Microwave Measuring Cup Cake

My family and I tend to be darn good eaters.  I would say that we fall into the 80/20 rule…except we’re probably more 90/10.  My kids and I especially need to have those little sweet treats every so often – so the 3 of us pretty much take up all of that 10%!  Of course, now our sweet treats rarely contain sugar, and if they do, it is minimal, which makes the occasional treat even less bothersome to our tummies and less guilty on my mom conscience!

This quick cake recipe is a version of one you’ve probably seen a million times, usually called “Microwave Chocolate Cake” or “5 Minute Cake for One.”  It made the e-mail rounds years ago and is spattered all over the web.  But sadly, they all are made with wheat flour, eggs and butter.   I never attempted to make it after going gluten free because of the egg involved.  It’s one thing to replace an egg or two in a regular size batch, but I felt this recipe relied too heavily on the egg for lift and structure, plus cooking quickly in the microwave wouldn’t give egg alternatives a chance to work.

I have never been happier to be WRONG!  (Well, in all honesty, this cake is fluffier if you use an egg, but it is moist and delicious without one as well.  Just slightly vertically challenged.)

My motivation came from one of those chocolate cravings, so I decided to try to create a chocolaty microwave treat.  After a few attempts I finally landed myself in a big, soft, warm heap of chocolate cake!  It took 1 minute to mix the ingredients and 1 minute 40 seconds to cook in the microwave.  And it is free of gluten, dairy & eggs!  Now, my good conscience is making me disclose that this is still a treat and shouldn’t be eaten every day, even if it is easier than boiling water.  Because even though natural sweeteners are better than sugar (I’ll go into this more in a few weeks), they are still technically sugar in our bodies and should be consumed in moderation.  Ok?  Ok.  Now let’s make cake!

But wait!  Any good chocolate cake should have a frosting, am I right?  Whoever said powdered sugar dusted on cake is good enough must have been a slice short of a full loaf.  So I figured a quick cake deserved a quick somethin’ somethin’ on top!  The solution was 30 seconds in the microwave for a few Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips and coconut milk.   Ahhhh, chocolate heaven.

So enjoy!  But not too often.  I can’t have everyone’s thighs my conscience.

**Update – for a paleo/grain-free version, see my book Paleo Indulgences!**

Microwave Measuring Cup Cake with Frosting
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Dry Ingredients
  1. 2 TBSP Sorghum Flour (Can use Brown Rice) *see note
  2. 2 TBSP Almond Meal
  3. 2 tsp Coconut Flour
  4. 1 TBSP Flax Meal
  5. 2 TBSP Potato Starch
  6. 1 tsp Baking Powder
  7. 1 ½ TBSP Cocoa Powder
  8. Pinch of salt
Wet Ingredients
  1. 3 TBSP Organic Applesauce (warmed in microwave 20 seconds) **see note
  2. 3 TBSP Coconut Oil (melted in a 2 C measuring cup)
  3. 1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
  4. 3 TBSP Pure Maple Syrup (Grade B is Preferred)
  1. ¼ C GF DF Chocolate Chips (Enjoy Life)
  2. 2 tsp Coconut Milk
  1. 1) In a medium bowl, whisk together dry ingredients.
  2. 2) Add warm applesauce, vanilla, maple syrup and the coconut oil to the
 dry ingredients. Leave a little coconut oil in the measuring cup and 
swirl it around to coat the sides.
  3. 3) Stir together all ingredients until well blended.
  4. 4) Pour cake batter into the measuring cup with the remaining coconut 
oil. Smooth top with a spoon.
  5. 5) Place cup in microwave and cook on high for 1 minute 40 seconds.
 Remove cup from microwave, let it rest for 30 seconds.
  6. 6) Run a butter knife gently around the edge of the cake, invert cup onto 
a plate and tap the bottom of the cup to release the cake.
  7. 7) Let cake cool for awhile (if you can wait!). Frost with quick microwave
frosting recipe.
  1. 1) Place chocolate chips and milk in a microwave safe bowl.
  2. 2) Heat in microwave for 15-20 seconds. Stir.
  3. 3) Heat in 10 second increments until most of chocolate is melted.
  4. 4) Stir until all chocolate is melted.
  5. 5) Spoon frosting on top of Measuring Cup cake and smooth across top 
and sides. Now dig in!
  1. *Note: To make this cake grain free, replace the sorghum or brown rice with almond meal (in addition to the other almond meal). Also tasty!
  2. **Note: If you can tolerate eggs, replacing the applesauce with 1 egg does result in a taller, fluffier cake.
The Healthy GF Life http://thehealthygflife.com/


  1. Sounds delish! I also just bought your book “The Healthy Gluten-Free Life”… One important question, we have a potato intolerance in our family – Can I replace potato starch with arrowroot or more tapioca starch? Any insight is appreciated! Thanks.

    • Hi Sabine! You can replace potato starch with arrowroot starch with great results. Tapioca and potato starch cannot be substituted for one another. Have fun!

  2. Hi Tammy, I just bought Paleo Indulgences recently. I’d like to know if I can use oven to bake the”one-minute chocolate cake” instead of using microwave? What’s the oven temperature and how long does it take to bake? Thanks !

    • Hi Kelly! You can bake the chocolate cake in the oven, however I don’t have an exact time for it. You can put it in a ramekin or cupcake tins and start checking it at the 12 minute mark baking at 350°. I’m guessing for cupcakes (I think it would make 2) your time would be 12 -15 minutes. If you’re baking one decent size ramekin then I’d guess closer to the 16-20 min mark. Thanks and enjoy!

  3. Marie-Johanne Bourget says:

    Miam! Miam! Looks so goooood!!!!! Could I replace the xantham by some psyllium….or chia seeds?
    Thanks for all your great recipes. Looking forward to buy your last book at Costco’s.

    • Hello! You can just take the xanthan out all together and it still works great! I actually just updated the recipe card and took it out. I’ve since tried it without it and it really doesn’t need it, so I’d rather not use it. Enjoy!

  4. Can I replace the almond flour with teff? I have a nut/seed intolerance

    • I haven’t tested it so I can’t say for sure if it would work. But it’s a small amount, and if you’re using eggs I think the sub should be just fine. Maybe a little more dense than the original.

  5. Just made this in a 400ml container in the microwave. It rose really well, but after it cooled and I tried to take it out, it completely crumbled. It was way too dry. I’m gonna add icing to the results and make cake balls instead.

    • Sounds like your microwave works a little hotter and it overcooked. It can take some experimenting as all microwaves are different. I promise you’ll love it when you get the timing down! 🙂


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