Mug Cake Recipe – Easy-to-Make Dessert

A mug cake is perfect for someone who enjoys cake but doesn’t want too much temptation. After all, it’s a single serving, and once it’s gone, it’s gone. That is, until you make another one. Basically, mug cakes are the ideal dessert after a family dinner.

Made-to-Order Mug Cake

One of the reasons my husband and I enjoy having mug cakes is that we can have whatever flavor we’re in the mood for. Since you make one serving at a time, it’s made to order.

Strawberry mug cake with whipped cream and a cherry
Strawberry Mug Cake with a Cherry on Top

A few nights ago, he wanted a strawberry cake, but I wanted apricot. As long as you have the ingredients, it isn’t any more trouble to do two different flavors than to make one.

Mug Cakes for Kids

Bring your child into the kitchen to learn some basic cooking skills. Kids love seeing the results of their efforts. Not only is a mug cake delicious and portion-controlled, but it also gives children a sense of accomplishment.

If your children able to hold spoons and mugs they can make mug cakes. Simply put out several ingredients for them to choose from. Give them a few basic instructions, and they’ll take over from there.

You might even want to consider letting your child have a mug cake party for his or her next birthday. Offer a variety of flavors so they can pick their favorite.

Variety of Mug Cakes

There is no limit to the number of flavors of mug cakes you can make. If you’re a chocolate lover, try chocolate-chocolate chip. On the other hand, if you prefer a fruity flavor, make one with strawberry or blueberry preserves.

Basic Mug Cake Recipe

You only need three ingredients to make a mug cake. The additions, such as chocolate or fruit preserves, add more flavors.

The three ingredients are cake mix, applesauce, and water. You can add other items, such as fruit preserves or chocolate chips to the mix. Scroll down to the bottom of the page for a printable recipe.

Since you’ll eat this cake out of the mug you cooked it in, you don’t need eggs for binding. A layer cake needs eggs to hold it together. However, when you eat it out of a mug, you don’t need to worry about it falling apart.

Oil is another thing you don’t need. The applesauce provides the moistness, alleviating the need for any type of oil. It also adds nutrition, extra sweetness, and another layer of flavor. As I’ve mentioned in my food substitutions post, applesauce is a great swap for oil.

Gluten-Free Mug Cake

I have a gluten-intolerance, so I have to use gluten-free cake mix. Since my husband has gotten used to a gluten-free diet, he eats the gluten-free cakes as well. It doesn’t matter. Those made without gluten are just as good as the ones with.

Gluten-free chocolate cake mix and gluten-free yellow cake mix
Gluten-Free Cake Mixes

Fruity Mug Cakes

When you make fruit-flavored mug cakes, it’s good to start out with either white or yellow cake mix. That way, you can get the full flavor of the fruit from the preserves.

Put the cake mix into a coffee mug.

Spoon of cake mix over a coffee mug
Spoon of Cake Mix

Next, add the water.

Spoon of water over mug of cake mix
Spoon of Water

Afterward, put the applesauce in and stir it well.

Spoon of applesauce over mug with cake mix and water
Spoon of Applesauce

Finally, add whatever preserves you want. This one is strawberry that I made for my husband.

Strawberries mixed into cake mix, applesauce, and water
Strawberries Added to Cake Mix

I made mine with apricot preserves.

Jar of apricot preserves
Apricot Preserves

Microwave it for a minute and then add another tablespoon of preserves on top.

Strawberry preserves on top of cooked mug cake
Strawberry Preserves on Top

If you like ice cream on your cake, go ahead and plop some on top.

Strawberry mug cake with ice cream and another spoonful of strawberries on top
Strawberry Mug Cake with Ice Cream and More Strawberries

My husband says it’s not finished until it has whipped cream and a cherry on top, so that’s what he got.

Strawberry mug cake with whipped cream and a cherry
Strawberry Mug Cake with Whipped Cream and a Cherry

Chocolate Mug Cake

It’s just as easy to make a chocolate mug cake as it is the fruit flavored one. Start out with whatever version of chocolate cake mix you prefer.

Box of gluten-free chocolate cake mix
Chocolate Cake Mix

Add the water. Next add some applesauce. For extra chocolaty goodness, stir some chocolate chips into the mix.

Small bowl of chocolate chips
Chocolate Chips

Then put a few more chocolate chips on top.

Melted chocolate chips added to the top of a chocolate mug cake
Chocolate Chips on Chocolate Mug Cake

Finally, finish off with a dollop of ice cream, and your dessert is ready to be devoured.

Scoop of ice cream on top of chocolate mug cake
Chocolate Mug Cake with Ice Cream

More Easy Dessert Recipes

If you enjoy these mug cakes, you’ll probably like some of these dessert recipes:
Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Cookies
Creamy Fudge
Cream Cheese Divinity

Recipe Link Parties

Back to My Southern Roots
Southern Plate
Julia’s Simply Southern
Marilyn’s Treats

Yield: 1 mug cake

Basic Mug Cake Recipe

Basic Mug Cake Recipe
Mug cakes are easy-to-make desserts that enable each person to enjoy his or her favorite flavor.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Active Time 1 minute
Total Time 6 minutes


  • 6 tablespoons of cake mix, any flavor
  • 2 tablespoons of water
  • 3 tablespoons of applesauce
  • 2 tablespoons of add-ons (optional, see notes on add-ons)


  1. In a standard size coffee mug, mix the cake mix, water, and applesauce. Stir until there are no lumps.
  2. If you want an add-on, put half of it into the mix and stir again.
  3. Microwave the mixture on high for 1 minute.
  4. Remove from the microwave. Add the other half of the add-on.
  5. You can eat it as-is or top it with ice cream or whipped cream.


Add-on options:

  • Chocolate chips
  • Butterscotch chips
  • Peanut butter chips
  • Fruit preserves
  • Chopped nuts
  • Crushed peppermint candy

Nutrition Information



Serving Size

1 mug cake

Amount Per Serving Calories 200 Total Fat 2g Saturated Fat 1g Trans Fat 0g Unsaturated Fat 0g Cholesterol 0mg Sodium 331mg Carbohydrates 45g Fiber 1g Sugar 26g Protein 2g
The nutrition information is a product of online calculators. I try to provide true and accurate information, but these numbers are estimates.

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