Get a recipe for a chocolate gluten-free mug cake that’s perfect serving for one. This recipe is also dairy-free and egg-free.
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If you’ve found yourself wandering through your kitchen with a sweet tooth in the evening with no desserts in sight, you may have gotten desperate to find a recipe that you can put together quickly and easily.
And if you’re the person in your house who craves cake but no one else in your household could be bothered with this type of dessert, know you’re not alone in this either.
If you’re following a gluten and dairy-free diet, you know that finding gluten and dairy-free desserts are fairly hard to come by at the grocery store.
Sometimes just making your own cake at home is easier than spending $7 on a single serve brownie that actually will work for you (if you’re lucky enough to find one), you’re definitely not alone.
All three of these scenarios are me. And if you’re reading this, you might be this person too.
Enter the gluten-free mug cake. That also happens to be dairy-free and egg-free.
This is THE solution to a single-serving dessert that tastes delicious, takes eight ingredients that you likely already have sitting in your pantry, and only a little over one minute of your time.
Oh – and all you need is a mug and a microwave.
Have I sold this to you yet?
In this post, we’re going to go through everything you need to know about making a gluten and dairy-free mug cake, including what a mug cake is, what ingredients you need, and how to make substitutions to a regular mug cake recipe to make it work for your diet.
We’ll also go over the specific steps to follow to make this cake, as well as toppings to add, and tips for the best gluten-free mug cake you could possibly make.
If you’re ready to find out about one of the easiest cake recipes of your life, let’s get into it!
What is mug cake?
A mug cake is a type of cake that is made in a mug (or other microwave-safe container) that is usually made as a single-serving.
You can make the cake by mixing the ingredients right in the mug, then microwaving for just a few minutes to get a warm, gooey cake that is prepared without ever having to turn on the oven.
Mug cakes can be made in a variety of flavors, but the most popular are chocolate and vanilla. You can get creative with toppings or mix-ins, like frosting, whipped cream, peanut butter, chocolate chips, fruit, and sprinkles. Of course, anything you love can go on your mug cake!
What ingredients usually go in a mug cake?
The main ingredients usually found in mug cake recipes are flour, sugar, eggs, vanilla, baking powder, milk, and some form of fat (usually butter or oil). For a chocolate mug cake, cocoa powder is also usually added.
How do you make mug cake gluten-free?
To make a mug cake gluten-free, you’ll want to be sure to swap a traditional enriched flour for a gluten-free flour blend.
I like to use a measure-for-measure gluten-free flour for most of my baking. It works for recipes I’m trying to make substitutions with, but also with almost all my other baked goods.
What’s the best flour for gluten-free mug cake?
There is no “best” flour for a gluten-free mug cake, but I always prefer to use a gluten-free flour blend. One that already has xanthan gum as a binder, and is fairly lightweight, so that it rises well in the microwave. No one likes a flat, dense cake.
My preference is King Arthur Measure-for-Measure Gluten-free Flour Blend, but you can use whatever gluten-free flour blend you have on hand for this mug cake recipe.
How do you make mug cake dairy-free?
To make a mug cake dairy-free, you’ll want to be sure to not include any dairy ingredients. In some mug cake recipes, you’ll find butter or milk as ingredients. In this recipe, we omit all dairy and still get a great tasting chocolate mug cake.
How do you make mug cake egg-free?
To make a mug cake egg-free, we simply omit the egg. Some mug cake recipes call for eggs, but they aren’t entirely necessary to make a delicious cake. This recipe uses baking powder to make the egg rise and olive oil to maintain moisture, so the eggs aren’t needed.
Ingredients for gluten-free mug cake
To make this gluten-free mug cake, these are the ingredients you’ll want to be sure to have on hand before getting started.
Gluten-free flour blend
Whatever gluten-free flour blend you have on hand will work for this recipe. My go-to choice is King Arthur Gluten-free Measure-for-Measure flour blend, because it works in almost all the recipes I make with great results.
It can be used in specifically gluten-free recipes, as well as recipes that I’m trying to convert to gluten-free with only this one ingredient.
For some home-baked flavor, adding a bit of vanilla extract goes a long way. Use whatever you have on hand. I used the Kirkland Signature one I had in my pantry, but other favorite brands include Neissen-Massey and Simply Organic.
Baking powder gives these gluten-free muffins some lift when they’re baking, so they rise just a bit. Be sure your baking powder is gluten-free for this recipe.
Salt is a much-needed ingredient in these muffins to simply give them a bit of flavor, and balance the sweetness of the bananas and syrup.
This ingredient adds the chocolate flavor to this gluten-free mug cake. If you want a vanilla mug cake, you can omit this ingredient.
The vanilla extract adds that home cooked flavor and aroma to the mug cake that makes it taste so good. Don’t skip this ingredient!
You can use vegetable oil in this recipe if you’d like, but I opt to use olive oil instead because it has more heart-healthy fats and no trans fats.
Dairy-free chocolate chips
While the chocolate chips are completely optional in this gluten-free mug cake recipe, I love adding them for a little extra flavor and deliciousness. Many chocolate chips are made with dairy, but it’s not too hard to find options that don’t.
Kirkland Signature chocolate chips usually are dairy-free (be sure to check ingredients before buying just in case!). Trader Joe’s has a dairy-free option, and of course the specific allergy-friendly brands, like Enjoy Life also sell dairy-free chocolate chips.
How to make gluten-free mug cake step-by-step
Now that you know what ingredients you need, let’s go over step-by-step how to make your gluten-free mug cake come together.
Combine the dry ingredients
In a microwave-safe mug that can hold up to 12 oz, combine the gluten-free flour blend, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cocoa powder. Whisk to combine.
Add the wet ingredients
Add in the vanilla extract, olive oil, and water. Stir until well combined and there are no lumps.
Sprinkle on dairy-free chocolate chips
Next, sprinkle the dairy-free chocolate chips over the top of the batter in an even layer.
Transfer to the microwave and cook
Transfer the mug to the microwave and microwave on high for 1 minute 10 seconds.
Test the doneness
Test the doneness of the cake by inserting a toothpick into the center. You will know it’s done when the toothpick comes out clean. If the toothpick does not come out clean, put it back in the microwave for another 10 seconds at a time until done.
Remove the mug and let cool
Carefully remove the mug from the microwave and cool for a few minutes before digging in.
Add toppings and enjoy!
Top with your favorite toppings, like dairy-free whipped cream, fresh fruit, powdered sugar, or more dairy-free chocolate chips.
What toppings should I add to my gluten-free mug cake?
To make your gluten-free mug cake completely your own, you can add any variety of toppings to it. Here are a few ideas to consider adding to yours for extra flavor and texture.
- Fresh berries like raspberries, blueberries, or strawberries
- Sliced bananas
- Dairy-free whipped cream made from coconut cream or soy-based whipped topping from the store
- Chopped nuts like almonds or pecans
- Melted peanut butter drizzled on top
- Dairy-free chocolate sauce or chocolate chips
- Toasted coconut flakes
- Powdered sugar dusting
Tips for the best gluten-free mug cake
Though this recipe for a gluten-free mug cake is pretty straightforward, here are a few tips that will help you make sure it comes together successfully.
Be aware of the size of your mug and don’t overfill
Use a microwave-safe 12 oz mug to make sure this recipe cooks evenly and doesn’t overflow. Fill the mug no more than halfway with the batter to prevent making a mess in your microwave.
Place the cake on a microwave-safe plate
Place the cake on a microwave-safe plate or even a paper towel in the microwave the first time you make this recipe to help you determine if the mug you’re using is big enough. This will help catch any ingredients that might overflow during cooking.
Be aware of the power wattage of microwave
Be mindful of the power wattage of your microwave. If you have a higher wattage microwave, you may need to adjust the cooking time to prevent overcooking or burning the mug cake.
This recipe calls for about 90 to 120 seconds of cook time in a 1000 watt microwave, but this might need to be adjusted based on the wattage of your microwave.
I also have found that the shape of the mug I’m using impacts the length of time needed for cooking.
Let the cake rest before digging in
Once your mug cake is done cooking in the microwave, let it cool for a minute or two before removing from the microwave.
Save your hands from handling a hot mug and also from burning your mouth.
Test the doneness of the cake before letting it cool
To make sure your mug cake is cooked through, insert a toothpick or cake tester into the center of the cake. If it comes out clean, the cake is done.
If not, continue cooking in 10-15 second intervals until you’ve decided it’s cooked through completely.
More gluten and dairy-free cake recipes
- 101 Gluten-free Dairy-free Cake Recipes
- 5 Best Gluten-free Dairy-free Cake Mixes
- Dairy and Gluten-free Chocolate Zucchini Cake
- 25 Gluten-free Vegan Cake Recipes
- 15 Gluten-free Dairy-free Chocolate Cake Recipes
- 25 Dairy-free Frosting Recipes
- ¼ cup gluten-free flour blend
- 3 tbsp sugar
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ⅛ tsp salt
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- ¼ tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- ¼ cup water
- 1 tbsp dairy-free chocolate chips
- In a microwave-safe mug that can hold up to 12 oz, combine the gluten-free flour blend, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cocoa powder. Whisk to combine.
- Add in the vanilla extract, olive oil, and water. Stir until well combined and there are no lumps.
- Next, sprinkle the dairy-free chocolate chips over the top of the batter in an even layer.
- Transfer the mug to the microwave and microwave on high for 1 minute 10 seconds.
- Test the doneness of the cake by inserting a toothpick into the center. You will know it's done when the toothpick comes out clean. If the toothpick does not come out clean, put it back in the microwave for another 10 seconds at a time until done.
- Carefully remove the mug from the microwave and cool for a few minutes before digging in.
- Top with your favorite toppings, like dairy-free whipped cream, fresh fruit, powdered sugar, or more dairy-free chocolate chips.
Don't overfill your mug! Only fill to about halfway. Use a plate the first time you make this to ensure something will catch any overflowing cake and there's less mess to clean up.
Be aware of the wattage of your microwave. Mine is 1000 watts, so adjust accordingly if your is higher or lower with more or less time.
Let your cake cool before digging in. It will be hot!