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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!
4.9 from 158 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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296 comments on “Chocolate Mug Cake (gluten-free, paleo)”

  1. My husband and I make this ALL the time. It perfectly satisfies our sweet tooth every time without feeling guilty afterward. YUM! Thanks for the awesome recipe!

    • Hi Haylee – I’m so glad you and your husband love this mug cake! I personally love how it’s so simple to make, delicious, and healthy :)

  2. This mug cake is just bursting with chocolaty goodness one bite of this deliciousness is enough for you to forget your worries and the paleo aspect of this dish is a another positive point in its favor. Truly amazing.

  3. My daughter would always makes her mug cake with Nutella. Yuk. I introduced this recipe and she thinks it is way better ;-). Thanks Lisa!

    • Hi Babette – I’m so glad you and your daughter loved the mug cake :) Definitely one of my favorite chocolate recipes!

  4. Hi, Thanks for the recipe! it looks great!! But what if I don’t use a microwave? Can I bake it in oven?
    Thanks,
    RACHEL

  5. Yum! Turned out perfectly.

  6. Best mug cake recipe I’ve ever used. Usually they’re really eggy. But this was perfect! Will make again for sure, and make butter cream to go with it ❤️❤️

    • Hi there! So happy to hear you love this mug cake recipe :) It’s one of my favorite chocolate recipes, and yes, butter cream along with it sounds amazing.

    • Such a delicious, healthy alternative. I’ve tried a few healthy versions and this one is by far the best!! Definitely a keeper! Thank you!

      • Hi Ashley – So happy to hear that! This is also one of my favorite chocolate recipes to date :)

  7. I always have a chocolate craving!  This might get dangerous!?

    • Hi Robin – Oh just wait til you try this… Also, don’t forget to check out my other chocolate recipes as well! I think you’re going to love them :)

  8. Wow! This is so easy and delicious! 

    • Hi Jenna – Hope you loved this mug cake recipe! It’s also one of my favorites when I’m craving something chocolatey :)

  9. Delicious and super easy! I just add one tablespoon of maple syrup instead of two and it works perfectly! I microwaved mine for 45 seconds, so it was cooked but nice and moist. Then I sprinkled it with some dairy free chocolate chips and a bit of vanilla soy ice cream.

    • Hi Carissa – So glad to hear you loved the mug cake! I love how you added the chocolate chips and vanilla ice cream to it. Sounds delicious :)

  10. I replaced the maple syrup with honey and tasted just as good 

  11. Holy moly, this mug cake is perfect!! 

  12. Making this for the third time, absolutely lovely! Really hits the spot for a quick, chocolate fix! 

  13. This is such a good recipe! I have made it a number of times. Unable to sleep because of an
    injury early this morning, I needed a little treat so pulled out this recipe again and there in a matter of minutes I had
    my delicious chocolate treat . Frozen strawberries and a little plain yogurt completed my night delight.

  14. What type of maple syrup do you use? I never know what kind to buy!!

  15. can i use coconut flour instead of almond flour?

  16. The mug cake was very tasty, but also quite (too) dry. I cooked it 1min 20 sec. Too long?

  17. Added 1/4 tsp baking powder and it was so fluffy!!!

  18. Can you cook this in the oven instead? We don’t have a microwave!

    • Hi Cathy – I haven’t tried this recipe in the oven, but I think someone in the comments said they did so you may want to see if they mentioned anything about temp. & time. Alternatively, I have a molten chocolate cake on my website that can be made in the oven.

  19. I added a few chocolate chips into the recipe, and I divided the recipe into two 9 oz cups. Both my husband & I liked it.
    I do appreciate that this recipe is naturally gluten free.

  20. This cake just hit the spot! Thank you! I didnt have almond flour, so I used almond meal. And put a square of dark chocolate in the center before cooking it. I ate it with fresh blueberries and it was wonderful. A local bakery is selling gf almond flour cake for Passover, $6/slice. And this mugcake was 10x better. Have a great weekend!

  21. I’ve been paleo/grain-free for over 3 years, and this is easily the best cake substitute I’ve ever had. I’ve had many mug cakes that were tasty, but none of them have actually had the texture and mouth feel of a traditional flour-and-sugar chocolate cake the way this does! I’m currently eating keto (except one cheat meal a week – which has included this amazing mug cake two weeks in a row!) so I’m planning to experiment with liquid stevia to see if I can have it without guilt, but it is SO fantastic as is that I just had to comment. I think next time, I’ll make it before dinner and the refrigerate it because, for some reason, chilled chocolate cake has always seemed even more decadent to me. Thank you for sharing this!

    • Hi Peggy – I’m so glad you loved the chocolate mug cake! Thank you so much for the kind comment! And I totally agree, that chocolate cake from fridge does taste amazing. :)

  22. Whipped this up in no time and it tastes fabulous!! I even used unsweet cocoa powder and sugar free syrup. I topped it with sugar free whipped cream.

    • Hi Kelly – I’m so glad you loved the mug cake and found it so easy to make! Thank you for the kind comment! :)

  23. THANK YOU for this recipe! It works as written, but then I tried it with some “leftover” ingredients and it ALSO worked just as well for me. After I blended and strained almonds and for nut-milk, I wondered if I could use the still moist leftover bits of almond instead of using purchased almond-flour; YES I CAN. Also, I had recently used the liquid from a can of full fat coconut milk and placed the leftover solids in a jar in my refrigerator; those solids worked every bit as well instead of using purchased (shelf-stable) coconut oil. I was glad to be able to get dessert out of my perishable leftovers; oh, but (shame on me) I also added a heaping spoonful of chocolate-chips in the mug I microwaved today (sinful yummy yum!). THANK YOU for this recipe!!

    • Love that you used the leftover almond pulp from homemade almond milk – that’s brilliant! And who can say no to a few extra chocolate chips in this sweet little treat? I sure can’t. ;) Happy you loved the recipe Chrystal! x

  24. I love this recipie!! ..Just came home from eating out and did not want to spend $7 on dessert. I came accross this recipie online and was interested because I having been using almond flour for baking and had all other ingredients on hand. I was so pleased that I did! The cake was perfect and fulfilled my chocolate craving. I ate it with a tablespoon of my favorite vanilla ice cream, and drizzled everything with a little raw honey, organic cinnamon and some walnut pieces! Thanks!

    • Hi Cheri – Awesome, I’m so glad you enjoyed the mug cake! All your toppings sound so delicious! Thank you so much for your kind words! :)

  25.  tried this with substitutions 
    1/4 c wheat germ
    2 Tb cocoa powder
    2 Tb honey
    1 tsp coconut oil
    1 tsp canola 
    1 tsp rose water
    1 large egg
    Pinch of honey roasted, salted peanuts
    Was a little dry, overall, 
    Next time I’ll try orange zest, chocolate chips, more canola oil or an additional egg :)
    Thanks for sharing your idea!

  26. Wonderful snack for this hungry breastfeeding mum! I’m gluten free for myself and dairy free for baby so recipes like this are the best. Very forgiving too I have used sugar or honey if I have no maple syrup with great results.

    • Awesome! I’m so glad you enjoyed the mug cake, Rachael! Yep, some sweeteners are easily swapped knowing the right dry to liquid ratio. :)

  27. I was wanting something sweet and came across this. I am following AIP so I used tiger nut flour, avacado oil, because I didn’t want to melt coconut oil, and a tablespoon unflavored gelatin for my egg. Delish!

    • Awesome! Thanks for sharing all your substitutions Janece in making it AIP-friendly. I’m glad you loved the recipe!

      • Oh my goodness. Thank you SO much for this recipe. I’m on a very restrictive diet but this recipe gave me a moment of ‘normality’. It was rich and delicious. I had it warm with fresh strawberries. Yum!!!

      • Hi Brooke – Glad you loved this recipe! Being on a restrictive diet doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the good things :)

  28. Oh my goodness this thing just made my day. I know it won’t be the 1st time!

    I added in a few Lilly’s chocolate chips.
    I substituted monkfruit for the maple syrup and butter for the coconut oil. Then I poured 2 tablespoons of heavy whipping cream over the top with more monk fruit sweetener and sea salt when it was done. I cannot even express how delighted I am that the internet exists right now and I was able to quickly make something that kept me on track and satisfied my craving.

    It didn’t even taste low carb to me. Very satisfying. Easy clean up. Delighted indulgent sounds of glee while eating.

  29. Found and tried the Mug Cake a couple weeks ago! Fantastic and EASY! Brought recipe with me on vacation. First time in years I’ve been able to enjoy some doably, delicious downtime dessert!! I’ve added gf/df choc. chips. And have added a drop of peppermint essential oil and tonight a drop of citrus fresh essential oil. Delicious! Topped with whipped coconut cream. Delightful! Shared with several others. So glad I found your site!

    • Wonderful! I’m so happy you loved the mug cake recipe Fran! I love it with a little peppermint flavoring as well. But then again, I love anything with a chocolate mint combo. ;) Thanks for sharing my website as well. I really appreciate that!

  30. Currently exploring gluten free eating. I love mug cakes, but they’re so heavy. Using the almond flour makes it feel much lighter.. I didn’t feel guilty after eating it. 
    Didn’t have maple syrup.. all I have now are sugar and honey. Decided on honey. 
    Also, I’m dairy free, egg free so I substituted the egg for almond milk. 
    Didn’t really work lol, but it was still super delicious and decadent. 
    I’ll keep messing around with substitutions. 
    Thanks for the post!

  31. This is the only mug cake recipe that actually worked for me!
    I didn’t have any maple syrup so I replaced it with 2tbsp of white sugar.
    Turned out delicious!
    Thanks for the awesome recipe!

  32. This is so yummy for healthy food!!! No substitutions and cooked for one min 10 sec

  33. PERFECTION cooked mine for 1min 3 seconds and topped with some homemade Nutella. DELISH.

  34. So, so good! Used date syrup instead of maple syrup and it turned out great! Thanks for the great recipe! ?

  35. Sooo yummy 
    Thank you ?

  36. The most easiest cake mug recipe I’ve ever made. Thank you for sharing this recipe! On top of it it’s gluten free! God bless your works!

  37. Made this many times when have chocolate craving!! It is delicious ! Thanks for the recipe! 

  38. Can I use cake flour as a substitution for almond flour?

  39. I’m shocked that I finally found a mug cake that is actually good and isn’t bad for you !! Thank u

  40. Could I make this with coconut flour instead? I’m not a fan of the almond taste.