Mug Cakes, or microwave cakes, are perfect for single servings when you feel snackish. They are also fantastic as healthier post-workout protein mug cakes! Here are three different recipes, each for a different craving.
If you want something else than a cake, may I tempt you with a protein chocolate chia pudding or a lemon chia yogurt bowl? Or maybe something savory like Turkish eggs. All are delicious and easy to make!
Why you’ll love this recipe
You will love this recipe because it is super-duper easy, with minimal dirty dishes. It is quick, yet it's warm, fluffy, and delicious.
It is also so versatile, you can make it a million different ways (read Variations in Expert tips below for more ideas).
And it's protein-rich, making it a filling post-workout snack or even a complete lunch. It does have some sugars, because hey it needs to be delicious, but I'd say it's a healthier snack with 24 grams of protein per mug cake.
For the basic protein mug cakes, this is what you'll need:
- Whole-wheat flour - to keep things together and it's more filling and healthier than regular all-purpose flour
- Baking powder - for the rise
- Salt - to enhance flavor
- Protein powder - for an extra protein kick!
- Coconut oil - we need some fat to keep the cakes tender and moist
- Cottage cheese - for more protein and moisture
- Milk - for moister cakes, you can use cow's milk or unsweetened almond milk
- Honey or date syrup - to keep the cake soft and tender, and to sweeten it in a healthier way. Use artificial sweetener if you want it low-calorie.
Then there are the additions, like chocolate, raspberries or sliced bananas, nuts, sprinkles, caramel sauce, etc. Here you can add pretty much to the limit of your own imagination.
Funfetti Vanilla Mug Cake
If the coconut oil is not liquid, put it in a tiny microwave-safe bowl and nuke it in the microwave for 20 seconds or until liquid. Set aside.
In a large mug, combine all the dry ingredients: whole-wheat flour, vanilla protein powder, baking powder, salt, and sprinkles.
To the dry ingredients, add the rest of the ingredients: cottage cheese, honey, milk, the slightly cooled coconut oil, and vanilla extract.
Mix to combine then cook in the microwave for about 1 minute and 45 seconds (this depends a little on your microwave, try with 1 ½ minutes first).
Rest for 1 minute before digging in.
Top with Greek yogurt and more sprinkles and enjoy immediately!
Chocolate Protein Mug Cake
This is basically the same process as with the funfetti vanilla cake. Instead of vanilla, use chocolate protein powder.
I also like to add some unsweetened cocoa powder, then reduce the whole-wheat flour by 1 tablespoon and add 1 tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder.
To make it extra delicious, I chop up a Lindt chocolate ball (or something similar) and place it on top before I cook it.
Caramel Peanut Butter Mug Cake
And this is similar to the chocolate mug cake, but instead of honey, use date syrup (or caramel sauce). And add 1 tablespoon of peanut butter (I use chunky) while omitting the coconut oil.
This one's delicious with salted peanuts and more date syrup on top!
It's a little bit dryer than the other two cakes due to the peanut butter. You can try to add 1 teaspoon of coconut oil to counteract it, but I think it's enough as it is.
These cakes need to be eaten immediately or else they turn dry and rubbery. Good thing they only take 2 minutes to make!
Could you make it gluten-free?
I'm sure you could. However, I tried the funfetti protein mug cake with almond flour, and it became a terrible mess. The cake batter was too liquid and expanded too much in the microwave.
That does not mean that it will not work, but I would need to do some more trial and error before I provide a recipe for it.
So for the time being, I would look elsewhere for a gluten-free protein mug cake!
What kind of mug to use?
It should be large and microwave-safe (no metal or silver on it). 12 ounces or 350 milliliters should be enough.
For these protein mug cakes, you can use whatever unsweetened protein powder you have.
I have only tried them with vanilla and chocolate, but I'm thinking that coffee flavor would be delicious in the chocolate mug cakes. Or peanut flavor in the Snickers version!
You could also use whatever sweetener you like. Date syrup, honey, artificial sweetener, regular sugar. All these should work in a recipe like this.
The milk (or liquid) choice is also pretty much yours. Cow's milk, unsweetened almond milk, or for example oat milk. I use 1% cow's milk because that's my go-to milk for everything.
These are the basic protein mug cakes that you could use as a blank canvas for more spices and flavors. For example,
The chocolate version:
- Coffee: Coffee instead of milk, coffee protein powder
- Cherry: Add cherry juice instead of milk, and chop some fresh cherries and place them on top.
The vanilla version:
- Chai: Omit the sprinkles and add ⅛ teaspoon cinnamon and a pinch of ginger, allspice, and cardamom.
- Raspberry: Add 2 tablespoons of chopped, fresh raspberries, 1 on top and 1 in the batter.
The peanut version:
- Extra peanut: Instead of chocolate protein powder, use peanut butter protein powder if you can find it. Or any other nut for that matter.
- Banana: Instead of the cottage cheese, add 4 tablespoons or ¼ cup of mashed banana. Combine with the milk to make it smooth before adding to the dry ingredients.
This is just the tip of the iceberg and there are tons more ideas where it came from, but right now I'm going to make the best gluten-free one!
Which one would you choose (first)?
Did you like this recipe? Here are more healthy snacks I think you’d love:
I’d love to hear your thoughts. Comment below or tag me @thegingerwithspice on Instagram. And don’t forget to Pin it for later! To make sure you’re never missing another recipe, please feel free to subscribe to my newsletter.
As thanks, you will receive a free e-cookbook Travels Through the Seasons, with many delicious recipes from around the world that suit different seasons of the year.
To keep the blog up and running this post may contain affiliate links, it will be at no extra cost to you, please read the disclosure for more information.