A twist on gluten free cake-in-a-mug – mesquite flour!

One of my favourite treats on a cold miserable day is to cook cake-in-a-mug, which is quick, easy and tasty. You may have seen previous posts about this, both a normal version with plain flour and a gluten free version.

I wanted to share with you a new amazing new flour that I’ve just discovered because it added a real zing to this clever, quick, cake treat. Today I made cake-in-a-mug with a twist – I added 1 tablespoon of mesquite (pronounced mes-keet) flour, which is a naturally gluten free flour and adds great flavour and a real kick to any meal from cakes to meat. It tastes kind of like a combination of chocolate, coconut and cinnamon.

First things first, you can check out a great recipe for gluten free cake-in-a-mug in a previous blog post on this blog, Gluten Free Cake-in-a-mug!.

It’s quite a versatile recipe. I’ve tried it with various different gluten free flour mixes, and plain flour. Today it worked great with 2 tbsp of rice flour, 1 tbsp of maize and 1 tbsp of potato flour.

Just to explain, I’m not coeliac, nor allergic to wheat or gluten, but it does cause me lots of problems with bloating if I eat too much, so in the past I have cut it out with good results. However I feel that eating some wheat from time to time is healthier and safer for me than to cut out something which just causes minor irritation. I don’t want to cause more problems in the future, as I have done by cutting out dairy completely, which caused me to go from a mild allergy to anaphylactic reactions.

Enough of that though, I would recommend anyone who eats gluten free, and in fact anyone who likes cooking with interesting new ingredients, to try some mesquite flour. It comes from the mesquite tree, which is a hardy fast growing tree which grows well in hot, dry countries where other trees don’t grow well.

“It has a sweet, chocolatey taste and contains plenty of fibre, along with significant levels of protein, lysine, potassium and zinc with a low GI of 25. It’s a 100% natural unprocessed product made from the dried pods of the Argentinian mesquite tree (prosopis alba). It’s used widely in America as a seasoning and flavouring and works really well in cookies and cakes to add flavour, colour and aroma to sometimes bland gluten-free foods. As a BBQ spice rub or marinade it is exceptional. It is also quoted as going very well with Caribbean, Mexican and Asian foods. It can be quite a strong flavour so use in small amounts to bring out a unique and wonderful taste and aroma which is guaranteed to get people talking.

Around 10-20% for gluten free baking is considered the best proportion, although this will vary according to the taste of the individual.”

I haven’t seen it in the shops yet but surely it’s only a matter of time. I bought mine from The Mesquite Company who sell flour, flooring and furniture made from mesquite tree.

Last weekend I also made Freedom Cookies (also gluten free) with mesquite flour added, and they were delicious. Not quite good enough to photograph so fingers crossed for next time. Has anyone else tried this new flour? Anyone else tempted? Please share your mesquite moments!

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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. Hi Ruth – I am rivetted by the idea of cake-in-a-mug! Especially with mesquite flour which, I agree, is excellent stuff.
    However, can you make it in an oven rather than a microwave? I know they are convenient and speedy but I really do not like microwaves and do my best to avoid cooking in them whenever I can.

    • Hi Michelle. A friend asked me the same question on Facebook last night and simple quick answer is that I don’t know. The whole cake-in-3-minutes idea would probably not work in an oven, however I wonder what would happen if using the exact same mixture in the oven… It would take longer I’m sure but perhaps deserves some investigation. It probably ends up being a normal cake, and you probably wouldn’t cook it in a mug in a real oven. How about a pressure cooker? The mesquite flour works well in just about anything though. How did I live without it?

  2. Have been looking for something to do with mesquite flour since pinching a sample from the poor chap at The Mesquite Company at the Allergy Show! Now have too many ideas to choose from! :)

    • I look forward to hearing about your mesquite moments Alex. I love it! It’s so tasty and versatile. Kind of a bit like a spice but also like a flour, but it’s quite strong so you wouldn’t completely replace GF flour; 20% mesquite flour would be fine. Good luck! Happy experimenting!

  3. I am so excited by the prospect of people getting to experiment with this delicious flour. It really is an exceptional and fun ingredient. Nutritious too. We have compiled a huge stock of recipes which we will be adding to our website puremesquite.co.uk. over the coming month. There are already a handful of recipes available to choose from if anyone is looking for ideas. We would love to mention and credit your gluten free cake in a mug if you’re ammenable Ruth!

    • Yes of course, please use the recipe for cake in a mug. I made some amazing cookies too using mesquite flour. Might play around with quantities as I think it could have taken more mesquite! When I get a moment (in a hundred years time!) I’ll send you the recipe for those too. Glad you’ve seen this. Was going to send you the link but hadn’t got around to it yet.

  4. What a great article! Thank you for your nice writing.


  1. […] best tip though is to do without special free cakes and biscuits. You can make cake-in-a-mug or home made flapjacks or biscuits. Just because you have allergies isn’t an excuse to gorge […]

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