Lemon Mug Cake Recipe

There are many great things about mug cakes, and to know them is to love them. If you haven't tried a mug cake before, then you're totally missing out, and this is a great excuse to try one. One of the most wonderful things about mug cakes is that they taste just the same as if you would if you baked them in an oven, but they only take a little over a minute to make in the microwave. How's that for simple? The mug cake also gives you the perfect single serving if you're riding solo, it's just the right amount to help satisfy your sweet tooth. 

Recipe developer Jaime Shelbert crafted this lemon mug cake recipe that is fluffy, light, citrusy, delicious. "I love how quick and easy this recipe is if I suddenly find myself craving something sweet," Shelbert says. "It's single serve too so I don't have to bake an entire cake!" "The mug method is great for a quick after dinner or anytime dessert for one or to share without having to bake an entire cake," Shelbert adds. If you love cake — especially lemon-flavored cake — then

Gather the ingredients for lemon mug cake

The first thing you will need to do to make this lemon mug cake is gather your ingredients. You'll need butter, sugar, milk, lemons (which you'll juice and zest), flour, baking soda, salt, and confectioner's sugar. Once you have all of the ingredients, you can get started. 

Combine the butter and sugar

Ready to get started on this delicious and easy mug cake? First, select a mug that is microwave safe. Most mugs should be since they're meant to hold hot items, but it's always good to double-check. Then, grab the butter and pour it in the mug. As a reminder, you should have melted it ahead of time. "I microwave the butter to melt," Shelbert shares. Be sure to do it in intervals of a few seconds at a time so it won't burn. Next, toss in the sugar, and stir the two to combine.

Add the milk and other ingredients

There are still a few more items that make up this wonderful cake, so keep adding. Go ahead and toss the milk into the mug and then 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. Stir again to incorporate. That makes up your wet ingredients.

Next, toss in the dry ingredients, including the flour and baking soda. At this point, you can also throw in the salt, which provides just the right amount of saltiness to balance out the wonderful and fresh lemon flavor. Stir again to combine and then toss in the lemon zest.

Microwave the cake

That does it for all of the prep work! Now, the cake is ready to go into the microwave. Pop it in for about 60 seconds. Shelbert shares that the cooking time could run up to 75 seconds, but you should check it right at 60 seconds since each microwave is different. There's a good way to check the cake and to make sure it's done. "I know the cake is done when the center is set, no longer wet, and springs back to the touch," Shelbert shares. 

Make the drizzle and serve

The last thing you need to do is throw together the glaze. Don't worry, this part is really easy. Just grab a bowl and toss in the confectioner's sugar and the remainder of the lemon juice. Whisk them together to combine. You can adjust the sugar and lemon juice as needed to reach your desired consistency. Drizzle it on top of the mug cake. You can serve the cake in the mug or transfer it onto the plate. "Serve with tea or coffee as a dessert," Shelbert suggests. "If you prefer you can top with whipped cream or ice cream instead of the glaze." 

Anything left? "Leftovers, if any, will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days," Shelbert shares. Though, considering this is a single-serve dessert, we think that you won't have to worry about leftovers!

Lemon Mug Cake Recipe
5 from 327 ratings
This lemon mug cake is just the right amount of sweetness for one serving - so go ahead and whip yourself up a tasty treat!
Prep Time
Cook Time
lemon cake on plate
Total time: 6 minutes
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 2 tablespoons + ½ teaspoon fresh squeezed lemon juice, divided
  • ¼ cup flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons confectioners sugar
  1. Combine melted butter and sugar in a coffee mug. Stir to combine.
  2. Add the milk and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice to the mug ingredients, and stir.
  3. Add the flour, baking soda, and salt to the wet ingredients, and stir until incorporated. Stir in the lemon zest.
  4. Place the mug into the microwave and heat for 75 seconds, until set and no longer wet in the middle. Check the cake at 60 seconds as microwave cooking times vary.
  5. Prepare the glaze by whisking together the confectioners sugar and remaining ½ teaspoon of lemon juice. Adjust sugar and lemon juice as needed to reach desired consistency. Drizzle the glaze on top of the mug cake.
  6. Serve the cake in the mug or turn out onto a plate.
Calories per Serving 411
Total Fat 13.4 g
Saturated Fat 8.2 g
Trans Fat 0.5 g
Cholesterol 35.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 69.9 g
Dietary Fiber 1.4 g
Total Sugars 44.0 g
Sodium 652.0 mg
Protein 4.9 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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