These cute desserts in a cup are perfect for individual servings! From mug cakes to parfaits to mini-trifles, everyone will flip for these sweet treats.
As much as I love a big old slice of cake, when that sweet-tooth hits, sometimes all you need is a single-serve treat.
They’re fast and just enough to curb that craving.
Dessert doesn’t have to take all day to make. And making small batches means you can have a few a week and never be bored!
I know mug cakes can be hit or miss, but these are tried and true!
I love serving desserts in mugs and glasses. They’re perfectly portioned and showcase any layers so well. Talk about Instagram-worthy!
But enough talk, let’s jump in! You won’t be able to resist these 25 adorable desserts in a cup.
1. Snickerdoodle Mug Cake
If you’re hesitant, it’s likely that you’ve tried a mug cake before and ended up with a hot, rubbery, sweet mess.
Fear not, as this recipe is more like a thick, soft cookie! It’s heaven in a cup.
And since this recipe doesn’t include eggs, there’s no fear of undercooking it.
But I still recommend working in 30-second increments and checking since microwaves vary from house to house.
To ensure you get that real cinnamon taste, alternate the cinnamon sugar with batter as you fill the mug.
2. Strawberry Shortcake Trifles
Sure, a big glass dish full of sponge, fruits, and cream is impressive, but what if you’re not looking to serve a hundred people?
I love using mason jars to make individual desserts. They’re adorable and showcase the layers perfectly.
Although, if you don’t want to buy mason jars (they’re pretty inexpensive and can be found online and in larger supermarkets), these can also be made in wine glasses!
3. Brownie in a Mug
Where I used to live, there was a Starbucks on every corner. With the app, I could order ahead and pick up my food on the way. I always loved getting a brownie!
It became a habit, and my addiction never faltered. Now, I no longer live within walking distance of 10 coffee shops, but the cravings still hit!
This recipe is the perfect way to keep me satisfied. Warm, fudgy, and loaded with chocolate chips, I usually top it with some whipped cream.
4. Oreo Dirt Pudding Parfaits (No-bake)
Granted, this dessert needs a little longer than 60 seconds in the microwave. But it’s no-bake and the perfect way to end a meal.
You can buy simple short glasses online (or even at the dollar store), and they work super well for these dessert cups.
With the cream cheese filling, it’s like eating a light cheesecake, and you can always switch out pudding flavors.
I like to use butterscotch pudding with golden Oreos.
5. Vanilla Funfetti Mug Cake (Egg and Dairy Free)
Keeping this mug cake dairy and egg-free is an excellent way to include your vegan friends. To be honest, you can’t even tell.
I like to use oat milk in mine because I prefer the flavor, but you can use almond or coconut. Of course, you can use regular milk, too!
6. Strawberry Eton Mess
I have a confession: I rarely make my own meringue anymore.
With the stuff you can buy from the store being so good, I often find myself taking the shortcut. This recipe is perfect for that!
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The ready-made meringues will hold for a while in your cupboard, so you can make this whenever the idea sparks.
7. Chocolate Peanut Butter Mug Cake
If you’re making a mug cake, you should go all-out. This recipe is the perfect combination of rich chocolate and creamy peanut butter.
The only thing missing is a touch of caramel on top.
If you’re feeling extra, throw in some chocolate chips or chopped up peanut butter cups.
8. No-Bake Berry Cheesecake Parfait
Using pound cake will cut your prep down for this, and since it’s just going to be doused in berries, nobody will know it’s store-bought.
For the berry sauce, you can adjust it to your liking. I’m a big fan of blueberries with raspberry and strawberry, but you can add in cherries if that’s your thing.
The colors will be super vibrant and pop against the creamy white cheesecake filling.
9. Individual No-Bake Cheesecake
Clean, classic, and so creamy, this dessert in a cup is as elegant as it comes.
I love the simplicity, letting the real cheesecake flavors shine. And since it’s not sliced, there’s no need to add gelatin.
Although, if you like it sweet and dense, try adding some melted white chocolate to the mix.
10. French Hot Chocolate Recipe
Paris ruined hot chocolate for me. I used to drink the packets of sugary cocoa with warm milk and be pretty happy with what I got. Not anymore!
In France, they drink real hot chocolate – as in hot, melted chocolate. It’s more or less a thin ganache made with milk and cream, and it’s to die for.
11. Coconut Mug Cake
This cake has coconut in the batter and coconut extract for added flavor. If you want it to be dairy-free, you could even use coconut milk.
Similarly, you can change out the whipped cream for whipped coconut cream. It will boost the coconut flavor and keep things vegan-friendly.
Top tip: toasted a bunch of coconut at once and keep it in an air-tight container for future use!
12. Strawberry Jell-O Parfait Cups
If you have an egg carton, you can make these super effective and colorful dessert cups.
Once your Jell-O mix is ready, pour it gently into your desired cup, which should be sitting at an angle.
I like to use egg cartons for this since they hold everything in place so well, and you can adjust the angle easily.
Once the Jell-O is set, you can sit them upright and fill them with your faux-cheesecake filling.
13. Honeydew Blueberry Lemon Cream Trifle
Making fruit salad in a cup is a fantastic way to ensure everyone gets some of everything.
When you have a big bowl, it can be easy to miss little bits that may have fallen to the bottom.
With these individual servings, everyone gets a little bit of everything and just enough lemon cream in every single bite.
14. Microwave Mug Blondie
Blondies incorporate everything I love about desserts. They’re thick, chewy, and have caramel and chocolate.
This mug cake ticks every box and then some. The brown sugar with enure a chewy texture, and the caramel candies will melt into the mix just right.
I love the creaminess you get from adding white chocolate, but they would be just as tasty with dark chocolate chips.
15. Rainbow Fruit Salad Cups
These are particularly great if you’re serving a crowd. Use disposable cups and make as many as you need.
I’m also a big fan of using a boozy syrup in the cups! Grand Marnier has a deep orange and vanilla flavor, but if you want something lighter, try using Bacardi.
16. Pina Colada Pudding Cups
Best served in martini glasses; these aren’t just for the adults at the party!
I like to use coconut milk to make the pudding, so you’ll get that great flavor in every bite.
Not to mention, the crushed pineapple that gets folded through is so delicious.
Here’s a chance to use some of that tasted coconut again. And don’t forget the little umbrellas!
17. Easy Microwave Apple Crisp in a Mug
For this recipe, you can either cut your apples nice and thin to ensure they cook in time or use a batch of microwave baked apples.
I keep a tub of these on hand all the time. Either way, the apples need to be layered with a crisp top and cooked.
If you like your topping to have a crunch, try making this in a ramekin and broiling for a minute or two with added brown sugar.
18. Blueberry Mug Muffin
This recipe is ideal for a chilly morning when you want something warm and sweet to start your day.
I like to use fresh blueberries, but you can use frozen ones, too. Since it won’t bake for too long, there won’t be too much excess liquid.
You can even make up a small batch of lemon glaze to drizzle over the top. Just add some lemon juice to a few spoons of powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
19. Nutella Crunch Dessert Shooters
Rich Oreo cookies are paired with a sinful Nutella mousse and whipped cream topping. Need I say more?
To be honest, this faux-Nutella-cheesecake is so good; I could eat it right from the bowl. But it’s extra special with the Oreo cookies and whipped cream.
Top tip for your next gathering: buy a bunch of disposable shot glasses.
They’re available online or in party-supply stores, and you can get them in different shapes and sizes.
Fill them with a variety of mouses and mini-trifles, and let people have their fill. It’s such a fun alternative to a big cake.
20. Root Beer Float
Remember these as a kid? When did we stop letting ourselves enjoy ice cream and soda?
Well, I’m bringing the combo back! They’re so easy to make. All you’ll need is a glass of your favorite soda and a scoop of ice cream.
Be sure to freeze your glass before serving, and top with a lot of whipped cream and a cherry.
21. Copycat Chick-fil-A Milkshake (Cookies & Cream)
I’ve made this more than a dozen times. Is there a better combination than cookies and cream?
You’ll need a blender for this and good quality ice cream. When blending the cookies, it’s best to get them to crumbs. That way, they don’t get stuck in your straw.
22. Cinnamon Roll in a Mug
Full disclosure: this is not a big fluffy cinnamon roll you can get from the mall. There’s no yeast in the mix, and it won’t get baked to caramelize the sugars.
But in a pinch, it’s pretty impressive.
The dough itself isn’t super sweet, which I actually prefer since I tend to over-do it with the glaze. And I added some chopped nuts and soaked raisins to mine.
23. Mango Float Supreme in a Cup
This mango beauty is something I dream about. It’s sweet, creamy, fruity, and the flavor packs quite a punch.
For starters, I ate way more of the mango soft-serve than I should have and was left with fewer portions that needed… oops!
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But trust me, it’s insanely good and impossible to resist.
If you’re stronger than me, the soft serve gets layered with graham cracker crumbs and a super sweet mango sauce.
The only thing missing is some toasted coconut and an umbrella.
24. Panna Cotta
I know I said that the cheesecake from above was pure elegance, and I meant it. But panna cotta is effortless elegance in dessert-form.
I like mine clean and white with nothing but vanilla flakes for color. And since you’ll serve it in the glass, there’s no fear of it collapsing when you turn it out.
If you’re looking for something more colorful, it can be served with a drizzle of fruit compote or chocolate ganache.
25. Copycat Starbucks Caramel Macchiato
I know that iced coffee isn’t a meal, and I don’t need it every time I go out. That doesn’t stop me, though.
With lockdowns and trying to stay home, I found myself really missing my Starbucks caramel frappuccino runs. So I had to do the next best thing and recreate it at home.
This is the perfect recipe because it’s super simple.
I keep vanilla simple syrup at home anyway, and with my caramel obsession, there’s almost always some in the fridge.
I like to use Starbucks blonde coffee, but you can use your favorite and make it as strong as you need.
26. Chocolate-Caramel Dessert Cups
The beauty of instant pudding is that you can easily change its flavor. This recipe just needs some melted chocolate mixed through for a creamy and smooth filling.
You could also mix half with peanut butter if you want the extra flavor.
I like to use graham cracker crumbs since they’re more neutral in flavor, but Oreo crumbs would be a great alternative.
27. Banana Bread Muffin in a Mug
So, I’m not a huge fan of the sprinkles in this recipe and swapped them out for mini-chocolate chips. But the rest is fantastic!
It takes just five ingredients – bananas, vanilla, flour, sugar, and baking powder – mixed in your mug.
After that, a quick 90 seconds in the microwave is all you’ll need.
28. Strawberry Pretzel Dessert Cups
Pretzels are salty, crunchy, and an excellent alternative to graham crackers or Oreos.
The salty crumb enhances most dishes, and there’s probably a bag in your pantry right now.
The great thing about this recipe is that you can switch out the fruit with ease. Blueberries or mixed berries would work just as well.
29. Banoffee Pie Cups
I know I say this a lot, but this is my favorite dessert!
Banana and caramel are my biggest weaknesses, so when they’re layered together in any form, I go… well, bananas.
I like to make my dulce de leche in the slow cooker, but you can buy it ready-made.
Of course, you can use regular caramel, too. It’s just not usually as thick.
Any cookie crumb will work here, though chocolate chip cookie crumbs work best for me.
30. Best Irish Coffee
Irish coffee is such an easy and tasty treat for a cold night. The whiskey will warm you through, and if you use decaf, there’s no worry about being kept up.
I also like to use Bailey’s or Tia Maria in my boozy coffees. But the whipped cream is non-negotiable!