banana chocolate mug cake! also known as: easy dessert that totally satisfies my baked good AND chocolate cravings, simultaneously, without sugar poisoning me! bonuses include being: naturally sweetened; gluten free; dairy free (though butter is an option and i will tell you how the mug cake turns out differently if you use it); egg free; grain free; paleo, vegan, and soy free if you want it to be, …what else?
oh! delicious! despite/because of all of that, this banana chocolate mug cake is totally delicious. i’ve never been happier to have a stockpile of frozen bananas.
i don’t remember for certain, but i’m pretty sure this banana chocolate mug cake started as an after dinner craving for a baked good (with chocolate, obviously), that wouldn’t make me feel ill just before going to bed.
it turns out i’m pretty sensitive to sugar, and several cookie recipes that i’ve tried to make over the past few months have not made it past go because i just can’t bear to keep testing them, because i feel so sugar poisoned after eating a few cookies. and my husband, usually a reliable baked good tester, isn’t that into them because they aren’t sweet enough for his taste. bummer for both of us!
so, it was from those shaky grounds that this banana chocolate mug cake was born. and, if i may say, it’s a total winner. at this point, i’ve tested about 10 different versions so let me run through the yummy options (we’ll just skip those first few trials…)
- oil vs. butter: i tested both extra light olive oil (for its neutral flavor) and butter, expecting to prefer butter. surprise! i liked the oil version better. the oil version had more chocolate flavor and a nicer, more cake-like crumb. the butter version had a stronger banana flavor and a gooier texture.
- natural vs. dutch processed cocoa powder: once i knew that i preferred oil, i tried both types of cocoa powder in a mug cake made with oil and preferred the natural cocoa powder version. the chocolate flavor was stronger and the texture was more cake-like whereas the dutch processed cocoa produced a gooier cake, similar to using butter.
- baking powder vs. baking soda + cream of tartar: baking powder usually contains corn starch and is not paleo. if either of those attributes bother you, go with the baking soda + cream of tartar option. otherwise, baking powder is convenient and i didn’t notice a difference between mug cakes made with either option.
- almond butter vs. pecan butter: yes, pecan butter is a thing and yes it is delicious. that said, because i didn’t already have a jar of it my fridge, i preferred almond butter for convenience and because my mini food processor doesn’t produce a very smooth pecan butter. but both are delicious and effective.
- substitutions i didn’t try but would love you to comment on if you do:
- using cornstarch instead of arrowroot starch – seems like it would work; wouldn’t be paleo.
- using coconut oil instead of oil or butter – seems like it would work, may impact texture, would make the mug cake taste like coconut (depending on how refined your coconut oil is).
hopefully that helps set you off on the path towards your favorite version of banana chocolate mug cake! i’m so happy i’ve found mine and can now enjoy dessert without being sugar poisoned.
did you make this recipe? i’d love to know what you think of it! leave a comment below and share a picture on instagram with the hashtag #tastyseasons.
this banana chocolate mug cake is vegan (no egg), grain and gluten free, paleo, and naturally sweetened with no added sugar. it’s also delicious, fast, and easy, with a great texture like real cake! it’s a perfect quick, after dinner dessert for nights when you want something sweet yet still (relatively) healthy.
- half a small, very ripe banana (about 46 g. / 1 5/8 oz. peeled)
- 9 g. (2 teaspoons) extra light olive oil (or another neutral flavored oil)
- 17 g. (1 tablespoon) smooth almond butter (or another runny nut butter)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 5 g. (1 tablespoon) natural cocoa powder
- dash of ground cinnamon
- 3 g. (1 teaspoon) arrowroot starch or cornstarch
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder or 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar + 1/16 teaspoon baking soda, see notes
- 10 g. (1 flat square or 1 tablespoon chips) chocolate (i love to break up a square of lindt’s 85% or 90% cacao chocolate and mix that in), optional
- put the banana in a small, microwave safe ramekin or mug and mash with a fork until smooth. if your banana is frozen or resistant to mashing, 15 seconds in the microwave will coax it along.
- (i recommend setting your ramekin on a kitchen scale and adding ingredients by weight, as i find it to be easier and faster but as you prefer.)
- add the oil, almond butter, and vanilla to the banana and stir to combine. add the cocoa, cinnamon, arrowroot, and baking powder or cream of tartar + baking soda. stir well to combine, making sure there aren’t any dry pockets along the bottom edge of the ramekin. stir in chocolate pieces, if desired.
- microwave times will vary; in my 1,100 watt microwave, 45 seconds is perfect. the mug cake poofs over the top, stays poofed up for a few seconds, then starts to deflate as it continues to cook. i let it cook and deflate for a few seconds, but stop the microwave before the cake is totally deflated. let cool for a minute, then enjoy while still warm.
baking powder or cream of tartar + baking soda both work equally well. baking powder frequently contains cornstarch and is not paleo, so the cream of tartar + baking soda is a great alternative if either/both of those things are a concern for you. this measuring spoon and cup set (affiliate) has 1/8, 1/16, and 1/32 teaspoon size measuring spoons, which i do actually make use of.
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