Gluten-Free Mug “Pancake”

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Gluten-Free Mug Pancake

Yesterday morning I had a craving for something “oaty.” I can tolerate oat flour (certified gluten free oat flour, just like we need our oats to be certified gluten free) far better than I can tolerate oats themselves, so I indulge in something “oaty” from time to time. I thought of making one of my 3-Minute Microwave Chocolate Cakes just subbing in oat flour for the flour required. But because I had just made Ali’s (Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen) fantastic flourless Chocolate Walnut Brownies, which are sweetened with maple syrup, heavenly maple syrup was still on my brain. Well, it didn’t take much for me to go from maple syrup and oat flour to creating a mug “pancake.”

My very first attempt with two tablespoons of butter created a great texture and pancake taste, but I was aiming for a slightly lighter pancake. My second attempt made with another tablespoon of butter added and a wee bit more baking soda was a winner as far as a lighter, slightly spongier pancake, but interestingly enough, it didn’t rise as high as the first version. I guess that was because of the additional weight of the butter. However, both versions are winners!

Just smelling your mug pancake while it’s cooking will make you happy. Eating it will bring you joy! You could probably even share your mug pancake with a loved one—using the method where each of you has spoon in hand—but, honestly, you probably won’t want to!


I know some of you will ask about egg substitutes. I have only tried this recipe using applesauce as an egg replacer and while the results made for a delicious oatmeal type treat, it was not a pancake. I believe a flax gel egg, chia gel egg, or commercial egg replacer would be your best bet.

I also have not made this recipe using other sweeteners yet, but I believe honey or agave nectar would make a great substitute for the maple syrup.

I did try making this recipe with only gluten-free all-purpose flour, omitting the oat flour. The result was a “cakey” type treat, but not a pancake. I suspect this recipe will work just fine if you substitute quinoa flakes for the oat flour.

Overall my sense is that this recipe will be a forgiving one that you’ll be able to tweak to your own needs fairly easily, but I just haven’t had time to try all the iterations. Please report back on what works and what doesn’t, so all your gluten-free buddies will benefit from your recipe experimentation!

UPDATE: For those who don’t use a microwave oven, gfe reader Kelly shared that she’s “been doing some muffin in a mug recipes in my toaster oven at 350F for 15 min in one of those glass custard cups.” I’m sure individual mug pancakes would work in a conventional oven, too, either using glass custard cups or ramekins (although when baked in the latter, the cooking time would most likely increase a bit due to the thickness of the ramekins).


Gluten-Free Mug “Pancake”
  • 2-3 tbsp butter (dairy or non-dairy)
  • 2 tbsp certified gluten-free oat flour (I use this brand)
  • 2 tbsp gluten-free all-purpose flour*
  • Heaping ¼ tsp baking soda
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup, plus additional for topping
  • 1 large (or extra large) egg
  • 3 tbsp milk (dairy or non-dairy)
  1. Add butter to large mug. Microwave on HIGH for 20 to 30 seconds until melted.
  2. Remove mug and let butter cool slightly.
  3. Add oat flour, gluten-free all-purpose flour, and baking soda. Stir well.
  4. Add maple syrup, egg, and milk. Stir well.
  5. Cook on HIGH for 3 minutes.
  6. Let sit in microwave for another minute or two.
  7. Drizzle some additional maple syrup over your mug pancake before eating. Enjoy!
* I can’t always tolerate many of the healthier, gluten-free flours; e.g., sorghum, buckwheat. Therefore, my gluten-free flour mix is 3 parts Asian white rice flour (which is very finely ground) and 2 parts cornstarch. I gently mix three 1-lb bags of the Asian white rice flour and two 1-lb boxes of cornstarch in a very large bowl and then store the mix in several airtight containers. It’s a very economical mix that works well in most recipes. No refrigeration is needed for this flour mix.

If you have certified gluten-free oats, you can process them into oat flour using your food processor or spice grinder.

Your Mug Pancake will rise very high while baking, with some of the batter possibly running over the side of the mug, but then the batter will settle back down.

For those who don't use a microwave oven, gfe reader Kelly shared that she's "been doing some muffin in a mug recipes in my toaster oven at 350F for 15 min in one of those glass custard cups." I'm sure individual mug pancakes would work in a conventional oven, too, either using glass custard cups or ramekins (although when baked in the latter, the cooking time would most likely increase a bit due to the thickness of the ramekins).

This post is linked to Gluten-Free Wednesdays and Allergy-Free Wednesdays.

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36 Responses to “Gluten-Free Mug “Pancake””

  1. Donna Strickler on June 17th, 2013 12:15 pm

    Yum Shirley – I can’t wait to try! I love pancakes, but usually don’t have time during the week to make them – this will be quick & easy :-)!

    • Shirley on June 18th, 2013 12:31 pm

      Hi Donna–Thanks, dear! Hope this recipe meets your approval! :-) I have to admit that while pancakes usually don’t take much time once you start making them, the thought is often daunting. This mug pancake is a great alternative. ;-)


  2. Deanna on June 17th, 2013 1:12 pm

    Yum. The kiddo would look at my like I’d lost all my marbles if that was all the pancakes he got for breakfast, though. I’ll have to save this one for when he’s not around. :)

    • Shirley on June 18th, 2013 12:32 pm

      Deanna–Haha … true! I don’t think “mug anything” fits a growing boy’s portion requirements. ;-)


  3. InTolerant Chef on June 17th, 2013 6:18 pm

    Cute idea indeed!

    • Shirley on June 18th, 2013 12:33 pm

      InTolerant Chef–Thanks! I love it when tasty and cute go together! ;-)


  4. Faith on June 17th, 2013 7:14 pm

    Perfect timing Shirley. I haven’t made my cauliflower bread yet for breakfast, I think I’ll try this tomorrow. Thank you!!

    • Shirley on June 18th, 2013 12:35 pm

      Hi Faith–Great to see you here again! So happy this recipe is on time for you. Hope you enjoy it! And now I must look at your blog for that cauliflower bread recipe. Intrigued! ;-)


      • Faith on June 18th, 2013 7:01 pm

        The cauliflower bread recipe is not mine, it’s this one (almond flour’s been giving me issues)= I’ve made it twice now and I changed the seasonings. This last time I used almond cheese and chopped up a slice of deli ham – it came out really good. This next time, I want to shape it into small circles for bread. The 1st time I added a little bit of red pepper flakes and I didn’t like how it tasted, so I left it off. After cooking and wringing out 3 cups of cauliflower, it really isn’t much. What I’d like to do is to try and make a sweet bread out of it by adding sugar and maybe cinnamon – I looked and no one has a recipe like that. This is one recipe I’d like to try – looks really yummy. BTW, I never left Shirley, just been a silent viewer.

        • Faith on June 18th, 2013 9:20 pm

          In my excitement to share the cauliflower bread recipe, I forgot to mention that I did try your mug pancake. I used quinoa flour since I had some processed and a flax egg. I mixed everything last night and left if in the frig – I used a standard mug. In the morning, I mic’d it for 3 minutes and most of it spilled over. I eventually had to put a paper towel under it. I ended up cooking it for another minute and a half and it really wasn’t all the way cooked. The bottom was almost over done. I ate it tho, cuz I needed something to eat. I will try again with a real egg and I will process some gf oats. Maybe I shouldn’t have left it in the frig overnight. I don’t know, but I will try again. It wasn’t your recipe, it was me.

          • Shirley on June 18th, 2013 10:26 pm

            Faith–I think the issue is that you mixed it up ahead of time. It’s better to have the baking reaction with the baking soda, egg, etc. happen right then. It’s true that different microwaves cook differently, but mine was cooked all the way through at 3 minutes, every time. Flax eggs are often great substitutes, but in this case they might not be. Like I said, folks would have to experiment with egg subs. :-( In any regard, you might make sure to use a larger mug to ensure there is no overflow. ;-) Fingers crossed, you’ll have good luck next time!


          • Faith on June 19th, 2013 11:24 am

            I made it again last night – I used oat flour, almond flour and a real egg. I made it in a wider mug and there was no spillage. I heated it up this morning and it was really good, very satisfying – I couldn’t eat it all. I think leaving it sit in the frig plus using a flax egg were the culprits. Thanks Shirley!!!

          • Shirley on June 19th, 2013 11:28 am

            Whew, that’s a relief, Faith! Thanks so much for reporting back, Faith! I will update the recipe to show that you made it successfully with almond flour vs gf ap flour. :-) Thanks again, dear!


        • Shirley on June 18th, 2013 10:20 pm

          Oh, I see, Faith. It’s a cauliflower pizza crust recipe that you’ve turned into bread. Your experimenting sounds like fun! And happy to have you as a mostly silent viewer. ;-)


          • Faith on June 19th, 2013 11:29 am

            It is pizza crust, but using it as bread satisfies me. Sorry if I gave you the wrong impression and made you think it was my recipe. :)

          • Shirley on June 19th, 2013 11:31 am

            Oh, no, that’s not an issue at all, Faith. I know how we adopt others’ recipes after they become our favorites and call them “my” or “our” … ;-)


  5. Maggie on June 17th, 2013 7:26 pm

    Shirley this is such a good idea, I am sharing this one! We don’t have a microwave, but I know so many people who would love this! Great idea. So fun for kids too.

    • Shirley on June 18th, 2013 12:38 pm

      Hi Maggie–Thanks so much for sharing, dear! One gfe reader, Kelly, shared how she gets around the microwave requirement: “I’ve been doing some muffin in a mug recipes in my toaster oven at 350F for 15 min in one of those glass custard cups.” One could use the oven, too, of course, but the toaster oven would keep the heat out of the kitchen a bit more.


  6. Sarah || Celiac in the City on June 18th, 2013 3:08 pm

    Okay, how fun is THIS idea? Leave it to you, Shirley to come up with this clever, kiddo friendly fun — and perfect timing, my nephew is here visiting and we have pancakes on the menu this week!

    • Shirley on June 18th, 2013 10:18 pm

      Hey Sarah–Awww, thanks, dear! Hope you both enjoy this recipe! :-)


  7. Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) on June 18th, 2013 6:28 pm

    Oh, this is so happening here! The boys are going to be so excited in the morning! Sounds amazing Shirley! Can’t wait to try it out!

    • Shirley on June 18th, 2013 10:18 pm

      Hey Sarena–Hope it will be a big hit in your house! Fingers crossed! :-)


  8. Lauren on June 18th, 2013 10:07 pm

    How cute! I love mug cakes and can’t wait to give this a shot! :-D

    • Shirley on June 18th, 2013 11:18 pm

      Hi Lauren–Good to see you! :-) I hope you love this recipe. ;-)


  9. Stacy @Stacy Makes Cents on June 19th, 2013 12:17 pm

    This looks GREAT! Thanks! I also bake my “mug cakes” at 350 for about 20 minutes.
    I think I’ll try this with almond flour!
    Visiting from The Gluten Free Homemaker.

    • Shirley on June 19th, 2013 1:40 pm

      Hi Stacy–Welcome to gfe! :-) Thanks for sharing your experience as well with making mug cakes in the oven. I made this recipe using half almond flour and half oat flour today, and I subbed honey for the maple syrup. It was very good! I still prefer the original recipe, but will try all almond flour next as I do prefer grain free, too. ;-) Thanks for taking the time to comment and I hope you have great success with your version of this mug cake!


  10. Alisa on June 19th, 2013 4:57 pm

    I’ve been kicking around “mug baking” ideas lately Shirley, and this one is genius!

    • Shirley on June 19th, 2013 10:18 pm

      Thank you, Alisa! Whenever you call one of my recipes “brilliant” or “genius,” I always feel like I’ve won the lottery! :-) I can’t wait to see the mug recipes you create. ;-)


  11. Dawn on June 20th, 2013 8:18 am

    I just tried the “Brown Sugar Chocolate Chip Cookies” recipe….ended up with a thin layer of dark yuck on the baking pan. Took a look at the ingredients list “yep, all those ingredients are here on the counter”, then looked at the instructions…”AHA, all ingredients called for EXCEPT cornstartch & xanthan gum.” OH MAN, what a waste!! Of course I know these two ingredients are needed to “hold” the cookie, however, for the first time using the recipe I just followed through the instructions, without double checking. You may want to re-write the instructions to show when/where these two ingredients should be put in to the mix. I will not try this recipe again until I know for sure.
    Thank You!

    • Shirley on June 20th, 2013 2:49 pm

      Hey Dawn–Welcome! :-) I’m not sure why you are commenting on this pancake post, but I’m so very sorry about your experience. I assume that you made this recipe (vs the dairy-free version) and have updated that recipe to clarify the instructions. I really appreciate the heads up and again am sorry that you had yucky results because of the confusion. I usually mix that particular flour mix ahead of time vs adding the rice flour and cornstarch separately, but wrote the recipe so that folks would be able to do that if they wanted. All that said, as I noted in the recipe, these cookies can still be a bit finicky. I’ve had folks make them and rave over them and others say that they spread too much. Fingers crossed that you will have success next time! ;-)


  12. Angela on June 22nd, 2013 8:52 pm

    Well Shirley, I did it! I was able to make this, and it was so very delicious! It was so good in fact that I had to do a blog entry about it! :) It was easy to make, and so satisfying! If you like to read and see the pictures, here you go:

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