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!

Chocolate Mug Cake (gluten-free, paleo)

4.94 from 250 votes
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 2 mins
Total Time: 7 mins
Servings: 1 serving
Author: Lisa Bryan
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!


  • 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


  • 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 


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

  1. This mug cake was amazing! Perfect chocolate fix! Thank you so much for sharing! So glad I found your page! 5 stars

  2. Best mug cake I’ve ever had! And I’ve tried lots. I substituted avocado oil for coconut oil, microwaved for 60 seconds. I’ll probably go on the low end next time at 45-50 seconds for a more gooey brownie texture, but it was excellent. Would also be great with a little cinnamon and pinch of cayenne to make it a Mexican hot chocolate cake. Bookmarked for future frequent use!!5 stars

  3. My celiac daughter was begging me for chocolate cake at 8:30 tonight and I remembered to look up your recipe. Hands down, better than any gluten containing version! I also substituted butter for coconut oil and my daughter said it was a fabulous treat. Thanks for your recipe and great YouTube channel! (I’m a subscriber)5 stars

  4. I tried this recipe today and it was totally yummmm. I replaced maple syrup with honey and didnt have cacao powder so used 70% dark chocolate. I used butter instead of coconut oil. I garnished it with strawberries. Simply too good and filling. Thanks lisa for the lovely recipe.5 stars

  5. This mug cake is AMAZING! I ran out of maple syrup so I substituted 1 and a half tablespoons of coconut sugar and I find it perfect! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe with us. You are an angel!5 stars

  6. Can you swap the almond flour for oat flour?5 stars

  7. Like other commenters, I have been disappointed by mediocre mug or alternative flour recipes generally. This was great! Thank you. 5 stars

  8. Can you bake this in the oven?

  9. I made the regular version. It was good but next time I will mix the dry ingredients first because it had a slight baking powder taste. Thanks for the easy recipe !5 stars

  10. If I could give this 10,000 stars, I would! I’ve been burned (both literally and figuratively) by a variety of paleo mug cake recipes in the last few weeks that basically come out as molten oily sludge. I did not go into this recipe with high expectations, but WOW! It tastes like cake. Like actual real cake, not weird healthy stuff. I did mine in a coffee cup but you could also make it in a ramekin and pop it out, frost it, and have a tiny cake for two! Only swap I made was coconut sugar for maple syrup, but I’m sure it would work out fine both ways, per the recipe. I will definitely be making this again (and sharing this time!) Thanks for an excellent recipe!5 stars

  11. If I could give this 10,000 stars I would! I have been burned (literally and figuratively) by a variety of paleo mug cakes this past month, and I did not go into this recipe with high expectations. It tastes like cake. Like a real actual cupcake. You could even make it in a ramekin, pop it out and frost it and make a tiny cake to share! I of course did not share. I snarfed down the whole thing myself. Only change I made was 2 tbs coconut sugar instead of maple syrup. Make this, friends! You will not be disappointed.5 stars

  12. Fantastic! I used sugar-free Lakanto brand monk fruit Maple Syrup instead, to make it sugar-free. Topped with sugar-free homemade whipped cream (made with Swerve), and sliced strawberries. Decadent!5 stars

  13. I would like to thank you for this. Currently in the throes of first trimester morning sickness and nothing is staying down. Had a sudden chocolate cake craving and definitely couldn’t waste precious time on a whole cake because it could change by then! This was the first “meal” bigger than a slice of bread I’ve had today. And it was delicious and stayed down! So grateful!5 stars

  14. Can coconut sugar be used instead of make syrup? I need to keep the glycemic level down.

  15. Hi there!
    Is it possible to make this without using a microwave, but just an oven? 
    Fingers crossed! 
    Rudi xxx

  16. Tried for the first time. Next time I’ll microwave it less than 1.5 minutes. Delicious!5 stars

  17. I just made this recipe for my husband and myself because I was craving a dessert. Omg! Did it hit the spot. I  topped in with Coconut Whipped Topping and it was yummy!!! Thank you so much for sharing this. So easy to make and healthy. 

  18. Thanks for sharing your recipe. I mistakenly doubled an ingredient, so I had to add additional ingredients,. I was mixing in a remikin which is enough for two. I used 100% cacao powder, egg White’s instead of the egg, honey in place of maple syrup mixed with all the other ingredients. After mixing well, I added about 2 TBSP coconut flakes. I have a smàll (800 watt) microwave, so I cooked for 3-3:10 min. Moist, chocolaty, good cake. I endulged with a glass of cold Almond milk.5 stars

  19. Delicious and healthy. I can still taste the healthy but whipped cream on top makes it a yummy healthy indulgence. I’ve made one every day now since I found this recipe. Thanks for sharing it5 stars

  20. I substituted butter for coconut, honey for maple syrup, and Jack Daniel’s for vanilla. I cooked it in a large but shallow tea cup for 1.5 minutes in my low-power (750 watt) microwave. Absolutely yummy.5 stars

  21. So good and love how quick and easy and healthy it is!5 stars

  22. So good thanks for sharing!5 stars

  23. Is it possible to make this in the oven instead of the microwave?

  24. Fantastic! I can’t compliment this enough5 stars

  25. I was going to split this but somehow ended up eating the whole thing. Not hard to do! Great recipe. Thanks!5 stars

  26. Made this today, really easy. I think I will add less cacao next time, as the taste was a bit bitter. Definitely a winner. You are so smart to put these recipes together. Thank you.

  27. Can coconut flour be substituted for the almond flour?

  28. This. Is. Delicious!!! Just made this and it was super fast and easy.  I will definitely make it again …and again …and again!5 stars

  29. Ohhhhh how awesome!! Thank you ? 
    Easy and delicious!5 stars

  30. I used what I had on hand, so cocoa powder instead of cacao, veg oil instead of coconut oil and honey instead of maple syrup. Came out awesome. I loved the nutty bits in the cake. Best of all, it was gluten free, so I didn’t have a huge cake on the counter going stale. Thank you! 5 stars

  31. This is AMAZING!  Usually mug cakes are a stand-in for something better, but this really knocked my socks off.  It tastes exactly like a flourless chocolate cake I have mad eyes on special occasions!  It’s nutritionally a winner, so incredibly easy to make, doesn’t make a mess, is a perfect single serving, and the taste is rich and not overly sweet the way commercially made things are.  Thank you for this great recipe!!5 stars

  32. So easy and delicious! I’ve made this friends and family. Everyone is super skeptical at first, and then an instant convert!5 stars

  33. That was ridiculously delicious and easy! And, what I mean, is that I just ate the batter. LOL!. I always think, I would love some brownie or cake, so I prepare to make some, and end up eating batter instead, because I don’t actually like “baked” goods. This was the perfect size for a quick treat, and I will definitely make it again. Maybe someday, I’ll actually cook it. :-)5 stars

  34. I’m thinking about making these for a small dinner party (4 people). Can I make the batter and pour into the mugs ahead of time so all I have to do is pop them in the microwave when it’s time for dessert?

    • Unfortunately, I wouldn’t recommend that as the flour will start to absorb all the liquid.

      • Actually, I doubled the recipe then put paper cupcake liners inside of four silicon baking cups and half-way filled each with the batter then, one-at-a-time, microwaved each 30-seconds. These tiny cupcakes went in my survival-snack travel-cooler to give me something safe to eat during a work-week out-of-town (I got home yesterday). While other hotel guests ate cookies with milk, I was able to drink the milk and eat these yummy snacks! No, I did not reheat them, but I loved them anyway.

  35. Tasty, might add nut butter to it next time5 stars

  36. Can xylitol be substituted for the maple syrup?4 stars

  37. I hate using a microwave, i had a craving but feeling lazy & this is absolutely delicious!5 stars

  38. YAAAASSS. I’m trying a Paleo diet and this is the perfect pick me up.5 stars

  39. Thank you!!!
    Simple, quick easy and delicious. Keeper for sure.5 stars

  40. Best chocolate mug cake I’ve ever had, paleo or not! Really impressive 5 stars

  41. Loved it! Easy, super quick and delicious! Made it as per recipe except put one tablespoon cacao powder instead of 2. Turned out awesome! Thanks for the recipe!5 stars

  42. Yum! Just made it, and added 100% chocolate bits (instead of regular chocolate chips) and also added a bit of ground cardamom. Came super delicious.
    Only thing I might try next time is to double the recipe so I can have half an egg and try adding a bit of cashew or coconut milk. My hope is that it would be a bit less egg(y) if possible. 
    Thank you for an awesome quick recipe. 5 stars

  43. Amazing and easy
    Want to try again and aim for brownie texture5 stars

  44. This is an awesome mug cake!! My daughter and I have Celiac’s and finding mug cakes that are grain free and fabulous is the greatest!! I added 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder, substituted 1 tablespoon of light hot chocolate mix for one of the coca tablespoons. Dropped sugar free strawberry preserves on top before it cooked. Soo
    Good. Served it with some preserves on top. Started with 1 minute and added 30 seconds, then another 20 seconds. Perfect!! My daughter and I shared it. Thank you so much!!5 stars

  45. I just bought a tub of coconut flour, is it possible to swap that for the almond flour? Or should I just break down and buy almond flour

  46. Wow, best clean mug cake I’ve tried so far!! I only microwaved for 50 seconds and it came out perfectly moist yet all the way cooked. My giant scoop of Halo Top ice cream topped it off and I didn’t feel too guilty about this luscious dessert!! ;)-5 stars

    • Oh yum – I love Halo Top ice cream and I can imagine it’s melty creamy goodness on top of this chocolate mug cake. I think I’ll have to do that combo next. ;) Thanks Treena!

    • I’m honestly curious why you care if you’re eating a “clean” mug cake if you’re putting dairy and refined sugar and chemicals on top? If this is just a #balance thing, then ok, but then honestly why bother? Just eat a box of Oreos. ??‍♀️

      • By “clean” Treena likely refers to the fact that it’s gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free and refined sugar-free (which is pretty darn clean in my books). I won’t speak for her, but as a celiac I can’t just eat a box of Oreos, which is why all recipes on my website are gluten-free. Halo Top also makes dairy-free ice cream and it’s sweetened with organic stevia (not refined sugar and chemicals).

  47. Love that this is a very adaptable cake that whips up  quickly! My first attempt at making these turned out a bit dry at 1 minute 30 seconds in my microwave. Will try it again with slightly less time. Added chocolate chips and a sprinkle of cinnamon… very nice! Found the cake to be very dense, so next time I’ll serve it with raspberries in syrup. The portion is generous enough to split with a friend! 4 stars

  48. I doubled the recipe to make a last-minute mini birthday cake in ess than 5 minutes – 2 mins to put together + 2 mins to microwave. I used a soup bowl for shape, and added grated frozen lime for a taste kick. Dusted with raw cacao and accompanied with a pot of berries from the freezer. It looked lush, tasted great and only150 calories portion. Thank you!4 stars

  49. Very tasty and easy to make. I did like it better when I added a 1/4 teaspoon of salt.4 stars