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Protein Mug Cakes in Just 60 Seconds (Easily Customizable)

Sometimes you just want to eat cake, but making an entire cake just for yourself feels like a little much.

Enter: microwave mug cakes.

By mixing up just three simple ingredients inside of a coffee mug, you’ll have a moist, fluffy protein cake in just 60 seconds.

I mean, does it get any better than that?

Spoonful of chocolate protein mug cake

Aside from these protein mug cakes taking no time at all, they are also extremely customizable. In this recipe, I’m going to break down three of my favorites, but as you’ll soon see, the only limit is your imagination.

The calories of your healthy mug cake will vary based on the specific ingredients you use, but if you follow this recipe exactly as written in the recipe card, each mug cake will be right around 250 calories with over 20 grams of protein.

I enjoy a protein bar or protein shake every once in a while, but there’s no more delicious way to get in your protein than with a single serving of protein cake.

 

Basic Ingredients Needed for Protein Mug Cakes

I’m all about creating simple recipes, and that’s why this easy protein mug cake recipe requires only THREE main ingredients.

Sure, you can make your own cake from scratch if you prefer. There are plenty of options out there utilizing almond flour, coconut flour, oat flour, etc, but I want a delicious cake in much less time.

I don’t want to measure out a ton of ingredients or mix up a large egg (or flax egg), I want to be able to feed my sweet tooth in 60 seconds flat.

That’s why we’re using actual cake mix for these.

Cake mix flavors

I love using cake mix in a lot of my recipes because all of the flour, sweetener, and baking powder are mixed up for you, so the hard work is done. Plus, you can use ANY flavor you’d like.

Use vanilla or chocolate cake mix, gluten-free cake mix, funfetti, whatever you’d like!

Sure, using cake mix comes with slightly more calories than if you used something like almond flour or coconut flour to whip up your own healthy cake, but I’m willing to make that sacrifice.

The other main ingredient for this protein mug cake recipe is, of course, protein powder.

Cake pop PEScience protein

As with all of my high protein recipes, I use PEScience protein powder. PEScience protein is a blend of whey & casein, which I’ve found to be the best option for baking (especially when it comes to cakes).

I also created a vegan protein mug cake using the PEScience vegan protein powder, which I found to be even better than the dairy version!

I did not test other types of protein, but since it’s a relatively small amount, whey protein powder should also work here. Whey protein tends to be a bit drier overall, but it should still work if you have a favorite brand of protein powder you’d like to use.

The final ingredient for the protein powder mug cake is milk; I used Silk Protein, which is my favorite milk on the market.

Silk Protein

This specific milk is thicker than something like unsweetened almond milk thanks to the addition of pea protein. I didn’t test this recipe with regular almond milk or oat milk, but they should also work perfectly fine.

When you see the nutrition facts listed below, just note that it is based on using Silk Protein. If you swap out unsweetened almond or cashew milk, the calories will be slightly lower.

 

How to Make Chocolate Protein Mug Cake

Chocolate Protein Mug Cake

This double chocolate protein mug cake is my favorite to make, as it ends up tasting like a decadent brownie.

The cake on its own is delicious, but the high-protein chocolate frosting really takes it over the top.

Nutrition based on the ingredients I used: 255 Calories, 6g Fat, 33g Carbs, 22g Protein

Chocolate Cake Ingredients

Chocolate Frosting Ingredients

All you have to do is mix up the chocolate cake mix and protein powder in your mug or small bowl, then slowly stir the milk into the dry ingredients until you have a smooth batter.

Microwave for 60 seconds, and you’re ready to go!

The frosting itself is a very simple mixture, so it’s very important to use a chocolate protein powder that you actually enjoy the taste of.

Chocolate protein frosting

The PEScience Chocolate Truffle protein powder is one that I swear by, and it makes this taste like a legitimate chocolate frosting. If you use a protein powder that you don’t love the taste of, you’ll likely not enjoy the taste of this chocolate frosting.

Spread the frosting on top, and enjoy the chocolatey goodness.

 

How to Make Vanilla Protein Mug Cake

Vanilla Protein Mug Cake

If you want to whip up a birthday cake for one, this vanilla mug cake is for you.

Nutrition based on the ingredients I used: 270 Calories, 6g Fat, 30g Carbs, 25g Protein

Vanilla Cake Ingredients

Vanilla Frosting Ingredients

Make the vanilla mug cake by mixing the cake mix and protein powder together in a mug or bowl, then slowly stirring in the milk until smooth.

You can add sprinkles, chocolate chips, or anything else you like directly into the batter.

Microwave for 60 seconds.

Add all of the frosting ingredients together in a bowl and mix until smooth. I didn’t measure the amount of sprinkles I used, but it was just a small spoonful.

Vanilla protein frosting

Note that I used Greek yogurt in the vanilla icing to create a thicker consistency (like Dunkaroo dip). Without the Greek yogurt, this frosting would be too loose. We don’t have that issue with the chocolate frosting because cocoa powder is very absorbent, but it’s important to note for the vanilla version.

Spread the frosting right on top, add some additional sprinkles, and dig in.

 

How to Make Vegan Protein Mug Cake

Vegan protein mug cake

I did not think I’d love the vegan version of this mug cake, because plant-based protein powder is very hit-or-miss for me. But, this created such a moist, tender cake that I absolutely loved!

I decided to make a chocolate peanut butter version, but you can easily swap out the flavors here.

Nutrition based on the ingredients I used: 265 Calories, 6g Fat, 35g Carbs, 19g Protein

Vegan Cake Ingredients

Dairy Free Peanut Butter Frosting Ingredients

  • 10g Powdered Peanut Butter
  • 10g Powdered Sugar Substitute
  • 2 tsp Plant-Based Milk
  • Optional: melted dark chocolate for swirl

Follow the same instructions for the other mug cakes by mixing all of the ingredients together in a mug or small bowl, but use one extra tablespoon of milk.

Vegan protein is very absorbent, so it requires a little bit of extra liquid to get the desired consistency.

Microwave for 60 seconds.

Mix up the ingredients for the peanut butter frosting in a small bowl and spread it over the top of the cake. I melted down a small amount of dark chocolate chips and swirled that into the frosting, which is optional, but highly recommended.

Inside of vegan mug cake

You can also spread regular peanut butter (or other nut butter) on top as a frosting, but I used powdered peanut butter to keep the calories lower.

I was shocked at just how moist the final vegan mug cake actual was, but it came out great!

 

How to Prevent a Mess in the Microwave

A quick PSA on mug cakes in general: they WILL rise in the microwave!

If you use a small mug, there’s a good chance that the mug cake will spill over the sides and create a total mess.

Make sure you choose a microwave-safe mug or bowl that will allow the mug cake to double in size!

I like using a small bowl for my mug cakes (I know, that shouldn’t be called a mug cake then I suppose) because I’ve found it works the best to account for rising.

Before and after baking mug cake

In the microwave, you’ll see the cake double in size. In my version above, the cake came to the very top edge of the bowl while cooking. But, once the time is up, it will come back down a bit.

Make sure you account for the rising! If you use a small mug and fill it up all the way with batter, you will have some cleaning up to you.

You’ve been warned.

 

More Simple Recipes with Cake Mix

Cake mix recipes

Using cake mix is one of my favorite baking tricks to cut down on prep time. Plus, it’s absolutely delicious.

I’ve used cake mix in lots of recipes for this blog, and here are some of my favorites:

 

Protein Mug Cake (3 Different Ways)

Protein Mug Cake (3 Different Ways)

Yield: 1 Mug Cake
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 1 minute
Total Time: 3 minutes

Make yourself a decadent cake in just 60 seconds with these protein mug cakes. These cakes are extremely customizable, so you can change up the flavors to create anything you'd like!

Ingredients

Protein Mug Cake (Dairy Version)

Protein Mug Cake (Vegan Version)

Chocolate Protein Frosting

Vanilla Protein Frosting

Peanut Butter Frosting (Vegan)

Instructions

  1. Use any flavor of cake mix & protein powder you'd like. For example, a chocolate cake mix with chocolate protein powder makes for a delicious protein mug cake, but you can pair yellow or white cake mix with vanilla protein powder as well. Feel free to get creative with it!
  2. Mix together the cake mix and protein powder in a wide mug. I've found that a wide mug or small bowl works the best vs using a tall mug.
  3. Add the milk a little bit at a time while mixing. Mix for a few seconds until you have a smooth batter with no dry powder left.
  4. Microwave for 60 seconds. Note that microwave temperatures can vary, so you may need slightly more time, but 60 seconds worked very well for mine.
  5. Choose a frosting flavor and mix all of the ingredients together in a small bowl until smooth. Like the cake itself, you can get creative with the flavors, but I have 3 different options listed in the ingredients above to choose from.
  6. Remove the protein mug cake from the microwave. You can frost right away while the mug cake is still hot, or you can wait a few minutes for the mug cake to cool to room temperature before frosting.

Notes

  • You can also slide the mug cake out of the mug and onto a plate before frosting if you prefer, but I like to eat right out of the mug for ease!
  • The protein powder I use is a whey/casein blend, and I haven't experimented with any other type of protein powder. I've found that this type of protein works best, especially for cakes (you can see the full experiment I did with different protein powders here), but you should be able to use whey protein as well.
  • The nutrition facts listed below are for the chocolate protein mug cake recipe based on the exact ingredients I used. Different brands of ingredients will have varying nutrition facts, so be sure to calculate your own calories & macros to be sure!

If you want to make the same protein mug cakes as I made, here are the 3 that I loved:

  • Chocolate: Chocolate cake mix + PEScience chocolate protein powder with chocolate frosting
  • Birthday Cake: Funfetti cake mix + PEScience vanilla protein powder with vanilla frosting
  • Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter: Chocolate cake mix + PEScience vegan peanut butter chocolate protein powder, topped with peanut butter frosting with melted dark chocolate swirled in.
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    Nutrition Information
    Yield 1 Serving Size Chocolate Mug Cake
    Amount Per Serving Calories 255Total Fat 6gCarbohydrates 33gProtein 22g

    Did you make this recipe?

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    Aldo

    Tuesday 22nd of November 2022

    Hey Matt! This has become my new go to for a sweet protein snack (also anyone using the Oreo mix that has the real Oreo pieces - HIGHLY recommend throwing those pieces in lol)! The new pescience chocolate truffle is very good. One question for you - if I wanted to double the recipe, what would you recommend for microwave timing? Thanks!

    Matt

    Tuesday 29th of November 2022

    Thanks so much!! It's tough to say, but I'd say probably 90 seconds total. Double the amount of time sounds like it would be the right move on the surface, but I think that will end up being too long. Go for 90 seconds and you can always throw it back in for a little bit more if needed

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