Even if you’re watching your waistline, you can enjoy dessert; you just have to remember to keep it in moderation. When that craving for a little something sweet hits, make it easier to limit yourself by only making enough for one or two servings. This is something I came up with one night after browsing dessert recipes online. This cake is free of eggs and dairy and is ready in less than fifteen minutes.
1 large (16-oz) microwave-safe ceramic ramekin or or 2 regular (6-oz) microwave-safe coffee cups (I have tried this in a sturdy microwave-safe plastic bowl, but I found that I achieve better results with ceramic/glass.)
2 tsp butter-flavoured Crisco to grease the ramekin(s) (You could also use dairy-free butter, if you prefer.)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour, unsifted
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon, optional
3 Tblsp milk (I use vanilla-flavoured flax milk. If you use plain/unflavoured milk, add 1/4 tsp vanilla extract – or whichever flavouring you prefer – to the batter when you pour in the milk.)
1 Tblsp vegetable oil
Cinnamon sugar, maple syrup, or sliced/diced fresh fruit for garnish (optional)
Place the Crisco or butter in the mug(s) and microwave for 15 seconds, just enough to soften it. Tilt the mug(s) so the Crisco spreads partway up the sides. Sprinkle a little cinnamon sugar on the bottom of each mug, if desired. If making an “upside down” cake, you could pour a teaspoon of maple syrup or arrange some fruit, such as diced apples or crushed pineapple, in the bottom of the mug.
In a small bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, and cinnamon. Add the milk and oil and stir just until the ingredients are combined. Pour this somewhat thick batter into the buttered mug(s). (If making two cakes, make sure the batter is evenly divided between the two mugs.)
Microwave on medium-high (75%) power for 3 minutes. Remove from microwave oven and test for doneness with a toothpick. If it’s not cooked through, continue heating in 30 second bursts. When it’s done, some crumbs may still adhere to the toothpick when you test it.
Let cool for a few minutes before inverting the cake onto a small plate. You can then garnish your cake(s) with a light dusting of powdered sugar or cinnamon sugar, if desired.
Alternatively, you could simply serve the cake in the mug. If you do this, you might prefer to place the fruit on top of the batter instead of the bottom of the mug.
You could also make this a chocolate cake by adding a tablespoon of cocoa powder to the flour. For variation, you could substitute ginger or pumpkin pie spice mix for the cinnamon. I’ve even used Chinese Five Spice blend on occasion. Or, if you prefer, you could omit the spice and use orange extract, or any flavouring you like, in lieu of the vanilla.