If you don’t already love the heavenly combination of chocolate and hazelnut, you sure will after you’ve tasted this unbelievably easy and satisfying keto mug cake. It’s so easy that even kids can make it, and best of all, it’s ready in a single minute. Yes, you read that right; you only have to wait sixty seconds before digging into this scrumptious delight! And since it makes just one serving, it has built-in portion control. (Whew.)
Tips for preparing the Fudgy “Nutella” Keto Mug Cake
As you can probably guess, this keto cake doesn’t use real Nutella. Yep, with all that sugar, real Nutella is an absolute no-no in a keto diet. Fret not: you can still indulge in the famous (and famously addictive) combo of hazelnut and chocolate when you’re following a keto diet.
Here’s how. Hazelnut butter and dark cacao powder work as the base for this easy mug cake, creating the ultimate low-carb “Nutella” experience. There’s no need for flour; the hazelnut butter works as a bulk ingredient, too. And protein-rich egg binds all the ingredients together and helps make the cake deliciously fudgy. The final flourish is a dash of natural vanilla extract, but you can use vanilla powder if you prefer; it’s also natural and sugar-free.
In homemade keto versions of Nutella, sugar is replaced with a natural sweetener like stevia or erythritol. This recipe uses erythritol crystals, but if stevia is your go-to sweetener, feel free to use it instead.
The cake is perfected with a dash of natural vanilla extract. You can use vanilla powder instead, it’s also a wonderful and natural option.
This cake is also wonderful because the batter is easy to make: just stir all ingredients with a spoon. You don’t need any machines or complicated maneuvers; a regular spoon will do the trick. Stir vigorously, and the batter will be ready in a few seconds. That means it’s totally kid-friendly! (Kids just need to be careful not to burn their fingers when baking the cake, so a little adult help might be needed after the batter has been prepared.)
This cake is quickest made in a microwave oven, but you can naturally use a regular oven, too. In that case, mix the batter in an oven-proof dish (like a ramekin) and bake for about 10-15 minutes at 350 °F (175 °C).
Just be sure not to overbake. That’s the most important thing to remember, because the cake won’t be deliciously fudgy if you bake it too long. And that would be tragic.
I prefer to make my mug cakes in a microwave oven, and this particular cake comes out just perfect — luxuriously fudgy — after 45 seconds in my 800-watt microwave.
But let’s take a look at how to make and bake this delicious indulgence:
Have all the ingredients ready.
Take a microwave-safe mug (or oven-proof dish, if you’re using a regular oven).
Add all the ingredients to the mug: so, the hazelnut butter…
…erythritol crystals (or your preferred sweetener)…
…and a dash of vanilla extract.
Take a spoon and mix…
…until you’ve got a smooth batter.
Remove the spoon and place the mug into your microwave oven (or regular oven).
Heat on high for 45 seconds (or bake in the oven for around 10-15 minutes at 350 °F = 175 °C). Be sure to adjust the baking time according to your oven. Remove from the oven…
…and let cool until it’s cool enough to handle.
I like to add a nice dollop of whipped cream to my “Nutella” mug cake.
Maybe some grated chocolate as well.
My Fudgy “Nutella” Keto Mug Cake experiments
I have to admit that this recipe was surprisingly easy to develop. I had strong gut feelings about the ingredients and the measurements, which turned out to be (surprisingly!) correct in the end!
Before developing this recipe I — again! — took out my long Recipe Ideas To Develop to-do list. I saw that I had jotted down an idea for a Nutella-flavored fudgy mug cake, and I could almost taste it. I’d been waiting to make this recipe for a long time, and I decided now that was the time to do it.
Also, I needed something really easy and simple to make this week: I’ve been so busy with—well, life. And I really wanted to post a recipe here on my blog this week, so this easy mug cake recipe would fit the bill perfectly.
Since I was after that super-famous and satisfying Nutella-flavor, I needed one ingredient with hazelnut and another with chocolate. At first I was thinking of hazelnut flour, but since I wanted my mug cake fudgy rather than sawdust-dry, I thought hazelnut butter would be the ultimate solution.
And because I didn’t want to make the recipe too complicated, I wanted to use cacao powder instead of, let’s say, dark chocolate that needs to be melted before it’s used in a recipe. Cacao powder is so handy: you can just throw it in with the other ingredients.
I also thought I’d need an egg for binding and for the fudgy texture I was seeking. And naturally I’d need a sweetener. This time I wanted to use erythritol crystals: it’s a good basic keto sweetener and is available worldwide (at least in online stores).
But how much of each ingredient did I need? Well, let’s do some thinking, I said to myself. If I have one egg, I need maybe three or four tablespoons of hazelnut butter. I decided to start with three tablespoons.
Then I pondered the cacao powder. My instincts were pointing me towards one tablespoon, but I was hesitating because that might actually be too chocolatey. Nutella isn’t really about dark chocolate, remember, so my cake shouldn’t have too strong a chocolate flavor. Well, to satisfy my curiosity, I finally decided to give one tablespoon cacao powder a try.
From my previous mug cake experiments I remembered that one tablespoon of erythritol crystals was slightly too little and two tablespoons slightly too much. Something like one and half tablespoons seemed to be the happy medium. Now I decided to start with one tablespoon anyway — I could always create sweeter versions later, after I’d found out whether my initial recipe worked.
So I had four ingredients: hazelnut butter, cacao powder, egg, and erythritol. There was still room for one more ingredient. I knew what that would be; I wanted to add a hint of vanilla extract to balance out the flavors.
I added all the ingredients to a small mug, stirred them vigorously until the batter was smooth, and placed the mug into the microwave oven. The batter looked nicely chocolaty and the consistency looked promising.
I had a vague idea of how long to bake my cake for a fudgy result, but no exact time: One minute sounded like a good start.
After heating the cake on high for one minute in my microwave, I excitedly checked the result. The cake looked, well, like a real cake, but it wasn’t fudgy; it was cooked through. Hmm.
I tasted the cake and was astonished at how delicious it was. Also, the sweetness was just right for my palate: one tablespoon of erythritol crystals was perfect.
I made another experiment with the same ingredients, but this time I baked the cake for only 45 seconds in my 800-watt microwave oven.
This time I got just what I was looking for: a moist, fudgy cake with a delicious Nutella flavor — all with wholesome ingredients and only a few carbs! I wouldn’t have expected it to be this easy.
Oh yes, one little story about this recipe. It was Wednesday when I started developing the recipe and I needed to make more hazelnut butter. I always try to make my nut butters myself, using a powerful blender and a particular jar (Twister Jar). That way I have fresh nut butters made with healthy ingredients (no vegetable seed oils or other nasties) whenever I need them.
So I added hazelnuts to the blender jar and started blending. But nothing happened. I could hear the blender’s engine running hard, but the blade wasn’t rotating at all.
What on earth? I had used the jar a few days ago and it worked just fine — except there was some black stuff in the bottom when I was scraping out the contents. Now I realized it was the rubber in the bottom of the jar which had broken into pieces. That’s why the blade didn’t rotate. The jar was simply broken in a way that couldn’t be fixed.
I was panicking! I needed hazelnut butter for the recipe. I had to take all the photos and the video for this blog post. But I couldn’t prepare the hazelnut butter because the blender jar was broken. Argh!
I checked some stores for new jars. Nope, none of them had this particular jar, which was so perfect for making nut butters. However, one store in Helsinki (the capital of Finland, some 110 miles (180 km) away from where we live) happened to have this jar on the shelf.
It was a real coincidence that I was actually planning to go to Helsinki on Thursday, the very next day. I had an appointment with a nutrition therapy client and a lunch date with my Finnish publisher, so I decided I might as well pop into the store and pick up the blender jar.
Time was tight after these two appointments, and I have to give a special thanks to Harri (the head of my Finnish publisher) for taking me to the store and to the railway station so that I could get my blender jar, catch the train back home and prepare the precious hazelnut butter for this recipe.
So, in the end, everything turned out well. Even though I was panicking about the broken jar on Wednesday, I ended up being able to buy a new one on Thursday and to take all the photos and video for this post on Friday, which had been my original plan. Isn’t it great when all the pieces just fall together effortlessly like that? If only life could be like that all the time.
So that’s the story. As you can see, this cake has only a few ingredients and it’s especially easy to make, so I’m sure you will fall in love with it!
Here’s the recipe:
|In Total (recipe makes 1 serving)
Tips for variation
One variation that immediately comes to mind is to replace the hazelnut butter with — you guessed it — peanut butter. PB and chocolate is also a celestial combo, and in this recipe, you can definitely use PB instead of hazelnut butter. I actually tried this variation myself, and the cake was beyond delicious! Also, other nut butters, including almond butter, work well, so feel free to experiment with them.
AAgain, you can play with different flavorings and sweeteners. Orange and chocolate is another classic pairing, so try adding a of drop 100% orange essential oil for a citrusy flavor.
Personally, I might add cherry flavoring to the batter next time, because I’m a big fan of the combo of chocolate and cherry. With whipped cream on top, it’s almost like a keto Black Forest cake in a mug!