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Caramel Apple Mug Cake

Our friend Lori, from Foxes Love Lemons, has provided us with a new, quick and easy mug cake recipe!

It may be old news in the Pinterest world, but in my house, microwave mug cakes have been all the rage recently. In short, they involve a few pantry ingredients, stirred together in a microwave-safe mug, and then cooked for a few minutes or less. 

They're perfect for when you want something sweet in the evening, but you THINK you don't have any dessert on hand. They're also great for when one family member wants dessert and the rest don't. Or if you're single or home alone. It's really the perfect way to make cake for one person.

There are a ton of varieties of chocolate, vanilla and sprinkle mug cake recipes available on Pinterest, and I've tried my share of them. With fall quickly approaching, I wanted to make a caramel apple version.

Now, the recipe below actually makes two mug cakes, only because I wanted to use a whole Michigan Gala apple, and I couldn't fit an entire apple in one mug. But, if you just want one cake, you can use half the apple in your cake, and munch on the other half while your cake is microwaving, perhaps. Or, if one person in your house is watching calories and the other just wants cake, well then, one person gets the half of an apple and the other person gets the cake. Win-win!

My favorite thing about mug cakes is once you've made the recipe once or twice, you can practically make it in your sleep. I kid you not, I memorized this recipe after just a few times making it, so now, I can jump up during a commercial break, get two mug cakes into the microwave, and be back just as my show is continuing. Win-win-win!


Caramel Apple Mug Cake

Prep Time: 5 minutes plus standing     Cook Time: 3 minutes     Yield: 2 cakes

  • 2 microwave-safe mugs, 12 ounces or larger

  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 4 tablespoons applesauce

  • 4 tablespoons granulated sugar

  • 4 tablespoons milk

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 lunchbox-sized Michigan Gala apple, cored and finely chopped

  • Prepared caramel sauce, for serving

  • Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, for serving (optional)


  1. To EACH mug, add 3 tablespoons flour, 2 tablespoons applesauce, 2 tablespoons sugar, 2 tablespoons milk, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla. Stir until very well combined, making sure there are no flour pockets in the bottom "corners" of the mugs. Divide apple between mugs and stir until well combined.

  2. Place mugs in microwave and cook on high for 3 minutes or until cakes are cooked all the way through.

  3. Let cakes stand 2 minutes before serving. Drizzle each cake with caramel sauce and serve with whipped cream or ice cream, if desired.

Home Chef Tips:

  • I find it easiest to stir these up using a small rubber spatula, which ensures no flour gets stuck in the corners of the mugs.

  • While microwaving, watch to make sure cakes don't spill over sides of mugs. Cakes may temporarily puff up slightly higher than the tops of the mugs, but as long as cake doesn't start to spill down the sides, it's fine.

  • If making just one cake, reduce cook time to 1 minute, 30 seconds.

Lori Yates is a Detroit-area recipe developer and food photographer. She is the author of Foxes Love Lemons, where she posts special yet simple original recipes for the "home chef" in all of us.