They’re fabulous on their own, of course, but together, pumpkin and chocolate are a match made in heaven! Pumpkin does double duty in this easy-to-make chocolatey mug cake: it lends a warm autumnal flavor and ensures a moist texture. No need to use flour: this treat gets its wonderfully cakey texture from cacao powder, baking powder, and egg. Watch the video to see how beautifully this fab mug cake rises in the microwave!
Tips for making the Flourless Keto Chocolate Pumpkin Mug Cake
The cake batter does require some vigorous mixing, so if your mug (or whatever dish you use for baking) is too small, you might want to use a larger cup for mixing the batter and then pour the batter into the mug—just to make life easier, and to keep from spilling any of the precious batter!
It’s best to start with a smaller amount of sweetener and add more if needed. You can read more about my experiments with different amounts of sweetener below to help you decide on the amount of sweetener that’s right for you.
When you bake the cake, be sure to adjust the baking time according to your microwave oven. In my 800-watt microwave oven, the ideal baking time is 1 minute 30 seconds. The result is moist but not raw. Whatever you do, don’t overbake the cake! You want it to be deliciously soft and moist, not dry and crumbly.
Of course, you can also bake the cake in a regular oven in an oven-proof dish. In that case, I recommend using a temperature of 350 °F (175 °C) and a baking time of 15-20 minutes. Again, you don’t want to overbake the cake, so be sure to check it often and remove it from the oven when it still looks a bit moist in the center.
But now, let’s take a look at how to make this Flourless Keto Chocolate Pumpkin Mug Cake:
Assemble all 5 ingredients—so, the pumpkin, sweetener, cacao powder, egg, and baking powder.
Take a microwave-safe mug and add the sweetener…
…and baking powder.
Be sure to break up the lumps.
Add the egg…
…and the pumpkin.
…until you’ve got a smooth batter.
Bake, uncovered, in the microwave on high for 1 minute 30 seconds. Adjust the baking time to your microwave oven. Don’t overbake!
Remove from the microwave (don’t burn your fingers!) and serve warm.
My Keto Chocolate Pumpkin Mug Cake experiments
Every single fall, I fall in love with pumpkins all over again. Their bright orange color is enchanting and their characteristic flavor works well in sweet and savory dishes alike. And every fall, I can’t stop myself from developing more and more pumpkin recipes!
Last week, I was close to posting something pumpkiny here on this blog, but decided to post a pumpkiny brownie recipe on my other blog. As you might remember, on this blog I posted another brownie recipe that also became an instant hit.
This week, I was close to posting a sugar-free White Chocolate Bark recipe (with a secret ingredient!), but suddenly decided to do something with pumpkins. (I just can’t help myself!) After all, we’re in the middle of the season, and I had just roasted some nice pumpkin.
But what could I make with the roasted pumpkin? I skimmed through my to-do list. Something quick and easy, because I was so busy: nothing too time-consuming, I thought. Hmm, maybe a mug cake with pumpkin? That sounded like a perfect idea!
However, I didn’t have a clue what to put into the mug cake. Well, pumpkin, naturally, and sweetener. I wanted to use Sukrin Gold: I’m convinced that this really is the ultimate brown sugar substitute and the best-ever sweetener when it comes to pumpkin dishes because of its warm, caramel-ish note. What’s funny, though, is that after posting last week’s brownie recipes, both of which use Sukrin Gold, Amazon’s stock of Sukrin Gold was awfully low for a few days! I was panicking: people want to make delicious treats and the ultimate sweetener isn’t available?! Disaster! Luckily, next time I checked Amazon, the product was back in supply. Whew.
So, for my mug cake, I had pumpkin and sweetener to start with. I would definitely need flour — either almond or coconut flour — and maybe pumpkin pie spice and eggs. Ta-dah! There were the 5 ingredients. I decided to call the creation Pumpkin Spice Cake in a Mug.
But I wasn’t done just yet. I still had to decide on the amounts of the ingredients. For the pumpkin, maybe two tablespoons were enough? One tablespoon wouldn’t be enough to provide the right taste or texture, and three or more might make the cake too moist—and plus, the carb count would increase. Not by much, but a bit.
I was hesitating between using two and three tablespoons of pumpkin puree and I ended up using two tablespoons. Then, the sweetener. I have a mug cake recipe in which I use a one tablespoon of Sukrin Gold. I used to use one heaping tablespoon, but for the final recipe I reduced it a bit. It’s amazing how that small change really affects the sweetness level. Now, for my first pumpkin mug cake experiment, I decided to use one tablespoon of Sukrin Gold.
For the flour, I chose coconut flour. It’s more affordable than almond flour and the texture is finer, just perfect for cakes. I decided to start with one tablespoon of it.
Now I had pumpkin, sweetener, and coconut flour. All that would definitely need one egg for binding and for moisture. Last, I would use my absolute favorite seasoning—pumpkin pie spice—for that wonderfully autumnal aroma. First, I was thinking of using one teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice, but decided that might have been too much for this small cake, so I ended up using 1/2 teaspoon.
First, I mixed the coconut flour, Sukrin Gold and the pumpkin pie spice in a small mug. Then I added the egg and the pumpkin puree. I took a spoon and mixed vigorously. After a half a minute, I had a smooth, fragrant batter. Nice!
I placed the mug into my microwave oven and heated it on high for two minutes. (Two minutes was just an educated guess at how long it might take for the cake to be baked through.)
Enthusiastically, I turned the mug over and let the cake fall softly on a plate. I examined it closely. The taste was good, but to my disappointment, the cake hadn’t risen and it was quite dense. Moreover, it was slightly too moist. Not what I was looking for in a mug cake! Baking powder would solve that problem, but then I’d have six ingredients and the recipe wouldn’t suit this blog. Hmm.
I wondered whether I could drop an ingredient from the recipe, but I was pretty sure they were all necessary. You definitely need pumpkin for a pumpkin mug cake; sweetener is essential as well; egg is vital for binding the ingredients; and without flour, the cake might turn into omelet! And the pumpkiny cake was just crying out for pumpkin pie spice. Still, the baking powder was necessary to make the cake rise and the texture fluffier. So, I couldn’t omit any of the ingredients—and now I had too many of them. What now?
Last week’s Pumpkin Peanut Butter Brownie recipe, which I posted on my other blog, popped into my mind. Maybe I could tweak it to create a mug cake recipe? Hold on: it calls for peanut butter, and since last week’s brownie recipe on this blog also used PB, I decided to skip it. I didn’t want to be too repetitive (but let’s face it: you could happily put PB into just about any recipe in the world, don’t you think?)
So, if I dropped the peanut butter and used flour instead, that should work, right? And now I could go ahead and use egg for binding, too, since this is not a vegan recipe. The cake could certainly be chocolatey: pumpkin and chocolate go well together. But that flour: which type of flour to use? Coconut flour again, maybe, because of its fine texture.
At this point I’d gotten myself slightly confused. I started counting the ingredients I was planning to use. Soon I realized that I didn’t need flour: the cacao powder would add enough bulk. Okay, so pumpkin, cacao powder, egg, and sweetener (Sukrin Gold, of course): that made four ingredients. However, since the previous mug cake experiment was so dense, I decided to add some baking powder as well to make the texture fluffier and to help the cake rise properly.
For my first chocolatey pumpkin mug cake experiment, I took 1 tablespoon dark cacao powder, 1 tablespoon Sukrin Gold, 1/4 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder, 1 egg, and 2 tablespoons 100% pumpkin puree. I mixed the dry ingredients carefully and then added the egg and the pumpkin. I mixed vigorously and soon I had a smooth, chocolatey batter that tasted wonderful (and very chocolatey, even though I had only used a single tablespoon of cacao powder!)
I baked the cake in the microwave for 1 minute 30 seconds. After 1 minute, I checked the cake. It was still raw, so I added 30 seconds to the baking time. Now the texture was perfect, and so was the taste! The only thing that was disturbing me was that the cake wasn’t sweet enough.
So, for my next experiment, I decided to increase the amount of Sukrin Gold. From my other mug cake experiments I knew one tablespoon might be too little and two too much, but I still wanted to see how much sweetness two tablespoons of Sukrin Gold would add to this particular cake. Anyway, the strong chocolate flavor would need some extra sweetness to balance it out.
Increasing the amount of Sukrin Gold to two tablespoons made the cake too sweet to my taste. Again, the “sweet spot” (no pun intended!) seemed to lie somewhere between one and two tablespoons of Sukrin Gold. (You’ll see that in the video there are 1 1/2 tablespoons of Sukrin Gold, and in the recipe—which will soon follow—there are 1-2 tablespoons of Sukrin Gold, so just adjust the amount to your taste.) You can start with 1 tablespoon, mix the batter, and then taste to see if it needs more sweetness. In any case, the batter will always taste slightly sweeter than the finished cake, just because it’s more concentrated than the cake (at least, I think this is why…)
Now, everything was just right: the consistency was slightly moist yet still fluffy, and the taste was fabulous! The pumpkin was just the right partner for the chocolatey cacao powder, and it also made the cake deliciously moist. No need for flour, either: the cacao powder worked as perfectly as I had hoped.
Just try this chocolatey, fall-flavored mug cake: I bet you’ll “fall” in love with it!
|Nutrition Information||In Total (recipe makes 1 serving)|
|Net carbs||3.0 g|
Tips for variation
I didn’t try this myself, but for some reason I’m thinking that nutmeg would be a wonderful addition to this cake. Just a tiny pinch of freshly ground nutmeg would lend extra warmth — and would be perfect for the holiday season, too! So would a good pinch of Ceylon cinnamon!
If you don’t have Sukrin Gold, you can also use regular erythritol crystals. Liquid stevia or stevia powder would also work well: try vanilla or cinnamon stevia, or add a dash of organic vanilla extract.