Are you looking for a chocolate cake, but don't want to wait? Just whip up a quick and easy Chocolate Microwave Mug Cake that doesn't contain eggs or milk. It's a single serving vegan mug cake made in a snap, and you don't have to heat the oven!
[November, 2021: I've reworked the recipe and updated this post. Enjoy!]
Why this recipe works
- A mug cake can be made in about 5 minutes, start to finish
- The cake is made without eggs or dairy, so it's a vegan mug cake
- You can change the flavors and toppings to your liking
Sometimes I want chocolate cake, and I want it n-o-o-o-o-o-w. Nothing fancy, no gimmicks or frills…just give me cake.
I don’t even want to wait the 35 to 40 minutes it takes to bake a cake, or have leftovers to get stale. Not even something as easy as Kahlua Cake will fit the bill. Nope, just give me a good old-fashioned single serving of chocolate cake that I can eat almost immediately and almost anywhere, and no one will get hurt.
Enter, Chocolate Microwave Mug Cake, stage left.
(Wait, did you say microwave?)
Yes, you can bake a microwave chocolate cake in a coffee mug, and in five minutes you’ll have a something ready to quell that insistent cake monster. Well, maybe add a couple of minutes to let your mug cake cool, but that’s just the time it takes to wash the one bowl you need for the batter before digging in.
This chocolate mug cake recipe uses basic ingredients that are probably in your pantry right now. Eggless and dairy-free, this vegan chocolate mug cake hits all the right notes.
You'll need the following ingredients to make this mug cake recipe:
Cocoa Powder: I've upped the ante by using dark chocolate cocoa powder. Feel free to substitute regular cocoa powder if you prefer.
Vinegar: white or apple cider vinegar. This is what reacts with the baking soda to leaven the cake. An eggless cake recipe works because the vinegar lightens the batter and the canola oil adds moisture.
Baking Soda: Reacts with the vinegar, giving the cake a light lift. Don't make the mistake of using baking powder instead - the cake won't have the loft it needs.
Espresso Powder: An optional ingredient, espresso powder also helps to give this cake an intense chocolate flavor.
Water: Boiling water is necessary to help the cocoa powder to bloom, that is, melt well into the cake batter.
See the recipe card for a full list of ingredients and measurements.
How to make a chocolate mug cake
This chocolate microwave mug cake recipe is so simple. Just measure, mix, and pour.
Step 1: Make the batter
Whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the canola oil, vinegar, and vanilla, then pour the hot water over everything and whisk until smooth (photo 1).
Step 2: Cook the cake
Pour the batter into a 10-ounce mug sprayed with baking spray, then cook in the microwave on High for 1½ to 2 minutes (photo 2).
Each microwave cooks differently, so adjust time accordingly. Be sure to watch as it bakes so it doesn’t overcook. Check your cake with a cake tester or toothpick for doneness. If it comes out clean, it's ready.
Step 3: Top the cake
You can top the cake with chocolate chips or jam while it's still warm (photo 3). Try powdered sugar, frosting or whipped cream after the cake cools (if you can wait that long). The choice is yours.
Questions asked and answered
Here are some questions that you might have...
Sure! You can experiment with flavors for the oil, keeping in mind the effect will be subtle. Different vinegars will have different acidities, so while the flavor may or may not be altered much, the amount the cake rises can be affected.
This chocolate microwave mug cake is a just a scaled down version of an Eggless Chocolate Cake, a simple yet satisfying recipe that bakes up in a 9- x 9-inch cake pan. If you want pre-portioned cake, then my One-Bowl Eggless Chocolate Cupcakes will fit the bill. Same recipe, different presentation.
Pro tip: Mug cake mix-ins and flavoring options
You can doll up your mug cake by mixing chocolate chips, jam (raspberry is my favorite), or even sprinkles into the batter before nuking it. Or you can play with toppings, like:
- Top the baked cake with chocolate chips while the cake is still warm so they get all melty
- Let the cake cool, then top it with powdered sugar, frosting, ice cream, caramel or whipped cream.
Can you make different mug cake flavors? Absolutely! Just a few alterations are needed. Here are a few examples:
- Mocha: Replace the hot water with hot coffee
- Vanilla: omit cocoa powder and increase the vanilla to 2 teaspoons
- Spice cake: omit cocoa powder and add ½ teaspoon cinnamon and ¼ teaspoon each nutmeg, cloves, and ginger
- Pumpkin: omit cocoa powder and use the spices above & add 1 tablespoon pumpkin purée
Whatever suits your fancy.
The best chocolate cake in a mug
Chocolate mug cakes are quick, easy, chocolate-y goodness that soothes that whiny child within. Usually my husband and I will share a mug. I find that half is enough to satisfy my cake cravings, but the original recipe says one serving.
I’ll leave that decision up to you.
(Table for 1, please!)
So when that irresistible urge to have cake now strikes, reach for a bowl, a whisk, and a mug.
After all, why wait?
Slainté! L’chaim! Cheers!
Remember, even though these recipes use dark chocolate, you can generally use the chocolate type of your choice: dark, semisweet, and milk chocolate. Go ahead and use your favorites! Here are a few ideas to get you started:
I hope you like this recipe! Do you have any questions I can help with? Let me know! Or, if you made the recipe, I'd love for you to leave a comment and rating. Thanks!
Chocolate Microwave Mug Cake
- 10-ounce microwave safe coffee mug
- Spray a 10-ounce (or larger) coffee mug with baking spray and set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the canola oil, vinegar, and vanilla, then pour the hot water over everything and whisk until smooth. Pour the batter into the prepared mug.
- Place the mug in microwave and cook on HIGH for 1½ to 2 minutes, uncovered. Check your cake with a cake tester for doneness. If it comes out clean, it's ready.
- You can top the cake with chocolate chips or jam while it's still warm, or powdered sugar, frosting or whipped cream after the cake cools (if you can wait that long).
- Grab a spoon & enjoy!
- Mocha: Replace the hot water with hot coffee
- Vanilla: Omit the cocoa powder and increase the vanilla to 2 teaspoons
- Spice cake: Omit the cocoa powder and add ½ teaspoon cinnamon and ¼ teaspoon each nutmeg, cloves, and ginger
- Pumpkin: Omit cocoa powder and add 1 tablespoon pumpkin purée along with ½ teaspoon cinnamon and ¼ teaspoon each nutmeg, cloves, and ginger