This delectably cinnamon-swirled and crumble-topped Coffee Cake Mug Cake recipe is the single-serving dessert equivalent of “me time.” Made with just 7 simple ingredients and 2 minutes in the microwave, this indulgent little breakfast coffee cake in a mug is the sweetest, coziest way to start or end your day — without any fuss!
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About this mug coffee cake
Close your eyes and imagine a tender coffee cake, swirled with cinnamon sugar, dotted with cinnamon chips, and topped with a cinnamon streusel crumb topping. The cozy aroma of cinnamon sweetness permeates your kitchen, mere minutes after you start your dessert-making endeavor.
You take a deep breath, grateful for the warmth from the mug that brings comfort to your chilled hands. A contented sigh escapes your lips as you take the first sweetly spiced bite. This, my friends, is what you can expect from my mug coffee cake. As if that weren’t enough to sell you on this magnificently simple treat, this recipe is also:
- Stupid Simple – Simply mix, microwave, and BOOM! Homemade coffee cake in a mug is born. All you need is a coffee mug, a fork, and a microwave.
- Made With Pantry Staples – Nothing fancy to see here, folks. All you need is a bit of milk and butter, then just a handful of baking basics.
- Easily Adaptable – Need to go dairy-free or gluten-free? I gotchu. Wanna step things up a notch with a vanilla icing drizzle? Let’s do it! Read on below for more fun ideas.
- Egg-Free – Whether you’re allergic or just allergic to the avian flu-inflated egg prices, not to worry. This coffee mug cake doesn’t require them.
Ingredients for coffee cake mug cake
As promised, there are plenty of ways for you to zhuzh this coffee cake microwave mug cake recipe to fit your dietary needs and preferences. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- All-Purpose Flour – Regular white flour is all you need to make this truffle-like treat.
- Substitutions: Feel free to swap in cake flour if that’s what you have on hand. Or, use a 1:1 gluten-free flour mix if you need.
- Light Brown Sugar – Make sure you pack the sugar when measuring. You can use dark brown sugar if that’s all you have.
- Ground Cinnamon – For that classic cozy and inviting flavor.
- Baking Powder – For leavening.
- Kosher Salt – Even sweet things need a touch of salt!
- Whole Milk – Full-fat dairy for the best flavor.
- Substitutions: You can also use half and half for a richer cake. In a pinch, try using 2%, but I don’t suggest going any lower.
- Unsalted Butter – Make sure you melt and cool it before mixing it into your coffee cake batter.
- Substitution: Any neutral-flavored oil (e.g. vegetable, corn, canola, peanut, grapeseed, avocado) will also work.
- Vanilla Extract – Just half a teaspoon for depth of flavor.
- Substitutions: Feel free to play around here! Almond extract would be lovely, or you can lean more into the coconut flavor with half as much coconut extract. Adding a splash of imitation butter extract or coffee extract will it more gusto.
- Cinnamon Chips – I personally prefer mini cinnamon chips, but whatever you can find works great.
- Substitutions: Swap in chocolate, white chocolate, butterscotch, caramel baking chips.
- Cinnamon Sugar – While a generous swirl of cozy, sweet cinnamon sugar is entirely optional, I highly recommend it.
Looking to make a few changes to this sweet treat? No problem:
- Dairy-Free/Vegan – Swap in your favorite plant-based milk substitute to make this mug coffee cake recipe suitable for a vegan diet.
- Gluten-Free – Just use your favorite cup-for-cup, all-purpose gluten-free flour mix. Make sure to let the batter rest for about 30 minutes before zapping it though, or you risk a gritty consistency.
- Sugar-Free – To make a diabetic-friendly version, swap in your favorite cup-for-cup sugar replacement (e.g. monkfruit, stevia, or erythritol).
- Higher Fiber – Get a little dose of whole grain goodness by swapping in white whole wheat pastry flour.
- Spice it Up! – While cinnamon is a classic coffee cake spice, have fun experimenting with other warming spices like pumpkin pie spice, ginger, cardamom, and nutmeg.
- Swap Your Mix-Ins – Don’t have cinnamon chips on hand? Try chopped and toasted nuts or mini chocolate chips instead!
How to make cake in a coffee mug
Making this microwave coffee mug cake recipe is a total cinch. Here’s how it’s done:
- Make Crumb Topping: In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients for the streusel topping. Season with a pinch of salt and then use a fork to mix the ingredients together until small crumbs form. Then, set the crumb topping aside.
- Mix Dry Ingredients: To a microwave-safe coffee mug or cup, add the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Use a small whisk to mix the dry ingredients together. Next, make a small well in the center of the dry ingredients.
- Add Wet Ingredients: To the well in the coffee mug, add the milk, melted butter, and vanilla. Next, use a small whisk or fork and stir the ingredients together until JUST combined.
- Add the Cinnamon Sugar Swirl: Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar all over the top of the raw coffee mug cake. Then, use a toothpick or small knife to lightly swirl the cinnamon sugar into the cake batter.
- Short Microwave Burst: Place the mug cake into the microwave and microwave on high power for 30 seconds.
- Add the Cinnamon Chips, Short Microwave Burst: Scatter the cinnamon chips all over the top of the raw cake in a mug. Then, return the mug cake to the microwave and nuke on high for 30 seconds.
- Add Crumb Topping, Microwave Again: Finally, sprinkle all but 1 tablespoon of the crumb topping all over the top of the batter. Return the mug coffee cake to the microwave and heat for 1 minute to 1:30 minutes, or until the coffee cake rises, the center is mostly firm, and the cake starts to pull away from the sides of the mug.
- Garnish and Serve: Let the coffee mug cake cool on the counter for at least 1 minute before topping with the remaining crumbles, cinnamon sugar, drizzling with icing or dessert sauces, and a dolloping with whipped cream, if using. Enjoy warm or at room temperature.
Expert tips for the best coffee mug cake in microwave
- If your crumble topping feels wet when you’re mixing it up, sprinkle a little flour over the crumbs and mix again. Be careful though, you don’t want to add too much flour or you’ll be able to taste it. Work in ¼ teaspoon increments until you achieve the right texture.
- Don’t overmix the batter. Just like regular cakes and bakes, you don’t want to overmix. Stirring too much can cause an overproduction of gluten, which will result in a tough coffee mug coffee cake. Stop right when no streaks of flour remain.
- Unlike your bae, you want your cake in a coffee mug to pull away — not from you, but from the sides of your mug. That’s an indication that you’ve cooked it enough! If your mug cake is still raw after cooking as instructed in the recipe card, return it to the microwave and heat in short 15-second bursts.)
- Use a large, microwaveable container. It doesn’t have to be a mug, it just needs to be large enough for the cup coffee cake batter to fill the container about halfway.
FAQs: frequently asked questions
Why is coffee cake called coffee cake? What makes a coffee cake a coffee cake?
Wondering why it’s called “coffee cake” even though it doesn’t usually contain a single coffee bean? Well, it’s because this delightful cake is like a best buddy to coffee. It’s named after its perfect pairing rather than its ingredients. Imagine a dynamic duo like Batman and Robin, but for breakfast. The cake is typically sweet, tender, and topped with a yummy crumble, making it the ideal sidekick for your cup of joe.
A classic coffee cake often has a tender crumb, a gloriously crumbly and buttery streusel topping (sometimes both on top and in the middle for that extra surprise!), and occasionally a drizzle of sweet icing.
Is coffee cake for breakfast?
Absolutely! It’s a popular morning treat, especially with a hot cup of coffee (of course). But hey, no one’s stopping you from enjoying it any time of the day. Midnight snack, anyone? Just remember to pair it with some herbal tea so you’re not up all night. 😉
Can mug cake be made in an oven?
Sure, why not? While I love making coffee mug cakes in a microwave, you can totally bake them in an oven. Just transfer your batter to an oven-safe ramekin and bake at around 350°F (175°C) for several minutes longer than the microwave time. Keep an eye on it, though – nobody wants a burnt cake!
How thick should mug cake batter be?
Think Goldilocks — not too thick, not too thin, but just right. It should look like a normal cake batter, pourable without being too liquidy.
Why is my mug cake rubbery?
Oooops! If your mug cake is turning out more like a bouncy ball than a fluffy cloud, it’s likely overcooked. Microwave power levels vary, so it might take less time than you think. Also, don’t go overboard with the stirring; a few lumps are perfectly fine. Overmixing can cause a tough texture from the overdevelopment of gluten, so use a light hand.
Serving coffee cake in a mug
- Ice Cream Top Hat: A scoop of my blueberry cinnamon ice cream takes your coffee cake from darn good to a mini party in a mug. The ice cream melts into the warm cake, creating a creamy, dreamy combo.
- Berry Bonanza: Toss a handful of fresh or frozen macerated berries (think raspberries, blueberries, strawberries – the more, the merrier) on top of your mug cake. The tartness of the berries pairs amazingly with the sweetness of the cake, plus it gives you a little nutritive boost.
- Nutty Buddy: Sprinkle a mix of chopped nuts (almonds, candy walnuts, pecans, you name it) on top for a crunchy surprise. It’s like your cake is making friends with a bunch of nuts. Extra points for toasting the nuts first for that warm, nutty aroma!
- Whipped Cream Wonderland: A dollop of whipped cream on top of any cake can never go wrong. You can even get fancy and sprinkle a bit of cinnamon or cocoa powder on top for a chic, cafe-style look. For a healthier take, whipped Greek yogurt is also delightful.
- Mascarpone Magic: A scoop of lightly sweetened whipped mascarpone cheese on top adds a luxurious, creamy texture. It’s like your mug cake is getting a VIP creamy treatment. Sophisticated and simple!
- Super Sweet Cocktail Hour: At the end of a long work-week, there’s nothing like pairing this cozy coffee cake in a cup with an indulgent cocktail like my Sugar Cookie Martini Cocktail or Bailey’s Chocolate Martini. Happy Hour for one, please!
- Cozy Drinks: If you’re looking for a cozy, warming drink, hot chocolate white or decadent hot chocolate are the ideal pairing..
Storing microwave coffee mug cake
The whole idea of making a coffee cake in a mug is that there will be no leftovers — it’s intended as a single serving (or a modest serving for two)! That said, feel free to cover your mug cake and leave the leftovers on the counter for later. Honestly, I usually make two coffee mug cakes at a time, because I actually really love this cake warm and at room temperature. Just make sure you eat the coffee cup cake within 3 days for the best results.
To reheat, if you decided to store leftover cake in the fridge, you may want to transfer the leftovers to another container in order to prevent your mug from cracking due to a severe temperature shift. However, if you left it at room temp. – you’re fine to reheat in the same coffee mug.
Room temperature – Start with 10 seconds in the microwave.
Fridge storage – I’d say start with about 30 seconds to take the chill off. Make sure you don’t go overboard or the molten lava center will just become regular cake.
And that’s a wrap on our sweet, speedy, and cinnamon-spiced journey through the land of Coffee Cake Mug Cake! From the first sprinkle of cinnamon to the last ‘ding’, this delightful little treat proves that great things truly do come in small packages. A dash of cinnamon, a spoonful of love, and a couple of minutes are all you need to whip up magic, and you, my friends, are no muggles in the kitchen. Until next time, keep calm and mug cake on!
More coffee mug cakes!
More coffee cake recipes!
How to make the best coffee mug coffee cake 👇
Coffee Cake Mug Cake
- 1 Small Bowl (for crumb topping)
- 1 14-to-16-ounce Microwavable Mug or Cup, Soup Bowl or Small Bowl (for microwaving the mug cake)
- 1 Whisk
Coffee Mug Cake
- ¼ Cup + 1 teaspoon All Purpose Flour – spooned and leveled (33 grams)
- 2 TBS Light Brown Sugar – packed (24 grams)
- Heaping ¼ tsp Ground Cinnamon
- ¼ tsp Baking Powder
- ¼ tsp Kosher Salt
- ¼ Cup Whole Milk (sub: half-and-half)
- 1 ½ TBS Unsalted Butter – melted and cooled
- ½ tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
- (OPTIONAL) 2 teaspoons Cinnamon Sugar (SEE NOTES)
- (OPTIONAL) 1 tablespoon Mini Cinnamon Chips
Cinnamon Crumb Topping:
- Make Crumb Topping: In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients for the streusel topping. Season with a pinch of salt and then use a fork to mix the ingredients together until small crumbs form. Set the crumb topping aside. (Tip: If you crumble topping feels wet, sprinkle a little flour over the crumbs and mix again. Be careful though, you don’t want to add too much flour or you’ll be able to taste it.)
- Mix Dry Ingredients: To a 14 to 16-ounce microwave-safe mug, soup bowl, or small bowl, add the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Use a small whisk or fork to thoroughly mix the dry ingredients together. Make a small well in the center of the dry ingredients.
- Add Wet Ingredients: To the well in the coffee mug, add the milk, melted and cooled butter, and vanilla extract. Use a small whisk or fork and stir the ingredients together until JUST combined.
- Add the Cinnamon Sugar Swirl: Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar all over the top of the raw coffee mug cake. Then use a toothpick or small knife to lightly swirl the cinnamon sugar into the cake batter.Short Microwave Burst: Place the mug cake into the microwave and microwave on HIGH power for 30 seconds. Carefully remove the mug cake from the microwave.
- Add the Cinnamon Chips: Scatter the cinnamon chips all over the top of the raw mug cake. Short Microwave Burst: Return the mug cake to the microwave and nuke on HIGH for 30 seconds. Carefully remove the mug cake from the microwave.
- Add Crumb Topping, Microwave Again: Finally, sprinkle all but 1 tablespoon of the crumb topping all over the top of the partially cooked coffee mug cake. Return the mug cake to the microwave and continue heating for 1 minute to 1:30 minutes, or until the coffee cake rises, the center is mostly firm, and the cake starts to pull away from the sides of the mug. (Tip: If your cake is still raw, return it to the microwave and heat in short 15 seconds bursts.)
- Garnish and Serve: Let the mug cake cool on the counter for at least 1 minute before topping with the remaining crumbles, cinnamon sugar, drizzling with icing or dessert sauces, and a dolloping with whipped cream, if using. Enjoy warm or at room temperature.
- Removing Coffee Cake from Mug: Mug cakes are typically served inside the coffee mug. However, if you want to serve the cake outside the mug - make sure you spray the insides of the coffee mug generously with non-stick cooking spray before making the coffee cake. Once your cake is fully cooked and cooled, grab a thin knife and run it all along the outside of the cake in the mug. Then, turn the mug over to release the coffee cake from the coffee mug.
- Cinnamon Sugar: Mix 1 tablespoon of granulated white sugar with ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon.
- Vanilla Icing: Mix ¼ cup of confectioner’s sugar (powdered sugar) with a scant tablespoon of milk, and 1/8 teaspoon pure vanilla extract. This with more milk, ½ teaspoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached.
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