Makes 2 mug cakes • Prep time: 5 minutes • Cook time: 1 minute • Quick

Red velvet is a classic cake characterized by a rich cocoa flavor, the tang of buttermilk, and a distinctive red crumb (thanks, usually, to food coloring). This version is super quick and you can make just 1 serving or several, depending on the moment.

  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 drop red gel food coloring (optional)

1.Sour the milk. In a medium bowl, whisk the milk and vinegar together and let stand for a few minutes.

2.Make the batter. Add the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt to the milk mixture and stir to mix well. Add the vegetable oil and food coloring (if using) and mix until smooth.

3.Microwave the cake. Divide the batter between the cooking vessels. Microwave on high for 45 seconds. The cake should puff up when cooked through. Cook for an additional 15 to 30 seconds, if needed. Serve immediately

Equipment Hack

Use two widemouthed canning jars instead.


If you happen to have buttermilk or sour cream on hand, use ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons of that in place of the milk and white vinegar. To incorporate the flavor of a cream cheese frosting, stir 2 tablespoons of room temperature cream cheese with 2 teaspoons of sugar and drop half into each mug of batter before microwaving.