For a low calorie, high protein dessert, try this pumpkin protein mug cake! You only need 1 minute in the microwave and some protein powder and pumpkin to make it today!
I love using protein powder in mug cakes, because it’s an easy way to feel like you’re eating dessert, but you also get a huge serving of protein at the same time.
I’ve been eating a lot more protein this year, as I’ve tried to build muscle and lose weight. It’s the leanest I’ve been in 47 years, so I really feel like the added protein has contributed to my weight loss success (see my list of favorite high protein foods here.)
Each day I try to get at least 100 grams of protein, and protein powder usually has 20+ grams of protein per scoop. I usually get my protein powder at Costco (or Walmart). The Optimum Nutrition when I buy vanilla, or the Combat when I buy the Cookies and Cream. Both are delicious and affordable!
What is a mug cake?
Mug cakes are the latest trend in tasty desserts. I love that they are recipes for a single serving of a cake, that only takes 1 minute in the microwave. The ingredients are all mixed inside of a microwave safe mug, and cooked for just 1 minute (sometimes two, depending on your microwave.)
A key to weight loss success is portion control, so single serving dessert recipes have been at the top of my list. If I make a batch of cookies or anything, even low calorie cookies, it’s hard to eat just one.
But, if the entire recipe is for a single serving, you can eat it all and then walk away.
So, I’ve made a few mug cakes over the past year. This SIMPLE, 100 calorie mug cake uses only a cake mix. I’ve made it so many times with one box of yellow cake.
This is a brownie made in a mug, that is also only 100 calories.
Using protein powder in baked goods is somewhat hit and miss. Sometimes, the result is rubbery, and weird. But sometimes, it tastes great! I haven’t figured out a pattern yet, although I think different protein powders will give you different results. But this recipe for the protein pumpkin mug cake was not weird at all.
To make this protein mug cake, I used:
- A scoop vanilla protein powder. Like I said, I like the Optimum nutrition for the vanilla. Mostly because it’s affordable, and also because it tastes good.
- Pumpkin pie spice. With a mix of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, and ginger, pumpkin pie spice has the ability to make a dish taste like pumpkin, even if there is no pumpkin at all. Pumpkin puree doesn’t have a strong flavor, so the pumpkin pie spice is key.
- Baking powder. The baking powder helps the mug cake to rise.
- Cake flour. I don’t know if the cake flour is necessary, but I like it because it’s milled to be a “finer” flour, great for pastries and other lighter, softer desserts.
- Monk sugar or zero calorie sweetener. This is a cake after all, so sweet is key. I’ve had the best luck in the no-calorie sweeteners for baking with the Monk sugar (xylitol).
- Egg whites. This acts to bind all the ingredients together, and also delivers more protein!
- And finally, canned pumpkin puree. You can’t really have a pumpkin mug cake, without pumpkin!
That’s it!! Once all your ingredients are whisked together in a microwave safe mug, you only need 1 minute to cook it in the microwave. Depending on your microwave, this might take two minutes. You’ll know if the cake comes out of the microwave wet or spongy. If it’s wet, return to cook for 30 more seconds at a time.
If you love whipped cream like I do, top it with some whipped cream as well, and sprinkle a little extra pumpkin pie spice on top!
The total calories and macros for this low calorie dessert are 190 calories 30 g protein 26 g carbs 1 g fat. (to calculate the macros you need to lose weight, check out this post!)
So, give it a try, and let me know what you think! Tag me in your Instagram posts at @healthbeet.
Low Calorie Protein Pumpkin Mug Cake
- Spray a microwave safe mug with cooking spray
- Whisk all ingredients straight into the mug.
- Microwave on high for 1 minute.
- Remove from microwave. Touch the top with your finger. If cake springs back, it should be done. If cake looks wet and leaves a finger print, microwave for 30 more seconds.
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