This Lemon Mug Cake is a tangy and delicious dessert that you can throw together in no time. A healthy single-serving dessert that is moist, soft, and packed with lemon flavor & poppy seeds! Only a handful of simple pantry ingredients that are gluten-free, paleo and refined sugar free.
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Updated February 2023
This Lemon Mug Cake is the Healthy Dessert of Your Dreams
This single-serving lemon cake recipe is easy to make in the microwave when you’re craving a healthy lemon dessert but don’t feel like turning on your oven. There’s no dairy needed in this cake, and it’s also gluten free and paleo friendly. This recipe also works with leto alternatives, so there’s really no excuse not to try it! Trust me, you won’t be disappointed. It’s like an ultra-moist lemon poppyseed muffin in a mug cake.
What is a Microwave Mug Cake?
Microwave mug cakes are a way to cheat the system by making a single-serving cake with no oven necessary! So it’s less of a hassle to prepare and you won’t have to feel bad about eating the whole thing. Mug cakes are perfect for those lazy days when you want something sweet, but can’t bring yourself to fire up the oven. We have a few mug cake recipes here like our Chocolate Mug Cake, Vanilla Mug Cake, Banana Mug Cake, Blueberry Mug Cake, Strawberry Mug Cake, Carrot Mug Cake, Keto Mug Cake and this lemon one is really something special.
This single serving cake recipe uses simple ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry. Plus, there are plenty of optional add-ons that’ll take your mug cake to the next level. However, it’s super delicious without them too!
Mug Cake Ingredients
- Ghee: You can also sub with vegan butter, refined coconut oil or unsalted grass-fed butter.
- Pure maple syrup: Sub with preferred sticky liquid sweetener such as date syrup, honey or Lakanto sugar free maple syrup.
- Lemon juice
- Lemon zest
- Vanilla extract
- Egg: You’ll need one large egg (we don’t recommend using a flax egg)
- Superfine almond flour
- Baking powder
- Poppy seeds
As you can see, this cake is made with lemon juice and lemon zest, so you don’t have to worry about it lacking in the lemon department. And feel free to make your mug cake a little fancier with these extra topping ideas!
- Grated lemon zest
- Coconut cream
- Melted coconut butter (manna)
How to Make a Lemon Mug Cake
- Melt your Ghee. In a large heat-safe mug or ramekin, add ghee or coconut oil and heat it in the microwave for 10-15 seconds, or until it’s just melted.
- Add Lemon & Stir. Add your maple syrup, lemon juice, lemon zest & vanilla, and stir it with a fork or a small whisk until it’s combined.
- Combine Eggs & Dry Ingredients. Crack in your egg in the mug and whisk until the mixture is smooth. Then add flour, baking powder & poppy seeds, mixing until the batter is combined and has no clumps.
- Cook Your Cake. Microwave the mug cake for 90-100 seconds, or until it’s set. The cook time may vary depending on the intensity of your microwave.
- Add Toppings if You’d Like! Add toppings of your choice & drizzle the cake with melted coconut butter if desired.
Tips for the Best Mug Cake
- Use a Fork for Mixing. If you don’t have a mini whisk, using a fork is a fool-proof way to get your ingredients thoroughly mixed. This is important because clumps will interfere with the cooking of the cake.
- Know your Microwave. If your microwave is a particularly high or low wattage, adjust your cook time accordingly. You’ll know the cake is ready when it’s firm to the touch but your thumb can press into it a bit.
- Let your Mug Cake Cool. Just because you’re not baking your lemon cake doesn’t mean you don’t have to let it cool! It will be hot when it first comes out of the microwave, so wait a few minutes before digging in.
I’ve given you a few extra topping ideas, but there’s plenty more you can add to this cake if you’d like. It tastes great with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream if you want to add something cool and creamy.
The lemon flavor also goes well with all kinds of berries and other fruit.
More lemon recipes you might like:
This Lemon Mug Cake is a tangy and delicious dessert that you can throw together in no time. It's moist, soft, and packed with lemon flavor & poppy seeds!
- 1 tbsp ghee (you can also sub with refined coconut oil, vegan butter or unsalted grass-fed butter)
- 1 tbsp pure maple syrup (you can also sub with Lakanto sugar free maple syrup for low carb)
- 1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp lemon zest
- 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 large egg , I do not recommend a flax egg
- 1/4 cup superfine almond powder
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/3 tsp poppy seeds
- grated lemon zest
- coconut cream
- melted coconut butter manna
In a large heat-safe mug or ramekin, add ghee or coconut oil & heat in microwave for 10-15 seconds or until just melted.
Add maple syrup, lemon juice, lemon zest & vanilla and stir with a fork or a small whisk.
Crack in egg and whisk until smooth. Add flour, baking powder & poppyseeds & mix until batter is combined and has no clumps.
Microwave for 90-100 seconds or until set (depending on your microwave).
Optional: Add toppings of choice / drizzle with melted coconut butter
Yum, made this last week and it was amazing!
This is an excellent recipe! I substituted lemon extract for the vanilla and omitted the poppy seeds as I did not have them. I also had to add a tablespoon of coconut flour because my batter seemed very very wet. It came out delicious! Next time I think I would make a quick lemon cream cheese frosting to go on top. Really hit the spot for a good lemony dessert.