This gooey, chocolatey vegan almond flour mug cake bakes right in the microwave. An easy, healthy dessert ready in just 5 minutes!
This healthy mug cake recipe is gluten free, oil free, refined sugar free, and refined flour free. Just like my almond flour molasses cookies and almond flour lemon pound cake, it's also dairy free and egg free. And it tastes absolutely, decadently, delicious!
What I love about this chocolate lava mug cake
First, I love how ridiculously simple this cake recipe is. In 5 minutes, I can have a chocolatey desert ready with just: 1 measuring cup, 2 measuring spoons, 1 mug, and a microwave.
(Actually, I kind of love/hate this, because it's almost too easy to make desert now!)
Toss in some chocolate chips (optional), and you have an ooey, gooey, chocolate lava cake--straight out of your microwave! With the chocolate chips, the texture is somewhere between a cake and a vegan mug brownie.
Finally, I love how simple it is to make a little, 'personal' cake with no eggs, no dairy milk and no oil. Everything about this recipe is healthy, and trust me, you'll never miss the bad stuff.
Follow these photos and instructions to help make it great, every time. Please also see the full recipe card at the bottom of this page.
Step 1. Add the dry ingredients to a mug, and whisk well to eliminate any lumps.
Step 2. Stir in the wet ingredients. Then add chocolate chips if using. Next, cook in the microwave, and enjoy!
Texture/doneness. You can adjust the texture of the cake by adjusting the cooking time. In my microwave, 1 minute on high power resulted in a moist, somewhat gooey cake. Another 15 to 30 seconds gives you a firmer cake. I recommend starting with 1 minute, then adding time in intervals of 15 seconds, if desired.
Also, the mug cake will firm up as it cools, so you can simply let it rest rather than cooking longer, if preferred.
I personally prefer my mug cake a bit underdone and gooey and warm--straight out of the microwave!
Chocolate chips. Chocolate chips are optional in this recipe, as they add some saturated fat and aren't healthy for some people. But I do enjoy them occasionally, in small quantities, and they make this cake fudgey, almost the consistency of a mug brownie. So I recommend them unless your diet restricts them.
If you choose not to use them, you can add a bit more plant milk for a moister cake, if desired.
Salt. You can skip the salt here, but I find just a pinch really enhances and complements the chocolate in this recipe.
Time saving. While it's best to whisk the dry ingredients first, then add the wet ones, this isn't absolutely necessary. When I'm in a hurry, I just dump everything in and stir well to eliminate as many lumps as possible.
Note: I do like to use a whisk to break up lumps in the dry ingredients, then switch to a spoon, as it's easier to get all the finished batter off the spoon than the whisk.
This recipe also saves time by using just 1 measuring cup and 2 measuring spoons, plus the mug. So you clean up is a breeze, since you don't have too many dirty dishes!
Substitutions and variations
Check out these ideas for ingredient substitutions, and creative ways to adapt this recipe to your liking. I haven't tried all of these myself, but please give them a try if you don't have everything you need on hand or just like to experiment.
- Cacao - I use cacao because it's full of healthful antioxidants, but you can substitute cocoa powder.
- Maple syrup or date syrup - both work well here, though maple syrup is a bit sweeter, and date syrup has more nutrients.
- Almond flour - this recipe was specifically designed to use gluten free almond flour, so I can't recommend a substitution at this time. If you do want to try another flour, I'd recommend eliminating the cornstarch. I use it here to help the dry ingredients bind to the wet, as almond flour doesn't soak up wet ingredients.
- Chocolate chips - I like to use cacao nibs in place of dark chocolate chips for a healthier dessert. Note, they are a bit bitter, so use sparingly.
- Orange zest chocolate mug cake - add a tablespoon of orange zest to the cake for a bright note of citrus flavor.
- Raspberry chocolate cake --toss in a few fresh chopped raspberries.
- Walnuts or hazelnuts - toss in a tablespoon of finely chopped nuts.
- Peanut butter chocolate cake - swirl a tablespoon of peanut butter into the cake batter.
- Dark chocolate-coffee cake - replace 1 tablespoon of plant milk with espresso or strong coffee.
How to serve this cake
We like to eat this cake with a light dusting of powdered sugar made from erythritol and arrowroot powder. Or, for a creamy, fancy presentation, we sometimes top it with some aquafaba whipped cream.
But probably my all time favorite way to enjoy this chocolatey cake is hot and gooey, and topped with a small scoop of plant-based vanilla ice cream. Yum!
A mushy mug cake happens when the ratio of wet to dry ingredients is off, or the recipe doesn't use the right ingredients. Also, a very undercooked mug cake can be mushy. This recipe was tested with several ingredient ratios and cooking times, until I felt it was just the right combination of gooey and cakey. 🙂
Almond flour is finely ground nuts (almonds!) rather than a grain, as is the case with traditional flours. It's naturally gluten free.
However, it is higher in fat--though almonds are a healthy source of fat--and does not behave like other flours when baking. For example, it doesn't absorb wet ingredients like traditional flours do. It also tends to cook/burn faster.
For these reasons, you can't simply swap almond flour for other flours in recipes.
This almond flour mug cake is made with unrefined, whole food, plant-based ingredients. It is perfectly healthy as an occasional treat--unless you have a nut allergy or need to follow a very low fat diet for health reasons.
Cover and store in the refrigerator for 1-2 days. I have not tried freezing it, but imagine you could store in the freezer for up to a month in an airtight container.
Happy, whole food plant-based cooking, y'all!
More whole food, plant-based desserts
Almond Flour Mug Cake
- ⅓ cup almond flour I have not tried this recipe with other flour. See notes.
- 2 tbs cacao powder or substitute cocoa powder.
- 2 tbs cornstarch
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- 2 tbs maple syrup or date syrup
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla
- 2 tablespoon +/- plain, unsweetened plant milk Use up to 1 tablespoon extra to thin the batter if needed. See notes.
- pinch pink Himalayan salt (skip for sodium free)
- 1.5 tablespoon dark chocolate chips (optional) choose dairy free. Reserve 5-6 for the top, if desired. See notes.
- Add the dry ingredients to an 8 ounce or larger microwave safe mug or ramekin. Whisk together to eliminate any lumps. (See notes.)
- Add the wet ingredients, and stir well to combine.
- Stir in the optional chocolate chips, if using. Add the 5-6 reserved chips to the top.
- Microwave on high power for 1 minutes for a moist, gooey cake. Add time in 15 second increments for a firmer cake. Note: the mug cake will firm up as it cools or in the fridge if leftover.