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The design, realization, and characterization of a compact magnetron-type microwave cavity operating with a TE011-like mode are presented. The resonator works at the rubidium hyperfine ground-state frequency (i.e., 6.835 GHz) by accommodating a glass cell of 25 mm diameter containing rubidium vapor. Its design analysis demonstrates the limitation of the loop-gap resonator lumped model when targeting such a large cell, thus numerical optimization was done to obtain the required performances. Microwave characterization of the realized prototype confirmed the expected working behavior. Double-resonance and Zeeman spectroscopy performed with this cavity indicated an excellent microwave magnetic field homogeneity: the performance validation of the cavity was done by achieving an excellent short-term clock stability as low as 2.4 x 10(-13) tau(-1/2). The achieved experimental results and the compact design make this resonator suitable for applications in portable atomic high-performance frequency standards for both terrestrial and space applications. c 2012 American Institute of Physics. []