. I live alone and just like to have some type of sweet that is designed for 1 and these just are perfect. Love all your recipes.

Jannet Willson
Jannet Willson
4 months ago

I really wanted to try this recipe, but unfortunatley, my microwave broke. Can I bake it in the oven?

Sura
Sura
1 year ago

I made this recipe with whole wheat flour (all I had), honey, and coconut oil and it turned out so tasty, fluffy, and moist! Now I can have a dessert and get some fiber and healthy fats, too! Will be making again! Thanks, Gemma <3

Mina
Mina
5 months ago

This was honestly disgusting for me. I think I did something wrong but the flour didn’t stir right and when I cooked it it was raw so then I cooked it again and it was overcooked. Idk maybe I did something wrong but I’m not a fan of vanilla cake

Alex
Alex
4 months ago

This recipe was AMAZING! absolutely delicious 🙂 I just had to cook twice the time the recipe said. Loved it though!!! 💕

Beth
Beth
5 months ago

I made this “cake” and the batter was very doughy so I added more milk and it was more normal looking , unfortunately the cake was very bland even with madagascar vanilla which is very strong in flavour normally.

Lilly
Lilly
2 years ago

Just made this and halved the sugar because I don’t like my cakes too sweet – it was perfection! Fluffy and so satisfying! For those with a 700 watt microwave like me, I microwaved it for about 2 minutes :). Thanks Gemma!

Emily
Emily
7 months ago

Tastes good! Would use butter instead if oil though.

Ashley
Ashley
7 months ago

This recipe is delicious. Tweaked it a bit. I used cake flour instead of all purpose. I also used fat free milk and was still delicious. Used butter instead of oil. Add a pinch of salt and used 1 teaspoon of vanilla instead. Served with tiramisu cream. I would recommend cooking this longer at least closer to 2 mins if you are trying all these tweaks. Thanks for the recipe ❤️

Gemma Stafford
Admin
6 months ago

Hi there,
this recipe just has 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder, not baking soda/bicarbonate of soda. I am surprised that this is what you are tasting. I am wondering about the measurement you used! I cannot think what would have caused this unless you got something a little off in the measurement.
I am sorry you were disappointed, I hope you will try another recipe,
Gemma 🙂

About Us

Meet Gemma

About Us

Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, and I want to help you bake with confidence anytime, anywhere! No matter your skills, I have you covered. Sign up for my FREE weekly emails and join millions of other Bold Bakers in the community for new recipes, baking techniques, and more every week!

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