Vanilla Mug Cake


5 from 454 votes
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This vanilla mug cake is the fastest way to make a delicious single-serving dessert. Rich in protein, this mug cake is also good for days when you are craving a cake for breakfast. 

vanilla mug cake.

I enjoy baking cakes when I have friends and family over. But when I am by myself, I like to keep things easy and quick. This is when mug cakes come into play. These 1-minute single-serving cakes are just as good as regular cakes and can be customized to fit any diet. 

This vanilla mug cake recipe features a classic cake flavor. It’s the perfect dessert when you want something sweet with minimal cooking time! 

Table of Contents
  1. Why you’ll love this vanilla cake in a mug
  2. Ingredients needed
  3. How to make a vanilla mug cake
  4. Tips to make the best recipe
  5. Storage instructions
  6. Recommended tools to make this recipe
  7. More mug cake recipes to try
  8. Frequently asked questions 
  9. Vanilla Mug Cake (Recipe Card)

Why you’ll love this vanilla cake in a mug

  • It’s high in protein. Like a protein mug cake, the protein powder, coconut flour, and egg enrich this mug cake with enough protein to keep you full for a good few hours. 
  • It takes a couple of minutes to make. Made in the microwave, this is the quickest vanilla cake you could ever make. 
  • It’s gluten-free and dairy-free. Similar to our chocolate mug cake, no wheat flour is used in this mug cake recipe. All ingredients are healthy and carefully chosen. 
  • The best texture. It’s moist, fluffy, and so delicious! 

Ingredients needed

  • Vanilla protein powder. A scoop of vanilla protein powder makes this mug cake nutritious and filling and gives it a hint of vanilla flavor. 
  • Coconut flour. This is a high-protein flour with high absorbency.  It provides the perfect cakelike texture for the mug cake. It also adds a mild coconut flavor to this vanilla cake. 
  • Almond milk. I prefer using unsweetened almond milk for this recipe. You can swap it for soy milk. 
  • Baking powder. Gives the mug cake a rise. 
  • Egg. Adding an egg to the batter provides moisture and helps the mug cake rise. 

Make it vegan

If you want to make this recipe vegan (or dairy-free), leave out the egg and add more milk instead. Add the milk tablespoon by tablespoon until you achieve the needed batter consistency. 

  • Maple syrup. To sweeten this mug cake. 
  • Vanilla extract. A dash of vanilla extract helps further enhance the vanilla flavor of the mug cake. 

Ingredient swap

For a more intense vanilla flavor, add some vanilla bean paste. 

  • Chocolate chips. They add extra flavor and texture to the mug cake. You can use any chocolate chips you like. 

How to make a vanilla mug cake

1. Make the batter. Add all wet ingredients to a small bowl and stir until fully combined. Add the dry ingredients and mix until the protein powder and the coconut flour are fully incorporated. 

2. Make the mug cake. Fill up a microwave-safe mug about halfway and microwave for 90 seconds. Allow the mug cake to rest for 30 to 60 seconds before eating it. 

mug cake recipe vanilla.

Tips to make the best recipe

  • Choose your protein powder wisely. If you are grabbing your sibling’s protein powder just to make this mug cake, make sure it fits your diet. Protein powders may contain dairy and added sugar. 
  • Don’t overmix. Mix the ingredients just enough to get them fully combined. Overmixing the batter will result in a rubbery mug cake. 
  • Start at 70 seconds. While the recipe tells you to microwave the mug cake for 90 seconds, we recommend you start with 70 considering the differences the microwaves have. If the mug cake is undercooked, add 10-second increments as needed. 
  • Serve with whipped cream or ice cream. When having this mug cake for dessert, it is a good idea to top it with some whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream
  • Add sprinkles or frosting. If you need a quick celebration cake, add some colorful sprinkles to this mug cake batter. 

Storage instructions

While this mug cake is meant to be eaten immediately, you can store the leftover cake in the fridge for up to a day. Keep it covered with food wrap and reheat it in the microwave for 10 to 15 seconds before eating. 

vanilla cake in a mug.

More mug cake recipes to try

Frequently asked questions 

Can I make this without protein powder?

Yes, you can make this mug cake without protein powder. As protein powder has thickening properties, you may need to add a tad bit more coconut flour to achieve the needed batter consistency. 

Why is my mug cake chewy? 

In addition to overmixing the batter, overcooking the mug cake or adding too much baking powder are two other reasons that result in a rubbery mug cake. 

Can I bake this in the oven?

Yes! For a baked vanilla mug cake, simply prep it as instructed and bake at 180C/350F for 6-7 minutes. You can also use the air fryer.

Is mug cake eaten hot or cold?

Mug cakes should be served warm for the best texture and flavor. Once you remove the mug cake from the oven, let it rest for a minute to finish cooking and dive right in.

vanilla mug cake recipe.

Vanilla Mug Cake

5 from 454 votes
This vanilla mug cake is the fastest way to make a delicious single-serving dessert. Rich in protein, this mug cake is also good for days when you are craving a cake for breakfast. 
Servings: 1 mug cake
Prep: 1 minute
Cook: 1 minute
Total: 2 minutes




  • Grease a microwave safe mug with cooking spray and set aside.
  • In a small bowl, add the protein powder, baking powder, and coconut flour and mix well. Add the remaining ingredients and mix until combined. .
  • Top with chocolate chips and microwave for 60 seconds, or until just cooked in the centre.


STORAGE: While this mug cake is meant to be eaten immediately, you can store the leftover cake in the fridge for up to a day. Keep it covered with food wrap and reheat it in the microwave for 10 to 15 seconds before eating. 


Serving: 1mug cakeCalories: 225kcalCarbohydrates: 13gProtein: 25gFat: 7gSodium: 457mgPotassium: 210mgFiber: 3gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 270IUCalcium: 382mgIron: 1mgNET CARBS: 10g
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Arman Liew
Tried this recipe?Give us a shout at @thebigmansworld or tag #thebigmansworld!

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. I may earn a small commission for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services from this website.

Arman Liew

I’m a two time cookbook author, photographer, and writer, and passionate about creating easy and healthier recipes. I believe you don’t need to be experienced in the kitchen to make good food using simple ingredients that most importantly, taste delicious.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Hi. I like the texture of mug cakes when they are baked instead of microwaved. OK to bake. . (usually 350 for 20-30 minutes for other mug cake recipes.) TY

  2. Any of your recipes call for protein powder but I don’t like the taste of that if we left it out, will the recipe still turn out good?

  3. Can we use baking soda instead?
    Also how do you feel it taste against the protein powder? Id be using veagan protein powder…do u think the flavor would be affected? Have u tried it?

  4. 5 stars
    Absolutely delicious!
    This mug cake is my daily breakfast since the first time I made it. I have a sleeve stomach and eating enough protein per day is a big task for me as a vegetarian. Thanks for the recipe, which I shared with family and friends, it is a great start in the day!

  5. I don’t know why but my batter does not thicken!!

    I tried to add a little more protein powder and a tad more coconut flour to thicken it but doesn’t work. And the mix isn’t crumbly either

  6. 5 stars
    I’ve made a lot of mug cakes in my day, but this is by far the best and super simple. Thanks for pointing out the importance of using casein vs whey protein. It makes a huge differences!! My suggestion: mix some sprinkles in. Tastes and looks like birthday cake 🙂

  7. Thank you for the recipe! I’ve been meaning to make a Keto mug cake for ages but always forget! I need to try this in the run up to Christmas for a treat! Sim x

  8. 5 stars
    By far the best protein mug cake I’ve tried! All other ones are too dry or need banana/applesauce (which I don’t always have) but this is one is so easy and amazing! I even used water instead of milk and it’s still so fluffy and soft 🙂 thanks Arman!

  9. 5 stars
    I’m all about vanilla. This was so good!! I used a whey isolate and collagen powder (both vanilla) and then went for it and added a few blueberries – boom! Best way of getting my protein up for the day while having a treat!

  10. I’ve tried a few protein mug cakes, but this is by far my favorite.

    I couldn’t find my coconut flour, so for those of you asking for different substitutes, I used almond flour. However, I screwed up adding 1/4 c milk, so I’d probably limit that to two tablespoons. My batter was a little thin so I just added a touch more almond flour (about 1/2 tbsp) and a little more protein powder (I use Orgain Vanilla Protein Powder). I used Lakanto monk fruit sugar, which is the best sugar substitute that is calorie free, in my opinion. It still has carbs but no calories…? Or must be very low.

    This was awesome, even with the subs. Thank you!

  11. Hello. Could you use a collagen protein powder? (I was thinking Vital Proteins Vanilla Collagen.) Thank you!

  12. Ive been making your recipes for a bit now and I just wanted to drop by and give u a quick ,but enormous, thank you!!! I was having a really hard time finding healthy alternatives that my 12 year old and 4 year old twins would actually eat. Still working on getting them to eat vegetables and healthy protein dinner options since all 3 of my boys are a little anemic . They will eat plain avacados all day long ,which is great, but that’s the only healthy food they will eat …..knowingly. So once again , from me and my 3 crazy …..I mean amazing , boys …. THANK YOU for creating these healthy sweet bites that my kids and I actually crave!

    1. It’s necessary for this recipe 🙂 You can make my original vanilla cake which has no protein powder 🙂

  13. Omg this is soo good!! I have used a bunch of quest protein powders to make it and havent been disappointed yet! Vanilla with pb and chocolate chips, cooked and cream, chocolate, and peanut butter (sometimes I’ll add pb and/or chocolate chips). Can’t go wrong. Thanks for this awesome recipe!!

  14. Hey! First off love all of your recipes, they’re so great and creative. You may not know the answer and people may say this defeats the purpose given it is titled “low carb”, but if not wanting as much protein and not super concerned about carbs, from your experience do you think you could replace some/all of the protein powder with some sort of flour? Wasn’t sure if the protein powder might specifically act as a binder or something? They are similar consistencies so wasn’t sure if you thought that would be doable as I like the makeup and ingredients in the rest of the cake. Thanks!

  15. This is awesome! I made it tonight with Watkins Banana Extract, which is artificial, but it was just a few drops, and it turned out great! I have been so bad lately and I have diabetes and heart problems, so I am thankful to find something that will fill the void of the sugar I MUST give up! Thank you!

  16. Hi! I just wanted to drop a comment because I just made this recipe! I used vanilla Aloha protein powder and no egg. ?The coconut flour is really unique in its powers to absorb liquids and therefore it helps fluff up this cake. I have made other mug cakes with flour so to all of those commenters wondering about substituting coconut flour, you should go find a recipe utilizing what you desire. Just for reference, you’d probably need 3-4 tbsp of flour if you go that route.
    This recipe was great though! ?Suggestion: I’d love a peanut butter version of this mug cake. Can that be a thing? Pretty please? ?

  17. Wow! I’ve tried many mug cakes, and have never gotten one with a “real” cake consistency before. Awesome!

  18. I’m not a big fan of vanilla so can I replace vanilla protein powder by cacao powder ? is it still a low carb recipe with cacao? xD

  19. I can’t thank you enough for this recipe (life saver!)!!! I’ve made it three times and am still trying to get the oven timing just perfect, but it’s absolutely delicious!!! Doesn’t have that “eggy” Paleo texture most baked goods have that I’ve tried. I’m just so thrilled with it!!! Tonight I’m putting some fresh peaches and bananas over the top. YUMMM!!!!!!! THANK YOU SOOOOO MUCH!!!

    1. Thanks SO much for the feedback, Kathy- I too am not a fan of mug cakes which taste too ‘eggy’ so you nailed it! 🙂

    1. Hi Cristina! For sure, if you go to myfitnesspal and include the ingredients (it changes depending on what protein powder you use), it will provide it for you 🙂 Enjoy!

  20. Team chocolate all the way! and my favorite ice cream flavor would probably be a chocolate-vanilla swirl… with chocolate toppings of course.

  21. Unfortunately, I have found I can breath more easily when I don’t eat coconut. Is there a gluten free flour that will substitute adequately for the coconut flour in the vegan version of this recipe (sigh… gluten no eggs no coconut, at least I can still eat chocolate). Coconut ice cream was my favorite. Buy I do really appreciate a good vanilla. I had some vanilla ice cream in Mexico when I was a teen that was so good, it took us awhile to figure out it was vanilla.

      1. Any of your recipes call for protein powder but I don’t like the taste of that if we left it out, will the recipe still turn out good?

  22. Thanks for the recipe. I used what I had on hand: cream and cookie flavour protein powder, soy flour but no sugar and no egg or chocolate chips! After 1 minute in the microwave it was perfect to dig into but not before a dollop of double cream on top. Tastes incredible and my new favourite with a cup of tea!

  23. I HATE vanilla protein powders, so I always add cinnamon! BEST hack ever. And my favorite ice cream flavor used to be cookie dough, but now I love anything peanut butter, chocolate, cinnamon, pistachio or salted caramel! So tasty!

  24. I usually add vanilla extract to my baking, as it does add a lovely delicate flavour in the background. I find that I do notice if that flavour is missing in baked goods, so I generally do add vanilla where possible (but definitely not paired with licorice… that would be weird.? Yeah, that would be an ‘ugly duckling’ for sure.) Anyways, my all time favourite ice-cream flavour is probably coconut. I had THE most delicious coconut ice cream in Guernsey once, and funny thing is that I’m pretty sure I could taste a hint of vanilla in the background. Vanilla is a cook’s secret weapon.? In the past, I would have definitely preferred chocolate, but nowadays I’d actually say that I like both chocolate and vanilla equally! Caramel extract is another good one to use for adding depth of flavour. Thanks for the mug cake recipe, Arman!?

  25. Dude, I am all about the vanilla. Seriously! I love vanilla. I’ll pick it over almost every other flavor out there. Call me boring, but the classics are still the best! I’m pretty sure I want to stick my face into this cake…sans the chocolate chips. Do they make vanilla chips? Because I need those for this cake…

  26. All time favorite ice cream flavor? Well, I don’t really like ice cream by itself, to be honest. I really only eat it because of what else is in it (i.e. cookie dough, PB chunks, oreo chunks), then I just pick out the good stuff and leave the rest.