This protein mug cake is a chocolate-lovers dream while still being healthy and good for you! Decadent moist chocolate cake combines with melted chocolate chips in a protein-packed, single-serving indulgence that can be made in just three minutes.

Close up of chocolate protein mug cake texture.
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I don’t know about you but I have a sweet tooth through and through. It’s incredibly hard for me to not want something dessert-like after dinner.

The problem with that, however, is that it’s really easy to pack on the pounds quickly (hello 40s) with that approach. Unless you’re smart about it.

This protein mug cake recipe is dessert done smartly.

It’s gluten-free, made with wholesome ingredients, low in sugar and boasts an impressive amount of protein and fiber to help keep your blood sugar balanced before bed. All in all, it’s the perfect nighttime treat that you won’t feel bad about eating.

And, it can be made in three minutes start to finish. Even microwave apple crisp or a simple dump cake isn’t that easy.

Ingredients to make a chocolate protein mug cake in a white mug.

Ingredients to make a protein mug cake

There are many ways to customize this mug cake which I’ll detail below but this chocolate version is my favorite by a landslide.

Oat flour — Using oat flour as the base keeps this dessert gluten-free. I never buy oat flour and always make my own. It’s so much more cost effective and a simple way to control the quality of your flour. I use One Degree sprouted oats which are also tested glyphosate-free and simply grind them in my Vitamix until they turn into a flour-like consistency.

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Chocolate protein powder — You can use your favorite brand but I’m very partial to Paleo Valley lately. I use both their unflavored and chocolate bone broth protein in smoothies, oatmeal, yogurt bowls and this protein powder mug cake.

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Cacao powder — Unsweetened cacao powder is much higher quality than cocoa powder. It also makes the mug cake doubly chocolaty and delicious.

Coconut sugar — I find 1/2 tablespoon to be the perfect amount of added sweetness for this dessert. You may want to play with this amount based on your preferences.

Baking powder — Because there’s no egg or other leavener used in this recipe, baking powder gives the mug cake some rise and adds fluffiness to the texture.

Almond milk — Any milk can be used, I like unsweetened almond milk or vanilla almond milk.

Chocolate chips — Mixing half of the chips into the batter and using the other half as a topping ensures a nice melted chocolate bite in each spoonful.

Optional toppings:

Mixing protein mug cake ingredients in a white mug.

How to make this chocolate protein mug cake

This is such an easy dessert, you’re going to love how little time and effort stands between you and this moist, chocolate dream of a mug cake!

In a small mug or ramekin, combine the dry ingredients and give them a good whisk. Add the almond milk and stir together. Add half the chocolate chips to the mixture with a gentle stir and sprinkle the other half on top of the batter.

My Pro Tip

Recipe Tip

Make sure to stir the batter really well to ensure no protein powder clumps together. There should be no pockets of dry ingredients at all before microwaving.

Microwave the protein mug cake on high power for 60 seconds. In this time, the cake should rise to about the top of the mug or ramekin and the middle should be set. If not, continue microwaving in 10 second intervals until it is. Total cook time shouldn’t be longer than 80-90 seconds but will vary by microwave.

Sprinkle with coarse sea salt and top with a spoonful of nut butter if desired and enjoy immediately.

Why you’ll love this high-protein mug cake recipe

  • Single serving — This is the kind of thing you can make for yourself on a whim in minutes.
  • Protein packed — Depending on the protein powder used, this mug cake has around 25g of protein!
  • Tastes like a brownie — Imagine the richest, moist chocolate cake and a fudgy brownie colliding.
  • Post workout refuel — Why drink a boring protein shake when you can eat this chocolate mug cake dessert packed with protein, fiber and quality carbohydrates instead?
Microwaved chocolate protein mug cake on a dish with chocolate chips scattered around.

Other variations

  • Add a scoop of nut butter to the batter and let it cook into the mug cake.
  • Utilize extracts (vanilla, coconut, hazelnut, etc.) for different flavor profiles.
  • Swap out chocolate protein powder for vanilla.
  • Try it with almond flour instead of oat flour.
  • Use butterscotch, caramel or white chocolate chips if preferred.

Why is my mug cake rubbery?

I’ve made a lot of mug cakes in my days. This hazelnut mug cake and this cake batter mug cake are throwbacks to over a decade ago! Usually, a rubbery texture in a mug cake results from either over baking or using too much oil or butter.

I have not had an issue with this recipe being rubbery at all during testing. There is no oil used and by starting off with just a minute in the microwave, it’s hard to overcook.

Should I grease the mug?

It’s not necessary to grease the mug if you plan on eating the protein cake right out of the mug itself. If you want it to slip out easily of either a mug or ramekin, however, then yes, grease it with a light spray, coconut oil or butter.

My Pro Tip

Recipe Tip

If you use ramekins to make the mug cake, you can make 2-3 cakes for a mini layered cake. This would be perfect for a child’s birthday party.

Spoonful of a protein mug cake recipe.

A note about protein powders

I’ve used many protein powders over the years and each brand produces a different result when baking. This recipe was tested extensively with Paleo Valley’s bone broth protein as it’s my current favorite. For a plant-based protein powder option I recommend Nuzest.

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If you choose to use another type of protein, this protein mug cake recipe may require some tweaking for the perfect cake-like texture.

More quick dessert recipes like this

Raw brownie bites satiate any chocolate craving with surprisingly healthy ingredients.

No-bake peanut butter chocolate chip balls are just as good for snacking as they are for dessert.

Dark chocolate granola bark is the kind of dessert that will last a week. Make a batch and enjoy a little every night. It’s easily customizable and a breeze to make.

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4.95 from 50 votes

3-Minute Chocolate Protein Mug Cake

Servings: 1 serving
Prep: 2 minutes
Cook: 1 minute
Total: 3 minutes
Close up of chocolate protein mug cake texture.
Enjoy the best of both worlds with this chocolate protein mug cake. In just 3 minutes, enjoy a decadent, moist chocolate cake that's also packed with 25g of protein and 5g of fiber.

Ingredients 

  • 3 tablespoons oat flour
  • 2 tablespoons chocolate protein powder
  • 1 tablespoon cacao powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon coconut sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk

Instructions 

  • Stir together the oat flour, protein powder, cacao powder, coconut sugar and baking powder in a small mug or ramekin.
  • Pour in the almond milk and half the chocolate chips. Stir until thoroughly combined.
  • Top with remaining chocolate chips.
  • Microwave for 60 seconds on high power and then in :10 second intervals thereafter until the batter reaches the top of the mug or ramekin. This should at most take 80-90 seconds total depending on the power of your microwave.
  • Top with coarse salt if desired and a enjoy warm. A scoop of ice cream or dollop of nut butter are also delicious on top.

Notes

Every protein powder behaves differently when baking. I have not tested this with anything other than Paleo Valley's chocolate bone broth protein. You may have to adjust ingredients slightly depending on the protein powder you use.

Nutrition

Serving: 1SERVINGCalories: 324kcalCarbohydrates: 39gProtein: 23gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 4mgSodium: 331mgFiber: 5gSugar: 18g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
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Founder and Writer at Running to the Kitchen | About

Gina Matsoukas is an AP syndicated writer. She is the founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.

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