This chocolate mug cake is just 3 ingredients and takes less than 1 minute to cook. It also doesn’t contain any flour, butter, oil or refined sugar. It is so easy to whip up and you can have a warm, gooey chocolate cake ready in about five minutes.
This is essentially a simplified version of a flourless chocolate cake. It is meant to be cooked in the microwave but you can bake it too. I love that it’s made with three easy ingredients so it takes just a few minutes to prepare. You can enjoy it plain, drizzle with chocolate sauce or top it with ice cream.
- Cocoa powder
- Maple Syrup
Looking at the ingredient list, you may think that this just looks like a recipe for a sweet chocolate omelet but that isn’t the case. If you’ve ever enjoyed a molten lava cake at a restaurant, it is basically made from eggs, cocoa powder and sweetener (plus heavy cream to create the molten center). So this cake is a simplified version of a chocolate lava cake without the molten center.
Unsweetened cocoa powder
You can use either dutch process cocoa powder or natural cocoa powder. I prefer dutch process because it has a richer color and flavor and is less acidic. Especially with recipes with minimal ingredients, I feel like it makes a noticeable difference to use a good quality cocoa powder. Dutch process cocoa powder is a little more difficult to find at your local grocery store but it is easily available on Amazon. I’ve also purchased it from Costco and Whole Foods.
This recipe uses one large egg which gives the cake structure. Unfortunately, I do not have a substitute for egg for this recipe.
Pure maple syrup is used to sweeten the cake. You can substitute with other syrups. I have tested the recipe with honey. I didn’t really like the result mainly because honey has such a strong flavor that you still taste it in the cake, whereas the maple syrup flavor isn’t as prominent.
This cake was designed to be cooked in the microwave. It will cook in about 40 seconds in the microwave. Microwaves can vary a lot in wattage so your cooking time may vary. The thickness and type of material your mug is made out of can also affect cooking time. My microwave is 1100 watts. If your microwave is close to that, you likely won’t need to change cooking time. If your microwave wattage is significantly lower or higher than 1100 watts, you will need to adjust cooking time. You do want to be careful not to overcook the cake, otherwise it will be dry.
If you bake this cake, it will take longer. It takes about 20 minutes to bake. The cake will initially rise quite high, almost like a souffle, but it will sink back down as it cools. (It would require a lot more egg beating to create a cake structure that will not sink back down but I wanted to keep this cake super simple.) It’s not the prettiest, especially after it sinks, but it will still taste good and if you cover it will syrup or ice cream, no one will even notice!
I covered my cake in a very easy chocolate sauce which I made with just maple syrup and cocoa powder. The recipe for it is included in the recipe box. Other topping ideas are:
- chocolate syrup
- whipped cream
- ice cream
If you enjoy making mug cakes, I have a huge collection of mug cake recipes.
3 Ingredient Chocolate Mug Cake
- 1 large egg beaten (see note)
- 1 ½ tbsp (11 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 tbsp (1 oz) maple syrup
Chocolate Sauce (optional)
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1/2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- Add ingredients to a microwave-safe mug. Mix with a whisk until everything is well mixed and no egg white streaks remain. It may be difficult to see the egg streaks because the batter is so dark. Lift the batter up a few times with your whisk to check for any unmixed egg streaks.
- Cook cake in the microwave at full power for about 40 seconds (my microwave is 1100 watts, you may need to reduce or increase cooking time if your microwave wattage is significantly higher or lower than that). When your cake is finished, it should still look slightly gooey on top. Use a spoon to lift up the entire cake and check the bottom as well. The bottom of the cake should also be still slightly gooey but there should not be a pool of uncooked batter at the bottom of your mug. The cake will initially rise quite high while cooking and it will sink down as it cools. This is normal. The cake is also supposed to be small because it is very rich.
- Let cake cool for 10-15 minutes before serving and enjoying. Top with chocolate sauce, whipped cream or your favorite ice cream.
- If making the optional chocolate sauce, add the ingredients to a small bowl and whisk until smooth. Add more syrup if desired for a sweeter sauce.
- This cake has a semisweet dark chocolate level of sweetness. If you prefer sweeter, you can add 1/2 more tbsp of syrup (I don't recommend more than that because your batter will have too much liquid and won't cook properly). Other ways to sweeten the cake more are to add chocolate chips to the batter or add a sweeter frosting on top.
- If you have a question regarding one of the ingredients, please review the beginning of the post where I discuss ingredients and potential substitutions.
- You should beat the egg before adding in the other ingredients. This makes it easier to mix the egg completely into the batter. Once you add the cocoa powder, it is very difficult to see the egg to see if it is completely incorporated. Not completely mixing in the egg will cause your cake to taste eggy. So, make sure to beat the egg first and also lift your whisk up a few times after you're done mixing your batter to check to make sure you don't have any unmixed egg remaining.
- Do not cook your cake until the surface is completely dry. It should have a thin layer or spots of slightly wet batter.
- My cake completely filled an 8 oz mug while it cooked. After it cools it will sink down to about half the size.
- If you want to bake the cake, preheat your oven to 350F. Grease the inside of a microwave-safe mug or ramekin that can hold at least 8 oz of liquid. Pour batter in and bake for about 20 minutes. When cake is done it should rise quite high and when your press down on the surface it will be firm and bounce back rather than sink in. As the cake cools, it will sink down to about half the initial size.
- Estimated nutrition is for the cake only and does not include chocolate sauce.
The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.