In just a matter of minutes, you can enjoy a warm and fluffy single-serving cake that’s packed with the sweet flavors of ripe bananas. Don’t miss out on this easy and indulgent dessert!
Table of Contents
If you’re in the mood for a slice of banana bread but don’t have the time to bake a loaf from scratch, then try this easy banana mug cake recipe. It’s loaded with ripe fruit, cinnamon spice, and crunchy nuts. In just minutes, you’ll enjoy warm spoonfuls of delicious cake.
This dessert is perfect to make when you’ve got an overripe banana just waiting to be transformed into a tasty treat. Made with simple pantry staples, just mix, pour, and microwave. The crumb has a dense texture, similar to a muffin, so it’s like eating a single serving of banana bread.
- Flour: Use all-purpose flour for a tender crumb that holds the structure in the cup.
- Sugar: For a molasses flavor and sweetness, use brown sugar. I use a light or golden brown variety, but you can use dark brown sugar for a stronger taste.
- Leavening Agent: Use double-acting baking powder. Once mixed with the liquid ingredients, it will create bubbles, then a second reaction when heated to give the cake an instant rise in the microwave.
- Seasoning: Add cinnamon for warm baked notes and vanilla extract. A little bit of salt enhances the taste of the ingredients.
- Bananas: The bananas should be very ripe, with lots of brown speckles and patches on the skin. This indicates that more starch has been converted to fructose for a sweeter taste.
- Eggs: The egg yolks add richness, and the egg whites help the cake’s rise.
- Milk: The milk adds flavor, fat, and water to hydrate the flour for gluten development in the crumb.
- Oil: Vegetable oil keeps the banana bread mug cake moist and tender.
Mix the dry ingredients
This recipe makes enough for two single-serving desserts. However, the ingredients can be easily adjusted for one mug cake. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Make sure to break up any sugar clumps.
Whisk in the wet ingredients
In the bowl of dry ingredients, directly add the mashed banana, milk, oil, egg, and vanilla. Whisk until just combined. You don’t want to overmix! It will make for a very springy banana cake.
Stir in chopped walnuts. For the best rise, it’s best to microwave the cakes right away. However, the batter can be covered, refrigerated, and cooked the next day. It will be slightly less tall.
Microwave the cakes
Use 14-ounce microwave-safe mugs or ramekins. Fill the cups no more than halfway with the banana batter, about 1 cup. Cook one mug at a time on high power in the microwave for 75 seconds. You’ll see the cake almost double in size. Target an internal temperature of 200 to 210ºF (93 to 99ºC).
If it’s not ready, or the batter is wet at the bottom of the cup, continue cooking in 15-second increments. The process usually takes about 90 seconds total cooking time in my microwave. Let the cake rest for 5 minutes, then grab a spoon and dig in!
There are various tasty ways to switch up the flavor of this banana mug cake. Try these delicious suggestions:
- Flour: Use gluten-free flour, almond flour, or oat flour. They will have a more denser texture. Use whole wheat flour for extra fiber.
- Sweeter: Try coconut sugar, maple syrup, honey, or granulated sugar for a clean sweetness. Use a combination for dimension.
- Spices: Add nutmeg, ginger, cardamom, allspice, or cloves in addition to cinnamon. Add pumpkin pie spice or apple pie spice.
- Mix-ins: Stir in white or dark chocolate chips. Add nuts like walnuts, pecans, almonds, or peanuts. Add a nut butter swirl with peanut butter or almond butter.
- Fruit: Add dried cranberries, raisins, diced apples, blueberries, or pears. Stir in pumpkin puree for a fall-inspired treat.
- Whipped Cream
- Cream Cheese Frosting
- Homemade Ice Cream
- Top with sliced bananas, strawberries, or blueberries.
Frequently asked questions
This recipe can be made without eggs, but the texture will be very dense. Try adding one flax egg to help with the binding of the batter when cooked.
Other types of flour can be used, like whole wheat, cake flour, gluten-free, almond, or oat. The variety used will impact the texture, typically making it denser.
Use ½ cup of defrosted frozen mashed bananas for the recipe.
Place the batter in ramekins on a sheet pan. Bake at 350ºF (177C) until the cake has risen, is dry on the surface, and reaches about 200ºF (93ºC) internally. The process will take about 20 to 30 minutes.
Use ripe bananas for the best taste
For the best-tasting mug cake, the bananas should be very ripe. A good indication is the skin should be covered with dark brown spots or large patches. The texture will be soft but should not be overly mushy. This indicates the starches have converted into fructose, about 5% instead of 2%, when the skin is yellow. This will yield a sweeter taste. You can always increase the brown sugar if the banana is not ripe enough.
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Banana Mug Cake
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup brown sugar, packed
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup ripe mashed banana, one large
- ½ cup whole milk
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts, optional
- Mix the Dry Ingredients – In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
- Whisk in the Wet Ingredients – Add the mashed banana, milk, vegetable oil, egg, and vanilla. Whisk until smooth and just combined. Stir in the chopped walnuts (if using).
- Pour into the Mugs – Evenly divide the batter into 14-ounce microwave-safe mugs. Add about 1 cup per mug. Adjust so it’s no more than halfway filled.
- Microwave the Cakes – Cook one mug at a time on high power for 75 seconds. The top will look moist but be dry to the touch. It should bounce back when lightly pressed.If needed, continue to microwave in 15-second intervals until cooked through. I usually don't go longer than 2 minutes in total. The internal temperature should reach between 200 to 210ºF (93 to 99ºC).
- Serve – Rest for 5 minutes, then serve. If desired, top with banana sliced, walnuts, and cinnamon.
- Recipe Yield: 2 cups of batter
- Make it Gluten-Free: Use 1:1 gluten-free baking flour like Bob’s Red Mill or King Arthur.
- Make it Dairy-Free: Substitute dairy milk with coconut, almond, soy, or oat milk.
- Make it Vegan: Use a flax egg; the texture will be denser. Use plant-based milk.
- Oil Substitution: Vegetable oil can be substituted with melted butter, melted coconut oil, avocado oil, or olive oil.
- Microwave Watts: This recipe was developed on a 950-watt microwave. If needed, adjust the time up or down by 15 seconds depending on the strength of your system.
Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000-calorie diet. All nutritional information is based on estimated third-party calculations. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods, and portion sizes per household.
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