Home Desserts Red Velvet Mug Cake

Red Velvet Mug Cake

This quick and easy red velvet mug cake is ultra moist and fluffy. It features a wonderful cocoa flavor, a lovely red hue, and tangy cream cheese frosting. 

The best part about this mug cake is how easy it is to make.

All you need is a few simple ingredients, a mug, and a microwave. In just 5 minutes, you have a warm, gooey, and delicious dessert.

Moist and fluffy red velvet mug cake with tangy cream cheese frosting.
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It also gets bonus points for the built-in portion control. 

Trust me, once you try it, you’ll be hooked on this quick and easy dessert.

Why You’ll Love This Red Velvet Mug Cake

Delicious Taste: This mug cake recipe has everything you’d find in a classic red velvet cake. There’s rich cocoa, tangy cream cheese, and a delightfully tender crumb. Every bite tastes better than the last. 

Quick & Easy: You can prepare a red velvet mug cake in just 5 minutes. There are no baking skills required!

Minimal Clean-up: You mix and cook everything in the same mug. Clean-up is a breeze! 

Single-Serving: This recipe yields one perfectly proportioned cake. You can indulge your sweet tooth without worrying about overdoing it. 

Top view of a red velvet mug cake.


  • Unsweetened Cocoa Powder: This ingredient gives the cake its subtle chocolate flavor without adding extra sugar. 
  • All-Purpose Flour and Baking Powder: These are the foundation for the recipe. The flour provides structure, and the baking powder helps the cake rise. 
  • Granulated Sugar: For just the right amount of sweetness. It pairs nicely with the tanginess of the cream cheese frosting. 
  • Pinch of Salt: To enhance the flavor. 
  • Milk: It gives the cake its tender, luscious crumb. I like whole milk best. 
  • White Vinegar: Don’t worry! You won’t taste it. It simply activates the baking powder and gives the cake a subtle tang. 
  • Vegetable Oil: It helps lock in moisture. 
  • Vanilla Extract: It adds sweet, fragrant notes and helps balance the tanginess. 
  • Red Gel Food Coloring: For the batter. You won’t get that signature red hue without it. 
  • Cream Cheese Frosting: Literally the icing on the cake! You can buy store-bought icing. Or, make your own with softened cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract. 
Two white mugs with red velvet cake.

How to Make Red Velvet Mug Cake

Like most mug recipes, this one requires very few steps. 

1. Make the batter. Combine the wet ingredients (milk, vinegar, oil, and vanilla) in a large mug. Add the red gel food coloring and mix until well combined. Then, sift in the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Stir until smooth. 

2. Microwave. It should take about 1 minute to 90 seconds. Once it rises, remove it and let it cool for 2 to 3 minutes. 

3. Make the frosting. While the cake is cooling, mix the frosting ingredients in a small bowl until creamy. 

4. Frost the cake. Add the frosting to the slightly cooled cake and enjoy! 

Mug cake made with milk, vinegar, oil, vanilla, and red food coloring.

Tips for the Best Red Velvet Mug Cake

The tips for making mug cakes are all pretty similar: 

  • Go big! The mug needs to hold between 12 and 14 ounces. Anything smaller will cause the cake to overflow as it rises. Opt for a shorter, wider mug like these Norpro ones from Amazon. 
  • Stick to gel food dye. Avoid liquid food coloring, as it can make the batter runny. 
  • Use a trusty sifter. When adding the dry ingredients, don’t just dump them in. Run them through a sifter for a smoother batter. 
  • Don’t overmix! Doing so will cause your cake to become tough and rubbery. 
  • Monitor the microwave. Microwaves have different wattages and cook at diverse speeds. Monitor the cooking time closely for the first time you make a mug cake. Start with just 60 seconds. Then, add more time in 10-second increments until it’s done. 
  • Bust out a bowl. A small bowl works just as well if you don’t have a large enough mug. It’s far preferable to making the cake in a too-small mug. 
Mug with red velvet cake with cream frosting on top and a bowl of chocolate chips.


Don’t be afraid to play with the recipe, either! Here are some variations you can try: 

  • Add fun mix-ins. Chocolate chips, chopped nuts, and sprinkles all work nicely. Simply fold them into the batter before cooking. 
  • Add a chocolate lava center. Add about 3 squares of chocolate to the middle of the batter. When you cook the cake, the chocolate will melt for a deliciously gooey center. 
  • Butter it up. This recipe doesn’t call for butter in the ingredients. However, adding a small pat to the batter will make it much richer. 
  • Go gluten-free. Simply swap the all-purpose flour for your favorite gluten-free alternative. To be safe, check the other ingredients for gluten, as well. 
  • Don’t forget the toppings! Whipped cream is always a nice touch. You can also use ice cream, chocolate, hot fudge sauce, or a sprinkle of powdered sugar. 

How to Store

Like most mug cakes, this one tastes best straight from the microwave. Don’t trash your leftovers, though. 

To Store: Place the remaining mug cake in an air-tight container. Refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Note: The cake’s texture may not be the same after refrigerating. It will also likely lose some of its moisture.

Red Velvet Mug Cake

Course: DessertCuisine: American


Prep time


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Cooking time





This red velvet mug cake is the easiest 5-minute treat! Made with cocoa powder, flour, and a few other simple ingredients, you can enjoy this delicious cake in no time.


  • For the Cake
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

  • 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

  • pinch salt

  • 3 tablespoons milk

  • 1/2 tablespoon white vinegar

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 2-3 drops red gel food coloring

  • For the Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 2 tablespoons cream cheese, softened

  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar

  • dash vanilla extract


  • In a large microwave-safe mug, whisk together the milk, vinegar, oil, vanilla, and red food coloring until well combined.
  • Sift in the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Stir with a fork until the batter is smooth and lump-free.
  • Microwave on high for 60-90 seconds, or until the cake rises to the top and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out mostly clean. Be careful not to overcook, or the cake will be dry. Let cool for 2-3 minutes.
  • In a small bowl, mix the softened cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla with a spoon until smooth and creamy.
  • Dollop or spread the frosting on top of the slightly cooled red velvet mug cake. Enjoy!


  • Adjust the sweetness to your preference by adding more or less sugar.
  • Microwave times may vary, so start checking the cake at 60 seconds.
  • For a more chocolatey flavor, add an extra 1/2 tsp of cocoa powder.

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author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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