Have you ever wanted to bake a cake and all you have is a microwave? Most people settle for a simple little mug cake, but I’ve got a Microwave Cake recipe that will get you a deliciously moist layer cake perfect for a little birthday get together. This post contains affiliate links.

Close up of slice of yellow cake with chocolate frosting on on it.

What do you bake a microwave cake in?

You can make this cake using the usual 8 x 8 square baking dish. It’s always my go to for cakes and casseroles in the microwave. If you have 9-inch round silicone cake pans, you could also make this as a round layer cake.

Can you make a microwave cake from a box mix?

Yes! I have done this with both regular 15-16 oz cake mix boxes like Duncan Hines or Betty Crocker as well as with 9 oz boxes of Jiffy Golden Yellow Cake.

If you’re using the Jiffy Golden Yellow Cake mix, you’ll need one box per layer, so a two-layer cake will take 2 boxes. For the 15-16 oz cake mixes, you’ll just need one box for two layers.

Four photo collage of making a basic yellow cake mix from batter to finished cooked cake.

Use the ingredients listed on the box for each cake mix. Plus, you’ll need instant pudding mix to keep it nice and moist.

You will need the larger size box of instant pudding, it will be 5-6 oz. I use vanilla for yellow cakes and chocolate for chocolate cakes. When using it for the 9 oz Jiffy Cake mixes, you’ll use 1/2 the package of instant pudding for each box cake. For the 15-16 oz cake mixes, you’ll add the whole box of instant pudding.

I also cut a piece of parchment paper to fit the bottom of the pan.

The layer cake on top of each other with a big layer of frosting in between

How do you cook a cake in the microwave?

I make each layer one at a time using the same pan, so they’ll all be the same exact size. I wrap each one in plastic wrap and put it in the fridge while the next one cooks.

When you cook the cake in the microwave, cook for about 6 minutes and then check the top of the cake. It should look dry with no wet batter, and it will be pulling away from the sides of the dish. I find my 1000-watt microwave does best with 7 minutes cooking.

I would recommend starting at 5 or 6 minutes and checking to make sure it’s done. Then, pop it in the microwave for 1-minute increments until it’s done.

How do you decorate a microwave layer cake?

Frosting a yellow layer cake with chocolate frosting.

This is totally up to you. You can make your own fresh buttercream frosting in a mixer or just buy store bought canned frosting. Unless it’s a very special occasion, I use store bought frosting.

From my experience with microwave cakes, I think Duncan Hines is the best frosting for them. When we used Pillsbury, it kept trying to slide off the cake, but Duncan Hines stayed put. However, I do like buying the Pillsbury prefilled pastry bags of frosting to decorate the top once the cake is completely frosted.

Close up view of the whole chocolate cake made in the microwave.

More Microwave Dessert Recipes

Microwave Layer Cake
Yield: 1 cake (2 layers)

Microwave Layer Cake

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 14 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 19 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 Jiffy 9 oz cake mixes OR 1 15-16 oz cake mix + ingredients on box (eggs, water, oil, etc.)
  • 1 5-6 oz box of instant pudding mix (vanilla for yellow cake / chocolate for chocolate cake)
  • 1-2 cans of frosting
  • Optional: Pillsbury Prefilled Pastry Bag of Frosting

Instructions

  1. Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit in an 8 x 8 square baking dish (or 9-inch silicone round pan)
  2. Mix the ingredients together until well combined.
  3. Fill the dish 1/2 full with batter.
  4. Microwave for 6-7 minutes and check for doneness (dry top and pulling away from sides).
  5. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  6. Run a knife gently around the sides and invert baking dish onto your hand to gently remove cake.
  7. Set cake layer on a plate.
  8. Repeat steps 1-6 for second layer of cake if using Jiffy 9 oz cake
  9. Clean the baking dish for second layer.
  10. If using the second half of the batter from larger cake mix, add the parchment paper again and the batter to fill the dish halfway.
  11. Microwave the cake for 6-7 minutes and check doneness again.
  12. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  13. While the second layer is cooling, begin frosting the first layer.
  14. Add the second layer and continue frosting until complete.
  15. Decorate as you wish.
  16. Serve immediately.
  17. Store in a covered dish on the counter for 2-3 days. Refrigerate for up to a week.