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Chocolate Mug Cake (gluten-free, paleo)

Posted by on May 24, 2017 / 63 Comments

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:

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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!

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.

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

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. I’m all about the fruit flair on top.


PS – Because this recipe turned out so well, I’ve also now made a Black Forest Mug Cake.

Click HERE to pin this Chocolate Mug Cake recipe to your Pinterest Board

(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!

Chocolate Mug Cake (gluten-free, paleo)

Cook Time: 2 minutes
Servings: 1 mug cake
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.


Optional Toppings


  1. Whisk all of the ingredients together in a measuring cup. 

  2. Pour the batter into your mug and microwave for 1-2 minutes, or until the cake is cooked through. 

  3. Enjoy plain or top with coconut whipped cream, powdered sugar or berries. 

Other recipes you might like:

Mini Skillet Brownies with Fresh Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream (gluten-free, paleo)

Chocolate Avocado Pudding with Hazelnuts and Sea Salt (dairy-free, paleo) 

Molten Chocolate Cake with Coconut Whipped Cream (gluten-free, paleo) 

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

  • You had me at chocolate, haha. But I do love mug cakes because they’re perfectly portioned!

  • Sarah @ Champagne Tastes

    The only mug cake I’ve ever tried didn’t turn out well– I need to try this one! Your photos are gorgeous

    • Thanks Sarah – it was definitely fun to photograph! And yes, I think some mug cake recipes are off. I’ve done this one 4 times now and it’s turned out fab each time (once I figured out the right cook time for my microwave). :)

  • This sounds intriguing. I have made these before but want to try your ingredients.

    • Not only is this version gluten-free/dairy-free…but there’s a lot less sugar than most other mug cake recipes. No guilt here! :)

  • Oh my, I bet my daughter at college would LOVE this! Yum!

  • Liz Stark

    I too was always skeptical of mug cakes (especially when using eggs… don’t want to risk the cake not fully cooking!). Love your nourishing, perfect chocolate mug cake recipe!

    • Yeah, me too. But after you watch this mug cake cook in the microwave and taste it, you can tell it’s 100% fully cooked. And delicious! ;) x

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  • Donna V

    ok , so I made my first GF Low Fodmap mug cake and tossed in a couple TB of 71% chocolate chips! MMM-mmm! yep! I would do it all again with a couple raspberries and a mint leaf or a scoop of raspberry lime sorrbetto on the side. Thank you Lisa for a new addiction… a single serve recipe! :)

    • Love that creativity! And happy to help supply a healthy addiction (even if it is a chocolate one). ;) x

      • Donna V

        New variation……add peppermint extract to batter before baking. Yum! (and yes the chocolate chips are a standard part of my recipe!) :)

  • Christine

    this sounds simple and awesome! i can’t wait to try it. thanks for sharing!

  • Dee

    Could I use coconut flour instead of almond?

    • Unfortunately coconut flour does not replace almond flour 1:1 as it’s highly absorbent. It’s possible to use coconut flour in this type of recipe, but the ratio of the liquid ingredients would have to be significantly modified. If you try something that works, let me know! :)

  • Ashlee Heartt

    I just made this and OMG – it’s so good. I feel like I got my little chocolate treat….but without the guilt & bad ingredients. Thank you!!

    • Yay – so glad you liked it Ashlee! Isn’t it lovely that something so simple can turn out so good (and be good for you)? :) x

  • Christine Good

    These are fabulous!!! No more oven cakes for me – scrumptious and elegant recipe!! Thanks 😊

  • Lg

    made this twice now and love it, especially topped with your coconut whipped cream!
    If I want to double the recipe, do I need to use 2 eggs?
    Thank you!

    • That’s so wonderful to hear! When I double the recipe I use two eggs, though you could probably get by with one. You’ll have to try both and see which you prefer (and let me know!). :)

  • pause2shopdotcom

    OMG! This was da bomb!! I followed directions exactly and then topped with shaved dark chocolate and sliced strawberries. Soooo good!!! Thank you for sharing this recipe!!

    • Awesome – so glad you liked it! And love that you put shaved chocolate on top. I can just imagine how decadent that must have tasted! :) x

      • pause2shopdotcom

        indeed! i made a second time and used almond extract in place of the vanilla, wow was that good too!! Thank you again for sharing this recipe, just wonderful!

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  • Marcella Rochon

    If I want to make these for a dinner party, can I micro-bake several mugs at a time or must they each be done individually?

    • That’s a great question. To be honest, I’ve only ever done them one at a time, but don’t see why you wouldn’t be able to do several at once (and likely increase the time). Let me know how it turns out!

  • Shivani Patel

    I’ve never actually tried making a mug cake before but I’m trying to eat healthier and less sugar but love chocolate so definitely want to give this one a try! One question, can I use any other type of flour besides almond flour such as whole wheat flour? And if so would it be the same quantity of flour. Thanks! :)

    • Hi Shivani – I only tested this recipe with almond flour, so can’t comment on whole wheat flour (as I’m gluten-free). I imagine it should work fine, though you may have to tweak the ratios a bit. Hazelnut flour would also be very similar to almond flour. Let me know how it turns out for you! :)

      • Shivani Patel

        Oh okay, I will see if I can buy hazelnut flour or almond flour and try it out. I will let you know how it turns out when I try it! :)

    • Jacqueline Irish

      I experiemented making these for a small dinner party of four, using different methods, and my husband and I were pleased with the results. I had put the mix in mini bundt cake tins and used convection toaster oven; 350 degrees for 8 minutes seemed to work for mine. In the first ones I made in the morning, I substituted the maple syrup with honey and made two others with the honey and substituted the almond floor with whole wheat flour. They still come out fine, but they do tend to have more of a dense texture with the whole wheat flour, and the honey makes them less sweet, more like a healthy breakfast muffin you wouldn’t have any guilt eating every morning. (I might try the lighter version of this recipe with oatmeal next time.) As for my evening version, I used the maple syrup, added chocolate chips, and sprinkled with powdered sugar and strawberries after I heated them in the oven just enough for the chocolate chips to get soft. They turned out great; however they probably weren’t as healthy at that point but still good for serving guests. :)

  • Contessa Lowery

    You are my savior!!!! Per my doctor’s orders I have to cut back on carbs and sugar, but I desperately love chocolate and had lost all hope of finding anything somewhat healthy with chocolate. Then I found out about the raw cacao and found your recipe. It is amazing!!! I might have gone a little to long in the microwave this time since it did come out a bit dry but I don’t even care. The next time will be less time. My craving was satisfied in an instant and I could not be happier. This is definitely going pay a significant role in helping me fight really strong desperate cravings as it is incredibly satisfying and just what I need. Thank you so much!!

    • Yay!! So happy you liked the recipe Contessa! It really is the perfect recipe to satisfy those sweet cravings without going overboard, as it’s perfectly portioned. You’ll definitely dial in your microwave’s timing after a few tries (which I feel will probably be in your near future). ;) x

  • Lisa Reid

    Can you put it in the oven if you don’t have a microwave?

    • I haven’t done that with this particular recipe, but I imagine it would work. Just make sure to put it in an oven-safe container, like a ramekin. Let me know how it turns out!

      • Lisa

        Thank you. Will do!

    • Jacqueline Irish

      I used Cuisinart mini bundt cake tins because I was having a small dinner party. Anyway, I put them in a convection toaster oven at 350 for 8 minutes. They turned out great!

  • trmlogan

    Just made this for a bedtime snack since I was starving – oh my goodness – it is so delicious!! Thank you very much!

  • Janet Hervey Powell

    I have tried several different mug cake recipes and so far this one is the best and the healthiest. I loved it topped with strawberries and Greek yogurt

  • SJ

    The absolute best and healthy too…double delish!!

  • Carlie

    Desperately searched the internet as I promised my (very food restricted) boys dessert and they didn’t want whipped frozen fruit. This was perfect! So quick and delicious! They’re only allowed honey as a sweetener so I substituted that for the maple syrup.

  • Digby

    I love this mug cake recipe! I make one almost every day! They are so quick and easy and are a great snack or dessert! I’m so glad I found this recipe!

    • It really is the perfect little treat. I even made for myself last night. ;) So happy you like the recipe Digby!

  • Milva Ballester

    I LOVE this recipe! I have substituted the maple syrup with honey before, and also with agave nectar and it is so yummy! Do you have an idea on the number of calories this contains?

    • Awesome – and those sound like perfect substitutions! I don’t know how many calories, but there are online nutrition calculators that will do the math for you. ;) x

  • Frederick Page

    Will you marry me? As my second wife? Because my first wife loved this so much we are considering making more babies tonight and we’ll need help. 😁

  • Erika H

    Have you tried this with a mix of coconut flour in it? Just did 3 tbs almond flour and 1 coconut flour. It’s amazing both ways! Also. Opinion on blending the mix and then putting into a mug? I find almond flour can be gritty if not sifted and blended. LOVE this recipe!!

    • I haven’t – but that’s awesome to know! And you’re right, almond flour can be a bit gritty (do you buy the super fine grind?). But yes, if you’d like to blend first, go for it! You can also use hazelnut flour in this recipe. :) So happy you love it Erika!

  • Jacqueline Irish

    I was looking for a healthier recipe to make individual-sized desserts for a dinner party and this is a great one! Thanks, Lisa!

  • Melissa Linton

    I tried this last night and it was delicious! I didn’t have any maple syrup so I used coconut nectar. I just found your site a few days ago and I’m really excited to try out your recipes.

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