Kirbie's Cravings

Red Velvet Mug Cake

photo of a Red Velvet Mug Cake

Red velvet cake is one of my favorite cake flavors and I’m so happy I was able to create a mug cake version which looks so red and cheery, matching the holiday season.

The flavor of red velvet is so hard to describe–I’ve heard everything from red colored chocolate cake to cherry flavored cake. For my cookbook, I researched red velvet extensively, from its origins to the essential ingredients and what each one does to help create that magical red velvet flavor.

I also tasted more than a dozen different red velvet cupcakes from different bakeries. Such hard work, right?
close-up photo of a Red Velvet Mug Cake
Can you believe Christmas is only a week away? Before things became crazy busy, I came up with the bright idea of hosting a Christmas dinner in our new home. Now it’s a week away and I haven’t even begun to plan the menu.

Hopefully, it’ll all work out. Maybe I’ll make red velvet mug cakes for dessert. Ever since my book was released people keep expecting me to show up at their homes with mug cakes. As if I’m Mary Poppins and can just magically pull them out of my bag. One of these days, I am thinking of having a mug cake party though.

To make these extra festive, I added a sprinkling of shimmery red powder and some silver dragées.

This cake smells amazing when it’s finished, filling your kitchen with the aroma of red velvet. I actually made myself a couple, so I could eat one before taking these photos!
photo of a mug cake with another one behind it

As a little reminder, in case you’re still scrambling for gifts, my 5-Minute Mug Cakes cookbook* is available nearly everywhere online and in-store.

5-Minute Mug Cakes cookbook cover

*Some of the links contained in this post are affiliate links. Much like referral codes, this means I earn a small commission if you purchase a product I referred (at no extra charge to you).

Red Velvet Mug Cake

Servings: 1
Prep Time: 4 minutes
Cook Time: 1 minute
Total Time: 5 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Red velvet cake is perfect for the holidays and this easy 5-minute mug cake is a great way to treat yourself! For best results, be sure to review the recipe notes before you make yours.


  • 4 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp unsweetened dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tbsp buttermilk
  • 1 tbsp fat free milk
  • 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/8 tsp distilled vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp red food coloring

cream cheese frosting (2 servings)

  • 1 oz cream cheese
  • 1 oz butter
  • 4-6 tbsp powdered sugar depending on how sweet you like your frosting


  • Combine all cake ingredients into an oversized 12-ounce microwave-safe mug. Mix with a small whisk until batter is smooth. Cook cake in microwave for about 1 minute.
  • Make the cream cheese frosting by combing all ingredients in a mixing bowl and mixing on high speed until frosting is light and fluffy. Frosting serves 2, so you can store the rest for a second cake later, or make two cakes. 


  • Please make sure you are as precise as possible. You'll note that you only use 1/8 tsp of baking soda and vinegar. This is a very small amount and estimating it and going over to even 1/4 tsp will affect the recipe, causing it to rise too much and dry out.
  • Do not leave out buttermilk or vinegar. Buttermilk is key to the flavor and the acid reacts with the baking soda to make the cake rise. Vinegar also reacts with the baking soda and it also brings out the red hue in the cocoa powder.
  • Depending on the type or brand of food coloring you are using, you might need slightly more food coloring to get the shade of red you desire. You should be able to tell if you need more right when it's done mixing and it's okay to add a few more drops if needed.
  • Make sure your mug is at least 12 oz. If you've successfully made previous mug cakes of mine, this cake rises much  more than some of the other ones. While some of my cakes fit in an 8oz mug, this one will rise to the top in a 12 oz, so  make sure you don't use a small mug.

The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.

Did you make this recipe?I'd love to see it! Mention @KirbieCravings and tag #kirbiecravings!



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Recipe Rating

18 comments on “Red Velvet Mug Cake”

  1. Can anything else be used instead of buttermilk? Financially and logistically unable to get any

    • You try using regular whole milk – the flavor will be a little less tangy but the cake should still be good.

  2. I am trying to watch my weight but every once in a while I crave something sweet. This is perfect, especially the Red Velvet Mug Cake. Can’t wait to try it when my sweet tooth strikes again. Thanks!

  3. Is it mandatory to use the vinegar and baking soda?

  4. My first time baking anything and your recipe was just plain awesome! Turned out really good. I’m a fan!

  5. Can you substitute regular milk in lieu of fat free milk? We only have regular milk in our household?

  6. Would I be able to prepare this ahead of time and serve a day later? 

    • no. mug cakes should be eaten the same day, otherwise they dry out. you could always make the batter ahead of time and cook it the day of

  7. Heh heh. Mary Poppins of Mug Cakes! 🙂 That made me laugh.

    • haha. It’s amusing. When I go to someone’s house with dessert and people will be like “that’s not a mug cake!” and at a holiday party, they kept hinting that they wouldn’t mind if I started making mug cakes and they had plenty of mugs just in case

  8. You are the queen of mug cakes, obviously. This is gorgeous. I’ve been attempting to make some this week and it’s way harder than it looks. Pinned!

    • aw thanks! There’s definitely a lot of trial batches before I get one I’m satisfied with. Luckily I have about a billion mugs so I don’t need to keep washing after each one.