Chocolate Hazelnut Mug Cake – Low Carb and Gluten-Free

Low Carb, Gluten-Free Mug CakeSometimes a girl just wants cake.  Wait, let me rephrase that.  Sometimes a girl just needs cake.  Sweet, warm chocolatey cake, the ultimate in comfort foods.  Bonus points if it’s actually quite healthy but doesn’t taste even remotely like it.  Extra bonus points if it takes all of, say, 15 minutes to make.  No, I didn’t say 15 minutes to cook, I said 15 minutes to make.  As in, from start to finish.  As in, from the moment you get out your ingredients to the moment you put that first bite in your mouth.  That’s the kind of cake I want in my life.  N0, wait, let me rephrase that.  That’s the kind of cake I need in my life.

I’ve seen recipes for mug cake many, many times.  I don’t know why on earth I never tried it before.  But I was inspired when assigned to A Little Nosh for this months’ Secret Recipe Club.  Her Chocolate Mug Cake for Two seemed like just the thing I wanted to make.  But obviously not with flour and sugar.  It didn’t take a whole lot of thinking to make it over into a low carb, gluten free version, however.  Mug cake is pretty much ideal for this kind of overhaul.  It doesn’t have to come out of the mug, so there are no worries about it holding together.  It doesn’t really even need to look very pretty, because all you can see is the very top and you can always plop some whipped cream on it to jazz it up a bit.  And it comes out of the microwave so warm and, if you undercook it a bit, nice and gooey.

A Little Nosh is a wonderful blog and there are lots of healthy, creative recipes to browse.  Amy is a working mom living in the DC suburbs with a tiny kitchen.  I give her a big thumbs up for working in such a small space…I’ve been there and I know it’s not easy!  So please be sure to head on over to her blog and check out her collection of recipes!

Chocolate Hazelnut Mug Cake – Low Carb and Gluten-Free

Serving Size: 2 servings


  • 2/3 cup hazelnuts, toasted (and skinned, if you want)
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp granulated erythritol (I used Swerve)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp hazelnut oil (or melted butter or coconut oil)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 tsp hazelnut or vanilla extract


  1. Grind hazelnuts in food processor until they resemble coarse meal. Transfer to a medium bowl.
  2. Whisk in cocoa powder, erythritol, baking powder and salt.
  3. Stir in cream, oil, egg and hazelnut extract until batter is well-combined.
  4. Divide between 2 mugs and microwave each for about 1 minute. Remove and let cool a minute or two, then dig in!


Serves 2. Each serving has a total of 10.5 g of carbs and 6 g of fiber. Total NET CARBS = 4.5 g.

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  1. Oh hazelnuts… so under appreciated. I love what you’ve done here. Looks marvelous!

  2. So glad you were able to adapt it to meet your needs. Yours looks much prettier than mine did!

  3. These look great. Any idea what the 2/3 cup of hazelnuts would weigh? I have a bag of ground hazelnut meal from Bob’s Red Mill that I need to use up, and this looks like just the ticket.

    Also, I recently used Swerve for the first time making a Chocolate mousse cake for a July 4th bash. OMG! I have finally found a low carb sweetener that I can use, and it sort of feels like I got my life back. Thanks for recommending it.

    • Carolyn says:

      I actually just weighed out 2/3 cup of hazelnuts and it comes to about 2.7 or 2.8 ounces. Does that help you?

      • Yes, that’s great. Thanks. Can’t wait to try these, but I need to get cream. Sigh!

        Love your recipes, and envy you the knowledge of how the low carb products will react in a recipe. I’ve only been doing this for 6 months, so still trying to figure it all out. Still miss my sourdough bread, though.

  4. This looks so scrumptious. I love mug cakes, but this one is so much better than the simple one we make! Great recipe!

  5. Sometimes? I need cake ALL the time ;)

  6. I really like your approach on nutrition, seem to be very level-headed. And I’m definitely going to try this amazing recipe out buuut… I have a little problem. I cut out any dairy off my diet – do you have any suggestion what migth work well instead of the heavy cream?

  7. Delicious, low carb & gluten free, I am SO saving this recipe to make very soon. Wonderful SRC choice.

    If you haven’t already, I’d love for you to check out my SRC entry, it too is chocolate, lower carb and gluten free: Double Chocolate Mousse Cake

    Cook Lisa Cook

  8. wow this looks so good and who woulda thought it was gluten free?!?! Lovin’ your site…I actually linked your corn and zucchini salad in my Color Issue post today!!! :-)

    Aarean (come on over and follow along!)

  9. I make this all the time, specially since hubby doesn’t like dark chocolate and I eat only that ;)

  10. A chocolate hazelnut cake? That is ridiculously quick and easy to make? A very, very dangerous thing indeed!

  11. I am sold, like as in right now I am heading to the kitchen to make one for me. Delicious!

  12. Holy cow! Yes, I definitely need this in my like. 15 minutes?? That’s my kind of dessert!

    • ha! I tried to edit before this went through…no luck, and then I got scolded by your blog for posting comments too quickly! lol.

  13. Holy cow! Yes, I definitely need this in my life. 15 minutes?? That’s my kind of dessert!

  14. Alice B. says:

    This looks and sounds SOOOO good! Cannot wait to try! I was seeing entries about mug cakes at Pinterest just a couple of days ago. Now there’s one I can make and eat and enjoy, all guilt-free and still feel good afterward!!

    Thank you, Carolyn!

  15. Yup, sometimes a dude just want’s cake too :) In 15 minutes, that is awesome!
    Great post, take care..

  16. This looks nice and fudgy, and totally decadent! Hard to believe it’s healthy too! Did you think it was kinda like a brownie b/c that’s what it reminds me of.

  17. I have yet to make a mug cake. This looks fun and different.

  18. I’m going to make this!! It sounds wonderful. I have no microwave — do you know how long it might take in a mug-sized dish in the oven? If not, I’ll wing it. :D

    • Any word on the baking time/temp?

      • Carolyn says:

        Hmmmm, I am not sure. I’d go 325F and bake for 5 minutes first, then in 2 minute increments after that. You want it to puff up and be firm around the edges, but still kind of undercooked in the middle for that gooeyness. Does that help?

  19. These are genius! I’ve recently made a new friend and it seems like all we do is eat but she’s gotta do gluten free. This is totally bookmarked for our next brunch :)

  20. sounds so good! I am putting this on my list

  21. YUM! This sounds amazing! Definitely marking this to try soon

  22. This is awesome! 15 minutes for a delicious chocolatey treat sounds just right :)

  23. I like this low carb gluten free version of the mug cake. Would satisfy my chocolate craving without making me feel that guilty!

  24. Looks yummy. What a fun blog check out my blog if you get a min and have not already :).

    Have a great day

  25. I love the recipe.

  26. Ok, so I am addicted to your blog and eagerly await your new recipes. I have made this mug cake two days in a row now cause they are just deelish! I was wondering about the carb count however, should’nt it be 4.5 grams per cake?

    • Carolyn says:

      Yes, it’s definitely 4.5 g per cake. Did I say differently? Time to go edit myself!

    • Carolyn says:

      Apparently I have trouble doing math. Or rather, I have trouble doing math when I am tired and being heckled by 3 kids :)

  27. Nothing better than a little cake when you ‘need’ it!!

  28. Oh my gosh, this was WONDERFUL!! I had hazelnut meal already on hand, so I guestimated and used just 1/3 cup, and it turned out fine.
    I think another time I’d divide into 3 mugs, one serving was more than enough (though I have to admit I did eat the whole thing) – absolutely fabulous, and so easy! Thank you!!

  29. I just found your website…I think you are my new HERO! My low carb lifestyle just got a bit better with great recipes. THANK YOU!!

  30. You mentioned using either butter or coconut oil if there was no hazelnut oil. I recently bought a ghee/coconut oil combo. I use it with popcorn all the time and it gives it that perfect movie popcorn flavor. I’m sure that would work beautifully in this recipe too.

  31. Good grief…I made this tonight. So easy, so good, so satisfying…oh, and so BIG! I think next time I will use 4 ramekins rather than just 2 mugs…don’t get me wrong, I ate the entire thing but…could have been satisfied with half! I only had hazelnut meal so I used 1/2 cup and it came out just perfect…I think I will try to find some hazelnut extract for my next go round as well. This will definitely be a keeper recipe!

    • Just made these, and they are AMAZING!! Followed the recipe exactly, except for the sugar. Just used regular raw sugar since I’m out of erythritol. I figured a tbsp of sugar isn’t THAT many carbs. We had them with a little low-carb vanilla ice cream (from the Nourishing Traditions cookbook) and together they made the most satisfying low carb dessert I’ve had. Thank you so much for sharing!

  32. This works great with 1/2 cup of premade sugarfree Nutella substitute instead of the first 3 ingredients. I’m pretty sure I got the recipe from you. Now I finally have a use for hazelnut spread, other than eating it off a spoon!

  33. I wonder, has anyone made this with other nuts? I don’t have any hazelnuts on hand. Perhaps almonds? Or pecans? Or both? Love the blog!

  34. I made this Saturday night when my husband and I got home from dinner out. We really wanted a dessert and thought about caving in and ordering one to share, but in the end knew we’d feel “like crap” later if we did. So when we got home I whipped this up (using almond flour instead of hazelnuts and the coconut oil option.) Viola! 3 minutes later were having our cake and eating it too… with a dollop of whipped cream!

  35. Lorraine says:

    I was super desperate for a chocolaty dessert tonight but didn’t have time, and was too tired, to make a full recipe. Then I remembered one of your recent posts about mug cakes. Perfect! As described, it took me less than 10 minutes to put together, plus the minute to cook and a couple to cool.

    Absolutely delicious!


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