Best Pumpkin Cake Recipe [in the Microwave]

This Pumpkin Cake is a delicious, quick and easy fall treat you’ll love! Made with ingredients you probably already have on hand, this one person microwave dessert is ready in about 5 minutes.

A pumpkin cake topped with whipped cream on a table next to a spoon and cinnamon sticks.
Fall spices and pumpkin flavor make this mug cake the perfect dessert!

I have a bad sweet tooth and I love a good, quick dessert for one. This pumpkin cake is absolutely delicious. And it’s super easy to do.

Why this recipe works

You can make this easy dessert in the microwave anytime you crave something sweet. And because you don’t need to turn on the oven, you can start enjoying it even before the weather starts to get cold.

I never thought I was a huge pumpkin fan. But then I realized that when done right, pumpkin desserts are amazingly tasty! (If you don’t like pumpkin, you can try my microwave bread pudding recipe!)

This cozy dessert uses things you probably already have on hand (maybe stock up on a few boxes of pumpkin for the season so you can whip it up anytime).

The recipe takes a classic mug cake and makes it suitable for fall with the canned pumpkin and warm fall spices in the pie spice. It’s comfort food for 1!

The flavor is like a spice cake that has been kissed by the pumpkin. It’s soft and tender and I can’t wait to stuff it in my face again soon.

Need a bigger pumpkin dessert to feed a crowd? Serve pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting, pumpkin cake or fireball pumpkin pie.

Notes on ingredients

Ingredients labeled for making pumpkin cake in the microwave.

While I generally like to make boxed cake desserts to keep things simple, a mug cake does require a few extra ingredients. These are typical cake mixes that you probably already have in your pantry.

Plain flour, salt, a Egg, vanilla, Butter, brown sugar and baking powder are needed for the base mix. I almost exclusively use salted butter but if you’re worried about sodium you can use unsalted.

You can use white sugar if you prefer, but brown sugar gives it a bit more depth of flavor.

Canned Pumpkin Puree and pie spices bring this delicious dessert in the fall. If you don’t have pie spice, you can either make it yourself or use whatever spices you think are good like cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, etc.

I used heavy cream making this cake because I love how rich it makes it. You can use regular milk if you prefer. Skim milk might not give you the best flavor, but it will probably work anyway.

Step by step instructions

This recipe is prepared in a microwave-safe 10-ounce cup or more (these are a little bigger). The cake will go up a bit so you want to make sure it doesn’t spill over the top.

I prefer to make this pumpkin spice mug cake straight in the cup as it won’t mess up another dish, but you can make it in a small bowl and then transfer it to the cup for baking if you prefer.

Spray mug with non-stick cooking spray for easy cleanup.

Add flour to a cup for a single dessert.

In the cup, add the flour, brown sugar, pie spices, baking powder and salt.

Whisk the ingredients in a mug.

Whisk the dry ingredients together.

Add mashed pumpkin to a cup for a microwave cake for one person.

Add the pumpkin. In my opinion, this is the perfect amount of pumpkin. You get a nice pumpkin flavor without being overly overbearing.

Add eggs to a cup for a mug cake recipe.

Add the melted butter, heavy cream, egg and vanilla.

Woman mixing a mug cake with a fork.

Mix well with a fork.

Woman putting cup cake in microwave for baking.

Place the mug in the microwave and cook for 1 1/2 minutes. It probably won’t be done, but everyone’s microwave is different, so a quick check is always good. But no need to mix it up or anything.

Put it back on for another 1 1/2 minutes. Use a toothpick or cake tester to make sure it’s cooked through.

Add whipped cream on top of a pumpkin cake.

Leave to cook for a few minutes before tasting. The flavors always stand out a little more when the temperature is not very hot.

Top with whipped cream, candied pecans, a drizzle of caramel, or even another pinch of brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice.

Or eat it plain. It’s delicious no matter how you serve it.

Tips and tricks

  • The cake will rise as it bakes but will run a little as it cools.
  • Make sure to mix the dough well. Consider using a spatula to make sure there are no dry ingredients left in the bottom of the cup.
  • Although these are called mug cakes, I find that shorter, wider bowls like a large ramekin work best for a uniform cook. However, the mug I used worked perfectly!
  • Change this recipe as you see fit. It would also be delicious with mixed chocolate chips!
  • Make sure to use pure pumpkin in a box with no additional spices.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a mug cake?

A mug cake is a dessert made for one person that is baked in a mug, usually in the microwave. It is a single serving of cake that can be prepared and eaten directly from the container in which it is baked. And you can whip them up in all kinds of savory flavors like this pumpkin spiced version.

Can you make a bigger batch?

I guess you can make more than one or use the recipe card to increase the portions, but what makes a mug cake so awesome is that it’s a single serving. If you want to make a bigger pumpkin dessert, I would make a pumpkin cake instead.

Can you save the leftovers?

Yes. But do you have any leftovers? I laugh. Just let the cup and cake cool completely. Cover with foil and store in the refrigerator. This will last a day or two, especially if you haven’t added any toppings. To eat, let come to room temperature or in the microwave for 15 seconds. You don’t want to cook it anymore, just take the cold.

Completed shot of microwaved pumpkin cake.

This delicious Pumpkin Cake is sweet and spicy and has the best flavor! Make one for yourself whenever you need a tasty treat!

  • Make a delicious pumpkin pie and salted caramel milkshake! It’s perfect for hot days before the weather starts to look like fall.
  • A pumpkin trifle is an easy layered dessert that’s great for a crowd.
  • A brown sugar pie is an old-fashioned dessert you won’t get enough of. This is a great option if you are not a pumpkin fan.
Ipad on a table with a digital pumpkin recipe book lying on a cutting board next to a wooden spoon.
Close-up of a pumpkin spice cake topped with whipped cream and pecans.

Pumpkin Cake

This delicious pumpkin cake is ready in 5 minutes and is the perfect dessert for one person! Made in the microwave, it’s a fun fall treat to savor.

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Course: Dessert

Food: American

Preparation time: 2 minutes

Cooking time: 3 minutes

Total time: 5 minutes

Servings: 1 cake

Calories: 459kcal

Instructions

  • Spray your microwave-safe mug with non-stick cooking spray.

  • In the cup, add the brown sugar, flour, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice and salt.

  • Whisk together to combine.

  • Add the egg, heavy cream, pumpkin, melted butter and vanilla.

  • Mix well to combine. Use a spatula to scrape the dry ingredients from the bottom of the cup.

  • Place the mug in the microwave and cook for 1 1/2 minutes then check but do not mix.

  • Cook for another 1 1/2 minutes.

  • Use a toothpick to check that the center is cooked through.

  • Let cool for about 3 minutes before tasting.

  • Garnish with whipped cream, candied pecans, a drizzle of caramel or vanilla ice cream if desired.

Remarks

  • The cake will rise as it bakes but will run a little as it cools.
  • Make sure to mix the dough well. Consider using a spatula to make sure there are no dry ingredients left in the bottom of the cup.
  • Although these are called mug cakes, I find that shorter, wider bowls like a large ramekin work best for a uniform cook. However, the mug I used worked perfectly!
  • Change this recipe as you see fit. It would also be delicious with mixed chocolate chips!
  • Make sure to use pure pumpkin in a box with no additional spices.

Nutrition

Portion: 1cake | Calories: 459kcal | Carbohydrates: 59g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 22g | Saturated fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated fats: 2g | Monounsaturated fats: 6g | Trans fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 214mg | Sodium: 1892mg | Potassium: 279mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 37g | Vitamin A: 10342UI | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 91mg | The iron: 3mg


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