Gluten-free chocolate mug cake (that’s incidentally vegan)

It’s hard to imagine having too much chocolate cake in the house. Yet this is something I experienced firsthand while developing my gluten free chocolate cake recipe recently. Along with my gluten free sourdough brownie recipe. Along with every other recipe I have ever made. There’s something incredibly practical about a single serve recipe that satiates a craving in the moment. With that in mind, let’s chat more about this gluten-free chocolate mug cake. 

This gluten-free chocolate mug cake is vegan, nut free, FODMAP friendly and ready in three minutes. It is incredibly chocolate-y in flavour thanks to a quick process of blooming the cocoa in boiling water. The cake is also very pandemic friendly, using inexpensive and pantry friendly ingredients. Can it get better though? Why yes, it can! By microwaving it for less time, you’ll end up with a chocolate mug self saucing pudding. Honestly, it’s an all round offensively good cake. 


  • You can use either Dutch processed cocoa or regular cocoa. In terms of taste, Serious Eats tells me that Dutch processed has a deeper chocolate flavour, while regular is more astringent or floral.
  • You can use an oil that you have on hand. I actually really like olive oil in sweet baking, which is why I used it. Avocado, vegetable or canola would work. Coconut oil is also an option, if you’re open to a hint of coconut flavour. 
  • The potential for experimentation with different gluten free flours is high. Because they’re not deeply important to the structure here, feel free to mess around. After all, the waste potential for failure is incredibly low. 
  • A caveat to the above: the 1 tablespoon of tapioca flour is not optional. In the absence of eggs, it binds the cake together. I have found that omitting it results in an overflow of cake in the microwave.
  • Almond meal is not an appropriate option here – for whatever reason, it results in a volcano of cake. If you want a grain free cake, you can use two tablespoons of tapioca flour. It’s a little chewier than the grainy option, but is still delicious. 
  • In terms of flour experimentation, I’d recommend softer flours like toasted quinoa flour, buckwheat flour or millet flour. You can use rice flour (I tested a batch with it) but you might find a hint of grittiness in your mug cake. 
  • I haven’t yet finalised a refined sugar free version, but I’ll keep you posted when I do. 

Gluten free, vegan chocolate mug cake from


Little did I know that mug cake would be do damn popular when I pressed publish on this recipe. A lot people have asked me for instructions on how to mix up this mug cake in different ways. I’m working on a refined sugar free version and an egg version, but I’ve already figured out the oven baked version, so here goes.

Firstly, you’ll need to choose a vessel that is oven safe. I’ve found that the cake doesn’t rise and fall as dramatically in the oven, so it doesn’t need to be huge. However, it does need to be able to withstand the oven. Generally speaking ceramics will say on the bottom if they’re oven safe. Personally, I recommend using a ramekin or a little oven dish (I have a mini casserole dish, because why wouldn’t I?) I wouldn’t recommend cooking it in your favourite, artisan ceramic mug. If yours are anything like mine there are no mass produced labels on the bottom, and I don’t want to risk you ruining your favourite one-off piece.

  1. Preheat the oven to 180c or 356F. 
  2. Once the oven is ready, prepare the mug cake batter as per the instructions in the recipe card below. 
  3. Use a silicon spatula to decant all the batter into the oven safe, small vessel of your choosing. I used a mini ceramic casserole dish which has a 1 1/2 (Australian) cup capacity.
  4. Place the cake in the oven for 10-20 minutes. 10 minutes will result in a very gooey, self saucing pudding, whereas 20 minutes will result in a fully fledged cake. For me personally, I’d say somewhere between 13-15 minutes would be my own personal sweet spot.
  5. Sprinkle with a little icing sugar and/or top with some cream, ice cream or yoghurt. Best served immediately but keeps well in the fridge if you can’t finish it. 
Gluten free, vegan chocolate mug cake from

Gluten free vegan chocolate mug cake

Gluten free, nut free, vegan, adaptable to be grain free, FODMAP friendly
Prep Time 2 mins
Cook Time 1 min


  • 2 tablespoons cocoa dutch processed for a deeper flavour, regular for a more floral chocolate taste
  • 3 tablespoons boiling water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or oil of choice
  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon finely milled quinoa sorghum or buckwheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon tapioca flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or extract optional, for depth of flavour
  • 1/2 teaspoon gluten free baking powder


  • Whisk together the cocoa and boiling water in a small bowl before adding the remaining ingredients. The boiling water will bloom the cocoa and result in a deeper chocolate flavour.
  • Whisk well until a smooth batter forms and pour into a large mug. You want the batter to go up about halfway – any fuller and it will overflow in the microwave.
  • Place the mug in the microwave for 1 minute for a self saucing mug cake with a chocolate sauce down the bottom. You can cook it a little longer if you’d prefer a fully set cake, but it’s vegan so you don’t need to do this for food hygiene purposes.
  • Every microwave is a little different in terms of power, so you might need to cook yours a little less or more than mine.
  • Serve on it’s own or with a scoop of ice cream – regular, vegan or lactose free.

Gluten free, vegan chocolate mug cake from

7 replys to Gluten-free chocolate mug cake (that’s incidentally vegan)

    1. I think you’d be better off googling a recipe with regular flour – I haven’t tested it but generally gluten free absorbs a lot more liquid so the ratios would be off

    1. Hi Barbara, I’m going to work on an oven version ASAP! I didn’t realise the recipe would be so popular but I’ll update the post as soon as I have tested an oven version 🙂

    1. Coconut sugar is a higher fructose sugar which isn’t suitable for me anymore so I haven’t tested it. You could certainly try it – I don’t see why it wouldn’t work 🙂

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