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Gluten-free pumpkin mug cake (vegan)

A sunlit image of a gluten free pumpkin mug cake in a white speckled ceramic mug on a white speckled ceramic plate. The mug cake is topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a bottle of maple syrup extends from the centre right of the image to pour down onto the ice cream. The maple syrup and melted ice cream meld together in a pool created by a spoonful of the pudding being removed.

Gluten free pumpkin mug cake

This gluten-free pumpkin mug cake is my direct response to returning from America just as fall has begun. I am a cool weather girl at heart, and my recent trip to Maine has revealed to me that I’m a fall leaf fanatic, too. So with this spiced, festive gluten-free pumpkin mug cake, I’ll be pretending that I’m back in Camden revelling in all things Fall.

This mug cake is very easy to make. It’s also nut free, gum free, starch flour free and FODMAP friendly. The binding moisture that pumpkin provides means it only uses a single flour, too. You can experiment with a flour that works best for your needs.

A side on close up view of a gluten free and vegan pumpkin mug cake. The cake sits in a ceramic white speckled mug against a white speckled countertop. It is topped with melting ice cream and a dusting of cinnamon sugar. A big spoonful has been taken out of the front of the mug cake, revealing the orange crumb below the surface

Love a mug cake? Try my other gluten free recipes:

Refined-sugar-free chocolate mug cake (gluten free, vegan, FODMAP friendly) from

Notes for your gluten-free pumpkin mug cake

See the section below on using canned pumpkin. We don’t have much canned pumpkin here in Australia, so I most use often use steamed pumpkin which I mash with a fork.

To keep the FODMAP content lower, I recommend using Kent or Japanese pumpkin in this gluten-free pumpkin mug cake. 50g of any pumpkin is within a FODMAP threshold, but if you are making your own pumpkin puree, you will have more pumpkin to use.

I have only tested the flours outlined in the recipe card. If you’d like to use a different variety, let me know how it goes!

Another thing I haven’t tested is using a liquid sweetener like maple syrup. I will update the post if I try this.

You can use white sugar if you don’t have any light brown sugar. It doesn’t add as much depth of flavour but it works in a pinch.

A close up image of the fluffy crumb interior of a gluten free pumpkin mug cake filled with chocolate chips. The melty chocolate chips melt into the crumb. A spoon dips into the cake from the bottom left hand side of the image.

Can I use canned pumpkin in this recipe?

Yes, you can. I have tested this recipe with Libby’s canned pumpkin and it worked well. However, I will say that, unless I got a dodgy can, canned pumpkin seems to be a lot less sweet than homemade pumpkin puree.

I’m going to say something bold: I didn’t really love the taste of canned pumpkin compared to freshly steamed. It tasted quite savoury and had a sort of tea like tannin aspect. Whether this comes down to the sort of pumpkin I’m used to eating here in Australia, I don’t know.

Either way, I might suggest adding a little extra sweetener if you use canned pumpkin. I topped my mug cake with vanilla ice cream and maple syrup, so I didn’t notice a lack of sweetness.

If you intend to eat yours plain, however, I would recommend maybe 30-35g light brown sugar to account for the less sweet pumpkin.

An aerial image of a gluten free pumpkin mug cake in a white speckled ceramic mug atop a white speckled ceramic plate. The mug cake is topped with melting vanilla ice cream and maple syrup.

How to make a gluten-free mug cake in the oven

Although this recipe is designed to be made in the microwave, it can easily be made in the oven.

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. I recommend using 1 teaspoon or so less oil – the oven cake seems to need less.
  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.
An aerial view of a gluten free pumpkin mug cake in a white speckled mug on a mottled grey backdrop. Melting vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce mingle on the top of the cake and melt into the crevice left behind from a spoonful of cake being removed.

Flavour, addition and topping suggestions

Cinnamon or pumpkin spice are mandatory, obviously!

I love some vanilla ice cream on top, but yoghurt or cream would also be nice.

You can put chocolate chips into the mug cake itself, or pour a chocolate sauce on top. Make sure the choc chips are vegan if you need them to be.

A sprinkle of cinnamon sugar atop the ice cream never goes astray.

Another thing that works an absolute treat? A drizzle of maple syrup to finish.

A gluten free pumpkin mug cake in a white speckled ceramic mug on a white speckled ceramic plate. The mug cake is a bright orange, bathed in sunlight. It is topped with melting ice cream and maple syrup that pools together in the hole where a spoon of mug cake has been eaten.

To make pumpkin and chocolate marbled mug cakes (serves two)

  1. Make one batch of the pumpkin mug cake, and one batch of the chocolate mug cake.
  2. Alternate spoonfuls of each mixture into two microwave safe mugs. I haven’t tried this in the oven, but as with each mug cake recipe, I’m sure it would work. See the section above on oven baking for more information.
  3. Proceed with the recipe as written.
An aerial view of a gluten free pumpkin and chocolate swirl mug cake topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. The mug is a white speckled ceramic one that sits atop a white speckled ceramic plate. Two water glasses sit to the top left of the image and cast a pattern across the photo.

More gluten free pumpkin recipes

Excuse me just living vicariously!

An aerial image of a gluten free pumpkin mug cake topped with vanilla ice cream, cinnamon sugar and being drizzled with maple syrup. The mug is a white ceramic speckled one, as is the plate it sits atop. The melting ice cream and maple syrup mingle in a pool where cake has been eaten out of the mug.

Love a mug cake? Try my other gluten free recipes:

A side on view of a brightly lit gluten free pumpkin mug in a white speckled ceramic mug. The mug cake is topped with vanilla ice cream with a sprinkling of cinnamon sugar. A spoonful of the mug cake has been eaten from the bottom right corner, revealing the orange crumb beneath.

Gluten-free pumpkin mug cake (vegan)

Nut free, gum free, starch free option, egg free
4.75 from 8
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 minute
Course Dessert
Servings 1


  • 50g pumpkin puree (see notes)
  • 25g light brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp (30g) fine white rice flour
  • 2 tsp (10g) tapioca flour (optional, see notes)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (see notes)
  • Pinch each nutmeg and clove powders (see notes)
  • 2 tbsp (40ml) milk of choice
  • 3-4 tsp (15-20ml) vegetable or olive oil


  • Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and stir thoroughly to combine and form a batter.
  • Decant the batter into a microwave safe mug and microwave for 1 minute, then assess. If it remains undercooked, cook again for 20 seconds or until there is no spongy surface to the mug cake. All microwaves vary greatly in speed and power so keep an eye on it.
  • Allow to cool for 2-3 minutes before eating to allow the cake to finish cooking. Results can be dense or mushy if you don't give it this extra few minutes (it's worth the wait!)


  • Canned pumpkin puree isn’t easily accessible in Australia, so I use steamed Japanese pumpkin which I mashed with a fork. 
  • I have tested this recipe with Libby’s canned pumpkin and it works nicely. However, I found the canned version to be a lot more savoury than fresh, so I recommend using a little extra sugar to compensate. 
  • The tapioca flour is optional, but gives the cake a tiny bit of chew, akin to a cake with eggs. You can omit it if you’d like – the cake will just be fluffy without any elasticity to the crumb. You might need to add a teaspoon less milk.
  • A gritty, stale rice flour will result in an unpleasant mug cake. Make sure yours is fresh and super finely ground.
  • Add spices to your tastes and preferences. You can use pre-bought pumpkin spice, if you would like. Again, this isn’t easily accessible in Australia but add as per your tastes. 
  • To keep this pumpkin mug cake vegan, use a plant based milk. To keep it nut free, use a nut free milk. 
  • There are notes on making the mug cake in an oven in the body of the post. I recommend adding 1-2 tsp less oil to the oven baked version as it seems to need less. 
Keyword gluten free, gluten free mug cake, gluten free pumpkin mug cake, gluten free vegan mug cake, pumpkin mug cake, vegan, Vegetarian
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


    1. Ah thank you so much Allison! I forgot to add it into the ingredients but I have amended that. Thanks for alerting me 🙂

  1. 5 stars
    This was SO good, I couldn’t stop eating it! The texture was perfect — soft and fluffy, with prominent pumpkin flavour. As my pumpkin was very sweet already, I used erythritol (13g only) and it was sweet enough for me. I also subbed brown rice flour for white rice and it didn’t affect the texture. This will definitely be my go-to when I have leftover pumpkin. Thank you for such a wonderful recipe and please create more vegan ones!

  2. 5 stars
    I used squash instead of pumpkin, quinoa flour instead of rice flour (these are the ingredients I had on hand) and totally forgot the milk. I will add a touch of vanilla next time. Turned out delicious. Thanks so much, I will definitely be trying more of your recipes.

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