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Strawberry Shortcake in a Mug

This “Strawberry Shortmug Cake” is a single-serving spin on the traditional strawberry shortcake. A fluffy vanilla buttermilk mug cake is topped with macerated strawberries mixed with lemon zest, then served with ice cream. So good!

A pink mug on a wood table with vanilla mug cake, strawberries and ice cream

Strawberries are in season and my accidental strawberry patch is exploding with fruit.

How does one get an accidental strawberry patch you wonder? Well, a few years ago I grew strawberries in containers, then threw them all into the back corner of our property when winter arrived. The plants had withered with the deep cold and I assumed they were dead. How wrong I was. They have come back bigger and bolder every year since then, expanding their territory with each season. It’s pretty awesome…. except for that one year when a bear discovered them and literally bent our fence into the ground to get the berries. Life at the edge of the woods ya’ll!

Strawberry Shortcake in a mug is one of my favorite ways to use all those fresh berries for a quick & easy summer dessert. Few desserts beat a good strawberry shortcake on a hot day. Give me a spoonful of fluffy cake, sweet strawberries and cool vanilla ice cream and I’m in heaven. You too?

A vanilla buttermilk mug cake in a pink mug on a wood table

Why Make Strawberry Shortcake in a Mug?

I love traditional strawberry shortcake, but I’m not always patient enough to make the biscuits or wait for a big bowl of strawberries to macerate. That’s where this Strawberry Shortmug Cake comes in. It’s FAST, it’s EASY and it’s TASTY. What’s not to love? Plus, with this mug cake recipe you can make a single serving strawberry shortcake.

The base of this Strawberry Shortcake is a vanilla buttermilk mug cake. It’s moist, fluffy and goes with pretty much anything you put on it. It is similar to my vanilla mug cake recipe, except a bit sweeter with a slight tang from the buttermilk and a pinch of kosher salt to bring out the sweetness.

A pink mug on a wood table with vanilla mug cake, topped with ice cream

What You’ll Need

The ingredients list for this mug cake is a bit longer than my other mug cakes, but this variation is just as easy to make. Here’s what you’ll need. Be sure to scroll down to the recipe card for specific amounts.

For the strawberry topping:

  • Strawberries – I only used 6 large strawberries, but if you have smaller berries or just want more strawberry topping you can use more.
  • Lemon – This is for the lemon zest. I recommend using an organic lemon since the skin itself is being used.
  • Sugar – You can add a bit more than I’ve recommended if your strawberries are not sweet enough. I don’t recommend omitting the sugar or reducing how much is used.

For the cake:

  • Egg – I always add an egg yolk to my mug cakes. I find the it produces a more tender cake. (Plus, I always have too many eggs.)
  • Buttermilk – If you don’t have buttermilk you can also use regular milk or plant based milk.
  • Oil – I used olive oil, but you can use whatever oil you have on hand.
  • Vanilla Extract – Pure vanilla extract only.
  • Sugar – I used white sugar, but you can also use light brown sugar and turn this into a brown sugar mug cake!
  • All purpose flour
  • Baking powder
  • Kosher salt – Adding just a pinch brings out the sweetness of the cake.

For serving:

  • Vanilla ice cream – This is my preferred topping for strawberry mugcake, but you can also add whipped cream or whatever else you like.
A vanilla mug cake in a pink mug with ice cream, a spoon has taken a scoop out

How to Make Strawberry Shortcake in a Mug

There are a couple steps to making this mug cake because you need to make the strawberry filling, then the vanilla cake. It’s super simple though! Here’s how to do it:

Make the strawberry filling: 

Remove the stems from your strawberries, then cut them into small pieces. Cutting them into pieces is important because it will let them macerate with the sugar and lemon zest more quickly.

Place the strawberry bits a medium sized bowl along with the lemon zest and sugar. Mash it all together with a potato masher, then set aside while you make your mug cake.

Make the cake:

Combine the wet ingredients in a large mug. In a microwave safe mug combine the egg yolk, buttermilk, oil, vanilla extract and sugar. Mix well.

Add the dry ingredients. This is the flour and baking powder.

Mix until there are no large lumps or dry mixture. Don’t over mix, you just want all the dry ingredients to be incorporated. Be sure to scrape along the bottom edges of your mug.

There is a fine balance when creating the best mug cake – you want to make sure all the dry ingredients have been incorporated, but you don’t want to mix so much that your batter starts to develop gluten (like in bread). Over mixed mug cake batter will result in a chewy cake.

Microwave for about 1 min 45 seconds to 2 min. The amount of time needed will depend upon your microwave. Mine cooks a mug cake in 1 min 45 seconds.

Test your mug cake. The cake is done when it is firm to the touch and springs back slightly if you press it with your finger.

Serve. Let the cake cool for a couple minutes, then top with strawberry filling and vanilla ice cream. If you want to really go all out, add whipped cream too!

A pink mug on a wood table with vanilla mug cake, strawberries and ice cream

Tips for Success

  • Use a LARGE microwave safe mug. I say this on every mug cake recipe, but it is really important that you use a microwave safe mug that is big enough to allow your cake to expand. I recommend at least 15 oz. If you use a mug that is too small, the batter will go over the edges of the mug while it is cooking.
  • Let it cool. Possibly the hardest part of making a mug cake right here. You have to give it time to cool! It will be very hot. Give it a few minutes to cool down before adding your strawberries and ice cream.

More Easy Mug Cake Recipes

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Strawberry Shortcake in a Mug

A pink mug on a wood table with vanilla mug cake, topped with ice cream

This easy “Strawberry Mugcake” is a single-serving spin on the traditional strawberry shortcake. A fluffy vanilla buttermilk mug cake is topped with macerated strawberries mixed with lemon zest, then served with ice cream. 

  • Author: Rustic Family Recipes
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 minutes
  • Total Time: 7 minutes
  • Yield: 1 mug cake 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Microwave
  • Cuisine: American

Ingredients

Scale

For the strawberry topping:

  • 6 strawberries
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 teaspoons sugar

For the cake:

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 4 tablespoons buttermilk 
  • 1 tablespoon oil (olive oil or canola oil)
  • ¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons sugar 
  • 4 ½ tablespoons all purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch of kosher salt

For serving:

  • Vanilla ice cream
  • Whipped cream

Instructions

Make the strawberry filling: 

Remove the stems from the strawberries, then cut them into small pieces. Place in a medium sized bowl along with the lemon zest and sugar. Mash gently with a potato masher, set aside.

Make the cake:

Combine the wet ingredients in a large mug. In a microwave safe mug combine the egg yolk, buttermilk, oil, vanilla extract and sugar. Mix well.

Add the dry ingredients. This is the flour and baking powder.

Mix until there are no large lumps or dry mixture. Don’t over mix, you just want all the dry ingredients to be incorporated. Be sure to scrape along the bottom edges of your mug.

Microwave for about 1 min 45 seconds to 2 min. Microwave time will depend upon your microwave. Mine cooks a mug cake in 1 min 45 seconds.

Test your mug cake. The cake is done when it is firm to the touch and springs back slightly if you press it with your finger.

Serve. Let the cake cool for a couple minutes, then top with strawberry filling, vanilla ice cream and whipped cream.

Keywords: strawberry mug cake, buttermilk mug cake

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