This gluten-free apple mug cake is super fluffy and moist and bakes in the microwave. It’s ready from start to finish in less than 10 minutes and is an easy, single-serve treat with no eggs or dairy.
How to Make a Mug Cake
A mug cake mixes up right in the mug for a very quick and easy recipe. Mix up the wet ingredients with the sugar, add the flour and the rest of the dry ingredients and send it straight to the microwave.
The fastest way to bake a mug cake is in the microwave – it’s done in only 2 minutes! If you can wait, the texture of the cake is better when it has cooled. Most cakes (even oven baked ones) are kind of doughy and gluey straight out of the oven. So if you can wait an hour, I highly recommend it. Personally, I am super impatient and am guilty of eating a mug cake strait out of the microwave – it’s still yummy.
A mug cake is a great make-ahead dessert. If you’re serving dinner for 2, make the mug cakes in the morning and they’ll be perfect by the time you’re ready for dessert.
Gluten-free flour blend – King Arthur Measure for Measure is my preferred flour for gluten-free baking. It’s the most affordable of the ones I’ve tested and works well in almost all of my baked goods.
Oil is the best way to make a gluten-free cake moist, light and fluffy. Also, it incorporates easily and makes the cake dairy-free and vegan.
Apple juice is a super easy way to add apple flavor. I don’t drink apple juice, so a jar of it would sit in my fridge for weeks. To avoid this problem I keep a supply of juice boxes in the pantry for baking and cooking.
I like a little texture in my desserts, so a generous amount of diced apple adds to the apple flavor of this cake. A more firm apple like a granny smith or pink lady works best for baking, but since the baking time is so short, a red delicious, golden delicious or Macintosh would be ok too.
The rest of the ingredients are just the basics – salt, baking powder and vanilla.
I am a huge fan of cinnamon so I add a couple of pinches of ground cinnamon. If you’re not a cinnamon lover, the cake has enough flavor without it, so leave it out if you prefer
Mug Cake Toppings
You’ll likely want to eat this cake right away, so toppings that turn to liquid like frosting or whipped cream, are not good options.
- Caramel sauce is perfect if you love caramel apples. Or try my homemade apple caramel sauce.
- My favorite topping is white chocolate chips and a sprinkle of cinnamon. The chips will melt on the hot cake and make for a yummy gooey treat
- Cinnamon sugar is a super easy topping. Mix ½ tsp sugar with a pinch of cinnamon.
Fluffy Gluten-Free Apple Mug Cake
- 3 Tbsp finely diced apple (¼ of a small apple)
- ¼ c unsweetened apple juice
- 2 Tbsp oil
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- ½ tsp vanilla
- 2 pinches salt
- 2 pinches cinnamon (optional)
- ⅓ c gluten-free flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- This recipe works well in a medium-large sized mug that holds about 1½ c liquid.
- Place the apple juice, oil, sugar, vanilla, salt and cinnamon (if using) in your mug. Beat well with a fork.
- Add the flour and baking powder and stir with the fork until mostly smooth.
- Stir in the diced apple.
- Microwave on high for 2 minutes.
- If you can wait, the cake texture will be best if you allow it to cool. 1½ hours is ideal but, if you're like me you'll want to dig in right away!
- This cake is a perfect make-ahead dessert. Make it the night or morning before and cover the mug once the cake is totally cooled.