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Protein Mug Cake (Chocolate Baked Oats)

You'll never believe this is actually healthy. This 5-minute chocolate mug cake is cooked in the microwave and packed with a whopping 10 grams of plant-protein (without adding protein powder). Plus, it's healthy enough to eat for breakfast or a hearty snack, and decadent enough to enjoy for an elegant after-dinner dessert.
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This fudgy chocolate protein mug cake is made with a not-so-secret protein source: oats! Blend rolled oats into a fine powder, and you can use them in place of flour.

But this is nothing like traditional oatmeal. It’s straight-up cake that you can eat for breakfast and feel good about. Or hey, dollop on some dairy-free ice cream, coconut whipped cream, or vegan frosting and sprinkles, and serve it up for dessert! And guess what? You can cook it in two minutes flat in the microwave—no oven needed.

When you’re craving chocolate but not a heavy or cloying dessert, this microwave protein cake is just the ticket. You won’t believe something that tastes so indulgent can be a smart, healthy choice, too! Forget about those dry store-bought protein bars and make room for a better treat.

Chocolate baked oats protein mug cake with a bite missing and melted chocolate revealed.

Why You’ll Love This Protein Mug Cake Recipe

A healthy dessert isn’t a hard sell for anyone with a sweet tooth. Here’s why it’s a recipe you’ll love that will also love you back:

  • Instant gratification. In less than 10 minutes from start to finish, you can have a warm, gooey treat that tastes like an elaborate indulgence. Even if you’re rushing around for a quick breakfast in the morning or a grab-and-go midday snack, you can still fit it into your schedule.
  • Complete plant protein. There are tons of natural protein sources found in plants, especially in whole rolled oats! If you want to add more though, you can replace the cocoa powder you’re your favorite chocolate-flavored vegan protein powder.
  • Gluten-free. In fact, completely flour-free since you’re starting with whole oats to keep all that high-fiber goodness intact. Food allergies and intolerances are nothing to worry about here.
  • No bake. No need to heat up the whole kitchen when you can simply use the microwave to do all the hard work. This makes it great for staying cool during hot summer days, too.
  • Perfect for one. Whether you live alone or just hate sharing, this is the ideal single serving dessert that you can keep all to yourself. There won’t be any leftovers to tempt you later, and it’s simple enough to just make a new batch whenever you want seconds.

Essential Ingredients

Flatlay of ingredients for protein mug cake.

It only takes a few pantry staples to be in chocoholic heaven! Here are the key players to stock up on:

  • Rolled oats – Otherwise known as “old-fashioned” rolled oats, these are the large, whole flakes that take roughly 30 minutes to cook on the stovetop. An equal measure of quick oats or “instant” oats could be used instead, but you’ll miss out on some of the fiber and rich flavor.
  • Cocoa powder – Dutch-processed cocoa is best for a rounded, warm, full-bodied chocolate flavor. Natural cocoa is a fine substitute, but it might have a more bitter taste that could need an extra splash of maple syrup to balance.
  • Banana – Everyone’s favorite egg-replacer, binder, and sweetener all in one, a ripe banana can truly do wonders for baked goods! The browner, the better, so let it get nice and spotty before baking. In a pinch, you can use unsweetened applesauce instead, as long as it’s smooth and has no added flavors.
  • Soymilk – Any non-dairy milk will do, but soymilk has the most protein for any single-sourced vegan milk. You can try an alternative high-protein blend to make the most of your mix.
  • Maple syrup – When it comes to unrefined sweeteners, maple syrup is at the top of my list. Sweet but not saccharine, woodsy and subtly smoky, it has a character all its own. Other good choices include amber agave nectar or brown rice syrup if you’d prefer something more neutral.
  • Chocolate chips – Read labels carefully because not all dark chocolate is vegan! Check out the complete guide to vegan chocolate for everything you need to know.

How To Make

Make oat flour by adding the rolled oats to a high-speed blender or food processor and blend until you have a fine powder that resembles flour. This may take a few minutes.

Add the cocoa powder and baking powder to the food processor and pulse until evenly distributed. Set aside.

Cocoa powder blended into the oat flour in a food processor.

In a microwave-safe mug or large ramekin, add the banana and mash with a fork until smooth. Add the soy milk, maple syrup, and a small splash of vanilla extract and mix until throughly combined.

Add the dry oat flour mixture to the ramekin and mix until just combined, careful not to over-mix. Make sure the ramekin or mug is at least 2x the size of the batter as it will rise significantly in the microwave.

Protein mug caked batter in a ramekin topped with chocolate chips.

Don’t forget to add a special surprise center! Lift up some of the batter in the center with a large spoon and sprinkle in the chocolate chips (or your chosen center ingredients). Cover with the spoonful of batter and top with more chocolate chips if desired.

Place in the microwave and microwave on high for 2 minutes. Allow to cool for 5 minutes and enjoy!

Chocolate baked oats protein mug cake in a ramekin.

Tips For Success

It’s impossible to go wrong with this recipe, but here’s how to ensure the very best results every single time:

  1. Use a high-speed blender to grind the oats first, and make sure the canister is completely dry. You want them finely powdered just like flour, and any moisture will cause them to clump and blend unevenly.
  2. Check your microwave wattage. Most standard microwaves have between 800 to 1000 watts, so you may need to adjust the power level up or down accordingly based on your model.
  3. Use a large mug or ramekin that’s at least twice the size of the batter you’re adding, since it will rise quite a bit when microwaved. You want to make sure it won’t spill out over the sides.
  4. To make two servings, you can double the amounts and divide the batter equally between two mugs. Microwave them separately to ensure consistent results.
  5. If you’d prefer the crispy edges that only an oven can create, you can bake your vegan gluten free mug cake instead. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and bake for about 25 minutes.
Chocolate baked oats protein mug cake with a bite missing and melted chocolate revealed.

Easy Protein Mug Cake Ideas

When you’re craving a change of pace, you have endless options for different flavor adventures with this fool-proof formula. Here are a few ideas to get started:

  • Swap the chocolate chips for chocolate ganache, caramel, vegan marshmallow crème, frosting, or any other ooey-gooey center.
  • Trade the cocoa powder for a different flavored protein powder, such as strawberry or vanilla.
  • Add a touch of instant coffee powder to make a mocha version.
  • Switch up the extract; try peppermint or almond instead of vanilla.
  • Introduce a crunchy element like chopped nuts or cacao nibs into the batter to make every bite a little more exciting.
  • Top with whipped coconut cream or vegan ice cream for a cooling contrast.
  • Add sprinkles in the batter or on top after baking for a colorful finish.

More High-Protein Snacks

Protein Mug Cake (Chocolate Baked Oats)

Author: Michelle Cehn
5 from 6 votes
This divine chocolate mug cake is packed with plant-protein and takes less than 10 minutes to make! The secret ingredient? Oats! if you've never tried baked oats, this is your sign. Print this protein mug cake recipe and enjoy it for breakfast, a snack, or dessert!
Chocolate protein mug cake in a ramekin topped with chocolate chips.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 2 minutes
Total Time 7 minutes
Servings 1 Mug Cake

Equipment

  • 1 ramekin (8 oz) or mug (microwave safe and at least twice as large as the batter)
  • 1 microwave (or oven)
  • 1 cooking spray oil

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 banana, super-ripe and spotty
  • 1/4 cup soymilk, any type
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup, or agave nectar
  • 1 dash vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons chocolate chips, or chocolate ganache, caramel, or other ooey-gooey center

Instructions

  • In a high-speed blender, add 1/2 cup rolled oats (dry) and blend until you have a fine powder that resembles flour. Add cocoa powder and baking powder and mix to combine. Set aside.
  • In a microwave-safe mug or large ramekin, add the half-banana and mash with a fork until no lumps remain. Add the soymilk, maple syrup, and a small dash of vanilla extract and mix until throughly combined.
  • Carefully add the dry oat flour mixture to the ramekin and mix with a fork just until combined. Do not over-mix. Make sure the ramekin or mug is at least 2x the size of the batter, as it will rise dramatically in the microwave.
  • Add a special surprise center! Using a large spoon, lift up some of the batter, sprinkle chocolate chips (or your chosen center ingredients) into the center of the batter, and cover with the spoonful of batter.
  • Place in the microwave and microwave for 2 minutes. Allow to cool for 5 minutes and enjoy!

Notes

  • This healthy baked oats mug cake recipe naturally packs a protein-punch with 10 grams of plant protein!
  • If you’d like to add additional protein, add one tablespoon of the plant-based protein powder in place of one tablespoon of cocoa powder.  
  • If you’d prefer to bake your protein mug cake in the oven, preheat to 350 degrees, make sure you’re using an oven-safe ramekin, and bake for about 25 minutes.  

Nutrition

Calories: 529kcal | Carbohydrates: 93g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 5mg | Sodium: 547mg | Potassium: 442mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 51g | Vitamin A: 340IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 290mg | Iron: 3mg
Course Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine Amercan
Keyword chocolate baked oats, gluten-free mug cake, protein baked oats, protein mug cake, single serving chocolate cake

This chocolate protein mug cake recipe was developed by Michelle Cehn. Article written with support from Hannah Kaminsky and edited by Rachel Lessenden. Photos by Amanda McGillicuddy, all rights reserved.

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Recipe Rating




6 comments
  1. Andrea White says:

    5 stars
    Love a good mug cake and this one hit the spot!

  2. Beatriz Buono-Core says:

    5 stars
    My nightly sweet craving prayers have been answered! So yummy 🙂

  3. 5 stars
    This protein mug cake is so good, so easy, and I love that it’s made with wholesome ingredients!

  4. 5 stars
    Love the hidden melted chocolate inside this protein mug cake. Makes for a fun surprise and is so delicious!

    • 5 stars
      This is genius. I love the mocha version with chopped pecans added. Tastes delicious but is actually pretty healthy!