Protein Mug Cake

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5 from 1423 votes
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This protein powder mug cake tastes like a gooey brownie but is completely guilt-free! It bakes up in just one minute and makes the best healthy single serving dessert. 

whey protein mug cake

I love my high protein desserts.

If you’ve tried my protein brownies, protein cookies, or protein donuts already, you know that I know my way around baking with protein powder.

Whenever me or my family crave something sweet after dinner and I don’t want to turn on the oven or bake something, we make a protein powder mug cake. 

Table of Contents
  1. Why you’ll love this protein mug cake recipe
  2. Ingredients (and substitutions)
  3. How to make a protein mug cake
  4. Tips to make the best recipe
  5. Dietary and flavor variations
  6. Protein Powder 101
  7. Storage instructions
  8. Frequently asked questions
  9. More high protein recipes to try
  10. Protein Mug Cake Recipe (Recipe Card)

Why you’ll love this protein mug cake recipe

  • Single serving. This is the kind of dessert that you can make for yourself at any moment when the cravings strike to satisfy the sweet tooth.
  • Over 25 grams of protein. Thanks to the addition of protein powder AND egg whites! 
  • It tastes like a brownie. It’s moist and gooey and full of fudgy chocolate flavor. You can even reduce the cooking time to make it extra gooey.
  • Microwave or oven baked. I like to whip mine up in the microwave as it takes a minute but you can oven bake or air fry it! 
  • Perfect post workout treat. Fiber, protein, some carbs, and healthy fats- swap out your protein shake for this instead!
protein mug brownie.

Ingredients (and substitutions)

This mug cake calls for simple ingredients and pantry staples and even options to swap them out to use what you have on hand. Here is what you’ll need:

  • Protein Powder– Obviously, a must for a protein powder mug brownie recipe! See below for my tested recommendations!
  • Coconut Flour– This is KEY to give this brownie a dessert-like texture! Do not omit, or else the brownie will be watery. Oat flour or almond flour will work. 
  • Sweetener– Optional, but recommended if you prefer a sweet brownie and if your protein powder is unsweetened. Coconut sugar, white sugar, or maple syrup are both fantastic options. 
  • Baking powder– To ensure the batter rises and transforms into an actual brownie!
  • Cocoa Powder– To enhance the chocolate flavor- Use dark cocoa powder for the ultimate rich flavor!
  • Egg or Egg white– Either can be used; egg whites will yield a fluffier texture!
  • Milk of choice– To smooth out the batter. I typically use whole milk or unsweetened almond milk, but any milk, including non-dairy milk, works. 
  • Chocolate Chips– Optional, but highly recommended.

Find the printable recipe with measurements below.

How to make a protein mug cake

Making this mug brownie takes one minute to prepare and just one minute to make!

Step 1- Prepare the batter- Grease a large, microwave-safe mug. Place your dry ingredients into it and stir well. Add your egg white and milk and mix until a smooth batter remains. If desired, sprinkle through some chocolate chips.

Step 2- Microwave the batter- Microwave your protein powder cake for 60 seconds or up to 2 minutes. Cooking time depends on your brand of microwave.

Step 3- Remove from the mug and enjoy- Allow your mug brownie to sit for 20 seconds before slipping out of the mug onto a plate.

protein mug cake.

Tips to make the best recipe

  • Don’t overcook: Mug cakes, especially protein powder mug cakes, cook quickly in the microwave, so be mindful not to overcook them. Start by cooking it for a minute, and if it is still under-done, microwave in 20-second bursts until done. Mine usually takes exactly one minute.
  • Use a microwave-safe mug: Ensure that the mug you use is microwave-safe and that is a little larger than expected. This will prevent any of the cake batter from overflowing. I sometimes use a small cereal bowl to ensure this doesn’t happen.
  • Mix well: Be very thorough when making the protein mug cake batter to prevent clumps. Protein powder tends to clump together. 
  • Experiment with toppings: Transform your high protein mug cake into something decadent by adding a scoop of protein ice cream, yogurt, or pudding on top. 

Dietary and flavor variations

The beauty of any mug cake or single serving dessert is how easy it is to customize. Here are some ideas:

  • Make it vegan! Swap out the egg/egg white for an egg substitute. I like using flax eggs or an egg replacer. 
  • Add mix-ins. Chopped nuts, berries, candy, peanut butter, etc.
  • Chocolate protein mug cake. Use chocolate protein powder instead of a plain or vanilla one. 
  • Vanilla protein mug cake. Use vanilla protein powder and omit the cocoa powder. 
  • Banana protein mug cake. Add 1/2 small mashed banana. 

Protein Powder 101

I’ve tried and tested MANY brands of protein powder, and different kinds can produce different results. 

I often get asked if this recipe can be made with whey protein, and I do not recommend it. Because whey protein powder has a higher concentration of protein in it (as in, there are very few carbs in it), it dries out when baked or microwaved.

  • Brown rice protein powder. A naturally vegan and gluten-free protein powder, this protein blend bakes well and tastes good too. 
  • Casein protein powder. My go-to protein powder, casein is naturally thicker than other protein powders (it’s often recommended to consume before bed!) and bakes beautifully. Casein also comes in tons of flavors, so have fun with it. 
  • Pea protein powder. A newer protein powder, pea protein is low sugar, low carb, and comes in both vanilla and chocolate. 
  • Protein powder blends. A protein blend usually mixes casein and whey or another two kinds of protein.

Storage instructions

Mug cakes are best enjoyed fresh, but can be stored for up to 2 days in the fridge, covered. 

keto mug brownie

Frequently asked questions

Can I bake this mug cake?

To bake it in the oven, prepare the mug cake as instructed, but pour the batter into an oven-safe ramekin.
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F and bake the mug brownie for 10-12 minutes or until just cooked in the center.

Can you microwave protein powder?

Contrary to popular belief, you can microwave protein powder. The protein content remains exactly the same, and you will enjoy the same benefits of the protein powder, microwaved or not microwaved.

Can I substitute the protein powder for something else?

If you’d like to make a high protein mug cake without protein powder, try a keto mug cake or flourless mug cake instead.

More high protein recipes to try

protein mug cake recipe.

Protein Mug Cake Recipe

5 from 1423 votes
This protein powder mug cake tastes like a gooey brownie but is completely guilt-free! It bakes up in just one minute and makes the best healthy single serving dessert. 
Servings: 2 mug cakes
Prep: 1 minute
Cook: 1 minute
Total: 2 minutes

Video

Ingredients  

Instructions 

Microwave instructions

  • Grease a small cereal bowl or deep mug and set aside.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine the protein powder, coconut flour, baking powder, granulated sweetener and cocoa powder and mix well.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk the egg with the milk and pour into the dry mixture and mix until fully incorporated. Top with chocolate chips if desired.
  • Microwave for 60 seconds and remove from microwave and enjoy immediately.

Oven instructions

  • Pour batter in an oven safe dish and bake for 10-12 minutes on 180 degrees celsius for 10-12 minutes, until desired consistency.

Notes

* If your protein powder isn’t sweetened, add sweetener to taste.
For a more moist and fudgy cake, remove it from the microwave/oven earlier. For a muffin-like cake, you can cook it slightly longer.
STORAGE: Mug cakes are best enjoyed fresh, but can be stored for up to 2 days in the fridge, covered. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1mug cakeCalories: 128kcalCarbohydrates: 9gProtein: 16gFat: 5gSodium: 211mgPotassium: 132mgFiber: 3gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 171IUCalcium: 159mgIron: 2mgNET CARBS: 6g
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Arman Liew
Tried this recipe?Give us a shout at @thebigmansworld or tag #thebigmansworld!

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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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This is one of the best protein mug cakes I’ve tried- I think you’re right about the coconut flour for better texture.
    I used Panela for sweetener, it’s naturally lower glycemic and tastes a little like molasses. I also added a little more protein powder and just used a touch more milk. Had to go 30 more seconds, but it was great! Thanks for the good recipe!

  2. 5 stars
    I haven’t tried many protein mug cakes. But I think this was pretty darn good! Obviously, I wasn’t expecting it to taste exactly like a chocolate cake or muffin. But the flavor is all there and it definitely makes you feel like you’re not missing out. Personally, I only used 1 tablespoon of the sweetener, but I would definitely recommend this as a great recipe. Also, pretty filling. So a good tasty way of getting a little more protein at night.

  3. 5 stars
    Oh my god. I’ve been trying to get more protein in but I have a chronic sweet tooth, and its hard to balance them when I don’t like protein powder. This recipe is INCREDIBLE. I made some minor alterations to mine (added instant coffee + salt to bump up the choc taste) and its genuinely better than the non-proteinful choc mug cake i was making before. Color me impressed because this was wild.

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