Vegan vanilla mug cake is light and fluffy and whole-food plant-based! It uses a handful of pantry ingredients, and takes only 3 minutes from start to finish!
When your sweet tooth needs quenching, look no further than this super easy vegan mug cake! Usually, I’m all about everything chocolate. My vegan mug brownie is a regular favorite in our house, and we love a good chocolate mug cake. But not everyone is as big of a chocolate fan as I am.
In the fall we enjoy this super simple pumpkin mug cake, but vanilla has its place too. It’s naturally sweet with a hint of smoke. The aroma of a vanilla cake baking in the oven floods the house with a pleasantly sweet aroma.
This week my kids were extra well-behaved! I know! Lucky mama! They did their homework each night without complaint, helped with the chores, and didn’t argue or fight with one another. Just before I was going to pick them up from school I decided to surprise them with a special after-school treat!
Since I didn’t have a ton of time, prepping and baking a whole vegan cake recipe was out of the question. Not to mention I didn’t want a whole cake lingering in the house for us to destroy throughout the next few days.
This easy vegan dessert seemed like the best solution!
This vanilla mug cake recipe is vegan, made with white whole wheat flour for extra fiber, and sweetened with coconut sugar. It’s also oil-free, using unsweetened applesauce to bind the ingredients together.
I topped it with coconut whipped cream, fresh strawberries, and colorful vegan sprinkles!
When my kids came home and I told them I had a special treat for them, their eyes lit up! That mug cake disappeared in minutes!
What is a mug cake?
Mug cake recipes are a single serving cake prepared directly in a mug or small bowl and microwaved to bake and rise. It’s a popular recipe because it’s so quick and easy. You don’t need to warm the oven. You only need a small mug or microwave-safe bowl. All the ingredients are mixed together directly in the bowl, so there’s no mixing bowl needed, and you can make a cake for one! No need to bake a whole cake when you just want a small slice!
Why This Recipe Works
- Light, moist and fluffy texture
- Simple Ingredients
- 3 minutes start to finish
- Perfect dessert for one
- Healthy whole food ingredients
- Refined sugar free
- Vegan and Dairy-Free
Main Ingredients and Notes
White Whole Wheat Flour: Higher in nutritional value, white whole wheat flour is made from 100% whole wheat. It has a lighter color, texture, and flavor than whole wheat flour making it an excellent flour to use in baked goods.
Baking Powder and Salt: The baking powder and salt allow the cake to rise. Make sure to use fresh and active baking powder. If your baking powder has been in your pantry for a while, it will lose its potency.
Coconut Sugar: An excellent alternative to white sugar, coconut sugar is vegan, whereas table sugar often is not. It’s also less refined than regular sugar. The nutritional content and calories however are the same. If you don’t have coconut sugar you can use maple syrup.
Coconut Milk: Extra creamy, coconut milk adds some needed fat to this recipe that helps to give it moisture. I recommend using full-fat coconut milk. However, if you don’t have coconut milk you can use any plant milk such as almond milk.
Vanilla Extract: Be sure to use a high-quality vanilla extract. This is what gives the cake the vanilla flavor.
Applesauce: Instead of using oil or vegan butter, applesauce provides moisture and helps to bind the ingredients together. Alternatively, you can use melted coconut oil in its place.
Scroll to the bottom of the post to the recipe card for complete measurements and instructions.
Tools and Equipment
Microwave: You will need to set your microwave to high power. If your microwave isn’t quite powerful enough, you may need to increase the cooking time by 20 seconds until fully baked. A microwave of 800 watts is best!
Mug or Small Ramekin: When you choose a mug or small bowl, be sure it is large enough so that when the cake rises it doesn’t overflow. A normal size coffee mug will work just fine. A small teacup will be too small. Use a mug that is at least 3 inches in diameter and 2 inches tall. Also, be sure that your bowl or mug is microwave safe.
Measuring Spoons: The only additional equipment you’ll need is measuring spoons to measure your ingredients. Since the ingredients are small in quantity you don’t need measuring cups.
Step 1: Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and coconut sugar in a mug or small bowl that’s at least 3 inches in diameter and 2 inches tall.
Step 2: Add the coconut milk, vanilla extract, and applesauce. Stir together until combined. Smooth out the top.
Step 3: Place in your microwave on high power for 90 seconds.
Step 4: Allow it to cool for a few minutes. Top with your favorite toppings such as coconut whipped cream, and vegan sprinkles.
Using white whole wheat flour increases the fiber and nutritional content. This cake substitutes oil for applesauce which reduces the fat and calories. Coconut milk is high in fat and calories, however, the fat in coconut milk is monounsaturated fat which has known health benefits such as lowering the risk of heart disease, and helping keep blood sugar under control which reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes. This mug cake is under 300 calories.
Yes, it is totally fine to bake this vegan mug cake recipe in the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 F, and bake for 10-12 minutes.
- Combine the dry ingredients first. Then add the wet ingredients.
- Make sure that the mug is microwave safe.
- It’s best to use an 800 watt microwave.
- Microwave on high. Start at 90 seconds. If your microwave is a lower wattage you will need to increase to cook time by 20 seconds.
- If you don’t finish your mug cake, cover, and keep it at room temperature for up to 2 days.
Want to add a flavorful spin to this recipe? It’s super easy by adding your favorite mix-ins.
- Make a Funfetti Mug Cake by adding 2 teaspoons of vegan sprinkles.
- Make it a vanilla chocolate chip mug cake by stirring in 2 teaspoons of vegan mini chocolate chips.
- Give it a banana flavor by subbing the applesauce for banana puree. Top with banana slices.
How to Serve
- Coconut Whipped Cream
- Fresh Berries
- Dairy-Free Chocolate Chips
- Vegan Sprinkles
- Vegan Buttercream Frosting
Make it Gluten-Free
This recipe can easily be made gluten-free. Simply substitute the white whole wheat flour with gluten-free baking flour. I recommend using a 1:1 gluten-free flour or oat flour.
More vegan baking recipes!
Vegan Vanilla Mug Cake
- 4 tablespoon white whole wheat flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoon coconut sugar
- 3 tablespoon coconut milk or other plant milk
- 1 tablespoon applesauce
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Whisk together flour, baking powder , salt, and coconut sugar in a mug or small bowl that's at least 3 inches in diameter and 2 inches tall.
- Add the coconut milk, vanilla extract, and applesauce. Stir together until combined. Smooth out the top.
- Place in your microwave on high power for 90 seconds.
- Allow to cool a few minutes, top with your favorite topping such as coconut whipped cream, and vegan sprinkles.