5-Minute Microwave Mug Cake Recipe

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Have you ever needed a last minute birthday cake? In this post I’ll show you how to make a homemade cake in the microwave– and I don’t mean a tiny, little mug cake. This is a full size, 8-inch cake made completely from scratch!

And hey– don’t knock it till you try it, because this Microwave Recipe for 5 MINUTE Birthday Cake is actual perfection.

– Ashton
cake on a white plate

Are microwave cakes good?

I was shocked that this cake was so good. I’ve always felt like mug cakes were just okay, maybe good. But never GREAT. Which is how I would describe this one.

This cake has a tender crumb and is perfectly moist without being soggy.  I attribute that to the use of sour cream. The sour cream takes the place of eggs in a normal cake recipe, which keeps the texture from being dense and rubbery. And it also replaces the moisture and binding properties lost by omitting the eggs.

Win-win!

I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised if you give this recipe a try.

If you like hurry-up cakes, try my Doctored Up Cake Mix recipe. So delicious!

FAQ: Microwave Cakes

How do I bake a cake in the microwave without a convection oven?

It’s a common myth that you can’t bake a cake using a non-convection microwave oven. It really just comes down to having a microwave-safe pan, and that’s easy peasy!

How much time does it take to bake a cake in the microwave?

My cake was perfectly done after exactly 5 minutes when baked at 100% power in a silicone cake pan. The cooking time may vary based on the type of cake pan you use and your microwave.

Generally speaking, a cake should take between 5-8 minutes. And a toothpick inserted should come out clean.

Do microwaves cook unevenly?

Yes, microwaves do cook unevenly so it is important to mix your batter well before cooking and to take the mug cake out of the microwave after 30 seconds.

Cake with custom serving utensil

How are mug cakes different from layered cake?

There’s a big difference between a microwaved mug cake and a layered cake. But perhaps the biggest difference is that mug cakes are cooked in a microwave oven, whereas layered cakes are baked in an oven.

In terms of texture, just think about using your microwave to quickly dry your hair – it doesn’t get as hot as the average blow dryer, and the end result is definitely not anything like you would get at a professional stylist.

5-minute Microwave Cake Recipe

The same goes for mug cakes vs. layered cakes. Microwaved mug cakes are quick, easy, and quite delicious; but they aren’t going to come remotely close to tasting like their oven-baked counterparts.

What are the best ingredients to use for a microwaveable cake?

The best ingredients to use are the ones with the highest moisture content, for example, cream cheese.

5-minute Microwave Cake Recipe

Who created the first microwave mug cake?

I did some digging and found this excerpt:

“In 1987, General Mills marketing executive Dan Jansen had just gotten out of the hospital after being diagnosed with AIDS, and he needed some way to restore some of the weight he had lost. He worked with a company called Pillsbury and was able to create a microwavable cake mix that could be made in just two minutes.

“After Jansen died, General Mills continued to market this product, which it called the Minute Maid Mug Cake. It was discontinued years ago.”

Rainbow Sprinkles

Can you put chocolate chips or nuts on top of your mug cake batter before cooking it, and will they cook too?

Yes, you can add nuts or chocolate chips to your batter before microwaving it. The cook time will be longer though because the batter is deeper and takes longer to cook. I haven’t tried this personally, but if you do try, make sure to let me know how it goes!

Nestle Toll House Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips

Why are microwave cakes rubbery?

If you are microwaving a cake that is not made out of cream cheese or which has an extremely high moisture content, then it will probably be very rubbery. This just means you’ll have to experiment with different recipes if you’re using things like pudding instead of cream cheese!

Can you microwave more than one mug cake at once?

Yes, but the cooking time may be longer as you’ll have to account for the extra volume of batter. Also, your microwave’s wattage/power will affect how fast your mug cake is cooked so keep an eye on it!

Microwave Cake Recipe example

How to Make this Recipe

Step-by-Step Instructions with Pictures and Video

1. In a medium mixing bowl, mix the following ingredients until a smooth batter forms: butter, sugar, sour cream, milk, flour, baking powder, vanilla, and salt.

5-minute Microwave Cake Recipe
5-minute Microwave Cake Recipe

2.  Transfer the batter to a microwave-safe cake dish. Microwave for 5-8 minutes.

5-minute Microwave Cake Recipe

3. Let the cake cool completely before spreading the frosting.

spread frosting on the cake

5-Minute Microwave Cake Recipe

5-Minute Microwave Cake Recipe

Yield: 8
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

Have you ever needed a last minute birthday cake? I'll show you how to make a homemade cake in the microwave-- and I don't mean a tiny, little mug cake. This is a full size, 8-inch cake made completely from scratch!

And hey-- don’t knock it till you try it, because this Microwave Recipe for 5 MINUTE Birthday Cake is actual perfection.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 stick (6 tbsp) butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup sour cream, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup milk, room temperature
  • 1 cup + 2 tbsp flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • splash of vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt

Frosting

  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1-1/2 to 2 cups powdered sugar
  • milk
  • splash of vanilla extract

Instructions

Cake

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, mix the: butter, sugar, sour cream, milk, flour, baking powder, vanilla, and salt. Mix until a smooth batter forms.
  2. Transfer the batter to a greased microwave-safe cake dish. Microwave for 5-8 minutes (start with 5 minutes and increase the time if the cake isn't done after 5). A toothpick inserted should come out clean.
  3. Let cool completely before frosting.

Frosting

  1. Use an electric mixer to whisk together the butter, 1-1/2 cups of the powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon milk, and the vanilla until smooth.
  2. Add more powdered sugar and milk to reach desired taste and consistency.


Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 423Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 39mgSodium: 261mgCarbohydrates: 73gFiber: 0gSugar: 67gProtein: 2g

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5-Minute Microwave Mug Cake Recipe
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