Mug Cake Recipe

Author: Rachel

Published Date: November 2, 2021

I’m so glad I figured out how to make microwavable mug cake with cake mix using simple ingredients in a single serving size! A box cake mix, applesauce, water and your favorite toppings are all you need to make the easiest, single serving cake you will ever try! Simple ingredients but simply delicious!

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Why Do I Love MY RECIPE over the others you’ll find?

I usually don’t have the energy to bake a whole cake at 10 PM when the craving strikes, so this easy dessert recipe is perfect when you want a little cake at any time. So next time your sweet tooth cravings strike reach for my mug cake recipe and your favorite add-ins and you will have a tasty bit of warm cake with almost no cooking time.

A lot of mug cake recipes call for a box of angel food cake mix in addition to your dry mix, several tablespoons of milk, and vanilla extract but I came up with a better way that creates a quick treat without all the extra fuss (or additional cost). You still get a delicious individual serving of moist and flavorful cake, with your favorite add-ins and toppings, without having to keep multiple boxes of dry ingredients in the pantry. You can mix up a batch of easy mug cake mix in a gallon storage bag if you want, that way you can just take out one serving at a time even faster for a quick snack!

P.S. If you love easy, delicious baked goods, try my Caramel Apple Dump Cake, Pecan Pie Brownies or Pumpkin Poke Cake!

A close up image of a mug cake with cake mix, sprinkles and pink frosting
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Why You Will Love This Recipe:

  • Simple Recipe
  • Minimal ingredients
  • Ready to eat FAST!
  • Unlimited flavor combinations
  • Great for parties and gatherings
  • A perfect way to use up the dry cake mixes in your pantry
  • Great ideas for surprise guests when you need simple recipes

Ingredients Needed:

  • Any flavor cake mix (funfetti, yellow, strawberry, chocolate, etc)
  • Water
  • Apple sauce
  • Your Favorite Add-ins (chocolate chips, sprinkles, coconut, nuts, candy bars, etc)
  • Optional Toppings: whipped cream, frosting, sprinkles, chocolate syrup
Ingredients for making mug cakes with cake mix
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Supplies Needed:

  • Coffee Mug (microwave safe)
  • Tablespoon measuring spoon
  • Microwave

How to Make a Mug Cake with Cake Mix:

  1. Spray the inside of a microwave safe mug with non-stick spray (you want to use a mug that holds at least 8 ounces).  Add the cake mix, water, apple sauce and your preferred add-in and stir this until smooth.  
  2. Bake in the microwave at full power for 1 minute.
  3. Allow to cool slightly before eating.
Step by Step photos of how to make a microwaveable mug cake
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A Variety of Mug Cake possibilities

This is my own version of the chocolate microwave mug cake, but it’s also a way to show you how to make a no milk mug cake because I didn’t want to have ingredients that can go bad in my recipe. You can also make this mug cake recipe in a small bowl, a mason jar, or any other microwavable container you want to. You can make different flavors, such as a vanilla mug cake, chocolate mug cake, Funfetti Mug Cake, Strawberry mug cake, just by changing up the cake mix flavor. My favorite part is that I don’t need to have angel food mix to achieve these great recipes, and just by adding a handful of chocolate chips I can completely change the flavor and texture of the Vanilla or Chocolate variety without much work.

Cake options when you don’t have oven access

Microwave cakes are great for college students that don’t have access to an oven but want to have a little taste of home cooking while having a let night study session. I wish I knew about this little gem when I was in college, it sure would have made those college meal plans a lot better! (Mug recipes are also fantastic when you’re camping and have access to a microwave like most newer campers have, the ovens are too small to bake a whole cake, but you can make these warm little cakes for a nice unexpected treat.)

Overhead photo of cake mix boxes and coinciding mug cakes
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Lower Sugar Option

If you are trying to keep the sugar a little lower you can use unsweetened applesauce and sugar-free cake mix instead of 6 tablespoons of the cake mix mentioned in the recipe. Since this recipe works with any cake mix, and you are adding your own toppings it gives you a lot of control. You can use sugar-free chocolate candies as well to add a little more flavor and still keep your nutrition needs in check. This can be a nice alternative when you are serving a regular cake for a party and you want to enjoy your cake too, but need to be more careful with sugar intake.

Storage Instructions:

  • Mug cake is best eaten warm out of the microwave, so storage really isn’t needed
  • You can make up your favorite mix-ins and dry cake mix in a gallon bag and store it in the pantry for up to three months

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of cake mix should I use for this recipe?

Chocolate cake, yellow cake mix, spice cake, strawberry, Funfetti, vanilla are all great – the sky is the limit!

I don’t have any applesauce right now – what could I substitute?

You could use a ½ Tablespoon of oil and 2 Tablespoons of water (instead of the 1 Tablespoon of water and applesauce listed above).

I want my mug cake to be extra chocolatey – what do you recommend?

Add 1 Tablespoon of chocolate syrup or ½ Tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder. Also, sprinkle an extra tablespoon of chocolate chips on top. Or if you want it to be more of a lava cake, place a square of semi-sweet chocolate in the middle of the cake batter. 

What are some other add-ins that work?

An easy way to change the flavor is by adding a tablespoon of your favorite jam, dried, fresh, or canned fruit, pie filling, chopped nuts, coconut, peanut butter, caramel sauce, chopped candy bar, chopped pretzels, peanut butter chips, crushed peppermint candies, or chopped cookies.

My cake seems overdone/underdone – did I do something wrong?

Each microwave is a little different. You may need to adjust your cook time. When the top feels spongy, it is done.

What brand of cake mix did you use?

I used Duncan Hines. But you could use Betty Crocker, or try with whatever brand you prefer.

Cake Boxes with mug cakes in front of them
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We love hearing from you! Don’t forget to come back and tell me how you made your Mug Cake with Cake Mix and how much you enjoyed it! You’ll be hooked as soon as you try it the first time!

You can also follow along with me on FACEBOOK AND INSTAGRAM  to see more colorful recipes!

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Mug Cake with Cake Mix

3.50 from 6 votes
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 minute
Cooling Time 1 minute
Total Time 7 minutes
Servings 1
Calories 180 kcal
All you need is a box cake mix, applesauce, water and your favorite toppings to make the easiest, most delicious cake in a mug you will ever try!


  • 6 tbsp Cake mix, any flavor
  • 2 tbsp Apple sauce
  • 1 tbsp water
  • Your favorite mix-ins and toppings, chocolate chips, sprinkles, coconut, nuts, candy bars, etc
  • Your favorite toppings, whipped cream, frosting, sprinkles, chocolate syrup


  • Spray the inside of a microwave safe mug with non-stick spray (you want to use a mug that holds at least 8 ounces). Add the cake mix, water, apple sauce and your preferred add-in and stir this until smooth.
  • Bake in the microwave at full power for 1 minute.
  • Allow cake to cool slightly before eating.


Calories: 180kcalCarbohydrates: 40gProtein: 2gFat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 1gSodium: 313mgPotassium: 50mgFiber: 1gSugar: 22gVitamin A: 9IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 100mgIron: 1mg
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
Tried this recipe?Mention @sweettea_and_sprinkles or tag #sweetteaandsprinkles

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Recipe Rating

  1. 5 stars
    Definitely saving for being a part of my go-to recipes. Good notes about microwave cook times. Mine is best at 1 min with an extra 10-15 seconds; depending on my add ins. I tried it with oil the first time (didn’t have applesauce). A million times better with the applesauce, so it was worth a trip to the store.

    1. Doris, thank you for the kind review! I’m really glad you liked the recipe and found the notes helpful! And, yeah, I LOVE using applesauce for my mug cakes, they have a better flavor with it and get really fluffy! 🙂

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