Gulab Jamun Mug Cake

Whether you’re celebrating Diwali or Holi alone this year, or simply looking for a sweet Indian treat, this single serving gulab jamun mug cake is for you! Scale it up as you would like or enjoy it yourself,

What is Diwali?

Diwali, also known as Deepavali, is the Indian festival of lights. And since that phrase is very overused to describe it… let me give you more context. It’s basically a holiday that celebrates the triumph of good over evil. And the good over evil we are celebrating on this particular day is Lord Rama and Goddess Sita returning home after defeating an evil king named Ravana. During this time, Hindus will typically decorate their homes with all sorts of lights – lamps, string lights, you name it. The most popular form of light during this time is through diyas, which are clay lamps.

Among the festive lighting, on the actual day of Diwali, people set off fireworks and often play loud music, to create a lot of noise and light to scare away evil spirits. And one of my favorite parts of Diwali is all the sweets, specifically jalebi and gulab jamun.

What is Gulab Jamun?

Gulab Jamun is one of the most well known Indian sweets, especially globally. They are basically milk-based munchkins that are fried and then soaked in a sweet syrup that is often seasoned with cardamom, rose, or saffron. And if you’e never had it, they’re really soft and spongy, not to mention delicious! The word “gulab” refers to the often rose-water scented syrup the Jamun are soaked in for their sweet flavor. “Jamun” refers to the fruit called Jamun which is a little black plum, and looks similar to the munchkin like balls.

Why this recipe?

  • If you live alone, this is great for you! You probably don’t to go through all the effort of making a bunch of gulab jamun and then have to commit to eating it for the whole month. With this mug cake, you’ll get a lot of those similar flavors without having to make a lot.
  • No complex ingredient list. If you’re South Asian, you likely have all of these ingredients already in the house and if not you still likely have *most* so you won’t need to don on a big shopping spree to make this.

Why are there no eggs in this cake?

Many people dislike mug cakes because they are simply too dense. The reasoning behind this is eggs. Most recipes often add a whole egg or two to a whole cake. So it really makes no sense to add a whole egg to a one-portion mug cake. This results in a very thick cake. In theory you could use 1 tbsp of beaten egg, but what do you do with the rest? So, for me, the best solution is just to omit it completely! Trust me when I say, it works!

Another reason this recipe doesn’t use eggs is that gulab jamun is commonly eaten during Diwali and other Indian festivals when many people don’t like to eat meat and egg products!

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Single Serve Gulab Jamun Mug Cake

  • Total Time: 25
  • Yield: 1 Gulab Jamun Mug Cake 1x


Whether you’re celebrating Diwali or Holi alone this year, or simply looking for a sweet Indian treat, this single serving gulab jamun mug cake is for you! Scale it up as you would like or enjoy it yourself,



Dry Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp milk powder
  • 12 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom, or less or more depending on how fresh it is

Wet Ingredients

  • 46 tbsp milk
  • 1.5 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp butter, melted

For the Sugar Syrup

  • 12 tbsp brown sugar
  • 12 tbsp water ( same as how much sugar you use )
  • 1 tsp rose water, optional
  • Pinch of ground cardamom
  • 1 tbsp milk powder, optional to make it more like a glaze 


  1. Preheat your airfryer, toasted oven or convection oven to 325F. (if you would rather microwave check the notes section)
  2. Mix all the ingredients under the “dry ingredients” section in a bowl. Then add in all the ingredients from the “wet ingredients” section starting with 4 tbsp milk (NOT from the “sugar syrup” part). Mix everything well until combined. Add an extra tbsp or 2 of milk to adjust the consistency of the batter until it’s not too thick but not too runny. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
  3. Add everything from the “sugar syrup” except the milk powder to a bowl and microwave for 30 seconds. Then, stir until well combined, To keep it as a syrup you can leave it like this. To make it more of a glaze, add in a tbsp of milk powder and stir.
  4. Poke holes on the cake with a fork or toothpick, then pour this sugar syrup this over the cake and top with chopped pistachios and rose petals. 

Make sure to take a picture and tag me on Instagram @eatsbyramya or DM it to get featured!


If you choose to microwave, I do have to warn you the texture does change and it’s not as fluffy. However, it will do the job. You can microwave it for 60-90 seconds in 30 seconds intervals.

  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 20

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  1. I made this cake in a larger batch (10x) for diwali potlucks! It turned out sooo good and everyone who tried it loved it!! The texture is exactly like the thick texture of a gulab jamun. I put in the lower end of the sugar quantities recommended and it was not overpoweringly sweet which I prefer. Only recommendation would be to add a little
    more flour, because the batter was a but runny when I scaled it up by 10. Perfect otherwise! 10x measurements made ~2.5 8×8 cakes

  2. Made this amazing and quick gulab jamun cake and absolutely loved it. It might become our regular dessert😍😋