Nothing says express sweet satisfaction in the low carb world like a mug cake! If you have a microwave, you get your treat ready in 90 seconds. And, no, it is not an instant cake mix! It is all real ingredients: ground almonds, cocoa powder, eggs. So if you crave some sweet being home all day during these intense times, don’t grab your kids’ chocolate bars. Grab a mug, and fill it with the few usually-in-stock items you need for this delicious almond cocoa mug cake.
And if you have whipping cream, and some fresh strawberries, all the better. Let’s indulge in this cream-topped, almond cocoa mug cake, fringed by red berries. Done in no longer than 10 minutes. Seriously.
The ultimate low carb mini treat
II learned about the secret of mug cakes through a keto chat group here in Beijing. People exchange ideas or recipes there, their own or collected from the web. The mug cake thing popped up one day, and up until then I had never heard about them. I made a mug bread first, and was instantly hooked to the ease and satisfaction of this simple method. So I started playing around a bit with ingredients, and settled – for now – with this almond cocoa mix as my favourite. It resembles the dry chocolate cakes so popular in my native Germany.
Here in China, we now have the first strawberries on the market, as they are grown in the country’s warmer areas further south or in greenhouses. With this delicious topping, I could eat mug cake almost every day with my afternoon tea.
You make your mug cake easily in, well, a mug. The best mugs for mug cakes are wide and not too deep. If you pick a tall narrow mug – such as a traditional German coffee mug – your cake may not rise as well and will be harder to get out of the mug to eat.
A word on ingredients
The ingredients for this mug cake are super simple, and you probably have them all in the house at any given time when you’re on low carb and bake regularly.
Ground almonds: Ground almonds are sometimes also referred to as almond flour, but in fact there is a difference. Ground almonds are not as fine and retain the almonds’ almondey taste. Actually, almond flour in its correct definition is a fine powder of deoiled almonds. It is made by lightly cold-pressing shelled almonds and is high in protein and other important nutrients. It also has a lower fat content than ground almonds and, other than ground almonds, you cannot make it at home.
Deoiled almond flour is often used in low carb baking as well but is definitely different in texture and taste from the ground almonds. As these little mug cakes are to have a real almond taste, I use ground almonds here
Coconut flour: It plays the role of the “flour” in this recipe. If you don’t have it at hand, you can exchange it for deoiled almond flour in roughly the same amount. It will change the flavour a little bit but work just fine.
On the internet you often read that 1/4 cup of coconut flour replaces 1 cup of almond flour. This exchange rate refers to coconut flour vs ground almonds, not vs deoiled almond flour. Deoiled fine almond flour is as dense as coconut flour and has similar properties, so the amounts used in a recipe when substituting one for the other, again, should be roughly the same. I know this sounds confusing. But if you view ground almonds as a separate product, it will become plausible. Right?
The half teaspoon of baking soda is needed for the mug cake to grow in the microwave. The egg is best organic and medium size. Butter and coconut oil both work equally fine as a moist supplier of creaminess and fat for your dough.
As for the low carb sweetener, I use white erythritol for this cake. If you prefer the taste of a brown one like sukrin gold, go for it. That works fine as well. As usual, I am rather low on the sweetener side, so you can increase the amount a bit if you prefer a very sweet taste. But be careful not to overdose. Just play around with it a little.
The cocoa powder has to be unsweetened and natural, which makes it a pretty healthy ingredient with a bunch of surprising health properties.
How to make it
All you need to measure your ingredients is a tablespoon, and basically you need just one or two spoons of each. Simply spoon your ingredients into a large coffee mug, and knead them into a soft dough. It will be a little sticky, but I still do it with my hands – same way as we make cookie dough in Germany.
If you make more than one mug, you can just as well mix your ingredients in a larger bowl with a hand mixer, and then share the dough amongst your mugs. But I do like the feeling of making them mug by mug.
Once your sticky dough is smooth, try to flatten it a bit and put your mug into the microwave. 90 seconds at high power and ta-dah! It’s warm, grown a bit and ready to eat!
There is one important question: What do you do if you do not have a microwave? You can bake mug cakes in the oven as well! Set the temperature at around 170 degrees and bake them in ovenproof mugs for about 15-20 minutes. Poke cakes with a metal skewer or sharp knife. If nothing wet sticks to it, your cake is ready.
Let me know if you enjoyed this yummy, quickly-made mug cake by rating the recipe or pinning it to Pinterest.
If you like this mug cake, you may want to check out other ideas as well. I will post more mug cakes here soon. Meanwhile, low carb food bloggers have posted plenty of great recipes around the web, such as this one for a mug cake with peanut butter or this one for vanilla mug cake with raspberries. Enjoy!
Instant sweet delight! Make your own almond cocoa mug cake in just 90 seconds and top it with whipped cream and strawberries. Best quick and healthy treat in these trying times.
For one mug cake
2 tbsp ground almonds (do not use deoiled almond flour. That is different)
1 tbsp coconut flour
1 tbsp soft butter or coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
1 tbsp erythritol or other granular low carb sweetener
1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
For the topping
1/2 cup whipping cream
pinch of cinnamon powder
pinch of vanilla powder
1 tsp erythritol or other low carb sweetener (optional)
1 handful of strawberries, rinsed and cut in half
- Mix ingredients in one large coffee mug
- Knead the mix by hand into a soft dough. If you make several mug cakes, you can mix ingredients in a large bowl and use an electric mixer if you prefer.
- Put your mug into the microwave and bake for 90 minutes at high power.
- For the topping, whip up your cream with the hand mixer, stirring in the dry ingredients. Sprinkle your plate with strawberries. Yum!
You can also bake your mug cake in the oven at 170 degrees Celsius/340 degrees Fahrenheit. It will take 15-20 minutes to be ready. Poke it with a metal skewer or sharp knife. If nothing creamy sticks to it, your cake is ready.
Nutritional information is for one whole mug cake with one topping. This is a generous portion that can actually be easily shared by two.
While a full serving contains some 20g of net carbs mostly thanks to the strawberries, the flip side is that the berries do not only contribute deliciousness, but also a lot of Vitamin C. One serving contains 90mg of Vitamin C, roughly 150% of your recommended daily value.
- Category: sweets and desserts
- Method: bake
- Cuisine: low carb/keto
- Fat: 43.4g
- Carbohydrates: 21.6g net carbs
- Protein: 13.7g