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Chocolate Mug Cake (gluten-free, paleo)

An easy, delicious and healthy chocolate mug cake that’s also gluten-free, dairy-free and paleo. I think it’s the best chocolate mug cake recipe out there.

(gluten-free, paleo) A delicious, healthy and moist chocolate mug cake that can be made in less than two minutes - super easy!

I remember scrolling through the TV a while back and seeing something on one of those daytime talk shows about “mug food.” Meaning, things you could microwave in a mug (ie – mug cakes, pizzas, etc). I may have chuckled out loud. And figured it was the latest novelty that’d be here today, gone tomorrow.

But a funny thing happened the other day. I got a massive craving for chocolate cake. And while I actually contemplated baking an entire chocolate cake…my brain *thankfully* kiboshed that notion. Phew. Because you guys know that I have no will power, so an entire chocolate cake sitting on the counter staring at me all day was just the worst of bad ideas. Especially with Christmas indulgence happening next week.

Watch this quick video of my Chocolate Mug Cake recipe

 It’s easy to make this mug cake, but it always helps to watch a step-by-step tutorial video. And you can subscribe to my YouTube Channel for weekly cooking videos.

Sooo, I decided to investigate this whole easy chocolate mug cake phenomenon. I mean, could you really bake a chocolate cake in a mug? And have it turn out halfway decent? Hmm. I was doubtful, but up to the challenge. Thus began my adventure to make not only the best chocolate mug cake (obviously), but one that’s gluten-free and paleo-friendly. A healthy chocolate mug cake if you will.

Are you ready to hear the end result? Not only did my mug cake turn out, but it’s damn good as well! Like a real deal chocolate cake. In a mug. Holy smokes! You guys have no idea how much the wheels in my brain are turning with new recipe ideas now.

(gluten-free, paleo) A delicious, healthy and moist chocolate mug cake that can be made in less than two minutes - super easy!

(gluten-free, paleo) A delicious, healthy and moist chocolate mug cake that can be made in less than two minutes - super easy!

The Best Paleo Chocolate Mug Cake

So let’s chat quickly why I’m loving this recipe. First, it’s perfectly portioned. Which means if it’s 9pm and you get a hardcore craving for chocolate cake (ahem), you can whip this thing up in less than two minutes to get an individual chocolate cake the size of a cupcake.

Next, which I just mentioned above, is that it’s seriously done, cooked, baked in less than two minutes in the microwave. I actually debated calling this recipe a 2-minute chocolate mug cake, but since each person’s microwave wattage and power differs…I didn’t want to hang my hat on that two minute mark. For me, I’ve found my chocolate mug cake cooks best at one minute thirty seconds. But you’ll have to play around with yours a bit to find that perfect cook time.

Lastly, this thing is healthy. Seriously. The ingredients are super simple and clean – almond flour, raw cacao powder, maple syrup, vanilla extract, coconut oil and an egg. Yep, it has no milk, so it’s dairy-free.

I did attempt it without the egg (switching the other ingredients around a bit) as I saw some reviewers say that the egg made it chewy, but those reviews were for mug cakes using wheat flour. And wheat flour (which contains gluten) already has binding and chewiness to it. Since we’re using almond flour, I’d say the egg is definitely needed.

(gluten-free, paleo) A delicious, healthy and moist chocolate mug cake that can be made in less than two minutes - super easy!

(gluten-free, paleo) A delicious, healthy and moist chocolate mug cake that can be made in less than two minutes - super easy!

Here’s a Few Other Chocolate Mug Cake Tips

  • Don’t use a huge mug as it’ll dwarf the cake. Well, I guess it’s fine if you’re just cooking for yourself, but if you’re presenting these as dessert I’d stick to a smaller mug. I switched to smaller 9-oz coffee mugs (pictured), which were the perfect size.
  • You can absolutely mix everything together in the mug you’re gonna use. But I find it’s easier to mix it in a measuring cup, then pour it into the mug.
  • If you’re watching the mug cake cook in the microwave, you’ll see it shoot straight up like a cylinder (or soufflé) as it cooks. Don’t be alarmed. As it cools, it just collapses right back down again.
  • These cakes will be HOT when you take them out of the microwave. Let them cool for a couple of minutes before digging in.
  • Play around with the cook time that works best for your microwave – which could range from 45 seconds to 2 minutes. Less time and they’ll be more moist and brownie-like.

Lastly, get creative with add-ins, like a tablespoon of mini chocolate chips, a sprinkle of cinnamon or some grated orange (yum). You can also dust the top with organic powdered sugar and fresh berries.

For more gluten-free and paleo chocolate desserts, make sure to check out my Amazing Paleo Chocolate Cake, Chocolate Chia PuddingFlourless Chocolate Cake (nut-free!), Black Forest Mug Cake, Chocolate Avocado Pudding with Hazelnuts and Sea Salt, Molten Chocolate Cake with Coconut Whipped Cream, Chocolate Covered Bananas and Paleo Brownies. Enjoy!

(gluten-free, paleo) A delicious, healthy and moist chocolate mug cake that can be made in less than two minutes - super easy!

(gluten-free, paleo) A delicious, healthy and moist chocolate mug cake that can be made in less than two minutes - super easy!
4.93 from 210 votes

Chocolate Mug Cake (gluten-free, paleo)

Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 2 mins
Total Time: 7 mins
Servings: 1 serving
Author: Lisa Bryan
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
An easy, delicious and healthy chocolate mug cake that's also gluten-free, dairy-free and paleo. I think it's the best chocolate mug cake recipe out there. Watch the video above to see how quickly it comes together!

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 2 tbsp cacao powder
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg

Optional Toppings

Instructions

  • Whisk all of the ingredients together in a measuring cup.
  • Pour the batter into your mug and microwave for 1-2 minutes, or until the cake is cooked through.
  • Enjoy plain or top with coconut whipped cream, powdered sugar or berries.

Lisa's Tips

  • Make sure to read the tips above and watch the video for a chocolate mug cake that turns out perfect every time!
  • If you would like to use the oven instead of microwave, you can bake this in a 3 inch ramekin at 375 degrees Farenheit for 20 minutes. But, if you don't want to just bake one mug cake and utilize your entire oven space, then I suggest making my Molten Chocolate Cake 

Nutrition

Calories: 433.4kcal, Carbohydrates: 39g, Protein: 14.1g, Fat: 24.9g, Saturated Fat: 6.4g, Cholesterol: 186.5mg, Sodium: 70.1mg, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 26.1g
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Chocolate Mug Cake, Gluten Free Chocolate Mug Cake, Paleo Chocolate Mug Cake, Paleo Mug Cake
©Downshiftology. Content and photographs are copyright protected. Sharing of this recipe is both encouraged and appreciated. Copying and/or pasting full recipes to any social media is strictly prohibited.
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?Leave a comment below and share a photo on Instagram. Tag @downshiftology and hashtag it #downshiftology.

Recipe originally posted December 2016 and updated May 2017 to include the video. 

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413 comments on “Chocolate Mug Cake (gluten-free, paleo)”

  1. This is probably one of the most delicious mug cakes I’ve ever tasted. Or made. It’s so simple and the flavour is just perfect. Thank you, Lisa, for sharing this amazing recipe with the rest of the world :D.

  2. This is such an easy, delicious mug cake recipe! I followed your instructions and my mug cake cooked in a minute and a half also, in the same time it took to boil the kettle. Because who can eat cake without a cuppa right!? A perfect sweet treat to keep me going through my studies:) Thank you!

  3. Pretty good! Made it with my 6 year old daughter and she approves! I find your recipes are always yummy!

  4. What to substitute for coconut oil? And almond flour?
    Thank you!

  5. It looks so delicious. I never get tired of baking so adding this recipe to one my favorites.

  6. I am shocked. I was trying to find a mug cake recipe that was grain and dairy-free for my Mom and found this recipe. It is not only fantastic for a grain-free, dairy free cake, but is one of the best chocolate mug cakes I have tried ever! I love that I feel so much better eating this and that it is satiating and not a sugar rush that I usually get from making a mug cake as a treat. Absolutely perfect recipe Lisa!

  7. Lisa – I love this recipe. I was craving something quick and sweet. I love how simple and tasty this is! Thank you once again for the amazing recipe. You crushed it. 

  8. I really enjoyed this cake in a mug. I loved the use of almond flour, it has such a yummy texture and use of maple syrup is perfect not to sweet but just right. 

    Thank you so much for sharing with us your recipe. It brightened my night :) 

  9. What a splendid protein supplement! ;-) Seriously, well done calibrating the proportions – with a 1/4 teaspoon baking powder, it becomes a nice, substantial, fluffy cake, and I’m sure that without it, it’s all chewy brownie-like goodness. Almond flour is a perfect foil – I made some brownies with it once, and it tasted as good as any conventional flour brownie I’d ever had, if not richer and better! Looking forward to trying more variations on the theme (your suggested chocolate chips, and/or maybe a vegan marshmallow in the middle? heehee). Thanks again!!

  10. This has been the best recipe for chocolate mug cake, but I’m still trying to get past the Almond texture. The taste was very very good, although it was not as Keto friendly as the other cakes: they tasted nasty.

  11. I made this and divided the bater into 2 ramekins and microwaved, came out perfect!! :)

  12. I’m 39 weeks pregnant and this recipe was pure heaven. I have a pretty big sweet tooth and gave into it during my pregnancy, but forced myself to stop buying candy the last few weeks so I can kick the habit. This satisfied that sweet tooth without the guilt. Thank you for this recipe! 

    • Hi Sydney- Congrats on your pregnancy! You’re almost to the end, and I’m glad this chocolate mug cake has been able to help you through it to satisfy your sweet tooth :)

  13. Thank you for the lovely recipe! I was hesitant to add in 2 whole tablespoons of maple syrup to one dessert, so I halved it and added one. It was still far too sweet! I couldnt finish it and had to add plain greek yoghurt to counterbalance the sweetness haha. I am actually such a sweet tooth too! I would make this again though, adding only 1/2 tablespoon of maple syrup :)

  14. Hands down to Lisa @Downshiftology… this is the best chocolate cake I’ve ever had! I love dark chocolate because it’s not as sweet, and that makes it harder for me to eat chocolate cake because normally it’s always too sweet! I’ve added a personal touch by topping it with coconut shreds and used a couple pieces of dark chocolate chips. Delicious! Now I can make my own chocolate cake without using my oven… or having to bake a whole cake! Thank you! 

    • Hi Carla- Happy to hear this recipe was a success! Love the addition of coconut shreds as well :)

  15. Absolutely loved this recipe! I tried some other ones and they did not turn out well at all. But this one was so delicious and I will definitely be making it all the time. I didn’t have maple syrup so I substituted honey and I think it worked out just fine. And then I added a little bit of baking powder as well. I don’t know if my five star rating went through, it won’t let me pick the five stars but I definitely give this recipe five stars!

  16. Very good! Just the right amount of sweetness & so simple to make. Great recipe 😃

  17. This recipe is super good! The texture is so on point (unlike many other cup cakes)! Not too sweet, very chocolaty, with a sweet hint of coconut. Made it many times during quarantine 😆 I also like to add a pinch of salt to mine! And sometimes a bit of ground coffee, both work well!

  18. This was fantastic! Could I replace the maple syrup with Stevia? Thank you for the recipe!

    • Hi Tonya- I believe you can! But you might have to play around with the amount as stevia has a different amount of sweetness :)

  19. Since I am not a fan of microwaves I baked it in a tiny glass dish for 15 min and it came out moist and smelled like a mini chocolate cake :) It was not very sweet so I topped it with some raspberries and I imagine a scoop of vanilla ice cream would do as well!
    I really like the combination of almond flour+egg and I think a it would work well with some chocolate chips, like a mini brownie so I am gonna try that next time :) if you make one portion like this, you can experiment and try something different like every day! :D everything mini is better, especially if something wouldn’t work out, hihi

    • Hi Barbora- Sounds great with raspberries and vanilla ice cream! Happy to hear you enjoyed this one :)

  20. I used carob powder instead of cacao, hazelnut meal in place of almond and macadamia oil in place of coconut. It came out really well! Very sweet on account of the carob + maple syrup but that works for me and the hazelnut meal gave it a nutella kind of flavour which was lovely.

  21. I really want to make this however I can not figure out whether you used unsweetened or sweetened cocoa powder? Also did the cake come out kind of sweet because I don’t really enjoy non sweet cakes :))

    • Hi there! I normally use unsweetened cacao powder. And this cake is sweet enough for me, but if you’re someone who likes things more on the sweeter side, you can use sweetened cacao powder instead :)

  22. I agree, this is definitely the best chocolate mug cake out there. I am not gluten-free or paleo but this recipe takes the cake (mug-cake that is). Its simple and delicious. I have made the mug cake as per the recipe and also a slightly lighter version with only one tablespoon of cocoa powder and one tablespoon of maple syrup; both are fantastic. I was worried that the whole egg would make the end result taste too “eggy” but I was pleasantly surprised that it didn’t. I love Downshiftology for all your clean, simple, and delicious recipes.

    • Hi Dawn – I’m glad you enjoyed this mug cake so much! Can’t wait for you to try a few of my other baking recipes :)

  23. I made this tonight and it was so easy. I will make this again and again.

    It satisfied my chocolate craving but not my sweet tooth. I added powdered sugar on top but that did not help. The cake was still a little bitter. I will add some stevia next time or maybe use some agave, as I said I will be making this again and again.

    Thanks for a great recipe.

    • Hi Geri- Glad you loved thus mug cake recipe! It’s the perfect quick chocolate treat and definitely a Downshiftology favorite.

  24. You know, it’s not bad. I am not following a keto diet, but I am gluten free. I added some chopped chocolate (and sweetened it up a bit). It was good, but it needed some more lift to give it more of a cake-like structure. When I tried it again, I added 1/4 teaspoon baking powder, and that gave this mug cake a very light, fluffy texture despite being high in protein. I highly recommend this change. Thank you for the recipe!

    • Hi Shauna – Thanks for the quick tip! Glad the extra bit of baking powder helped your cake to rise.

  25. So quick and simple and a lovely little after-dinner treat without being too naughty. It took a couple of tried to work out exactly when to stop the microwave so it stayed moist, but I didn’t mind having to eat all the failed ones first. Haha.

  26. Thank you, this sounds incredible, I can’t wait to try it! Would it work to use raw cacao nibs instead of powder do you think? 🤔

  27. I found it very dry but nice flavour…followed recipe exactly. A bit of a shame the dryness ruined my first sweet experience in a while

    • Sorry to hear that. As I mentioned in the post, every microwave oven cooks a bit differently due to different wattages. I’d recommend reducing the amount of time you cook next time, for a more fudgy texture.

  28. Quick and delicious recipe! I have made other mug cakes before that have been terrible but this one has turned out well twice! I microwaved for a minute and a half and topped with some vanilla almond milk and a bit of raspberry jam (low on fresh fruit at the moment!) 

    Thank you for the delicious dairy and gluten free treat! 

    • Hi there- I’m so glad you found a chocolate mug cake recipe that works for you! Love the additional toppings you put on this as well :)

  29. Delicious Lisa! Topped ours with raspberries and a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Can’t wait to make this again! Thank you!

  30. Another winning recipe!  A perfect chocolate fix for the “stay at home“ time we’re in. Super easy and everything is in the pantry. I added chocolate chips to make it extra chocolatey. Plus there’s no leftovers to be tempted to eat later. Thank you Lisa!

  31. I just made this, and it is delicious!! But I wanted it to be healthier, sugar-wise. So I only used 1 tablespoon of maple syrup, and used almond extract, because I’m running low on vanilla extract.
    I topped it with coconut whipped cream, and a “chocolate donut” seasoning from Flavorgod. It came out so good!! Thank you!!

  32. Do you think I can leave out the maple syrup and just use dark chocolate chips instead? I don’t want to use refined sugar nor do I have maple syrup or agave syrup. I’d love to try soon

    • Hi Camille – I haven’t tried this without maple syrup, but you can definitely try. However, with most chocolate desserts, you will need a smidge of sugar to counterbalance the richness of the chocolate.

    • I made this with no added sweetener as I am on a sugar ban right now.

      Instead, I dialled back the cocoa a little, added dessicated coconut, a tiny pinch of sea salt flakes and served with yoghurt. After ten days without any sugar, this variation was naturally sweet enough for me and provided that chocolate hit i was missing.

    • This cake is good! I doubled the recipe and did two in the microwave. I do think you need to eat it with ice cream or jam. I’ve tried both and they add a little more sweetness.

  33. It was so goood ! It’s the perfect quick dessert recipe  i needed ! Thank you 🙏🏼 

  34. Hi Lisa, just wondering if I can use a flax egg? 

    • Hi Rocco- I haven’t tried using a flax egg, but I’m sure it would work just fine!

    • Hi Lisa

      Thank you for the lovely recipes. Could you use liquid stevia in this mug cake and if yes, how much would you recommend please?

      • Hi Gel – I’m sure you could, but you might need to add a little more liquid to balance the wet/dry ratio. And I don’t use liquid stevia so I’d just add to taste. :)

  35. I just made this and it’s super good! My microwave is a low wattage so I cooked my cake for 2 minutes. Fluffy, fudgey, and moist! It’s very rich but I like that. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe… currently stuck in this whole lockdown and I was craving cake!!!

    • Hi Mallory – So glad this caked turned out so moist and fluffy! Definitely a go-to chocolate recipe for when you’re craving it :)

  36. I love this recipe! I’ve already made the chocolate mug cake a few times. It’s quick, easy, and most importantly, delicious! I have topped it raspberry chia jam recipe. :)

  37. Have made this several times and it’s so good!! First time I microwaved it for 1 min 30 seconds and it was too dry. So the last two times I’ve done 1 min and it’s the perfect fudgey moist texture! I recently switched to a paleo diet and this has been perfect for those chocolate cravings! Thanks for the great recipe!

    • Hi April – So happy you enjoyed this chocolate treat! Can’t wait for you to whip up tons more of my paleo recipes now :)

  38. Delicious and Easy! Not overly sweet… just sweet enough. My coconut oil was in solid form and that didn’t seem to make a difference.

  39. This could not be any easier! It is the perfect quick dessert to cure a chocolate craving. You literally dump, mix, and microwave. It is rich but doesn’t feel bad for you because the ingredients aren’t that bad for you! Another hit!

  40. Can I use agave instead of maple syrup?

  41. Was so easy and so good!! Perfect healthier treat for that sugar craving 

  42. Hi Lisa,
    Can any flour be used? I.e. a gluten free baking flour mix?
    Thanks!

    • Hi Reenie – I’ve only tested this recipe with almond flour and each GF flour bakes differently, but you can certainly give it a try with a GF flour blend. If it works well, let us know! :)

    • So good! I enjoy your recipes! How much erythritol should I use instead of maple syrup? 

  43. Simple, easy to follow recipe and yum!!!!!

  44. That was good, rich and decadent. Added a few chocolate chips and it actually veered towards too chocolatey- if there is such a thing! Thanks!

    • Hi Sarah- I’m so glad you loved these mug cakes! Yep, this recipe is already super chocolatey, so adding chocolate chips might be a bit sweet!

    • Just made this and my mind is blown. So easy and delicious and pretty healthy too. I’m genuinely worried I won’t be able to stop myself making one of these every day.
      I did 1.5 minutes and wish it was a little fudgier so I’d say listen to Lisa – do 45 seconds, see how it’s going and then more if necessary.

  45. Yum yum yum!! Easy to follow and delish.