Coffee Cup Upside-Down Mini-Cake

The mini-cake is cooked and ready to be turned over.

My mini-cake is a miniature tower.

The spouse’s mini-cake had structural damage
so he cut it into slices.

This mini-cake is fun! (Kids will love it.) It cooks in minutes in the microwave. It’s yummy. And it has built-in portion control. Who could ask for anything more?

Well, we could ask for a consistent shape, I suppose. One mini-cake turned out to be a perfect tower with a dome; the other had its dome collapse and the whole edifice had to be levelled.

Baking perfectionists may ask, “What happened?” Perhaps it was how I put the apple slices in the bottom of the cup (no arranging: I just dropped them in and mixed in the sugar and cinnamon). Maybe it was the way I put in the batter. Truth be told: I have not a clue.

Clearly, this recipe requires more experiments, but how hard will that be with the fruit season just about upon us? I’m thinking peach, mango, plums, blueberry, strawberry, raspberry…

Printer-friendly recipe

Makes 2 mini-cakes


  • 1 apple, unpeeled
  • 1 tbsp. + 1 tbsp. dark brown sugar (I used Splenda’s Brown Sugar Blend.)
  • ¼ cup liquid egg substitute (1 egg)
  • ¼ cup + ¼ cup (if needed) soy or other alternative milk
  • 1/8 tsp. vanilla
  • ¼ cup flour (I used white rice flour.)
  • 2 tbsps. sweetener (Note to Weight Watchers: The point count below is based on the use of artificial sweetener.)
  • 1/8 + 1/8 + ¼ tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. xanthan gum
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • Cooking spray


  1. Spray the interiors of 2 coffee cups with cooking spray.
  2. Cut the apple into thin slices and then cut the slices in half.
  3. Divide the apple slices into two and add each half to a cup.
  4. Add 1 tbsp. brown sugar + 1/8 tsp. cinnamon to each cup, stirring so that apples are coated.
  5. Microwave each cup for 1 minute at High so that apples are soft.
  6. In a medium bowl, mix liquid ingredients: egg, ¼ cup of milk, and vanilla.
  7. In a small bowl, whisk together dry ingredients: flour, sweetener, ¼ tsp. cinnamon, baking powder, xanthan gum, and salt.
  8. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients in batches. (Batter should be thick and damp, and will not pour easily.)
  9. Add extra ¼ cup of milk, if necessary. (My rice flour required the full ½ cup, but gluten-free flours have different “thirsts.”)
  10. Taste-test to ensure you are happy with the sweetness.
  11. Spoon batter into each cup so that it is divided between the two cups.
  12. Wet your fingers and smooth down the top of the batter in each cup.
  13. Microwave each cup for 2-3 minutes at High. (Mine took 3 minutes, but since microwaves can differ…)
  14. Turn each cup over a small plate so that the mini-cake falls out.

For Weight Watchers: The point-value of this cake depends on the flour that you use. I was so concerned that the cake wouldn’t rise because it was being microwaved that I used the safest gluten-free flour I know: white rice flour. But rice flour is point-costly, and each mini-cake is 5 points.  If I’d used white bean flour, each serving would have been 3.25 points. Next time…

This post was linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays at the Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free blog.

(Adapted from “Coffee cup creations” in The Ottawa Citizen, April 19, 2011. According to the article, the writer got the idea from A Cup of Coffee Cake at The Prudent Baby Blog.)

12 thoughts on “Coffee Cup Upside-Down Mini-Cake

  1. by the way, if you go to any Chinese, Indian or Pakistani store, (South Asian or East Asian store basically) rice flour is very cheap. So is tapioca flour, chick pea flour (Besan) and potato starch as well as any pastas made of tapioca, beans and rice.

    • Hi, I never thought of going to those stores. I’m in Ontario and we have a Bulk Barn where I go to buy most of my gf ingredients. Of course, that’s not good for a celiac who can’t handle contamination, but I can tolerate a little bit of wheat so I’m okay. Anyway, I will now have to compare prices.

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