Gluten Free Vanilla Mug Cake

Gluten Free Vanilla Mug Cake

A gluten free vanilla mug cake recipe with no egg for a moist and tender single-serving yellow cake in your microwave in just minutes.

Fingers holding a spoonful of vanilla mug cake

Choosing a gluten free flour blend for this recipe

When I was first developing this recipe, I used a more traditional all purpose gluten free flour blend that already contains xanthan gum in the blend (I used Better Batter original blend). It made a lovely, high-rising cake and tasted good. You can use it in this recipe with success.

But the texture wasn’t quite as tender as I’d like it to be. It was also a bit more dry, since that flour blend (like most all purpose gluten free flour blends) absorbs a lot of moisture.

Overhead image of vanilla mug cake ingredients

Our gum-free gluten free flour blend is really best here

I prefer to use my gum-free gluten free flour blend, which is made with 3 simple flours: 66% superfine white rice flour + 22% potato starch + 12% tapioca starch/flour. It’s such a useful blend that I think it’s worth committing those percentages to memory, but I’ve done the math for you in the recipe card below.

Without the xanthan gum in the mix, though, the cake made with the gum-free flour blend doesn’t rise quite as high in the mug, but I don’t mind that at all. If you’d like to have the best of both worlds, try using the gum free blend, and adding a scant 1/8 teaspoon of xanthan gum.

Most of all, let’s try not to make this overly complicated! It’s a mug cake.

Vanilla mug cake raw batter in mug overhead image

Microwave oven details

This cake is developed to be made in a microwave that is approximately 1000 watts. It isn’t for the oven. That’s where we make regular cakes!

This is just to make a quick-fix for your sweet tooth’s desire for a “little something.” Maybe late at night? Maybe you just don’t feel like sharing. No judgment.

Please don’t email me to tell me that the microwave is going to kill us all. Or comment that below. Your feelings are private, and your own business. Sharing them with me is mine. Thank you for coming to my motherhood TED talk.

Vanilla mug cake batter raw in mug image from side

Sorry about the math, but here’s how it works.

My microwave is oddly powerful at 1200 watts. I need to use a reduced power percentage to approximate 1000 watts. For me, that means using 80% power because 1200 watts x 80% = 960 watts (that counts as “about” 1000 watts).

It just requires the simplest math. ? I know some of you hate math, and I’m so sorry. At least you don’t have to do it on an abacus. ?

You’ll only have to do the  math once, though. And then you’ll be able to make vanilla mug cake, and chocolate mug cake with success. And you’ll maybe understand your microwave a bit better.

If you’re not sure how many watts yours is, and you can’t find the information on the appliance itself, just google your microwave brand and the word “wattage” and you’ll find the information.

Whole just cooked vanilla mug cake in mug

Ingredients and substitutions


The only dairy in this recipe (unless you’re using Cup4Cup as your flour blend, which contains dairy) is the 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter. You can easily replace that with your favorite vegan butter. I bet even Earth Balance buttery sticks would work.

Please don’t use oil, though. You might be tempted, since you’re melting the butter anyway.

In a simple recipe like this with such a neutral flavor profile, oil will steal flavor away from the cake, and leave it with an oily taste.


There are only 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar in this recipe. I’ve also made it with 3 tablespoons, and I thought it was too sweet.

I really don’t recommend reducing the sugar in this recipe. It’s just 25 grams of sugar, and it helps to tenderize the cake (sugar isn’t just for sweetness in baking!).

If you’d like to try using an alternative sugar, try Lankato brand monkfruit granulated alternative sugar. It will probably mean a more stiff batter, so consider adding another teaspoonful or two of applesauce to compensate for the drying effect of alternative sugars.

Edible decorations

For full information on gluten free edible confetti, please see our recipe for gluten free “Funfetti” cupcakes. I love baking with edible confetti, but it can be a bit difficult to source because some companies make it, and then stop. I’m looking at you, AmeriColor! But you can find it, and it’s worth the effort.


Closeup image of spoonful of vanilla mug cake

Vanilla mug cake ingredients, raw batter in mug, and cooked spoonful

Like this recipe?

Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 1 mini cake


2 tablespoons (28 g) unsalted butter, softened or melted and cooled

3 tablespoons (45 g) smooth applesauce

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 tablespoons (25 g) granulated sugar

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (54 g) gum free or all purpose gluten free flour (see Recipe Notes)

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon edible gluten free confetti, nonpareils, or sprinkles (optional)


  • Grease microwave-safe mug or mason jar with at least an 8-ounce capacity and set it aside. In a mixing bowl or measuring cup, place the butter, applesauce, and vanilla, and whisk vigorously to combine very well. Add the sugar and salt, and whisk again to combine. Add the flour blend and baking powder, and whisk until smooth. Add the optional edible decoration, and mix until evenly distributed throughout the batter. Pour the batter into the greased mug, and smooth the top.

  • Place the mug in your microwave oven and cook at about 1000 watts for 1 minute 45 seconds. Test with a toothpick to see if it comes out clean. If not, cook for up to another 20 seconds at about 1000 watts. Allow to cool briefly before serving.


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