5-Minute Gingerbread Mug Cake


This time of year I always have so many things I want to cook and bake, and it feels like I usually end up not having time to make at least one of them! Gingerbread cookies can definitely fall into that category, and although our family usually prioritizes making these, if we ever don't have time I still somehow squeeze some gingerbread in, because to me it really is one of the staple holiday flavors! Warm and perfectly spiced, anything gingerbread screams the most festive holiday flavor.

The speediest gingerbread dessert of all time

If that sounds anything like you, and if you end up running out of time to make cookies, or you just need some gingerbread flavor in your life ASAP, then this 5-minute gingerbread mug cake is exactly what you need! I've only tried a couple mug cakes before this one, and with the right combination of ingredients, they are fun, speedy, and extra delicious like this one.

Mug cake ingredients

What makes this mug cake so perfect?

This mug cake really is perfect for this time of year, and after having it, I'm convinced this mug cake might be my new favorite dessert, and here's why-

  1. So quick - ready in just 5 minutes, what could be better!
  2. Fun to make - not sure there's really anything more thrilling than a one dish dessert that you can literally watch bake before your eyes
  3. Single serving - perfect if you're craving some gingerbread but don't want to make a whole batch of cookies or a cake
  4. Minimal equipment needed - if you have a mug, fork, and microwave, you can make this cake, aka, it might be the best holiday college cake ever
  5. Tastes like Christmas - in just one mug, all the warm, spiced, gingerbread flavors truly shine

With the holiday season always flying by, that last reason is probably what makes this mug cake the most perfect to me. There's a good chance you might have all the ingredients for this dessert already in your pantry, so in just 5 minutes you can squeeze in one of the essential holiday flavors. Plus, your kitchen will instantly smell like gingerbread, which is definitely ideal.

Gingerbread mug cake batter

How do you make this 5-minute dessert?

You'll want to start off by grabbing a microwave-safe 12-ounce mug that is more wide than it is round, as this will help the cake bake more easily. I found a couple great and reasonably priced ones at Crate & Barrel, so if you're looking for more wide mugs I would definitely suggest checking there. Now in terms of combining the ingredients, you can stir them together in a separate bowl before pouring them into the mug if you like, but I find it easiest to combine them in the mug, which also means less dishes, which is always ideal. You'll start by grabbing the wet ingredients-

  1. Egg - crack the egg into the mug, and whisk it with a fork until beaten. Make sure to really mix it here as it's more difficult to whisk the egg further after everything else has been added.
  2. Oil - add in the oil, and stir to combine with the egg. I love oil in cakes, and find it makes them extra moist. You can also substitute a different kind of oil.
  3. Molasses - stir in the essential gingerbread ingredient, making sure it's combined with the oil and egg.

Gingerbread mug cakes

Once the wet ingredients are all whisked together, it's time to grab the dry ingredients. The dry ingredients are pretty much pantry staples and the essential gingerbread spices (cinnamon, ginger, and cloves). Here's what you'll need to add in next-

  • flour - you'll want to scoop the flour into the measuring cup, then level it off, to ensure you don't accidentally add too much
  • sugar - a little extra sugar than other mug cakes to balance out the spices
  • salt
  • baking soda
  • cinnamon
  • ginger - proceed with caution with this one! Make sure to add just 1/8 tsp, as ground ginger has a very strong flavor
  • cloves

Add the above to the mug, and using the fork, stir until they're combined. I find that continuing to use the fork instead of grabbing a spoon helps really ensure the ingredients are well mixed. Make sure that everything is evenly combined and that it comes together into a unified batter, but try not to overmix as this could make the cake tough.

Gingerbread mug cake with vanilla ice crea

What's the trick to make the most perfectly spongy mug cake?

Mug cakes can sometimes get a bad reputation due to the fact that if they don't have the right combination of ingredients, or if they're microwaved for too long, they can be dense and nothing like a classic cake that we all know and love. In addition to having the right ingredients and microwave time, a great tip to ensure the cake is moist, and the top doesn't become too tough, is to add on 1 tablespoon of water after mixing all the other ingredients and before microwaving. You'll just want to pour it on top, and not mix it in, and although this might seem strange, it makes the cake perfectly spongy and delicious!

Mug cake with ice cream

Finishing steps...

Once topped with the water, this cake is ready to be popped in the microwave, for just 1 minute and 45 seconds. Although it might not seem like a big difference, I tried microwaving it for 2 minutes at first, which definitely made it a tad overbaked. To ensure the most delicious and dare I say *moist* bite, you'll want to make sure not to overbake this mug cake.

After your mug cake is perfectly baked, pop it out of the microwave and immediately top with a big old scoop of vanilla ice cream, which pairs perfectly with the spiced flavors of this cake. It will be nice and warm right when you take it out of the microwave, so the ice cream will melt a little and it will truly look beyond heavenly. To ensure it's as stunning as possible, you can sprinkle the ice cream with an extra dash of cinnamon.

Gingerbread mug cake with vanilla ice cream

Grab a spoon and dig in, enjoying each warm, soft, spiced, holiday bite. Trust me after one bite, this 5-minute dessert will be a staple when you're craving one of your favorite holiday flavors.

If you're looking for another mug cake, make sure to give this Loaded Peanut Butter Banana Mug Cake a try!

Recipe Details:

Servings: 1

Prep Time: 3 minutes

Cook Time: 1 minute 45 seconds

Total Time: 5 minutes (rounded)

5-Minute Gingerbread Mug Cake

This 5-minute gingerbread mug cake is warm, perfectly spiced, tastes just like your favorite holiday cookie, and is extra delicious topped with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream.



  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp + 1 tsp canola oil
  • 1/8 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 1/2 tbsp sugar
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ginger, ground
  • 1/8 tsp cloves, ground
  • 1 tbsp water
  • vanilla ice cream


  1. Crack egg into a 12-ounce microwave-safe mug, whisking with a fork. Add canola oil and molasses, mixing until combined.
  2. Add in remaining ingredients except for water, and stir with a fork until the ingredients are just combined. Top with the water.
  3. Microwave on full power for 1 minute and 45 seconds, top with vanilla ice cream, sprinkle with extra cinnamon, and serve immediately.

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