Dairy free Cake-in-a-mug in just three minutes!

Dairy free chocolate cake, in a mug, in just 3 minutes?

Could it be possible I hear you ask? Dairy free cake, made in a mug? Yes you read that correctly, and the best bit of all is that it only takes three minutes to cook in the microwave.

Thanks to Becci Nash, who gave my mum this recipe, I’ve had a great bank holiday weekend with lovely memories of family, friends, parties and best of all (sorry everyone – this was a big moment for me) the discovery of cake-in-a-mug.

I would never have considered making cake in the microwave, it just doesn’t quite sound plausible does it? My microwave experimentation doesn’t stretch much further than heating up meals and defrosting; I’m a bit traditional when it comes to cooking.

Making a cake in a mug also sounds a little crazy, but the beauty of this is that it’s so easy and quick to make, it’s ideal for busy mums needing a quick snack/treat; and you can make it in their favourite mug/cup if microwavable and non stick.

So this weekend I lined up the ingredients and made a delicious cake in just 3 minutes. If you count the measuring and stirring it probably took all of 5 minutes. All you need is a tablespoon, (I used American measuring spoons but you could use a normal table spoon, although these can vary in size) a large mug (or two small ones would suffice) a microwave oven and of course the ingredients.

It’s so easy to make and is really delicious. It tastes kind of like a cross between a chocolate muffin and chocolate pudding, and is really rich and moist. This is what you will need:


  • 9 TBSP – Hot chocolate powder (Check the ingredients to ensure it is dairy-free)
  • 4 TBSP – Self raising flour
  • 1 egg
  • 3 TBSP – Sunflower oil
  • 3 TBSP – Water
  • 1 pinch of salt
  1. Grease the inside of 1 big mug (or 2 small) with cooking oil spray
  2. Put dry ingredients into mug (Hot choc powder, flour and salt)
  3. Crack egg into dry ingredients and stir
  4. Now add the oil and water and beat – make sure you thoroughly mix, especially the bit at the bottom of the mug
  5. Microwave for 3 minutes

I tested the cake on my next door neighbours, my husband and some of my family and they all said it was lovely, and couldn’t believe it was made in a microwave. They all also wanted the recipe so I thought this was a great one to share on my blog.

My husband has expressed concern that I don’t make this cake EVERY day, as has been the habit this weekend. After all, I don’t want to put on too much weight… but next time you have a friend to lunch, or coffee, you can amaze them with your culinary skills. “I’ll just rustle us up some chocolate cake!” You say. “On no, don’t go to any trouble on my account.” they reply, and then you say, “Oh it only takes 3 minutes!”

I’m sure there are other excellent dairy free cake recipes, which I will begin to explore over the next few months. Home made has to be better than some of the free-from brands we get in the shops which are mass produced and full of things you won’t find in a normal kitchen. Fresh is better than processed; you know exactly what’s in it if you’ve made it yourself.

The reason for my discovery of this cake recipe is the recent and very successful reintroduction of egg back into my diet. I have gone from having intolerant reactions such as stomach ache and skin rashes when eating eggs to being able to tolerate well cooked eggs in under two months. I’ll let you know more about how I safely reintroduced eggs soon. Please don’t even consider doing this if you have an allergy to any food, and consult a dietician before embarking on a reintroduction project. However if you have intolerances it’s better to try to broaden your dietary spectrum rather than cutting out foods and restricting your diet unnecessarily.

Just five small steps to chocolate cake! Go on, give it a try and let me know what you think. I hope you enjoy it.

(Sorry to those with egg or gluten/wheat allergies as this recipe isn’t suitable for you.)

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About Ruth

Ruth works freelance as a copywriter and writes the What Allergy blog to share information with people who have allergies, eczema, asthma and food intolerances. http://www.whatallergy.com was voted in the top 5 allergy blogs and Ruth also judges regularly for the FreeFrom Food Awards and FreeFrom Skincare Awards. She also won the Foods You Can People's choice Best FreeFrom blogger award 2014.


  1. I don’t know If I said it already but …I’m so glad I found this site…Keep up the good work I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say GREAT blog. Thanks, 🙂

    A definite great read..Tony Brown

  2. Emma Beaver says:

    Gluten-free version is NOW required as I’m so disappointed !!

    • Emma I haven’t found one that is gluten free for the microwave, but now I’m on the case. I wonder what would happen if I just tried it with a GF flour mix in the same quantities? I will let you know if I find anything.

    • I’ve just adapted your recipe for my son who is gluten, wheat, egg, soya AND dairy free – and it’s STILL delicious!!!

      Just use the following substitutions:

      Doves Farm Self Raising Flour (gluten free – Sainsburys and other supermarkets) – instead of normal SR flour

      Bournville Cocoa poweder – 2 tablespoons
      Sugar – 2 tablespoons
      Both the above instead of the hot chocolate

      Orgran Egg Replacer – for the egg

      Everything else stays the same. Believe me – it’s delicious!

      Thanks SO much for the suggestion!

  3. Try adding small chunks of plain chocolate to the mix at the last minute. You’ll get little pockets of melted chocolate gooey-ness. Mmmmmm

  4. Today I tried Cake-in-a-mug with fresh raspberries. I used spray oil to coat the inside of the mug which I layered with a few crushed raspberries at the bottom, mixed the ingredients in another bowl with some more raspberries in the mixture, and hey presto. Delicious. What have you added to your Cake-in-a-mug to spice it up?


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