Have you noticed that most low-carb recipes are designed for a whole family? With enormous batches, and boldly boasting that “the whole family will like this!”? But why doesn’t anybody think of single people? It’s very seldom that a whole family follows a low-carb or ketogenic diet. And if you want a snack, you won’t want to bake a whole batch of something, anyway. You want a single serving of something quick. Sound familiar? If so, then, this Chocolate Mud Cake in a Mug is a life-saver!
Originally, I posted this recipe on my Facebook page in September 2015. However, as it used to be a staple in our house — and got big love on the Facebook page when I posted it — I thought it deserved a whole blog post of its own. This is one of the simplest, chocolatiest and most delicious recipes I’ve ever seen for a low-carb chocolate mug cake. I bet you’ll agree!
Tips for preparing the Chocolate Mud Cake in a Mug
Luckily, this is a very simple recipe, so even your kids can prepare it after school. But it’s great for grownups, too: If you’re craving something delicious for yourself, drop that store-bought sugar bomb right now and prepare this healthy treat instead!
So, this mug cake is very easy to prepare. Just mix all the dry ingredients, add the egg and the butter (or oil) and bake. It hardly takes a minute!
However, to ensure the perfect result, you should take into account one thing: Namely, your microwave oven and the baking time required. As all microwave ovens seem, somehow, to have individual personalities, you’ll need to experiment with yours to find the right baking time for this cake. With our old 1,000-watt microwave, it took 40 seconds. With our new 800-watt oven, it takes 50 seconds. So you might want to estimate the optimal baking time from those benchmarks. The cake should be moist — even slightly raw at the bottom. The worst thing you can do is to bake it too long! It will turn out unappetizingly dry. So keep your eye on the cake when you bake it.
Other than that, there are no tricks needed to make this super-yummy cake. Let’s take a look at how to do it!
First, take a medium-sized microwave-proof mug: Not too big, not too small. Though it’s really up to you. I have this one. Well, it actually might be slightly too large for this purpose, but I just happen to like it anyway.
Place the cocoa powder…
…the sweetener (I use Sukrin Gold for a slight caramel note, but feel free to use your preferred sweetener)…
…and the coconut flour into the mug.
Add the egg…
…and the melted butter (or coconut oil)…
…and stir vigorously with a spoon…
…so that everything is well mixed and there are no lumps.
Place in the microwave oven…
…and bake. For this 800-watt oven, 50 seconds produces the perfect result.
Remove from the oven.
Serve warm with cold whipped cream and berries…
My chocolatey mug cake experiments
So, I posted this recipe on my Facebook page a year and a half ago, and I think I made my first chocolatey mug cake experiments several years ago. So, what made me suddenly think of that old recipe, and what inspired me to write a blog post about it? Well, let me tell you a short story first. Some two months ago, our prestigious microwave oven broke suddenly and unexpectedly. One morning, I was melting chocolate for my son’s favorite breakfast, Stracciatella Yogurt, when I saw an electric arc accompanied by a weird, buzzing sound inside the microwave oven. I hurried to press the stop button.
When I opened the door, blackish smoke with a disgusting, burned stench wafted out of the microwave. An awful smell soon filled the whole kitchen. Yuk! What had happened? I had melted exactly the same chocolate dozens of times in that exact same mug, so what was different about this time? Well, nothing, I suppose. I guess the microwave was just so old that it couldn’t stand our heavy use anymore.
My husband bought this microwave oven — which is actually a combination of microwave, grill and convection oven — when he was still living in Bochum, Germany, some 15 years ago. When he moved to Finland in 2007, he brought the oven with him. Since then, we have been using it almost every day. And it was working well until now.
I checked the interior of the microwave oven. The roof was covered with black soot. Okay: this microwave had definitely reached the end of its life; had completely done its job; was “ziemlich kaputt”, as my German husband would say (actually, in reality he said something much naughtier, but I don’t dare to repeat it here…!)
On the same day, I ordered a new microwave oven from an online store. It was a really good offer, though we would have to wait for the oven for two weeks. I didn’t mind; we were going away for a winter holiday away for a week, and I could certainly cope without a microwave for that long.
Interestingly enough, I had been completely against microwave ovens for decades because of the radiation, but then one of my readers convinced me that a microwave is a must-have for any busy mom and there is nothing to fear. After that, there was no going back. Until then, it was mainly my husband who used it — for defrosting pizza or to heat ready meals. Now I started to use the microwave for a number of different tasks: everything from warming food to cooking and baking. I even developed a pudding recipe for a microwave oven.
But the oven I ordered didn’t arrive when promised. I received an email from the company that said they were still waiting for a delivery: hence the delay. I still didn’t mind because I got pyelonephritis and sepsis and spent a week in the hospital. When I got home, I spent another week feeling totally weak and lethargic—but then I got healthy and started getting mad because by then I had received several emails from the company saying that they were still waiting for the goods. I needed a microwave oven, stat!
It was the beginning of April when I canceled the order. My husband had found a very good offer at another online store — and they had the goods in stock. After a couple of days, we picked up a brand new microwave oven from the post office. Yippee! Finally, after waiting for two months, we had a microwave oven again. And, of course, I wanted to find out how my old recipes would work with it. The old microwave oven was powerful, with 1,000 watts; this new one had just 800.
So, I browsed through my old microwave recipes and found the chocolate mug cake recipe which I hadn’t made for a while, but which had been very popular in my family some time ago. Since I’d come up with that recipe a couple of years ago, I had to check the notes I had made while developing it. You know, when I develop a recipe, I always write down the measurements and directions as well as an analysis of the result, plus suggestions for how to further improve the recipe. I also give a rating from one to five stars of what I think of the recipe overall (taste, consistency, texture, looks, etc). There are only a very few five star recipes in my repertoire (however, there are quite a lot of five-star recipes with a minus: the minus means that I might still develop the recipe in the future to get it up to a full five stars. There’s always room for improvement!).
I had made my first chocolate mug cake experiment in 2014. I used 2 tablespoons butter, 1/3 cup (60 ml) almond flour, 2 tablespoons cocoa powder, 3 tablespoons Confectioner’s Style Swerve and one extra large egg. It got a three-star rating. Mainly it was too sweet — and slightly too raw — but the texture seemed to be okay. It was a good basic cake; a good base to work from.
After that, I made larger cakes in the microwave for my son’s birthday, including one vanilla-flavored mug cake experiment, but it used too much whey protein and turned out too dry. So, no whey protein in my mug cakes from then on.
In the fall of 2015 I continued experimenting with chocolatey mug cakes. I made an experiment in which I used 1 tablespoon coconut flour (coconut flour is more affordable than almond flour and you need only 1/4 of the amount), 1 tablespoon dark cocoa powder, 1 tablespoon Sukrin Gold (for caramelish flavor) and 1 egg.
Notice how there was 1 something of each ingredient? So, 1 tablespoon coconut flour, cocoa powder and Sukrin Gold each. And 1 egg. I expect I didn’t do too many calculations when choosing those amounts; the number 1 just looked good at the time.
Well, from my notes I read that the result was dry. For my next experiment, I used the same ingredients and amounts, but added 1 teaspoon extra light olive oil. The result was still too dry, so for my next experiment, I added 1 tablespoon extra light olive oil (again, I had 1 tablespoon of each ingredient, except 1 egg – but still 1 something of each ingredient!).
According to my notes, the cake seemed to be okayish, but I thought there wasn’t enough chocolate flavor, so I used 2 tablespoons cocoa powder in my next experiment. I also reduced the amount of coconut flour to 2 teaspoons so that the cake wouldn’t turn out that dry, but would end up more like a mud cake. I also slightly increased the amount of Sukrin Gold; now I used 1 heaping tablespoon. I was happy with that recipe and posted it on my Facebook page, where it got a couple of thousands of likes in a very short time.
So, now that we had the brand-new microwave oven, I was craving something chocolatey, and I remembered this chocolate mug cake recipe. I was dying to see how the recipe would work with our new microwave. This oven wasn’t that powerful and there was no rotating plate, so I expected I’d have to bake it longer than the 40 seconds that appeared in the recipe.
I took that recipe and made the first experiment to a T, except I lengthened the baking time to 1 minute because the new microwave wasn’t that powerful. The cake turned out slightly too dry.
Hmm. So, I made another experiment with exactly the same ingredients and amounts and baked the cake for 40 seconds. Now the cake was slightly too raw. Well, in the end I didn’t mind; the batter tasted delicious, especially with a pat of whipped cream. In conclusion, with this new 800-watt microwave oven, the optimal result was achieved within 50 seconds, while in our old 1,000-watt microwave, it was ready in 40 seconds.
Otherwise I was happy with the recipe, except that it tasted too sweet to me. Well, maybe if I reduced the amount of Sukrin Gold to 1 level tablespoon (instead of using 1 heaping tablespoon, like now), the result would be just perfect. I tried, and was extremely pleased.
Finally, I reduced the amount of coconut flour to 1 teaspoon (to make it even more like a mud cake – I also tried one version completely without coconut flour but wasn’t that happy with it) plus I simplified the preparation process a bit for this blog recipe. And now, it’s time to enjoy it!
First, the video:
And here is the recipe:
|Nutrition information||Protein||Fat||Net carbs||kcal|
|In total (makes 1 serving):||11.3 g||21.7 g||2.4 g||249 kcal|
Tips for variation
One easy way to vary this recipe is to add different flavorings to the batter. You can make an enormously yummy and orangey version by adding 1-2 drops of 100% orange essential oil.
But this one is my favorite: When your batter is ready, press a piece of dark chocolate inside it. The chocolate will melt while baking, creating a luxuriously fluid center. What a delicious surprise!
For an extra-chocolatey cake, add 1 tablespoon dark chocolate chips to the batter and mix well. If you have sugar-free white chocolate on hand, add some white chocolate chunks to the batter. It will be both beautiful and sinfully good!
Which variation are you going to make?