My husband loves cake. Me, I’m more of a cookie gal. So the idea of baking a whole cake, just for him, doesn’t always make sense. Thank goodness for single-serve cakes. This particular recipe is a tender, moist, instant, dairy-free pumpkin mug cake that also happens to be vegan and allergy-friendly, and includes fully-tested options for gluten-free cravings and more. Yes, I used a lot of mugs to test variations! The recipe makes a nice, full-size slice – it just looks petite because of the jumbo mug in this picture.
Pumpkin Mug Cake with Instantly Delicious Options for All
As mentioned, this recipe is naturally vegan, egg-free, nut-free, and soy-free, but I’ve tested it many other ways, too! Here are my notes for additional dietary or preparation needs.
- Lower Fat? A lot of mug cake recipes come out gummy. This recipe is designed to be like a big moist, tender, fluffy slice of honest-to-goodness cake. But if you want a lighter experience, you can reduce the oil to 1 tablespoon and increase the milk beverage to 2 tablespoons. Please note that this does make a denser, dryer crumb. I don’t recommend omitting the oil, it will make the texture more gummy.
- Lower Sugar? You can reduce the sweetener to 2 tablespoons and/or sub in your sweetener of choice. Just remember that both of these options will affect the flavor and texture in some way. Sugar doesn’t just add sweetness, it also adds moisture and helps to produce a tender crumb.
- Whole Grain Flour? You can substitute whole wheat pastry flour with minimal affect on the recipe. Heavier wheat flours will make the cake noticeably more dense.
- Gluten-Free? Indeed! See the notes in my Pumpkin Mug Cake recipe below. I have tested this recipe gluten-free, too!
- Add-Ins? I originally created this recipe with wild blueberries, as you can see in the photo below. But it’s delicious without add-ins, or with pumpkin complements, like dairy-free chocolate chips, chopped pecans, dried cranberries, or raisins.
- Oven Directions? Yes, see the notes at the bottom of my dairy-free pumpkin mug cake recipe below. If you aren’t a microwave fan, this recipe bakes great little single-serve cakes. You can even double or triple the recipe to bake a few. They freeze well – with or without frosting.
Special Diet Notes: Pumpkin Mug Cake
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, optionally gluten-free, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, vegan, and vegetarian.
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour or all-purpose gluten-free flour (see Flour Note below)
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice or ground cinnamon
- Scant ⅛ teaspoon salt (a big pinch)
- 3 tablespoons pumpkin puree
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1½ tablespoons unsweetened dairy-free milk beverage
- ⅛ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons blueberries or dairy-free chocolate chips (optional)
- In a small bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, spice, vanilla and salt.
- Add the pumpkin, oil, milk beverage and vanilla and stir to combine.
- Fold in the blueberries or chocolate chips, if using.
- Pour into a greased, microwave-safe mug, and level out.
- Microwave the cake on HIGH for 1½ to 2 minutes, or until it appears cooked, and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. The time may vary based on your microwave; in my kitchen, it is perfect at 2 minutes.
Oven Option: Spoon the batter into a small ramekin. Bake at 350ºF for about 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.