Crazy for Crust

Apr 04

Single-Serve Mug Coffee Cake

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Sometimes you just want a taste of something – one serving, not a whole cake. This Single-Serve Mug Coffee Cake is a perfect way to get that coffee cake you’re craving in just one serving!


What’s your middle name? Mine is Overindulgence. Well, it should be anyway.

Really, it’s Frances. Which was my grandma’s name. Dorothy was my Nana’s name. I love my names…now. Going through childhood as an overweight kid with buck teeth and the name Dorothy Frances was, well, hard. Dorky Blubber was my nickname, a play on my maiden name.

Overindulgence has always been my problem, obvi.

Which is why mug cakes and single-serve desserts and my favorite things everrrrr.

Recently I really, realllllllly wanted coffee cake. I almost made a whole cake, but the realization that I would eat an entire cake (one slice at a time) stopped me. That’s when a mug coffee cake jumped out at me.


I’m pretty good at math (I should be, since I majored in it in college). My love of all things math has made it easy for me to figure out how to cut down my favorite recipes to single size. I’m good at fractions,what can I say?

I started with my Mom’s Coffee Cake Recipe, which I’ve previously made into Carrot Cake Coffee Cake, Coffee Cake Pie and Raspberry Snack Cake. The base of the cake are the usual suspects: oil, sugar, flour, egg, cinnamon. 99% of these are really easy to cut down to one serving. The only one that is hard to do is the egg. So I left it out, and I didn’t miss it at all!

FYI, when you’re twelfing (is that even a word?) a recipe, you need to know the cup to tablespoon to teaspoon conversions. I’ve made you a handy-dandy chart, in case you’re interested. I have a few that I’ve pulled from magazines and cookbooks over the years taped to my fridge. It makes it an easy way to reference the numbers, when you need it.

I made you a printable. Source: BHG and my BHG Cookbook. Print it out on cardstock and marry it to your fridge. You’ll be happy!

measure equivalents

{Click here for the printable version.}

This single-serve mug coffee cake tastes just like the original, but is enough to satisfy that coffee cake craving without the need to shop for bigger pants.

Unless, of course, you’re me. And make it Every. Single. Day.

What can I say? Overindulgence is my middle name.


Aren’t you glad it is? It’s why ya’ll love me so much. ;)

Single-Serve Mug Coffee Cake

5 minutes

Yield: 1 serving

Single-Serve Mug Coffee Cake

A single-serve version of your favorite breakfast cake!


  • 1 1/2 tablespoon sugar (1 tablespoon + 1 1/2 teaspoons)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons flour (2 tablespoons + 1 1/2 teaspoons)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil or plain non-fat Greek yogurt (I used oil)
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened almond milk or nonfat milk
  • Splash of vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon


  1. Stir sugar, flour, salt, and baking powder in a small bowl. Add oil, milk, and vanilla and stir until combined. Pour into a coffee mug that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon on top.
  2. Microwave for 45 seconds (my microwave is 1100 watts - if yours is less you may need to microwave it longer, do so in 15 second increments).
  3. Enjoy warm!

These sweets may also make you happy:

Carrot Cake Coffee Cake



Almond Cake {for one}


Almond Cake for One {in a jar} Great gift idea!

Sweets from friends:
Thin Mint Diet Coke Cake from Something Swanky
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Mug Cake by Chocolate, Chocolate, and More
Nutella Cookie in a Cup by No. 2 Pencil



This post may be linked to: Chef in TrainingLil’ LunaBuns In My OvenChic-and-CraftyI’m Lovin’ it FridaysStrut your Stuff Saturday, Weekend PotluckWeekend Wrap Up PartySundae Scoop Link Partyand all of these too!

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96 Responses to “Single-Serve Mug Coffee Cake”

  1. Averie @ Averie Cooks posted on April 4, 2013 at 4:52 pm (#)

    Oh wow, single serving coffee cakes! In mugs! So clever! Normally it’s brownies I see but I love coffee cake. Great thinking!


    • Dorothy Kern replied on April 4th, 2013 at 6:45 pm

      It’s just a way to feed my cake-in-the-morning habit. :) Thanks Averie!


  2. Megan @ megbakes posted on April 4, 2013 at 5:39 pm (#)

    This is perfect, Dorothy! Also, the equivalents chart is amazing. I’m always googling how many teaspoons are in a tablespoon, etc. Next time I’ll just reference this little card. Thank you!


    • Dorothy Kern replied on April 4th, 2013 at 6:45 pm

      You’re welcome! Thanks Megan!


  3. Mr. & Mrs. P posted on April 4, 2013 at 6:45 pm (#)

    What a great idea.. Its true.. Sometimes you just want a little and just have a whole cake tempting you for days….


  4. Danielle @ Truffles n' Treadmills posted on April 4, 2013 at 6:55 pm (#)

    I have seen several cake in a mug recipes but have always been skeptical as to if they turned out right. Yours looks good though!


  5. Brittany from CountingMyCupcakes posted on April 4, 2013 at 6:56 pm (#)

    OH MY GOSH!!! My middle name is Frances too – after one of my greatgrandmothers!!!!! I actually have two middle names. Adeline is the other and it was another one of my great grandmothers. Like you, I like them (and appreciate them!) now, but did NOT like them as a kid. I hated being asked what my middle name was. Now I’m proud to carry the family names :)

    This mug cake looks great. Pinning it now!!


  6. Trish - Mom On Timeout posted on April 4, 2013 at 7:06 pm (#)

    Brilliant Dorothy! And I like both of your middle names – Frances and Overindulgence ;)


  7. Tieghan posted on April 4, 2013 at 7:52 pm (#)

    Love mug cakes! So quick and easy! This sounds delicious!


  8. Patty posted on April 4, 2013 at 8:21 pm (#)

    Great idea for a very special individual breakfast cake;-)


  9. Back for Seconds posted on April 4, 2013 at 8:31 pm (#)

    Girl, you are brilliant!! I love this idea so much! And I love your printable charts :)
    PS: Why are kids so mean? I love your names and I love YOU!!


    • Dorothy Kern replied on April 5th, 2013 at 11:21 am

      Aw, thanks Stephanie! Kids are SO mean! :) Have a great weekend!


  10. Foodiewife posted on April 4, 2013 at 8:38 pm (#)

    Why did you go and post this? Why? Then again, I guess I can feel a leetle less guilty when I make one of these, instead of a healthy smoothie. Very clever, girlfriend. Pinning!


  11. PapaLos @ The Man, The Chef, The Dad posted on April 4, 2013 at 10:15 pm (#)

    I really, seriously need to get on this dessert-in-a-mug train. I’ve yet to try one and they’re just screaming my name. And coffee cake… I love coffee cake!

    And my middle name is Alfredo. Frances may have its ups and downs, but try being a fat kid named after a sauce. It wasn’t pretty.

    Ironically, I can make a pretty mean Alfredo sauce now. So the jokes on everyone! I win!!


    • Dorothy Kern replied on April 5th, 2013 at 11:19 am

      LOL! You made me laugh. Yeah, my husband’s name is Melvin. You can imagine what havoc that was…


  12. Lindsey (Lou Lou Biscuit) posted on April 4, 2013 at 10:22 pm (#)

    This is great! You can double fist coffee cups in the morning, one with a coffee cake and one with real coffee. Looks so tasty!!


    • Dorothy Kern replied on April 5th, 2013 at 11:19 am

      And….I’ve done just that! :)


  13. keri @ shaken together posted on April 5, 2013 at 1:37 am (#)

    Can’t wait to make this and those conversion printables are the bomb! Pinned and printing!


  14. Kelly @ Hidden Fruits and Veggies posted on April 5, 2013 at 5:18 am (#)

    Overindulgence is my problem too, especiallllly when it comes to coffee cake. Why’s it so delicious!? I love the option to sub in yogurt for oil, I’ll totally be doing that!

    Adorable to make a coffee cake in a coffee mug, btw ;-)


  15. tanya posted on April 5, 2013 at 5:34 am (#)

    Twelfing? I love that! I hate math, thanks for the conversion chart! I would overindulge on this cake. Sure, I’d make myself a single serving but then proceed to eat about 6 single servings! This looks that good!


  16. Mom posted on April 5, 2013 at 7:29 am (#)

    Great idea but this looks more like a bite than a serving…lol. I guess your readers know where you got both of your middle names!
    Love you,


  17. carrian posted on April 5, 2013 at 7:57 am (#)

    I love coffee cake and single serve is just down right genius!


  18. Kayle (The Cooking Actress) posted on April 5, 2013 at 8:59 am (#)

    You embrace your names!

    As I will embrace the magical wonderousness that is this coffee cake IN A MUG!


  19. Elizabeth @ Confessions of a Baking Queen posted on April 5, 2013 at 9:05 am (#)

    Mmm yes coffee cake in a mug is a good idea!! I would defo eat the whole cake!


  20. Heather @ French Press posted on April 5, 2013 at 9:10 am (#)

    this is perfect Dorothy!


  21. Elaine @ Cooking to Perfection posted on April 5, 2013 at 10:58 am (#)

    I just made a single serving triple chocolate cookie! Sometimes having one serving is enough, and not as tempting as having a few dozen cookies sitting around. I love the printable charts–those are very handy! :)


  22. Nicole @ Young, Broke and Hungry posted on April 5, 2013 at 11:01 am (#)

    How genius is this?! Can you come over to my house and halve all my recipes for me? Math is my enemy.


  23. Roxana | Roxana's Home Baking posted on April 5, 2013 at 1:08 pm (#)

    Math and I have never been good friends, that’s probably the reason why I always bake full size cakes. I love the idea of single serving cake, will have to ask you to do the Math for me when I need.


    • Dorothy Kern replied on April 5th, 2013 at 4:16 pm

      Anytime! The math makes me happy. (I’m a total dork, I know!)


  24. Meghan @ The Tasty Fork posted on April 5, 2013 at 2:15 pm (#)

    I’ve never tried a single serve mug cake! I think I’m afraid I’ll end up making a single serve cake 3 times a day :)

    Oooh, that conversion chart gives me nightmares! We had to memorize all conversions for culinary school and we were tested on it often. I had many cram sessions with note cards…. and now, I just ask Google!


    • Dorothy Kern replied on April 5th, 2013 at 4:15 pm

      I never remember the conversions – EVER. Thank god for google! :) Thanks Meghan!


  25. Wendy @ AMFT posted on April 5, 2013 at 4:00 pm (#)

    Holy Cow! I’m drooling on my laptop….delish!


  26. Loretta | A Finn In The Kitchen posted on April 5, 2013 at 6:25 pm (#)

    I have that same problem! Although I’m usually able to start off with a healthy breakfast before digging in… :)


    • Dorothy Kern replied on April 5th, 2013 at 6:35 pm

      Me too, this is usually my second breakfast… :)


  27. Kristi @ My San Francisco Kitchen posted on April 5, 2013 at 8:42 pm (#)

    I can totally relate!!! I am always making single portion/double portion desserts these days :D


    • Dorothy Kern replied on April 6th, 2013 at 3:00 pm

      They’re awesome! Thanks Kristi!


  28. Jocelyn @BruCrew Life posted on April 5, 2013 at 9:39 pm (#)

    I love that this makes one cute little mug cake…of course I would be making each and every day too because over indulgence is one of my problems as well. Kids are so mean…I had some rough years and remember comments and jabs all too well!! I puffy heart love ya!!!


  29. Cindy Harris posted on April 5, 2013 at 10:21 pm (#)

    Dangerous–I could eat coffee cake EVERY day!


  30. Gerry @ Foodness Gracious posted on April 5, 2013 at 10:48 pm (#)

    Too easy to eat..I like easy ;)


    • Dorothy Kern replied on April 6th, 2013 at 2:59 pm

      Totally me too! Thanks Gerry!


  31. Shiloh Barkley posted on April 6, 2013 at 8:04 am (#)

    Love cinnamon coffee cake!


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  33. Julie @ This Gal Cooks posted on April 7, 2013 at 11:47 am (#)

    This is a good recipe! I love the mug recipes because making only a single serving means there isn’t more to eat later!


    • Dorothy Kern replied on April 7th, 2013 at 6:40 pm

      Totally my thinking too Julie!


  34. Rachel @ I Love My Disorganized Life posted on April 8, 2013 at 10:52 am (#)

    Well, I suck at math {show-off}, so I’m totally printing your cheat sheet. Or maybe I’ll just let you do all the work and print your single-serve recipes instead. ;) My middle name is Ann. Although I can’t recall if I ever got teased about it, I was too busy failing math. LOVE coffee cake. Single serve even better! No sharing and I can wash the evidence pretty quickly! Thanks Dorothy! You make staying fat fun!


    • Dorothy Kern replied on April 8th, 2013 at 11:36 am

      Thanks Rachel! It’s so much more fun to eat what I want. :) lol


  35. Michelle posted on April 8, 2013 at 11:03 am (#)

    I am definitely bookmarking this one and am going to try it as a GF option! Thank you!


    • Dorothy Kern replied on April 8th, 2013 at 11:35 am

      Oooh, let me know how it turns out!!


      • Michelle replied on April 11th, 2013 at 7:35 am


  36. Becca from posted on April 9, 2013 at 3:06 pm (#)

    Dorothy… I love you more than bacon for posting this recipe. The end. P.S…. GOOD GRIEF, this looks delicious!


  37. spaceranger posted on April 9, 2013 at 4:28 pm (#)

    I just made this…twice. It was delicious. I’ve made other cake-in-a-mug recipes before that had a whole egg it in and the texture was weird and overall I wasn’t super impressed. This however was fabulous! For what it’s worth, I have no idea how many watts my micro is, but I nuked for 1 min and the cake was just slightly underdone–just how I like it. :) I’m sure I’ll make this again. (And next time I’ll try to only make it once.)


    • Dorothy Kern replied on April 9th, 2013 at 4:46 pm

      I’m glad you liked it! I’ve made it too many times to count! My microwave dried it out at a minute. I guess it just all depends on strength and age and wattage! :) Thanks for commenting!


  38. Sue posted on April 16, 2013 at 10:41 pm (#)

    I just made this. It was quick, simple and very delicious! Thanks for the great recipe.


    • Dorothy Kern replied on April 17th, 2013 at 7:18 am

      Thanks Sue! I’m glad you liked it!


  39. peaceloveandsmoothies posted on April 17, 2013 at 5:39 pm (#)

    I ADORE coffee cake. But I suck at fractions, so I have never attempted scaling down the recipe to one serving. Thanks for doing the hard work for me! :)


    • Dorothy Kern replied on April 17th, 2013 at 7:18 pm

      You’re welcome! I get a huge kick out of it. :) Thank you!


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  42. Grace posted on June 13, 2013 at 1:49 pm (#)

    Thanks for the recipe. I ran out of vanilla essence and so added a splash of Baileys instead – the cake retained a very nice Baileys flavour. It was the perfect serving size for a late night sugar craving. Good one!!


  43. Zoe posted on July 9, 2013 at 3:11 pm (#)

    WOW! I just made it and it was amazing! Most mug cakes I’ve made have not been so good, and are always a bit dry but this was incredible! I don’t like cinnamon all that much so I left that out but, boy am I happy! At first it seemed I might not have enough because I was pretty hungry but it turned out perfect! Thanks for sharing this with us!


    • Dorothy Kern replied on July 9th, 2013 at 6:46 pm

      Thanks Zoe! I could eat about 10 of these in one sitting. Portion control, right? :)


  44. Meredith posted on August 11, 2013 at 9:11 am (#)

    I tried this and it was really good, but it turned out kind of hmm not moist enough?


  45. Rebekah posted on August 12, 2013 at 6:33 pm (#)

    So, this is quite the recipe. One bite and it is now a permanent part of my collection. If you haven’t tried it yet, you better get to it. My mom suggests putting small apple pieces in it would also be wonderful. This has a great texture and a better flavour!


    • Dorothy Kern replied on August 12th, 2013 at 7:43 pm

      Oh yes! That would be fantastic! Thanks for letting me know you liked it, that makes my day. :)


  46. Christy posted on August 15, 2013 at 9:54 am (#)

    Just tried this x2. Since this is my first Mug Cake, I’m not sure how to tell when it’s done without biting into it. Not sure just how coffee-cake-like it’s supposed to be.
    I plan on premixing the dry ingredients in little baggies, and “baking” them in the morning when I want to sent a little something special in my daughters lunch!


    • Dorothy Kern replied on August 18th, 2013 at 3:24 pm

      I love the idea of the premixing! That would save so much time. I know, it is hard to tell when it’s done, isn’t it? I’ll have to try a toothpick next time to see if that works!


  47. Kim posted on August 29, 2013 at 6:26 am (#)

    This sounded awesome so I gave the recipe to my kids (14 & 10) to make this AM…they did not resemble cake at all. Brown gooey stuff. We cooked it some more & it never looked like your picture. The good news is that it was very tasty brown goo & they ate it anyway. “Hey Mom, this is like a taffy…hard to chew…but it’s good!” says 10 yo Jake who’s a little chef. Do you have any suggestions? My first one would be for me to actually watch what they were doing!


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  50. Mike posted on March 29, 2014 at 4:16 am (#)

    How long would the baking time be in an oven at 350 Fahrenheit?


  51. Mike posted on March 29, 2014 at 4:59 am (#)

    What would the baking time in a oven be at 350 Fahrenheit?


  52. Mike posted on March 29, 2014 at 5:01 am (#)

    What would the baking time be in an oven at 350 Fahrenheit?


    • Dorothy Kern replied on March 29th, 2014 at 6:22 pm

      I’m not sure, I’ve never baked this. Not too long, I would say less than 10 minutes, but check after 5.


  53. Maguy posted on November 7, 2014 at 12:23 pm (#)

    OMG I fell in love with this cake! I don’t enjoy eggy cake in general so this moist and fluffy coffee cake is definitely for me! thank you for sharing, hugs xx


  54. Erin posted on January 18, 2015 at 2:25 pm (#)

    This recipe was so amazing! I added cinnamon sugar on top instead of plain cinnamon for a bit of extra sweetness


    • Dorothy Kern replied on January 18th, 2015 at 6:43 pm

      Great idea!! Glad you liked it!


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  56. fun size wife posted on April 16, 2015 at 9:15 am (#)

    Such a quick and delicious cake! Sure beats having a whole sitting around and getting stale. I love that little “crisp” of the brown sugar with each bite!


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