This vegan chocolate mug cake is so easy to make! Made without eggs, you can enjoy this simple dessert in minutes served up perfectly for one or two (if you want to share it). It’s perfect for those late-night cravings when you want a quick and easy dessert. Another version of a mug cake is the vegan lava cake, which can also be cooked in mugs.
But there are times when we’re ready for a quick weeknight dessert. This vegan mug cake is a perfect go-to cake for comfy weeknights.
Did you know you can even make a “cake in a mug” from an underbaked cake? No need to throw out a rogue cake. Salvage every last bite!
Why This Recipe is a Winner
- This recipe is perfectly portioned for one or two cakes
- Because it’s cooked in the microwave, these cakes are ready in minutes, from start to finish.
- Adding your favorite toppings, like chocolate chips or whipped cream, makes these cakes even more enjoyable!
What You Need
You can find the full printable recipe, including ingredient quantities, below. But first, here are some explanations of ingredients and steps to help you make this recipe perfect every time.
- Lemon — We’ll use both the zest and the juice of the lemon.
- Oats — I used rolled oats for this recipe, but you can substitute instant oats.
- Chia — We’ll add some ground chia seeds to create a thicker texture. You can use whole chia seeds; I just prefer ground because it creates a smoother finished texture.
- Syrup — I used maple syrup, but you can substitute agave nectar.
- Milk — We’ll use almond milk for the best overnight oats! Substitute your favorite plant-based milk.
- Yogurt — I love adding some plant-based yogurt (plain, unsweetened) for an even more tangy flavor.
- Protein Powder — I add some vanilla protein powder for increased flavor and nutrients. If your protein powder is not sweetened, you may want to add an extra teaspoon or two of sweetener.
- Cornstarch — We’ll use cornstarch to thicken the lemon curd topping.
- Turmeric — A pinch of turmeric makes that lemon curd sunny yellow.
- Flour — You can use all-purpose flour, whole wheat pastry flour, or 1:1 gluten-free baking flour.
- Granulated sugar — I typically use granulated sugar, but I have also used dates. To do that, substitute up to 1/2 cup of Medjool dates (pits removed) and pulse it with the oil and water in a food processor until smooth).
- Almond Meal — This ingredient is optional, but I find it to be the secret to creating a moist mug cake. You can use either Almond Meal or Almond Flour for this recipe.
- Cocoa powder — I prefer using natural cocoa powder.
- Baking powder — Make sure yours is fresh by testing a bit of with hot water. If it bubbles, your batch is good.
- Vegetable oil — Just about any vegetable oil should do here such as canola, melted coconut oil, or even melted vegan butter.
- Apple cider vinegar — You can substitute white vinegar or even lemon juice.
- Toppings — Add your favorite toppings such as vegan chocolate syrup, vegan chocolate chips, or coconut whipped cream.
What Flour Works Best for Mug Cakes?
The most typical flour used for cakes cooked in a mug is all-purpose flour. It’s best for creating delicious, tender cakes with sturdiness to their structure, which is what we prefer in microwave mug cakes. Alternatively, you can use whole wheat pastry flour, which is not the same as whole wheat flour. Whole wheat pastry flour is made from a different type of wheat berry, so although it’s a whole grain, it has a lighter texture, similar to all-purpose flour. You can make a gluten-free mug cake by using high-quality gluten-free flour.
How to Make Vegan Mug Cake
- Stir together the dry ingredients from the flour to the salt.
- Mix the wet ingredients, including the water, oil, vanilla, and vinegar.
- Stir the wet ingredients with the flour mixture until fully combined.
- Spoon the batter into the mug (or mugs).
- Place mugs in the microwave and cook for 60 to 90 seconds until the center of the cake is set.
- Let the mug sit in the microwave for a minute or two to cool.
- Serve warm with your favorite toppings.
Here are more detailed instructions with step-by-step photos:
Step One: Combine Dry Ingredients
Combine the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Whisk it together so it’s combined.
Step Two: Make the Batter
- Create a well in the middle of the flour mixture.
- Stir together the water, oil, vanilla, and vinegar in a separate bowl.
- Pour the water mixture into the flour mixture until fully combined and no large lumps of flour are visible.
Step Three: Pour Into Mugs and Cook
- Spoon the batter into the mug (or mugs) and add the chocolate chips on top.
- Place it in the microwave and microwave for 60 to 90 seconds, until the center of the cake is set.
- Let the mug sit in the microwave for a minute or two to cool.
- Serve the cake as is or add a dollop of shipped cream and a drizzle of chocolate syrup.
What Coffee Mugs Are Best for Mug Cake?
The best mugs for mug cakes are microwave-safe ceramic mugs. There are a variety of sizes of mugs. You can use a 12-ounce or larger mug to make this into a single mug cake (be sure to place a plate below it to catch any overflow). To make two mug cakes, use smaller mugs (such as 8 to 10-ounce mugs) or portion the batter into two larger mugs with the realization they won’t cook up to the top of the mug.
Microwave Timing for Mug Cakes
The power of your microwave has a big impact on the amount of cooking time required for your mug cakes. Most microwaves fall between 800 and 1200 watts. Here’s how to understand how to make this cake based on your microwave:
- Cook for 60 Seconds — Most cakes will be done at this point, especially if your microwave falls within the average 800 to 1200 watts.
- Check for Doneness — If your cake has a little dome or you can press your finger gently on the top and it springs back, your cake is done.
- If you need to Cook it Some More — If your cake is not quite done yet, cook if for 15 seconds. Check it again and repeat until it’s done.
Can you make a vegan vanilla mug cake?
You can easily make a vegan vanilla mug cake by leaving out the cocoa powder and substituting an additional tablespoon of flour. I usually add a teaspoon or two of vanilla extract as well. The results are truly delicious!
What is vegan mug cake?
A vegan or dairy-free mug cake is made without eggs or dairy in a coffee mug. It’s usually a one or two-serving recipe that’s made in a matter of minutes in the microwave. You can serve them with or without frosting.
Does a microwave mug cake taste like a normal cake?
Most mug cakes are made in the microwave and taste just like a single serving of cake, especially if you put toppings like frosting on top.
Serve this vegan mug cake with your favorite toppings, such as:
- Coconut Whipped Cream
- Vegan Ganache
- Peanut Butter — Drizzle some peanut butter over the top while the mug cake is still warm.
- Vegan Chocolate Syrup
- Strawberry Puree
- Vegan Chocolate Ice Cream
- Chickpea Cookie Dough — I love adding a bit of this as “frosting” on top of my mug cakes.
- Vegan Caramel
- Dairy-Free Chocolate Chips
- Vegan Chocolate Frosting
To store leftovers, cover the mug (or mugs) with waxed paper or foil and store the mug in the fridge. Stored properly, these cakes will keep up to 7 days in the fridge.
Vegan Mug Cake
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup granulated sugar (substitute brown sugar)
- 1 tablespoon almond meal (substitute almond flour)
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- pinch salt (optional)
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (canola or melted coconut oil)
- ¼ cup water
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- Toppings: Chocolate chips, peanut butter, almond butter, etc.
- Prepare two smaller mugs or one 12-ounce mug by greasing the inside. You can use vegetable spray, vegetable shortening, or melted coconut oil.
- Combine the dry ingredients from the flour to the salt in a bowl and stir to combine.
- Mix together the wet ingredients, including the water, oil, vanilla, and vinegar. Pour it into the flour mixture and stir until fully combined and no large lumps of flour are visible.
- Single Mug: Spoon the batter into the mug and place it on a plate in the microwave. Add toppings if using, like chocolate chips.Cook for 60 to 90 seconds (depending on your microwave), until the center of the cake is set.
- Two Mugs: Spoon the batter into two mugs. Place them in the microwave (no need to add a plate as these don't usually cook over). Add toppings if using. Cook for around 60 to 90 seconds, until the center of the cakes are set.
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- Cook for 60 Seconds — Many mug cakes will be done at this point, especially if your microwave falls within the average 800 to 1200 watts.
- Check for Doneness — If your cake has a little dome, or you can press your finger gently on the top and it springs back, your mug cake is done.
- If you need to Cook it Some More — If your mug cake is not quite done yet, cook it for 15 more seconds. Check it again and repeat until it’s done.
The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.