Teh Tarik Mug Cake – a Malaysian Tea Mug Cake Recipe

teh tarik mug cake
The teh tarik mug cake – almost as sinful as the real thing

Mug cakes are pretty popular right now, and there’s good reason why. They’re simple, don’t require a lot of ingredients, and their single-sized portion is perfect for the solo eater, especially when you want a little cakey goodness without the commitment of baking an entire cake. Plus, they’re ready in a jiffy – most take just a few minutes to prep and cook from beginning to end. And the only fancy equipment you need is a microwave oven.

Finding the perfect mug cake recipe, however, is a whole other issue. Some are too dry, too sweet, or too hard. Some flavours are so fancy you might as well bake an entire cake from scratch. All you really want to do is grab a few ingredients you already have lying around, mix it up and turn it into a perfectly delicious sweet treat. Is that too much to ask? Enter Butterkicap’s teh tarik mug cake.

Yes, you read that right, teh tarik mug cake. We’re not even going to use fancy teas with this recipe, because the best kind of tea for a good teh tarik is of the cheap and strong variety. Remember those days when our parents or grandparents would make tea in a teko from a block of compressed tea dust? We’re using the same thing, except you can get them in individual tea bags nowadays. Any tea drinking Malaysian worth their salt will surely have some of these stashed in their cabinets somewhere. So, give your kitchen cabinets a dig for the ingredients below, and let’s get started on making your teh tarik mug cake!



  • 1 tea bag
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ tbsp granulated sugar
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • ¾ tbsp vegetable cooking oil + extra for oiling the mug
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract



  1. In a microwave-safe bowl or mug, microwave milk on high heat for 30 seconds.
  2. Add 1 whole tea bag to the milk, using a spoon to push in as much of the tea bag into the milk as possible. Set aside and let the tea steep into the milk.
Tea bag steeping in the milk
  1. In a separate bowl, add flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Use a whisk to combine the ingredients evenly.
Dry ingredients
  1. Remove tea bag from the milk, but first, don’t forget to squeeze out as much of the liquid from the tea bag as possible. We find this is easiest to do by pressing the tea bag against the wall of the mug with the back of a spoon. Discard tea bag.
  2. Add the milk-tea liquid to the mixed dry ingredients. Stir with a whisk until thoroughly combined.
  3. Next, add cooking oil and vanilla into the batter and stir with a whisk to mix through.
  4. Add a few drops of oil into a small microwaveable mug. You can either use a brush or a kitchen paper towel to spread the oil, covering all the inner surfaces of the mug. Alternatively, you can also use cooking spray.
  5. Pour the batter into your oiled mug.
  6. Microwave on high heat for 1 minute and 30 seconds.
  7. Let cool for a minute before serving.


Extra tips

  1. Go for teh tarik tea bags for the strongest flavour. If none is available, regular teh bags are fine too. Teh ‘O’ tea is a lot milder than regular teh tarik tea mixes, so we don’t recommend using those.
  2. Do not use those three-in-one teh tarik We gave them a whirl, but the flavour just doesn’t shine.
  3. Can’t get your hands on Malaysian-style tea? Choose strong black tea flavours like Darjeeling, Ceylon or Earl Grey instead. It won’t taste exactly the same, but it’s as close as you can get to a local teh tarik Avoid fruit teas or add-on flavours. And remember, you want tea dust (i.e. smashed up tea leaves) in your tea bags and not dried tea leaves, so opt for cheaper brands and leave the fancy ones for when granny or Prince William comes around.
  4. Mild flavoured cooking oils work best for this recipe, such as grapeseed, canola or sunflower oil. Leave your olive, sesame or coconut oils for other recipes.
  5. Microwave mug cakes will harden and become tough and chewy once it cools, so be sure to eat it while it’s still hot!
  6. For extra teh tarik feels, drizzle some condensed milk prior to eating. The teh tarik mug cake also pairs well with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Yum.

Rich with a lovely teh tarik flavour and a soft, fluffy apom-like texture, this simple recipe and technique yields a very impressive cake. It’s perfect for a party of one, or when a friend or relative pops by unannounced. Give it a try and show us your mug cake by tagging your pictures with #butterkicap!


Butterkicap Team

We're just a small group of friends who love food, culture and Malaysia. We saw the rise of mediocre food, deteriorating relationships and missed the good old days of Malaysia where food was good, homes were warmer and full of friends and family. So we rolled up our sleeves, and made Butterkicap with the hope that it will bring people and flavors home.

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