Sometimes you need a sweet treat right now, without a lot of prep or waiting, and you don’t want to share. Whether you’re keto or just watching your carbs, or you’re diabetic and don’t want to throw your sugars off, or if you’re avoiding gluten or animal products, this brownie recipe is for you!
Is this recipe keto?
Keto seems to be defined differently by a lot of different folks. This recipe definitely can fit into a keto diet/lifestyle. Is it keto if you eat it 18 times a day? No, no it is not. Will I judge you for doing that? Again, no. No I will not.
For the sake of avoiding arguments from internet people, I’ve decided to label this recipe as being ‘low carb’, because it’s waaayyyy lower in carbs than a traditional brownie is. It is not zero (about 16 net carbs as is, 7 if you leave out the chocolate chips), but it is also meant as a special treat and not as an everyday thing (but again, I will not judge if you decide to make and eat it every day!).
So really, “is it keto” would be answered by how low you think it has to be in carbs to fit the definition. But I can tell you it’s darn delicious.
What do I need to make this recipe?
Equipment-wise, you’re going to need a microwavable mug or ramekin, and a second small bowl for mixing your wet ingredients. You’ll need a spoon to stir and measuring spoons to measure out your ingredients, and of course you’ll need a microwave to cook it in.
Ingredient-wise, this is what you’ll need to gather:
- Almond flour
If you’re allergic to almonds, you can use another nut flour here like hazelnut or pecan. Allergic to nuts in general? No problem! Swap it out for sunflower seed or pumpkin seed flour and it’ll work just fine.
- Cocoa powder
I really like Hershey’s special dark cocoa powder, but I’m a dark chocolate fiend. Any cocoa powder should work fine here, though!
- Baking powder
NOT baking soda. Baking powder is a mix of base and acid in powder form, so that when it gets wet it fizzes and makes lots of tiny bubbles in your brownie so it’ll be spongey and won’t be a hockey puck.
Whatever kind of salt you want, as long as it’s salty. I use sea salt because it’s what I’ve got. It’s to balance out the sweetness of the brownie (plus, salt and chocolate are total besties and go SO well together!).
- Coconut oil
Allergic to coconuts? Have no fear! Use palm oil, or even Country Crock Plant Butter Sticks instead.
Don’t want to use palm oil AND allergic to coconuts? Swap it for any oil of your choice and it should be fine! The oil is to up the fat content for the keto-ers, and also helps to keep the brownie moist and decadent.
- Flax egg
Da heck is flax egg? GOOD QUESTION! Flax egg is when you mix together ground flax seed with water and let it gellify. It gets the same goopy consistency of chicken eggs, with 100% less animal protein. I actually keep a big container of it premade in my fridge and just scoop out 3 tbsp for each egg in a recipe, but if you need to make it on the spot it’s 1 tbsp of ground flax and 2.5 tbsp water per egg. No flax? Use ground chia seeds instead!
- Almond milk
You can actually use whatever liquid you want here! So if you’re allergic to almonds or nuts, use your favorite plant milk instead – or even just plain ole water. I chose unsweetened vanilla almond milk for this recipe because of the extra vanilla boost and the zero carbs.
Use whatever your favorite sweetener is here. Erythritol is a preferred sweetener by low carb/keto folks but it has a cooling sensation a lot of people can’t get past. Stevia is a good choice, but can be bitter. Monkfruit is a great choice, but hard to find (getting easier, though!) and is a little pricey. I find that mixing erythritol and stevia gives great results because there’s not enough of either to make your mouth go “ick”.
Lily’s dark chocolate baking chips are the crowning glory of this brownie. I love them (and they don’t pay me to say that) because again, I am a dark chocolate fiend, but also because I love that they’re super delicious and sugar-free so I can nom them and not feel bad about it. I also love adding them to all my kids’ breakfast foods because no added sugar. Yay!
That said, you can leave them out if you don’t have them or don’t like them, and your brownie will still turn out decadent and wonderful. Just add another teaspoon or two of your sweetener to make up for what Lily’s would have added.
Additionally, you can add chopped nuts or seeds to this and it’s amazing. Pecans, walnuts, or roasted seeds are all great choices.
Tell me how! The process:
Making the brownie is actually really quick and simple – and gets quicker the more times you do it. 😉
1. Measure together your wet and your dry ingredients separately. Also, if you don’t have your flax egg pre-made and waiting in the fridge, go ahead and mix that before you do anything else. Melt your fat and heat up your liquid to make sure you don’t get solid chunks anywhere.
I measure the dry ingredients into whatever vessel I will be microwaving the brownie in – in this case, a coffee mug.
2. Stir together the dry and wet ingredients in their separate containers. I do the dry ingredients first, and then use the same spoon to do the wet ingredients. Fewer dirty dishes makes me happy.
3. Once everything is nicely mixed in their separate containers, go ahead and plop the wet ingredients into the dry and mix well.
4. Once you’ve mixed the batter and everything is smooth with no giant lumps, go ahead and add half of your chocolate chips and all your nuts/seeds if you used them, and stir them in. Sprinkle the rest of the chocolate chips on top.
5. Microwave your mug on high for 90 seconds. It’s going to puff way up in the microwave (so make sure you’re using a mug or bowl that has plenty of headroom left in it) and then fall back down once done. You can see here that mine souffléd up to the rim of my mug before collapsing down to its final height.
It will be a bit like a molten chocolate cake while it’s still hot/warm, and will firm up as it cools (if you can wait that long!).
Enjoy at whatever temperature you wish! You can top it with some whipped buttercream made with confectioner’s Swerve instead of sugar, or some whipped coconut cream. Or eat it as is. 🙂 I eat mine still hot with a cup of coffee and nothing added on top.
Quick and Dirty Method:
You can totally do this ALL in ONE mug if you’d like to avoid a couple more dirty dishes. Results might be a little lumpier, but still delicious. So feel free to use this method if you are short on time or patience and just need some delicious brownie in your face rite nao:
- Measure oil and milk into your mug and microwave for 30 seconds, or until it’s hot to the touch
- Add the rest of your wet ingredients and stir well
- Mix in your cocoa powder and stir well
- Add the rest of your dry ingredients and stir well
- Fold in your chocolate chips and nuts/seeds if using, and top with chocolate chips
- Microwave and enjoy as usual
How do I store them?
Uhh.. In your belly? I suppose you could pop some plastic wrap over the top and save it for later, but this is meant to be enjoyed right away.
I have made them in silicone cupcake liners and transitioned them to paper for a Valentine’s gift in a cupcake box and they worked well like that. But I would really advise you to eat these the same day that they’re made.
What if I’m not low carb/keto?
If you’re not watching your carb intake and aren’t concerned about consuming sugar, feel free to use granulated sugar as your sweetener and regular chocolate chips instead of the Lily’s! It’ll work just as well for a quick single-serving treat!
Can I make these in the oven?
Yes! Give it a try at 325F for about 10-12 minutes.
Can I double or triple the recipe?
Yes you absolutely can. The photos you see here are actually of the recipe doubled (so you can actually see what’s going on). You’ll just need to microwave a bit longer. Sprinkle the chocolate chips on after the brownie is cooked (so the chocolate doesn’t burn) and give it another 30 seconds to melt. Try cooking for two and a half minutes for a double batch, and three and a half minutes for triple.
Pin it for later:
- 4 tbsp almond flour
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- pinch salt
- 1 flax egg (see recipe post for details)
- 2 tbsp unsweetened vanilla almond milk, hot
- 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
- 4 tsp sweetener (erythritol, stevia, or monkfruit that measures like sugar)
- 2 tbsp Lily's dark chocolate baking chips, divided
- 1 tbsp roasted nuts or seeds, chopped (optional)
1. Make your flax egg if you don't already have some waiting
2. Measure together your wet and your dry ingredients separately
3. Stir together the dry and wet ingredients in their separate containers
4. Mix everything together in your microwaveable mug, combining well
5. Fold in one tablespoon of your chocolate chips and all of your seeds/nuts if using
6. Sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips over the top of the batter
7. Microwave for 90 seconds
8. Enjoy hot as a molten cake, or allow to cool for a firmer brownie
If you have allergies to any of the ingredients, or want to make it not-low-carb, see recipe post for substitutions
This recipe is inspired by the non-vegan 3-minute keto brownie recipe from Keto Daily
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 350