Need a decadent cake for one? Try this super easy flourless gluten free cake made with just 3 ingredients in the oven or the microwave.
Why make a cake for one?
Maybe your kid when you have to send him to a birthday party but since he’s gluten free he can’t have the cupcakes they’re serving. I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve made 1 dozen cupcakes just because I needed 1 for a birthday party.
But mostly, this is for anyone who can use a kitchen scale, has 5 minutes on their hands, and would like some rich flourless chocolate cake.
Baking the cake in the oven
3 ingredients. Sugar (only 2 tablespoons, but you could even use just 1) chopped chocolate (I haven’t tried this with chocolate chips and I wouldn’t do it if I were you because chips have wax in them to hold their shape), and some egg.
That’s it. The batter is smooth and glossy, almost pudding-like. And the cakes are very rich, so one cake can easily be shared.
Do you need a water bath?
I prefer to bake this cake in a water bath, as it bakes slowly and evenly that way. But I’ve also baked it right on the oven rack or on a baking sheet for stability, and it bakes a bit more quickly but still works just fine.
If you bake it for 17 minutes flat in a water bath, it’ll have a very pudding-like, molten consistency in the center. Bake it for a few minutes more, or without the water bath, and it should be baked through by then.
Making the cake in the microwave
For a much easier method, try making this cake in the microwave, like a more “traditional” mug cake. The end result isn’t quite as fudgy, but it’s still tender and rich.
The photo above is the cake as made in the microwave. The secret is to making a mug cake successfully in the microwave is in moderating the oven’s power.
It is important to be able to approximate 850 or 900 watts of power in your microwave oven. My microwave is 1200 watts, so I set it to 70% power for this recipe. That way, I can heat the cake for long enough without overcooking it.
The easiest way to melt chocolate
The best way to melt chocolate is over a double boiler. That melts it slowly, and evenly, and it’s very unlikely to seize up. But it’s definitely not the easiest way.
If you have a microwave, you can melt chocolate in it by zapping it in 30 second increments at reduced power (unless your microwave is only around 850 watts at full power). But you have to make sure it doesn’t get overheated, which will cause it to seize.
If you melt chocolate in ceramic in the microwave, like you see in the photo above, it is much more resilient. I bought two little ceramic containers, each with a pouring spout, from Wilton, but you don’t need anything special like that.
Any ceramic bowl or other small container will do. I can melt chocolate in relatively large batches at full microwave power without stopping and stirring.
For a much less sweet cake, try replacing the dark chocolate with unsweetened baking chocolate. Not quite sweet enough? Next time add another tablespoon (12 g) granulated sugar.
To be ready for cake at any moment, make the batter and pour it into a greased canning jar or ramekin. Cover the container and place it in the refrigerator. Then, bake it any time and add a few minutes in the oven to account for the chill.
For a full cake made without any flour, try our classic flourless chocolate cake. Restaurant quality at home!