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Pancakes in a Mug with Tart Cherries


Pancakes in a Mug with Tart Cherries

These pancakes in a mug are perfect for busy mornings and make-ahead breakfasts! Montmorency Tart cherries are stirred in for the perfect sour-sweet flavor combo. This post is written by me in partnership with the Michigan Cherry Committee.
Pancake with tart cherries in a white mug. Small pitcher behind.

Pancake with tart cherries in a white mug. Small pitcher behind.

Pancakes in a mug are the ultimate “quick & easy” breakfast food! And when tangy Montmorency tart cherries are mixed in and paired with maple syrup, this nutrient-dense dish turns into a breakfast “Yes!”

In general, I use the microwave for reheating or defrosting items, and tend to veer away from using it to cook anything. That being said, my quick microwave egg cups and now this mug pancake recipe have proven that the microwave can be a handy tool and produce surprisingly good results.

After A LOT of testing (no less than 30 versions!), I finally came up with the perfect combination of ingredients and cook time. And as a bonus, you can store the leftover batter and use it for a quick breakfast on another day. Meal prep heaven!

My entire family have been long-time fans of all-things-tart-cherry. They curb our sweets cravings without being too sweet and are incredibly versatile. Besides using them in pancake batter, we regularly mix them with nuts for a quick trail mix (try my Curry Spiced Nuts with Dried Cherries), stir them into muffins and use them in savory dishes, such as salads and rice pilaf.

Five packages of U.S. grown Montorency tart cherries

Five packages of U.S. grown Montorency tart cherries

What you need for these pancakes in a mug:

These are the main components of this recipe:

  • Montmorency tart cherries: The star of the show! Look specifically for Montmorency tart cherries (grown in the U.S.). More on that below.
  • Flour: I used a combination of whole wheat pastry flour and all-purpose flour. Whole wheat pastry flour can be found in the baking aisle of many well-stocked grocery stores or online. It produces a lighter, less dense texture than regular whole wheat flour.
  • Other dry ingredients: Baking powder, ground cinnamon and salt.
  • Egg: You’ll need one large egg.
  • Milk: I used skim milk, but 1% would also work.
  • Oil: Use a neutral oil, such as avocado or canola oil.
  • Maple syrup: You’ll need a tablespoon for the batter and more for serving. My “maple syrup-loving” Canadian self is begging you to use pure maple syrup rather than the fake corn syrup version.

Ingredients for mug pancakes on a baking sheet.

Ingredients for mug pancakes on a baking sheet.

Tips for making pancakes in a mug:

This recipe follows a standard pancake batter formula. Whisk together the dry ingredients, whisk together the wet ingredients, then stir it all together and add the dried Montmorency cherries.

The difference is in the cooking. Once the batter is mixed, scoop some of the batter into a mug, stir in the dried tart cherries – with a few extras sprinkled on top – and cook in the microwave for about 1 minute.

To make clean-up a little easier, lightly coat the inside of the mug with cooking spray before adding the pancake batter.

For the mug: Any size mug will work. The ones you see in the photos are 8 ounces and on the shallow side, which makes the pancake come up closer to the rim.

For the microwave: I tested this recipe using a 1200 W microwave and achieved the best result cooking, one mug-full at a time, for 55 seconds. Adjust the cooking time accordingly if the wattage of your microwave is something other than 1200 W.

Collage of steps to making pancakes, ingredients in glass bowl.

Collage of steps to making pancakes, ingredients in glass bowl.

Scooping pancake batter into mug and adding Montmorency tart cherries.

Scooping pancake batter into mug and adding Montmorency tart cherries.

How to make these ahead of time:

Part of what makes these so handy for quick weekday breakfasts is that the batter can be made ahead of time. Store any leftover batter in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

The batter will separate as it rests in the fridge, so be sure to give it a good whisk before using it.

Scoop out what you need into a mug, stir in the tart cherries and cook.

Benefits of U.S. Montmorency tart cherries:

There is a growing body of research that touts Michigan U.S. Montmorency tart cherries as a superfruit with science-based benefits. Nearly all of the health research on cherries has been conducted on the U.S. Montmorency variety rather than other types of cherries.

The distinctive sour-sweet taste of tart cherries and jewel-like deep red color are thanks to anthocyanins, a flavonoid pigment in plants, which is often linked to health benefits thanks to anti-inflammatory properties.

Studies, such as this one have shown that Montmorency tart cherries may help to lower LDL cholesterol (the bad kind), which is linked to heart disease.

And who doesn’t need better sleep?! Montmorency tart cherries are also reported to contain high level of melatonin, which can help with regulating sleep. This study shows that correlation and positive effects.

Tips for buying Michigan Montmorency tart cherries:

Did you know that 75% of U.S. Montmorency tart cherries are grown in Michigan? Even though you won’t find fresh Montmorency cherries in the produce department, they are picked at the height of ripeness in the summertime, then quickly dried, frozen, canned or bottled and sent straight to the grocery store. A treat that can be enjoyed year-round and they retain that amazing dark red color!

As with most ingredients, buying products that are grown closer to home means that you’re purchasing something that hasn’t been traveling for weeks en route to the grocery store. Imported dried cherries often travel up to 5000 miles before reaching the store.

When looking for U.S. grown Montmorency tart cherries, look closely at the packaging. It will typically say “U.S. grown” or “Grown in the USA” prominently either on the front or the back of the package. Dried tart cherries may simply say “Montmorency” on the package. Tart cherries that have traveled internationally are either often not labeled (if in deli-style plastic containers) or the country of origin is listed in very small text (see photo below).

Collage of package of imported tart cherries.

Collage of package of imported tart cherries.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can I use all-purpose or whole wheat flour exclusively?

I tested this recipe with multiple combinations of all-purpose and whole wheat pastry flour and found that the best texture is achieved with either all-purpose flour exclusively or a 50-50 combination of the two flours. Using whole wheat flour exclusively produced a very dense, slightly gummy pancake.

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Can I use this batter to cook pancakes in a skillet?

Absolutely! Pour the pancake mixture into the preheated skillet set over medium heat and sprinkle the tart cherries over top of the batter.

What can I top this with?

A good glug of pure maple syrup is my favorite, but a sprinkle of chopped nuts or pepitas is a great addition, too. Or heat a little peanut butter in the microwave and drizzle it on top.

Pouring maple syrup of pancake in a mug with Montmorency tart cherries.

Pouring maple syrup of pancake in a mug with Montmorency tart cherries.

Pancake with tart cherries in a white mug. Small pitcher behind.Pancake with tart cherries in a white mug. Small pitcher behind.

Pancakes in a Mug with Montmorency Tart Cherries

Pancakes in a mug just made healthy breakfasts a whole lot easier! And even better, they’re packed with plump U.S. Montmorency tart cherries. It’s a win-win all round!

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Course: Breakfast

Cuisine: American

Keyword: Make-Ahead, Mug pancakes, Quick breakfast

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 minute

Total Time: 16 minutes

Servings: 6 Servings

Calories: 230.7kcal

Author: Dara Michalski | Cookin’ Canuck

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  • In a large bowl, whisk together the whole wheat pastry flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.

  • In a separate bowl, whisk the egg. Pour in the milk, oil and syrup. Whisk to combine.

  • Pour the milk mixture into the dry ingredients. Whisk to combine, until most of the lumps are gone. Some lumps are okay.

  • Lightly coat a mug or small coffee cup with cooking spray. Scoop 1/3 cup of the batter into the mug. Stir 1 tablespoon (except reserve a few cherries) into the batter in the mug. Lightly press the reserved cherries (3-4) onto the top of the batter.

  • Microwave for 45 to 60 seconds, or until the batter is set. (My microwave is 1200W and it took 55 seconds).

  • Drizzle with maple syrup. Serve.


Please note that I am not a medical or nutritional professional. I provide nutritional information for my recipes as a courtesy to my readers. It is calculated using the Sparks nutrition calculator and Weight Watchers points are calculated using the Recipe Builder on their site. While I attempt to provide information that is as accurate as possible, you should calculate the nutritional information independently before relying on it.


Serving: 1mug pancake | Calories: 230.7kcal | Carbohydrates: 33.2g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 8.1g | Saturated Fat: 1.3g | Cholesterol: 32mg | Sodium: 407.2mg | Fiber: 2.9g | Sugar: 9.1g

Tried this recipe?If you make this recipe, I’d love to see it on Instagram! Just use the hashtag #COOKINCANUCK and I’ll be sure to find it.

Disclosure: This post was written by me in partnership with the Michigan Cherry Committee. All opinions are my own. I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.



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