Meatless Monday Challenge

5-Minute Vegan Vanilla Mug Cake

on January 18, 2023
last updated November 28, 2023
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This quick and easy single-serving Vegan Vanilla Mug Cake is a community favorite on Marley's Menu's Tik Tok, and for good reason! It is moist & delicious, with very minimal prep time and cleanup!
Taking a spoonful of Vegan Vanilla Mug Cake

Need a sweet fix without all the hassle? This Vegan Vanilla Mug Cake gives you all the delicious texture and flavor of a classic vanilla cake but comes together in under 5 minutes with ease and little mess.

With just 7 simple pantry ingredients, 90 seconds of cooking time, and only a fork and a mug required, this single-serve microwavable dessert is as easy to whip up as it is to scarf down! Plus, it’s naturally vegan!

Vegan Vanilla Mug Cake with spoonful scooped out

As an environmental scientist, I’m always looking for ways to reduce my contribution to food waste, and single-serving desserts are a great place to start!

Green tip: Did you know that of the billions of pounds of food wasted annually, it is estimated that 50% of it happens in our homes? It’s always best to avoid food waste as much as you can!

Vegan Vanilla Mug Cake Ingredients

Here’s everything you need:

  • All-purpose flour. For the base of the batter.
  • Granulated sugar. For sweetness.
  • Baking powder. For a little bit of rise.
  • Salt. To ramp up the flavor.
  • Oil. Coconut, vegetable, or canola preferred, but grapeseed and peanut oil work, too!
  • Plant-based milk. Any works, preferably unsweetened. Unsweetened vanilla works great in this!
  • Vanilla extract. For that classic vanilla flavor!
ingredients for vegan vanilla mug cake - flour, baking powder, non-dairy milk, vanilla extract, salt, oil, sugar

Optional Topping Ideas:

  • Non-dairy whipped cream
  • Sprinkles
  • Dark chocolate chips, chunks, or shavings
  • Fresh fruit
  • Chocolate syrup or sauce
  • Cinnamon or cinnamon & sugar
  • Plant-based Ice cream or yogurt
  • Peanut butter or other nut butter

Vegan Vanilla Mug Cake Tips and Tricks

Add the Dry Ingredients First

Start by adding the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt to a standard 8- or 10-ounce mug. Avoid using a super tall and thin mug, as that may alter microwave time.

This is a great opportunity to get any lumps out of the sugar and flour. I like to use a fork to mix all the dry ingredients together, working to start with a smooth foundation for the batter.

Adding sugar to mug to make vegan vanilla cake

Add Your Wet Ingredients Next

Once you’ve combined all of your dry ingredients, add the oil, milk, and vanilla extract. Use the fork again to combine.

Adding oil to a mug to make a Vegan Vanilla Mug Cake

Make Sure Your Batter Is Smooth

Make sure to scrape the sides with the fork, so that all of the dry ingredients are thoroughly mixed in. Your batter should be pretty loose, almost like pancake batter.

Vegan Vanilla Mug Cake Ready for the Microwave

Microwave, Then Let it Sit

Microwave your single-serving vegan vanilla cake on high for 90 seconds. Then, leave it in the microwave for another minute to continue to cook.

If you take it out of the microwave and you notice it looks a little underdone in the center, you can microwave it again for an additional 10-20 seconds on high. Or you can choose to leave it slightly underdone for a super moist texture.

It’s always better to undercook than overcook when it comes to microwave cakes. Overcooking a mug cake tends to give it an almost “spongey” texture.

Green tip: Organic farms rely on biodiversity to generate rich soil, avoiding the use of pesticides and fertilizers, which means no toxic runoff. Consider organic ingredients for this mug cake!

Microwave Times May Vary

Every microwave is a little different. My microwave is 900 watts, and on high, this vegan vanilla mug cake is perfect after 90 seconds of heating and 1 minute of sitting in there.

The average microwave is between 600-1200 watts. If you already know your microwave is 600 watts, you will probably need an extra 10 seconds. However, if you know your microwave is 1200 watts, start with 80 seconds.

If you’re not so sure about your microwave wattage, stick with 90 seconds. It will be safe to eat and totally delicious either way. Just make yourself a note for next time if you feel it was slightly over or under cooked.

Additionally, if you’re making more than one mug cake, it’s best to microwave them each separately.

Alternatively, you can bake this mug cake in the oven. Just make sure your mug is oven-safe. Place your oven-safe mug on a baking sheet and bake it at 350°F on the top rack for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.

Vegan Vanilla Mug Cake with Whipped Cream and Sprinkles

Properly Storing Leftover Vanilla Mug Cake

This vegan mug dessert is single serving, and intended to enjoy right after microwaving when it will taste freshest. However, if you do have leftovers, cover your mug and keep it at room temperature for up to 2 days.

You can enjoy your leftovers at room temperature or reheat for up to ten seconds to give it a little warmth. Reheating for more than 10 seconds may overcook it and give you a rubbery texture.

I do not advise freezing this mug cake or placing it in the refrigerator.

If you do want to prep to have some mug cake batter on hand to make it easier for when the craving hits, the best thing to do is mix all the dry ingredients together and store it in a reusable storage bag.

Then, when you want your vegan vanilla mug cake, all you have to do is add the prepped dry ingredients to a mug and mix in the oil, milk, and vanilla extract.

Green tip: Another great way to avoid food waste is by properly storing, reheating, and enjoying leftovers!

Vanilla Vegan Mug Cake Frequently Asked Questions

What is a mug cake?

A mug cake is a miniature, single-serving cake that is cooked inside of a mug by microwaving it! It’s as quick and easy as it sounds.

Are microwave mug cakes safe?

Yes! Microwave mug cakes are totally safe to consume and easy to make! The microwave safely cooks the cake, heating the raw flour to a degree that kills and bacteria and makes it safe to eat.

Why are mug cakes chewy?

If your mug cake is chewy, it is most likely overcooked. Though microwaves can vary, typically 90 seconds in the microwave cooks this vegan vanilla mug cake perfectly!

Want to sharpen your kitchen skills?

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Why You Should Make this 2-Minute Vegan Vanilla Mug Cake

  • It’s wildly quick! Less than 5 minutes from start to finish!
  • It’s so easy! Just throw it all in a mug and microwave. This means easy clean up, too!
  • The texture! Super moist and decadent.

If you’re loving this 2-Minute Vegan Vanilla Mug Cake, check out this Carrot Mug Cake and Chocolate Oreo Mug Cake, too!

Taking a spoonful of Vegan Vanilla Mug Cake

5-Minute Vegan Vanilla Mug Cake

4.8 from 5 votes
Marley Goldin
This quick and easy single-serving Vegan Vanilla Mug Cake is moist & delicious, with very minimal prep time and cleanup!
Prep Time 3 minutes
Cook Time 2 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 1 serving


  • 8 or 10 ounce Mug


  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablepsoons granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoon unsweetened non-dairy milk
  • 2 tablespoons oil (coconut in liquid form, vegetable or canola)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • To a standard 8- or 10- ounce mug, add the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Use a fork to combine, ensuring there are no lumps.
    Dry ingredients for vegan vanilla cake in a mug
  • Next, add the oil, milk, and vanilla extract. Use the fork again to mix, ensuring you scrape off any dry ingredients that may have gotten stuck to the sides. You should have a thin, smooth batter, almost like pancake batter!
    Vegan Vanilla Mug Cake batter ready for the microwave
  • Microwave on high for 90-seconds, then allow the vegan vanilla mug cake to sit in the microwave for an additional 1 minute. If the center still seems too undercooked, you can microwave it for an additional 10-15 seconds. Enjoy!
    Just cooked Vanilla Mug Cake

Pro Tips

  • If you wish to make this mug cake in the oven rather than the microwave, make sure to use a microwave-safe mug. Place it on a baking sheet and bake it at 350°F on the top rack for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • For more single-serve, microwaveable desserts, check out this list of Easy Mug Cake Recipes!


Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Diet Vegan
Keyword 30 Minutes or Less, Microwave Cake, Mug Cake, Vanilla Mug Cake, Vegan Mug Cake
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3 thoughts on “5-Minute Vegan Vanilla Mug Cake”

    1. I’m so glad you love the flavor! Any chance your baking powder is on the older side? Most sources say that you should use baking powder within 6 months after opening it, but I find I can usually get about 8-10 months out of it before it loses its ability to elevate my baked goods.

  1. 5 stars
    Marley’s mug cakes are my vice, and this one is fabulous too. Have made several times, highly recommend!

4.80 from 5 votes (3 ratings without comment)

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