This gluten-free chocolate mug cake is moist and fluffy and the easiest single serve cake. It bakes in the microwave and is ready in just five minutes. With only six ingredients, the recipe is has no eggs and can easily be made dairy-free.
What is a Mug Cake?
A mug cake is simply a cake that is baked in a mug. The great thing about a mug cake is that you can have a single serving of cake in just 5 minutes! The microwave bakes the cake in a speedy 2 minutes.
This cake is mixed directly in the mug with a fork and a spoon. So no mixing bowl and a super easy clean up.
Surprisingly, the microwave does an excellent job of baking a mug cake in no time. The small amount of batter for a mug cake makes it a good candidate for microwave baking. A larger cake with more surface area wouldn’t work as well.
You’ll notice towards the end of the cook time in the microwave, it may look like the cake is about to spill over the side. Unless you’ve used too small a mug there’s no need to worry about this. The cake will rise quite a bit and then settle back down at the end. It will still be super fluffy and moist.
Just about any cake, whether baked in the conventional oven or microwave, will taste best when it has a chance to cool. The starches in a cake are gummy when hot. I highly recommend waiting at least 10 minutes before digging again. And if you can wait even longer, 30 to 40 minutes will give you a tender fluffy cake.
Microwaves vary in their power levels. This is determined by the number of watts. For example my microwave is 950 watts. If yours is more or less powerful, the cook time will vary by 5 to 10 seconds.
The cake should look stable and set on top. If your microwave is more powerful than 950 watts, I recommend baking 1 minute 40 seconds and test it as you would and oven-baked cake. Gently tap the top to see if it springs back or insert a toothpick to see if it comes out dry. If it seems close but not quite done heat for another 10 seconds. If it’s not close go for 20 seconds more.
Gluten-free flour – My go-to flour for gluten-free baking is King Arthur Measure for Measure Flour. It works well in almost all of my cakes, muffins and quick breads. It’s also the most affordable of the certified gluten free flours I’ve tested.
Unsweetened cocoa powder – My favorite unsweetened cocoa powder is Ghirardelli. It is available in many grocery stores but it does have a gluten warning on it. Hershey’s is another widely available option which is gluten-free.
Oil is my preferred for gluten-free cakes. It does a much better job than butter of adding moisture and airiness. Use canola, sunflower, avocado or any neutral flavored oil.
I am mostly dairy-free so I use a non-dairy milk sub like coconut, soy or almond milk. Really any dairy-free milk sub will work but soy milk, which has more protein than most dairy-free milks, yields the best results.
Of course if you’re not dairy-free, then regular milk will work, whether you use low-fat or whole milk.
Finally sugar and baking powder round out this super simple recipe.
Mug Cake Toppings
- You could go traditional and top your mug cake with some vanilla or chocolate frosting. But you will need to wait until the cake is somewhat cool or you’ll end up with liquid frosting.
- If you’re impatient like me and don’t want to wait until till the cake cools, rainbow or chocolate sprinkles are a great option.
- Chocolate chips or white chocolate chips are also an excellent topping on a hot cake. Sprinkle them on as soon as the cake comes out of the microwave and the heat of the cake will melt them for a super yummy gooey experience.
- My favorite topping a scoop of ice cream on hot cake.
5 Minute, Gluten-Free Chocolate Mug Cake (Microwave)
- 3 tbsp gluten-free flour blend, King Arthur Measure for Measure recommended
- 3 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 tbsp sugar
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ c milk or dairy-free milk substitute, room temperature (heat for 10 seconds in the microwave if it's cold)
- 2 Tbsp oil – avocado, sunflower, canola or other neutral flavored vegetable oil
- This recipe works well with a 12 ounce (1½ cups) mug.
- Add the flour, cocoa powder, sugar and baking powder to the mug.
- Mix with a fork until the clumps of flour and cocoa are broken up and the mixture is uniform.
- Push the dry ingredients to the outside to create a well.
- Add the oil and milk and stir thoroughly with a spoon until the batter is mostly smooth. Scoop to the bottom of the mug to make sure that all of the dry ingredients are mixed in. Then shimmy the mug to level the batter.
- Notes:The cook time will vary depending on the power of your microwave. Mine is 950 watts and the cake was ready in 2 minutes. So if yours is more or less powerful the cook time may be 5-10 seconds more or less. If making more than one mug cake, microwave one at a time.
- The cake will have a more tender texture if you allow it to cool for 30 minutes or more.