Chocolate Mug Cake (gluten-free, paleo)

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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.

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!

Chocolate Mug Cake (gluten-free, paleo)

4.94 from 285 votes
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 2 minutes
Total: 7 minutes
Servings: 1 serving
Author: Lisa Bryan

Description

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 below to see how quickly it comes together!

Video

Ingredients 
 

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
Did you make this recipe?Mention @downshiftology or tag #downshiftology!

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

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About the author

Lisa Bryan

Lisa is a bestselling cookbook author, recipe developer, and YouTuber (with over 2.5 million subscribers) living in sunny Southern California. She started Downshiftology in 2014, and is passionate about making healthy food with fresh, simple and seasonal ingredients.

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Recipe Rating




617 Comments

  1. Have now made this recipe several times – it’s a perfect decadent hit without being overly sweet!
    I always add a teaspoon of almond butter and then top with any berries we have in the fridge for a lovely dessert :)5 stars

  2. I’m actually shocked at how yummy this was! I topped it with Greek yoghurt and mixed berries and it was so good! Thank you.5 stars

  3. Great little recipe for an afternoon treat. I followed the recipe exactly and it came out great. I don’t like sugary treats, so this was perfect. It even worked at high altitude (6400 feet).5 stars

  4. I am trying to use up ingredients that are old and have everything except cacao powder. Can I substitute Hershey’s Dutch Cocoa Powder for cacao powder? (Hate to go buy something new if I can use up what I have)… TIA!

  5. Yummy! I played around with it a bit and it was good with about 1 T collagen powder added for more protein, and 1/2 tsp espresso powder. Thanks for yet another delicious recipe!5 stars

    1. Thanks for the tips! Can I ask your measurements after the substitutions and additions? Also, did you try adding protein powder by chance? TIA

  6. I’m going to try making this with coconut flour, coconut sugar, and maybe ghee or coconut oil. Just to play around with it. Add walnuts, some banana, chia powder, flax powder, and a little bit of espresso coffee. The calories are higher, yes. But if it’s a treat it can be rationalized I guess? Lol Otherwise just eat half. A good basic recipe. I followed it and did the additions as I said. But I’m thinking about making modifications too. (Depending on what you have on hand.)

  7. OMG this GF Chocolate mug cake is the best one I have tried yet! I’m coeliac so super excited to find this recipe 🥰5 stars

  8. Warmest Seasons Greetings Lisa,
    Been with you -many years-enjoying your kitchen creations, information, visual preping, and your warmth!
    Wanting to make these Mug Cakes, however, got rid of MICROWAVING years ago.
    Is there any way to oven cook these?
    Would GREATLY Appreciate REPLY!
    Sincerly
    Santa Fe
    Sherri

    1. Hi Kellie – if you find it’s dry, it’s likely been overcooked in your microwave (keep in mind all microwaves cook differently). I’d recommend just cooking it for less time, next time. :)

  9. The recipe seems healthy but 26g of sugar is wayyyy to much. You’re supposed to eat 25g of sugar oer day, and with one serving of this you’re already above. I’ll try to make the cake but I’ll definitely reduce the sugar.

  10. I stumbled upon this recipe while hunting for a healthy and quick dessert when cravings hit one night. This mug cake turned out spectacularly delicious! It’s error proof.
    Every other night my husband asks if I can please make him the ‘shiftology’ lady cake 😅
    We love it with some coconut whipped cream or dairy free vanilla ice cream!5 stars

    1. 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.

  11. I have been following you for years and just started to be GF per my Endo. I don’t eat a lot of gluten things but I do get cravings for sweets here and there! This is so satisfying adding a few chocolate chips, and a tart fruit like frozen blueberries or fresh strawberries, that I made it the next day. But I forgot the coconut oil and guess what? It was still delicious! Didn’t miss it!5 stars

    1. Thanks for following along for so long now, Therese! Happy to hear you’re loving this chocolate mug cake as well.

  12. Not too sweet which is nice! I didn’t have almond flour, only millet flour or Cup4Cup, but I find C4C makes for a rubbery mug cake. The millet worked well. I think I’ll try oat flour next time. Topped with cream cheese frosting and chocolate syrup (as a lazy man’s ganache). Might try to add a banana or apple sauce next time for a touch more sweetness.5 stars

  13. This is amazing! My first time making a mug cake and I stumbled upon the best recipe! GF, Paleo and delicious, Perfect ☺️ Satisfied my sweet craving and perfect portion size. Bonus/ hardly any dishes to clean5 stars

  14. I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited to try a recipe that I would always roll my eyes at! I was searching for a mug cake that didn’t use regular flour and of course I knew where to find it! Your trusty website. This was so easy and delicious. This might just be my new treat. Followed directions to the T and mine cooked in exactly a minute. Thanks for your amazing recipes!5 stars

  15. Love, love this delicious, healthy cake. So easy to make! I have it at least once a week. It really is a breakfast for me, along with a little fruit. Thanks Lisa!! ❤️❤️5 stars

  16. Guilt-free warm goodness! I made this often during pregnancy to curb my sweet cravings. Now my son and I enjoy it together.  I’ve substituted the flour and oil for what I had on hand and it’s still great!5 stars

  17. OMG.  This was amazing!  10pm on a cold Winter night I had a craving for something sweet and warming and this was the perfect solution.  Will definitely be making again.5 stars

  18. I’ve made this recipe at least half a dozen times and it turns out moist, fluffy and delicious each time I make it. I have made many grain free mug cakes that have turned out dense, dry, and flavorless, and it is so great to find this recipe! I usually cut it in half (except for the oil and egg) to save calories.5 stars

  19. I’ve tried so many mug cake recipes in the past, and not tried any for so long because I kept being disappointed, but this one is perfect. Thank you5 stars

  20. I have just made this and it was really good. I have doubts at first but it turned out perfectly.
    Lisa, thanks for sharing such an amazing recipe! :)5 stars

    1. This was so good! I’ve made it multiple times and have followed the recipe to a T each time, and each time it turned out perfectly. Thank you! :)5 stars

  21. Yummy and always works!!! This time made it with ghee and sugar instead of the coconut oil and the maple syrup. Mixed well. Still yummy, and kid liked it too 5 stars

  22. Oh my another win and as u said I always have those ingredients on hand! It was delicious. In my microwave it was 1 minute 20 seconds. I topped with coconut milk yogurt and pecans. 

  23. This looks amazing! I like that it’s not too sweet.  Have you tried cooking this in an air fryer? If so, at what settings?

  24. I tried 3x and they were disgusting every time! How is it that everyone had delicious cakes? Mine were gross. All three went down the drain. So sad.

    1. Hi Sarah – I’m happy to try to help you troubleshoot the recipe if you let me know what you didn’t like about them. :)

  25. This chocolate mug cake is delicious! I made it for my husband and he loved it. It’s gluten-free and paleo, so it’s perfect for those diets.

  26. This is actually the best mug cake EVER. So addicting!! I had to limit myself because I started making them every night last week 😂5 stars

  27. So good!! I substituted the coconut oil for olive oil and the almond flour for buckwheat flour, but it was still amazing! I know you’re not supposed to review when you change things, but it was amazing!5 stars

  28. Yep, when you said it’s the best one out there you were right. :)
    1 T maple syrup was enough for us (we like dark chocolate) and I used avocado oil instead of coconut oil, just because it’s easier to mix in – so this recipe is not only delicious, but super flexible!
    90 seconds in my microwave was just about perfect for 2 cakes.5 stars

  29. Just what I needed – a little pick me up.  My 900 W micro took one minute to be perfect.
    Added a teaspoon of nutella in the centre, reduced maple syrup to 1tbsp and a glob of natural yoghurt on top. Yummy 5 stars

    1. If you would like to use the oven instead of microwave, you can bake this in a 3 inch ramekin at 375°F 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 :)

  30. Absolutely amazing 🤩I didnt believe it could bake in a microvawe for only 2 minutes. But its true. Really fast and easy recipe.5 stars

  31. Hello! I’m very interested! Would it work if I substituted the almond flour for a nut-free alternative, like gluten-free flour?

  32. This was a quick & tasty treat. I added chocolate chips to the batter (why not?) & baked in a convection toaster over at 375 for 15 minutes (don’t own a microwave). I’d probably go a little less in the future to give it a gooey center. Thanks!5 stars

  33. I made 2 of these last night for the first time. The first one I microwaved for 2 minutes. The second one for 1.4 minutes and that was better. But both were fully enjoyed by us. This is a fabulous recipe, as are all of yours on this site. Thanks!5 stars

  34. I made this and it turned out better than expected! I’ve been craving something warm and chocolatey for weeks, but we are packing to move. This was perfect! I guessed on the measurements based on yours and it was outstanding. Very rich and clean ingredients! Will be making this again. Ours did take 2.5 minutes to cook but probably because I didn’t measure perfectly. Thanks for helping us stay on our clean eating journey! 5 stars

    1. I have made several other mug cakes, much more work. This one was really good . I added some semi-sweet chocolate chips and a pinch of salt & cinnamon. Will definitely make again!5 stars