The search for the perfect Chocolate Keto Mug Cake – is over. No, seriously. This recipe is so good that the people closest to me who don’t care for chocolate – much less, chocolate cake – actually like this cake. The crazy part about it is how easy it is to make!
Microwave is the King
The microwave is THE best instrument for making mug cake. I tried relentlessly to make it work in the oven (mostly because I don’t have a microwave, but that’s besides the point) and time and time again, 60 seconds in the microwave outdid everything in the oven. The microwave simply yields a moister, smoother, quicker cake.
If you’re familiar with the iron triangle of project management, the microwave method basically hits all three sides of the triangle. It’s an anomaly.
Why does the oven suck?
I’m not a food scientist, but this is my guess: since the water molecules are not hyperactive (due to the lack of micro waves hitting them) they are not bouncing around like kids hopped up on sugar, thus it takes longer for them to transition from liquid to mist. So the cake rises slowly – something you would desire in a baked good like cheesecakes. This yields a denser cake, which is not what we are after.
When baking the keto mug cake in the oven, I found the optimal time was 25 minutes at 325F. Yes, 25 minutes – which feels like an eternity when you’re trying to quell a sweet tooth craving and just might dig into that bag of chips if it doesn’t come soon.
What happens when it takes so long in the oven? It dries out. As a result, I would have to end up adding a tad of almond milk to keep it moist – and that screws the ingredient ratios rather substantially because we’re not making an entire cake. Every little bit counts when the contents reside in a mug.
If you learn anything about making Keto Mug Cake, learn this…
Keto mug cake is finicky when cooked in the microwave, super finicky. You have to WATCH the cake as it cooks to figure out when it’s ready. There is literally a 5 second window where the cake goes from an sloppy uncooked mess, to a stiff ass sponge. This is because every microwave has different wattage/power settings/etc.
From what I’ve seen and experimented, it can take anywhere from 50 seconds to 70 seconds to cook (sometimes even up to 1 minute and 30 seconds if you have a small microwave). The first time you make the mug cake, pull it out at 5 seconds and see how cooked it is. Then continue to cook it in 5 second intervals, checking each time for the desired level of done-ness. This is the biggest, most important step to obtaining mug cake nirvana. The nice thing is, you only have to do this once. If you determine that 53 seconds is the optimal time in your microwave, that’s your cooking time the next time you make the cake.
Do I need to grease the mug?
Nope! When you cook it in the microwave, the mug cake pulls away super easily. It’s always nice to have an easy cleanup.
However, if you decide to make the mug cake in the oven, you will absolutely need to grease the container. If not, the cake will stick onto the sides like super glue on gum. The best way to do this is to simply swirl the melted butter around the mug/ramekin with a silicone brush, making sure to cover every dry spot. Trust me, this is required.
Can I replace the almond flour with coconut flour?
Yes and no. This recipe focuses on using almond flour. Due to how coconut flour behaves (it soaks up a ton of moisture), if you simply did a 1:1 replacement, or even a 1:2 replacement, the cake would come out super dry. I’ll be working on a replacement strategy here in the near future so stay tuned and make sure to sign up for the newsletter!
What mug should I use?
Most mugs are microwave safe, but I’m not a materials scientist. If you want to be sure, check the bottom for labeling along the lines of “Microwave safe.”
If you’re still intent on making it in the oven, despite my slyly hidden hints to not partake on this endeavor, CHECK YO MUG. A lot of mugs are painted on afterwards or possibly made from materials that cannot sustain direct heat. In this case, you must absolutely be positive that your mug is oven safe. If not, you’re basically putting a shrapnel grenade into a hot oven and hoping it doesn’t detonate.
You also don’t NEED to use a mug. This keto mug cake works extremely well (better actually) when cooked in a ramekin. The wide base allows it to grow up, but not so high that it spills over. Which leads me to my next point…
DONT PANIC WHEN IT GROWS
When cooked in the microwave the keto mug cake will expand- a lot. It will mimic a souffle, rising above the mug like Frankenstein looking for a snack. It always seems that it’s about to spill over the edge just as the microwave timer stops and it deflates like a sad balloon. Just keep an eye on it and marvel at it’s growth.
Meal Prepping the Keto Mug Cake
Yes, you can meal prep this mug cake. Simply mix all the dry ingredients in a container and scoop it out into the wet ingredients when the craving hits. I like to store a large batch in a plastic pint container. When prepping it, I will multiply the ingredient quantities by 5-10 and label the date that I made the batch. Works great for:
- Late night cravings
- Middle day cravings
- Any cravings at all
- Going to non-low carb dinners where people don’t want you to feel left out come dessert time
- An avoidance technique to keep you from eating things you don’t want to. E.g. if there’s real cake in the fridge – this cake will keep your shakes away and help you not crave the real thing.