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Easy 3-Ingredient Mug Cake

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.

Mug cake with whipped cream and cherry on top

Some people call this a cake mix mug cake. Other names it goes by are mug cakes without egg and microwave mug cake. Regardless of what you call it, you’ll love it and want to make it often.

Basically, mug cakes are the ideal dessert after any meal, including this Mediterranean salad or this ground beef stroganoff.

If you want a dessert for two people, and you don’t want a lot of leftovers, mug cakes are perfect. In fact, it can be quite romantic if that’s what you’re looking for.

It’s also a delicious snack when you’re craving something sweet but want to control your portion. If you’re trying to control your fat intake, you’ll be happy to know that you make a mug cake with no oil.

Individual Mug Cake – Made to Order

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. We both like all flavors, but most of the time we don’t want the exact same thing.

A few nights ago, my husband wanted a strawberry cake, but I wanted something different. Most of the time we’re both onboard with chocolate.

Since you make one serving at a time, it’s made to order. You can have a vanilla, fruit-flavored, or chocolate mug cake. Or you can make this peanut butter mug cake that’s a little bit different and just as good. There’s no flour in it, so it’s a naturally gluten-free dessert.

Do you like coffee flavored desserts? You can add a little bit of strong coffee (instead of water) to your mug cake. Or you can just top it with coffee ice cream.

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. And it’s also quick, so no one has to wait forever.

Not only is a mug cake delicious and portion-controlled, but it also gives children a sense of accomplishment. If your children are 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 the guests can pick their favorite.

Some of the more creative kids might even want to mix flavors. It’s up to you whether or not you’ll allow that. If you do, just make sure to have extra ingredients in case their creative attempts don’t work out.

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.

Easy mug cake with 3 mug cakes

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.

Here are the 3 basic ingredients you’ll need for your mug cake:

  • Cake mix
  • Applesauce (or vanilla yogurt)
  • Water

Some optional ingredients are fruit preserves, nuts, chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, or peanut butter chips.

For exact measurements of each ingredient and full directions, go to the recipe card at the bottom of the page. You can even print out the card by using the “print” button.

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.

2 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

Next, add the water.

Spoon of water

Afterward, put the applesauce in and stir it well. You can use yogurt instead, and the results are pretty much the same.

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

I made mine with apricot preserves.

It took a few minutes to decide between this and peach, but the apricot won out … this time.

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

Strawberry preserves on top of cooked mug cake

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

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

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

Add the water. Next add some applesauce.

For extra chocolaty goodness, stir some chocolate chips into the mix.

Small bowl of chocolate chips

Then put a few more chocolate chips on top.

Melted chocolate chips added to the top of a 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

You’ll love the flexibility you have with these mug cakes because you can choose whatever flavor you’re in the mood for.

Mug cake with whipped cream and a cherry on top

More Dessert Recipes

If you enjoy these mug cakes, you’ll probably like these Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Cookies or these chocolate caramel pecan bars. When we have the ingredients, we enjoy this rice cooker pineapple upside-down cake.

Since you’re here checking out this mug cake recipe, I think you’ll like this granola fruit crisp and these coconut macaroons.

People who like the combination of chocolate and mint love these delicious mint chocolate brownies. They’re easy to make but taste like something that came from a bakery.

For the perfect blend of sweet and tart, try these 3-ingredient lemon bars. They are totally yum!

When you’re pressed for time, but you need a dessert quickly, make this amazingly easy and delicious pineapple dump cake. We like it topped with ice cream, but it’s good with whipped cream or nothing at all.

Strawberry mug cake with whipped cream and a cherry

Basic Mug Cake Recipe

Yield: 1 mug cake
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Active Time: 1 minute
Total Time: 6 minutes

Mug cakes are easy-to-make desserts that enable each person to enjoy his or her favorite flavor.


  • 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
Yield 1 Serving Size 1 mug cake
Amount Per Serving Calories 200Total Fat 2gSaturated Fat 1gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 0gCholesterol 0mgSodium 331mgCarbohydrates 45gFiber 1gSugar 26gProtein 2g

The nutrition information is a product of online calculators. I try to provide true and accurate information, but these numbers are estimates.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

See this recipe shared at Full Plate Thursday.

Please feel free to share!

Miz Helen

Tuesday 7th of April 2020

I just love a special treat just for me! Thanks so much for sharing your awesome talent with us at Full Plate Thursday,and come back to see us soon! Stay Healthy! Miz Helen

FlowerAura Cakes

Friday 18th of October 2019

I have tasted cup cake but no idea about mug cake. Now after reading this post I am sure this cake recipe is really fantastic. Thanks for sharing this great mug cake recipe.

Yukti Arora

Saturday 17th of August 2019

Wow so classy and mouth watering mug cake i loved it and please keep posting such tempting cakes because i am Lerner of making new and different cakes so i can learn more ideas through your valuable blog post.

Soooooo Cute cake.


Friday 16th of August 2019

Wow, so amazing recipe to make mug cake! I like and love it very much. Thank you so much for providing such a superb recipe to us.


Friday 16th of August 2019

I hope you enjoy it!

Supriya Kutty

Tuesday 2nd of July 2019

Looks so yum! I love love love cakes, especially cupcakes and mug-cakes they are so quick and easy to make. Your recipe is just like that simple and easy. I loved the way you have made this cake. I have tried mug-cakes but never succeeded. Now, I will try your method of making it. Thank you for sharing. Have a great day.


Tuesday 2nd of July 2019

I hope you enjoy it!

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