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Easy Baking: Apple Cinnamon Mug Cake
Bake a cake in less than 10 minutes? Yes, please! (Like, seriously.) I've always wanted to try baking in a mug and finally took the plunge. My apple cinnamon skillet cake from a few months ago has me craving all the cinnamon flavors right now and I think was the perfect first mug cake recipe for the blog. I may or may not feel inspired for some other fun flavors, so buckle up for some upcoming tasty treats! I sincerely hope this apple cinnamon mug cake is one you'll enjoy for the rest of fall!
All-purpose flour: I suggest using unbleached all-purpose flour, but your mug cake will be fine with bleached as well.
Unsweetened applesauce: I lowered the typical amount of sugar for a mug cake recipe and substituted with some unsweetened applesauce. The intent is to really make the apple flavor POP. The combination of applesauce and oil makes this a relatively dense mug cake - and really moist!
Olive, pecan, or a neutral-flavored oil: In this mug cake recipe, oil substitutes butter and makes the cake a little more dense. It also allows us to keep this dairy-free, if desired. Be sure to use a good olive oil or a neutral-flavored oil so the taste doesn't accidentally overwhelm the other flavors.
Apples: I used half a Gala apple, but you can use whatever you want. What is particularly handy about this recipe is that it cooks so briefly in the microwave, that you don't need to worry about baking vs. "all the other" apples. The apple won't have enough time to fall apart like we worry about with pies.
Ground cinnamon: Because this is an apple cinnamon mug cake, right? Add those delightful aromas!
Milk: I used plant-based milk, but you are welcome to use whatever you like. I would suggest a full fat milk, if using dairy milk.
Light brown sugar: Though you could substitute with granulated sugar, the brown sugar offers an ideal compliment to the apple and cinnamon flavors in this particular mug cake.
Baking powder: For leavening because it's only a cake if it rises, right?
Allspice: When we hit the fall months, I love playing with spice flavors beyond traditional cinnamon. This is an optional addition and one that can be substituted with nutmeg, ground cloves, or other spices that you love.
Salt: Only a pinch is needed and small granules (like those in kosher salt) are what is needed for appropriate consistency.
Toppings: Get creative! I love a good scoop of vanilla ice cream and experimented with some organic whiskey caramel sauce from Momma Nik's Cheesecake shop (based out of Nashville) in this recipe.
Make sure you use a mug that holds at least 12 oz. of fluid and place a microwave-safe plate under the mug in case some batter spills over the edge.
Tips for the perfect apple cinnamon mug cake
Think a mug cake is fool proof? Think again! The quick cooking time, smaller measurements, and smaller containers make the line between a great cake and an "ok" cake a little more thin. In fact, the first few times I made these, I overcooked them a bit and dried them out in the center - which was fine, just not as moist as I would like.
If you're interested in experimenting with some mug cakes of your own, I think you'll find Raquel Lynn's article about baking mug cakes a great resource.
Just like any baking excursion, mug cakes just take a little finesse. Here are a few tips to give you an advantage:
- Resist the temptation to leave the cakes in the microwave too long. I would suggest starting with 1:30 minutes and if the center is still uncooked, increase the cook time by 15-second increments. You should be able to insert a skewer into the center and remove it relatively cleanly.
- Remember that the cake will continue baking in its adorable mug vessle for a few minutes after removal from the microwave.
- Use a little cooking spray, butter, or oil to grease the edges before filling with batter.
- Raquel's article suggests adding 1 tablespoon of water to the top of the batter (in the mug) before baking if your mug cakes emerge too done. Also, the batter should be a little sticky when you touch the top - as opposed to completely solid.
Can we keep mug cakes in the fridge?
Ultimately, it is best to eat your mug cake warm and prevent much delay between baking and eating. If you must store your cake for later, it is ideal to place your cake in an airtight container and store in a cool, dry place. Though you can put the container in the fridge, you do risk drying the cake out a little faster. If the crumb of the cake is already relatively delicate (and borderline dry), avoid storing in the fridge. This apple cinnamon mug cake is moist enough that refrigeration should not be an issue. Overall, freeze your baked cake if you plan to use it several days, weeks, or months later.
Toppings...for the ultimate comfort cake
What toppings really take the cake in your opinion?
- Ice cream
- Whipped cream
- Aquafaba whipped cream
- Spices sprinkled over ice cream or whipped cream
- Drizzle with dessert sauce
- Powdered sugar
Apple Cinnamon Mug Cake
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup finely diced apple I used Gala
- 3 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
- ½ cup milk I used soy milk
- 2 tablespoons tightly-packed light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons neutral flavored oil I used extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon allspice optional
- pinch kosher salt
- ⅓ cup ice cream divided between both mugs
- 1 tablespoon ice cream topping divided between both mugs
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon divided between both mugs
- Use mugs that hold at least 12 oz. of fluid. Spray mugs with cooking spray, or use butter or oil to apply a light coating to the interior walls of the mugs.
- Mix dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, ground cinnamon, allspice, and salt) thoroughly, to ensure even distribution.
- Mix wet ingredients (applesauce, milk, pure vanilla extract, brown sugar, and oil) together. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and thoroughly combine. Stir in apple bits.
- Pour the batter into both mugs, filling about halfway to ¾ of the way full depending upon the size of your mugs.
- Place in microwave and bake on medium-high heat for 2 minutes, adding 15 second increments if the interior does not pass the skewer test. The cake is done when a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Enjoy warm with your favorite topping!
Let me know what topping you would add to your mug cake in the comments below and lets drum up some creative new ideas together!
Until next time friends, cheers to your hearth, health, and happiness!