Quick easy monkey bread for two! Gluten-free vegan dough rolled in cinnamon, drowned in date caramel, and microwaved to messy mug perfection!

Vegan Monkey Bread Mug Cakes (gluten-free)
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED SEPT 26, 2016
PHOTOS + RECIPE UPDATED SEPT 5, 2022

Maybe I don’t want a long slinky tail that would make wearing pants impossible. And the thought of inescapable fur in the middle of summer sounds torturous. And eating critters with my bare hands does not appeal to me on flavor or texture. But there is one thing that does make me kinda jealous of monkeys: they have the most delectable sticky-sweet bread named after them.

Vegan Monkey Bread Mug Cakes (gluten-free)

The first time I tasted monkey bread I fell absolutely in love with it. Like this-might-be-better-than-chocolate-cake in love. How could you not, it’s soft cinnamon bread with caramel goo baked right in between every little puff-ball of sweet dough!

Yes that’s right, I said goo. It’s a very technical term for a very delicious substance usually made of butter and sugar and a lot of it. But for this vegan monkey bread recipe we’re keeping it much healthier with a caramel goo made from dates, almond butter, and cinnamon.

The dates naturally have the exact caramel flavor monkey bread needs. The almond butter adds nutty richness, but is optional if you prefer to keep it low fat. And the cinnamon…well I don’t think that really needs an explanation, it’s monkey bread after all.

The dough itself is rather untraditional too, made without sugar or gluten. But perhaps the most untraditional part of the entire recipe (and which I have somehow neglected to mention until now) is that the whole thing happens in the microwave! No need to wait 30+ minutes for a mouthful of monkey bread. Just mix, roll, dunk, microwave, and dive in!

Oh, and there is an oven option too since I know not everyone has/uses a microwave.

Vegan Monkey Bread Mug Cakes (gluten-free)

Some monkey bread recipes mix up a whole separate glaze to go on top. But I have a feeling there is a reason you clicked on this mug cake version of vegan monkey bread: because you like easy just as much as I do! So to keep things simpler, I just thinned out the caramel goo with maple syrup to make an easy sweet topping and drizzled that on top followed up with a sprinkling of cinnamon. You could also thin it out with non-dairy milk or water to keep the recipe entirely fruit-sweetened, it’s up to you.

Vegan Monkey Bread Mug Cakes (gluten-free)

The outside pieces that are drenched in caramel goo—amazing. The inside pieces insulated by their doughy friends that stay extra soft and warm—so yum. And I highly recommend keeping an extra little cup of caramel goo/frosting/heaven on the side for double dipping.

Print

clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon

Monkey Bread Mug Cakes (UPDATED!)

  • Author: Natalie
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 90 seconds
  • Total Time: 11 minutes
  • Yield: 2 mug cakes 1x
  • Category: mug cake
  • Method: microwave
  • Cuisine: american

Description

Quick easy monkey bread for two! Gluten-free vegan dough rolled in cinnamon, drowned in date caramel, and microwaved to messy mug perfection!


Date paste

  • 10 (180g) pitted medjool dates
  • 3/4 cup water

Dough

  • 2/3 cup (170g) date paste
  • 2 tbsp (20g) melted coconut oil (recommended, but can be replaced with nondairy milk)
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp (75g) oat flour
  • 1/2 cup (60g) tapioca starch (or cornstarch)
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon

Caramel Sauce

  • Remaining date paste (about 1/2 cup)
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup (optional)

Instructions

  1. Blend the dates and water until VERY smooth, adding a little more water if need be.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together oat flour, tapioca starch, baking powder, and salt.
  3. Add date paste and coconut oil. Mix to form a sticky dough (if it’s too dry add a little more coconut oil or milk, you want it to be almost too sticky to roll in your hands). Set aside to rest 5 minutes.
  4. Grease 2 ramekins (bigger is better, 8oz or 10oz ramekins work best). Pinch off chunks of dough, roll into balls, roll in cinnamon to coat, arrange in the ramekins (about 8-10 balls per ramekin, do not overcrowd them).
  5. Whisk maple syrup and date paste to form a smooth thinner sauce. Spoon over the dough balls, covering the top completely and letting some fill in the spaces between the dough balls.
  6. Microwave 90 seconds (each ramekin separately).
  7. Cool briefly, then enjoy!

Notes

You can halve the dough and caramel sauce ingredients to make just one mug cake, but it’s hard to blend less date paste than listed in the recipe. You can just save the extra date paste (lasts 4-5 days in the fridge) for another use or another mug cake!

OVEN OPTION: I personally prefer the texture of the microwave option, but if you want to bake it try 18-22 minutes at 350F. Place the ramekins directly on the wire rack of your oven not on a pan. Glass ramekins work better than ceramic in my experience. To test for doneness, gently press the middle ball and if it feels at all mushy or unbaked add another 2-3 minutes.

Keywords: gluten free, caramel, cinnamon, easy, snack, dessert, healthy, oat flour

Print

clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon

Vegan Monkey Bread Mug Cake gluten-free & oil-free

Vegan Monkey Bread Mug Cake (ORIGINAL)

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 minutes
  • Total Time: 11 minutes

Date paste

  • 10 Medjool dates
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Optional: 1 tbsp almond butter (or any nut/seed butter)

Dough

  • 1/3 cup oat flour
  • ¼ cup date paste (above)
  • 2 tbsps tapioca starch (or cornstarch)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt

Caramel Goo

  • ¼ cup date paste (above)
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Blend all the ingredients for the date paste. You may have extra date paste, but most blenders cannot blend with any less volume than this.
  2. Mix together all the ingredients for the dough. It should be quite sticky, but firm enough to roll into balls.
  3. Mix together all the ingredients for the caramel goo.
  4. Pinch off a small piece of dough. Roll it into a ball. Drop in the caramel goo and use a spoon to evenly coat. Place in a microwave safe ramekin. Repeat with the rest of the dough (I got about 8 balls).
  5. Microwave for 1 to 1.5 minutes on high. *See notes for oven option.
  6. Top with remaining caramel goo and a sprinkle of cinnamon Enjoy!

Notes

I actually prefer the texture of the microwave version with this recipe, but you can bake it in a preheated oven for approximately 15-20 mins at 375F.

CLICK BELOW TO PIN

Vegan Monkey Bread Mug Cakes