Keto Vanilla Mug Cake (Paleo, Vegan)


5 from 299 votes
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A super fluffy and moist vanilla mug cake made with protein powder and is low carb- It’s also ready in under a minute! This healthy Keto Vanilla Mug Cake takes less than a minute to make in the microwave or 12 minutes in the oven- It’s paleo, vegan, gluten-free and sugar free!

Vanilla Protein Mug Cake Recipe

Low Carb Vanilla Mug Cake

We love our single serve mug cake recipes on here. From blueberry mug cakes, chocolate mug cakes and even lemon mug cakes, there is a recipe here for everyone!

When it comes to flavors, nothing comes close to the classic vanilla. It is like a blank canvas and can be dressed up in multiple ways.

Ever since I’ve started weight training regularly, I’ve made an effort to add protein to all my meals and snacks. Contrary to popular belief, you can add protein powder to desserts, especially into mug cakes. 

Enter- the protein powder mug cake! 

What is a protein mug cake? 

A protein mug cake (protein powder cake in a mug) is a single serve cake that uses a combination of protein powder, eggs (or vegan substitute), milk and other extras to create a light, fluffy and gooey mug cake.

Unlike traditional mug cakes, protein mug cakes are super low carb, packed with protein and usually are made without flour or sugar. 

protein powder mug cake recipe that tastes like a vanilla cake

How to make a vanilla mug cake with protein powder

Step 1: In a large mixing bowl, combine your dry ingredients and mix well. Add your wet ingredients and mix very well, until a thick and smooth texture remains.

Step 2: Transfer your vanilla mug cake batter into a greased mug or microwave-safe cereal bowl. 

Step 3: Microwave the protein powder mug cake for 1-2 minutes, or until ‘just’ cooked. Remove from the oven and enjoy immediately! 


Vanilla Protein Mug Cake Recipe

How to make a protein vanilla mug cake in the oven

For those who don’t have access to a microwave or prefer not to use one, you can easily make this protein powder mug cake recipe in the oven. 

To make a microwave protein cake in the oven, you follow the microwave instructions but instead of microwaving it, you will bake it for 12-15 minutes at 180C/350.

Remove the vanilla protein mug cake from the oven once a toothpick comes out of the center ‘just’ clean.

How to make a protein mug cake without eggs (vegan) 

To make this vanilla protein cake vegan-friendly and eggless, you won’t need to replace the eggs with another substitute.

Simply increase the amount of liquid used by 2 tablespoons (or more, if the batter is too thick) and continue baking as normal.

A quick note on the vegan option- It will not ‘puff’ up as much and will be moist in the center

Best protein powder to use

No protein powder is created equal and many brands differ considerably.

I tried this mug cake out with several blends of protein powder and these were the best-

Vegan Brown Rice Protein Powder

A brown rice vanilla protein powder works best, as it is thick and creamy (when added to liquid) and has a very pleasant flavor. 

Depending on the brand you use, you may need to add a little extra liquid (milk or water) to achieve a thick and smooth batter. 

Casein Protein Powder

For those who can tolerate dairy, I recommend using casein protein powder. It’s thick, tastes delicious, and doesn’t dry up when baked or used in cooking. 

Casein protein powder is also keto, low carb and sugar free. 

Paleo Protein Powder

I would only use a paleo protein powder blend if you follow a strict paleo diet. It isn’t as thick as casein protein or brown rice protein, but still can be used.

Please DO NOT use any whey based protein powder, as it doesn’t lend itself well to baking, and requires very little liquid. 

More recipes with protein powder

Vanilla Protein Powder cake in a mug

Watch the step-by-step video below!

Keto Vanilla Mug Cake Recipe

Healthy 1 Minute Keto Vanilla Mug Cake

5 from 299 votes
A super fluffy and moist vanilla mug cake which packs a protein punch and is low carb- It's also ready in under a minute! This protein powder mug cake is Paleo, vegan, gluten free, keto, grain free and sugar free!
Servings: 1
Prep: 1 minute
Cook: 1 minute
Total: 2 minutes



For the microwave option

  • Grease a microwave safe bowl with cooking spray and add the protein powder, baking powder, coconut flour, sweetener of choice and mix well.
  • Add the egg and mix into the dry mixture. Add the milk of choice and vanilla extract- If the batter is too crumbly, continue adding milk of choice until a very thick batter is formed. 
  • Top with chocolate chips and microwave for 60 seconds, or until just cooked in the centre.

For the oven option

  • Follow as above, but bake in the oven for 8-15 minutes, depending on consistency desired- Mug cake is cooked once a toothpick comes out 'just' clean from the center.


* For the vegan option, you won't need any flax eggs/egg substitute- Simply omit and slowly add milk of choice until a thick batter is formed. Microwave/bake until 'just' cooked in the center.


Serving: 1mug cakeCalories: 170kcalCarbohydrates: 7gProtein: 29gFat: 6gFiber: 4gVitamin A: 100IUVitamin C: 1.7mgCalcium: 20mgIron: 0.4mgNET CARBS: 3g
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American
Author: Arman
Tried this recipe?Give us a shout at @thebigmansworld or tag #thebigmansworld!

Low Carb Vanilla Mug Cake Recipe

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. I may earn a small commission for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services from this website.

Arman Liew

I’m a two time cookbook author, photographer, and writer, and passionate about creating easy and healthier recipes. I believe you don’t need to be experienced in the kitchen to make good food using simple ingredients that most importantly, taste delicious.

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  1. All time favorite ice cream flavor? Well, I don’t really like ice cream by itself, to be honest. I really only eat it because of what else is in it (i.e. cookie dough, PB chunks, oreo chunks), then I just pick out the good stuff and leave the rest.

  2. Dude, I am all about the vanilla. Seriously! I love vanilla. I’ll pick it over almost every other flavor out there. Call me boring, but the classics are still the best! I’m pretty sure I want to stick my face into this cake…sans the chocolate chips. Do they make vanilla chips? Because I need those for this cake…

  3. I usually add vanilla extract to my baking, as it does add a lovely delicate flavour in the background. I find that I do notice if that flavour is missing in baked goods, so I generally do add vanilla where possible (but definitely not paired with licorice… that would be weird.? Yeah, that would be an ‘ugly duckling’ for sure.) Anyways, my all time favourite ice-cream flavour is probably coconut. I had THE most delicious coconut ice cream in Guernsey once, and funny thing is that I’m pretty sure I could taste a hint of vanilla in the background. Vanilla is a cook’s secret weapon.? In the past, I would have definitely preferred chocolate, but nowadays I’d actually say that I like both chocolate and vanilla equally! Caramel extract is another good one to use for adding depth of flavour. Thanks for the mug cake recipe, Arman!?

  4. I HATE vanilla protein powders, so I always add cinnamon! BEST hack ever. And my favorite ice cream flavor used to be cookie dough, but now I love anything peanut butter, chocolate, cinnamon, pistachio or salted caramel! So tasty!

  5. Thanks for the recipe. I used what I had on hand: cream and cookie flavour protein powder, soy flour but no sugar and no egg or chocolate chips! After 1 minute in the microwave it was perfect to dig into but not before a dollop of double cream on top. Tastes incredible and my new favourite with a cup of tea!

  6. Unfortunately, I have found I can breath more easily when I don’t eat coconut. Is there a gluten free flour that will substitute adequately for the coconut flour in the vegan version of this recipe (sigh… gluten no eggs no coconut, at least I can still eat chocolate). Coconut ice cream was my favorite. Buy I do really appreciate a good vanilla. I had some vanilla ice cream in Mexico when I was a teen that was so good, it took us awhile to figure out it was vanilla.

  7. Team chocolate all the way! and my favorite ice cream flavor would probably be a chocolate-vanilla swirl… with chocolate toppings of course.

    1. Hi Cristina! For sure, if you go to myfitnesspal and include the ingredients (it changes depending on what protein powder you use), it will provide it for you 🙂 Enjoy!

  8. I can’t thank you enough for this recipe (life saver!)!!! I’ve made it three times and am still trying to get the oven timing just perfect, but it’s absolutely delicious!!! Doesn’t have that “eggy” Paleo texture most baked goods have that I’ve tried. I’m just so thrilled with it!!! Tonight I’m putting some fresh peaches and bananas over the top. YUMMM!!!!!!! THANK YOU SOOOOO MUCH!!!

    1. Thanks SO much for the feedback, Kathy- I too am not a fan of mug cakes which taste too ‘eggy’ so you nailed it! 🙂

  9. I’m not a big fan of vanilla so can I replace vanilla protein powder by cacao powder ? is it still a low carb recipe with cacao? xD

  10. Wow! I’ve tried many mug cakes, and have never gotten one with a “real” cake consistency before. Awesome!