My original protein cake in a mug recipe was such a big hit, that I’ve created another option that I think is even better, because it has PUMPKIN! This pumpkin protein blueberry mug cake is SO freaking good, I have it every day as a post-workout treat.
Here’s why it’s awesome
There are only a few ingredients, so the calories and carbs are super low. This treat is high in protein (30g) and fiber (5g), so it’s the perfect guilt-free option when you want a little treat. It’s also a microwave mug cake, so it’s literally done and ready to devour in under 5 minutes.
What you’ll Need for this Protein Cake in a Mug (Ingredients & Substitutions)
- A scoop of whey protein (about 30 grams). You can use any flavor you like, but for this recipe, I went with vanilla. Chocolate would be awesome, too.
- Gluten free all purpose flour - you just need a touch of this to add to the cake texture. You can also use any kind of flour you have, but I would caution against coconut flour as it might make the cake very dry.
- Canned pumpkin puree - make sure it’s 100% pumpkin and not the sugar-loaded pie filling!
- Egg whites - you can use 2 full eggs instead, but that will change the macros slightly.
- Frozen blueberries - I prefer frozen berries over fresh as they hold their shape a little better, but use what you have. Also, feel free to use any berry you like (or even Lily’s Sugar Free Chocolate Chips!)
- Stevia - this is optional, but if you don’t have stevia and you want to add some sweetness, use what you have (but use it sparingly!).
Should you sweeten a protein mug cake?
I think it depends on the ingredients and the sweetness of your protein powder. I used Vanilla Designer Whey Protein for this recipe and I don’t find it to be overly sweet, so I often add one sachet of stevia to the batter. However, the blueberries also sweeten it up, so it doesn’t need that much help.
Pumpkin protein mug cake toppings
Once the cake has cooled and you’re ready to dig in, top it with a little Walden Farms Pancake Syrup. I will say, this is not the cleanest product and there is some artificial flavorings which is not good for us ADHD folks, but I only use a small amount.
You could also use real maple syrup if you don’t mind the extra sugar, or even a little whip cream (<-very high yum factor).
Does Pumpkin and Protein Taste Good Together?
Like peanut butter and jelly! If you need more evidence, try these chocolate protein pumpkin muffins (so good!). Pumpkin is the perfect baking ingredient for healthy recipes because it adds moisture and fiber without too many calories. I don’t find the flavor to be overpowering, but if you really don’t love pumpkin, you could try this recipe with unsweetened applesauce instead.
Can You Put Protein Powder in the Microwave?
You sure can. It’s a dehydrated food substance, so just like your hot chocolate or soup mix, it’s totally safe in the microwave.
When Microwave Protein Cake in a Mug Goes Wrong
Did you end up with a rubbery or grainy tasting cake? There’s a number of reasons for this, typically it’s overcooking, or not incorporating enough wet ingredients. This is why pumpkin is perfect for protein mug cake. It adds great texture without a lot of calories.
If you have a grainy texture it might be the protein powder you used. Baking with protein is a science and you have to be careful about the ratios that you use. Also, unfortunately, plant-based proteins do not turn out as well as whey-based proteins.
Calories and Macros for this Protein Cake in a Mug Recipe
This recipe is one serving and has 209 calories, 30 grams of protein and only 13 net carbs (see detailed nutrition below).
Are you following the Portion Fix meal plan?
This protein cake in a mug is a single serving and it's 1.5 red containers (protein)
- 1 scoop vanilla whey protein
- 1 tablespoon gluten free all purpose flour (or use what you have)
- ⅓ cup canned pumpkin puree
- ⅓ cup egg whites
- ⅓ frozen blueberries
- 1 sachet stevia (optional)
- In a small bowl, mix together dry ingredients, then add the wet ingredients and stir well.
- Pour contents into a mug or small bowl and microwave on high for 3 minutes.
- Let stand for 1 minute before eating.
if you want a sweeter cake, add the sweetener. I prefer to sweeten after the fact with Walden Farms Pancake Syrup.
Nutrition InformationServing Size 1 mug
Amount Per Serving Calories 209Total Fat 2gCarbohydrates 18gNet Carbohydrates 13gFiber 5gSugar 7gProtein 30g
Caren is a certified yoga teacher, fitness instructor and author of The Fit Habit. Here she shares simple, low carb recipes, quick home workout ideas and practical ways to foster mind + body wellness.