Macro Friendly Microwave Chocolate Bowl Cake


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Necessity really is the mother of invention, isn’t it?  Often, it’s only when you lose something, that you start finding clever ways to do without it.  So it has been for the best part of this year with regard to my failing oven.  In among the whiff of charcoal on burnt pastry, and the heavy base of under cooked cakes, there have been tears.  Strong language.  Occasional displays of mild violence on my part.  Let’s just say I win the occasional battle with my oven, but the war was lost months ago.

There will be no new oven until next year at least, so hopefully I can fix some of the problems and get it going again, although I doubt there will be any lovely pastries or delicate sweets anytime soon.

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I still have my microwave oven.  As microwave ovens go, it is a fine example.  However, I would never bake anything in it.  Microwaving is not baking any more than it is roasting.  It is microwaving.  A completely different method of cooking.  Perfectly good for some things.  Disastrous for others.  The texture is usually all wrong for baked goods.

One has to adapt recipes and ingredients so much that the results end up being a plate full of disappointment.

That is how I have always felt about microwave mug cakes.  I have tried so many recipes, some traditional, some supposedly high protein, or healthy.  All of them have been mega fails.  Sometimes the flavour is not en pointe, and sometimes the texture feels like a mouthful of dry sand.  If you hit the jackpot, you get both.  Add in a requirement for a macro friendly cakey dessert and you can end up with dry, tasteless rubber in a cup.

But sometimes, I really really just need some cake … or to hit my protein macros before bed 😀  So I have been in the CCM Lab experimenting with microwave mug cakes.   I have made so many mug cakes.  I have eaten so many mug cakes that were meh at best, and thrown some out because, frankly, I just could not face them.  There are lots of myths about microwave cakes on the interwebs.

  1. Never use eggs as it makes the mug cake too spongy and dry.  Not true, people!
  2. You have to add enough butter (or oil, nut butter, any fats of your choosing) to give a moist result.  Also, not true!

I just wanted a microwave cake that was basic, wonderfully chocolatey, supremely moist, decadent yet light, but that would be moderate in carbohydrates and low in fat.  If I could do that, it would be the microwave mug cake canvas upon which I could unleash my creativity with additions of chocolate chunks, nut butters, fruit, anything I wanted.

Drumroll, folks, because this is what I present to you now.  I could not believe it when I first got it right so I have made it six times since and varied the inclusions and toppings just to prove that I nailed it.

Behold, a microwave mug cake that you can top with whatever you like, is ready in just over a minute, will satisfy your chocolate and sweet tooth cravings and you can also include in your diet if you are prepping for a bodybuilding contest, right down to the wire 🙂

Top it with whatever you like or your macros allow.  It is wonderful with some chocolate chips or chunks, with a dollop of your favourite nut butter or my Better Than Nutella chocolate hazelnut spread.  It is lovely with berries and yoghurt, or a protein cream.  I like it best with gelato.  Cold gelato on a warm cake.  Best thing ever.

You are welcome.

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The type of protein powder you use does matter for microwave cakes.  Whey and casein do not work as well as vegan powders.  By far the best results I obtained were with rice protein powder.  I suspect a good vegan blend powder will work well too.  Whey is not recommended at all for this to avoid a rubbery texture that is dry and heavy.

Macro Friendly Microwave Chocolate Bowl Cake

Yield: 1 serving

Serving Size: 1 x 375ml bowl or mug cake

Calories per serving: 172kCals

Protein: 21g

Total Fat: 3g

Saturated fat: 1g

Carbohydrates: 16g

Fibre: 3g

Sugars: 2g

Sodium: 292mg

You will need a 375ml capacity bowl or mug for this cake. If you wish to scale up the recipe, make sure you have a bowl of sufficient size so it does not overflow while cooking.

You can scale up the recipe for the dry mix and make it ahead and then just measure out one serving and add the wet ingredients before cooking. How easy is that?!

Make sure you use a good quality cacao powder for this recipe as the chocolate flavour is the key.

You can use either a granulated sweetener or sugar for this recipe. If using sugar, I can highly recommend you use a good brown sugar for a lovely flavour and crumb.


Dry Ingredients

15 grams (0.54 oz) unflavoured rice protein powder (or vanilla)

15 grams (0.54 oz) whole oat flour

25 grams (0.9 oz) granulated stevia blend sweetener (or brown sugar)

5 grams (0.2 oz) cacao powder (I use Valrhona)

1 gram (0.05 oz) vanilla bean powder (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)

1.25 grams (1/4 tsp) baking powder

Wet Ingredients

33 grams (1.2 oz) egg white

30 grams (1 fl. oz) non-fat milk


Sift together the dry ingredients.

If you wish to make a large batch of the dry mix to grab and go, scale up the recipe, then weigh out a 37 gram (1.32 oz) portion when you wish to use it.

Add the dry ingredients to a 375 millilitre capacity bowl or mug.

Add the wet ingredients and whisk with a fork until smooth.

Zap in the microwave for 60 seconds. Do not over cook!

Remove from the microwave oven, top with whatever takes your fancy and serve immediately.

If making the dry mix ahead, store it in an airtight container in the pantry.


The following additions are amazing:

  • chocolate chunks or chips
  • a dollop of nut butter in the centre (or my Better than Nutella spread!)
  • berries or stone fruit placed on top
  • cinnamon, ginger, pumpkin pie spice, or lebkuchen spice
  • orange or other citrus zest (use a little juice as part of the milk amount)
  • mint, rosemary, or chopped nuts

or whatever you like!

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Nutritional Panel

The macro nutrient breakdown provided here is for the base recipe, using sweetener instead of sugar.   Don’t forget to include macros for any additions or toppings you include.

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