Apple spice zucchini mug cake is a quick fall treat to make when your sweet tooth strikes. Filled with simple baking ingredients, plus shredded zucchini and applesauce, this fluffy mug cake is ready in only 60 seconds in the microwave.
What is a mug cake? A mug cake is a single serving of cake that's cooked in a coffee mug in the microwave. If you love a slice of applesauce zucchini bread, this mug cake has a similar, slightly sweeter flavor.
This apple spice zucchini mug cake is made with applesauce, zucchini, and cozy fall spices for the perfect apple spice flavor. All you need are a few staple baking ingredients, plus some shredded zucchini and applesauce to get started.
Make yourself a mug cake next time that sweet tooth strikes! This mug cake makes one single serving, perfect for when you don't want leftovers lying around.
Ingredients and substitutions
- Zucchini - I recommend using finely grated zucchini, which has a less noticeable texture in your finished cake. You'll also want to squeeze out as much moisture as you can from your zucchini, otherwise your cake can turn out gummy.
- Applesauce - Adds moisture to your cake and replaces the oil normally used. Can be substituted with sweetened applesauce if needed - this will make your cake a little sweeter.
- Granulated sugar - Adds sweetness and moisture to your cake.
- Milk - Adds moisture to your cake. Can be any milk you have on hand, like cow's milk, almond milk, or oat milk.
- Vanilla extract - Adds depth of flavor to your mug cake. Can be omitted without affecting the texture of the cake.
- All-purpose flour - Adds structure to your cake. I haven't tested this recipe with anything other than all-purpose flour, so I can't say for sure how it would turn out with other types of flour.
- Baking powder - Adds lift to your cake. Cannot be substituted with baking soda, the two are not interchangeable.
- Spices - I added cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger to my mug cake. You're welcome to use equal amounts of apple pie spice, pumpkin spice, or just cinnamon to flavor your cake.
I recommend making your mug cake in a 12 ounce coffee mug. A tall, thin, standard coffee mug works well. The tall cylindrical shape of a standard mug helps your cake rise more.
This cake takes up about 8 ounces of space when cooked (and puffs up a little more in the microwave), so using a smaller mug may result in some cake batter spilling over the edges as it cooks.
How to make a moist mug cake
The moisture in this mug cake comes from your wet ingredients: shredded zucchini, applesauce, milk, and granulated sugar. Omitting or substituting these ingredients can cause your cake to turn out dry.
Take care not to overcook your cake - cooking for too long will result in a dry cake as well.
If you've never made a mug cake before, take a look at your cake after 50 seconds, then cook in 10 second increments after that until your cake no longer looks wet on the top.
Optional mix-ins and toppings
Want to add more to your apple spice zucchini mug cake? For mix-ins, add about 1 to 2 tablespoons to your batter before cooking. Here are a few mix-in ideas:
- White chocolate chips
- Diced fresh apple
- Top with whipped cream (once cooled)
- Top with a scoop of ice cream
- Drizzle caramel sauce on top
Apple Spice Zucchini Mug Cake
- 2 tablespoons finely grated zucchini, liquid squeezed out
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon milk
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- pinch nutmeg
- pinch ginger
- pinch salt
- In a 12 ounce coffee mug, add grated zucchini (with the liquid squeezed out first), applesauce, sugar, milk, and vanilla extract. Stir to combine.
- Add dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and salt. Stir until just combined.
- Microwave for 50 seconds, check your cake, then continue cooking in 10 second increments until the top of the cake no longer looks wet. Cooking time depends entirely on the wattage of your microwave and will vary model to model (we used a 1000 watt microwave oven).
- Allow cake to cool for 5 minutes before enjoying - it will be very hot straight from the microwave!
- a pinch = about 1/16 of a teaspoon
- spices can be substituted with apple pie spice blend or pumpkin pie blend.
- If using a smaller mug, place a paper towel under your mug before microwaving to catch any potential batter overflow. Cake will rise while cooking, and will take up about 8 ounces of space once cooked.