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 251 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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541 comments on “Chocolate Mug Cake (gluten-free, paleo)”

  1. Can I cook in air fryer
    no microwave? 

  2. Delicious! I added a handful of chopped pecans, cooked for 1.5 minutes. A little dry, but I’ll cook less next time. Thanks for sharing this!5 stars

  3. Absolutely Brilliant,  Had to microwave just for a minute. Thank you for yet another easy recipe.5 stars

  4. Thank you for the metric measurements!!
    I will try and make it in the oven though as I dont have a microwave! Haha
    Hopefully it will turn out just as good! Thank you!5 stars

  5. Was having a rough day and just had to give in and try this recipe. I used to make these all the time and then stopped using a microwave but made this tonight and it is SO good. Just what I need! Thank you!5 stars

  6. Amazing! Easy and satisfying!5 stars

  7. Good morning. This recipe looks amazing! I will try to make with ghee or melted butter and hope for the best. My husband cannot abide by the taste of coconut oil. No matter how often I try to sneak it into recipes, he ultimately tastes it and then calls the recipe “food that is good for you” instead of “food that tastes good” and the dessert remains uneaten. I am soooo looking forward to the release of your cookbook to have a hard copy of all of your fabulous recipes. I have learned a great deal from your site – your hard boiled egg recipe was a game changer! :)

    • Let me know how your husband likes this mug cake! Also, can’t wait for you to get your hands on the cookbook – tons of new surprises and recipes that you’ll have tons of fun cooking your way through,

    • Genuinely the best chocolate mug cake out there, and I have made many! Super easy, great texture.5 stars

  8. This is delicious! I like mine a little less sweet so I do one tablespoon of maple syrup and one tablespoon of coconut milk.5 stars

  9. I have made this recipe over and over and its always amazing. Today i decided to add the orange zest into the mix as well and it was awe amazing. Thank you5 stars

  10. Can I use whole wheat flour instead of almond flor?

  11. My fave chocolate mug cake recipe!  I make it with almond extract (instead of vanilla extract) – I recommend trying this substitution sometime for a yummy twist. Thanks for sharing this recipe!5 stars

  12. Hi, can I replace the maple syrup with honey in this recipe?

  13. Excellent!5 stars

  14. What if you don’t have a microwave? Does this not work in an oven?

  15. This is the best mug cake that I have tried. 

  16. Lisa allergic to almonds!  What other flour could i use?  Cup for cup? Or another brand?

  17. I don’t like using microwave, how can I make this in my oven? Thanks Lisa

    • Hi Fred – if you would like to use the oven instead of microwave, you can bake this in a 3 inch ramekin at 375F for 20 minutes.

  18. Ive made your chocolate mug cake it was very good. Do you do a vanilla mug cake5 stars

  19. This recipe is amazing I have tried many healthy chocolate mug Recipes in the past and they all had been not very good  but this is by far the best and delicious! 5 stars

  20. I love how quick, easy and tasty these are 😀5 stars

  21. I knew this recipe will haunt me down one night.. I surrendered tonight.. absolutely delicious, thank you Lisa 😎5 stars

  22. Omg!!! I’ve been searching for a quick recipe like this when the choc cravings hit. Incredibly fast to make and sooooooo delicious! Thank you!!! 5 stars

    • Glad you loved this chocolate mug cake! It really is the best for an easy yet delicious chocolate treat :)

  23. Much better than typical mug cakes (which I always thought were a little bland) – this one packs much more flavor, and it felt filling and satisfying too!  This was the FIRST recipe where I didn’t immediately make a second one because one was ACTUALLY enough to cut my cravings (no small feat, tbh) – recommend 11/10, will be making again AND SHARING!5 stars

  24. Oh. My. Gosh. This is now my go to recipe when I’m craving something chocolately and indulgent but don’t want to feel guilty about it. This is exactly the type of recipe I’ve been looking for and I can’t believe how good it came out after cooking it in the microwave. I also added some shaved bittersweet chocolate folded in. On top of that, I didn’t have coconut oil on hand so I used avocado oil and turned out great. Lastly, I appreciate not even having to go to the extra step of greasing the mug. I’m telling you, this recipe is pure genius/goodness!!5 stars

    • Thrilled to hear you loved this chocolate treat Catherine! Love the idea of adding shaved chocolate into it for a richer chocolate flavor.

  25. Could I use coconut flour instead of almond flour?5 stars

  26. After a ‘are we seriously here already? It’s only Monday!’ kind of day (work, kids etc etc), I broke all the rules and opted for TV dinner with last-minute mug cakes. These were AWESOME! Topped with mixed berries (from frozen), squirty cream, and sprinkles. New family favourite!5 stars

  27. Do not…. I repeat, DO NOT substitute almond flour for coconut flour. Horrible gritty and dry. New to paleo, veeeeryy new, and really put off 😭 I’m trying to help my ADHD son but he still wants his treats. I’ll try again following completely!

  28. The cake was moist and perfectly formed, however super bitter and didn’t taste good. I used pure raw cacao powder but it seems the recipe calls for far too much. 

    • Hi Daniel – it sounds like that might be due to the brand of cacao powder you used. It shouldn’t be bitter, especially with the maple syrup added. I’d recommend trying another brand next time. :)

  29. You’re a lifesaver! It’s my mom’s birthday tomorrow, and all the chocolate cakes in public were out! Plus, I’ve only got cacou powder(healthy lifestyle), not cocoa.5 stars

  30. Do you weigh out the coconut oil melted or unmelted?! Thanks!

  31. I made this 2 different ways and both came out HORRIBLY bitter. I did it exactly as written (even added chocolate chips) and the second time I made with half of a banana instead of Maple syrup. Will not try again

    • This recipe is amazing. Maybe you want things too sweet? Or you didn’t follow the instructions correctly? Because half a banana won’t give the cake loads of sweetness (and it’s not in the recipe).

  32. I just began the GF /  DF journey, and I’m so, so happy to find this site! Your YouTube videos are calming and informative. This is the first recipe that I tried, and it’s so much better than a wheat flour cupcake! I made it in a toaster oven at 375, and it came out perfectly.5 stars

    • Welcome to the Downshiftology community Laurie! Glad you’re enjoying all my content so far – including this mug cake!

  33. I have just bought a little microwave and have always wanted to make a mug cake. Tried your recipe….my very first…..and was blown away at how delicious it was!  So chocolatey and moist.  My next favourite mid afternoon treat. Thank you 😊5 stars

  34. I just made this mug cake. Cant get any easier and faster than this, and super super delicious. I will try adding raspberries next. 5 stars

  35. I know this is asking a lot – Is there a vegan substitute for the egg, not flax? And can raisins be added to make it a raisin cake instead of the cocoa? Working with what I have on hand :-)

    • Hi Elizabeth – you could try a chia egg or mashed banana instead of the egg (I haven’t tried those yet, so not sure how they’d turn out). And yes, you could add raisins and any other flavors you’d like!

    • I tried it with a chia egg and it kinda worked! It didn’t rise as much though.

  36. Absolute perfection❣️5 stars

  37. Absolutely incredible. This mug cake is rich and moist, but not overly sweet. Perfection! This will certainly be my go to recipe to satisfy chocolate cravings! 5 stars

  38. Hi! Planning on the kids making this for the parents tonight (I’m their nanny and we learning about cooking, Chili for dinner!). We are all paleo and then gluten, dairy, walnut and pecan allergies for the kids, so this is perfect!!! We were wanting to make enough for 4 mugs. Would we just quadruple the recipe? It seems like it might be too much egg and while it would probably be better to just use a mix, there isn’t a good paleo mix. Thanks in advance for the help!

    • Hi Loren – I would just make the same recipe in 4 mugs as is – no need to quadruple the recipe if you’re making it individually in mugs :)

  39. Great recipe Lisa! Fast, delicious and overly sweet! Thank you again!5 stars

  40. Can you use coconut flour?

  41. I’m sorry, but this was not good. By far the worst-tasting, driest mug cake I’ve ever had. Other “healthy” recipes I’ve tried were better. It was fun watching it rise up in the microwave, but it doesn’t taste good, and it feels like eating desert sand. :-( If coconut is allowed on paleo, I’d use some coconut flour to replace some of the almond, and I’d add some water and at least triple the oil.

    • Hi Andrea – sorry you didn’t love this recipe. If it was too dry, it sounds like you may have over-cooked it. Every microwave is different, so I’d recommend cooking for less time in the future. Mine is always very moist inside. And you can see from all of the positive reviews that others have had success with this recipe. :) Hope your next try turns out better!

  42. can i sub the egg with something vegan?

  43. I cannot believe I had not tried this! So simple , delicious and hit the spot for the chocolate cake craving. I can see this will be made many times so thank you so much for putting it up on your stories this week!5 stars

  44. Can I use another type of flour in place of almond flour? I am allergic to almonds. Thank you.

  45. Such an easy, quick, and delicious dessert! 5 stars

  46. Hi Lisa! If I cannot eat any sugar, what can I use as a sweetener instead of Maple? and how much?
    Looking forward to make this!! Thanks.

  47. Has anyone tried making it with chia or flax egg?

  48. Made this cake for supper tonight – delicious!! Thanks for another great recipe, Lisa.5 stars

  49. Do you need to use SWEETENED cacao powder?

  50. first attempt come out a little tough, Im going at it again after I get some more Almond flour. I loooobe mud cakes. Lisa, how long and to what consistency to you mix the ingredients? 

    • Hi Veronica – if it came out a little tough I would recommend reducing the time in the microwave. And I just stir the ingredients until they’re combined, 10-15 seconds or so.