Mug Cakes & Meals

Gemma’s Best-Ever Vanilla Mug Cake

4.57 from 1778 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.

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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 — and you’ve stuck with Kevin and me through it all! And now I have over 100 mug cakes and meal recipes to share with you!

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 take 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. 

NEW: If you’re looking for something bigger, try my new Cake Bowl recipe!

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 it 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 check out my over 100+ other mug desserts and meals I’ve created.

Want more easy recipes? Check out my new cookbook, Bigger Bolder Baking Every Day, for 125+ simple and delicious recipes to bake through a busy week.

Full (and printable) recipe below!

Watch The Recipe Video!

Gemma's Best-Ever Vanilla Mug Cake

4.57 from 1778 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 minutes
Cook Time 1 minute
Total Time 5 minutes
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


  • 4 tablespoons  (1 ¼ oz/35 g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 4 tablespoons  (2 fl oz/60 ml) milk (or dairy-free milk)
  • 1 ½ tablespoons vegetable oil (sunflower or coconut oil)
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon Funfetti sprinkles


  • 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!

Recipe Notes

Nutrition Facts
Gemma's Best-Ever Vanilla Mug Cake
Amount Per Serving (1 Mug Cake)
Calories 483 Calories from Fat 232
% Daily Value*
Fat 25.8g40%
Saturated Fat 3.8g24%
Polyunsaturated Fat 13.5g
Monounsaturated Fat 4.9g
Cholesterol 5mg2%
Sodium 276.6mg12%
Potassium 101mg3%
Carbohydrates 59.8g20%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 34.1g38%
Protein 5g10%
Vitamin A 125IU3%
Vitamin C 0.6mg1%
Calcium 210mg21%
Iron 0.27mg2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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Shelia Schaffer
Shelia Schaffer
3 years 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
3 years ago

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

4 years 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

4 years 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

4 years 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.

3 years ago

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

4 years ago

Tastes good! Would use butter instead if oil though.

6 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!

4 years 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
4 years 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 🙂

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About Us

Meet Gemma

About Us

Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, a cookbook author, and the creator of Bigger Bolder Baking. I want to help you bake with confidence anytime, anywhere with my trusted and tested recipes and baking tips. You may have seen one of my 500+ videos on YouTube & TikTok or as a guest judge on Nailed It! on Netflix or the Best Baker in America on Food Network. No matter your skills, my Bold Baking Team & I want to be your #1 go-to baking authority.


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