The Ultimate 1 Minute Protein Brownie (Paleo, Vegan, gluten free)


5 from 991 votes
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A quick and easy protein powder mug cake recipe that tastes like a gooey brownie! Made with no white flour, no banana and no sugar, this brownie in a mug is your guilt-free sweet tooth fix!

A delicious, fluffy, moist protein-packed brownie which takes just one minute to whip up! Clocking in at around 150 calories, it is a healthy snack to have any time and has been oven tested. Naturally gluten free, dairy free, paleo, keto, low carb, and comes with a tested vegan version. 

keto protein powder mug cake

Protein Powder Mug Brownie

Whenever I finish a heavy or intense workout, I love a homemade protein bar, a protein muffin or one of these single-serve mug brownies.

It’s packed with protein, takes less time than a protein shake to make or a ‘poverty brownie‘. 

I’ve been obsessed with these protein cakes, as I’ve never been a fan of protein shakes after a workout. 

What has been super helpful is actually prepping 5 or so of these brownies at once, and freezing them for a quick high protein snack after a workout!

Naturally keto, low carb, sugar free and dairy free.

It also can be paleo, vegan and gluten-free. 

Want more protein? Try these flourless protein brownies

Healthy 1 Minute High Protein Brownie- SO fluffy, light and a little bit gooey, this high protein brownie tastes like dessert- NO butter, oil, white flour or sugar- Oven option too! {vegan, gluten free, paleo recipe}-

Why make this protein brownie in a mug?

This healthy one minute protein brownie is the ‘ultimate’ brownie when it comes to microwaved or protein-packed cakes.

It’s fluffy and moist and takes only one minute to whip up.

The key here to optimum texture is the protein powder you use and the correct combination of ingredients.

While you can easily make a ‘protein cake’ with just protein powder, baking powder and some water (or milk), using my recipe will ensure it is moist on the inside (and fudgy), tender on the outside, and LEGIT, like a brownie.

How do you make a protein mug cake from scratch

The Ingredients

  • 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. 
  • Granulated sweetener of choice– Optional, but recommended if you prefer a sweet brownie and if your protein powder is unsweetened. 
  • 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 used unsweetened coconut milk, but any milk will work.
  • Chocolate Chips– Optional, but highly recommended!

The Instructions

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 mix well. Add your egg white, milk and mix until a smooth batter remains. If desired, fold through some chocolate chips. 

Step 2- Microwave the batter- Microwave your mug protein 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. 

whey protein mug cake

Can I make this microwave protein brownie in the oven?


I’ve tested all my mug cake recipes in an oven and in the microwave.

To bake it in the oven, prepare the directions as the microwave, but pour the batter in 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.

There have been many rumors claiming that if you microwave protein powder, it will lose the protein content and other elements to it. 

That is completely incorrect. The protein content remains exactly the same and you will enjoy the SAME benefits of the protein powder microwaved or not microwaved.

What protein powder is best for baking? 

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

There are THREE protein powders that I always bake with, and always turn out perfect each time.

  • Vegan Protein Powder Vegan and dairy-free protein powder, it is made of brown rice protein. It has a delicious, somewhat earthy flavor. It is NOT suitable if you are keto or paleo. 
  • Casein Protein Powder My favorite protein powder to bake with, it’s gluten-free and keto-friendly, and tastes absolutely delicious. 
  • Collagen Protein Powder Paleo, gluten-free, vegan and keto-friendly, collagen protein powder bakes well and has a pleasant taste. 

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

TIP: Do not bake with protein powder. If I come up with a whey protein mug cake, I promise I’ll share it! 

Can I make this mug brownie vegan?

Easily make this brownie vegan by replacing the eggs with applesauce or extra milk.

Even though this recipe already has milk, if you omit the egg or egg white, you will need to compensate for the extra liquid needed.

Start with 1 tablespoon of milk or applesauce, and add more ONLY if the batter is too thick.

Texture-wise, the brownie will be super gooey and moist, more like a lava cake. 

Taste-wise, it will be as the normal version!

keto mug brownie


More recipes using protein powder

protein mug brownie

The ultimate 1 Minute Protein Brownie

5 from 991 votes
A delicious, fluffy, moist protein-packed brownie which takes just one minute to whip up! Gooey and fudgy, this low carb and keto protein mug cake is also paleo, vegan and gluten free!
Servings: 2 brownies
Prep: 1 min
Cook: 1 min



Microwave version

  • 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 version

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


* If your protein powder isn't sweetened, add sweetener to taste.
For a more moist and fudgy cake, remove from microwave/oven earlier. For a muffin like cake, you can cook slightly longer.


Calories: 125kcalCarbohydrates: 6gProtein: 14gFat: 5gSodium: 272mgPotassium: 195mgFiber: 4gVitamin A: 153IUVitamin C: 5mgCalcium: 222mgIron: 1mgNET CARBS: 2g
Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Author: Arman
Tried this recipe?Give us a shout at @thebigmansworld or tag #thebigmansworld!

keto protein mug cake

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. On the sauces front, absolutely either the basil or caramelized onion one. Probably the basil. In my humble opinion.

    I love that you’re now calling yourself out haha I guess that’s fair! We all have pretended at one point or another to like a “healthy” thing just because we convince ourselves we should. But at the end of the day, a brownie is a brownie and that’s that! You can’t healthify it completely. But this recipe comes pretty darn close. You always make your creations look exactly like they have the same texture as their original counterparts, but with better ingredients. You’re a magician!

    1. Ohhhhhhhhhh I went with the marinara BUT with good reason.

      Come visit and I’ll make you some. Well, one. Let’s no get excited here.

  2. I’m new to mug brownies/cakes but now I’m hooked. Can’t wait to try these hockey pucks.. I mean 1 minute brownies! 😉

  3. I have for sure made hockey puck-consistency snacks before…and I chucked them right in the trash. This was not one of these! Just made it and it was super moist + tasty! Thanks Arman!

  4. The last time I made a microwave treat it became a part of my mug and I had to soak it for days. This looks infinity times better!

  5. I’ve never had the hockey puck because I usually mash two bananas and add a scoop of PP in it and eat it like pudding. I cannot afford to waste protein powder because it costs a pretty penny, so hockey pucks for me. I think that idea is really cute and looks tasty. What type of non-dairy milk works best?

  6. Yay I love that this uses the whole egg! 🙂
    We bought some protein when we first arrived here – ingredients wise it’s amazing… Flavour? Not so much. At least david doesn’t mind it in a shake but I cant stand the taste! So this might be perfect, the powder works well in a good old protein pancake!
    Oh and I think you should go for the tomato and basil sauce – it’s a classic!

  7. You had me at “one minute.” and again at “brownie.”
    I get so tired of my protein shakes after the gym so this is a perfect alternative 🙂 Thanks Arman

  8. OK, so I’m not a huge protein powder fan (that’s putting it mildly), but I’m intrigued by this recipe. Maybe I’ll try it for my friend David, who seems to drink that horrid stuff daily. Do I sound like someone’s cranky mother? Maybe, but at least I’m open to the possibilities – as long as someone else tries it first in front of me and looks honestly smitten with the result. xoxo

  9. Ohhhhh the things I used to eat and try to convince myself were “just like dessert!” 🙄 At one point I had myself convinced that I didn’t like sugar. ME. This girl. Not having a sweet tooth. I know. My mind is boggled as well.